December 10, 2010

The American Anthrax Attack Investigation is Far from Over

If this article in the hometown newspaper of deceased anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins is any indication, then the investigation into who sent the anthrax laced letters is far from over.

Amerithrax review delayed after FBI releases more documents
Originally published December 10, 2010
By Megan Eckstein News-Post Staff

The National Academy of Sciences quietly delayed releasing its evaluation of the science used to link Fort Detrick scientist Bruce Ivins to the anthrax attacks of 2001, a move that escaped notice of many, but drew criticism from one congressman.

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, a Democrat who represents the central New Jersey district from where the anthrax letters were mailed, said the NAS delayed releasing its report because the FBI asked the panel members to review 500 more pages of classified documents before reaching a final conclusion.

The report, initially expected to be released in October, was supposed to analyze the scientific methods used by the FBI and "determine whether these techniques met appropriate standards for scientific reliability and for use in forensic validation, and whether the FBI reached appropriate scientific conclusions from its use of these techniques."

Holt has been a constant critic of the FBI's handling of the investigation and it's decision to close the investigation in February, 2010, 18 months after Ivin's suicide and subsequent identification as the FBI's sole suspect.

The FBI's naming of Ivins came after Steven J. Hatfill, who was long targeted as the FBI's chief suspect despite a lack of any evidence that he had ever possessed anthrax, received a settlement valued at $5.82 million in June of 2008.

Ivins became the only suspect after FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III changed the leadership of the investigation in late 2006.

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