CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Frederick News-Post … FBI buries Ivins

Posted by DXer on February 23, 2010

CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

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WHY did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?

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Frederick News-Post

… FBI buries Ivins


Frederick News-Post editorial (2-23-10) … Read the entire editorial at …

4 Responses to “* Frederick News-Post … FBI buries Ivins”

  1. DXer said

    There are no B.a. samples in ________ laboratory that are left-overs from previous researchers. _______ stated that
    an old inventory of registered agents listed B.a. belonging to BRUCE IVINS was located in the first floor cold room.
    This inventory is relatively dated, and the sample, if it were ever in the cold room, has since been removed. _____
    does not know any further details regarding this inventory or sample. _____ stated IVINS would be the person
    to talk to for further details.

  2. Anonymous Scientist said

    February 23, 2010
    Anthrax Case Closed
    Investigation: FBI concludes that government biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins was the culprit in the attacks
    William G. Schulz

    The FBI has closed its case on the infamous 2001 anthrax mailings, known as the Amerithrax investigation. Government biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins, who killed himself after being identified as a suspect, “was responsible for the death, sickness, and fear brought to our country by the 2001 anthrax mailings,” said an FBI official in a statement released on Feb. 19.

    The FBI’s extensive, more than eight-year investigation included the development of pathbreaking technology to “fingerprint” the DNA of the anthrax spores used in the attacks. According to the FBI statement, that work “allowed investigators to pinpoint the origins of the anthrax. The FBI Laboratory, in conjunction with the best experts in the scientific community, developed four highly sensitive and specific tests to detect the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks. This took several years to accomplish, but in early 2005, the groundbreaking research successfully identified where the anthrax used in the mailings had come from.”

    A National Academies panel is reviewing the science the FBI used to reach its conclusion in the case (C&EN, Aug. 17, 2009, page 34). The panel has said it will not produce an opinion on the guilt or innocence of anyone identified as a suspect by the FBI, but will restrict its work to an evaluation of the science.

    A frequent critic of the FBI’s investigation, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), blasted the FBI’s conclusion. He called the investigation “close minded” and said the bureau’s evidence would not stand up in court.

    Because Ivins is dead and a court case is thus impossible, the FBI seems “satisfied with barely a circumstantial case,” Holt said. “The National Academy of Sciences review of the FBI’s scientific methods in this case won’t be released until summer,” he added, “but the FBI doesn’t seem to care.”

  3. Anonymous scientist said

    FBI Solves the Anthrax Mystery Again: Ivins a “PAT,” see

    One would think the FBI would have learned its lesson when it was fed misinformation to focus its investigation on “mad scientist” Steven Hatfill. The Greendale school connection indicated the source of the misinformation had Hatfill lined up as the patsy. But after Hatfill proved to be a tough nut to crack the fallback plan was in need of another another fall guy. Enter Bruce “Crazy” Ivins.

    What’s the misinformation the feds were fed this time?

    According to the Frederick Post, Jeffrey Adamovicz, former chief of bacteriology who supervised Ivins’ work at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has his doubts as to Ivins’ involvement:

    “The evidence is still very circumstantial and unconvincing as a whole. I’m curious as to why they closed the case while the (National Academy of Science) review is still ongoing. Is it because the review is going unfavorable for the FBI?”
    A key issue relates to how the attack anthrax was prepared and how much time it would take to produce such highly refined spores.

    “There is an assumption by the FBI that the spores could have only been prepared in the week before each mailing. This is a fatal error in logic. The only reason that I can derive why the FBI has proposed this is that it is the only period that helps provide circumstantial evidence against Bruce.”

    One such piece of evidence is a chart of Ivins’ night hours in the lab, which spikes in September 2001. Gerry Andrews, another former chief of bacteriology at USAMRIID, said he “didn’t think it was peculiar” to have a sudden increase in night hours and tried to stress to the FBI that the spike was irrelevant.

    Ivins was in the middle of several projects in September 2001, some of which involved animals, so it made sense that he would forsake a conventional schedule and instead work when he could be most productive with those particular projects.

    “The FBI, I think, is trying to give folks the wrong impression of the timeline” to make their case against Ivins more convincing, Andrews said.

    Adamovicz agreed that focusing on Ivins’ September 2001 hours was irrelevant, since the anthrax spores that were mailed out could have been made as early as 1997.

    “The person would need to grow new spores from vegetative cells, concentrate them, purify them and dry them — it’s not physically possible” to do in the FBI’s one-week timeline, Adamovicz said.

    Andrews said it would take 25 to 50 weeks to create the attack anthrax spores if a scientist started with the samples in Ivins’ lab.

    “Bruce didn’t have the skill to make spore preps of that concentration,” which were two orders of magnitude more concentrated than the anthrax in Ivins’ lab, Andrews said. “He never ever could make a spore prep like the ones found in the letters.”

    Another factor for the academy to look into is the genetic analysis that traced the attack anthrax to Ivins’ anthrax. Andrews agreed with the FBI that the attack anthrax originated from Ivins’ flask. But the FBI report states as many as 377 people had access to Ivins’ lab, and samples of his RMR-1029 anthrax had been sent to 15 domestic and three international labs.

    Adamovicz said no forensic evidence — such as fingerprints or strands of hair — was ever found that links Ivins to the letters.

    Andrews said many of Ivins’ motives, as outlined in the report, are based on false information. The final report states Ivins’ project “had run its course at USAMRIID, leaving him potentially without anthrax research to do.”

    But Ivins was assured funding through 2005, Andrews said. The report also said that, because the anthrax research “was viewed as menial in nature and a waste of Dr. Ivins’s considerable talents, there was a suggestion that he should begin work on Glanders research.” Andrews said that was true, but those discussions didn’t take place until late 2002, well after the anthrax attacks.
    In contrast to that stubborn Hatfill, Ivins was loving and caring, but like many brilliant people, was also “emotionally fragile in many ways.”

    “You pick on them enough, you bully them enough, you scare them enough — and let’s face it, the FBI can do that — and they feel like they have nowhere to go”. That was why Ivins killed himself in 2008, not because he was guilty and wanted to escape punishment. At this point, the government is just needing to see the case closed, and it’s easier to accuse a dead man.”

    Ivins friends would like the case to be re-investigated but fear someone else might get railroaded and driven to suicide in another investigation.

    But the BIG Secret in the FBI final report was the “discovery” of a hidden message in one of the Anthrax letters. Some of the As and Ts “appear” to be bolded; the letters spell out the genetic code for three proteins, whose names could be abbreviated to PAT. Investigators said Ivins was obsessed with a co-worker named Pat.

    After all the money spent, hours wasted and reputations ruined, the final piece of the Anthrax Mystery puzzle says it all: Ivins was the PAT, see.

  4. Anonymous scientist said

    Supervisor of Anthrax Suspect Has Doubts About FBI’s Investigation
    Bruce Ivins

    Bruce Ivins
    By Allan Lengel

    Not everyone is buying into the FBI’s findings that scientist Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer — including his supervisor.

    The Frederick Post News in Frederick, Md., where Ivins worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease, reports that Ivins’ supervisor Jeffrey Adamovicz wasn’t impressed with the FBI findings released last week which pointed the finger at Ivins, who committed suicide before authorities could charge him. The FBI also announced the official closing of the case.

    “The evidence is still very circumstantial and unconvincing as a whole,” Adamovicz, the former chief of bacteriology, wrote in an e-mail to the paper. “I’m curious as to why they closed the case while the (National Academy of Science) review is still ongoing. Is it because the review is going unfavorable for the FBI?”

    “There is an assumption by the FBI that the spores could have only been prepared in the week before each mailing. This is a fatal error in logic,” Adamovicz wrote, according to the paper. “The only reason that I can derive why the FBI has proposed this is that it is the only period that helps provide circumstantial evidence against Bruce.”

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