The FBI's Road to Ivins
A mutant strain of anthrax, evolving technology and Bruce E. Ivins's status as "the expert" in producing "exceptionally pure concentrations of anthrax spores" helped guide FBI agents through their investigation and ultimately led them to the Fort Detrick scientist they deemed responsible for the 2001 domestic bioterror attack.
The Post's Joby Warrick reconstructed the government's investigation into Ivins, plotting the timeline from when an Army lab technician, Terry Abshire, noticed an odd grouping of mutant anthrax back in October 2001, all the way to Ivins's suicide this summer.
Uncertainties continue to surround Ivins's role in the attack, which killed five people. FBI officials have been trying to bolster their case against Ivins, but the bureau has run into a skeptical public and scientific community.
A hair sample snagged from a Princeton, N.J., mailbox linked to the attacks turned out not to match that of Ivins and some congressional critics have questioned whether one man could really have carried out the elaborate attacks. Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), a member of the House intelligence committee, has questioned whether the bureau's scientific discoveries were "inconsistent with the FBI's conclusions."
To address such concerns, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences has been asked to independently review the government's case.
By Derek Kravitz |
October 27, 2008; 3:13 PM ET
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