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Tag: anthrax

Ex-FBI Investigator Claims Bureau Hid Evidence in 2001 Anthrax Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former director of the FBI’s anthrax investigation claims the bureau hid evidence that would punch holes in the case that Army scientist Bruce Ivins mailed anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and sickened 27 others in 2001, Fox News reports. 

Richard Lambert claims in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tennessee that investigators used flawed scientific methods to arrive at a conclusion to charge Ivins in the anthrax attacks. Ivina later committed suicide before any charges were filed.

Lambert alleges there’s a “wealth” of evidence casting doubt on the case, which “the FBI continues to conceal from Congress and the American people. ”

While he headed up the investigation, he focused heavily on scientist Steven Hatfill.

The FBI declined to comment because of the litigation.

Report: FBI’s Investigation of 2001 Anthrax Attacks Was Flawed, Inaccurate

An Anthrax letter from 2001

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

An investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 more was flawed and cannot link the germs to the scientist that many thought was responsible, according to a government report, CBS Baltimore reports.

The 77-page GOA report took issue with evidence collected from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) where Army biodefense expert Bruce Ivins worked and was the lead suspect. Ivins killed himself days before he was to be indicted.

Now researchers are questioning whether there is a firm link between the evidence collected in his lab and the Anthrax that was mailed.

“From day one when they announced it and the way they announced it, I did not believe they had the right person,” University of Maryland law professor Michael Greenberger said. “You could not conclude from the scientific evidence that Ivins was really the person who perpetrated the anthrax attacks.”

 

FBI Investigated PETA Over Alleged Plan to Launch Anthrax Threat

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI began investigating the animal-rights group PETA in the late 1990s after agents were told volunteers planned an anthrax attack, the New York Post reports.

Documents obtained by PETA show the FBI was told the group planned to release anthrax at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Washington D.C.

“I was bowled over by it,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. “It was such a disappointment. I don’t know if someone just hated us, but it’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s total fantasy.”

The FBI declined to comment.

Vincent Lisi Becomes New Agent in Charge of Boston FBI Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Vincent Lisi, who has served in numerous jobs as an FBI agent since 1989, has been named the new leader of the agency’s Boston office, the Associated Press reports.

FBI Director Robert Mueller announced Wednesday that Lisi would replace Richard DesLauriers, who is retiring after more than 26 years with the FBI.

Most recently, Lisi served as deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division in Washington D.C.

He also helped investigate the 2001 Anthrax attacks and served as a legal attache in Yemen.

DesLauriers headed the office during the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.

Mich. Sen. Office Receives Letter with White Powder

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI announced on Monday that US Senator Carl Levin’s downtown Detroit  office was evacuated after an employee came across a letter filled with a “suspicious white powder,” reports the Detroit News. The powder was later determined to be harmless.

Levin’s office, located in the McNamara Federal Building, has since been reopened, according to the Detroit News. The senator was in Washington when the letter and the powder were discovered.

The Michigan senator is the latest across the nation to receive letters with the powder over the last week, though none have yet proved to be dangerous.

To read more click here.

 

Justice Dept. Takes on Itself in Anthrax Attacks

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Jerry Markon
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Since it began a decade ago, the federal government’s massive investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks has been plagued by missteps and complications.

Investigators initially focused on the wrong man, then had to pay him a nearly $6 million settlement. In 2008, they accused another man, Bruce E. Ivins, who killed himself before he could go to trial. Now, in the latest twist, the government has argued against itself.

In documents deep in the files of a recently settled Florida lawsuit, Justice Department civil attorneys contradicted their own department’s conclusion that Ivins was unquestionably the anthrax killer. The lawyers said the type of anthrax in Ivins’s lab was “radically different” from the deadly anthrax. They cited several witnesses who said Ivins was innocent, and they suggested that a private laboratory in Ohio could have been involved in the attacks.

To read the full story click here.

FBI: Israeli Consulates Targeted with (Harmless) White Powder Letters

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A series of “suspicious letters” with white powder have been turning up at several Israeli consulates over the past few days, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“There’s a lot of white powder letters that are going to Israeli consulates around the country,” Chris Allen of the FBI said late Tuesday. “There may be more out there.”

The threats seem more about fear considering that the powder so far has been harmless, Allen told the Journal. He would not comment on exactly how many other cases are under investigation.

“All of the ones we’re aware of have been field tested and are negative,” Allen said. “Anyone who came in contact with it is asymptomatic.”

To read more click here.

FBI Investigates ‘Non-Hazardous’ Powder Sent to Florida Prosecutor’s Office

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The return of the Anthrax it was not.

Still, three people reported falling ill on Tuesday after being exposed to a “suspicious” powder in the mail room of the State Attorney’s Office in West Palm Beach office, a city spokesman told CNN. Now the FBI is investigating the incident.

The powder was not hazardous, according to initial reports, but the bureau will continue to investigate, Margaret Williams of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service told CNN. And even though the powder doesn’t seem to be hazardous, two of the three workers sent to the hospital complained of headache, nausea and vomiting, Scott said. Additionally, a firefighter responding to the incident was hospitalized for cardiac problems. Because he was equipped with an air tank, it is uncertain what specifically the causes of the cardiac problems were attributable to.

In the post 9-11 era, mail goes through detector systems at the post office to check for biological agents like anthrax.  No anthrax has been found in the mail since 2001 when five people died and 17 were sickened.

To read more click here.