Anthrax report casts doubt on scientific evidence in FBI case against Bruce Ivins
By Jerry Markon
A panel of prominent scientists is casting new doubt on scientific evidence that was a key part of the FBI’s case against Bruce E. Ivins, the deceased Army scientist accused of carrying out the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks.
The National Research Council, in a report issued Tuesday (read the 39-page summary),* questioned the link between a flask of anthrax bacteria in Ivins’s lab at Fort Detrick, Md., and the anthrax-infested letters that killed five people and sickened 17 others.
The Justice Department has said genetic testing conclusively linked the letters to spores in the flask – labeled RMR-1029 – found at the laboratory, where Ivins was a longtime researcher before committing suicide in 2008. The government closed the case last year after concluding that Ivins had single-handedly prepared and mailed the deadly anthrax spores, an incident that terrorized a nation still reeling from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.