Friday, February 19, 2010

Amerithrax Case Closed: Ivins Acted Alone

"[T]he FBI [Amerithrax documents (scroll down)] show an increasingly agitated Ivins seeking to implicate colleagues while misleading investigators about his ability to make the deadly powder used in the attacks.

In a new disclosure, Justice officials released a transcript of a secretly taped conversation in which Ivins suggests that he might have committed acts that he could no longer recall.

'I, in my right mind, wouldn't do it,' Ivins is quoted as saying of the anthrax attacks in June 2008, weeks before his death. But he added, 'It worries me when I wake up in the morning and I've got all my clothes and my shoes on, and my car keys are right beside there.'

...A 96-page summary of the investigation concludes that Ivins hatched the anthrax-by-mail scheme in hopes of creating a scare that would rescue what he considered his greatest achievement, an anthrax vaccine program that he had helped create but that by 2001 was in danger of failing."--The Washington Post (2-20-10)

Today the Justice Department, FBI, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service formally closed the Amerithrax case, the AP (2-19-10) is reporting. Thanks for a job well done!

Independent researcher Ed Lake, who had been predicting that the Amerithrax case would be formally closed within days, will be discussing the newly-released evidence at his "Thoughts and Comments" link beginning with his February 19, 2010 post.

The NYT (2-19-20) observes:

A 92-page report...laid out the evidence against Dr. Ivins, including his equivocal answers when asked by a friend in a recorded conversation about whether he was the anthrax mailer.

“If I found out I was involved in some way...” Dr. Ivins said, not finishing the sentence. “I do not have any recollection of ever doing anything like that,” he said, adding, “I can tell you, I am not a killer at heart.” But in a 2008 e-mail message to a former colleague, one of many that reflected distress, Dr. Ivins wrote, “I can hurt, kill, and terrorize.” He added: “Go down low, low, low as you can go, then dig forever, and you’ll find me, my psyche.”

The report disclosed for the first time the F.B.I.’s theory that Dr. Ivins embedded in the notes mailed with the anthrax a complex coded message, based on DNA biochemistry, alluding to two female former colleagues with whom he was obsessed.

Today, the FBI homepage links to a Justice Department press release (2-19-10) which contains links to newly-released information about the case:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Justice Department and FBI Announce Formal Conclusion of Investigation into 2001 Anthrax Attacks

The Justice Department, FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service today announced that the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, which killed five individuals and sickened 17 others, has formally concluded.

Earlier today, representatives of the FBI and Justice Department provided a 92-page investigative summary along with attachments to victims of the attacks, relatives of the victims and appropriate committees of Congress. This document sets forth a summary of the evidence developed in the "Amerithrax" investigation, the largest investigation into a bio-weapons attack in U.S. history. As disclosed previously, the Amerithrax investigation found that the late Dr. Bruce Ivins acted alone in planning and executing these attacks.

The investigative summary and the attachments are now accessible to the public and have been posted to the Justice Department Web site at www.usdoj.gov/amerithrax under the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, roughly 2,700 pages of FBI documents related to the Amerithrax case are now accessible to the public and have been posted to the FBI website at http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/amerithrax.htm under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Amerithrax Task Force, which was comprised of roughly 25 to 30 full-time investigators from the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement agencies, as well as federal prosecutors from the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section, expended hundreds of thousands of investigator work hours on this case. Their investigative efforts involved more than 10,000 witness interviews on six different continents, the execution of 80 searches and the recovery of more than 6,000 items of potential evidence during the course of the investigation. The case involved the issuance of more than 5,750 grand jury subpoenas and the collection of 5,730 environmental samples from 60 site locations.

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