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Posts Tagged ‘ivins’

Colleague disputes case against anthrax suspect

Posted by seumasach on April 23, 2010

New York Times

22nd April, 2010

See also:

ITNT Archive: anthrax attack, Ivins affair

WASHINGTON — A former Army microbiologist who worked for years with Bruce E. Ivins, whom the F.B.I. has blamed for the anthrax letter attacks that killed five people in 2001, told a National Academy of Sciences panel on Thursday that he believed it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts.

Asked by reporters after his testimony whether he believed that there was any chance that Dr. Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008, had carried out the attacks, the microbiologist, Henry S. Heine, replied, “Absolutely not.” At the Army’s biodefense laboratory in Maryland, where Dr. Ivins and Dr. Heine worked, he said, “among the senior scientists, no one believes it.”

Dr. Heine told the 16-member panel, which is reviewing the F.B.I.’s scientific work on the investigation, that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab. Such an effort would not have escaped colleagues’ notice, he added later, and lab technicians who worked closely with Dr. Ivins have told him they saw no such work.

He told the panel that biological containment measures where Dr. Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. “You’d have had dead animals or dead people,” he said.

The public remarks from Dr. Heine, two months after the Justice Department officially closed the case, represent a major public challenge to its conclusion in one of the largest, most politically delicate and scientifically complex cases in F.B.I. history.

The F.B.I. declined to comment on Dr. Heine’s remarks on Thursday. In its written summation of the case in February, the bureau said Dr. Ivins’s lab technicians grew anthrax spores that the technicians incorrectly believed were added to Dr. Ivins’s main supply flask. But the summary said the spores were never added to the flask, suggesting that surplus spores might have been diverted by Dr. Ivins for the letters.

Some scientists and members of Congress protested in February when the Justice Department closed the case, saying it should have waited for the academy panel’s conclusions. The F.B.I. asked the panel last year to review the bureau’s scientific work on the case, though not its conclusion on the perpetrator’s identity.

Members of the panel, whose chairwoman is Alice P. Gast, a chemical engineer and president of Lehigh University, declined to comment on Dr. Heine’s testimony or his remarks to reporters. The panel is expected to complete its report this fall.

Since shortly after Dr. Ivins took a lethal dose of Tylenol in July 2008 and the Justice Department first named him as the anthrax mailer, some former colleagues have rejected the F.B.I.’s conclusion and said they thought he was innocent. They have acknowledged, as Dr. Heine did on Thursday, that they wanted to clear the name of their friend and defend their laboratory, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Heine said he had been treated as a suspect himself at one point and understood the pressure Dr. Ivins was under.

Asked why he was speaking out now, Dr. Heine noted that Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory in late February. He now works for Ordway Research Institute in Albany.

Dr. Heine said he did not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Dr. Ivins’s flask — a link that led the F.B.I. to conclude that Dr. Ivins had grown the spores from a sample taken from the flask. But samples from the flask were widely shared, Dr. Heine said. Accusing Dr. Ivins of the attacks, he said, was like tracing a murder to the clerk at the sporting goods shop who sold the bullets.

“Whoever did this is still running around out there,” Dr. Heine said. “I truly believe that.”

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Anthrax Attack was state Sponsored Terror(But the State was America)

Posted by seumasach on April 28, 2009

George Washington’s Blog

12th August 2008

The chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998 – who describes himself as one of the “four or five people in the whole country” who could make the type of anthrax used in the 2001 attacks – noted in testimony to Congress:

“I have maintained from the first descriptions of the material contained in the Daschle letter that the quality appeared to be such that it could be produced only by some group that was involved with a current or former state program in recent years. The level of knowledge, expertise, and experience required and the types of special equipment required to make such quality product takes time and experimentation to develop. Further, the nature of the finished dried product is such that safety equipment and facilities must be used to protect the individuals involved and to shield their clandestine activity from discovery.”

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‘Anthrax killer’ remains a mystery

Posted by seumasach on August 12, 2008


The FBI’s accusations against dead scientist Bruce Ivins are full of holes. The case may be closed but it isn’t solved

Brad Freedman


11th August

Case closed. The FBI has found the “Anthrax Killer” – and he acted alone. And now that he’s committed suicide, just at the moment the Feds were about to finally snare the diabolical menace who arguably brought utter chaos in days following the September 11 attacks when he’d sent deadly letters to Democratic officials and members of the media, his guilt couldn’t be clearer.

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Proof that Ivins couldn’t have done it(at least, not alone)

Posted by seumasach on August 10, 2008

George Washington’s Blog

9th August, 2008

According to the FBI, Ivins made the killer anthrax in his lab at Fort Detrick all by himself in something like 12 hours (pages 8-9).

Is that plausible?

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Anthrax case against bio-weapons expert ‘staggering for lack of evidence’

Posted by seumasach on August 9, 2008

Justice Department officials claim that Bruce Ivins, 62, a US government bio-weapons scientist, posted envelopes containing anthrax spores to members of Congress and the media in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, spreading fear across America.

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The FBI’s emerging, leaking case against Ivins

Posted by seumasach on August 5, 2008


Glen Greenwald

5th August, 2008

It’s certainly possible that once the FBI closes its investigation and then formally unveils its evidence — which apparently will happen tomorrow — a very convincing case will be made that Bruce Ivins perpetrated the anthrax attacks and did so alone. But what has been revealed thus far — through the standard ritual of selected Government leaks which the establishment media, with some exceptions, just mindlessly re-prints no matter how frivolous — is creating the opposite impression. The FBI’s coordinated leaking is making their claim to have solved the anthrax case appear quite dubious, in some instances laughably so.

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Scientists Question FBI Probe On Anthrax

Posted by seumasach on August 4, 2008

As we are seeing time and time again, in the “war on terror” there is no suspect like a dead suspect.

Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say


By Joby Warrick, Marilyn W. Thompson and Aaron C. Davis

Washington Post

3rd August

For nearly seven years, scientist Bruce E. Ivins and a small circle of fellow anthrax specialists at Fort Detrick’s Army medical lab lived in a curious limbo: They served as occasional consultants for the FBI in the investigation of the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks, yet they were all potential suspects.

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