Biologists are arrested in the USA over anthrax mystery

Everybody remembers the story with anthrax spores in the mail, the whole world was gripped with panic because of that. American special services were dog tired, seeking for those mysterious criminals, but as it became known, they were not rather successful in that.

Mass media outlets periodically publish and distribute the information, which says that anthrax spores were not of the foreign origin, they were actually cultivated in one of US secret labs. The information, which confirmed this version, appeared at the end of February. The article in the Washington Times was the first sign of that. The author of the article asserted that FBI managed to identify the criminal that was putting anthrax letters in the mail after the tragic events of September 11th. Special services rejected to comment on the news, but they confirmed the fact that the head of one of the governmental laws was the suspect.

Biochemists say in their turn that the scientist worked for the American military and medical research institute of contagious diseases in Maryland for quite a while. There is also the evidence to prove that he participated in over 50 research projects and was very well acquainted with the technological process of growing anthrax spores. However, he was fired twice from different state posts, and lost his job in the lab too.

The chairwoman of the military biochemical committee of the Federation of American scientists, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, advised that FBI had not finished the probe yet, and that FBI agents were constricting the circle of American scientists, that were suspected of spreading anthrax spores.

The continuation of the story followed four months after. Associated Press reported today that FBI was conducting the detailed investigation concerning 30 scientists, including several researchers from military labs that worked with poisoning substances. Investigators are going to find out, if some of those specialists could steal and grow anthrax spores for mailing them afterwards, as it happened last fall.

FBI agents suppose that a person, who managed to send anthrax spores in letters and stay alive, should have the specific knowledge and equipment for that. Former manager of one of army labs, doctor Steven J. Hatfill allowed FBI agents to search his own apartment in Maryland in order to get rid of any suspicion. Hatfill was the first scientist that was interrogated by FBI on the anthrax case last December. The Bureau checked 25 personal apartments of the scientists that had access to biological materials. There are some 40 thousand biologists in the USA, and it is easy to imagine, how long it will take special services to find out their details, not to mention interrogations.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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