Anthrax investigation documents released -- read the full text - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Anthrax investigation documents released -- read the full text

Army scientist Bruce Ivins had custody of highly purified anthrax spores with "certain genetic mutations identical" to the poison that killed five and rattled the nation in 2001, according to documents unsealed Wednesday in the government's investigation.

Also, Ivins was unable to give investigators "an adequate explanation for his late laboratory work hours around the time of" the attacks, and he apparently sought to mislead investigators on the case, according to an affidavit filed by one government investigator.

The scientist committed suicide last week as investigators were preparing to charge him with murder in the 2001 attacks. The documents were released as the FBI held a private briefing for families of the victims of the episode, and officials said the agency was preparing to close the case.

The events in Washington unfolded as a memorial service was held for Ivins at Fort Detrick, the secret government installation in Frederick, Md., where he worked. Reporters were barred.

The documents disclose that authorities searched Ivins' home on Nov. 2, 2007, taking 22 swabs of vacuum filters and radiators and seizing dozens of items. Among them were video cassettes, family photos, information about guns, and a copy of "The Plague" by Albert Camus.

They also reported seizing three cardboard boxes labeled "Paul Kemp ... attorney client privilege."

Ivins' cars and his safe deposit box also were searched as investigators closed in on the respected government scientist who had been troubled by mental health problems for years.

According to an affidavit filed by Charles B. Wickersham, a postal inspector, the scientist told an unnamed co-worker "that he had `incredible paranoid, delusional thoughts at times' and 'feared that he might not be able to control his behavior."'

A mental health worker who was involved in treating Ivins disclosed last week that she was so concerned about his behavior that she recently sought a court order to keep him away from her.

The documents, which were expected to clear up many of the mysteries surrounding the case, were released following an order from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. Among them were more than a dozen search warrants issued as the government closed in on Ivins in an investigation into events that killed five, sickened dozens and rattled the nation a few weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The investigation dates to 2001, when anthrax-laced mail turned up in two Senate offices as well as news media offices and elsewhere. At the time, the events were widely viewed as the work of terrorists, and delivery of mail was crippled when anthrax spores were discovered in mailing equipment that had processed the contaminated envelopes.

Ivins' lawyer has maintained that the 62-year-old scientist would have been proved innocent had he lived. And some of Ivins' friends and former co-workers at the Fort Detrick biological warfare lab say they doubt he could or would have unleashed the deadly toxin.

To read the documents, click on the News Link above.

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