Knight Ridder Washington Bureau
December 21, 2001, Friday
WASHINGTON _ The investigation into the anthrax attacks on America keeps leading federal agents to a U.S. Army research center in the Utah desert, officials familiar with the investigation told Knight Ridder on Thursday.
...Scientists and law enforcement officials close to the investigation told Knight Ridder that the refined powder used in the anthrax attacks bears striking similarities to U.S. military grade anthrax manufactured at Dugway.
Investigators are looking at two pieces of evidence: the precise genetic fingerprints of the anthrax mailed to locations in Florida, Washington and New York, and its highly concentrated physical qualities.
The anthrax in the letters was the Ames strain, used by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md. Caree Vander-Linden, an Army spokeswoman, said Fort Detrick has provided the strain to five places: Porton Down, a secret military research center in England; Dugway Proving Ground; Defence Research Establishment in Suffield, Canada; Battelle Memorial Institute, a research facility in Columbus, Ohio, and the University of New Mexico.
The Fort Detrick institute, said Vander-Linden in a written statement, "does not use dry powder preparations of anthrax. It uses liquid preparations of anthrax. Neither the skills nor the laboratory equipment required to make finely milled dry powdered anthrax are available at USAMRIID."
The FBI destroyed the strain, Ames, of anthrax that had been mailed, making it impossible to accurately match. They steamed it.
It's from Utah, baybee.
All links found in the comments at Glenn Greenwald's superb Salon blog. The commenter for the first one is named CargoCult.
The LA Times provides inadvertant collaboration. From commenter Geewhiz.
New Scientist magazine posted a story in May 2002 that reports the Institute for Genomic Research, and a team at the University of Northern Arizona found the attack strain, derived from the first victim, Roebert Stevens, "identical" to the Ames reference strains they received from USAMRIID, Dugway, and from a UK biodefense lab at Porton Down. The UK strain was non-pathogenic. The link to that article is: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2265
And I have also read, but lost the link, that Battelle after destroying the first sample in a steam autoclave, received a second sample, analyzed it, and confirmed what TIGR and UNA determined, that the attack strain was identical to the Ames reference strains they were looking at. Willman is not clear about what he means by forensic analysis "long posed a challenge..." to the FBI. They had multiple labs telling them in early 2002 that the DNA sequences of the attack strain and the Ames reference strains were identical. And Shane's article in the Sun points out that as many as 50 labs worldwide may have had cultures of the Ames strain. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1212-01.htmFrom sdemetri, same Glenn Greenwald letters section.
Plus, read extra fun about how a single woman with almost experience is making all of the psychopathic comments about Dr. Ivins.
And even stranger, the FBI interviewed people from Ivins' home town under the pretense that he had faked his own death.