News & AnalysisAnthrax Investigation

Science in Ivins Case Not Ironclad, NRC Says

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Science  18 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6019, pp. 835
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6019.835

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The scientific evidence behind the U.S. government's implication of U.S. Army researcher Bruce Ivins as the perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks is not as strong as claimed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to a long-awaited review by the National Research Council released this week. Although the report agrees with the FBI on most of the conclusions drawn from the analysis of anthrax spores used in the mailings, it cautions that the science by itself does not definitively link the attack material to a flask under Ivins's control at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, as the FBI asserted.