DOJ closes case on 2001 anthrax attacks

The investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, the FBI and several other government agencies into the 2001 anthrax attacks in America has officially been closed, the DOJ said in a joint statement released on Feb. 19 with other government agencies.

The investigation, the DOJ said, confirmed the conclusion that U.S. Army scientist Dr. Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008, was solely responsibly for mailing the anthrax laced letters, which killed five people and sickened 17 others. The attacks occurred soon after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The so-called Amerithrax task force investigated 1,000 possible suspects, concluding that Ivins, a Fort Detrick, Virginia, biodefense lab biologist acted alone in the deadly attacks.

As part of the closing of the case, a 92 page investigative summary was released by the DOJ as well as approximately 2,700 pages of FBI documents.

Twenty-five to 30 full time investigators from the FBI, U.S. postal inspection service and other law enforcement agencies  were utilized by the DOJ during the course of its investigation, totaling hundreds of thousands of hours worked on the case.

The investigation included questioning 10,000 witnesses on six different continents, recovering more than 6,000 items of potential evidence, conducting 80 searches, issuing 5,750 grand jury subpoenas and collecting 5,730 environmental samples from 60 site locations.