FBI's investigation into 2001 anthrax hoax letters questioned

Officials have announced that the investigative arm of Congress will examine the science and investigative measures that the FBI used to determine the identity of the person who mailed anthrax-laced letters in 2001.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Government Accountability Office notified Rep. Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, that it will conducting a review of the FBI’s conclusion that Army scientist Bruce Ivins sent the letters that killed five people.

The letters, according to the report, were mailed from a mailbox in Princeton, New Jersey, which is in Holt’s district. Holt has maintained the position that the FBI’s work on the case was below par and full of holes.

The FBI eventually concluded that Dr. Ivins was a disturbed man who sent the letters because his lab was possibly going to lose funding for its anthrax vaccine program.

The National Academy of Sciences is in the middle of a two-year-review of the scientific work that led the FBI to accuse Dr. Ivins. The FBI targeted Ivins after spending years chasing other suspects.

In 2008, as he awaited a federal grand jury indictment, Ivins took a fatal overdose of pills.

In the letter to Holt, Government Accountability Office officials said that they would conduct their review after the NAS reached its conclusions, which are expected later this year.