FBI closes 2001 anthrax mailings investigation

As of November 26, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has officially closed the case of the 2001 anthrax mailings.

The FBI determined, after seven years of investigation, that a government researcher acted alone in the spate of attacks, the Associated Press reports.

Both the FBI and the Justice Department made the announcement along with a disclosure that a large amount of evidence collected in the case and a 100 page summary of their findings would also be made public, according to the AP.

The investigation remains one of the FBI’s costliest, and, to some, most vexing, case. Seven years after it began, officials announced that their lone suspect was Dr. Bruce Ivins, a government scientist who committed suicide as authorities prepared his indictment.

Several anonymous sources familiar with the case told the AP that authorities had been on the verge of closing it last year when a further review was called to determine what should be shared with the public. At concern were issues involving the violation of privacy rights and grand jury secrecy.

The case concerned letters containing anthrax in powdered form that had been sent to lawmakers and news outlets shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The letters killed five people, including two postal workers in Washington, D.C., a New York City hospital worker, a photo editor from Florida and an elderly Connecticut lady. Seventeen additional people were infected but survived.