Sen. Leahy says 2001 anthrax case shouldn't be closed

In a reflection last month on his own experience as a would-be target of an assassin, Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said that he has never accepted the FBI’s decision to close the anthrax-laced letter case from 2001.

Leahy was one of the targets of the anthrax letters sent to him and then-Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) which caused the deaths of five people and caused 17 others to fall ill. Leahy’s comments come in light of the recent National Research Council’s report questioning the FBI’s allegation that Fort Detrick scientist Bruce E. Ivins was the culprit, the Washington Post reports.

Ivins committed suicide in July 2008 as he was about to be indicted, but his lawyer has continued to maintain his innocence.

“I still wonder who sent it and why they sent it,” Leahy said, according to the Washington Post. “I’ve expressed those concerns to the FBI and this report adds to those concerns.”

There have been several calls to form an independent commission to continue the investigation.

“Were there people who at the very least were accessories after the fact?” Leahy said, according to the Washington Post. “I think there were. Why would he send one to Tom Brokaw, to Tom Daschle, to me, to the man at the National Enquirer in Florida?

“They have to make their decisions; I have to make mine. In my mind, it’s not closed. Call it an old prosecutor’s instinct.”