Questions about anthrax mailings linger 10 years later

After 10 years, 9,000 interviews and 6,000 subpoenas, many questions about the 2001 anthrax attacks still remain unanswered.

For several years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation cast Steven Hatfill as its prime suspect in the case until the agency was compelled to apologize and award him $5.8 million for ruining his career, according to

Bruce Ivins, a U.S. Army microbiologist who committed suicide in 2008, was declared by the FBI to by the most likely culprit, but Ivins never confessed and the agency’s case remains circumstantial.

Important mysteries still remain.

For one, a high percentage of silicon was used in the weaponized anthrax to make it more lethal, yet no evidence exists that Ivins had the ability or the equipment to process the additional material.

According to Laurie Garret, the Pulitzer-prize winning science author of “I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks,” the cave at Tora Bora where Osama bin Laden hid twice tested positive for the same strain of anthrax used in the attacks.

Efforts to reexamine the case are moving glacially. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is currently undertaking an examination of the FBI’s efforts in the investigation, reports. U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-N.J.), who is from the district where the perpetrator mailed the anthrax-laced letters, proposed congressional hearings to cover the attacks but has met with a lukewarm response.