A U.S. Army microbiologist accused of carrying out the 2001 anthrax mailings lacked the time and gear necessary to produce all of the bacteria sent in the attacks that killed five people, former colleagues of the scientist told the Frederick News-Post for a Monday report.
Federal prosecutors were preparing to charge Bruce Ivins, a former employee of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., when the scientist killed himself in July 2007.
The Army laboratory did not have a functioning machine capable of producing anthrax in 30 gallons of growth medium, the amount required to produce the quantity of spores from the mailings. Former co-worker Henry Heine said Ivins only had access to "shake flasks of which he could do a couple liters at a time.”
Bacteria in the mailings also included "a genetically unique strain that was not worked with at USAMRIID, let alone Ivins’ lab,” said Gerard Andrews, one of the late suspected culprit's former managers.
Congressional auditors could issue a review of the FBI case against Ivins as soon as 2014, said Patrick Eddington, a senior policy adviser to Representative Rush Holt (D-N.J.). Holt is a longtime skeptic of findings from the federal investigation.