BBC Report on Anthrax Attacks
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Sat Mar 16 10:38:00 MST 2002
BBC News Online: Audio/Video:
Programmes: Newsnight: Archive
Anthrax attacks 14/3/02
A Newsnight investigation raised the possibility that there was a
secret CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax
through the mail which went madly out of control.
The shocking assertion is that a key member of the covert
operation may have removed, refined and eventually posted
weapons-grade anthrax which killed five people.
In the wake of Sept 11th, the anthrax attacks caused panic
throughout the States and around the world. But has the FBI found
the whole case too hot to handle? Our science editor Susan Watts
reported from Washington.
America's anthrax attack last autumn was second only to that on
the Twin Towers in the degree of shock and anxiety it
caused...Some even say the anthrax letters triggered sub-clinical
hysteria in the American people...yet this, the first major act of
biological terrorism the world has seen remains an unsolved
Initially the investigation looked for a possible Al-Qaeda or Iraqi link,
then to a domestic terrorist, then inwards to the US bio-defence
programme itself. But in the last four or five weeks the investigation
seems to have run into the sand...There have been several
theories as to why ...
Three weeks ago Dr Barbara Rosenberg - an acknowledged
authority on US bio-defence - claimed the FBI is dragging its feet
because an arrest would be embarrassing to the US authorities.
Tonight on Newsnight, she goes further...suggesting there could
have been a secret CIA field project to test the practicalities of
sending anthrax through the mail - whose top scientist went badly
off the rails...
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