Congress seeks answers from FBI in anthrax case

first_imgSep 9, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Members of Congress plan to press the FBI for more information about its investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks at hearings scheduled Sep 16 and 17, amid persistent doubts in some quarters about the bureau’s conclusion that the late microbiologist Dr. Bruce Ivins was the culprit.Ivins, who had worked for years at the US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Md., committed suicide Jul 29 as the FBI was about to bring charges against him. Five people died and 17 others became ill after envelopes containing anthrax spores were mailed to two senators and several news media offices in the fall of 2001.The FBI announced its conclusions about Ivins’s role and released a collection of documents on Aug 6. Besides citing considerable circumstantial evidence, the agency asserted that a new DNA fingerprinting technique had enabled investigators to match the letter anthrax to a batch of anthrax that was in Ivins’s custody at USAMRIID. But many observers subsequently expressed doubts about the FBI’s case.In a Sep 5 letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, leaders of the House Judiciary Committee said, “Important and lingering questions remain that are crucial for you to address, especially since there will never be a trial to examine the facts of the case.”The committee members, including Chairman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., asked Mueller to report back to them on several questions in advance of the hearing, scheduled Sep 16. The committee asked:Why government scientist Steven Hatfill remained a suspect in the attacks for a long time, “in light of the evidence clearly pointing elsewhere”Why the government allowed Ivins to keep his security clearance at USAMRIID for about 2 years after he became a suspectWhether mistakes by the FBI delayed the linkage of the anthrax used in the attacks with anthrax in Ivins’ possessionThe committee leaders also asked Mueller to explain media reports that the White House initially had pressed the FBI to say that the anthrax attacks were perpetrated by al Qaida or that the anthrax used was of a “weapons grade,” implying a possible link to Iraq.The Senate Judiciary Committee also will question Mueller at an FBI oversight hearing set for Sep 17. The hearing was scheduled weeks ago as part of an ongoing series, but Mueller is likely to face questions about the anthrax probe, according to a Sep 7 New York Times report.”There are some very serious questions that have yet to be answered and need to be made public,” said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., ranking Republican on the Senate committee, as quoted by the Times.The Times story, based on interviews with two dozen bioterrorism experts, veteran investigators, and members of Congress, along with FBI documents, included some new details about the investigation.For example, it said the agency told Ivins in a formal letter in April 2007 that he was not a target of the investigation, even though the mailed anthrax had already been genetically linked to his laboratory. Also, the story said the first time agents took a mouth swab from Ivins for a DNA sample was only a week before he died.John Miller, the FBI’s assistant director for public affairs, told the Times that the bureau plans to release much more information on the case, including notes of interviews with Ivins and other suspects and witnesses and surveillance logs detailing his movements. But because private and classified information must be purged from the materials, the disclosures are likely to be months away, the story said.Ivins’s attorney, Paul F. Kemp, said the FBI has not reviewed three boxes of papers that Ivins had marked for Kemp’s attention, because the records must be reviewed to determine if they should be kept secret under attorney-client privilege, the Times reported. A government lawyer not involved in the investigation will review the papers with Kemp, the story said.See also: House Judiciary Committee letter to FBIAug 15 CIDRAP News story “FBI conclusions in anthrax probe meet skepticism”last_img read more

Indiana State Police urge caution during holiday travel

first_imgDon’t forget to watch for slow moving farm equipment on county and state roads. ·Make sure you are well rested.  A fatigued driver is as dangerous as an impaired driver. Use headlights even during daylight hours. Watch attentively for motorcycles. Check blinds spots before changing lanes and look twice at intersections before you turn or pull out into traffic. Reduce your speed in rain and NEVER DRIVE INTO WATER FLOWING OVER THE ROADWAY. Decrease your speed in construction zones-Obey posted speed limits. Don’t use cruise control in heavy traffic.center_img REMEMBER TO SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES, TOW TRUCKS, SERVICE TRUCKS AND HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE VEHICLES!! Increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, especially in construction zones. Always signal lane changes. Versailles, In. — AAA is predicting this to be the most traveled Fourth of July Holiday period on record, with 46.9 million Americans expected to travel more than 50 miles from home. Some of the reasons given are gas prices are lower than Memorial Day, with airfare and car rental costs being lower as well.To help ensure the safety of all motorists during this 4th of July holiday period, the Indiana State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., Combined Accident Reduction Effort, and DUIEP, or Driving Under the Influence Enforcement Project. Both of these programs are federally funded programs that will allow extra troopers to patrol Hoosier highways during the upcoming holiday period.Indiana State Police encourage all motorists to observe the following safety tips:Leave early. Allow extra time to get to your destination. Be cautious and observant when turning left. A primary cause of crashes between vehicles and motorcycles is when a vehicle turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.Obey all traffic laws and never drive impaired.Know before you goWith all the road construction going on around the state, you may check on traffic and road conditions, crashes and construction on state highways by visiting, calling 1-800-261-ROAD (7623), or dialing 511 from a mobile phoneThe Pendleton District covers the eight counties of Delaware, Madison, and Randolph; Henry, Wayne, Union, Rush and Fayette counties.  Motorists are encouraged to report suspected impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1. Give a vehicle description, location, and direction of travel. Never follow an impaired driver.last_img read more

Towson faces Northeastern in CAA quarters

first_imgSAVVY VETERANS: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Brian Fobbs, Nakye Sanders and Dennis Tunstall have combined to score 41 percent of Towson’s points this season and 43 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Northeastern, Jordan Roland, Bolden Brace, Maxime Boursiquot and Shaquille Walters have combined to account for 67 percent of all Northeastern scoring, including 84 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.JUMPING FOR JORDAN: Roland has connected on 39.9 percent of the 218 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 6 of 16 over the last three games. He’s also made 89.1 percent of his foul shots this season.WINLESS WHEN: Towson is 0-6 this year when it scores 60 points or fewer and 19-6 when it scores at least 61.ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Huskies have recently converted baskets via assists more often than the Tigers. Towson has 45 assists on 81 field goals (55.6 percent) across its previous three outings while Northeastern has assists on 48 of 83 field goals (57.8 percent) during its past three games.SECOND CHANCES: Towson has posted an excellent offensive rebound percentage of 33.6 percent this year. That figure is ranked 29th in Division 1. The offensive rebound percentage for Northeastern stands at just 24.4 percent (ranked 288th).___ For more AP college basketball coverage: and was generated by Automated Insights,, using data from STATS LLC, Towson faces Northeastern in CAA quarters March 7, 2020center_img Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNo. 6 seed Northeastern (15-15, 9-9) vs. No. 3 seed Towson (19-12, 12-6)Colonial Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Entertainment & Sports Arena, Washington; Sunday, 7:30 p.m. EDTBOTTOM LINE: A spot in the CAA semifinals is up for grabs as Northeastern and Towson prepare to face off. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last went at it on March 1, when Northeastern made just nine foul shots on 12 attempts while the Tigers hit 18 of 23 en route to a 75-72 victory.last_img read more