Anthrax: Hatfill Search Warrants Released
FBI search warrants recently ordered released by a judge show the reasons the FBI suspected Steven Hatfill in the 2001 Anthrax attacks. He had access to a building where anthrax was stored; he described how an anthrax attack could take place in a book he'd written; he told an informant that he'd engaged in biowarfare in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe now); he filled prescriptions for an anthrax anti-biotic "during the time the attacks were taking place, according to the FBI". The Feds never charged Hatfill, and paid him nearly $6 million to settle out of court. The FBI currently claims that Bruce Ivins was the sole perp, although they've provided extremely weak evidence and their case has been debunked by numerous experts- and bloggers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army scientist who was wrongly targeted in the FBI's anthrax investigation attracted suspicion because of his knowledge of the deadly toxin, according to recently released court records.
FBI agents focused on Steven Hatfill after the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks because he had access to the building where anthrax was stored and described in an unpublished novel how an attack could take place, according to search warrants released on Tuesday by the U.S. District Court in Washington.
The FBI investigated Hatfill for years, but he was never charged. The Justice Department agreed in June to pay him $5.85 million to settle his lawsuit claiming government officials had violated his privacy rights.
The FBI and Justice Department said in August that Army scientist Bruce Ivins, who killed himself in July, was solely responsible for mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and sickened 17 shortly after the September 11 attacks.
Hatfill complained that the U.S. government had not prepared adequately for an anthrax attack and told an anonymous informant that he had engaged in biological warfare against rebels during the Rhodesian civil war in 1979 and 1980, the documents said.
Hatfill also filled prescriptions for the antibiotic ciprofloxacin during the time the attacks were taking place, according to the FBI. The drug, which can protect against anthrax infection, is prescribed for a wide variety of bacterial infections.