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While some of the anthrax the terrorist sent was spoiled during delivery, one sample appears to have come through intact. The letter received by Senator Tom Daschle contained one trillion anthrax spores per gram: a concentration which only a very few US government scientists, using a secret and strictly controlled technique, know how to achieve. It must, moreover, have been developed in a professional laboratory, containing rare and sophisticated "weaponization" equipment. There is only a tiny number of facilities--all of them in the US--in which it could have been produced.
Barbara Hatch Rosenberg has produced a profile of the likely perpetrator. He is an American working within the US biodefense industry, with a doctoral degree in the relevant branch of microbiology. He is skilled and experienced at handling the weapon without contaminating his surroundings. He has full security clearance and access to classified information. He is among the tiny number of Americans who had received anthrax vaccinations before September 2001. Only a handful of people fit this description. Rosenberg has told the internet magazine Salon.com that three senior scientists have identified the same man--a former USAMRIID scientist--as the likely suspect. She, and they, have told the FBI, but it seems that all the bureau has done in response is to denounce her.
Instead, it has launched the kind of "investigation" which might have been appropriate for the unwitnessed hit and run killing of a person with no known enemies. Rather than homing in on the likely suspects, in other words, it appears to have cast a net full of holes over the entire population.
Because the accompanying notes included militant Islamist rhetoric and were mailed in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, investigators at first pursued the possibility that al-Qaida might be responsible.
But the notes also warned that the letters contained anthrax and urged recipients to take antibiotics, which investigators believe points to an American more intent on sounding an alarm about bioterrorism than killing large numbers of people.