FBI’s Hatfill Tail: Avoiding Embarrassment Risk?

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For 10 months, Steven Hatfill hasn’t been able to go anywhere without an FBI tail. Hatfill, 48, called a “person of interest” by the Justice Department in the anthrax attacks two years ago, has been under “24/7” surveillance by FBI agents.

USA Today reports that four law enforcement sources familiar with the probe say the real reason for the round-the-clock surveillance is rooted that FBI officials believe they can’t risk the embarrassment of losing track of Hatfill, even for a few hours, and then being confronted with more anthrax attacks.

Two sources say evidence gathered against Hatfill by nearly 80 FBI and Postal Inspection Service agents is largely circumstantial. The FBI used similar tactics in 1996, when agents tailed former security guard Richard Jewell for 88 days after the bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta, says Lin Wood, Jewell’s attorney. Jewell was cleared, marking one of the most humbling chapters in FBI history. “It’s an investigative approach that is doomed to fail 99 out of 100 cases,” says Wood.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-05-28-anthrax-usat_x.htm

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