Federal Bureau of Investigation officials yesterday laid out their detailed scientific case against Bruce Ivins, the military scientist accused of being the anthrax killer, but they acknowledged that there always would be an air of uncertainty around the case, reports the New York Times. “I don't think we're ever going to put the suspicions to bed,” said Vahid Majidi, head of the FBI weapons of mass destruction division. “There's always going to be a spore on a grassy knoll.”
Ivins, an anthrax researcher at the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., killed himself last month as the Justice Department was preparing an indictment against him. Some scientists have said that the limited forensic evidence that the FBI made public is inconclusive. Yesterday’s presentation was intended to quell those doubts. It was not until 2006, after a backup copy of a sample from Ivins that had been destroyed was found by another scientist, that the FBI realized it was the same strain used in the anthrax mailings. That crucial finding helped confirm evidence pointing to Ivins. The 2001 mailings, sent to two senators and media figures, killed five and sickened 17.