The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Observations
- *Corresponding Author:
- Martin E. Hugh-Jones
Professor Emeritus, Louisiana State University
Anthrax Moderator, ProMED-mail
Received Date: July 02, 2011; Editor Accepted Date: August 12, 2011; Editorial-Office Accepted Date: October 12, 2011; Published Date: October 13, 2011
Citation: Hugh-Jones ME, Rosenberg BH, Jacobsen S (2011) The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Observations. J Bioterr Biodef S3:001. doi: 10.4172/2157-2526.S3-001
Copyright: © 2011 Hugh-Jones ME, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Unresolved scientific questions, remaining ten years after the anthrax attacks, three years after the FBI accused a dead man of perpetrating the 2001 anthrax attacks singlehandedly, and more than a year since they closed the case without further investigation, indictment or trial, are perpetuating serious concerns that the FBI may have accused the wrong person of carrying out the anthrax attacks. The FBI has not produced concrete evidence on key questions:
• Where and how were the anthrax spores in the attack letters prepared?
There is no material evidence of where the attack anthrax was made, and no direct evidence that any specific individual made the anthrax, or mailed it. On the basis of a number of assumptions, the FBI has not scrutinized the most likely laboratories.
• How and why did the spore powders acquire the high levels of silicon and tin found in them?
The FBI has repeatedly insisted that the powders in the letters contained no additives, but they also claim that they have not been able to reproduce the high silicon content in the powders, and there has been little public mention of the extraordinary presence of tin. All the available evidence can be explained by the hypothesis that the spore coats were silicone-coated using a tin catalyst. Chemical details are presented here.
• Where did the anthrax spores become contaminated by a rare strain of B. subtilis?
The FBI never located the source of the strain, but they never searched in the most likely places.
Once the method of preparation of the attack anthrax is understood, the questions of who made it, and where, will be rapidly resolved. The publicly-known evidence related to these questions is compiled here, with full documentation.