- Former Army microbiologist Steven J. Hatfill is either
a pawn in an FBI attempt to recharge its stalled anthrax investigation,
or a potential suspect who holds critical clues to solving the case that
has bedeviled the agency for the past nine months.
- Those two interpretations of the FBI's high-profile search
of Hatfill's residence circulated through the scientific and law enforcement
communities Wednesday - one day after agents removed garbage bags full
of evidence from a Frederick, Md., apartment complex, and, as TV news crews
circled overhead, loaded them into a large rental truck .
- "Their intent was clearly to put his name in the
public eye. The only question is why," said a microbiologist who has
been interviewed by the FBI.
- "It was either strictly for show - a bone tossed
to Congress and the media - or they want to put pressure on him by starting
a public investigation to stimulate the stalled non-public investigation,"
said the microbiologist, who would speak only on condition of anonymity.
- Wednesday, a dozen FBI agents searched a refrigerated
mini-storage facility in downtown Ocala, Fla. The local NBC News affiliate
reported that agents removed boxes from a locker rented by Hatfill. The
scientist's parents owned a horse farm in Ocala until three years ago.
- After its public show of investigative aggressiveness
in Maryland Tuesday, and before the evidence had even been examined, bureau
officials insisted the search of Hatfill's apartment hadn't produced anything
- The FBI also pointed out that Hatfill had agreed to the
search and is not considered a suspect.
- "I do not know what all of the results of the search
were, but I can tell you there were no hazardous materials found in the
apartment," said a law enforcement source.
- "I don't know how much in advance he knew about
the search, but he has been cooperating with us fully all along,"
the source said.
- Neither Hatfill nor his Virginia attorney, Thomas C.
Carter, could be reached for comment Wednesday.
- Hatfill has told several media outlets that he has a
letter from the FBI stating "he never has been and is not now"
a suspect in the anthrax case. The FBI has declined to comment on whether
such a letter exists.
- If the FBI hoped criticism of its "Amerithrax"
investigation would be muted by the Hatfill search, at least one senator
who received an anthrax-laced letter last fall continued Wednesday to express
displeasure with the pace and intensity of the probe.
- "I have asked for another briefing by the FBI on
the anthrax investigation," Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.,
said. "I don't know if one has actually been set yet. I hope it has,
because I have a lot of questions."
- Daschle and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., received the two
most potent anthrax-laden letters last October. They were part of a series
of anthrax letter attacks that killed five people, including 94-year-old
Ottilie Lundgren of Oxford. Thirteen more people were sickened. The two
letters to Congress shut down the Hart Senate office building for several
- A source close to Daschle called the search of Hatfill's
apartment and the FBI's reluctance to share information frustrating.
- "In light of yesterday's news, and in light of everything
else that's going on, we feel we don't know where things stand," the
- Another source said Daschle is hoping for an FBI briefing
as early as today.
- Hatfill has bounced on and off the FBI's ever-changing
list of potential suspects for the past several months. That his house
was searched is not that unusual. FBI officials said they have conducted
many searches during the investigation. But all of them, including an earlier
search of Hatfill's house and car, were done quietly with no media attention.
- For example, in December two agents visited the home
of Joseph Farchaus, another former scientist at the U.S. Army Medical Research
Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick. The scientist now lives
about 15 minutes outside Trenton, N.J., where several anthrax-contaminated
letters were mailed. It is the heart of the FBI's target area. The last
paper Farchaus published before leaving the infectious diseases institute
concerned putting anthrax in aerosol form.
- The agents asked questions, searched the man's home and
later gave him a polygraph test, which he passed. His New York attorney,
Donald Buchwald, said Wednesday the FBI has not contacted him since.
- But the scrutiny of Hatfill appears to be intensifying.
His background has several intriguing aspects - including medical school
training in Africa and his connection to biological weapons training programs
run by the CIA.
- Hatfill graduated in 1984 from the Godfrey Huggins Medical
School in Zimbabwe, which was known as Rhodesia until 1980.
- Not far from the medical school in the nation's capital,
Harare, is the upper-middle-class suburb of Greendale. The anthrax-laced
letters to Daschle and Leahy each contained the same fictitious return
address: 4th Grade, Greendale School, Franklin Park, N.J. There is no Greendale
School in New Jersey. But there is a grade school by that name in the Harare
- In the late 1970s, when Hatfill was in Rhodesia, an anthrax
outbreak killed hundreds and sickened thousands of villagers. In 1993,
an African news agency reported that a former officer from the white minority
army's special forces claimed that the anthrax outbreak that killed 182
and sickened more than 10,000 people between 1978 and 1980 was launched
by the army.
- All of the fatalities, and all but a handful of those
sickened, were black. Other members of the white government's army have
denied that the outbreak was a deliberate attack, claiming it was part
of a natural pattern of anthrax in the region.
- On his college biography and his resume, Hatfill says
he worked with the Rhodesian army and a group called the Selous Scouts
during the time frame of the anthrax outbreak. The Selous Scouts were an
elite unit of the white Rhodesian government's army that specialized in
tracking and killing enemy units in the back country.
- One former classmate, Mark Hanly, who is now a pathologist
in Georgia, said he always doubted Hatfill's military claims.
- Another classmate remembers Hatfill as a military enthusiast.
- "He carried a lot of weapons around all the time,
RPGs [rocket propelled grenades] and stuff like that. On the weekends he
would go with the army and they would do special forces kind of stuff,"
said David Andrewes, a classmate who now lives in Massachusetts.
- Like dozens of other current and former employees of
labs known to have handled the strain of anthrax used in the mail attacks,
Hatfill fits many aspects of a profile of the killer released by the FBI
last November. That profile stated the FBI believed the culprit was a lone,
disgruntled, former military scientist.
- Hatfill has been immunized against anthrax and had access
to the bacteria while he worked as a research fellow at the Fort Detrick
lab in the late 1990s. He is also very comfortable working with extremely
hazardous material. Hatfill studied the deadly Ebola virus in the Army's
highest level "hot suite" during his stint at the Maryland lab.
- Hatfill later became a member of UNSCOM, the United Nations-sponsored
group that went into Iraq after the gulf war to look for that country's
biological weapons stockpiles.
- Another member of UNSCOM was David Franz, who later became
the colonel in charge of the Fort Detrick infectious disease center. Hatfill
worked at the center from 1997 to 1999 in the virology department. He has
never claimed to have worked with anthrax, but in 1999 he was involved
with a CIA-run course on chemical and biological weapons.
- Hatfill is a protege of William Patrick, a former bioweapons
expert at the Fort Detrick center when it ran an offensive biological weapons
program in the late 1960s. Patrick has acknowledged helping scientists
at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah make dry or "weaponized" anthrax
a few years ago.
- On his resume, Hatfill states he has "a working
knowledge of the former U.S. and foreign BW [biological weapons] programs,
wet and dry BW agents and large-scale production of bacterial, rickettsial,
and viral BW pathogens and toxins."
- The FBI's sudden focus on Hatfill comes shortly after
its investigation appeared to be at a standstill. The agency recently announced
that it wanted to interview and polygraph more than 200 current and former
employees of the Fort Detrick center and Dugway, a process that will take
- In the meantime, congressional leaders have promised
to hold a hearing on the anthrax investigation to try to get their questions
- Copyright 2002, Hartford Courant
- From Patricia Doyle, PhD
- I thought you might be interested in my assessment of
the anthrax attack plot, sanctioned by our Govt and CIA. I sent this reply
to Jim Rarey.
- Hello Jim:
- FBI/Public consumption time line of anthrax attacks:
- 9/11 happens and then lone, nutty microbiologist goes
into action. Mills up anthrax and releases it, boom!
- Real timeline:
- April 1998 - meeting at White House between Clinton/Kingpins
of biotech, i.e. William Patrick III, Ken Alibekov, Jerry Hauer, Joshua
Lederberg, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg (who knows who made the remark about
the US needing a bioevent to bring about Public and Congressional attention
to bioterrorism preparedness) but who won't tell.)
- After the meeting, sometime in August 98 inner circle
considered a bioevent threat if money was not designated for bioterrorism.
Sept. 98, funding was granted.
- April 2001, suspected smallpox cases in Pakistan made
US take inventory of biopreparedness. Dark Winter exercise simulation planned.
Dark Winter proved that US not bioterrorism ready.
- Early July 2001, plan B goes into action.
- The 1999 classified William Patrick anthrax via mail
risk assessment was used as guide for release of anthrax with minimal harm
to life and property. The paper did not take into consideration the fact
that the sorting machines would puncture envelopes. They tried to keep
the anthrax within envelopes even by taping them closed.
- Plan B went awry when it was obvious that the anthrax
did contaminate and kill. Plan b could never be divulged after it went
south. Scapegoat would be needed.
- Now, why did they use actual weaponized anthrax? anything
less would not sufficiently scare public or congress. Anthrax was milled
and ready long before Dark Winter.
- Sounds like fiction? I don't think so. Barbara Rosenberg
knows who, after that April 98 meeting made the remark, but she is not
talking. When it comes down to "brass tacks" she is going to
back the ole boy microbiologist. A career choice for her. After she did
the BBC Susan Watts interview in which she did allege correctly that the
CIA was involved, she became quiet and seems to have changed her tune.
- Guess she remembers what happened to Dr. Meryl Nass in
the past. I heard from Joyce Riley that Dr. Nass had a fire at one time
in her home. A refridgerator, UNPLUGGED, caught fire and burned down the
entire back of her home. She, too is not talking. She had to turn down
the Rense program.
- Microbiologists have gotten their wake up call. They
remember what happened to at least 14 of their collagues.
- From Jim Rarey
Subject The Case Of Dr. Hatfill: Suspect Or Pawn Date
- This is really getting interesting now. This guy seems
to be the almost perfect cadidate..for a frame.
- Protege of Bill Patrick, implied association with Project
Coast in South Africa. Could he (and Patrick) have been Wooter Basson's
contacts at Ft. Detrick?
- Of course if the mailed anthrax is no more than two years
old, that would rule Hatfill out.
- The spin now days is enough to make one's head spin as