By LARA JAKES JORDAN Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - DNA taken from the bodies of people killed in the 2001 anthrax attacks helped lead investigators to Bruce Ivins, who oversaw the highly specific type of toxin in an Army lab, a government scientist said Sunday.
With that, investigators linked the specific type of anthrax back to Ivins' biological weapons lab at Ft. Detrick in Frederick, Md., where he oversaw its use and handling for research.
The scientific discovery gave the FBI its first solid break in one of the nation's most high-profile unsolved crimes after years of pointing the finger at the wrong suspect. Combined with other evidence, the Justice Department is expected to close the case this week, concluding Ivins was the mastermind and sole criminal behind the attacks that killed five and sickened 17 others in the weeks following 9/11.
Dozens of other researchers in Ivins' lab also had access to the type of Ames strain used in the attacks, the scientist said, meaning the DNA alone is not enough to prove his guilt.
Although the Army lab where Ivins worked had long been on the FBI's radar, scientists were unable to pinpoint the specific strain used in the attacks until about a year ago.