Federal officials yesterday announced they have launched a criminal investigation into the source of anthraxcontamination after learning a third worker at a newspaper office was exposed. The bacteria has already killed oneman and put a co-worker in the hospital.
Also yesterday, unnamed sources close to the FBI said the unusual characteristics of the particular anthrax bacteriathat killed a man in Florida suggest it was produced in a laboratory, and that it may have been produced at anunnamed lab in Iowa. But the source said the tests were still inconclusive. Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa said there wasno confirmation of any connection between Iowa and the cases in Florida, while announcing that officials havepinpointed the location of anthrax at locations around Iowa and ordered security protections for those sites,including Iowa State Patrol troopers, the National Guard and local police.
The dean of the Iowa State University college of veterinary medicine insisted: “I can almost assure you that itdoesn’t have any direct connection to Iowa.”
The CDC has said it has virtually ruled out environmental causes as the source.
- Jeanne Guillemin, senior fellow at MIT’s Security Studies Program and author of: “Anthrax, theInvestigation of a Deadly Outbreak.”
- Leonard Cole, teaches political science at Rutgers. His most recent book is ??The Eleventh Plague: ThePolitics of Biological and Chemical Warfare.