A few days before the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Netflix released a new documentary about the aftermath, namely the horrific anthrax attacks of 2001, which took place just a week after 9/11. The anthrax attacks is part of a Netflix collaboration with the BBC and is now streaming on the service.
The 2001 anthrax attacks, sometimes referred to as “Amerithrax,” were an incident in which several news outlets and Democratic senators received letters containing deadly anthrax spores. A total of five people died and at least 17 were infected, possibly more.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the case is that no one has ever been brought to justice, despite the FBI naming one man as the sole culprit. He died before he could go to court and the case has since been closed.
The anthrax attacks: who was the culprit behind the 2001 anthrax attacks?
There were three main culprits in the 2001 anthrax attacks: Al Qaeda, Steven Hatfill, and Bruce Edwards Ivins. Because the attacks happened so soon after 9/11, and the letters said things like “Death to America” and “Death to Islam,” the American government believed that the use of anthrax spores in the mail was another terrorist attack , this time possibly biologically related to the 9/11 hijackings.
However, the FBI was quick to conclude that the spores used came from the Ames strain, a strain of anthrax created on American soil and found in at least 15 different labs. Bruce Ivins was the lead anthrax investigator at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and became an early suspect.
The FBI initially cleared Ivins of suspicion and even considered him an asset in their investigation, as he assisted them by providing information about other researchers who had access to the tribe. The FBI targeted former Army researcher Steven Hatfill, who was previously fired for violating regulations and later lost a second job in addition to his security clearance.
Although the FBI agents had no concrete evidence, they focused all of their efforts on Hatfill, to the point where Hatfill filed a lawsuit accusing the Justice Department of leaking information to the press in violation of privacy laws. As part of a settlement, he was paid $5.8 million.
Ultimately, the search returned to Ivins. By late 2006, science had advanced enough for the FBI to use a combination of genomic and DNA sequencing to create a DNA fingerprint that matched one found on a specific bottle of anthrax spores designated RMR-1029 was found, a bottle that Ivins had made as part of his experiments.
Further excavation also revealed that Ivins had been lengthening his time in the “hot suites” (laboratories designed to be sealed off from the outside world to prevent germs from escaping) in the days leading up to the letters arriving. These findings, in addition to allegations that Ivins suffered from various mental illnesses, led to him becoming the prime suspect.
Because Ivins was a co-inventor of two patents for anthrax vaccine technology, it was believed that his motivation was related to a desire to get his vaccine approved. The resulting attacks actually helped his achievements be recognized as media frenzy and public paranoia led to a surge in interest in vaccines. He and two colleagues were recognized by USAMRIID with the Exceptional Community Service Award for their assistance in resolving technical issues related to the manufacture of the anthrax vaccine.
The Anthrax Attacks: Where’s Bruce Ivins Now?
Bruce Ivins died on July 29, 2008. He appeared to commit suicide by overdosing on acetaminophen (Tylenol) after learning that the FBI would be filing criminal charges against him for his alleged connection to the anthrax attacks.
But the FBI believed he was her man. in the The anthrax attacks documentary, you will hear conflicting opinions as to whether or not Ivins was the culprit. The FBI has closed the case and destroyed all evidence, preventing it from being reopened and re-examined. In short, Bruce Ivins is believed to be the main culprit behind the attacks, but it has never been proven in court.
The anthrax attacks now streaming on Netflix.
https://netflixlife.com/2022/09/08/the-anthrax-attacks-who-was-the-culprit-behind-the-2001-anthrax-attacks/ Who was the culprit behind the 2001 anthrax attacks?