Anthrax Probe Continues

By  | 

People who don't live in the area are being kept out of a wooded section of Frederick, Maryland by a roadblock.

About a dozen workers and a backhoe can be seen working in the area, as the FBI drains a city pond while looking for evidence in the anthrax attacks of two years ago.

The idea of draining the pond is a result of an FBI theory revealed last month by The Washington Post. It reported the person behind the attacks could have packed anthrax into envelopes under water, partly to avoid being exposed to it.

Some investigators say that theory came about because of Steven Hatfill, a former Army lab worker who has been labeled a "person of interest.''

Hatfill's spokesman says Hatfill knows nothing about the pond, but that if draining it helps establish his innocence, he welcomes it. Hatfill was hired July 1, 2002, as Associate Director of the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at LSU.

The research center gets 97 percent of its funding from the Justice Department. Hatfill was fired in September after news of the anthrax investigation broke and after the Justice Department ordered the school not to use him on projects funded by grants from the agency.

LSU has had little to say about the firing but contends the decision to put Hatfill on administrative leave and later, fire him, was not connected to the Justice Department demand.