Anthrax match may have several possible sources

Monday, December 17, 2001

WASHINGTON -- A genetic match between the anthrax spores in the letters mailed to Capitol Hill and those in the Army's stockpile wouldn't necessarily provide clues to who was responsible for the bioterrorist attack, an Army spokesman said.

Chuck Dasey, a spokesman at Fort Detrick, Md., said the Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease got its supply from the Agriculture Department and shared it with five laboratories around the country.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the genetic makeup of the anthrax used in the letters mailed to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and to Sen. Patrick Leahy matched those in the Army's stockpile.

"I'm not sure it tells us anything about who the perpetrator is," Dasey said.

"You can't say it all came from USAMRIID," Dasey said. "We got it from another lab in the first place and so presumably USAMRIID is not the only lab that got it from the Department of Agriculture."

On Capitol Hill, cleanup efforts at the Hart Senate Office Building were continuing. Officials planned to pump chlorine dioxide gas into portions of the building's ventilation system for nine hours, beginning Sunday night.

Environmental Protection Agency technicians also planned to use the liquid form of chlorine dioxide in the Daschle's office, which had been fumigated with the gas earlier.

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