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Pond May Contain Anthrax Clues, Mayor Says

May 12, 2003|From Associated Press

FREDERICK, Md. — The FBI is considering draining a pond in Frederick Municipal Forest to search for evidence related to the 2001 anthrax attacks, Mayor Jennifer P. Dough- erty said Sunday.

The plan stems from a new FBI theory reported Sunday by the Washington Post about how the person behind the attacks could have packed the deadly spores into envelopes without being infected or leaving traces in homes, buildings or on open land.

The theory is based on evidence recovered from the pond last winter, the Post reported, citing anonymous sources close to the investigation.

FBI spokeswoman Debra Weierman declined to comment on the report or on searches conducted at a series of ponds in the forest.

The attacks nearly 19 months ago killed five people and sickened 13 others. The pond findings offer physical evidence in a case that so far has been built almost exclusively on circumstantial clues, the Post quoted sources as saying.

Two sources familiar with the items recovered from one of the ponds described a clear box with holes that could accommodate gloves to protect the user during work, the Post reported. So-called glove boxes are commonly used to handle dangerous pathogens. Also recovered were vials wrapped in plastic.

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