A letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy found in the sequestered
Congressional mail on November 16, 2001, has been opened by experts
at the Army's Ft. Detrick, Maryland, biomedical research laboratory.
The envelope contained a quantity of a substance believed to be anthrax,
based on testing conducted before the envelope was opened, and appears
to be consistent with that found in the letter sent to Senator Daschle.
While the two letters appear to be virtually identical, science will
continue to drive this analysis and investigation. The envelope and
letter will be decontaminated and a number of sophisticated scientific
and forensic examinations have been initiated. Investigators are hopeful
that the results of those tests -- expected in the coming days and weeks
-- will yield clues which will bring us closer to identifying who is
responsible for the anthrax attacks.
Since the letter was found on November 16, experts from the scientific,
public health and law enforcement communities have worked closely and
with caution to develop protocols and procedures to preserve evidence.
The goal is to give investigators as much as possible to work with.
Investigators are emphasizing the importance of keeping the American
public focused on the investigation. The information known so far, together
with what is hoped to be learned from the Leahy letter, will likely
give investigators new leads and the American public additional information
to consider in the event that someone out there may know something.
The FBI reminded the public that the reward is up to $1.25 million and
anyone who thinks they may know something should contact their local
FBI office or police department.
The following comments were made on December 5, 2001, by the Assistant
Director in Charge of the Washington field office, Van Harp. Mr.
Harp is leading the FBI investigative team in the anthrax case.