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'Overstatement' in the Anthrax Case

According to a review by a National Academy of Science panel, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation "overstated the strength of genetic analysis" connecting the anthrax used in the 2001 mail attacks to microbiologist Bruce Ivins, The New York Times reports. The Academy says the analysis "did not definitively demonstrate" that the spores came from Ivins's Fort Detrick lab, though it does say it was "consistent with and supports an association" between the samples. In a statement, the FBI said that the scientific evidence was just one part of its investigation. "The totality of the evidence incriminating Dr. Ivins is overwhelming," an FBI investigator tells the Times. However, Ivins's colleagues at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have long said that he is innocent. Ivins committed suicide in 2008.