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Protocol Developed to Analyze Leahy Anthrax Letter

Washington, D.C. November 20, 2001
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

A protocol has been developed by scientific and forensic experts to analyze a believed anthrax-laden letter addressed to U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy. Scientists from the FBI, and the Army's laboratory at Ft. Detrick, Md., are working with a panel of outside experts and have agreed on a strategy designed to maximize the forensic value of the as yet unopened letter. FBI and Centers for Disease Control investigators hope that this careful, scientifically-agreed upon approach will yield clues that will help identify the source of the letters.

From the outside, the Leahy letter appears virtually identical to a letter received in the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle on October 15. The October 9, 2001, Trenton, N.J., postmark, the "Greendale School" return address, block handwriting and other characteristics have combined to convince investigators that the letter was sent by the same person.

The Leahy letter was found Friday evening by FBI and EPA hazardous materials personnel in one of 280 barrels of unopened mail sent to Capitol Hill and held since the discovery of the Daschle letter.