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Researcher Kept Security Clearance as FBI Closed In
Separately, one of the lawmakers targeted in the attacks, former senator Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.), criticized law enforcement officials yesterday for their handling of the case, particularly for the failure to brief Congress about the investigation.
Daschle, who received handwritten notes containing powdered anthrax in October 2001, said on "Fox News Sunday" that he has "real concerns about the quality" of the investigation and that he was unprepared to say that the FBI had fingered the right suspect. "I don't know whether this is just another false track and . . . a real diversion from where they need to be," he said.
"I don't think it's helpful to respond to piecemeal judgments by individuals who are not informed about the case or the evidence," FBI Assistant Director John Miller said yesterday.
Among that evidence are two computers used by the public at the C. Burr Artz Public Library in downtown Frederick, according to Frederick County's library director. The FBI removed the computers from the library's second floor last week, Darrell Batson told the Frederick News-Post.
Batson, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, told the News-Post that the two agents who requested the computers did not have a court order but persuaded him nonetheless to surrender the computers. The agents did not mention Ivins, anthrax or Fort Detrick, Batson said, but he would not discuss what they did say.
Debbie Weierman, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington Field Office, declined to comment yesterday on the bureau's contacts with library officials.
Staff writers Aaron C. Davis, Lyndsey Layton and Del Quentin Wilber and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.