- The Washington Times - Monday, August 12, 2002

Bioweapons expert Steven J. Hatfill said yesterday that his life has been ruined by what he and his attorney called the sloppy and unprofessional nature of the FBI's anthrax investigation and the irresponsible reporting by the media.
"I never worked with anthrax," Mr. Hatfill read from a statement before about 100 reporters gathered outside his attorney's Old Town Alexandria office.
"I had nothing to do with the anthrax letters, and it is extremely wrong for anyone to contend or think otherwise," he said. "I am appalled at the heinous acts of biological terrorism that caused death, disease and havoc in America."
Attorney Victor M. Glasberg also publicly declared Mr. Hatfill's innocence and decried the FBI for making "outrageous official statements and calculated leaks to the media" about the investigation without naming the former military scientist as a suspect.
During the bureau's Aug. 1 search of Mr. Hatfill's apartment the second in six months investigators scanning the hard drive of his laptop discovered a half-finished novel "about bioterrorism and such" by him, Mr. Glasberg said. The attorney also said he received phone calls from reporters during the past week inquiring about the novel.
"The only way [the reporters] could have got it is if the FBI leaked it to them after peeling it off Steve's laptop," Mr. Glasberg said. He added that, judging from the "many, many leaks" in the investigation, it appears that the FBI does not know what it is doing.
Officials at the FBI's Washington Field Office, which is leading the anthrax investigation, said such assertions are taken seriously.
"Credible allegations concerning the mishandling of evidence will be investigated thoroughly," FBI spokesman Chris Murray said in a statement.
It was not clear whether Mr. Hatfill, who once worked as a researcher at Fort Detrick, the Pentagon's top biodefense research center in Frederick, Md., plans to sue the FBI for hounding him without naming him a suspect. Mr. Glasberg said a formal complaint is likely to be lodged with the Justice Department's office of professional responsibility.
"After eight months of one of the most intensive public and private investigations in American history, no one has come up with a shred of evidence that I had anything to do with the anthrax letters," Mr. Hatfill said.
He said he has done everything in his power to cooperate with the FBI, but the bureau's scrutiny of him particularly the most recent search of his apartment has set off a "media feeding frenzy."
"The FBI agents had promised me that the search would be quiet, private and very low key. It did not turn out that way," Mr. Hatfill said. A day after the search, he was suspended with pay by Louisiana State University's National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, where he was hired recently as an associate director.
Law-enforcement officials have said that Mr. Hatfill, 48, is one of about 30 scientists being looked at in the investigation into who sent anthrax-laced letters to media outlets in Florida and New York and to two senators in Washington in October. The letters killed five persons, including two postal employees, and sickened more than a dozen others.
Mr. Hatfill said he is bothered that the FBI's increased interest in him apparently stems from "a woman named Barbara Hatch Rosenberg [who] saw fit to discuss me as a suspect in the anthrax case in a meeting with FBI agents" in June.
"I don't know Dr. Rosenberg. I have never met her," he said. "I have never spoken or corresponded with her. I am at a loss to explain her reported hostility and accusations."
Mrs. Rosenberg is the chairman of the biological-arms-control panel for the Federation of American Scientists and has been an adviser to the government on biological weapons issues. She has served on a weapons panel under President Clinton and, more recently, has been involved in tracking those responsible for the anthrax mailings, having on at least one occasion briefed FBI agents and staffers with the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees.
In January, Mrs. Rosenberg told The Washington Times that the FBI was working on a "short list of suspects" and had identified the culprit as a former scientist at Fort Detrick.
It has been reported that FBI interest in Mr. Hatfill originated with a report he commissioned in 1999 with a colleague. The report includes a description of how anthrax could be sent in the mail.
Mrs. Rosenberg told The Times last week that FBI agents recently asked her whether she thought scientists could be trying to frame Mr. Hatfill. The FBI neither confirmed nor denied that the interview took place.
Mr. Hatfill refused to field questions yesterday. Mr. Glasberg said he "can't imagine why anybody would want to frame [Mr. Hatfill]. For Steve, it is a total puzzlement why anyone would."
Mr. Hatfill was introduced to reporters by Patrick Clawson, a friend, who described him as "tremendous scientist" and "a healer and not a killer."

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