- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2002

The attorney for Steven J. Hatfill says the FBI has asked the former Army researcher, who has been named a "person of interest" in the government's anthrax probe, to submit blood and handwriting samples to investigators.
"The FBI has asked for a handwriting sample and a blood sample. The neat thing is that Hatfill is the one who had to tell them the kind of [blood] test that they need to be doing," Mr. Hatfill's attorney, Victor M. Glasberg, told The Washington Times yesterday.
Mr. Glasberg said he expects the FBI will be able to determine by tomorrow whether Mr. Hatfill's handwriting matches that on the anthrax letters sent in the fall to media outlets in Florida and New York and to two senators on Capitol Hill. The anthrax attacks killed five persons.
Mr. Glasberg said that if the bureau does not make public its analysis of Mr. Hatfill's handwriting within "about five days," Mr. Hatfill will submit samples to a private handwriting analyst who has offered to examine them.
The FBI declined to confirm whether blood or handwriting samples have been sought. "Any handwriting samples and results of any scientific or forensic examinations are evidence, which we don't discuss," said Chris Murray, spokesman for the bureau's Washington field office, which is leading the government's anthrax probe.
A new suspicious letter appeared this week at the Nashville, Tenn., offices of former Vice President Al Gore.
Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for Mr. Gore, said the letter was received in the mail Monday. It was opened yesterday by office manager Mary Patterson, and white powder spilled when the letter was opened. The room where the letter was opened has been quarantined, and a hazardous-materials team is investigating.
The envelope was postmarked from Tennessee and was stamped on the back with "This letter has not been inspected by the corrections department."
Steve Hayes, Tennessee Department of Correction spokesman, said it is regular policy to stamp letters that haven't been inspected as being sent from a correctional facility. He said the wording the department uses is different from that on the letter.
On Sunday, Mr. Hatfill said he would voluntarily submit a blood test to the FBI to confirm whether he had been exposed or inoculated against anthrax. It was not clear at that time whether the FBI would accept the offer.
Mr. Hatfill told reporters the blood test was his idea and the fact that the FBI had not yet asked him to submit samples indicated the government's unfamiliarity with conducting such a scientific investigation.
Mr. Glasberg said yesterday he wanted the results of any blood work or handwriting analysis to be widely publicized to help exonerate his client. He said he was considering an offer made by Virginia-based handwriting analyst Mark Smith to examine Mr. Hatfill's handwriting.
Mr. Smith in April told The Times that federal law enforcement authorities had solicited his services immediately after October's anthrax attacks. Upon analyzing the letters, he said the person sending them was a white, middle-aged man who suffers from bipolar disorder, a sexual dysfunction and a martyr complex.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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