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Ex-US Army Scientist Denies Role In Anthrax Attacks - 2002-08-11

Former U.S. Army bioweapons scientist Steven Hatfill has strongly denied any involvement in last year's anthrax attacks, saying he is being unfairly targeted by the government and the media.

In his first public appearance, Dr. Hatfill told reporters Sunday he has fully cooperated with the investigation and that federal investigators do not have any evidence linking him to the anthrax tainted letters that killed five people.

He said he is a loyal American who was appalled by the bioterrorist attack. He said he had nothing to do with the anthrax letters and said improper leaks to the media regarding the investigation had made his life a "wasteland," costing him two jobs and damaging his reputation. Dr. Hatfill has not been classified as a suspect but is among 30 scientists and researchers the government has listed as "persons of interest" because of their bioweapons expertise.

Dr. Hatfill worked from 1997 to 1999 at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which was once the headquarters of the U.S. biological warfare program and repository for the Ames strain of anthrax that was used in the attacks.

He is the only person whose name has been publicly leaked during the investigation. His attorney accused the government of improperly giving evidence to the news media and said he intends to file a formal complaint with the Justice Department.