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Anthrax Preparedness, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 790

Essay

Was the right person finally identified?  Use some or all of the above to justify your position. 

The acquired evidence suggests that the FBI did identify the right person. To begin with, the FBI’s first suspect, Dr. Steven Hatfield was cleared. After Dr. Hatfield was cleared, the investigation was re-directed to scientists who had access to the strain of anthrax that was used in the murders. After FBI extensive profiling and substantial evidence, Dr. Bruce Ivins became a suspect. To begin with, it was found that Dr. Ivins was alone and late at the office during the week and on weekends leading up to the Anthrax killings and had access to anthrax, as well as the technology needed to produce and store the anthrax.  In addition, the FBI laboratory found that a spore batch of anthrax created by Dr. Ivins called RMR-1029, was the parent anthrax.  (PBS, 2011)

In addition to the anthrax technological evidence, a motive for Dr. Ivins was established.  The FBI analyzed emails months leading up to the anthrax killing.  It was found that Dr. Ivins was under extreme personal pressure.  One important fact was the anthrax program at USAMRIID was failing after devoting 20 years through several scientific criticisms due to allegations about the Anthrax vaccination’s relation to the Gulf War syndrome.  However, the program was placed back into effect after the Anthrax killings. Furthermore, the FBI uncovered extreme mental health issues from numerous personal emails with evidence of a motive to commit such a crime.  The FBI also found guns and armor in his house after threats made to his psychologist in regard to a possible attack on the individuals that hurt him.  (U.S Dept. Justice,  2010)

Although correct justice was never established since the primary suspect, Dr. Bruce Ivins, committed suicide before an arrest or a confession was obtained, the evidence points to Dr. Bruce Ivins.  Other circumstantial evidence, such as the proximity of the source of the envelopes used to mail the anthrax and the conscious guilt behavior exhibited in Dr. Ivins after the attack also suggested his partaking in the attack.

Define the roles of DHS and FBI with respect to this document.  Have their roles changed or evolved since 2004 or is the situation closer to that in the 2007 video?

The document comprised by the Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Investigation was made in order to provide a procedure in response to a terrorist threat or incident within the United States.  These threats are considered multiagency and include State, local, tribal and federal agencies. The State, local, tribal and federal agencies are responsible for reporting any threat to the FBI.  The FBI analyzes the threat and conducts and investigation using three perspectives: Technical feasibility, Operational feasibility, and Behavioral resolution.  The threat warnings are then coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, 2013).   Since 9/11, DHS has made efforts with the federal government, as well as public and private sectors in order to help defend against threats and increase the ability to respond to attacks.  In fact, DHS has incorporated fusion centers to help support state and city areas in regard to training, security clearances and technology.  In addition, DHS has focused on the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative.  The Initiative has provided effort to support and train the state and local law enforcement agencies in regard to recognizing indicators of terrorism and behavioral signs.  (DHS, 2013)  The DHS has made improvements for responding to Anthrax, particularly, since 2009.  The Secretary of DHS, Janet Napolitano, proposed guidance for protecting the health of emergency responders during an anthrax attack.  It was indicated that this guideline was critical to the security of the United States, as it will better train the first responders during an anthrax attack.   The guidance was made with critiques from experts from multiple agencies and is part of the implementation for efforts to prevent terrorism.  (DHS, 2009)

The DHS has made advancements since 2004 and has worked with multiple agencies on how to respond to terrorist attacks.  The advancements have been noted in the training efforts that have been undertaken by the DHS and in coordination with the local and state law enforcement agencies.  In addition, the DHS has implemented strict guidelines for international travel.  Furthermore, the DHS has specifically targeted the improvement for guidelines and procedures for preventing and responding to anthrax attacks.  Overall, the combining of the procedure implementations and guidelines for general terrorism response has resulted in overall improvement in the roles of all agencies involved in bioterrorism.

References

DHS(a). (2013). Preventing Terrorism and Enhancing Security. Retrieved from: http://www.dhs.gov/preventing-terrorism-and-enhancing-security

DHS(b). (2009). DHS Proposes Guidance for Anthrax Responders. Retrieved from: http://www.dhs.gov/news/2009/10/27/dhs-proposes-guidance-anthrax-responders

PBS.  (2011). The Anthrax Files: Frontline. Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/anthrax-files/

United States Department of Justice. (2010). Amerithrax Investigative Summary. United States Department of Justice. 96pp.

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