US pays 2.8 million dollars to suspect in 2001 anthrax attacks
The United States on Friday agreed to pay more than 2.8 million dollars to a one-time suspect in the anthrax poison attacks that killed five people and targeted government and media offices shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks. ( dpa )
Steven Hatfill was suspected of involvement in a case that has yet to be solved. The former US Army scientist sued the government for breach of privacy after details of an investigation into him - later abandoned - had been leaked to the media.
Lethal anthrax powder was mailed to the offices of US lawmakers and media representatives, killing five and sickening dozens more as it made its way through the US postal system in September and October 2001.
No individual has been charged in connection with the anthrax mailings, which came at a time of heightened sensitivity for the United States following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
The Justice Department said it had settled Hatfill's lawsuit for 2.8 million dollars and additionally agreed to purchase an annual annuity of 150,000 dollars, though it admitted no wrongdoing.
"The government remains resolute in its investigation into the anthrax attacks," Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said in a statement, calling the ongoing probe among the "highest law enforcement priorities."