Anthrax: The Hunt Narrows

New revelations tarnish a top U.S. biodefense lab--and may provide important clues about the killer

Nobody just waltzes into the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The lab, better known as USAMRIID, sits on the grounds of Fort Detrick, in rural Maryland, about an hour north of Washington, and before you can even get close to the mostly windowless concrete building, you have to get on the base itself. Employees must flash their badges, and visitors must show two forms of photo ID--and open their trunks and glove compartments--before guards will let them pass. To enter the lab itself, armed security guards, present around the clock, must wave you through.

Why such scrutiny? Because...

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