One of the suspects, 46-year-old Larry Wayne Harris, has been previously convicted of ordering bubonic plague samples through the mail. A self-styled former CIA member and registered microbiologist, he is the author of "Bacteriological Warfare: A Major Threat to America." Harris has also left a trail of suspicion on the Internet; one Usenet posting relates how he suggested spreading biological agents in a subway system -- by placing a lightbulb filled with "seed strains" on the rails. "The terrorist is out of danger and knows when the train is coming," he writes. "The ventilation system takes it through the subway and above ground. 100,000 people die."
Harris has already been convicted on related charges -— and was the subject of debate in the Senate two years ago. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told how Harris "managed to order and receive samples of bubonic plague through the mail less than a year ago." Incredibly, all they could charge him with was mail fraud, and he was released on probation. The FBI will be hoping for a somewhat different outcome this time.