FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — The Government Accountability Office says the science the FBI used to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks was flawed.

The GAO released a report Friday on its findings. The agency didn’t take a position on the FBI’s conclusion that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins acted alone in making and sending the powdered spores that killed five people and sickened 17 others.

The report adds fuel to the debate among experts, including many of Ivins’ co-workers at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, over whether Ivins could have made and mailed the anthrax-filled envelopes.

The GAO said the FBI’s research did not provide a full understating of the methods and conditions that give rise to genetic mutations used to differentiate between samples of anthrax bacteria. The report calls this a “key scientific gap.”

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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