CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Ames anthrax and the 1943-1969 U.S. biowarfare program

Posted by DXer on May 21, 2009

Ike Solem posted a comment earlier today on one of the posts having to do with Marcia Chambers’ story of what she saw at Iowa State University in 1990. Here are some extracts from Ike’s comment …

  • The claim since the (2001 anthrax) attacks is that the Ames strain was isolated from a cow in Texas in the early 1980s, and then it was sent to Fort Detrick, where it was found to be quite virulent and was thus chosen as the “anthrax vaccine challenge strain” – i.e., guinea pigs, rabbits and rhesus macaque monkeys would be vaccinated and then exposed to the Ames strain.  Ames is still the anthrax challenge strain, by the way.
  • In 1969, Nixon shut down the entire program after anthrax spores killed 3000 sheep on the edge of the Dugway Utah biowarfare test center.  Everything was to be flushed, and supposedly it was.
  • You can see the problem, however… if the Ames strain was really isolated in the 1950s, perhaps that means that the biowarfare program was not really shut down – just put on ice, transferred to a friendly country like Britain, or something similar.
  • This then leads into other troubling questions – like who was it, precisely, that set Saddam Hussein up with a biological weapons program in the early 1980s when he was fighting our sworn enemiesanthrax spores, the Iranians?
  • If the Ames strain came from the 1943-1969 U.S. biological warfare program, which had been ‘entirely dismantled’, then we have a whole new set of difficult questions to ask – for example, did Britain keep their biowarfare operation running?  Is that how Saddam got his hands on anthrax?
  • They do have that official secrets act, which they use to muzzle their press on such issues, so it is hard to say.
  • the trail of odd suicides,
  • from Frank Olson (a Detrick microbiologist who joined the program in the 1940s and later decided it had been a terrible mistake)
  • to David Kelly (UK WMD scientist who died in 2003 after being accused of complicity in the alleged “sexing up” of Iraqi WMD intelligence.)
  • to Bruce Ivins (accused by the FBI of being the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks after he committed suicide in 200committed suicide in 2008).  
  • Recall Colin Powell waving the little tube of anthrax around at the UN, as well, as he was drumming up support for an invasion of Iraq.
  • This mess is going to be exposed to strong sunlight – which is one of the more effective methods of destroying germs – and all the surveillance and harassment in the world won’t stop that from happening.

One Response to “* Ames anthrax and the 1943-1969 U.S. biowarfare program”

  1. DXer said

    Let’s discuss this question of access to Ames. I hope to upload the documents relating to inventory of Ames at USAMRIID and shipping records soon.

    Paul Keim told the journal Science: “My body went cold because I realized we only had a few hours to prepare for it. It was sundown when I drove to the commercial airport at Flagstaff. The airport officials let me drive out on the tarmac. I watched the jet land; an attractive blonde woman got off with a box containing the culture. It was a surreal experience. I felt like Humphrey Bogart in a scene from Casablanca. I put the box in my car and drove right back to the lab. The next morning, we called Atlanta to say that we’d determined the sample to be the Ames strain.”

    The Affidavit submitted in support of the search regarding Ft. Detrick research Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide in mid-Summer 2008, states:

    “Following the mailings, sixteen domestic, government, commercial, and university laboratories that had virulent Ames strain Bacillus anthracis in their inventories prior to the attacks were identified. [redacted] received Ames strain Bacillus anthracis isolates or samples from all sixteen laboratories, as well as, from laboratories in Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. All total, the Task Force has obtained more than 1000 isolates of the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis from these laboratories and archived these isolates in the FBI Bacillus anthracis Repository (hereinafter “FBIR”).

    The four aforementioned molecular assays have been applied to each of the more than 1000 Bacillus anthracis samples contained with the FBIR. Of the more than 1000 FBI samples, only eight were determined to contain all four genetic mutations.

    The Task Force investigation has determined that each of the eight isolates in the FBI is directly related to a single Bacillus anthracis Ames strain spore batch, identified as RMR-1029. [the flask in Ivins’ lab]”
    As one news account noted: “Ask Keim [the FBI’s key scientist on the issue] if he thinks Ivins was the anthrax letters terrorist and he says he just doesn’t know. ‘It remains to be seen.’ ”

    Claire Fraser-Liggett, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences and an adviser to the FBI on Amerithrax, asked, “What would have happened in this investigation had Dr. Hatfill not been so forceful in his response to being named a person of interest. What if he, instead of fighting back, had committed suicide because of the pressure? Would that have been the end of the investigation?” It was Fraser-Liggett’s genetic analysis of the anthrax spores in the letters led to Ivins’ flask, and the other 7 isolates with the same genetic profile. “The part that seems still hotly debated is whether there was sufficient evidence to name Dr. Ivins as the perpetrator,” Fraser-Liggett says. “I have complete confidence in the accuracy of our data,” Fraser-Liggett says, but she says it does not indicate Ivins is guilty.

    Preliminary research was first reported in 2002 in Science. The analysis is directed to showing the similarity between various samples of Ames. The institutions known to have fully virulent B. anthracis Ames include USAMRIID, Naval Medical Research Center, Dugway in Utah, CDC, CAMR-Porton [in Great Britain], Battelle in Ohio, University of Northern Arizona (Keim), University of New Mexico, Louisiana State University (Hugh-Jones), and University of Scranton (DelVecchio). Alibek says Russia had Ames. Porton Down reportedly provided it to four unnamed researchers. (That, for example, is where Martin Hugh-Jones at LSU got it in the late 1990s). American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”) has written me to say that as a matter of policy, they will not address whether their patent repository (as distinguished from their online catalog) had virulent Ames prior to 9/11. Although ATCC did not take the opportunity to deny it, one can infer from the FBI’s affidavit in connection the search of Ivins’ residence that no lab in Virginia is known by the FBI to have had virulent Ames. Thus, FBI, in its “Ivins Theory,” was working on the understanding that ATCC did not have Ames in its patent repository.

    Ari Fleischer explained: “What you have to keep in mind is the difference between knowledge about what type of information you have to have to produce it, and who could have sent it. They are totally separate topics that could involve totally separate people. It could be the same person or people. It could be totally different people. The information does not apply to who sent it.” Ken Alibek, the former head of the Soviet bio-weapons program suggests that ‘If I were a terrorist, I would certainly not use a strain known to be from my country.'” To the same effect, Bruce Ivins would not have used the strain — a special mixture of the US Army strain — for which he was the “go-to” person.

    The Washington Post explained in a late October 2008 article: “While some FBI scientists were analyzing genetic mutations, others were scouring the planet for repositories of Ames-strain bacteria. To their surprise, Ames turned out to be quite rare, with only 15 U.S. institutions and three foreign ones possessing live, virulent Ames. Samples of Ames were collected and added to a repository the FBI had established at Fort Detrick. In a process that ended only in late 2006, bureau scientists picked up 1,072 samples of anthrax bacteria and tested each for mutations identical to the ones in the bioterrorist’s letters.”

    The Washington Post has explained: “Back at the bureau’s Washington field office, agents were reconstructing the history of RMR-1029. A giant flow chart, covering most of a wall, recorded each discovery about the origins of the spores and what Ivins did with them. But the agents wondered: Could others, besides Ivins, have gotten access to the flask of spores?” The Post article continues: “The question drives much of the skepticism about the FBI’s case. At a news conference in August, bureau officials estimated that as many as 100 people potentially had access to the biocontainment lab where Ivins kept his collections. Investigators have maintained that other possible suspects were ruled out, but they have never explained how. It is one of the gaps that independent experts and lawmakers have raised since Ivins’s death.” Journalist Joby Warrick writes: “In interviews, FBI officials said the list of 100 names included USAMRIID scientists as well as anyone with even a tenuous connection to Ivins’s lab, such as visitors or janitors. Each person was investigated, though most could not have gotten to the spores under any reasonable scenario the investigators could construct.” “Still, dozens of people were cleared at various times to enter USAMRIID’s Building 1425, where Ivins worked and kept his spore collection. Each had to be investigated, even those who lacked the basic knowledge to handle highly lethal bacteria.”

    Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reports that “In late October 2001, lab technician Terry Abshire placed a tray of anthrax cells under a microscope and spotted something so peculiar she had to look twice.” “Abshire focused her lens on a moldlike clump. Anthrax bacteria were growing here, but some of the cells were odd: strange shapes, strange textures, strange colors. These were mutants, or ‘morphs,’ genetic deviants scattered among the ordinary anthrax cells like chocolate chips in a cookie batter.” Although it would take years to develop the science, this discovery led to proving that the origin of the anthrax was originally Ivins reference flask.

    There was no requirement to document transfers prior to 1997. One former USAMRIID-sponsored vaccine researcher at UMass, Dr. Curtis Thorne reports that samples used to be sent by ordinary mail. In 2001, his research on virulence of genetically altered anthrax strains was being built upon at the University of Texas (Houston) by Theresa Koehler under a grant from the CIA, the National Institutes of Health and others. The Ames strain, along with other strains, would be distributed not for nefarious purposes, but for veterinary and other research, to include use in challenging vaccines in development.

    “We just don’t know how many hands it went through before it got to the ultimate user,” explained Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and once a consultant to the government’s investigation. One expert, Dr. C.J. Peters, summarizes: “Knowing that this strain was originally isolated in the U.S. has absolutely nothing to do with where the weapon may have been prepared because, as I tried to make the point, these strains move around. A post doc in somebody’s laboratory could have taken this strain to another lab and it could have been taken overseas and it could have ended up absolutely anywhere. Tiny quantities of anthrax that you couldn’t see, that you couldn’t detect in an inventory can be used to propagate as much as you want. So that’s just not, in fact, very helpful.” The FBI estimates that, at a minimum, 100 had access to the flask in Bruce Ivins’ lab. Ft. Detrick scientists point out that it used to be stored in a different lab in 1997, bringing the number to 200-300 people. The New York Post reports that “multiple facilities outside of Fort Detrick were sent RMR-1029 for their own research, including government laboratories, the Battelle lab and academic institutions like the University of New Mexico.” The Post explains: “In April 2007, the FBI sent Ivins a letter saying he was “not a target of the investigation” and said it was investigating 42 people who had access to RMR-1029 at the Battelle labs in Ohio, [Ivins attorney] Kemp said.” Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, commented in February 2009: “The recent inventory issues at USAMRIID highlight the difficulties confronted by the FBI in their efforts to trace the evidentiary material back to its source at USAMRIID, and reinforce our conclusion that samples of anthrax could easily have been removed from the facility undetected.”

    “Another lab might take a couple of milliliters of that spore preparation and create a daughter preparation,” Gerry Andrews, Ivins former boss and now a Professor at the University of Wyoming, says. “How many [samples] Ivins gave out I have no idea, but he did it through official channels, and there is a chain of custody records that indicates which labs got RMR-1029 and how much of the material they got.”
    The exact match to what was known to be in Ivins flask was at “one other institution” with the word “institution” being parsed to be different from the word laboratory.

    DR. MAJIDI: The total body — the total universe of people at some point were associated with RMR-029 — I’ll qualify that. Roughly, about 100-plus.
    QUESTION: Hundred-plus. Were those all at Detrick, or other labs —
    DR. MAJIDI: No, they were at Detrick and other labs.
    ***

    DR. MAJIDI: So a hundred people are within the universe of this RMR-1029 sample, and everyone was investigated. We looked a number of different factors that go into the investigation, and we were able to include and exclude specific individuals in that list.
    ***
    QUESTION: You’ve already told us a hundred people; right? So —
    DR. MAJIDI: Yeah.
    QUESTION: — how many labs?
    DR. MAJIDI: Hmm —
    QUESTION: Is it one?
    DR. MAJIDI: It’s more than one.
    [Laughter.]
    DR. MAJIDI: Hmm —
    QUESTION: Can we keep guessing?
    [Laughter.]
    QUESTION: Two?
    QUESTION: Is it ten?
    DR. MAJIDI: Okay, it’s total two laboratories.
    QUESTION: Total two. Including USAMRIID? Or —
    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: Two institutions.
    DR. MAJIDI: Two institutions.
    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: Because when you say “laboratories,” you got to figure, remember —
    QUESTION: Yeah.
    DR. MAJIDI: Two institutions —
    QUESTION: So that means USAMRIID and two other institutions?
    DR. MAJIDI: No, that means USAMRIID and one other institution.
    QUESTION: USAMRIID and one other institution?
    DR. MAJIDI: Yes.”

    The FBI WMD head implied that the other institution might be deemed “quasi-governmental” rather than what we call government.
    “DR. MAJIDI: Those locations — it is not eight laboratories. I got to be clear about that. They came from different locations. A good number of them came from USAMRIID itself. And we’re not disclosing the location.
    QUESTION: How many were outside of the United States, and how many were non-governmental labs?
    DR. MAJIDI: None outside the United States.
    QUESTION: Were they all government labs?
    DR. MAJIDI: There’s a fine distinction there and I don’t know really what we call government and what we call quasi-governmental, so we’re going just going to leave that as is.
    QUESTION: When you said that eight have them had four markers —
    DR. MAJIDI: Roughly eight of them had four markers.”
    Dr. Majidi took his guidance at the conference from Battelle employee James Buran, who had been head of the Navy biological defense program.

    In a March 6, 2009 Press Release, the FBI explained:

    “Only eight of the anthrax samples collected during the course of the investigation matched the genetic profile in the letter material and all were linked back to RMR-1029. This conclusion was the most significant and relevant scientific finding in the case.

    By analogy, if one were to grow a corn stalk from a specific corn seed, the trace chemical fingerprint of the stalk might differ from that of the seed due to different compositions—for example iron—in the respective fertilizers used to grow each; however, the genetic profile of the seed and the stalk would be identical.”

    The strain referenced in documents on Khalid Mohammed’s computer seized in March 2003 was not Ames and perhaps not even virulent. It is reasonable to assume that the anthrax purchased from the North Korea supplier was not Ames (if that report of an early acquisition is credited). Thus, the question relevant to an Al Qaeda theory is what access to the US Army strain might have been accomplished by someone with 1) an organization supported by funds diverted from charities backing his play, and 2) a lot of educated and technically-trained Salafists who believe in his Islamist cause. A former KGB spy master says that the Russians had a spy at Ft. Detrick who provided samples of all specimens by diplomatic pouch. But it seems more likely that Al Qaeda got it directly from a western laboratory. For example, Ayman had a trusted scientist attending conferences sponsored by Porton Down scheduling 10-day lab visit as early as 1999. A sample page of correspondence between the scientist and Ayman Zawahiri is uploaded at http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com. In the US, he had the support of other scientists (such as GMU’s Al-Timimi) who did advanced research alongside researchers working with the Ames strain under a contract with USAMRIID for DARPA. NBC once reported that the 16 labs known to have Ames had been winnowed to 4 that were a match.

    On NPR, Attorney Paul Kemp, attorney for the family of the late Bruce Ivins, said that Ames from Ivins’ flask was known to have gone to Battelle and University of New Mexico. Warrick explains: “Ivins, the FBI discovered, had spent more than a year perfecting what agents called his ‘ultimate creation’ — his signature blend of highly lethal anthrax spores — and guarded it so carefully that his lab assistants did not know where he kept it.” “Ivins’s talents also helped give him away, investigators told the Washington Post said. Exceptionally pure concentrations of anthrax spores were Ivins’s trademark and placed him in an exclusive class. In the end, the FBI concluded, he was the only one with access to the deadly spores who also possessed the skills and equipment needed to create the extraordinarily powerful bioweapon that was mailed to U.S. Senate offices and news organizations in the fall of 2001.”

    The Washington Post’s Warrick writes: “It was intended for garden-variety animal experiments, but the collection of anthrax spores known as RMR-1029 was anything but ordinary. Ivins, its creator, had devoted a year to perfecting it, mixing 34 different batches of bacteria-laden broth and distilling them into a single liter of pure lethality.

    The finished product, a muddy, off-white liquid in a glass flask the size of a small coffee pot, was the greatest single concentration of deadly anthrax bacteria in the country, FBI investigators said.” Ivins began work on it in 1996 with the goal of creating a large repository of highly virulent Bacillus anthracis spores that could be used by his fellow scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, for years to come. To measure the effectiveness of new anthrax vaccines, the drugs have to be tested against a potent form of bacteria that remained the same from one experiment to the next.” “It was his ultimate creation,” Jason D. Bannan said of the flask, an FBI microbiologist assigned to the Amerithrax case told the Washington Post. “This was the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

    Warrick writes: “He wasn’t an expert. He was the expert,” said a senior FBI investigator, who answered questions about the still-open case on the condition of anonymity.” “Bruce Ivins was a victim of a vicious plot,” said Ayaad Assaad, a toxicologist who once worked with Ivins at Fort Detrick, in Maryland.

    In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some filed before 9/11, the inventors thank Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). Dr. Tarek Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project. A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:
    “The release of such agents as biological weapons could be catastrophic in light of the fact that such diseases will readily spread the air.
    In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes increasingly clear that cheap, fast and effective methods of killing bacterial spores are needed for decontaminating purposes. The inventive compounds have great potential as environmental decontamination agents and for treatments of casualties in both military and terrorist attacks. The inactivation of a broad range of pathogens … and bacterial spores (Hamouda et al., 1999), combined with low toxicity in experimental animals, make them (i.e., the inventive compounds) particularly well suited for use as general decontamination agents before a specific pathogen is identified.”

    In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product them to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, is funded by DARPA. NanoBio received a $3,150,000 defense contract in 2003. Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio.

    The University of Michigan researchers presented in part at various listed meetings and conferences in 1998 and 1999. The December 1999 article titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in the Journal for Infectious Diseases states:

    “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1B strains, were supplied by Bruce Ivins (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD) and were prepared as described elsewhere. Four other strains of B. anthracis were provided by Martin Hugh-Jones (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.”

    In the acknowledgements section, the University of Michigan authors thank:

    Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support.
    Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Arthur Friedlander, and the staff of USAMRIID for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.
    Martin-Hugh-Jones, Kimothy Smith, and Pamela Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).
    Robin Kunkel (Department of Pathology, University of Michigan) for her help with electron microscopy and a couple of others for technical assistance and manuscript preparation.
    The researchers found that their nanoemulsion incorporated into the growth medium completely inhibited the growth of the spores. Transmission electron microscope was used to examine the spores.
    The authors explained that “The nanoemulsions can be rapidly produced in large quantities and are stable for many months *** Undiluted, they have the texture of a semisolid cream and can be applied topically by hand or mixed with water. Diluted, they have a consistency and appearance similar to skim milk and can be sprayed to decontaminate surfaces or potentially interact with aerosolized spores before inhalation.”

    An article in the Summer of 2000 in Medicine at Michigan explains:

    “Victory Site: Last December [December 1999] Tarek Hamouda, Amy Shih and Jim Baker traveled to a remote military station in the Utah desert. There they demonstrated for the U.S. Army Research and Development Command the amazing ability of non-toxic nanoemulsions (petite droplets of fat mixed with water and detergent) developed at Michigan to wipe out deadly anthrax-like bacterial spores. The square vertical surfaces shown here were covered with bacterial spores; Michigan’s innocuous nanoemulsion was most effective in killing the spores even when compared to highly toxic chemicals.”

    As Fortune magazine explained in November 2001 about NanoBio: “Then bioterror struck…. It moved to a bland corporate park where its office has no name on the door. It yanked its street address off its Website, whose hit rate jumped from 350 a month to 1,000 a day.” NanoBio was part of the solution: “in the back of NanoBio’s office sit two dozen empty white 55-gallon barrels. A few days before, DARPA had asked Annis and Baker if they could make enough decontaminant to clean several anthrax-tainted offices in the Senate. NanoBio’s small lab mixers will have to run day and night to fill the barrels. ‘This is not the way we want to do this,’ sighs [its key investor], shaking his head. ‘This is all a duct-tape solution.’ ” James Baker, founder of Ann Arbor’s NanoBio’s likes to quote a Chinese proverb: “When there are no lions and tigers in the jungle, the monkeys rule.”

    It’s naive to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. US Army Al Qaeda operative Sgt. Ali Mohammed accompanied Zawahiri in his travels in the US. (Ali Mohamed had been a major in the same unit of the Egyptian Army that produced Sadat’s assassin, Khaled Islambouli). Ali Al-Timimi was working in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) and had access to the facilities at both the Center for Biodefense and the adjacent American Type Culture Collection. Michael Ray Stubbs was an HVAC system technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab with a high-level security clearance permitting access. That was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998. Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it. What was NanoBio’s old street address? Why is Aafia Siddiqui associated with an address at 1915 Woodbury Drive in Ann Arbor? An Assistant United States Attorney has claimed in open court (in the opening argument in United States v. Paracha) that Aafia was willing to participate in an anthrax attack if asked.

    Among the documents found in Afghanistan in 2001 were letters and notes written in English to Ayman Zawahiri by a scientist about his attempts to obtain an anthrax sample. One handwritten letter was on the letterhead of the Society for Applied Microbiology, the UK’s oldest microbiological society. The Society for Applied Microbiology of Bedford, UK, recognizes that “the development and exploitation of Applied Microbiology requires the maintenance and improvement of the microbiological resources in the UK, such as culture collections and other specialized facilities.” Thus, Zawahiri’s access to the Ames strain is still yet to be proved or disclosed, but there was no shortage of possibilities or recruitment attempts by Ayman. One colleague of his estimates that he made 15 recruitment attempts over a many year period. Dr. Keim observes: “Whoever perpetrated the first crime must realize that we have the capability to identify material and to track the material back to its source. Whoever did this is presumably aware of what’s going on, and if the person is a scientist, they can read the study. Hopefully, the person is out there thinking: When am I going to get caught?”

    After the February 2009 presentation, the New Scientist summarized: “Eight samples had all four. One came from a flask labelled RMR-1029 that Ivins was responsible for at USAMRIID. The other seven came from cultures taken from that flask, only one of which was not located at USAMRIID. So while these findings show the attack spores came from one of these cultures, the FBI has gone further in concluding the attack came directly from the RMR-1029 flask.” The FBI has not yet identified the location of the 8 isolates downstram from Ivins’ flask known to be an identical match — or the 100+people it says had access. For the US Attorney Jeff Taylor to make it seem, however, that only Ivins had control over anthrax that was genetically identical was specious. The more commonsensical point would be that Ivins would have no reason to use anthrax so directly traceable to him by reason of being a distinctive mix of Ames strains.

    In an April 2001 report describing testing of decontamination agents at Dugway, the best performing decontamination nanoemulsions were University of Michigan, Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

    In June 2001, in addition to the conference at Annapolis organized by Bruce Ivins, a conference was held at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood) for small businesses that might contribute to the biodefense effort. It it showcased APG’s world class facillities that had the full range of relevant equipment, as well as the range of activities and research featured by presenters at such conferences. It was called “Team APG Showcase 2001.″ Edgewood maintains a database of simulant properties. The info and equipment, including spraydrying equipment, is available to participants in the SBIR — promoting small business innovation. So might the anthrax attack have required the learning of a state? Well, to get that, all you needed to do was go to the program that shares such research for the purpose of innovation in the area of biodefense. APG built a Biolevel-3 facility and, according to a Baltimore Sun report, by October 2002 had 19 virulent strains of anthrax, including Ames. Aa 1996 report on a study done at Edgewood involving irradiated virulent Ames provided by John Ezzell that was used in a soil suspension. Another article discusses Delta Ames supplied to Edgewood by the Battelle-managed Dugway, subtilis, and use of sheep blood agar. Did Battelle have virulent Ames across I-95? Edgewood tested nanoemulsion biocidal agents during this time period, according to a national nanobiotechnology initiative report issued June 2002.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: