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

* lie about Iraq, lie about torture, lie about illegal surveillance, withhold plans which Congress is entitled to know … withhold the truth about the anthrax attacks? … it’s all in the same Bush-Cheney basket for which they must be held accountable

Posted by DXer on July 14, 2009


why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?

CASE CLOSED offers a “fictional” answer



lie about Iraq, lie about torture, lie about illegal surveillance, withhold plans which Congress is entitled to know

… withhold the truth about the anthrax attacks?

… it’s all in the same Bush-Cheney basket for which they must be held accountable


Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane write in the NYT (7-14-09) …

  • Since 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency has developed plans to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Qaeda terrorists, according to current and former government officials.
  • Mr. Panetta scuttled the program, which would have relied on paramilitary teams, shortly after the C.I.A.’s counterterrorism center recently informed him of its existence.
  • The next day, June 24, he told the two Congressional Intelligence Committees that the plan had been hidden from lawmakers, initially at the instruction of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
  • Congressional Democrats were furious that the program had not been shared with the committees.
  • The Bush administration took the position that killing members of Al Qaeda, a terrorist group that has attacked the United States and stated that its goal is to attack again, is no different than shooting enemy soldiers on the battlefield.
  • The Obama administration, which has continued to fire missiles from Predator drones on suspected Qaeda members in Pakistan, has taken the same view.

Read the entire article at …


The issue here is not that the U.S. had a plan to find and kill Al Qaeda leaders. Shame on us if we didn’t do everything possible to eliminate those who attacked us and will try to do so again.

The issue is that we are a nation of laws, and we must act in accordance with those laws.

If the laws are counter-productive or overly restrictive, then we should change the laws. But we should never permit an administration to simply act as if the laws did not exist. That is the path to dictatorship; that is the path of a Bush-Cheney administration that had no sense of the restraints which are central to our form of government and our Constitution.

Who can doubt that the Bush-Cheney administration …

  • which lied about the reasons to go to its war of choice in Iraq,
  • which lied about its illegal surveillance of American citizens
  • which lied about torturing prisoners in violation of our own and international laws,
  • and which willfully withheld information from Congress in contradiction to laws they chose to ignore,

… would not also restrain the FBI in its investigation of the anthrax case.

When the FBI presents a conclusion that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks, a conclusion that cannot be supported on the facts of the case, even those limited facts which are so far known, then one must look to the reasons for such a blatant misrepresentation by the FBI, which had to know better.

I invented one such scenario in my novel CASE CLOSED, and I suspect that the truth, if ever known, will incorporate some of the concepts I developed in my novel, if not many of the details.

10 Responses to “* lie about Iraq, lie about torture, lie about illegal surveillance, withhold plans which Congress is entitled to know … withhold the truth about the anthrax attacks? … it’s all in the same Bush-Cheney basket for which they must be held accountable”

  1. DXer said

    The lead FBI forensics scientist — the one who coordinated the labs and collected the forensic evidence pointing, he says, to the Ivins flask and to Ivins — is Dr. Jason D. Bannan, who was a Collections Scientist in the Bacteriology Division of the company that co-sponsored Al-Timimi’s program.

    Currently, the Bacteriology Division has three collection scientists. A collection scientist is who you contact in order to make a patent deposit.

    Dr. Bannan would have played a key role in responding to any subpoena directed to ATCC relating to Al-Timimi’s access to the Ames strain. The subpoenas directed identification of all researchers who did any research involving anthrax or any anthrax simulant such as subtilis.

    ATCC had research labs in the building, Discovery Hall, where Al-Timimi worked. Al-Timimi was a student in a program co-sponsored by ATCC.

    The Washington Post, in an article “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” dated September 3, 2006 summarized events relating to George Mason University to Dr. Ali Al-Timimi, a student in the program co-sponsored by ATCC:

    “In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.
    Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

    The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.

    On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.”
    Al-Timimi had rock star status in Salafist circles and lectured in July 2001 (in Toronto) and August 2001 (in London) on the coming “end of times” and signs of the coming day of judgment. He spoke alongside officials of a charity, Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) promoting the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. Another speaker was Ali’s mentor, Bilal Philips, one of the 173 listed as unindicted WTC 1993 conspirators. Bilal Philips worked in the early 1990s to recruit US servicemen according to testimony in that trial and interviews in which Dr. Philips explained the Saudi-funded program. According to Al-Timimi’s attorney, Ali “was referenced in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”) as one of seventy individuals regarding whom the FBI is conducting full field investigations on a national basis.” The NSA was intercepting communications by Fall 2001 without a warrant.”

    If it were to turn out that Al-Timimi, not Bruce Ivins, were involved, Dr. Bannan would be smack dab in the middle of things and the identification by him and his colleagues of all researchers who had done research with subtilis and anthrax would have had a central significance.

    Despite his good faith and expertise, he should not be heard to argue publicly that Bruce Ivins is guilty — heard to say, for example, that the inconclusive scientific evidence does not necessarily exonerate Dr. Ivins.

    It also does not necessarily exonerate ATCC, Dr. Bannan’s former employer, from allowing a committed Salafist coordinating with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s sheik from having access to the largest and most diverse microbiological depository in the world — unnoticed by the scientists overseeing its Bacteriology collection.

    The FBI reports that it found genetically distinct subtilis in the attack anthrax. Dr. Bannan says “We never found the equivalent B. subtilisat USAMRIID in any of the evidence that we had.” Did he find it in the samples of the ATCC’s Bacteriology Division? What strain was it and we can check the catalog.

    I move to disqualify Dr. Bannan as an expert in the court of public opinion because of the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    Here is an example of a patent deposit form for bacteria.

    ATCC’s return on its subpoena(s) will have to be sought in FOI litigation.

  2. DXer said

    If I were Vice President Cheney, I would not brief the Congress on Amerithrax either.

    While Al-Timimi was recruiting for the Taliban, he was at ATCC, which employed the scientist who now is accusing Ivins in its Bacteriology Division.

    Al-Timimi was connected to one of the principals on Al Qaeda’s WMD Committee, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman. The CIA and FBI apparently have known this for years but have kept it secret as part of their ongoing confidential national security and criminal investigation. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke at the first conference of the Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) in 1993 and was noted to be from Afghanistan. Mohammed Abdelrahman spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi again, for example, in 1996 in Toronto and again that December in Chicago at the annual conference. The December conference was held after blind sheik Abdel-Rahman was indicted. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was closely involved in the financing and promotion of IANA activities. Al-Buthi of Al-Haramain was in contact with Bin Laden’s sheiks and also his brother-in-law Khalifa who had funded the KSM-led Bojinka operation. Global Relief Foundation participated in and sponsored a number of annual conferences. GRF sent money to IANA to offset the conferences’ costs. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was close to bin Laden and was engaged in planning key operations. OBL considered him like a son. Mohammed was on the three member WMD committee with Midhat Mursi. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman ran a training camp that was part of the larger complex of several camps.

    The “Superseding Indictment” in United States of postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar and others explains that on February 12, 1997, with Mohammed Abdelrahman back in Afghanistan, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “The Islamic Group declares all American interests legitimate targets to its legitimate jihad until the release of all prisoners, on top of whom” is Abdel Rahman. Three months later, on May 5, 1997, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “If any harm comes to the [S]heikh [,] al-Gama al-IsIalamiy[y]a will target [] all of those Americans who participated in subjecting his life to danger.” The statement also said that “A1-Gamaa al-Islamiyya considers every American official, starting with the American president to the despicable jailer [] partners endangering the Sheikh’s life,” and that the Islamic Group would do “everything in its power” to free Abdel Rahman.

    The same person who posted notice of the 1996 conference where Al-Timimi, Bilal Philips and Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke, then posted notice of a protest titled “STOP RAILROADING OF SHEIKH OMAR ABDEL RAHMAN – PROTEST US POLICIES AGAINST ISLAM.” The Rally was to take place on June 20, 1997 in front of the US Bureau of Prisons in Washington DC.

    An FBI affidavit, drafted in support of a warrant for the search of Post Office employee Sattar’s Staten Island apartment, explains that Sattar was the communications hub to and from the imprisoned Abdel-Rahman. The 42-year-old postal worker worked as a paralegal during the blind terrorist’s federal trial. Sattar was in frequent contact with IG leaders worldwide, including Rifa’i Taha Musa (”Taha”) and WMD Committee member Abdel-Rahman’s son Mohammed.

    Al Qaeda continued to seek religious approval from blind sheik Abdel-Rahman for its attacks. The US indictment of the Post Office worker in contact with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman alleged: “On or about June 19, 2000, one of Abdel Rahman’s sons, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, spoke by telephone with SATTAR and asked SATTAR to convey to Abdel Rahman the fierceness of the debate within the Islamic Group about the initiative, and said that “even if the other side is right,” SATTAR should tell Abdel Rahman to calm the situation by supporting “the general line of the Group.” The indictment of the US Post Office worker Sattar further alleges: “On or about June 20, 2000, SATTAR spoke by telephone with Mohammed Abdel Rahman and advised him that a conference call had taken place that morning between Abdel Pahman and some of his attorneys and that Abdel Rahman had issued a new statement. The press release issued in Abdel-Rahman’s name containing additional points which made clear, among other things, that Abdel Rahman was not unilaterally ending the initiative, but rather, was withdrawing his support for it and “stating that it was up” to the “brothers” in the Islamic Group now to reconsider the issue.

    The indictment of the US Post Office employee Sattar further alleges: “On or about September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised a meeting of Usama Bin Laden (leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization), Ayman al Zawahiri (former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and one of Bin Laden’s top lieutenants), and Taha. Sitting under a banner which read, “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman,” the three terrorist leaders pledged “to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. During the meeting, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was heard encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

    In December 2001, the blind sheik’s lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat — the fellow in touch with US Post Office employee Sattar who claimed in March 1999 that Zawahiri was going to use weaponized anthrax against US targets — claimed that Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, 29, had died from wounds received during the bombardment of the Tora Bora caves in eastern Afghanistan. He said his information came from an Islamic activist in London. The report was false. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was arrested in mid-February 2003 and Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse was searched two week later.

    Al-Timimi supervised the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib, as one of IANA’s leading writers. The key IANA Arabic-language journal debated legitimate tactics.

    He was then represented legally (for free) by the daughter of the Amerithrax osecutor who leaked the bogus Hatfill stories.

    And the leading FBI forensic scientist, Jason D. Bannan, who has concluded that the inconclusive scientific evidence doesn’t necessarily exonerate Dr. Ivins — and yet it is the science that Gonzales’ national security adviser said inexorably pointed to Ivins — was a collections scientist at the Bacteriology Division of the repository that sponsored Al-Timimi’s program.

    Oh, have I mentioned he was the former assistant to the White House chief of staff according to his original defense committee (for 2 months in 1996) and Al-Timimi got a letter of commendation from the White House for his work for the Navy while at SRA. Battelle consultant and Ames researcher Charles Bailey, the former deputy USAMRIID, was also at SRA in 1999.

    Is it any wonder that the former FBI counterterrorism chief Ben Furman wrote to agree that Amerithrax was a mess but that he still felt that they should keep most information from the public?

    • DXer said

      Dr. Bannan has told an ASM publication quoted here:

      “I’ m a microbiologist, and was not involved in the seizure of evidence.”

      Was he involved in his earlier role from the other side — as a collections scientist in the ATCC Bacteriology Division involved in responding to the subpoena that called for any Ames — which related to the access of “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi?

      Here is a presentation from September 2002 by Dr. Bannan and other ATCC authors.

      Nosocomial Strain Relationships Assessed by Genotyping and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry.
      PENNELLA TD, TANG Y, STRATTON CW, MCKENNA T, BANNAN JD; Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (42nd : 2002 : San Diego, Calif.).

      Abstr Intersci Conf Antimicrob Agents Chemother Intersci Conf Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2002 Sep 27-30; 42: abstract no. K-1381.
      American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, VA.

      BACKGROUND: Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) has become a standard method of genotyping nosocomial bacterial isolates such as Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE). Other genotypic methods and a new phenotypic typing method were assessed for their ability to discriminate VRE isolates.

      Dr. Bannan had the key role in the scientific conclusions.

      The Science Behind The ‘Anthrax Letter’ Attack Investigation
      ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2009)

      Jason Bannan of the Federal Bureau of Investigation coordinated the scientific investigation of multiple laboratories and handled the evidence in the case. He discussed integrating the science from multiple labs and how it tied the anthrax letters to a particular source flask.

      “The chemical mismatch doesn’t necessarily mean that deadly spores used in the attacks did not originate from Ivins’ RMR-1029 flask, says JasonBannan, a microbiologist and forensic examiner at the FBI’s Chemical Biological Sciences Unit in Quantico, Virginia. The RMR-1029 culture was created in 1997, and the mailed spores could have been taken out of that flask and grown under different conditions, resulting in varying chemical contents. “It doesn’t surprise me that it would be different,” he says.

      The data suggest that spores for the three letters were grown using the same process, says Michael. It is not clear how tin and iron made their way into the culture, he says. Bannan suggests that the growth medium may have contained iron and tin may have come from a water source.

      Bannan suggests that the growth medium may have contained iron and tin may have come from a water source.”

      This nonsense is just as bad as when US Attorney Taylor made it seem like the federal eagle envelope was sold only in Ivins’ post office (or at least narrowed it to Maryland) when it was sold throughout Virginia — and the reason that fact was disregarded was because Dr. Bannan’s former Bacteriology Division did not provide a sample of virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins pursuant to subpoena — and instead of spy catchers we had postal inspectors doing the legwork more focused on Wikipedia postings and sorority panty raids.

      • DXer said

        September 2001 Hadron webpage excerpt:

        “Innovative Intelligence and Biodefense Solutions

        Hadron, Inc., headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, is a leading information technology, engineering services and medical research company specializing in national security. Hadron focuses on developing innovative technical solutions for the intelligence community, analyzing and supporting defense systems and developing medical defenses and treatments for toxic agents used in biological warfare and terrorism.
        Hadron has been recognized for more than three decades as a high quality provider of:
        * Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Technical Solutions
        * Network Engineering, Logistics, and Systems Integration
        * Hardware / Software Design and Development of Electronic Warfare Systems
        Hadron’s expanded scope includes:
        * Development of Pharmaceuticals used against Biological Warfare Agents
        * Analysis of Bio-Warfare and Bio-Terrorism Threats

        Hadron consistently provides analytical depth and program management which exceed customer’s expectations for quality and value. Hadron is publicly traded under the symbol HDRN.

        Advanced Biosystems
        George Mason University
        10900 University Blvd-MSN 4E3 [This is where Al-Timimi was located].
        Manassas, VA 20110
        Telephone: (703) 993-8410
        Fax: (703) 993-8447”

        In November 2007, Hadron held a biodefense seminary. A November 7 press release, “Hadron Advanced Biosystems Sponsors ‘Biological Weapons -Threat and Defense'” explained:

        DATELINE: ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 7
        Dr. Ken Alibek, President of Hadron Advanced Biosystems, today announced that following the completion of the two-day seminar, “Biological Weapons – Threat and Defense,” a news media briefing will be held to answer questions on the topics covered by the seminar (for further information, please visit ).

        WHO / WHAT:
        Several featured seminar speakers will make brief statements regarding their seminar presentations, and will be available for questions. Those planning to be present at this briefing include Dr. Ken Alibek; Dr. Charles Bailey; Dr. David Franz; Dr. Don Huber; Dr. C.J. Peters and Dr. Serguei Popov (information on the speakers can be found at ).

        Friday, November 9, 2001
        4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

        George Mason University – Prince William Campus
        PW II Building
        10900 University Boulevard
        Manassas, VA 20110
        Hadron specializes in developing innovative biodefense and intelligence solutions in support of our Nation’s security. In biodefense, Hadron Advanced Biosystems, led by Dr. Ken Alibek, is developing medical defenses against and treatments for diseases caused by toxic agents used in biological warfare and terrorism. The Company’s stock trades on the OTC Electronic Bulletin Board under the symbol HDRN.

        Did Ali Al-Timimi attend?
        Did ATCC bacteriology collections scientist Jason D. Bannan (before he became the FBI’s lead microbial forensics scientist, the fellow accusing Bruce Ivins?

      • DXer said

        In March 2002, fellow Falls Church iman Anwar Aulaqi — known as the “911 imam” — suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). Upon a return visit in Fall 2002, “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” In the event Anwar Aulaqi responds to my emails, I will add any insights he wants to share. He recently was released from prison in Yemen, over US objections, where he says he was subject to interrogation by the FBI.

        Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008: “]911 imam] Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy. The 9-11 Report indicates that Special Agent Ammerman interviewed Al-Aulaqi just before or shortly after his October 2002 visit to Dr. Al-Timimi’s home to discuss the attacks and his efforts to reach out to the U.S. government.”

        Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi), who met with hijacker Nawaf, reportedly was picked up in Yemen by Yemen security forces at the request of the CIA in the summer of 2006. British and US intelligence had him and others under surveillance. Al-Timimi would speak alongside fellow Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi) at conferences such as the August 2001 London JIMAS and the August 2002 London JIMAS conference. They would speak on subjects such as signs before the day of judgment and the like. Dozens of their lectures are available online. Unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post in 2008 that “they have come to believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaida networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia.” One official said: “There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies.” “Some believe that Aulaqi was the first person since the summit meeting in Malaysia with whom al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi shared their terrorist intentions and plans,” former Senate Intelligence committee chairman Bob Graham wrote in his 2004 book “Intelligence Matters.”

        Awlaqi was hired in early 2001 in an attempt by the mosque’s leaders to appeal to younger worshipers. Born in New Mexico and raised in Yemen, he had the total package. He was young, personable, fluent in English, eloquent and knowledgeable about Middle East politics. Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Al Hazmi worshiped at Aulaqi’s mosque for several weeks in spring 2001. The 9/11 commission noted that the two men apparently showed up because Nawaf Hazmi had developed a close relationship with Aulaqi in San Diego. In 2001, Awlaqi came to Falls Church from San Diego shortly before Nawaf did. Awlaqi told the FBI that he did not recall what Nawaf and he had discussed in San Diego and denied having contact with him in Falls Church.

        The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was his roommate. Smith tells me that he was very extreme in his views when speaking privately and not like his smooth public persona. “Aulaqi is deep into hardcore militant Islam. He is not a cleric who just says prayers and counsels people as some of his supporters have suggested.” Sami al-Hussayen uncle checked into the same Herndon, VA hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn, on the same night — September 10, 2001 as Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and another hijacker. Hussayen had a seizure during an FBI interview and although doctors found nothing wrong with him was allowed to return home. During his trip to the US, al_Hussay had visited both “911 imam” Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi.

        The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states

        “Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmi’s personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.”

        In March 2002, Awlaqi suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” The Washington Post explains that “After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. His CD “The Hereafter” takes listeners on a tour of Paradise that describes “the mansions of Paradise,” “the women of Paradise,” and “the greatest of the pleasures of Paradise.” In London, after leaving the United States, he spoke at JIMAS and argued that in light of the rewards offered to martyrs in Jennah, or Paradise, Muslims should be eager to give his life in fighting the unbelievers. “Don’t think that the tones that die in the sake of Allah are dead — they are alive, and Allah is providing for them. So the shaheed is alive in the sense that his soul is in Jennah, and his soul is alive in Jennah.” He moved to Yemen, his family’s ancestral home, in 2004.” Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in San’a run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.

        In court documents in New York filed in 2004, the United States alleged that while in the US, Aulaqi served as vice president of a charity alleged to be a front that sent money to al-Qaeda. The Washington Post reports that tax records show that in 1998 and 1999, while in San Diego, Aulaqi served as vice president of the now-defunct Charitable Society for Social Welfare, Inc., the U.S. branch of a Yemeni charity founded by Zindani. Documents filed in 2004 in Alexandria, Va., recount that in 2002, Aulaqi returned briefly to Northern Virginia where he visited Al-Timimi and asked him about recruiting young Muslims for “violent jihad.”

        Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: “Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi’s charity as its Yemeni partner. In what is another seminal article by Susan Schmidt, the Washington Post explains: “The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.”

        He now has been released. What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? The Washington Post reports that in a taped interview posted on December 31, 2007 on a British Web site, “Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers.” “I don’t know if I was held because of that or because of the other issues they presented,” Aulaqi said. Aulaqi said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so “until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.”

        Not to worry, Anwar. Come on home. The former national security adviser to Gonzalez and the former collections scientist for ATCC say that the dead guy did it — they say it must have been something in the drinking water Dr. Ivins was drinking.

        That’s some Kool-Aid some folks are drinking.

  3. DXer said

    Chad Terhune, “Canadian Officials Did Research On Anthrax Before U.S. Attacks”
    Source: Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2001.

    Thought Question: Did USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins know of this study?

    What do his emails show in September 2001? Did he receive a copy?

    Who knew of this study? (Circulation in the US before the anthrax mailings was fewer than 20, I believe based on a media report).

    From WSJ:

    “The Canadian study showed that “a lethal dose could be inhaled within seconds of opening an anthrax spore filled envelope,” said Mr. Kournikakis. “This is an aerosol that will travel through the room and get into the ventilation system.”

    He said his agency’s tests showed that anthrax spores could spill from a sealed envelope and pose a health risk to postal workers.”

    He said his agency’s tests showed that anthrax spores could spill from a sealed envelope and pose a health risk to postal workers. The Canadian test envelopes were sealed normally and had small openings on the edges where there is typically no adhesive. The Daschle letter was heavily sealed with tape, prompting officials at the time to think contamination from the letter was highly unlikely.”

    Link to study:

    Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters, September 2001

    Click to access GetTRDoc

    • Anonymous Scientist said

      Nobody is denying the validity of the Canadian study or it’s relevance to the opening of the Daschle envelope in the Hart Building.

      The point is that the Canadian study used a prepared material designed for aerosol dissemination. It did not simply use raw dried spores. The FBI are claiming that the Daschle powder was simply raw dried spores. According to their version of events it was the post-sorting machine that miraculously transformed the raw dried spores into a prepared material designed for aerosol dissemination. That, of course, is an extraordinary claim that can be tested. Simply take raw dried spores and send them in an envelope through a similar mail sorting machine. Do they behave the same way as the study showed? Yes or No?

      All the studies to date on envelope-opening simulations conducted in Canada and at Dugway have used prepared material designed for aerosol dissemination. The Dugway team specifically said they were simulating the Daschle powder.

      Why are the FBI making these extraordinary claims? The obvious answer is that if they admit the powder in the letters was a prepared material designed for aerosol dissemination, then the case against Ivins immediately falls apart.

      That’s why NAS need to skeptically examine the FBI’s extraordinary claims and use rigorous scientific method to either prove or disprove.

      • Anonymous Scientist said

        Rep. Bartlett Skeptical That Ivins Sent Anthrax

        The Maryland Republican says he’s skeptical about the agency’s conclusion that biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins grew the anthrax in his laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick and then mailed it to unsuspecting victims, five of whom died.

        Bartlett, who holds a doctorate in physiology, says the FBI’s theory that the anthrax was crushed to a fine powder by U.S. Postal Service mail-sorting machines is “patently ridiculous.”

        He says he’s convinced the anthrax was deliberately “weaponized,” and that Ivins lacked the equipment to make it.

  4. DXer said

    Anonymous Scientist and Ed Lake have never appreciated the central significance of the September 10, 2001 “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters.”

    After the January 2001 anthrax threat, a Canadian research team undertook to assess the risk. The report titled “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters” issued September 2001. In contrast to the 1998 study by William Patrick that had been requested by Dr. Hatfill’s employer SAIC, the Canadian study found considerable exposure to those in the room resulted when such a letter was opened. Bacillus globigii spores (in dry powder form) were donated by the US Department of Defense (Dugway Proving Ground, Utah). Stock concentration powder was -1 x 10 11 cfu/gm. The anthrax sent to the Senators had a smaller particle size –tending toward a uniform 1 micron, subject to clumping that easily broke apart. Bacillus globigii (BG) spores are routinely used as a simulant for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores. “The letter was prepared by putting BG spores in the center of a sheet of paper, folding it over into thirds, placing the folded sheet into the envelope and sealing using the adhesive present on the envelope. The envelope was then shaken to mimic the handling and tumbling that would occur during its passage through the postal system.” The aerosol, produced by opening the BG spore containing envelope, was not confined to the area of the desk but spread throughout the chamber. Values were almost as high at the opposite end of the chamber, shortly after opening the envelopes. 99% of the particles collected were in the 2.5 to 10 µm size range. The report explained: “In addition, the aerosol would quickly spread throughout the room so that other workers, depending on their exact locations and the directional air flow within the office, would likely inhale lethal doses. Envelopes with the open corners not specifically sealed could also pose a threat to individuals in the mail handling system.”

    More than 80% of the B anthracis particles collected on stationary monitors were within an alveolar respirable size range of 0.95 to 3.5 µm. Thus, the simulant performed very well. Those who continue to argue that the Daschle product was so advanced are mistaken. Indeed, the more notable question is why such a good product was prepared in response to a threat letter sent to an immigration minister. The reason perhaps is that authorities suspected that it was Al Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad that sent the letter. The CIA and CSIS apparently feared that the Vanguards of Conquest would use the good stuff.

    The CIA knew EIJ intended to use anthrax — from the proclamations of Jaballah’s friend (the captured military commander Mabruk) and Jaballah’s brother-in-law (head of EIJ special operations/ Civilian Branch). Authorities knew Al Qaeda was getting technical assistance from scientists — and that many of the senior Egyptian leaders had advanced or technical degrees. The specifications provided by Dugway perhaps involved treated fumed silica and a spraydryer (with a last critical step reserved to be done at Dugway) and likely were based on what Al Qaeda might send with a little help from their friends.

    Canadian officials explained they e-mailed the study to the CDC soon after reports of the discovery of anthrax at the American Media Inc. headquarters in Florida. The e-mail, however, was never opened, reports the lead CDC anthrax investigator, who regrets that he never read the email. “It is certainly relevant data, but I don’t think it would have altered the decisions that we made.” At one point, about 2,000 CDC employees were working on the anthrax matter. This Canadian report was perhaps the single most important scientific data point for the CDC to take into account. It certainly was one of the most important reports for the FBI and Anonymous Scientist to take into account. Bail was denied by decision on October 5, 2001. Then highly potent anthrax was sent the next day just as had been promised. But Ayman had returned to the target of his greatest interest. Rather than a Canadian immigration minister, he and Shehata and their colleagues targeted the minister who oversaw the Department of Justice and appropriations to Egypt and Israel, and who gave his name (”the Leahy Law”) to the law that permits continuing appropriations to Egypt in the face of allegations of torture. Zawahiri never makes a threat he doesn’t intend to try to keep.

    Bill Patrick, who often worked with George Mason University students in northern Virginia, had written a report in 1999 for a consultant SAIC at the request of Dr. Steve Hatfill. As one bioterrorism expert commented about the report: “Anytime you pick something up like this, and it seems to layout the whole story for you months or years before the fact, your immediate response is to step back and say ‘whoa, something may be going on here. “Our attacker may very well have used this report as something of a — if not a template, then certainly as a rule of thumb.”

    The Canadian experiments in 2001 showed that if anthrax spores were finely powdered, a letter could release thousands of lethal doses of the bacteria within minutes of being opened. Furthermore, large amounts of material leaked out of sealed envelopes even before they were opened. By then, more than two dozen federal government employees knew of the Canadian studies, which showed that a real anthrax threat letter was a far more dangerous weapon than anyone had believed. Within days, a dozen more people were informed of the now highly relevant experimental findings. One FBI squad was focused on people who may have known of the study — such as William Patrick’s friend, Dr. Steve Hatfill. Another squad would be focused on the usual suspects and their friends. For the next seven years, the investigation would be shrouded in great secrecy. Due to the compartmentation, however, and a failure to share relevant information, the FBI failed to solve the case and blamed it on a dead guy — reasoning that he chose the location of mailing because there was furniture stored nearby from a sorority that he would post about on Wikipedia.

    If there are facts that establish Dr. Bruce Ivins is responsible, they have not yet been disclosed. Experienced prosecutors like Leahy and Specter were stunned at the conclusions asserted by US Attorney Jeff Taylor, who would advise on national security matters under Attorney General Gonzales.

  5. DXer said

    Let’s consider this question of murder as illustrated by another case study: the murder of Bin Laden’s close friend and brother-in-law Khalifa.

    By way of some background, Al Qaeda’s regional operative, Hambali, was at the key January 2000 meeting and supervised anthrax lab tech Sufaat. Hambali’s involvement dates back to Bojinka, as did KSM’s. The money for Bojinka, a plot to simultaneously bomb airliners and to assassinate the Pope, went from Bin Laden’s brother-in-law Khalifa to the Abu Sayyaf Group, Al Qaeda’s primary Philippine affiliate, and then on to the cell that included KSM. A couple years back, Khalifa was murdered by a group of bandits in a home invasion while visiting Madagascar.

    By way of background, US-trained Malaysian biochemist Yazid Sufaat met with 9/11 plotters and two hijackers in January 2000. Sufaat was a member of Al Qaeda and a member of Jemaah Islamiah (“JI”). JI has ties with the Moro Front. Sufaat used his company called Green Laboratory Medicine to buy items useful to Al Qaeda. Zacarias Moussaoui, who had a crop dusting manual when he was arrested, stayed at Sufaat’s condominium in 2000 when he was trying to arrange for flight lessons in Malaysia. Yazid Sufaat provided Moussaoui with a letter indicating that he was a marketing representative for Infocus Technologies signed “Yazid Sufaat, Managing Director.” Moussaoui had an email that was accessed by authorities shortly after 9/11. The crop dusters were to be part of a “second wave.” President Bush and Vice President Cheney feared that anthrax was part of a “second wave” and KSM said in interrogation that Moussaoui’s inquiries related to cropdusters might relate to the work by Yazid Sufaat on anthrax.

    J.M. Berger at intelwire,, has done great research and writing on Khalifa. Here is a news article that seems consistent with what Mr. Berger was learning from his extensive FOI requests, but I would direct you to his webpage as the best guide to understanding the murder of Khalifa.

    Gems, al-Qaida and murder. Mystery over killing of Osama Bin Laden’s friend
    · Saudi man’s death was political, say his family
    · US secret service was monitoring his activities

    2 March 2007

    When Muhammad Jamal Khalifa was found dead at a remote gemstone mine in south-eastern Madagascar at the end of January, local police quickly put the murder down to a business deal gone wrong. The Saudi businessman, 49, had had to call in local police to evict a gang who had taken over the mine during the owner’s six-year absence. All the evidence pointed towards another of the many killings that dominate the notoriously violent Madagascar gem mining business.

    Khalifa had been shot twice, stabbed and hacked at with an axe. His laptop, notebooks and money were missing, as were his two mobile phones. A survivor from the attack said a gang of up to 30 men had burst in to the guesthouse at the mine in Soameloka before setting upon their victim.

    But it soon became apparent to the police that this was no ordinary killing. Khalifa was a man with a past, and at the time of his death he was being monitored by the US secret service.

    He was married to one of Osama bin Laden’s sisters, and was once the closest friend of the al-Qaida leader. He had also been sentenced to death in absentia in Jordan for allegedly funding a bombing campaign, had funded Islamic charities in the Philippines and had played a controversial role in the arrest of the gang that attempted to blow up the World Trade Centre in 1993.

    After the September 11 2001 attacks he had been arrested by the Saudi authorities and for several years afterwards had been prevented from travelling abroad. He was a man with many enemies.

    At first, the Khalifa family accepted the view that his killing was a simple case of violent robbery. His brother, Malek, flew to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, and the Saudi government paid for a chartered Boeing-777 to bring back the body, sending its most senior diplomat in east Africa to accompany the flight.

    But two weeks ago, the family changed its view, saying they now believed it was a “political” killing. “They received no cooperation from the authorities in Madagascar,” said a family friend who wishes to remain anonymous. “They don’t trust the police there any more.”

    The friend said this week that he had warned Khalifa against travelling abroad. “I spoke to him only days before he was killed and said it was not a good idea. He had too many enemies.”

    He added that when Khalifa arrived at the remote mine he found it was being worked by people he had never met. “He had to call in the police to get them out of there,” said the friend.

    Despite the possibility that this was the motive for his killing, there is plenty of evidence that Khalifa was still of enormous interest to the US authorities, and this week’s revelations about Interpol bulletins about him have led to speculation on the internet that his death was carried out, or organised, by the American military.

    What is known is that only four days before he was killed, Interpol’s Washington bureau sent a bulletin about him to the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency concerning an unnamed “project initiated to proactively target terrorism from captured terrorists”.

    These details were revealed this week by, an American website that has taken an interest in the case. The Interpol bulletins were obtained under US freedom of information legislation. Additional documentation was withheld.

    Khalifa had had an uneasy relationship with the US authorities. Arrested in California in 1995, he was found to have terror training manuals and contact books listing telephone numbers for Bin Laden in his luggage.

    There was speculation at the time that he had been “turned”, and that he provided information to the FBI which led to the arrests of Ramzi Yousef and others who had planned to blow up a dozen US aircraft over the Pacific. Yousef was eventually convicted of carrying out the first attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993.

    Whatever the truth, Khalifa was held for more than six months in America, during which time his death sentence in Jordan for the bombing plot was mysteriously quashed. He was eventually released and sent back to Saudi Arabia.

    He always maintained that he had fallen out with Bin Laden over the latter’s decision to form al-Qaida. He had moved from Afghanistan to the Philippines where, depending on who you believe, he either involved himself in setting up charities to build mosques and schools, or became a major financier for the al-Qaida-aligned Abu Sayyaf terrorist group. Even there Khalifa was mired in controversy. Only days before he was murdered, a leader of one of the Filipino Islamist insurgent groups had named him as one of the group’s chief benefactors.

    In recent years, Khalifa had attempted to keep a low profile. He had begun to give interviews to authors about his involvement with Bin Laden, making it very clear that he no longer shared his former friend’s views. He started a fish restaurant outside Jedda with his brother Malek and slowly disappeared from view.

    But Khalifa was finding it hard to make money in Saudi Arabia. “I cannot travel, I cannot leave, I cannot make any deal with anybody … my business goes down, almost bankrupt,” he told Zubeida Malik of the BBC in 2003. “We are in very big trouble.”

    When the Saudis lifted the travel restrictions against him, he decided for the first time since 2000 to visit the gemstone mine he owned in Madagascar.

    Back in Madagascar there has been little progress in the murder investigation. The police made an arrest two weeks ago, but no one has yet been charged. Khalifa’s death seems destined to be as controversial as his life was.

    Life of a jihadist

    Muhammad Jamal Khalifa, 49, first met Osama bin Laden in 1976, while studying at university in Jeddah. In 1985 he travelled to Afghanistan to take part in the jihad against the Soviets, marrying bin Laden’s sister the following year.

    Khalifa said he fell out with bin Laden in 1986. He moved to the Philippines, using charitable funds to build mosques and madrassas. Many intelligence experts believe that he helped finance terror groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group.

    In 1995 Khalifa was arrested in California after being sentenced to death in absentia in Jordan. The charges were dropped and he later returned to Saudi Arabia. After 9/11 he was briefly detained by the Saudi authorities.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: