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

* no news regarding the FBI’s “on the verge of closing the case” or the NAS decision to sequester FBI-submitted documents … in this case, “no news” is the news

Posted by DXer on September 22, 2009

CASE CLOSEDclick here to … buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED  …

“Lew’s  story is a quick read. In July 2008 a physician employee of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases dies. The FBI immediately not only declares the death a suicide, but also announces that the doctor had been their prime suspect in the 2001 anthrax murders by mail. “I don’t @#$%ing think so!” says the director of the nation’s Defense intelligence Agency (DIA) and a covert investigation of the FBI itself begins.”

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For those keeping track of such matters …

… Anonymous Scientist reported yesterday “We are now at T+ 58 days since the FBI announced they were ‘on the verge’ of closing the anthrax case.”

… nor has the FBI responded to my questions as to whether the Amerithrax case is still ongoing or not.

… it is also 14 days since I was advised that the NAS has agreed with the FBI to sequester FBI-submitted documents until the end of the NAS review. I questioned that decision and have received no response to my questions. Thus, I sent another email today …

email to NAS 9-22-09

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see related posts at …

* the NAS needs to explain its decision to sequester FBI-submitted documents in apparent violation of FOIA law

* the FBI, so certain a year ago, may now be terrified to expose its unconvincing case to public scrutiny, or may now have reason to believe that Dr. Ivins may not have been the SOLE perpetrator, or even involved at all

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19 Responses to “* no news regarding the FBI’s “on the verge of closing the case” or the NAS decision to sequester FBI-submitted documents … in this case, “no news” is the news”

  1. DXer said

    Sandia’s discussion of how the Silicon Signal originated in the spore coat was on YouTube. I don’t agree with all the posters but provide the comments as background to the presentation. I called Amanda, the person most likely to know whether it will be included in the public access file, to ask if we could have JM’s powerpoint but she is in meetings. An automated reply indicated she did not expect to be able to respond to email until Monday.

    Dad2Grace (10 months ago)

    The Ann Arbor researcher Ivins supplied with Ames received his PhD from Cairo Medical in ’94. He got his first degree from Cairo Medical in December 1982; Zawahiri railed against the US there. The microbiologist was in charge of the DARPA project involving nanoemulsions. The vats of the researcher’s biocidal agent looked like skim milk. The lab was a mile from the Ann Arbor charity founders DOJ prosecuted. What does the PhD say about the research with Ivins using Ames strain?

    EverBGreen (10 months ago)

    My friend is head of a military lab that as part of its biodefense research makes anthrax simulants. His lab, in a controlled study, made anthrax with siliconizing solution in the slurry and without. When it was made with the siliconizing solution, the simulant showed the high spike for silicon as in the Daschle product. The product without the siliconizing solution did not. Thus, Sandia lab actually does not offer up the most pertinent data.

    ericw694 (10 months ago)

    Cold1, You should study the contributions of Barbara Hatch Rosenberg (Sept. 9). I find quite intriguing Dr. Rosenberg’s reference in footnotes 21 and 22 of her analysis to U.S. Pat. App. # 09/805,464 by Charles Bailey and Ken Alibek, March 14, 2001. The patent (#6,649,408) was issued on Nov. 18, 2003. The patent addresses silica used in the culture medium to achieve greater concentration of the anthrax or biocide or other bacteria.

    nickcold1 (10 months ago)
    Sandia clearly do not understand biological samples. They are metallurgists and material scientists. It’ odd that they would have been asked to determine if a bioweapon contained weaponization additives since they had no experience in this arena. They are way off base making a 100% conclusion that the location of the silicon meant the powder was not weaponized.

    Dad2Grace (10 months ago)

    Nick, Bact. Div.’s was broken down since at least ’99 (possibly a year prior to that). It was never repaired. Even aside from this, a fermenter is a difficult instrument to operate. Only a couple folks knew how to run the one at RIID — Bruce wasn’t one of them.

    PHHardyBoys (10 months ago)

    According to the patent, cells are cultivated in individual microdroplets of liquid media. These microdroplets are created by aerosolizing liquid media that has been inoculated with the cells of interest and coating the aerosolized droplets with hydrophobic particles of silicon dioxide. The individual microdroplets are stabilized within the hydrophobic solid particles. Silica dioxide is removed from the surface by repeated centrifugation. But the absorbed silicon is still dectectable.

    KevinTripG (10 months ago)

    The FBI had wined and dined up to 40 scientists from mid-June to mid-July at a beachfront retreat in Naples, Florida. The scientists were paid well and worked 8 hours a day. It is not yet known whether any of those same scientists have had a role in formulating the task and charge of the National Academy of Sciences which was asked by the FBI to provide an independent check on its work.

    carolethebetterhalf (10 months ago)

    GMU professor and former Soviet bioweapons researcher Serge Popov said: This number of plates is impossible to handle inconspicuously. It would be impossible to cover up these activities. W. Russell Byrne, who preceded Andrews as the divisions director, said nearly 1 gram per contaminated letter would have hundreds of agar plates, on which the spores are grown.

    godmothermaureen (10 months ago)

    But he used fake screen names! He edited Wikipedia chrissakes. He must be guilty or multiple murders. Then he got enraged after his career was ruined by the accusations and the constant hounding of his friends and family! Who cares if the FBI had his lab swabbed for subtilus 7 years ago and did not disclose to the judge in application for a search that there was no match.

    ValerieWinwood (10 months ago)

    An adviser to the FBI, Claire Fraser-Liggett, director of the University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences, recently was quoted in the press asking: 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? She says the investigation is by no means closed.

    DarlingMarla07 (10 months ago)

    The FBI offers only speculation as to a possible motive. There are no facts implicating Ivins: (1) they have no evidence as to the means of drying or means of growing additional spores, (2) no explanation linking him to the Silicon Signature, (3) no evidence linking him to the Subtilus (which was genetically distinctive), and (4) the isotope ratio analysis does not support an Ivins theory.

    FrankInSpeech (10 months ago)

    The important part of the evidence presented was merely “that the materials of the letter with the genetic mutations could exclusively be related only to RMR-1029.” Depending on who you credit, that means from 100 to 300 people are known to have had access. The one with whom the Ames strain was associated (the “go-to” guy) would be the least likely to use the strain. Someone who had access and strong motivation but is not known to have taken it from the lab is the most likely.

    karlsnakebit (10 months ago)

    Sandia found some vegetative cells that were going through the sporulation process and the spore within the mother cell had this same Silicon Signature. The dry weight percentage was of the silicon was high. As found both by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the course of its bulk analysis and by Sandia, it was a significant peak in the x-ray spectra.

    NateNotLate (10 months ago)

    I agree with all scientific conclusions of the Analytical Chemistry article except for the one that the silicon in the spore coat excludes its artificial origin. Sandia people think about the exosporium as an absolute barrier for small molecules but it is a diffuse, loosely-bound, and permeable layer. We can think about the spores as impregnated with the silicon compound. It may be true that the silicon did not help make the spores more dispersable, but it was added on purpose.

    annegg123 (10 months ago)

    When you grow bugs in a fermenter with a vigorous stirring for a good aeration, in contrast to flasks on a shaker you have to suppress a formation of foam. Siloxanes are widely used for this purpose, but they are chemically reactive. Therefore, the presence of silicon is a signature of a fermenter, but not a routine lab prep. The presence of silica in the core of the spore is another indication that it has been incorporated in the process of growth, but not simply added afterwards.

    Colinthemoviecritic (10 months ago)

    The FBI’s WMD head explained that the silica could have been in the culture medium. This finding can be credited. No silica was found in the Ivins flask. There is no indication that Ivins used silica in the culture medium. Thus, unless explained, the Silicon Signature tends to be exculpatory of Ivins.

    Mouse2Ben (10 months ago)

    Sandia should have announced the location of the silica and sat down. The implications it drew went far beyond their training and field.

  2. Anonymous Scientist said

    “We are now at T+ 60 days since the FBI announced they were ‘on the verge’ of closing the anthrax case.”

  3. DXer said

    These are the questions that might be entailed in a security review of Tarek Hamouda, who has repeatedly thanked Bruce Ivins in writing for supplying virulent Ames for the work for DARPA involving the lyophilizer.

    You obtained your PhD in microbiology from Cairo Medical in 1994 and your MDin December 1982, is that correct? (It is an undergrad thing) .

    Ayman Zawahiri used to recruit in a room set aside for that purpose at the school while you were there. Did you ever attend the meetings held on Friday by the Egyptian Islamic Group in that room? Did you ever meet Ayman Zawahiri?

    Your family friend Tarek Hamid, who consults for intelligence agencies, says he was recruited by Ayman Zawahiri. He says he got squeamish and withdrew when they started talking about burying an Egyptian security officer near the mosque. Are you still close with his brother, an MD in St. Louis? Is his brother a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? Are you?

    Do you know Zawahiri operatives/longtime detainees Jaballah and Marzouk in Canada?

    Do you know attorney Al-Zayat, the blind sheik’s attorney (who said Zawahiri was going to use anthrax against US targets)? Do you know blind sheik Abdel-Rahman (whose detention is part of the motivation of any operation)?

    Tarek Hamid, who consults with intelligence agencies and is highly regarded, says as a child you would visit Cairo from Khartoum where your mother was an accounting professor. How many years did you live in Khartoum?

    Tarek Hamid, who consults with intelligence agencies and is highly regarded, says he called you from abroad before 9/11 and said of patents that it was all in the marketing. What did you mean?

    Why wasn’t your decontaminatin product used in the Capitol decontamination — that is, more widely than just its use in testing during that decontamination.

    Did your kids go to the islamic school a mile from your lab where Rabid Haddad, the founder of Global Relief Foundation, taught? Did you know him? Did you know the head of the PTA there who says he was questioned by the FBI?

    Did you know Bassem Khafagi, the Egyptian who founded Islamic Assembly of North America?

    Have you ever attended any IANA conferences?

    Have you ever met Ali Al-Timimi?

    Your wife worked at Cairo Medical for 10 years, is that correct? Dentistry? How were you employed for the 10 years after graduating from Cairo Medical in December 1982.

    What is your religion, if any? If muslim, do you go to mosque?

    Did you know anyone on trial for Sadat’s assassination?

    Did you know anyone on trial for the Albanian returnees trial in 1999 during which detainees said Ayman Zawahiri planned to use aerosolized anthrax against US targets to protest against the rendering and mistreatment of senior Egyptian Movement leaders?

    When did you do your research with Bruce Ivins?

    You were the microbiologist who worked under his “direct supervision”? How many hours/days did it take? Was he always in your physical presence? Did you use virulent Ames from flask 1029 or a different flask?

    Dugway scientists have said that it is necessary to use virulent Ames and not merely surrogates to reliably test decontamination products. Your product was tested at Dugway. Prior to 9/11, was it ever tested using virulent Ames? You went there in December 1999 with Amy and James?

    James’ favorite quote is something to the effect that in the absence of a lion in the jungle there are just monkeys. What do you think of that quote?

    Did you think it was necessary to sound the alarm about the anthrax threat? Did you have a hand in writing your patents on the subject of an anthrax threat?

    How much investment post-911 did you receive? Did NanoBio receive $50 million? Is it $30 million from Perseus, the DC venture capital firm once led by Richard Holbrooke (in charge of Pakistan and Afghanistan for the State Department)? After an initial $13 million from DARPA?

    Have you been questioned by the FBI in connection with Amerithrax?

    In connection with the Fall 2001/Spring 2002 subpoenas of University of Michigan, were you asked if there were any responsive documents or pathogens? In response to my FOIA request, were you asked if there any responsive documents?

    When I emailed you ages ago with some of these same questions, why didn’t you respond. Aren’t they fairly raised by someone who has received $80 million in investment?

    Were you taught antimicrobials by Ayman Zawahiri’s sister Heba?

    Were you taught pharmacology by Ayman Zawahiri’s Dad (who passed in 1995)?

    LSU reports in an an article that it obtained some anthrax strains from Art Friedlander and John Ezzell. What strains were those? Do you know?

    Did Kimothy Smith, the FBI’s genetics expert, ever send you or give you any avirulent anthrax strains? If so, which ones?

    Were you aware of the research Pamala Coker published done by USAMRIID’s Patricia Fellows — involving inserting additional copies of virulence plasmids to make a more lethal anthrax (for vaccine purposes)?

    Was your product tested at Edgewood in 2001? Was a BL-3 used? Was virulent Ames used? Was a soil suspension used?

    Do you know USAMRIID’s John Ezzell?

    What security review did you have before first taking charge of the DARPA project? Was that in 1997 or 1998?

    Did James Baker just hire you without any security check/clearance?

    Are you a citizen? If so, when did you first obtain your citizenship?

    Do you have a security clearance?

    May I have a copy of your presentations to ASM from the late 1990s?

    May I have a copy of the presentation of Michael Hayes where he described using the biocidal agent to kill virulent Ames?

    Thanks. The agency will get back to you.

  4. DXer said

    http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=95591

    “Another point of contention from the panel and from residents was the chance of a lab worker accidentally infecting himself or herself and then spreading the disease to others in the community.”

    Here is Case study ripped from the day’s headline:
    Death Possibly Linked to Plague
    Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009

    A University of Chicago researcher who hoped to create an improved plague vaccine died earlier this month after exposure to the disease bacteria, the New York Times reported today (see GSN, Feb. 12).

    Malcolm Casadaban, 60, died on Sept. 13. Blood taken during an autopsy was carrying an enervated strain of Yersinia pestis, and there were no other clear signs of the cause of death.

    It is rare for scientists to become fatally infected with the materials used in their work, according to infectious disease experts. The case is being investigated by local officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The incident posed no widespread danger, according to local health officials. Antibiotics were made available to about 100 people in Casadaban’s personal and professional circles.

    Casadaban’s work had been spurred by concerns that plague could be used as an agent of biological terrorism, said Kenneth Alexander, pediatric infectious disease chief at the University of Chicago Medical Center. The incident could lead to an increased understanding of plague, he said.

    “Part of our job now as his colleagues and friends is to try to sort this out,” Alexander said. “This man’s last act is to teach us something.”
    Alexander theorized that the bacteria used in Casadaban’s research might have mutated or somehow else become dangerous. The likelihood is higher, though, that a pre-existing medical condition had heightened the scientist’s vulnerability to infection, he added.
    There are only about 15 cases of naturally occurring plague each year in the United States. The disease is passed to humans by fleas that picked it up from infected rodents. The annual worldwide infection count is generally between 1,000 and 3,000 (Emma Graves Fitzsimmons, New York Times, Sept. 22).

  5. DXer said

    http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=95586

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin is calling for legislation selecting a lead agency to oversee security measures at high-containment laboratories like those at Fort Detrick. Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee. He held a hearing Tuesday on strengthening the security of those labs.

    He drew attention to Fort Detrick, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation pointed to last year as the source of the 2001 anthrax attacks. Their findings were released after researcher Bruce Ivins committed suicide.

    The FBI thinks Ivins took the anthrax from a USAMRIID lab at Fort Detrick, where he was employed.

    “Congress and the American public need confidence that all legal steps are being taken to protect local communities and to keep dangerous materials out of the hands of terrorists,” Cardin said.

    ***
    Labs with those substances would have a greater level of security, in addition to safety standards for researchers.

    The depth of background checks should be commensurate with the type of biological agents at the lab, Cardin said.

    “The government must concentrate its efforts on the most dangerous of these threats and heighten its security precautions accordingly,” he said.

    A high-level background check would be appropriate for a scientist like Ivins, who was dealing with anthrax, Cardin said.

    ———————–

    “My concern is that select agents in B3 or B4 may have been taken or altered.” — Bruce Ivins

    A former associate of Ayman Zawahiri expressly and repeatedly thanked Bruce Ivins for supplying him with virulent Ames for work on the DARPA Project using a lyophilizer discussed by the FBI.

    http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com

    The FBI understands this. (see email to me from former FBI head of counterterrorism I’ve circulated) The FBI understandably just feels it have to walk to a different drummer in a national security parade. It is Anonymous Scientist and the rest of Lew’s posse — and the prolific webposter who insists it is 95% certain a First Grader wrote the letters — who does not. The FBI rocks.

    John Ezzell, the FBI’s anthrax specialist who first examined the finely powderized anthrax sent he also worked for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit. After coming under suspicion, Dr. Bruce Ivins wrote an email to his colleague and friend Patricia Fellows saying that he had heard that the anthrax made by Dr. Ezzell for DARPA was the closest match to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001 that Dr. Ezzell had examined. Dr. Ivins emailed a superior on December 18, 2006 about what he heard about the FBI at a party and expressed concern that something might have been taken or altered from his B3 stocks. Ivins was told by email from the superior to not talk about it — that the FBI situation was under control. But it turned out not to be under control. Dr. Ivins’ colleagues were ordered not to talk to him beginning November 2007. He was removed from the base by armed escort in late July, Bruce Ivins took his life on July 29, 2008. It has now been over 13 months since the FBI said that the crazy, dead guy was the sole suspect in the anthrax mailings. It has now been over 13 months — not 2 months as Anonymous Scientist suggests — since the US Department of Justice announced that the case was solved and the case would be closed shortly. The trail of evidence that should have led Amerithrax investigators to the infiltration of DARPA and US biodefense and withdrawal from Dr. Ivins’ stock, however, dated back to the time of the mailings and was discernable from “open source” intelligence.

    Ali Al-Timimi’s current defense counsel, MSNBC commentator and First Amendment scholar Jonathan Turley, says the FBI considered his client an “anthrax weapons suspect,” and confirms that Al-Timimi once worked with White House chief of staff Andrew Card. In 2001, Ali worked alongside researchers at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense who invented a process to concentrate using silica in the culture medium which then was removed from the surface of the spore by repeated centrifugation. Professor Turley wrote: “Al-Timimi is the spiritual adviser to many Muslims across the country. He has worked with the government, including White House chief of staff Andrew Card, …” Remember that showdown between FBI Director Mueller and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card concerning warrantless wiretapping of Ali Al-Timimi and a broader Salafist network? Well, there was a lot adding to the tension of the moment. Amerithrax is a prime example of the perils of both warrantless wiretapping and politicization of justice at the US Department of Justice.

    It was 1 a.m. in the morning on October 23, 2001. Parts of the airport runway were pitch black. Masked Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (“ISI”) agents in a rented white Toyota sedan sped up with a shackled and blindfolded man. In the empty corner of the Karachi airport, a soldier with his face covered filmed the transfer of Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, age 27. Two weeks earlier a postal worker had died in the US from exposure to mailed anthrax. Authorities were rounding up the usual suspects — using a Gulfstream V jet registered to people in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. who existed only on paper. Mohammed had first come to Karachi in 1993 from Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a, and had recently been studying microbiology at the University of Karachi.

    After an October 2001 bombing raid at a Qaeda camp in Darunta, Afghanistan US forces found 100+ printed, typed, handwritten pages of documents that shed light on Al Qaeda’s early anthrax planning. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided me the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents confirmed that it was Zawahiri’s plan to use established specialists and the cover of universities and charities as cover for weaponizing anthrax. From early on, the evidence suggested that charity is as charity does. 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and the disease handbook excerpts. It was not clear whether or they had yet acquired virulent anthrax or weaponized it, but it was clear that the planning was well along. When Vice President Cheney was briefed on the documents in late 2001, he immediately called a meeting of FBI and CIA. “I’ll be very blunt,” the Vice President started. “There is no priority of this government more important than finding out if there is a link between what’s happened here and what we’ve found over there with Qaeda.” At one point, security personnel thought that the home belonging to Elizabeth Cheney, his daughter had been hit by an anthrax attack. Elizabeth had to call her nanny to get her to take the kids to be tested for exposure. A June 1999 memo from Ayman to military commander Atef said that “the program should seek cover and talent in educational institutions, which it said were ‘more beneficial to us and allow easy access to specialists, which will greatly benefit us in the first stage, God willing.’ ”Thus, in determining whether Al Qaeda was responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall of 2001, the FBI and CIA had reason to know based on the growing documentary evidence available by mid-December 2001, that Al Qaeda operatives were likely associated with non-governmental organizations and working under the cover and talent in universities.

    After the September 11 attacks, Pakistani intelligence agents had started checking on Arab university students in the area. Mohammed’s teachers told investigators that they had not seen him on campus since late August. Agents staked out his apartment in Karachi and nabbed him upon his return. Mohammed was wanted in connection with the bombing of the USS Cole. In 1996, Pakistani authorities officials had arrested Mohammed in connection with the November 1995 bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad. Ayman Zawahiri, speaking for the military wing of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, known as the Vanguards of Conquest, claimed responsibility for that embassy bombing. Mohammed was released without being charged for the embassy bombing. Mohammed re-enrolled at university in 1999. He was one of at least two lab technicians who were rendered by the CIA in 2001. Saeed Mohammed was not particularly expert — and spent most of his time in Karachi procuring equipment. Finding the scientist responsible for the mailed anthrax in the Fall 2001 would take a bit longer.

    It was not until seven years later that we even learned that MIT-graduate Aafia Siddiqui — post-9/11 — worked at Karachi Institute of Technology as a lab technician after being tasked to research germ warfare. She worked there even though the FBI had announced up to a $5 million reward for her capture. Dr. L. Thomas Kucharski, psychiatrist for the defendant, explained in his affidavit filed July 2, 2009 that a man known as “Abu Lubaba” had tasked her to research germ weapons. When Aafia Siddiqui was captured, her thumb drive had e-mail correspondence referencing US-based cells and prior attacks. Sometimes rather than being truly invisible or on the “dark side,” an enemy is merely hiding in plain sight — or hidden by inappropriate redactions or highly classified, compartmentalized, operations intended to avoid embarrassment to decision-makers or to further personal agendas.. Most intelligence is “open source.” Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

  6. DXer said

    List of articles FBI gave NAS. I thought I had posted it but don’t see it.

    Read TD, Salzberg SL, Pop M, Shumway M, Umayam L, Jiang L, Holtzapple E, Busch JD, Smith KL, Schupp JM, Solomon D, Keim P, Fraser CM. “Comparative genome sequencing for discovery of novel polymorphisms in Bacillus anthracis.” Science. 2002 Jun 14: 296(5575):2028-33. Epub 2002 May 9.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1071837

    Enserlink, M. (Editorial) Microbial genomics. “TIGR begins assault on the anthrax genome,” Science. 2002 Feb 22; 295(5559)1442-3.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/295/5559/1442

    Read TD, Peterson SN, Tourasse N, et al. “The genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis Ames and comparison to closely related bacteria.” Nature. 2003 May 1;423(6935):81-6.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12721629

    Whiteaker JR, Fenselau CC, Fetterolf D, Steele D, Wilson D. “Quantitative determination of heme for forensic characterization of bacillus spores using matrix-assisted-laser desorption/ionizatíon time-of-flight mass spectrometry.” Anal chem. 2004 May 15; 76(10):2836-41.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15144195

    Easterday WR, Van Ert MN, Zaneckí S, Keim P. “Specific detection of Bacillus anthracis using a TaqMan mismatch amplification mutation assay.” Biotechniques. 2005 May; 38(5):731-5.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15945372

    Beecher, D. “Forensic application of microbiological culture analysis to identify mail intentionally contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores.” Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Aug; 72(8):5304-10.
    http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/72/8/5304

    Van Ert MN, Easterday WR, Simonson TS, U’Ren JM, Pearson T, Kenefic LJ, Busch JD, Huyhn LY, Dukerich M, Trim CB, Beaudry J, Welty-Bemard A, Read T, Fraser CM, Ravel J, Keim P. “Strain-specific single-nuceotide polymorphism assays for the Bacillus anthracís Ames strain.” J Clin Microbiol. 2007 Jan; 45(1):47-53. Epub 2006 Nov 8.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1828967

    Brewer LN, Ohlhausen JA, Kotula PG, Michael, JR. “Forensic analysis of bioagents by X-ray and ToF-SIMS hyperspectral imaging.” Forensic Science International. 2008. 179:98-106.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18571885

    Ravel J, Jiang L, Stanley ST, Wilson MR, Decker RS, Read TD, Worsham P, Keim PS, Salzberg SL, Fraser CM, Rasko DA. “The complete genome sequence of Bacillus anthracisAmes Ancestor.” J Bacteriology. 2009 Jan; 191(1):445-6.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18952800

    Stewart M, Somlyo AP, Somlyo AV, Shuman H, Lindsay JA, Murrel WG. “Distribution of calcium and other elements in cryosectioned Bacillus cereus T-spores, determined by high-resolution scanning electron-probe X-Ray microanalysis.” J Bacteriol, 1980 vol. 143(l):481-491.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=294274

    Stewart M, Somlyo AP, Somlyo AV, Shuman H, Lindsay JA, Murrel WG. “Scanning electron probe microanalysis óf elemental distributions in freeze-dried cryosections of Bacíllus coagulans spores.” J Bacteriol, 1981 vol. l47(2):670-674.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=216088

    Chen X, Zehnbauer B, Gnirke A, Kwok PY. “Fluorescent energy transfer detection as a homogeneous DNA diagnostic method.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1997 Sep 30; 94(20)10756-61.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/94/20/10756.full

    Keim P, Klevytska AM, Price LB, Schupp JM, Zinser G, Smith KL, Hugh-Jones ME, Okinaka R, Hill KK, Jackson PJ. “Molecular diversity in Bacillus anthracis.” J Appl Microbiol . 1999 Aug; 87(2):215-7.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10475952

    Keim P, Price LB, Klevytska AM, Smith KL, Schupp JM, Okinaka R, Jackson PJ, Hugh-Jones ME. “Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis reveals genetic relationships within Bacillus anthracis.” J Bacteriol. 2000 May; 182(10):2928-36.
    http://jb.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/182/10/2928

    Didenko VV. “DNA probes using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET): designs and applications.” Biotechniques. 2001 Nov 31(5):1106-16 1118, 1l20-l Review.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1941713

    Kotula PG, Keenan MR, Michael JR. “Automated analysis of SEM X-ray spectral images: a powerful new microanalysis tool.” Microscopy and Microanalysis. 2003 Feb; 9(1): 1-17.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12597783

  7. DXer said

    Here are the articles the FBI told the NAS it was relying on. Additional hyperlinked peer-reviewed articles are at the selected bibliography of peer-reviewed articles at
    http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com

    In addition to reading these journal articles in advance of Thursday’s meeting, the treatise MICROBIAL FORENSICS edited by Dr. Budowie et al. is certainly a welcome addition on the bookshelf of anyone attempting to master these issues.

    Read TD, Salzberg SL, Pop M, Shumway M, Umayam L, Jiang L, Holtzapple E, Busch JD, Smith KL, Schupp JM, Solomon D, Keim P, Fraser CM. “Comparative genome sequencing for discovery of novel polymorphisms in Bacillus anthracis.” Science. 2002 Jun 14: 296(5575):2028-33. Epub 2002 May 9.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1071837

    Enserlink, M. (Editorial) Microbial genomics. “TIGR begins assault on the anthrax genome,” Science. 2002 Feb 22; 295(5559)1442-3.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/295/5559/1442

    Read TD, Peterson SN, Tourasse N, et al. “The genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis Ames and comparison to closely related bacteria.” Nature. 2003 May 1;423(6935):81-6.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12721629

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  8. DXer said

    At the Ft. Detrick hearing, one commenter said in prepared comments:

    “It is very difficult to effectively mitigate risks that are not even acknowledged,” said Beth Willis, a leader of Frederick Citizens for Bio-lab Safety.

    That pretty much describes the well-meaning comments by all those Senators who are more interested in funding for biopharma firms than they are a vigorous intelligence analysis that would solve Amerithrax.

    To be skeptical, no one needs to look further than the example of the late Admiral Crowe’s defense to receiving %10 of Bioport — he said it did not pose a conflict because he did not have to do anything for it.

  9. DXer said

    While they don’t promise to get the audio up promptly this week (like they did the first time), the NAS will have audio. But check out their audio of TODAY’S testimony about the breach at Ft. Detrick before a different panel!

  10. DXer said

    Dr. Michael Greenberger testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee today on the biolab security issue. He said that the blame heaped upon Dr. Ivins was highly regrettable — and that he is not at all convinced that he is guilty. But, he says, he is persuaded that the genetics approach is sound. (That would be insofar as it limited inquiry to a stream of isolates, known and unknown, downstream from flask 1029). (He is from the University of Maryland). The a/v people at Judiciary are up to the task and are broadcasting video live. Perhaps NAS staff could consult with the expert who know how to do that sort of thing.

    • Anonymous Scientist said

      I guess Dr Greenberger must another “conspiracy theorist” 😉

      Is there ANYONE who believes Dr Ivins is guilty, asides, of course, from every single person at the FBI and DOJ?

      • DXer said

        U of Md. Law Professor Greenberger moderated this hour-long panel discussion about Amerithrax and Ivins in which Scott Shane and his U of Md. genetics expert colleague participated.

        Center for Health and Homeland Security Hosts Forum to Discuss Anthrax Case

        An hour long video is here. The NAS staff might also consult with these A/V experts if they need help learning how to stream video.
        http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:QiZlj49dg9QJ:www.oea.umaryland.edu/communications/news/%3FViewStatus%3DFullArticle%26articleDetail%3D4535+%22Michael+Greenberger%22+Fraser-Liggett&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

        “A plethora of questions still remains unanswered in the investigation of a U.S. Army scientist who the FBI believes was responsible for the anthrax attacks in late 2001. A forum held Sept. 10 at the University of Maryland School of Law shed light on the case from the perspectives of science and journalism.

        The event, “Did the Researcher Do It? The FBI’s Anthrax Case Against Dr. Ivins,” was the eighth annual Sept. 11 commemoration presented by the Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS). Scott Shane, a reporter from The New York Times, and Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) and the director of the Institute of Genome Sciences at the SOM, served as panelists. Michael Greenberger, JD, a professor at the School of Law and director of CHHS, gave opening remarks and moderated the forum.”

      • Anonymous Scientist said

        Another snippet:
        “[The investigators], at the end of last week, did tell me they did not have any single piece of evidence, any smoking gun that absolutely linked Ivins to the letters,” Shane told an audience of more than 100 students, faculty, and media representatives who attended today’s forum.

        But I thought the FBI had secret evidence linking Ivins to the crime that they are just about to reveal when they close the case. Which will be any day now, right 😉

  11. DXer said

    Maybe Joe sounded the alarm.

    Aooga! aooga! Submerge!

    http://video.ireland.com/video/iLyROoafJi5K.html

  12. DXer said

    Given the NAS’s professed, expected inability to upload a webcast of this week’s meeting, attendees will have to provide their own coverage.

    Lew, could you upload some photos from last meeting?

    Here are expected highlights from the next meeting (absent more reliable official coverage from the public relations/NAS AV department).

    It doesn’t appear to be actual footage of any NAS meeting — but I would have to compare it from footage from the Richmond M&M meeting.

    • Anonymous Scientist said

      Clearly NAS are not recording their meeting this time because us mere mortals will not understand it, and it will need to be interpreted to us the next day in the newspaper by qualified experts such as Scott Shane of the New York Times 😉

      I think NAS are taking tips from the early catholic church who forbade mere members of the flock from actually reading their bible by themselves – instead only a qualified “priest” was allowed to read it so he could properly explain its meaning to the sheeple.

      • Lew Weinstein said

        ED … That is a pitiful excuse. The American taxpayers are paying $880,000 for this review and they can’t find a room large enough to accommodate a webcast! Of course, this will give them the opportunity to edit any comments before posting them later, if they are so inclined … LEW

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          I’m actually wondering if the real reason for no Webcast is because certain presenters don’t want their Powerpoint material to leave the room as databits where it can be saved by outsiders. I guess we’ll find out when NAS make the presentation materials available later – is there anyone’s presentation missing?

          Our taxpayer dollars at work……..

        • DXer said

          Joe M. of Sandia was extremely upset when I was asking around for a film of the M&M session in Richmond. I don’t care a whisker about his “data” or if he ever succeeds in publishing an article centered around his heavy reliance on the Soimlyo article. I was only interested if he once again drew conclusions that went far beyond the location of the silicon. And his conclusions were hardly unpublished for the purpose of applying the Shelby amendment applicable to “data” under FOIA. Sandia even made a YouTube video and held a press conference announcing them — in arguing the dead guy did it.

          At trial, a judge would want to hear from someone with experience making aerosolized anthrax or anthrax simulant with regard to the implications to be drawn from the location of the silicon. Joe would merely be first up to bat and then it would take another expert to bring the runner around the bases.

          It is bad science to draw inferences that go beyond the data. Throwing out the word “weaponized” without defining it is just the most blatant example of the bad inferences and overbroad conclusions that surround the issue.

          Keeping it simple, the FBI WMD Chief at the August 18 roundtable press conference was right: the silica could have been in the culture medium. Joe’s defensiveness and sensitivities, fueled by your hypercriticalness, Anonymous Scientist, and egged on by Ed’s usual schtick, is what has confused the issue. His data actually supports the WMD Chief’s conclusions … which are sound. So I want you to cite studies supporting your longstanding claim that Somlyo AP routinely used, and did use, an antifoaming agent. Then, separately, I want you to be nice to everyone, even Joe. The data he has to share is only of very limited utility on the issue of “weaponization”, properly understood. The Microdroplet Cell Technique co-invented by Ali Al-Timimi’s suitemates is a microencapsulation patent. And I know that — not from someone who was told what an exosporium is — but by someone who creates aerosolized anthrax simulants for the military and did controlled experiments which duplicated the silicon spike. The NAS really should have arranged to have such a person on the NAS panel.

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