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

* USA Today reports on bioWatch technology to detect anthrax and other bioterror agents

Posted by DXer on October 6, 2009

CASE CLOSEDCASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question “Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?” … click here to … buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED  …

“Weinstein raises some very interesting and disturbing theories. CASE CLOSED is a great read, suspenseful and a real page turner. Please tell me it’s not true!”

“You will not want to stop reading … Lew Weinstein addresses the 2001 anthrax case with the pen of a highly skilled investigator.”


bioWatch technology is operating in over 30 cities


Steve Sternberg writes in USA Today (10-6-09)

  • As the anthrax attacks unfolded in 2001, the White House ordered Tom Slezak to Washington, D.C., to deploy experimental technology that scientists from Livermore and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico had developed to protect athletes and spectators at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
  • The detection system had never been put to a real-world test. Soon, the safety of many U.S. cities would depend on it.
  • Today, eight years after the anthrax attacks, the system Slezak’s research team started, known as BioWatch, is quietly operating in more than 30 cities.
  • In September 2005, BioWatch detected bacteria that cause tularemia — a known bioterror agent— on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during an anti-war demonstration that drew thousands of marchers. Further tests suggested the bacteria occurred naturally and was no threat, officials said then.
  • “There’s a general feeling that anthrax will be the most likely agent of choice. It’s available in nature, it doesn’t require heavy science to manipulate, and it can be granulized into a form that makes it easier to disseminate” and inhaled.
  • Another reason anthrax is appealing to bioterrorists, he says, is that it is difficult to detect. Anthrax detonates silently, without smoke or flame. Its spores are odorless and all but invisible. Like a deadly pollen, they can float on air.
  • “We’re looking for aerosolized anthrax,” Hooks says. “That’s the No. 1 aerosolized biological risk agent.”
  • Anthrax appears to be especially attractive to al-Qaeda, according to the WMD commission report. The terrorist network that orchestrated 9/11 had two biological stations in Qandahar, Afghanistan, that were unknown to Western intelligence services until U.S. troops found them in 2001, the report says.
  • “It’s our information that the effort al-Qaeda started in Qandahar in the late ’90s has been relocated to Pakistan,” Graham says. “They’ve had eight years to regroup.”
  • Graham says he can’t discuss whether other terrorist groups also are tinkering with anthrax or other bioweapons.
  • Although the anthrax case has not been closed because the lead suspect committed suicide, the FBI blames the attacks on a lone government scientist, Bruce Ivins of the United States Army Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.
  • “The Ivins case showed that this is now something that an individual can do,” Kadlec says.

read the entire article at …

for more about bioWatch …

2 Responses to “* USA Today reports on bioWatch technology to detect anthrax and other bioterror agents”

  1. DXer said

    All the powerpoints from the open session are now in the file.

    18. 10/5/09
    submitted by Rita Colwell
    PDF file of presentation from committee meeting 2
    Title – Overview of the Scientific Investigation

    19. 10/5/09
    submitted by Patricia Worsham
    PDF file of presentation from committee meeting 2
    Title – Identification and Characterization of Bacillus anthracis variants in FBI Evidentiary Material

    20. 10/5/09
    submitted by Joseph Michael
    PDF file of presentation from committee meeting 2
    Title – Elemental Microanalysis of Bacillus Anthracis Spores from the Amerithrax Case

    21. 10/5/09
    submitted by Peter Weber
    PDF file of presenationa from committee meeting 2
    Title – Nanometer-scale secondary ion mass spectroscopy for microbial characterization: Presented to the National Research Council

  2. DXer said

    [I]n the summer of 1999, MI5 reported: “Intelligence suggests that while UBL is seeking to launch an attack inside the US, he is aware that the US will provide a tough operating environment for his organisation.”

    Unknown to MI5, Britain had already been targeted by al-Qaeda. It was only after September 11 that officers discovered that a Pakistani microbiologist called Rauf Ahmad, also known as Abdur Rauf, who traveled to a conference in Britain in September 2000 to try and buy pathogens from fellow delegates, was a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda.

    The book says that in 2000, MI5 — without realizing it at the time — foiled a plot by al-Qaida to obtain biological weapons when it found samples and equipment in the luggage of a Pakistani microbiologist, Rauf Ahmad, who had attended a conference on pathogens in Britain. U.S. intelligence later revealed that Ahmad had been in touch with al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    Suspect and A Setback In Al-Qaeda Anthrax Case
    Author: Joby Warrick
    Publication: The Washington Post
    Date: October 31, 2006

    “Rauf’s name was first publicly associated with the documents by Ross Getman, a New York lawyer who maintains a Web site devoted to the 2001 anthrax attacks.”


    Rauf is actually a very nice guy, isn’t he? The CIA viewed him as an untalented loser and just motivated by money. But he wasn’t a religious zealous, was he? Wasn’t he just a struggling academic looking to make a buck.

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