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

* USAMRIID denies FOIA request

Posted by DXer on December 8, 2009

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76 Responses to “* USAMRIID denies FOIA request”

  1. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins grappled with many weighty issues relating to the planning of the June 2001 conference. Shouldn’t there be a picnic/barbecue that would be typically American? Would there be a separate beer reception sponsored the Porton Down DERA folks? How could a review of the work at Porton Down be provided with such short time limits? Was the budget $5,000 or $50,000? Was the extra “0” just a typo? Should they send another mailing to participants announcing that it would cost an additional $100 — that they had miscalculated? Could the Brits chip in? Could a private sponsor pay for the reception? Make sure it’s a good wine served.

    Dr. Ivins had overseen the proposal of speakers for the different time slots and the formatting of the program. For example, in a January 23, 2001 email, he wrote a senior Porton Down correspondent that he and a colleague had a meeting about “session 6” yesterday, and we had some ideas that I thought I would pass on to you. The area of anthrax vaccines, vaccination and treatment is such a large, all-encompassing one that a multi-day conference could be built around the subject. Our ideas were as follows for the session:

    “Wednesday, June 13, 8::30-11:30 a.m (0830-1130)- Immunoprophylaxis and Treatment
    Conveners: _____ and Bruce Ivins, USAMRIID
    Overviews of Research and Development
    8:30-9:30 USAMRIID (______ or Bruce Ivins or ______
    9:00 – 9:30 DERA (______ or someone you assign)
    9:30 – 10:00 Pasteur Institute _________ or someone she chooses to assign)
    10:00 – 10:15 Coffee Break

    From 10:15- 11:15 To Be Announced (after we see what people submit for abstracts) We can choose up to 3 additional speakers in the area. I believe the Israelis have
    a very interesting proposed talk on a surrogate marker for immunity. Someone from India, Canada, Australia, Russia, China, Korea, etc. might be selected, depending on
    who submitted what abstracts.
    11:15- 11:30 – Closing Remarks ________

    _________ and I thought that overviews from the 3 major research institutions would be a reasonable way of presenting information. We thought it might be better than having
    someone present all the data from live vaccines, all the data from chemical vaccines etc. There are just so many different subjects to be covered that we’d have to crunch
    the talks down to 10 minutes to get them all in unless we presented “overviews.” Please write us back and give us your ideas. Thanks very much.
    – Bruce”

    M15 neglected to tell Bruce Ivins that they had intercepted Pakistan government scientist Rauf Ahmad with materials and equipment in his luggage after the last conference — and so decisions as to chicken or beef likely took precedence over biosecurity. Ah, the perils of not sharing information and the perils of sharing information.

    Dr. Ivins planning in 2001 had begun three years earlier, upon his return from the conference at Plymouth in the UK. Both he and an infiltrator sent by Ayman Zawahiri participated in 1999 and 2000 and yet no reporter has interviewed Rauf Ahmad, who is quite chatty, about his experiences at the conferences.

    In June 2001, the good ship anthrax sailed in Annapolis, Maryland, the “sailing capital of the world.” The 4th International Conference on Anthrax was held at St. John’s College in historic Annapolis, Maryland, June 10 – 13, 2001. The conference was organized by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (notably Bruce Ivins) and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The 74-foot classic wooden schooner was named WOODWIND. Martin Hugh-Jones had convened the conference along with Peter Turnbull, the Porton Down scientist who had led the UK conferences attended by Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist, Rauf Ahmad. Reports of livestock and national park outbreaks were followed by a summary by Dr. Turnbull. Other anthrax notables who spoke included senior USAMRIID scientist Dr. Ezzell, who had one of the first looks at the Daschle product, and Dr. Paul Keim, who would play a key role in the genetic investigation.

    Other talks focused on cell structure and function such as the S-layer, exosporium, and germination.

    Theresa Koehler from the Houston Medical School gave a talk titled “The Expanding B. anthracis Toolbox” while Timothy Read from The Institute of Genome Research summarized research on The B. Anthracis Genome. Houston Medical School, the UK’s biodefense facility Porton Down, and Pasteur Institute each fielded three presenters. UK scientists presented on the characteristics of the exosporium of “the highly virulent Ames strain.”

    Researchers from Columbus, Ohio and Biological Defense Research Directorate (BDRD) of the Navy Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, assisted by Porton Down scientists from the UK, demonstrated that inoculated mice survived a challenge with b.anthracis spores. Researchers used b.anthracis containing a plasmid with a mutated lethal factor. (Senior Battelle and Navy scientists have led the FBI’s scientific review).

    Dr. Phil Hanna from University of Michigan was there and presented, as he had been in the UK at the conference attending with Rauf Ahmad.

    A Kazakhstan Ministry of Health scientist presented on the re-emergence of anthrax in Kazakhstan. Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union the first job offer Ken Alibek fielded was the position of Minister of Health in Kazakhstan. He protested when he realized that his new employer’s job description shifted to “you know the job,” and he realized that they just wanted to do what the Soviets had been secretly doing in an illegal and massive bioweapons program he had supervised as its First Deputy. After the KGB asked to meet with him, he asked to schedule the meeting in two weeks, so that he might visit his parents, and then found a secret expedited way of coming to the United States.

    Pakistan Rauf Ahmad had been the predator looking for the Ames strain and consulting on weaponization techniques at the UK conferences. He was even stopped by MI5 after the 2000 conference according to MI5’s 2009 authorized history.

    Did the Amerithrax perp attend this conference or work on any of the research presented? Is the assumption by the Ivins’ accusers that Ayman Zawahiri was a quitter and did not have an infiltrator in attendance? Why would one make such a rash assumption on such an important national security issue?

    Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. Why? When? What did his work involve? He coordinated with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s sheik and criminal litigation relating to his ongoing prosecution is highly classified.

    In January 2002, FBI Assistant Director Van Harp told the 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology that it was “very likely that one or more of you know this individual.” They very likely did. But if the beer was flat, Dr. Ivins would be the fall guy. He might as well be the fall guy for the Amerithrax breach.

    • DXer said

      It was September 1999. Dr. Bruce Ivins sat in the audience at “the First European Dangerous Pathogens Conference” (held in Winchester). The lecture theater only averaged about 75 at peak times by his head count. As Peter Turnbull, then of Porton Down, described in his report, there had been a problem of defining “dangerous pathogen” and a “disappointing representation from important institutions in the world of hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms.” Papers included a summary of plague in Madagascar and another on the outbreak management of hemorrhagic fevers.

      Dr Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University presented a paper on multilocus VNTR typing, for example, of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. There were more than the usual no-show presenters and fill-in speakers. In his report, Dr. Turnbull looked forward to a second, fully international conference in 2000 focused on the ever increasing problems surrounding hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms and aimed at international agreement on the related issues.

      The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved even more difficult than the International Conference on anthrax also held at the University of Plymouth, in September 1998. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.” The Washington Post notes that I was the first to publicly associate Rauf Ahmad with his correspondence with Ayman Zawahiri. (I first named him in 2002 after his arrest and the raid on the Khawaja compound but Ed Lake was talking about First Graders and saying that silica would never be used to weaponize anthrax because it would weigh it down and make it heavier.)

      Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

      Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.” (Bioinformatics was Dr. Al-Timimi’s field; the ongoing criminal litigation involving is highly classified). Ali Al-Timimi had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, would enter by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia.

      Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins had started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

      According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Rauf had been stopped by the MI5 but they just served tea — laying the basis for their later claim that MI5 had preventing an attack using anthrax against US targets — without, er, noticing the attack using anthrax against US targets in the Fall of 2001. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. The SFAM director long ago confirmed to me that Rauf’s only connection with SFAM was a member of the society — he was not an employee. (Although Rauf was shrewd enough to use SFAM stationery in writing Ayman Zawahiri). The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

      I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing Rauf’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. Rauf explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded a handwritten copy of earlier correspondence from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

      The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

      In earlier cases, such as the othopedic surgeon Dr. Amer Aziz who treated Bin Laden in the Fall of 2001, the Pakistani government angered the Pakistani public when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. In the case of Amer Aziz, hundreds of doctors, engineers and lawyers took to the streets to demand his release. In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. By then, I had noticed the reporting of his arrest in a press article about the raid of a compound of doctors named Khawaja (don’t ask and I won’t tell) and published it on my website. According to Pakistani officials, there was not enough evidence showing that he actually succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful. Since then, the Post reports, Rauf has been allowed to return to his normal life. Attempts by the Post to contact Rauf in Lahore were unsuccessful. Initially the government agency had said an interview would be possible but then backpedaled.

      “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” Pakistan’s information minister told the Post. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.” (The fellow apparently hadn’t seen the correspondence between Rauf and Ayman Zawahiri or couldn’t read English).

      Yazid Sufaat got the job handling things at the lab instead of Rauf Ahmad. More importantly, Zawahiri, if keeping with his past experience, would have kept things strictly compartmentalized — leaving the Amerithrax Task Force much to do.

      • DXer said

        In an earlier handwritten letter in 1999, Rauf advised Ayman that the anthrax at the first lab he had visited has been non-pathogenic and so he had scheduled a 10 day visit at a different lab, that has not yet been identified. He said the money he had with him was to buy strains and vaccines. He started the next letter after the visit of the second lab stating that he had achieved all the targets. What was the lab he visited? (He had previously noted that his targets were anthrax vaccine and virulent anthrax). He was repeatedly attending conferences with Bruce Ivins and going to receptions with him. Did they know each other?

        Who was the recipient of the virulent Ames that was the subject of the export control license Dr. Ivins was being asked about? The one where Dr. Ivins wanted to reduce the shipment to the barest minimal amount, noting that they could grow their own. He had advised the licensing person that he did not know what the Ames would be used for.

        In the correspondence between Rauf and Zawahiri, he says he had met with the director of the second lab about his request for the virulent anthrax and the paperwork regarding the export was being processed.

        • DXer said

          Export controls, by way of explanation, apply to any non-U.S. individual wherever they are (even if in the US).

          What is Export Control?
          Export Control regulations are federal laws that prohibit the unlicensed export of certain commodities or information for reasons of national security or protections of trade. Export controls usually arise for one or more of the following reasons:

          • The nature of the export has actual or potential military applications or economic protection issues;
          • Government concerns about the destination country, organization, or individual, and
          • Government concerns about the declared or suspected end use or the end user of the export
          Why Certain Exports are Controlled
          • National Security
          • Proliferation of chemical and biological weapons
          • Nuclear Nonproliferation
          • Missile Technology
          • Anti-Terrorism (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan and Syria)
          • Crime Control
          • High Performance Computer
          • Regional Stability
          • Short Supply
          • U.N. Sanctions
          What is an Export?
          An export is any oral, written, electronic or visual disclosure, shipment, transfer or transmission of commodities, technology, information, technical data, assistance or software codes to

          • anyone outside the U.S. including a U.S. citizen
          • a non-U.S. individual wherever they are (deemed export)

        • DXer said

          The email to Dr. Ivins about the shipment of virulent Ames references both CRADA and DARPA.

          CRADA refers to a “Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).”

          A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a written agreement between a private company and a government agency to work together on a project. Created as a result of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, as amended by the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986, a CRADA allows the Federal government and non-Federal partners to optimize their resources, share technical expertise in a protected environment, share intellectual property emerging from the effort, and speed the commercialization of federally developed technology.

          A CRADA is an excellent technology transfer tool. It can:

          Provide incentives that help speed the commercialization of federally-developed technology.
          Protect any proprietary information brought to the CRADA effort by the partner.
          Allow all parties to the CRADA to keep research results emerging from the CRADA confidential and free from disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act for up to 5 years.
          Allow the government and the partner to share patents and patent licenses.
          Permit one partner to retain exclusive rights to a patent or patent license.

        • DXer said

          Zawahiri’s infiltrator at the Ivins-attended conferences had been intercepted in 2000.

          Was Bruce Ivins shipping virulent anthrax to some non-citizen working in the U.S.?

          Did that scientist know Ayman Zawahiri like Rauf Ahmad did?

        • DXer said

          When you go to look to see where he might have shipped 0.2 ml of Ames from flask 1029 at the end of 2000, you don’t see an entry.

          But for that matter you don’t see a contemporaneous entry of the shipment to UNM either. That entry was the only other entry less than 1 ml. Did he have a practice of not recording withdrawals if less than 1 ml?

          Instead you see a reference to 0.5 ml shipped to Rick Lyon (the UNM researcher) on March 2001 with the notation that the entry was added in April 2004! 3 years later.

          That is, Dr. Ivins added the shipment to UNM to his records three years after the fact.

          Is there any other transfer that Dr. Ivins neglected to enter? Such as the other transfer less than 1 ml? Dr. Lyons in 2001 said that he expected what had been shipped to him from Bruce was genetically identical to the strain used in the attack. Is there any reason to doubt that any other shipment that was the subject of the export license was also genetically identical?

          Did Bruce re-do the second page as has been suggested by some of his colleagues based on their observation of the document?

          And if he re-did it (while whiting out the Bldg. number in the first page and changing that), did he drop the shipment subject to the export control license and/or the shipment to UNM? Later adding back the reference to UNM? Did he falsely fail to reveal these transfers to investigators? Did he provide altered documents?

          In comparing page 1 and page 2, note that page 1 does not have “Amount In” filled in such as appears on page 2. It is on page 1 that there is an unexplained 100 ml discrepancy that other posters here have just assumed was a math error rather than a transfer that was not recorded at the time it was made (as is the case of the transfer to UNM).

        • DXer said

          I believe Fuad El-Hibri, a man of Near Eastern (Lebanese) descent, became a U.S. citizen a month after the purchase of MBPI (renamed Bioport) in June 1998. And so it doesn’t seem like it would involve a shipment to Bioport.

          Dr. Ken Alibek, funded by DARPA, was already a US citizen by this time, right? So it doesn’t seem like it would involve a transfer to him.

          It seems that it would involve a shipment to a non-citizen in the US who was funded by DARPA.

        • DXer said

          When did the National Defense Research Establishment in Sweden receive their Ames? A co-author of the presentation at the June 2001 conference was from DSU National Laboratories, Singapore. Was the Sweden facility the recipient of the Ames referenced in the Fall 2000 correspondence about the export license?

    • DXer said

      Is the Convener of the session Les Baillie, then of DERA, who shortly after the conference, as I vaguely recall, moved to Maryland? (perhaps in September or thereabouts)

    • DXer said

      At the conference, there were several presenters from the University of Michigan Medical School, including M Weiner, T.C. Dixon, S.Cendrowski, and P. Hanna. Dr. Dixon presented on new virulence factors. Dr. Cendrowski explained that “the presence of a colored complex, putatively an iron chelate, has been observed in the supernatants of B. anthracis cultures grown under conditions that favor production of known virulence factors.” He then discusses subtilis and explains that experiments are proceeding with a mutant b. anthracis strain utilizing a siderophore to scavenge iron after germination in the human host. But all this scientific stuff is over my head so I’ll just leave it to the FOIA people to produce documents relating to the export license and the NAS scientists to explain the significance (forensically) of the spike for iron.

      • DXer said

        On this iron issue, Dr. Cendrowski from the University of Michigan Medical School explained in a paper published in 2004 that “Because most bacteria requires iron, and the host limits iron availability through homeostatic mechanisms, we hypothesized that B. anthracis requires a high-affinity mechanism of iron acquisition during its grown stages.” Directed gene deletions were generated in a B. anthracis (Sterne). A decrease in siderophore product was observed during iron-depleted grown.

        This is consistent with what Dr. Hanna told me after Dr. Ivins’ death.

        He and his co-researchers did not have virulent Ames because it was not necessary for their work on virulence.

        But he said I would have to ask the folks in the other group at the University of Michigan Medical School that said in patents, journal articles and presentations that Bruce Ivins had supplied them with virulent Ames for their research.

        I haven’t yet found record of the transfer or research in Dr. Ivins’ records provided under FOIA.

        And the other researchers, to include the former Zawahiri associate, won’t give me the dates of the research with Dr. Ivins at Ft. Detrick. The one researcher had received his PhD in microbiology from Cairo Medical in 1994. A mutual friend tells me that Ayman recruited him, my acquaintance, into the Egyptian Islamic Jihad while a medical student but that he then withdrew when they wanted him to help them bury an Egyptian security officer near the mosque. There was a room set aside at the medical school for recruitment by Ayman. EIJ and IG had not yet been declared illegal.

        • DXer said

          The paper by Dr. C says:

          “A debt of gratitude goes to the lab of Lynn Water in the Geological Sciences department (University of Michigan) for iron content analysis of culture media; to Tim Read and those at TIGR making available the B. anthracis sequence and those at Geneworks involved in the mouse experimentation. Thanks go out to the entire Hanna group for technical help and thoughtful discussion of the work. This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AI45740) and the Office of Naval Research 14001-0422, 14011-1044 and 14021-0061.

  2. DXer said

    A February 4, 2001 email summarizes the “Time spent for Bioport.” For each month, for him and a colleague, it gives percentage effort broken down by month, and notes when there was travel to Bioport, aerosol challenges, etc.

  3. DXer said

    On January 3, 2001, he wrote (in planning the 2001 anthrax conference) “Definitely we should have a presentation from our lab on the “vaccine-resistant” strain work in guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits and monkeys.”

  4. DXer said

    In an email dated January 3, 2001, Dr. Ivins wrote: “Here are the data after 6 months for the storage condition study.”

  5. DXer said

    On December 15, 2000, in “CpG in Guinea Pigs,” he summarizes “It appears from the data that in guinea pigs, CpG augments specific protection against anthrax infection. We will get back to you later on the statistical analysis of time to death.

    – Happy holidays!

  6. DXer said

    In an email dated November 29, 2000, Dr. Ivins notes: “We are preparing spores for the challenge of the rabbits starting December 5.”

    • DXer said

      On December 4, 2000, Dr. Ivins wrote re “Task Order 4 – Clinical Research Management, Inc. (CRM): “We wish to extend the contract (Task Order 4) with CRM for _______ until July 15, 2001, plus one option period (to July 15, 2002). We need to have ______ Services because ___ has had all immunizations necessary to work in the biocontainment (aerosol) area in Building 1412, and had all immunizations necessary to work in the biocontainment (aerosol) area in Building 1412, and because ___ has the necessary experience in producing, harvesting and purifying anthrax spores. To attempt to find another individual to fill the position would cause a significant break in the work effort.”

      • DXer said

        On December 4, 2000, in an email planning the 2001 anthrax conference he is coordinating and discussing a picnic/barbecue, he notes that he and another “are involved in a rabbit aerosol on Tuesday and Thursday of this week, and Monday and Wednesday of next week, but another day would be fine” [to have a meeting to discuss the 2001 conference]

  7. DXer said

    By email November 2, 2000, Dr. Ivins discusses shipping Ames out of the country pursuant to Export license request z173008.

    He writes: “I have no idea what research will be done with the strain after it leaves here.”

    He says “We wish to reduce the number of spores being sent to 0.2 ml and 100 thousand instead of 100 billion. The recipients can then grow up as much of the strain as they need.”

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ivins had received an email dated October 31, 2000 about “Export license request z173008.




  8. DXer said

    Bruce Ivins wrote on November 2, 2000 of journalist Gary Matsumoto:

    “I have no objection to the presentation of pertinent scientific data if it’s not being done for political purposes. This is a scientific meeting, not a forum for individuals to point fingers at the US Army, ___ etc. There are some questions I have about the work:

    1) Do all anthrax vaccine recipients have the squalene antibodies? Do any recipients of other vaccines (but not anthrax vaccine) have the anti-squaleen antibodies?

    If we are going to allow him to speak, perhaps we should invite someone from ___, where they have an adjuvant carrier emulsion containing squalene. Such an individual could present other data.”

  9. DXer said

    There is a new journal article on subtilis by authors including the lead Federal Bureau of Investigation scientist and a counterterrorism scientist. The full-text is available to anyone who would like a copy.

    Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 59 (2009), 2429-2436; DOI 10.1099/ijs.0.009126-0
    © 2009 International Union of Microbiological Societies

    Phylogeny and molecular taxonomy of the Bacillus subtilis species complex and description of Bacillus subtilis subsp. inaquosorum subsp. nov.

    Alejandro P. Rooney1, Neil P. J. Price2, Christopher Ehrhardt3, James L. Swezey1 and Jason D. Bannan4

    1 Microbial Genomics and Bioprocessing Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Peoria, IL 61604, USA
    2 Bioproducts and Biocatalysis Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Peoria, IL 61604, USA
    3 Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy, Quantico, VA 22135, USA
    4 Chemical-Biological Sciences Unit, Laboratory Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico, VA 22135, USA

    Alejandro P. Rooney
    [email is redacted but can be found online by googling]

    The Bacillus subtilis species complex is a tight assemblage of closely related species. For many years, it has been recognized that these species cannot be differentiated on the basis of phenotypic characteristics. Recently, it has been shown that phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene also fails to differentiate species within the complex due to the highly conserved nature of the gene, yet DNA–DNA hybridization values fall well below 70 % for the same species comparisons. As a complementary approach, we propose that phylogenetic analysis of multiple protein-coding loci can be used as a means to detect and differentiate novel Bacillus taxa. Indeed, our phylogenetic analyses revealed the existence of a previously unknown group of strains closely related to, but distinct from, Bacillus subtilis subsp. spizizenii. Results of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry analyses revealed that the group produces a novel surfactin-like lipopeptide with mass m/z 1120.8 that is not produced by the other currently recognized subspecies. In addition, the group displayed differences in the total cellular content of the fatty acids C16 : 0 and iso-C17 : 1{omega}10c that distinguish it from the closely related B. subtilis subsp. spizizenii. Consequently, the correlation of these novel phenotypic traits with the phylogenetic distinctiveness of this previously unknown subspecies group showed that phylogenetic analysis of multiple protein-coding loci can be used as a means to detect and differentiate novel Bacillus taxa. Therefore, we propose that this new group should be recognized as representing a novel taxon, Bacillus subtilis subsp. inaquosorum subsp. nov., with the type strain NRRL B-23052T (=KCTC 13429T=BGSC 3A28T).

    Abbreviations: FAME, fatty acid methyl ester; MALDI-TOF MS, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry; NJ, neighbour-joining; ML, maximum-likelihood; MP, maximum-parsimony

    The GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ accession numbers for the sequences generated in this study are EU138452–EU138865.

    A maximum-parsimony cladogram of the Bacillus subtilis species complex and tables showing the mean values of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions per site among protein-coding genes and the geographical origins, isolation substrates and maximum growth temperatures for B. subtilis subsp. inaquosorum subsp. nov., B. subtilis subsp. spizizenii and B. subtilis subsp. subtilis are available as supplementary material with the online version of this paper.

  10. DXer said

    After 9/11, Ayman’s mother who passed yesterday (Umayma Azzam) continued to live in Maadi, where the polymerization expert Magdy Al-Nashar lives, in a comfortable apartment above several stores. Lawrence Wright in the New Yorker advised us that Ayman and his mother shared a love of literature. “She always memorized the poems that Ayman sent her,” Ayman’s uncle Mahfouz told him. Ayman’s uncle Mahfouz believes that although Ayman maintained the Zawahiri medical tradition (which included the Dean of the Medical School and President of the University as I recall), he was actually closer in temperament to his mother’s side of the family. “The Zawahiris [his father’s side] are professors and scientists, and they hate to speak of politics,” he said. “Ayman told me that his love of medicine was probably inherited. But politics was also in his genes.

    What were the political views of his mother and his sisters? Heba was very upset that her brother Muhammad had been rendered in March/April 1999. That was the time when it was publicly announced that Ayman, her brother, intended to use anthrax against US targets in retaliation for the rendering and mistreatment of senior EIJ leaders. What are Heba’s political views? What were his mother’s political views? Ayman’s wife argued this week in a 7 page letter that women should keep the secrets of their menfolk. That, along with raising martyrs, was how they might best support jihad — by assisting the men in the family in their jihad. So… it brings us back to the question: Did the scientist supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins give Ayman Zawahiri’s sister as a reference in applying for the DARPA-funded research with Dr. Baker? And should analysis be slowed because the most prolific poster for 8 years has been a guy who is 99% certain a First Grader wrote the letters? These scientists have made millions of dollars from taxpayers and need to answer some basic questions, even if Mr. Persichini insists we’ll never be told how they excluded others who had access to virulent Ames genetically identical to that used in the attack. Compliance with FOIA is mandatory. Production can start with the ASM and ICAAC presentations that University of Michigan failed to produce.

    • DXer said

      I misremembered. It was his mother’s father, Dr. Abd al-Wahab Azzam, who was the president of Cairo University. He had also served at various times as the Egyptian ambassador to Pakistan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. His uncle, her brother, was a founding secretary-general of the Arab League.” From the first parliament, more than a hundred and fifty years ago, there have been Azzams in government,” Umayma’s uncle Mahfouz Azzam, who is an attorney in Maadi, told me. “And we were always in the opposition.” At seventy-five in 2002, Mahfouz remained politically active: he was the vice-president of the religiously oriented Labor Party. He was a fervent Egyptian nationalist in his youth.”I was in prison when I was fifteen years old,” he said proudly.” They condemned me for making what they called a ‘coup d’état.'”

    • DXer said

      Ayman’s uncle Mahfouz was Qutb’s defense attorney after his arrest in 1965 and was given power of attorney to dispose of his property after the death sentence came down. My friend, who grew up down the street from Ayman in Maadi, tells me that Qutb gave Mahfouz his koran at his hospital bedside and Mahfouz then gave it to Ayman. Mahfouz, one historian writes, “passed on his admiration and his philosophy to his nephew, Ayman — who eventually came to see Qutb as “the most prominent theoretician of the jihadist movement.” My friend agrees that Qutb is the most prominent theoretician. Ayman is just an angry political activist swimming in the shallow end of the pool.

      Now given that this uncle Mahfouz is Ayman’s mom’s brother, and he was Qutb’s attorney and biggest fan, doesn’t it make you pause to realize that Al-Timimi quoted Qutb after indictment — in refusing to point fingers? And that’s even before you read up a little and realize that Ali supervised the writing of the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad who was corresponding with blind sheik Abdel-Rahman during the critical Spring 1999 period.

      Ali shared the suite with the leading anthrax scientist and former deputy USAMRIID commander who co-invented the process to concentrate anthrax using silica in the dioxide (see September 2009 forensic report that the Si-0 signal likely resulted from being in the culture medium). His ongoing criminal litigation is highly classified. You won’t find Ed passing on any rumors about that briefing!

      Ed can’t get his mind around the fact that the forensic issue of silica supports the Al Qaeda argument! See also March 2008 Fox News report by Ms. Herridge.

      And NOT his First Grader theory.

    • DXer said

      Now Mahfouz Azzam and his sister (Ayman’s mom who passed yesterday) kept the rent on Ayman’s clinic for 20 years even though he was absent waging jihad.

      Indeed, Mahfouz was Ayman’s attorney and managed his affairs. Mahfouz denies Bin Laden’s/ the jihadists’ responsibility for 9/11. He insists Ayman is a humanitarian. (Source reprinted in full below)

      These likely were the views of his mother, given she continued to pay the rent on his clinic for 20 years. There was no estrangement except that forced by the security services.

      Those too were likely the views of the pharmacology professor Heba and his pharmacology professor father.

      To know which specialists Ayman had available to recruit you have to trace the personal connections.

      For example, the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad Kamal Habib was in a cell that merged that Ayman’s cell in the 1970s. He then was one of the two lead writers for IANA and was supervised by Ali Al-Timimi. The Third Squad jumped on this like a First Grader on a pogo stick.

      But the question that remains unanswered is: Did Tarek Hamouda, who says he was supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins, know Ayman Zawahiri? His childhood friend, Tarek Hamid, who now consults for intelligence agencies tells me his own experience: while a schoolmate, and contemporary of Dr. Hamouda, Dr. Hamid was recruited by Ayman Zawahiri on a Friday after class in a room specifically set aside for that purpose. He got queasy and withdrew when talk turned to burying an Egyptian security officer alive near the mosque.

      There’s no reason that Amerithrax could not turn out to be a great FBI/CIA success story. But any official or investigator genuinely confused on the correct analysis need to be reassigned. And walls preventing communication (such as Jennifer told the NAS existed) need to be broken down.

      The most common deception in national security affairs is self-deception.

      Mahfouz Azzam
      Egyptian great-uncle and lawyer of Ayman al-Zawahiri (al-Qaida’s No 2 and the man widely believed to be the real brains behind September 11)

      The Guardian, Wednesday 11 September 2002

      Ayman was a very bright boy and very well educated. He’s not just a doctor, he writes poetry; humanity exudes from him. That’s why he was willing to abandon his surgery here in Cairo – it was very successful, lots of clients – when the mojahedin needed his help when they were fighting the Russians.
      He treated all their top commanders and when he came back to Egypt he was a hero. But by the second or third time he went to Afghanistan the American interests had changed and people like Ayman were called criminals. Criminals! He never in his life committed a crime in Egypt. His goal and Osama bin Laden’s goal has remained the same, to liberate Muslim lands. It is the Americans who changed.

      The regime bows to the Americans and doesn’t allow Ayman to return. He has not been back since the mid 80s but the family kept his surgery open, we paid the rent for 20 years, thinking he would come back. But last year we stopped: we know he’ll never be able to return.

      I’ve been a lawyer for 53 years and I can say it’s not easy representing a client you are not in touch with, even if he’s a relative. I’m the one who has to look after Ayman’s estate. I don’t know where he is but I can tell you he is a good man, a humanitarian and a genius.

      [When people come here and ask me questions] I always say the same thing: September 11 was a crime but why do you ask us about it? Do you have any proof, any real proof, that Arabs or Muslims did it? How, for example, could Ayman have planned it from Afghanistan when there was no internet there?

      Arabs and Muslims are not against America. In Europe there are racial problems, riots in Britain, Le Pen in France, but America is a melting pot and Arabs had no problem there. We were becoming more numerous and that threatened the Zionist lobby. And this is the same country which bred people like Timothy McVeigh. So why blame the Muslims?

    • DXer said

      Wright’s landmark 2002 New Yorker article places Ayman in Yemen the month before 9/11. If he was in Yemen, did he meet anyone in Yemen? As I recall, Cairo Medical alum and former Vanguards of Conquest leader Al-Sharif, rendered shortly after 9/11, worked at a hospital in Yemen.

      “The Man Behind Bin Laden”
      September 16, 2002, The New Yorker

      As a man of science, Zawahiri was interested in the use of biological and chemical warfare. In a memo from April of 1999, he observed that “the destructive power of these weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapons,” and proposed that Islamic Jihad conduct research into biological and chemical agents. “Despite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concern that they can be produced simply,” he noted. He pored over medical journals to research the subject, and he met with an Egyptian scientist in Afghanistan, Medhat Mursi al-Sayed, whose Jihad name was Abu Khabab. C.I.A. officials believe that Khabab prepared the explosives for the bomb that hit the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad. Khabab supervised elementary tests of nerve gas; satellite photos purportedly show corpses of dogs scattered about one of the camps near Tora Bora, and Al Qaeda training videos recently acquired by CNN show that poison gas had been tested on dogs. “We knew from hundreds of different sources that Al Qaeda was interested in biological and chemical weapons,” says Richard A. Clarke, who was the Clinton Administration’s national coördinator for counterterrorism in the National Security Council and is now in charge of cybersecurity for the N.S.C. Clarke told me that in one of the camps human volunteers, wearing protective clothing, were exposed to chemicals in tests similar to ones that the U.S. Army has conducted. During the invasion of Afghanistan, American forces discovered a factory under construction, near Kandahar, that intelligence officials say was to be used for the production of anthrax. A sample of anthrax powder was reportedly found in Zawahiri’s house in Afghanistan. …

      According to a source in the C.I.A., American agents came close to apprehending Zawahiri a month before September 11th, when he travelled to Yemen for medical treatments. “The Egyptian intelligence service briefed us that he was in a hospital in Sanaa,” the person told me. “We sent a few people over there, and they made a colossal screwup. While our guys were conducting a surveillance of the hospital, the guards caught them with their videocameras.” The plan was compromised, and Zawahiri returned to Afghanistan.

  11. DXer said

    Zawahiri’s mother passed yesterday. Thought question: Did she support her son’s political goals? His military aims?
    Did his sisters who taught at Cairo Medical? Did his father, who like his sister Heba, taught pharmacology? A scientist who says Bruce Ivins supplied him virulent Ames studied with these folks just three years before being given the Ames. To not be curious as to whether Ayman’s sister Heba taught him is to be willfully ignorant. Which is fine except in the case of those who nonetheless feel compelled to opine on the subject of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

    • DXer said

      Ayman’s uncle Mahfouz describes a mother’s tears. He would have more credibility if he did not lie about who was responsible for 9/11.

      “Ayman grew up in green, leafy Maadi with his twin sister Omneya, his sister Heba (who went on to become a physician) and his brothers Mohammed and Hussein, who trained as architects. This image of a young Ayman the boy who loved his mother’s amazing cooking and devoured both cartoons and Disney movies is the one seared in his uncle’s selective memory. To Mahfouz Azzam, Ayman will always be the well-bred, decent, loving young man.”


      Azzam was among the four lawyers who stood in defense of Ayman Al-Zawahri, Defendant #113, charged with being the leader of 45-strong group Al-Jihad cell in south Cairo after he was arrested on the Corniche on his way to the airport for a flight to Pakistan and another tour with the mujahideen. His brother Hussein was at the wheel.
      “The government and the rest of the world portray Ayman as a demon; his own family members lose their minds at the mere mention of his name lest they be stigmatized or harassed; and yet he’s never committed a single crime in Egypt! Even when his name was dragged into the Sadat case he was declared innocent by the court.
      “And they still sentenced him to three years in jail just for possessing weapons. He was brutally tortured in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. At the time, Islamists around the world including Ayman and Mohammed were targets.”

      “Listen, I’m a lawyer. I believe only in hard evidence. I can’t judge someone is a terrorist until you give me irrefutable evidence right in my hand; otherwise, your claims can go where they belong in the sewer.”

      After the Afghan war, Azzam claims, the US pressured Pakistan to expel the mujahideen, a development, he says ruined Ayman’s life.

      “These men had no passports and weren’t welcome in their own countries. They were homeless, fugitives with no place in the world to call home. Ayman went to Sudan with his family, settled there, and enrolled his children in schools. He wanted to have a normal life. But Egypt started pressuring the Sudanese government to expel him. Bin Laden was there, too. So, they both contacted Mullah Omar in Afghanistan, pleading with him for political asylum. He was grateful for their part in freeing his country, so he took them in with open arms on the condition that they not interfere in politics or embarrass his regime.”

      It’s virtually impossible for many to imagine Azzam’s story of ‘Ayman The Persecuted,’ the man denied his chance to live the normal life he craved. In fact, his account completely excludes episodes in Ayman’s life attested to by one of Al-Zawahri’s own comrades, Ahmed El-Najjar, who says Al-Zawahri was the man behind the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad and the attempt on President Hosni Mubarak’s life in Ethiopia.

      [Comment: Al-Najjar also says Ayman Zawahiri plan to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of the senior EIJ leaders like his brother Muhammad].

      And what of Ayman’s role in 9/11?

      “You’re a journalist and you don’t read the press?” Azzam retorts. “In France, Germany and even the US, some analysts claim there was no way the Arabs could have done it.”

      [Comment: So it turns out that Mahfouz is either really stupid or a really big liar For those not paying attention, Bin Laden, KSM, Ramzi Bin al Shibh etc. have all admitted 9/11.]

      To make a long story short, Azzam is convinced that blaming Al-Zawahri and bin Laden for 9/11 is “buying into US conspiracy theories. Think about it! In whose interest is it to incite hatred against the Islamic world? These attacks were launched to declare a [Christian] holy war against the Islamic world! No one in the world has given solid evidence that holds Ayman or Osama accountable for the attack.”

      [Comment: You mean putting aside their admission and bragging?]

      What about Osama and Ayman’s own words in the videotapes they’ve released? The tapes in which the man who once said inflicting pain on another human being was “inhumane” threatens new attacks similar to those of 9/11.

      “What about them? The man only praised those who did it. But that doesn’t mean he did it himself. Besides, they’re not the only ones who praised it. Some danced in the streets in Palestine. I’ve been working as a lawyer for 54 years, and I can tell you this: What they’re saying is bullshit, it’s newspaper nonsense. There’s no proof this footage is real.”

      As Azzam weaves his own conspiracy theories, he eventually says that Ayman’s speeches are so eloquent that they force people to respect him, even side with him.

      “He has strong, solid political, cultural and religious knowledge, not to mention his charisma.”

      [Comment: Actually, while I recognize the success he’s had at killing people, it has served no purpose. That just makes him successful at murder. That’s not something a mother or uncle should take pride in.]

      His experiences in life, his suffering and travails, earned him thousands of prayers from all over the world. Ayman has always been superior. Even as a physician he was brilliant. If he was given the means, he would have been a world-class surgeon.

      [Comment: Dr. Al-Sharif, the former Cairo Medical alum who was Vanguards of Conquest leader, says he had to cover for Ayman’s lack of clinical skills. Al-Sharif says he only had book learning].

      As Azzam sips his coffee, it’s hard not to think that it’s a bit odd to be talking about Ayman Al-Zawahri saving lives. But if Azzam’s fate is to sit and rage against what has become of Ayman, it is nothing compared to the hand dealt to Ayman’s brothers Mohammed and Hussein.”

      [Comment: Yes, now pay attention because this was Ayman’s stated reason for planning to attack the US with anthrax — anthrax that was used against the author of the “Leahy Law” which permitted continued appropriations to the Egyptian security services even where torture was found.]

      “There’s a principle in Shariah that stresses you don’t pay for the sins of others and that no penalty can be imposed without a just ruling. You can’t arrest a person for a crime he never heard of or wasn’t part of. Just because Mohammed is Ayman’s brother doesn’t mean he committed a crime.”

      [Comment: Muhammad played a key role in EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest while in Afghanistan and Sudan, being a conduit to operatives in the country.]

      Again, Azzam’s account conflicts with the “other story,” the documented one that describes Mohammed as an active member of Al-Jihad. In 1999, the younger Al-Zawahri, like Ayman, was sentenced to death in the “Albanian returnees” case, in which members of Al-Jihad were charged of plotting against the regime (and against Western targets) from abroad. (The name of the case stems from the fact that many of the Jihad members put on trial were deported to Egypt from Albania, where they were arrested while training at a secret camp.)

      Unlike Ayman, who was tried in absentia, Mohamed was apprehended by security officers in the Emirates and brought to Egypt for trial, then held in secret detention for as many as four or five years.

      Predictably, Azzam denies the whole story.

      Throughout it all, Mohammed’s six children have suffered, Azzam says. “They have psychological problems from what happened to them. They have been humiliated. And now they’ve lost their family patriarch.”

      Azzam seems drained as he starts talking about Hussein, the third brother in the Al-Zawahri family, an architect like Mohammed and a man who most probably has no connection to his brothers’ terror groups.

      “The poor kid was so young when they arrested him in 1981, just because he was driving his brother to the airport. He knew nothing about what was going on,” Azzam says.

      More recently, Hussein was arrested on suspicion of being a member of El-Intemaa Lel Jihad (the Followers of Jihad) an illegal organization with ties to known extremist groups including Al-Jihad but was later released.

      “He was young when all these events took his family by storm, and now he’s psychologically devastated. You’d better leave him be — let one in the family enjoy some measure of peace,” Azzam asks.

      Hussein used to live in Malaysia, but was extradited to stand trial in Egypt. “He lost his job, his house and car and his passport. He has nothing left anymore. He has his freedom now, but I wonder what kind of life he can have here,” his uncle says.

      It’s the one story Azzam tells that actually meshes with the evidence and testimony of others. There is simply no evidence linking Hussein to his brothers’ political activities, and his sisters’ hands appear similarly clean.

      But for Azzam, the suffering of Hussein and Mohammed is nothing compared to the fate Ayman’s mother Omayma has suffered.

      “Imagine a single mother who keeps hearing day and night that her son is wanted dead or alive,” he says. “She still doesn’t know whether her grandchildren are dead or not, even though the news spread that Ayman’s wife and children were killed in the bombing of Tora Bora. Amid all this, she reads that Mohammed has been sentenced to death!

      “Has he been executed or not? Some say yes, others say no. Then they tell her he’s still alive, so she rushes to see him but they won’t allow her to visit, telling her to come back later. Do you know how old this woman is? She’s a woman with sons in their 50s!

      “Omayma is a psychological wreck. Her tears never dry up she’s been crying day and night since 1981, when this never-ending nightmare started. The worst part of it is that she’s a gracious lady who doesn’t deserve any of this.”

      Azzam says he’s coping better than most in the family even though “you have to know that all of our calls and movements are monitored. The authorities are deluded into believing that Ayman might call or send us a message or letter. How naive! Many in the family have become paranoid.

      “Don’t compare me with them, though! I’ve been politically active since I was a student. The British jailed me in 1942, so I’m not afraid. Unlike some of his closest family members [uncles and cousins] I’ve no interest in changing my name.”

    • DXer said

      His other sister, Ayman’s twin sister, Umnya, attended Cairo Medical school with him. Born on June 19, 1951, both twins were extremely bright, and both were at the top of their classes all the way through medical school.

  12. DXer said

    Ed writes:

    “From the very beginning, the facts seemed to say: It wasn’t al Qaeda! Prime among the facts were all the precautions that the terrorist took to do minimal harm. That by itself said: NOT al Qaeda!”

    If Ed had started with reading and research before engaging in his analysis, he would have realized that the Koran and hadiths provide extensive guidance on the honorable conduct of warfare. He would have turned to determine what the jihadists believe rather than try to make them fit his image of the “boogie man.” He never corrected his mistake even after it was pointed out and he continues to mislead the casual web surfer by the argument.

    One of the leading non-muslim expert on the subject was Princeton’s Bernard Lewis. For years, Princeton University Middle Eastern history Professor Emeritus Bernard Lewis’ writing on the clash between islam and the west would be translated by the Muslim brotherhood and handed out as pamphlets outside of mosques. After the 1998 “Crusaders” statement by Bin Laden and Zawahiri, Lewis wrote a Foreign Affairs article “License to Kill, Usama Bin Ladin’s Declaration of Jihad.” “Obviously, the West must defend itself by whatever means will be effective. But in devising strategies to fight the terrorists, it would surely be useful to understand the forces that drive them.”

    “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors… ,” says the Koran (2:190), Aafia Siddiqui would write in 1995 and then Anwar Aulaqi would write a decade later.

    Post office employee and blind sheik spokesman Abdel Sattar has explained that Mustafa Hamza, who took over from Taha as Islamic Group leader after the Luxor debacle in which in 58 tourists were murdered, has explained that in every moment and action, the group starts off by consulting with the righteous Ulema.

    Post Office employee Sattar explained “No action is initiated without fatwas from our trusted Olama — meaning scholars in the plural. In other words, before carrying out an operation, they get a fatwa. He confirmed that fatwas are important because they are authoritative statements by religious leaders declaring what is and is not Islamically permissible. Sattar had a copy of the book written by former Islamic Group leader Taha justifying the attacks that had been committed, to include Luxor. The book had been uploaded at the website maintained by London-based Vanguards of Conquest publicist Al-Sirri.

    After 9/11, Lewis admonished the Pentagon Defence Policy Board to consider how much worse the devastation could have been on Sept. 11 if the terrorists had used a weapon of mass destruction —such as Iraq was said to possess. In a September 27, 2001, in an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal, the then 87 year-old historian explained the use of biochemical weapons by Al Qaeda: “the laws of jihad categorically preclude wanton and indiscriminate slaughter. The warriors in the holy war are urged not to harm noncombatants, women and children, ‘unless they attack you first.’ Even such questions as missile and chemical warfare are addressed, the first in relation to mangonels and catapults, the other to the use of poison-tipped arrows and poisoning enemy water supplies. Here the jurists differ– some permit, some restrict, some forbid these forms of warfare. A point on which they insist is the need for a clear declaration of war before beginning hostilities, and for proper warning before resuming hostilities after a truce. As Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman once said in the context of criticizing Sadat’s peace with Israel: “Believers govern according to God’s laws and do not change or replace a single letter or word of them.”

    In an essay “Islam and Terrorism,” Bilal Philips, a key religious mentor of GMU microbiology department graduate student Ali Al-Timimi, explained the principles of islamic jurisprudence of islamic warfare:

    “Islam opposes any form of indiscriminate violence. The Quran states: “Anyone who has killed another except in retaliation, it is as if he has killed the whole of humankind.” [Quran Surah #32 Verse #5] There are strict rules regulating how war may be conducted. Prophet Muhammad forbade the killing of women, children, and old people and the destruction of Churches and Synagogues or farms. Of course, if women, children or the elderly bear arms they may be killed in self-defense.”
    “Defending Islam and the Muslim community is a primary aspect of the physical jihad which involves taking up arms against an enemy. God states in the Quran “Permission to fight has been given to those who have been attacked because they are wronged. And indeed, Allah is Most Powerful.” [Quran Surah #22 Verse #39] and “Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress the limits. Indeed Allah does not love transgressors.” [Quran Surah #2 Verse #190].

    As Ali Al Timimi once explained: “Modern warfare did not exist during those times when they wrote those classical books of fiqh.” The old principles therefore must be relied upon to guide the issue in new times.

    Spokesman al-Kuwaiti was giving a plain warning in the Fall 2001 threat letter — not disclosed until 2006 — that the green light had been given for US -bio attack (1) from folks that were US-based, (2) above suspicion, and (3) with access to US and UK government and intelligence information. “The Truth about the New Crusade: A Ruling on the Killing of Women and Children of the Non-Believers,” Ramzi bin al-Shibh, argues that “the sanctity of women, children, and the elderly is not absolute” and concludes that “in killing Americans who are ordinarily off limits, Muslims should not exceed four million noncombatants, or render more than ten million of them homeless.” Spokesman Abu Ghaith used the same figure in June 2002 in arguing in favor of the moral right to use biological or chemical weapons.

    A book commemorating the September 11 “raid” was published by Majallat al-Ansar and consisted of four essays. It addresses the importance that any attack comply with the laws of Sharia. “Some people see fit to raise the issue of Islamic principles of warfare. They claim that the raid does not observe those principles and that Sharia errors occurred. Some ‘modern’ legal scholars see the raid as a violation of the Sharia.” The book continued: “Everyone knows that the groups in the traditionalist mujahid movement are more committed than anyone else to Sharia in their actions. After all, their actions can cost them their dearest possession after their faith — their souls.” While purporting not to want to get entangled in a discussion of the legal technicalities, the author then addressed at length why the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon was justified under the laws of sharia.

    Vince Cannistraro, a former chief of CIA counter-terrorist operations, discussed the requirement of warning under the laws of jihad on NPR in connection with the Al Qaeda audiotape by Bin Laden that aired shortly before the November 2004 election. In the case of anthrax, Ayman Zawahiri likely considers that the warning required under the laws of jihad has been given.

  13. DXer said

    Let’s consider how stupid Ed’s argument on Al Qaeda is.

    He writes:

    “From the very beginning, the facts seemed to say: It wasn’t al Qaeda! Prime among the facts were all the precautions that the terrorist took to do minimal harm. That by itself said: NOT al Qaeda!”

    To the contrary, the koran and hadiths specifically required that a warning be given. Ed did not know this because he did not do any research. He just reached his conclusion at the start. The CIA briefed local law enforcement on the modus operandi re poisons in letters but rather than address the issue, Ed turned to his argument that the US did in fact land on the moon.

    He continues:

    “In on-line arguments on UseNet newsgroups, I began presenting the evidence I had found. …For a long time after the anthrax attacks, the FBI was apparently in Camp Jingo, too.”

    Ed for 8 years never knew there was a third squad pursuing the theory that Zawahiri did not abandon his plan established by the documentary evidence to recruit specialists and use the cover of charities and universities to infiltrate Western biodefense. He still hasn’t acknowledged it and claims that there were two squads.

    “When the evidence that a domestic terrorist was most likely behind the anthrax mailings grew and grew, the few remaining members of Camp Jingo appeared to go into Sulking Mode, keeping their unaltered opinions to themselves – except for a few sporadic grumblings.”

    To the contrary, I’ve always argued that it was a domestic terrorist. All along I’ve pointed out that Attorney General Ashcroft explained that the term “domestic” did not speak to motivation — he explained that it included a highly educated US resident or citizen who supported the Salafist goals. See 2002 Cryptome essay summarizing argument.

    “Even the CDC added a bit of information that pointed away from al Qaeda. Tracking the mail contamination, they found the the letter to AMI was apparently sent to an old address for the National Equirer, an address in Lantana, FL. If al Qaeda members in Florida had sent the anthrax letter to the National Enquirer, surely they would have known that the National Enquirer moved from that old address over a year prior.”

    I’ve never argued that Al Qaeda members in Florida sent the anthrax. On a related point, his point fails to note that the CDC found that there were two letters with two different tracks to two different AMI publications.

    Ed continues:

    “And most convincing of all: Americans were in Afghanistan pounding the crap out of al Qaeda, yet there were no more anthrax attacks. America may even have killed the leader of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. That posed the question: Even if al Qaeda had for some unfathomable reason taken precautions to avoid harming people with the anthrax letters, would they also refrain from using that weapon when they were being wiped out all across the globe?”

    Why would it be unfathomable given the journal, scholarly and other explanation explaining the warning that the hadiths required in the use of poisons, and the care in targetting urged by folks like 911 imam Anwar Aulaqi? Ed is the one with the “boogie man” theory who has failed to walk in the shoes of an adversary to understand their motives and means of operating. Zawahiri has written entire books explaining motivation and Ed just makes up his own idea of what he believes — though he never actually even refers to Zawahiri, Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Vanguards of Conquest and instead his understanding of things is so incredibly superficial he refers to “Al Qaeda.”

    “If so, why did they obtain it in the first place? The al Qaeda theory began to seem just plain silly.”

    He asks why did they obtain anthrax in the first place. Why would he ask this when this was explained to him by the EIJ shura members and by the blind sheik’s lawyer? See my 2002 Cryptome piece explaining that the CIA database FBIS had ample examples of articles showing that it was publicly announced that Ayman Zawahiri planned to use anthrax in retaliation for the rendering and mistreatment of senior movement leaders. At the time, in fact, Ayman’s brother had just been rendered from the UAE and taken to Cairo.

    Then Ed continues:

    “What was most puzzling about that The New York Times article was this sentence: “If the hijackers did have anthrax, they would probably have needed an accomplice to mail the tainted letters, bioterrorism experts knowledgeable about the case said.”

    ‘They would probably have needed an accomplice’?! If you have been DEAD for a week and your body is splattered all over the countryside, is it just a “probability” that you need help to mail some letters? And is it still just a “probability” that you’d also need help a month later to mail a second batch of letters!?”

    Query: Why is Ed talking about the dead hijackers rather than, for example, the numerous Al Qaeda, footloose and fancy free in September and October 2001? Because his straw man Al Qaeda analysis is framed by some article from years ago. His level of understanding is so superficial that he doesn’t not know the names of the Al Qaeda operatives travelling to and fro in September and October 2001. One would google his website in vain to find any informed discussion of Jdey who had been part of the planes operation until he withdrew to take part in a planned second wave and then disappeared in September and October 2001. You’ll find no meaningful discussion of people like Aafia or even mention that she says she was tasked to study germ weapons.

    Ed argues:

    “All the “new” evidence that al Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks pertained to people who died on September 11th! ”

    Oh, really? Where does Ed address the relevant evidence at all? Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer says he is an anthrax weapons suspect. Where does Ed address the facts relating to Al-Timimi?

    Ed needs to latch onto the hijackers because he cannot mount any sort of analysis about Al-Timimi or others because he is so uninformed. He is a True Believer. Block letters. First Grader. He knows it when he see it. Those aren’t really her boobies. He once served a purpose. He would post articles and maintain the Hatfill docket. His First Grader theory provided comic relief while he did the thankless grunt work. But it’s time to stop suffering fools gladly. And to send Ed back to his dirty magazines and pornographic websites.

    Then Ed continues:

    “Of all the complaints that people have had about the FBI since September 11, one I’ve never heard is that the FBI has been lax in tracking down everyone associated with the 9-11 terrorists. We know all the terrorists names – even the one who failed to show up for his flight. We know where they lived, where they visited, where they went to flight school, who rented them their apartments, where they had drinks, what they drank, how they paid their bills, who they talked with, where they had arguments, where they went for medical help. We’ve seen photographs of every one of them, plus video tapes of them going through airports. Nearly two thousand people are reportedly still behind bars because of their possible associations to the 9-11 terrorists. But in all this we have seen absolutely nothing of this supposed “accomplice” from the anthrax attacks.”

    Have you noticed that even 8 years later, his only Al Qaeda analysis relates to hijackers? An argument I’ve never made? That’s because has no credible argument.

    “So, what do we know about this “accomplice” other than that he has apparently never been seen in any photograph and that he has never been associated with the dead al Qaeda members?”

    Ed simply knows nothing about the Al Qaeda operatives going to and fro in the US because he has remained willfully ignorant.

    The leg lesion points to the presence of virulent anthrax in Afghanistan which is where the fellow had just come from. The presence of that virulent anthrax has now been confirmed by numerous sources and credited by the WMD Commission which focused on the issue.

    But this merely brings us back to the planning by Ayman Zawahiri evidenced by the documentary evidence in 1999. Why can’t Ed bring himself to try to debunk, for example, Ali Al-Timimi’s presence in the suite with the leading anthrax weapons expert and former deputy USAMRIID Commander, who co-invented the process used to concentrate anthrax using silica in the culture medium. See FoxNews report explaining that the FBI had narrowed its focus to four suspects. Why can’t he bring himself to address this scientist who was coordinating with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s sheik? That is because he has no argument — just his True Believer confidence that a First Grader wrote the letters. Ed makes no argument addressed to the merits because he has no argument to make.

    BugMaster even makes less of an argument.

    Ed himself agrees that the forensic evidence points to a silica-based substance in the culture medium. He tries to ignore the Herridge’s FoxNews story because it doesn’t fit with his First Grader theory.

    “Did some member of Camp Jingo at Johns Hopkins simply fail to check his dates? Or was he or she totally out of touch with virtually every aspect of the anthrax mailing case?”

    Well, the John Hopkins scientist, Dr. Henderson, now sits on the NAS panel and was key in ridding smallpox from the world. I think he knows a little more about the anthrax case than the guy focused on an imaginary First Grader.

    “Why not just say, All those September 11 guys were DEAD at the time of the anthrax mailings! It couldn’t have been them!”

    Um, for someone who posts each and every week for the past 8 years, it seems that Ed would have updated his argument if he had anything relevant to say that didn’t involve your usual schtick about the moon landing etc.

    “If the fact that they were all dead is viewed as “proof” that there must have been an unidentified associate, then we are in the area where anything can be proven by the lack of evidence. In this area, the less evidence there is, the more “proof” there is that there is a cover-up or a conspiracy to hide the evidence or laziness on the part of government agents for failing to look in the right places for evidence. This is the area of flying saucers, faked moon landings, second gunmen on grassy knolls and Elvis sightings. Normally it’s the territory of Camp Conspiracy, but Camp Jingo seems to be in the same general vicinity.

    Whenever you enter that territory you are immediately confronted with the three tenets of cognitive rigidity:
    1. If you cannot prove I’m wrong, then I must be right.
    2. If you won’t even try to prove me wrong, then you are close-minded.
    3. If you refuse to argue further with me, then I win.”

    No, that’s Ed’s approach. His approach is not address the merits because he is not sufficiently informed to do so. He is not an analyst. An analyst addresses the various theories — not straw men arguments. Ed has never demonstrated an ability to address the argument that Zawahiri succeeded in his plan to infiltrate western biodefense by using the cover of charities and universities.

    All Ed has is a schtick and some labels. Whenever he ventures arguments on the merits, I address them. He argued that the FBI had found that only one isolate was genetically identical, I addressed it. etc. He’s been wrong on each major scientific issue — and relentlessly pontificated on the subject for months or years depending on the issue.

    And so, BugMaster, when you refer to Ed and cite his usual schtick — while at the same time failing to address any of the merits of the means, motive, modus operandi and opportunity of the theory ventured — then your argument is as lame, conclusory and uninformed as his argument.

    And if BugMaster and Ed don’t know what the Third Squad has been doing for all these years, then they don’t know what Amerithrax has involved.

    • DXer said

      Ed writes:

      “Did some member of Camp Jingo at Johns Hopkins simply fail to check his dates? Or was he or she totally out of touch with virtually every aspect of the anthrax mailing case?”

      Oh, and the other author of the leg lesion memo was appointed by President Obama, a very smart guy, to head the biosecurity effort at the Homeland Security Department.

    • DXer said

      Much of Ed’s entire argument against what he calls an Al Qaeda theory addresses a memo written by two experts, Dr. Henderson and Dr. O’Toole.

      By way of background, one of the hijackers, Ahmed Al-Haznawi, went to the ER on June 25, 2001 with what now appears to have been cutaneous anthrax, according to Dr. Tsonas, the doctor who treated him, and other experts. “No one is dismissing this,” said CIA Director Tenet. That is, except Ed. Alhaznawi had just arrived in the country on June 8. He had traveled with Wail al Shehri from Dubai, United Arab Emirates via London-Gatwick, England to Miami, Florida. His exposure perhaps related to a camp he had been in Afghanistan. He said he got the blackened gash-like lesion when he bumped his leg on a suitcase two months earlier. Two months earlier he had been in camp near Kandahar (according to a videotape he later made serving as his last Will and Testament). His last will and testament is mixed in with the footage by the al-Qaeda’s Sahab Institute for Media Production that includes Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. There are some spiders that on rare occasions bite and cause such a blackened eschar (notably the Brown Recluse Spider found in some parts of the United States). I had the pleasure of making Dr. Nass’ acquaintance in 2002 at a time when she was considering the geographic distribution of such spiders.

      Dr. Tara O’Toole of the Biodefense Center at John Hopkins, now head of biosecurity at Homeland Security, concluded it was anthrax. The former head of that group, Dr. Henderson, and National Academy of Sciences anthrax science review panel member, explained: “The probability of someone this age having such an ulcer, if he’s not an addict and doesn’t have diabetes or something like that, is very low. It certainly makes one awfully suspicious.” The FBI says no anthrax was found where the hijackers were. (The FBI tested the crash sites where the planes came down and found no traces of anthrax). Although no doubt there are some other diseases that lead to similar sores, it is reasonable to credit that it was cutaneous anthrax considering all the circumstances, to include the finding by the 9/11 Commission that ” in 2001, Sufaat would spend several months attempting to cultivate anthrax for al Qaeda in a laboratory he set up near the Kandahar airport.” Now that Kandahar reportedly is where the extremely virulent anthrax was located, it makes it more likely that the John Hopkins people were correct that the lesion was cautions anthrax. Ed nowhere mentions or corrected his analysis to note that virulent anthrax was found at the location from where the fellow with the leg lesion had just come.

      At the time, CBS reported that “U.S. troops are said to have found another biological weapons research lab near Kandahar, one that that was eyeing anthrax.” But CBS and FBI spokesman further noted that “Those searches found extensive evidence that al-Qaida wanted to develop biological weapons, but came up with no evidence the terrorist group actually had anthrax or other deadly germs, they said.” Only years later did author Suskind claim that in fact there was extremely virulent anthrax at Kandahar. Thus, a factual predicate important to assessment of the John Hopkins report on the leg lesion needed to be reevaluated after Hambali’s interrogation in Jordan but Ed never corrected his argument. The WMD Commission was quite plainly talking about anthrax when it referred to “Agent X.”

    • DXer said

      Ed, to this day, does not know what the Third squad’s mission or function even though it was fully one-half of the investigative effort.

      In July 2006, the issue of did come out in Ed’s comments in passing. He writes:

      The term “compartmentalization” actually comes up when Tom Connolly deposed Inspector Richard L. Lambert, who was and still is in direct charge of the Amerithrax investigation.
      Lambert: … the Director did order actions to be taken to stop the leaks.
      Connolly: And those are investigative actions; correct —
      Lambert: No.
      Connolly: To try to uncover them?
      Lambert: No, no, no, no, no, no. He actually directed that we take measures in terms of dissemination and the flow of information among agents on the three squads to basically compartmentalize the various facets of the investigation that were occuring.
      Connolly: And that’s because people understood that these leaks, there was a substantial chance it was coming from the FBI officials themselves; correct?
      Lambert: That was certainly recognized as a possibility; that, yes, it was coming from the task force.

      He writes:

      “The mission or function of the “third squad” is never given.”

      He never revises his analysis to reflect his ignorance and then for the next three years just prentends that fully-one half of the investigative effort does not exist. Out of sight, out of mind.

      The third squad resulted from the compartmentalization. The investigative squad was split in two so that the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. Agent Lambert explained that he formally objected that this would prevent agents from “connecting the dots.”

      Agent Lambert was correct.

      Lambert wrote a memo protesting that policy – which is known as stove piping – where different teams of investigators are not allowed to exchange information. Lambert’s memo says that “… would inhibit our ability to ‘connect the dots’ just as it had in the lead up to 9/11.”

      “In light of 9/11, I felt very strongly about that point. I expressed my opinion to the director. He said, ‘I still want you to compartmentalize the case,’ and that’s exactly what I did,” Lambert testified.

      But what the stove piping really did, says Sen. Grassley, was undercut the anthrax investigation. “If you got these three teams working to solve the same problem, and they can’t talk to each other, they aren’t going to be able to do their job,” he argues.

      BugMaster says she first learned of the third squad a few months ago even though it has been public for years. Thus, her conclusory assertions, unaccompanied by any analysis, are deserving of no weight because she just isn’t paying attention. She too does not know what the Third Squad worked on.

  14. DXer said

    NEFA links the audio to Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri recent “The Idol of National Unity,” produced by Al-Qaida’s As-Sahab Media Foundation of Al-Qaida.

    Dr. al-Zawahiri drew attention to the plight of mujahideen prisoners being held in the United States: “We ask from Allah to help us to take revenge from everyone who participated in torturing the Muslims and to help us work on liberating them and attack those who imprisoned them, and we have not and will not forget them, Allah-willing. We will not forget Omar Abdel Rahman, Ramzi Yousef and his companions, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and his companions, or our prisoners in Egypt, the Islamic Maghreb, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere, with the help and power of Allah. We will not forget them and we call upon every Muslim to not forget them.”

    The extradition of Egyptian islamists has been one motive for Zawahiri’s crimes over the past quarter-century. In 1993, Abdel Sattar was 33. The US Post Office employee was a member of the board at Abu Bakr mosque in Brooklyn. He was already a close associate of Abdel-Rahman. In talking to a Washington Post

    The United States State Department, on its webpage, explains that the Egyptian Islamic Jihad “[h]as threatened to retaliate against the United States for its incarceration of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman and, more recently, for the arrests of its members in Albania, Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom.” As one informant would later testify, Al Qaeda leadership, then in Khartoum, Sudan, found the blind sheikh’s arrest “very sad and.. very bad.” They concluded they had “to do something.. They talk about what we have to do against America.”

    Blind sheik Abdel-Rahman spoke to Mary Anne Weaver, author of the seminal A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant Islam in the mid-1990s. Abdel-Rahman first went to Peshawar in 1985. He left from Peshawar for a trip into Afghanistan after being released after three years in an Egyptian prison after Sadat’s assassination. He settled into the back seat of the U.S.-supplied camouflaged truck shortly after prayers, helped into a flak jacket by his friend, Afghan resistance leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar was receiving half of the CIA’s financial support even though he was one of the most anti-US leaders in the resistance against Soviet occupation. Mary Anne Weaver wrote in The Atlantic Monthly in 1996: “They had much in common: both were exceedingly charismatic religious populists; both had committed their lives to jihad, or Islamic holy war; both were fiery orators. They were both given to elliptical, colorful turns of phrase, and their shared message was clear: the imperative to overthrow a secular government — whether in Afghanistan or Egypt — and establish an Islamic state.” Weaver recounts that joining them in the truck was Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin. The 60 CIA and special forces officers in Peshawar considered Abdel-Rahman an asset. In preaching jihad, Abdel-Rahman travelled to Islamic centers in Germany, England, Turkey, and the United States.

    Weaver explained that Sheikh Omar’s closest friend in Peshawar was Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a highly respected Palestinian. He was killed by a car bomb in 1989. Azzam established the Service Office, which he led until November of 1989, which like its sister office at the Alkifah Refugee Center, on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue, recruited Arab volunteers. Islambouli headed the office after Azzam’s death. Mohammed Islambouli had been a student of Sheikh Omar’s at the Upper Egyptian University of Asyut. WTC 1993 prosecutor McCarthy explained in a 2008 book: “In Peshawar, both in 1985 and several times thereafter, Abdel Rahman would enjoy the august company of his former student Mohammed Shawky al-Islambouli, a fixture there. A rising jihadist star in his own right, Shawky’s prominence owed much to his mythogenic brother…”

    By the time Weaver wrote her article for the Atlantic Monthly, Mohammed Islambouli had joined a cell with KSM in planning the aircraft and other attacks on the US and was with him in Doha, Qatar.

    In December 1995, the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad was attacked by a devastating car bomb following threats from militant Egyptian Islamist groups who demanded that the government of Pakistan stop extraditing their members who had stayed in Peshawar when the war came to an end. The groups also demanded that the United States release Sheikh Abdel-Rahman who had been imprisoned in connection with a plot to blow up New York City landmarks.

    In a booklet written by al Zawahiri, distributed among his colleagues in Pakistan and Afghanistan, al Zawahiri discussed the reasons that led to Egyptian Islamic Jihad to blow up the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad. He criticized all branches of the Egyptian government from the Minister of Information, to the army and police forces, the justice system, the public prosecutor’s office, and the religious scholars. But his harshest criticism was directed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was responsible for pursuing jihad members abroad and kidnapping and extraditing them. In September 2000, in an interview with an Arabic-language television station, Usama Bin Laden called for a “jihad” to release the “brothers” in jail “everywhere.” In the book he wrote at the time of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, he explained that the reason for the attack on the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan in 1995 was because Egypt had been extraditing fundamentalists from Pakistan. When surveillance of the US embassy showed that it was perhaps too difficult a target, the Egyptian embassy was targeted as a symbol. Zawahiri wrote in the Fall 2001 that : “It left the embassy ruined as an eloquent and clear message.”

    An FBI 302 memo dated December 30, 1996 relating to intelligence gathered from the jailed WTC 1993 plotter Ramzi Yousef reflected the same warning of a hijack-of-an-aircraft-to-free-the-blind sheik plot.

    Bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war on the United States complained of the arrests of Sheik al-Hawali, Ali Al-Timimi’s religious mentor at University, and another colleague. In an interview, Bin Laden conducted with CNN’s Peter Arnett in 1997, Bin Laden told Arnett: “When the Saudi government transgressed in oppressing all voices of the scholars and the voices of those who call for Islam. I found myself forced, especially after the government prevented Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali and some other scholars, to carry out a small part of my duty of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.” The views of these two sheiks were promoted by the US-based charity, Islamic Assembly of North America (“IANA”).

    In a public relations debacle for the islamists, on or about November 17, 1997, six terrorists shot and stabbed a group of tourists visiting an archaeological site in Luxor, Egypt. Fifty-eight tourists were killed along with four Egyptians. The terrorists left leaflets explaining their support for the Islamic Group and calling for the blind sheik’s release. The people, oh men of Allah, rise up from your deep slumber. .. Rise up and see justice done,” the sheik wrote in a letter smuggled out of prison.

    Zawahiri gave the same motivation for the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. In 1998, the “Information Office of the Jihad Group in Egypt” issued a statement — a copy of which was received by Al-Hayat — entitled “About the extradition of three of our brothers.” It said that “the US government, in coordination with the Egyptian government, arrested three of our brothers in some East European states.” The statement said: “The accusation leveled at our three brothers was participation in a group declaring jihad against the United States and Israel and their trade, and cooperation with the mujahidin in Kosovo outside US influence.” It continued: “We are interested in briefly telling the Americans that their message has been received and that the response, which we hope they will read carefully, is being [prepared], because we — with God’s help — will write it in the language that they understand.” Three days later, 220 people at the embassies, mostly Africans, were killed. Zawahiri deemed many were working on intelligence matters against islamists in the region. In response to a retaliatory cruise missile strike after the embassy bombings, Zawahiri told a Pakistan journalist by satellite phone that “The war has only just begun.” The phone had been bought by a charity worker in Colombia, Missouri who later lived with the father of the leader of the Virginia Paintball defendants.

    In the Spring and Fall of 1999, the Blind Sheik’s assistant, Post Office employee Sattar, was in telephone communication with Deputy Military Commander Mustafa Hamza, the blind sheik’s successor Taha, Yassir al-Sirri, and al-Zayat. They spoke on conference calls about the blind sheikh’s withdrawal of his support for the cease fire. Although suspecting his phone was wiretapped, Sattar continued to talk vaguely in code about these issues with these people, all of whom were closely connected to al-Zawahiri. This was the period Zawahiri moved forward his anthrax planning and there was a public dialogue between Bin Laden and a London cleric’s call for a holy biowar.

    On September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised an interview with Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri, and Islamic leader Abu Yasser (of the Islamic Group and Al Qaeda), and Mohammed Abdel Rahman (the blind sheik’s son), during which they pledged jihad to free Abdel Rahman. They urged that his followers avenge the “insult” paid him by his imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder. Bin Laden vowed “to work with all our power to free our brother, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and all our prisoners in America, Egypt, and Riyadh. Bin Laden told his followers to remember Nosair, the man who assassinated Rabbi Kahane. In an audio overlay, Mohammed was heard saying “avenge your sheik” and “go to the spilling of blood.” He shared a podium the conferences sponsored by the Ann Arbor IANA charity with IANA speaker Ali Al-Timimi more than once.

    When Abdel-Rahman visited Peshawar in the late 1980s and early 1990s Abdel-Rahman stayed in a large house outside of Peshawar with Mohammed Islambouli and Zawahiri. Al-Timimi would speak alongside Abdel-Rahman’s son at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1996. Alarm bells should have gone off when Al-Timimi in the late 1990s first started walking down the hallways with famed Russian bioweaponeer and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey. There is no indication that they did. But is only the outside commentators, not the Amerithrax Third Squad, that is clueless on this score. The issue is why they went along with Ed Montooth, Mr. Persichini, and US Attorney Jeff Taylor. Special Agent Seely Booth would have made things happen even while being a pragmatist working within the FBI bureaucracy.

    The Cole bombing, reportedly masterminded by Khalid Mohammed, was also motivated at least in part to free the blind sheik. One government affidavit in the prosecution of the Blind Sheik’s attorney, Lynne Stewart, for violating prison regulations, explained: “YOUSRY told SHEIKH ABDEL RAHMAN that “some people spoke to [SATTAR] on the phone and said that they did this operation for Omar Abdel Rahman so he could be released from prison and they asked SATTAR to do some negotiations with the American government and tell them ‘if [Rahman is] not released we’ll execute another operation. SHEIKH ABDEL RAHMAN responded that SATTAR had to take himself out of this and that a lawyer should handle any negotiations.”

    Zawahiri wrote in Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet published at the time of the second anthrax mailing that he agreed with the supporter of the “blind sheik” who said: “the Egyptian Government is guilty of a major shortcoming by not intervening to safeguard the shaykh, guarantee his humanitarian rights inside the US jail, and find a solution to his case because, in the final count, he is an Egyptian national, a Muslim scholar, and a professor at Al-Azhar university. Finally he is a blind and sick old man. His continued detention and the inhuman way in which he is treated will continue to be a source of tension on all levels.

    The ruling shura (council) of Egyptian Islamic Jihad in the mid-1990s had 14 members, including three in London. Two of those three, Adel Abdel Bari and Ibrahim Eidarous, at the time of the anthrax mailings, were the ones who had announced that the 1998 embassy bombings were in retaliation for the detention of the blind sheik and Sheik al-Hawali. They were in Belmarsh prison fighting extradition to the United States for alleged involvement in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Ahmed and Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, two of the Egyptian sheikh’s 13 children, were named as co-conspirators in the September 11 attacks.

    In late May 2000, Post Office employee Sattar had telephone conversations with Islamic Group leaders in which he explained that Abdel Rahman (1) did not object to a return to “work” (terrorist operations); (2) agreed that the IG should escalate the issues in the media; (3) advised the IG to avoid division within the IG’s leadership; and (4) instructed the IG to hint at military operation even if the group was not ready for military action.

    On October 4, 2000, US Postal employee Sattar called the Vanguards of Conquest publicist in London, Al-Sirri, and read to him a fatwa to be issued under Abdel Rahman’s name entitled, “Fatwah the Killing of Israelis Everywhere,” which Al-Sirri agreed to distribute. The next day, the fatwa appeared on a web-site operated by Al-Sirri. The fatwa called on “brother scholars everywhere in the Muslim world to do their part and issue a unanimous fatwa that urges the Muslim world to do their part and issue a unanimous fatwah that urges the Muslim nation to fight the Jews, and to kill them wherever they are.” The fatwa urged “the Muslim nation” to “fight the Jews by all possible means of jihad, either by killing them as individuals or by targeting their interests, and the interests of whose who support them, as much as they can.”

    On or about November 21, 2000, Al Jazeera featured a meeting of Bin Laden, Zawahiri and Taha under a banner that read “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman. The three pleaded “jihad to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. Mohammed Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik’s son, was heard urging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.” But the blind sheik’s plight was also of concern to alleged Al Qaeda operatives in the US.

    Members of an alleged Detroit, Michigan terror cell had an angry conversation in June 2001 about Abdel Rahman’s imprisonment. Similarly, the Government’s Indictment of the Buffalo defendants explained that one of the reasons motivating the terrorists actions was that “al Qaeda opposed the United States Government because of the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of persons belonging to Al Qaeda or its affiliated terrorist groups or those with whom it worked.”

    In July 2001, Attorney Lynne Stewart visited Abdel Rahman and prior to the visit she signed and faxed to the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York an affirmation by which she agreed to abide by the terms of the administrative restrictions on communication. Lynne Stewart had been appointed by the Court in 1995 along with former Attorney Ramsey Clarke, to represent the Blind Sheik. In the Summer of 2001, Patrick Fitzgerald wanted to impress upon her the seriousness of the obligation. Her next visit was recorded on videotape without her knowledge. She was found to have brought a message to Abdel Rahman from his son, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, which urged Abdel Rahman to continue to support an end to the cease-fire. The blind sheikh’s son, Muhammed (aka Assadullah) was reportedly on a three-member WMD Committee, along with Midhat Mursi (aka Abu Khabab) and Abu Bashir al-Yemeni. He ran a camp at the Darunta complex, as did Midhat Mursi. (Stewart was indicted in 2002 for alleging she violated prison administrative regulations by helping the Blind Sheik communicate his abandonment of support for the cease fire.) Stewart was the colleague of Stanley Cohen, who represented Hamas leaders such as Marzook, as well as the leading defendant in Virginia Paintball case. Lynne Stewart also had worked on behalf of the blind sheik with Nubani, who arranged the pro bono assets for the Virginia Paintball defendants. The daughter of the lead Amerithrax prosecutor came to work pro bono for Al-Timimi.

    Stewart also secretly brought to Abdel Rahman correspondence and messages from other individuals. During this visit, Stewart told Abdel Rahman that Sattar had been told that the U.S.S. Cole had been bombed on Abdel Rahman’s behalf and that translator Yousry had been asked to communicate the United States Government that other things would follow if it did not free Abdel Rahman. Abdel Rahman said that negotiations should go through an attorney. While Yousry was informing Abdel Rahman about these things, attorney Stewart actively concealed the conversations from the prison guards by, for example, tapping a water bottle on the table while noting that she was “just doing covering noises.” Attorney Stewart, Sattar, and a co-defendant were convicted in February 2005.

    IANA writer Kamal Habib, the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, was in charge of the “National Campaign to Release Detainees.” It perhaps was inevitable that the Ann Arbor charity IANA, for which he was a key writer, would be caught in the crossfire just as was Abdel-Rahman’s attorney Lynne Stewart.

    As a source, the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the U.S.” mentions “a senior EIJ member” living in California. The reference is to former US sergeant Ali Mohammed, Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence. The references in the PDB to the threat of aircraft hijacking in an attempt to free blind sheik Abdel-Rahman were perhaps underscored a month later when, the week before 9/11, the Taliban government offered to exchange eight Christian missionaries in exchange for Sheik Abdel-Rahman. Whether viewed as blackmail or retaliation, the detention of the blind sheikh and numerous other detainees in custody prior to 9/11 figured as an important part of the motive for the of all the terrorist attacks by the Salafist-Jihadis for years leading up to the anthrax mailings.

    In April 2005, Moussaoui confessed to a plot to fly a 747 into the White House if the United States government refused to free the blind sheikh. The original head of Amerithrax had been lambasted for not moving on the early leads relating to Moussaoui in August 2001. He surely likely was not enthused about the prospect of anthrax spores leading to the scientist sharing a suite with anthrax bioweaponeers who was discussing helping Moussaoui’s defense with Bin Laden’s sheik and who was coordinating with the 911 imam.

    Bin Laden had considered hijacking a plane in an attempt to flee the blind sheikh but determined it was impractical.

    In testing a theory that a supporter of the Salafist-Jihadis mailed the anthrax, concern for detention of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman should be a major factor.

    It’s time that people at the FBI and US DOJ resign, be fired, or do the job that taxpayers pay them to do.

    • BugMaster said


      Ed has a link to an excellent WSJ article on his website today.

      I suggest you take a look.

      • DXer said

        Ed, like you, is unable to address the merits. Because he, like you, don’t know the merits of alternative theories and thus are not in a position to debunk them.

        And so he cuts and pastes his usual schtick about moon landing hoax etc. (It gives you some idea of his correspondents). Every week for 8 years it’s been the same schtick. It is his theory that is the stupid theory. His theory is that a First Grader wrote the letters. I researched his theory it is 99% certain that a First Grader wrote the letter and show through documentary evidence showed his premise is wrong — that the day care had not started yet — but he does not alter his view. I gave him emails with personal knowledge and he never wrote. I explained he was wrong in thinking that there was 1 identical isolate and yet he does not waver in his view for six months — and then it did not factor into his false certainty. He is a true believer, who when he is not posting his nude photos of real people without their permission takes time out to totally butcher the science in a matter in which there is a substantial public interest. He does that because he couldn’t get a screen play published and no one was reading what he wrote and this was a way of overcoming that.

        You take refuge in rumors he garbles because you mistakenly think it supports the false accusation you made to the FBI against an employee of your company’s rival. Well, the reason you can’t address the merits is because none support your claim. You clearly know nothing about true crime analysis as is illustrated by your thinking that an Agent was a Special Agent upon special training, or that a prosecutor was bound at trial by what was presented to the grand jury.

        My theory is that Zawahiri continued to carry out the plan detailed in the documents — to recruit specialists associated with charities and universities. Why would you think Zawahiri would abandon his plan?

        You cannot address that because you have never read on the subject. You don’t even read the internet posts and could not begin to refute or show the substance to be mistaken. Ed similarly has never dared because he doesn’t have the wattage — has never even been to the library. You never came to understand that the individual you accuse had neither the means, motive, modus operandi and opportunity. Ed did the same thing — and an interview of the fellow in 2002 quickly disproved the crock claims Ed was making and continued to make for the next half decade. Whereas I stand to address the means, motive, modus operandi and opportunity of Ayman Zawahiri to carry out his plan to use anthrax to attack US targets in retaliation for the rendering of various detainees, to include the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Again, you do not address the merits because you don’t know the merits.

        BugMaster, you didn’t even know that there was a Third Squad — you certainly don’t know anything about the merits of their mission.

        Let’s consider the merits of Ed’s only argument I recall as to my theory on the merits over 8 years. He argues the hijackers were all “dead, dead, dead.” Yet, not only have I never posited any role for the hijackers, Jdey was part of the planes operation until he withdrew. He worked with Hambali who worked with Sufaat w/r/t to anthrax. He was pulled back to participate in a second wave and then went missing at the time of the mailings. While the Battelle employee who was the subject of your accusation has an alibi, has no motive, had no means and had no opportunity (as is true of Ivins), the same is not true of Jdey. While Jdey is former intelligence analyst Dillon’s candidate as the mailer, not mine, it is an example of how neither you nor Ed are able to address the merits. Having unqualified post is what drags down the internet. So he posts his usual schtick and labels– and you avoid addressing the merits because you don’t know them. You are not a PhD and yet expect your pronouncements are coming from a PhD.

        So you latch on to the guy arguing a First Grader is responsible because he garbles in a rumor that you think offers some sort of hope for your baseless accusation. It sort of shows the prospects of your theory, eh? When the best in analysis you can do for a year and a half is “we shall see.”

        If ever you want to address the merits, Bugmaster, by all means, instead of gaining your learning from a pornographer’s webpage more accustomed to debating with horny 13 year-olds, do so. It’s been two years and the reason you don’t address the merits is because what you are saying is not true, and you therefore would be subject to libel. That is why you hide your identity. It absolves you of any responsiblity for being right. The 12″ outside your window is about high the snow needs to be piled under your theory. Whereas I dare you to find anything I’ve ever said that was not true. Unlike you, anyone who thinks otherwise knows where to find me.

        • BugMaster said

          “You take refuge in rumors he garbles because you mistakenly think it supports the false accusation you made to the FBI against an employee of your company’s rival.”

          Clearly you have mistaken me for someone else.

          The rumours Ed heard regarding an indictment being issued against someone for making false statements would by themselves be dismissed as just rumours.

          There is more than just the rumours, however.

          What it all means I can’t say for sure. But it appears we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

          Incidentally, if the FBI does in fact close the case with the conclusion that Ivins was responsible and acted alone, I would accept their conclusions.

          They have had 15 months since Ivin’s suicide to be sure.

          I expect what they are sure of will be disclosed after the first of the year.

          I doubt it will have anything to do with Al Qaeda, however.

        • DXer said

          “There is more than just the rumours, however.
          What it all means I can’t say for sure. But it appears we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.”

          So BugMaster’s response to Ed’s rumors is to add one of her own.

          Let’s stick to some facts, BugMaster. When did you first learn that there were three squads, not two? And what do you think the Third Squad was doing?

        • DXer said

          In the responses to Mrs. Ivins’ lawsuit, it is called AMX3, I believe.

        • DXer said

          Who was the contender of the Bioport contact in August 2001? Now an employee of that company, unlike Battelle, would make a sensible candidate.

        • DXer said

          A major vaccine manufacturer was in the running when Bioport’s contract came to be in serious jeopardy in August 2001. Employees of that company were more viable candidates, given the proximity to the mailing location, than any Battelle employee.

        • BugMaster said

          The first I heard of so called AMX3 was on this board, reading one of your posts. I think it was several months ago. As far as what the third squad was doing (or even if they existed) is a good question.

          But now that you mention it, there is some evidence suggesting that a “third squad” was active, and continued to be so after Ivin’s suicide.

          As far as another “contendor” for the Bioport contract? Bioport is the only FDA approved manufacturer of its vaccine. I am not sure what you mean here.

        • BugMaster said

          Bioport’s “serious jeopardy” in August 2001 was due to potency issues encountered once they made changes to and modernized their production process (a very common problem in this industry).

          If the contract had been given to another organization, they would have not only had to produce the vaccine, they would have to produce it in a different facility, and therefore would have encountered the same or other problems.

          As far as another player interested in producing this vaccine? I doubt anyone else would want it, when you take into account the reports of side effected and the potential liabilities that could result.

          There isn’t that much money in the vaccine business when it comes down to the bottom line.

        • DXer said

          So Bugmaster, I have addressed at length the means, modus operandi, motive and opportunity of the anthrax mailings.

          You dismiss the theory that Ayman Zawahiri carried out the plan he detailed in his 1999 correspondence about infiltration of western biodefense and recruiting specialists working under the cover of universities and charities.

          Pick any issue: means, modus operandi, motive and opportunity. Then within that category, pick any sub-topic.

          Then find any thing that I’ve argued that is factually incorrect. And then we can compare authority or factual basis.

          Let’s deal with facts and not one pornographer’s obsession with First Graders.

          Ed doesn’t because he can’t find anything I’ve ever said that is incorrect.

          Whereas on any major, material issue presented, I can show that he not only was wrong, but it was a central issue and he was the only one wrong (out of 300 million or whatever people in the country). You yourself patiently tried to explain the 1 versus 8 isolate issue to him for months. (I don’t know of a single other person who was wrong on the issue).

          So he is left to say that the US did land on the moon as if that matters or provides meaningful insight.

          On the issue of conspiracy, if you look at US DOJ complaints, including any of the dozens I have cited over the years, notice that they commonly state conspiracies (because people often act pursuant to an agreement with others that involve at least one overt act on behalf of each individual).

          As for an Ivins theory, you can’t point to any additional investigation the FBI has done that points to Ivins guilt. As Paul Kemp has explained, the searches after his death turned up no evidence implicating him and he in fact has an alibi.

        • BugMaster said

          “As for an Ivins theory, you can’t point to any additional investigation the FBI has done that points to Ivins guilt. As Paul Kemp has explained, the searches after his death turned up no evidence implicating him and he in fact has an alibi.”

          You are correct, I don’t know of any additional investigation pointing to Ivin’s guilt. I personally believe he had nothing (knowingly)to do with it.

          I am also aware that what I believe could be wrong.

        • DXer said

          “Meanwhile, several pharmaceutical companies, including Merck & Co., have indicated an interest in manufacturing the vaccine for the Defense Department.”
          Source: “Now, senator heeded about vaccine,” St. Petersburg Times, October 10, 2001

          BugMaster, where is Merck’s vaccine manufacturing facility located?(the one which would have been used to produce the anthrax vaccine if it had been successful in winning the contract)

          Would you agree an employee located at that facility would be a better candidate at the time of the mailing (as to means and opportunity) than an employee of Bioport, located in Michigan, or an employee of Battelle, located at West Jefferson, Ohio? And would have a motive given that the contract in fact was in play because of Bioport’s poor performance?

  15. DXer said

    Former FBI Contract Linguist Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified Information to Blogger

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A former FBI contract linguist pleaded guilty today to unlawfully providing classified documents to the host of an Internet blog who then published information derived from those documents on the blog.

    The guilty plea was announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland; and Richard A. McFeely, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office.

    Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, aka Samuel Shamai Leibowitz, 39, of Silver Spring, Md., pleaded guilty in federal court in Greenbelt, Md., to a one-count information charging him with knowingly and willfully disclosing to an unauthorized person five FBI documents classified at the “secret” level that contained classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States.

    Under the plea agreement, the government and Leibowitz have agreed that a term of 20 months in prison is the appropriate sentence in this case. The court may accept or reject the plea agreement between the government and Leibowitz. In addition, the court retains discretion to impose any lawful term of supervised release or fine, and to set any lawful conditions of supervised release.

    “The willful disclosure of classified information to those not entitled to receive it is a serious crime,” said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “Today’s guilty plea should serve as a warning to anyone in government who would consider compromising our nation’s secrets.”

    “Government employees who are given access to classified information are prohibited from disclosing the information without permission,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

    “As a trusted member of the FBI ranks, Leibowitz abused the trust of the FBI and the American public by using his access to classified information for his own purposes,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely.

    According to the plea agreement, from January 2009 through August 2009, Leibowitz was employed by the FBI as a contract linguist in an office in Calverton, Md. As part of his official duties, Leibowitz held a top secret security clearance and had lawful access to classified documents and information relating to the communication intelligence activities of the United States.

    In April 2009, according to the plea agreement, Leibowitz knowingly and willfully caused five documents that were classified at the secret level and which contained classified information relating to the communication intelligence activities of the United States, to be furnished to a person not entitled to receive such information.

    The recipient was the host of a public blog available to anyone with access to the Internet. The recipient then published on the blog information derived from the classified documents provided by Leibowitz.

    This investigation was conducted by the FBI Baltimore Field Office. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dunne, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, and Trial Attorney Kathleen M. Kedian, of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

    SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

  16. DXer said

    Why are grand jury proceedings secret?

    Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that the prosecutor, grand jurors, and the grand jury stenographer are prohibited from disclosing what happened before the grand jury, unless ordered to do so in a judicial proceeding. Secrecy was originally designed to protect the grand jurors from improper pressures. The modern justifications are to prevent the escape of people whose indictment may be contemplated, to ensure that the grand jury is free to deliberate without outside pressure, to prevent subornation of perjury or witness tampering prior to a subsequent trial, to encourage people with information about a crime to speak freely, and to protect the innocent accused from disclosure of the fact that he or she was under investigation.
    Why can a grand jury witness talk about his or her testimony?

    In the federal courts, the witness is not sworn to secrecy, and may disclose whatever he or she wishes to whomever he or she wishes. The witness exemption was adopted in part because it was thought that requiring witness secrecy was unrealistic and unenforceable, and in part to allow the witness to rebut rumors concerning his or her testimony. There is a basic revulsion in the United States about secret testimony.

    Are there any other exceptions to grand jury secrecy?

    At one time, the defendant in a criminal trial was never given access to the grand jury testimony that resulted in the indictment. By the 1980s, in most jurisdictions, if a witness who testified before the grand jury was called to testify at the eventual trial, the defendant was given a copy of that witness’s grand jury testimony to use for possible impeachment. Some jurisdictions also give the defendant a list of everyone who testified before the grand jury, and several give the defendant a full transcript of all relevant grand jury testimony. In the federal system, no such list is provided, and the grand jury transcripts of only those persons who testify on behalf of the prosecutor at trial are given to the defendant.

  17. DXer said

    A friend of mine, an Iranian, who had recently received his PhD from GMU’s Center for Biodefense, was going to seek funding to go to Afghanistan to learn more of the heroin producing labs along the southern border, on the thought that the same labs could be used to make anthrax. He did his PhD thesis on Al Qaeda and anthrax. and I posted excerpts at the time.

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration Of US Biodefense

  18. DXer said

    Anthrax found in dead addict
    (UKPA) – 36 minutes ago

    A heroin user who died in hospital has tested positive for anthrax.

    The patient, who has not been identified, died at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow on Wednesday.
    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said blood tests had shown the presence of the deadly bacteria.

    • DXer said

      The Lancet, Volume 356, Issue 9241, Pages 1574 – 1575, 4 November 2000

      Injectional anthrax in a heroin skin-popper

      Signe Holta Ringertz PhD a Corresponding AuthorEmail Address, Ernst Arne Høiby MD d, Mogens Jensenius MD b, Jan Mæhlen, Dominique A Caugant PhD e, Arne Myklebust MD c, Kåre Fossum PhD f


      Anthrax is rare in western Europe but may arise sporadically in people exposed to animal products from endemic areas. A heroin-injecting drug user presented with a severe soft-tissue infection at the injection site, septic shock, and meningitis. A gram-positive endospore-forming aerobic rod was isolated from the soft tissue and cerebrospinal fluid; confirmation of Bacillus anthracis was made by PCR. Since contaminated heroin was the probable source of infection, this case is of concern and warrants surveillance.

  19. DXer said

    Updated December 17, 2009
    White House Wades Into Terror Intel Dispute Between FBI, Homeland Security

    By Mike Levine


    DHS officials say information about on-going investigations should be shared broadly so local authorities can identify threats in their communities, but FBI officials say some of that information could compromise their investigations and ultimately sabotage anti-terrorism efforts.

    On Tuesday, Napolitano and Holder announced “major steps” to improve the sharing of threat information, but such new efforts may be undermined by the recent tensions, one U.S. official said.

    A White House official denied any “boiling point,” but acknowledged there was “an honest difference of view regarding what information needed to be shared broadly and publicly.”

    “This difference reflects what we consider to be a healthy tension between those who are racing against time to find the potential perpetrators — the (FBI) investigators — and those who want to button down potential targets — homeland security,” the White House official said. “The departments and agencies all worked with the White House to make the call.”

    A joint statement from the FBI, DHS and Justice Department said information sharing “at every level is key to preventing terrorism and crime, …

    One U.S. official, though, insisted there’s more to the story, suggesting the White House has prevented useful information from being disseminated to state and local law enforcement.

    “The White House has allowed the FBI to revert back to the mindset of the past,” the official said. “The FBI had been a tremendous partner (for DHS) up until right before the change of administrations.”

    On a Friday night, National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter joined Brennan, Mueller, Napolitano and Holder for a two-hour meeting, which turned into an “excited” back-and-forth over information sharing, officials familiar with the meeting said.

    Mueller was “angry” and “upset” over leaks to the media, while Napolitano expressed dismay that DHS was not more involved in the Zazi case, and she relayed concerns that only limited information was being offered to local authorities through joint FBI-DHS intelligence bulletins, according to the officials.

    “It was very clear that the FBI’s position was: The investigation is what’s important, and you can’t do anything to compromise the investigation … because it is only through these investigations that we can stop attacks,” one official said.

    Napolitano insisted “there are things that we can take out of threat streams, and even investigative information, that can be provided in such a way that it both protects an investigation and provides context to (local authorities),” according to the official.


    Among the disputes addressed at the White House was a squabble over the joint FBI-DHS intelligence bulletins that are distributed to more than 18,000 local law enforcement agencies, according to officials.


    According to the DHS official, the FBI has been “resistant” to disseminate even a “contextual statement” such as, “We seem to be concerned about the potential of attacks against mass transit systems in (which) the attackers will utilize explosives concealed in backpacks (and) produced using the following types of chemicals.”

    “They feel it would be too close to the specifics of an investigation,” the official said.

    An FBI official said there was no resistance to sending out information “that helps keep people safe,” and police chiefs in Denver, New York and New Jersey were regularly briefed about the case.

    A larger “problem,” the FBI official said, is that “within 10 minutes of those things going out, they’re in the media.”

    “Dissemination guarantees release to the public,” the FBI official said.

    In addition, according to officials on both sides of the debate, many in the FBI see little value in the joint bulletins as currently produced. One FBI official called them a “milk-toast” product and a “piece of paper that looks pretty.”

    It’s unclear what impact — if any — a dispute over bulletins and information-sharing could have on homeland security efforts.

    Asked whether local authorities are getting all the information they need to protect their citizens, one FBI official answered, “Yes,” then paused for five seconds and concluded, “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.”

    A DHS official similarly said, “I don’t know.”

    Ridge, meanwhile, gave a more direct assessment.

    “I don’t care whether you’re on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan, or in the battlefield of some city in the United States, having knowledge and information about a potential problem is absolutely critical … to making Americans more secure,” he said.

    In a statement released Tuesday with the “major steps” for improved information sharing, Napolitano said there is a “need for a more open, standardized approach.”

    A task force led by Napolitano and Holder recommended disseminating “sensitive but unclassified” information through a “single” framework, which Napolitano said would improve “engagement with our partners in state and local law enforcement as we work together to combat terrorism.”

    In addition, Napolitano and Holder announced the creation of new inter-agency offices to coordinate information sharing with state and local authorities.

    Holder said the new efforts “represent a significant milestone toward fully implementing information sharing reforms called for following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”

    In May, President Obama directed Holder and Napolitano to lead a 90-day review of how unclassified information is categorized and shared, so that “the handling and dissemination of information is not restricted unless there is a compelling need.”

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  20. DXer said

    Cleric linked to Fort Hood attack grew more radicalized in Yemen
    By Sudarsan Raghavan
    Thursday, December 10, 2009


    “Around September 2007, FBI agents interrogated him about the Sept. 11 attacks and other issues, Aulaqi told Begg. Although he wasn’t physically abused, Aulaqi said, a U.S. Embassy legal attache swore at him.”

    Comment: Darn it, Anwar, why can’t you just tell the truth about anthrax, Al-Hussayen, Al-Timimi, Al-Hawali and Sultan and Habib? Is deception a rational strategy when you aren’t fooling anyone? Ali told authorities all about you.

  21. DXer said


    The requestor asked for the EDX data and so it is not revealing that an EDX was done. See AFIP newsletter.

    But isn’t it sufficient that there is an ongoing law enforcement matter? The stated ground you address was an alternative grounds. Like the one that related to identifying personnel, it could simply be addressed by redaction.

    I have no problems with denial on the grounds of a pending law enforcement matter which is a sufficient alternative grounds. It is where USAMRIID does not comply with the FOIA requirement that the statutory exemption from production be stated — so that it be can be challenged if the requestor thinks he has a valid argument.

    There was massive silicon and oxygen detected under the AFIP data.

    But we should be nice to the hardworking FOIA folks because they know where the bodies and gold are buried.

    Coming soon –
    Dutch Schultz’s Treasure And His Secret Roadtrips:
    Historical Reader Containing FBI Records Produced Under FOIA, Court Records, and 1930s Newspaper Articles
    $14.95. 440 pages.

  22. Ike Solem said

    In resubmitting this appeal, the following scientific information should be included.

    There are several different methods of examining materials with x-rays for identification the elements within them. There are no “secret methods.”

    Furthermore, such capabilities are already identified on the AFIP web site, here’s an excerpt:

    A wide-range of laboratory techniques are available including:

    * Electrothermal graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry
    * Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry
    * Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
    * Mercury analysis by cold vapor fluorescence spectrometry
    * Differential scanning calorimetry
    * Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy
    * Confocal laser Raman microprobe with chemical mapping and imaging analysis
    * Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis

    What is energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis?

    The wiki entry is not bad:

    The x-ray is of high enough energy to strip electrons out of inner shells of the elements in the sample. Electrons from the outer electronic shells then jump into to replace the lost electrons, and this jump results in the emission of a photon, whose energy is characteristic of that element. More simply, you blast the sample with high energy x-rays and watch (from the side) to see what colors are given off; the ‘color’ can be used to identify the element.

    In any case, revealing which specific variant of x-ray elemental analysis – even revealing the machines and spectrometers used – would hardly result in damage to national security, anymore than telling people we use gamma-radiation detectors to detect nuclear materials:
    Romania’s border police received hand-held radiation scanners as well as two vans with neutron and gamma-ray detection devices capable of spotting highly enriched uranium and plutonium. The equipment is expected to be deployed at Romanian border crossings and locales throughout the nation.

    Finally, here is the actual press release put out by AFIP at the time, which I kept a copy of:

    Via Christoper Kelly, AFIP public affairs coordinator, Oct 31 2002, AFIP newsletter:

    “Ft Detrick sought our assistance to determine the specific components of the anthrax found in the Daschle letter,” said Florabel G. Mullick, MD, ScD, SES, AFIP Principal Deputy Director and department chair. AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica. “This was a key component,” Mullick said. “Silica prevents the anthrax from aggregating, making it easier to aerosolize. Significantly, we noted the absence of aluminum with the silica. This combination [bentonite] had previously been found in anthrax produced by Iraq.”

    Since AFIP already revealed the method used in their investigation, the denial of this FOIA seems to have no legal basis.

    As this FBI agent said:

    “Corruption is destroying the soul of US society, warns FBI agent”

    Ewen MacAskill in Washington, Wednesday 9 December 2009

    “One of the FBI’s top agents warned yesterday that corruption in the US was increasing and tearing at the fabric of society.”

    “Special agent John Gillies, who has led major anti-corruption drives during his 27-year career with the bureau, focused his words primarily on crooked financiers and unscrupulous officials.”

    The irony is not very amusing, I’m afraid. Biological warfare and bio-terrorism is no laughing matter – the more you know about it, the more sobering it becomes. The fact that biowarfare research has been allowed to flourish with few restrictions is itself an example of FBI-assisted corruption – in my opinion. It’s very clear that the focus on Hatfill was simply an effort to distract attention away from the more plausible culprits, for example. In particular, the fact that outside “experts” like Majidi were brought into the FBI from the National Labs complex is highly suspicious – but then, the entire investigation of this case was deeply flawed on multiple levels.

    This all points back towards the DOE and their chief contractor, Battelle, with possible involvement of CIA and DIA actors. To sum it up, after the revelations about the Soviet Biopreparat program courtesy of Pasechnik and Abelikov, such agencies felt the need to replicate Biopreparat approaches as part of a biological threat assessment program. Material produced during that program would have been tested for efficacy using animal models, we presume, meaning that the Ames anthrax vaccine challenge strain would have been used in the preparation for purposes of comparison to earlier work.

    P.S. The Q&A session from last summer with “background experts”:

    1) The test used was actually related in the Q&A session with the National Labs people who were brought into the FBI:

    QUESTION: Dr. Peter Jarling and Dr. Tom Geiserd of USAMRIID said that they both saw silica on the exosporium, and Dr. Frank Johnson and Dr. Florabel Mullick of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology both said that they found silica, not — you know, in their elemental analysis at APHID. I went back to them several times and they both — all these scientists insisted it was silica on the surface of these spores. So I was wondering what — Can you please account for the discrepancy between your findings and those of two U.S. Army laboratories?

    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: I can answer that for you. They did not have the technology to make those statements. They would not have been able to give an elemental analysis using the technology —

    QUESTION: You’re telling me energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectrometry is not capable —

    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: — I’m not aware that they —

    QUESTION: — of doing elemental analysis?

    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: — performed that.

    They must not have read the AFIP report – but if that’s the case, why were they giving a press conference?

    • BugMaster said

      I suspect it is the IODINE signature that is the 500 pound gorilla in the roonm.

      • DXer said

        Iodine was not among what was found, judging by what Ari Fleischer once read to reporters in a conference call, was it?

        • BugMaster said

          Not sure. But one would have to know to look for it (since it is a high molecular weight element) to actually detect it using EDX analysis.

          At the lower voltage levels used to detect lower molecular weight elements, one might get some interference or small peaks because of its presence, and not actually be able to determine the cause.

        • BugMaster said

          Any spore material prepared using Ivin’s published procedure would be contaminated with detectable levels of iodine.

  23. DXer said

    Report: Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water
    New York Times Analysis Shows That Since 2004 More than 20% of U.S. Water Systems Have Violated Law, Few Punished

    The various media outlets are reporting today that the government has been ineffective at ensuring the quality of our drinking water. Given Al Qaeda’s plot to poison New York City’s drinking water supply, this is a problem.

    KSM identified Majid Khan and Aafia Siddiqui as Al Qaeda operatives. KSM allegedly asked former Maryland resident Majid Khan to research contaminating a reservoir. What contaminant would have been used? Anthrax? Cyanide? Was it cyanide such as the thwarted attack against the US embassy in Rome in 2002? Some unidentified chemical intended to be smuggled in using the Paracha shipping container? Would the koran permit such indiscriminate murder of innocents? A recent study shows that anthrax is resistant to chlorine, but the officials typically think anthrax would be ineffective given the dilution.

    In February 2003, Majid Khan had met with Uzair Paracha and someone described as a “chemistry professor.” Paracha and his father Saifullah had meetings with al-Qaeda members Majid Khan and senior operative Ammar al-Baluchi, who about that time married Aafia. In the prosecution of Uzair Paracha, the AUSA said Aafia Siddiqui was willing to participate in an anthrax attack if asked. She opened up a P.O. Box to facilitate Majid Khan’s reentry into the country.

    Young Canadian Mohamed Mansour Jabarah was the courier and connection between Karachi and Kuala Lumpur where the meeting was held at the condo of anthrax lab tech Sufaat. In 2002, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) delivered the former St. Catharines man to U.S. authorities, upon his written consent. After being captured, Jabarah was first taken to Brooklyn where he has been questioned by the FBI. Khalid Mohammed reports that Bin Laden was reportedly said to value Jabarah’s fluent English and his clean Canadian passport. He served as a go-between between the leaders in Karachi and operatives in Kuala Lumpur. He was let out of jail and while cooperating, lived with some FBI agents.

    After he learned that a childhood friend was killed in an attack on US Marines in Kuwait, he vowed to kill his captors. In a search of his room, agents found he had a plan for a steak knife that did not involve cutting his porterhouse. Authorities also found pictures of bin Laden, maps of Fort Dix, documents about New York’s drinking water supply and letters that lamented the fall of the Taliban and railed against America. The reference to New York’s drinking water supply brings to mind KSM’s plot to poison a reservoir in Upstate New York. Bloomberg explains: “He also had a U.S. Army memo describing New York City’s drinking water system, a map of the city’s water supply and testing results.”

    Jabarah spent 3 weeks living with KSM in August 2001. KSM taught him how to travel and conduct surveillance in stealth mode. KSM told the young man that he must leave Karachi to deliver the money to Hambali, Al Qaeda’s point man in Southeast Asia and the military chief for Jemiah Islamiyah, before September 11. He flew out to deliver the money on September 10, 2001. In January 2008, Jabarah was sentenced to life in prison.

    New water-surveillance systems are being tested that promise to detect biological attacks more quickly and accurately than is possible today. Ever since the anthrax mailings, the Homeland Security Department has been concerned about the risk that public water supplies will be poisoned. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Cincinnati, and Argonne National Laboratory have paired up with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop the Water Sentinel Program: software that monitors municipal water systems. It is being tested in Albuquerque.

    I once had a local certified lab do a lot of testing of water as another unrelated interest. Albuquerque is an interesting choice given the high levels of arsenic there. (With arsenic, it is very difficult to get the levels down short of dilution or incurring substantial capital costs). Arsenic occurs due to naturally occurring geothermal springs. I tested a bottled water from a major soda company’s distributor in Northern Mexico that I picked up in Phoenix and it tested above the 10 ppb limit — 13 ppb and 26 ppb. The company gave me a single test showing that they tested it at 9 ppb. Its NYC law firm told me that they weren’t willing to do any further testing in the US because it would be against his client’s interest. Indeed. The FDA did nothing. The company did not notice a recall. Separately, I forced a recall throughout the Northeast of water contaminated with the carcinogen bromate — sold as the storebrand at most large chains. I didn’t even bother to contact the FDA or NYS Public Health they had proved so useless and instead set things in motion by contacting Wegmans.

    Separately, the DOJ and United States Attorney even let FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford off the hook without it coming out that he resigned immediately after I emailed his office of a massive problem with benzene in soda. How was that a proper allocution related to his guilty plea to the misdemeanors? I had not realized he was a drinking water expert who already knew about the problem. I represented a whistleblower who was part of a secret industry project.

    I had asked a friend at the DOJ who had prosecuted an adulterated orange juice case for an email that would be sure to get the message to him. I wrote the FDA’s CFSAN Director the same day (on September 21, 2005), and she later acknowledged she got the email. After I wrote Wednesday afternoon, he did the right thing in resigning Friday morning given the $62,000 in Pepsi stock he owned. By just dropping an email to all employees Friday morning and walking out the building, however — and not admit why he was resigning — the benzene problem almost got swept under the rug like the arsenic problem.

    I stridently complained before the FDA’s Assistant General Counsel on Saturday in front of 30 witnesses at a conference in Boston on soda and childhood obesity. I asked why I had not received a response. Of course, I don’t mean to complain too much because he did resign and the FDA finally acted after I got Germany and others to act. But if the United States government is no more effective than the FDA and the state agencies in testing water, then we will just have to count on the militants appreciating that it is haram (forbidden) to poison innocents, particularly children. Similarly, if the United States Attorney is as politically-minded as he was in that case, then justice will not be served. The same US Attorney at the time in fact had the key role in Amerithrax.

  24. Lew Weinstein said

    In my view, the sequestering of information is being done because if we knew what really happened in the anthrax case, some of those who conducted the investigation and those who covered up the truth would be embarrassed and perhaps fired or even arrested. But to hide such information in a supposedly free country is a disgrace. And the longer it goes on, the more it becomes Obama’s problem as much as Bush’s.

    • DXer said

      Given the DC venture firm Perseus invested $30 million in NanoBio while Richard Holbrooke was its head, I would think that the White House would want to proactively see that the facts are set forth on its own initiative so as to avoid any fall-out or misimpressions. That DARPA-funded researcher involved virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins to a former associate of Zawahiri and both the contractor and government have refused to provide documents detailing the dates and circumstances of the research. These documents are all subject to FOIA and are being wrongfully withheld.

  25. DXer said

    “Need to know” versus “need to share” is addressed by Anne L. Clunan who has a chapter titled “Building Information Networks for Biosecurity” in a 2008 book on bioweapons. She is one of the editors of the book, titled “Terrorism, war or disease? Unraveling the use of biological weapons.” She is an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. She specializes in the state responses to non-traditional security threats in the information age.

    “Sharing information about the possessors and users of biological warfare (BW) agents is essential for deterrence, because a credible threat of retaliation requires the capacity to attribute a biological attack accurately.” …

    The threat of retaliation is only credible if would-be perpetrators and sponsors of biological attacks expect to be caught.”

    “In this chapter, I agree that managing BW attribution and other problems arising from nontraditional threats requires shifts in how governments acquire and use information. The first shift requires changing the understanding of information, from INTELLIGENCE, as something to be kept secret in order to gain relative advantage over an adversary, to INFORMATION, as a resource to … government management of and response to threats.”

    “In other words, governments must move from “need-to-know” limitations in intelligence sharing to a “need-to-show” paradign of information sharing.” (p. 293-294)

    “The essential problem at the root of developing networks is helping disparate actors to trust one enough to share information. Without trust, networks and indeed cooperation breaks down.”

    She talks about the concept of an “information broker.”

    Brokers “bring together different social worlds, bridging networks and making possible a combination of resources.” (p. 302)

    “Such brokers might take the form of government contractors who are paid to set up linkages among the “client networks” for the purpose of enhancing BW identification, characterization and attribution.”


    The demands of information sharing networks may be at odds with the purpose, norms and social structures of the existing public-health, intelligence and law-enforcement communities, particularly with regard to the compartmentalization of information, sharing only on a “need-to-know” basis and the legal and societal norms that govern the collection and sharing of information collected domestically and abroad.

  26. DXer said

    FBI director appoints judge [Former FBI Director Webster] to review lead up to Fort Hood attack

    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has asked former director and retired federal judge William H. Webster to conduct an independent review of the bureau’s actions in advance of last month’s deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Tex., according to government officials familiar with the move.


    Judge Webster should more broadly look at what leads the FBI has botched, if any, regarding Anwar Aulaqi.

    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.

    Al-Timimi’s counsel, who says his client was an “anthrax weapons suspect,” 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 Aulaqi’s 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-Hussayen 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.”

    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.

    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. A Washington Post article explained: “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 and came to be at the center of a controversy concerning what the FBI should have known and shared about Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. 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 once 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.”

    • BugMaster said

      And what does this have to do with the topic at hand?

      • BugMaster said

        As long as we are off topic, there is a question, DXer, that based on your expertise that you should be able to answer.

        In a criminal case, can the investigative phase and the prosecutorial phase overlap? Or does all evidence to be used against a suspect have to be present before prosecution can begin? Does the investigative phase have to be concluded before going before a grand jury, or just concluded before the trial (so all evidence against the defendent can be presented?).

        • Lew Weinstein said

          BUGMASTER … Although I am not an attorney, my wife was a criminal defense attorney and I studied the requirements for presenting evidence in connection with my novel, A GOOD CONVICTION. My understanding is that evidence can be presented after the grand jury has indicted, and indeed even during a trial, if it is fairly disclosed to the defense as soon as the prosecutor learns of it. The3 defense may object, and the judge will decide, subject to appeal.

        • BugMaster said

          Thanks, Lew.

          As far as the AFIP denial of the request, they are most likely unable to release anything until they are authorized to do so.

          Of course, if the case is on the verge of being closed, with Ivins being the only “culprit”, one wonders why they haven’t already been authorized to do so.

          Or perhaps it is something completely different.

          Like nailing the barn door closed after the horse is long gone.

      • DXer said

        Ali Al-Timimi is suspected of involvement in the anthrax mailings, according to his defense counsel.

        He was actively coordinating with the 911 imam.

        The 911 imam’s name was Anwar Aulaqi.

        A failure to connect dots relating to communication with Anwar Aulaqi led to the shooting deaths of 13 people. Similarly, a failure to date to connect the dots has led to a failure to reach a successful conclusion of Amerithrax.

        Although you do not understand the matter the same way, that is not a reason to discuss only the things you know.

        You’ve never demonstrated that you know anything whatsoever about Ayman Zawahiri’s recruitment of scientists to infiltrate US and UK biodefense using the cover of universities and charities. Thus your conclusory dismissal of the issue is of no moment.

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