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

* what is compelling evidence? … when will we know if the FBI has produced a compelling case in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Posted by DXer on December 24, 2009

I wrote … “I will believe nothing the FBI says if it is not accompanied by compelling evidence.

Ed asked … And who determines what is “compelling evidence”?

Ed has raised a most valid point. Compelling evidence is not a matter of opinion; it is a matter of

  • a plausible narrative
  • plus actual evidence to prove that narrative.

FBI announces - August 8, 2008 - that Dr. ivins is the sole perpetrator and the case will soon be closed

Underlying anything that might be called compelling evidence that a particular person was the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks must be a plausible narrative, a description of what “could have happened” that accounts for all of the known details. This means that the alleged perpetrator must be shown to have had access to the particular anthrax used in the attacks, and that he (or she) could have delivered it to those mailboxes where it is alleged to have been mailed.

The science and the timelines must fit.

So far the FBI has not come close to a plausible narrative.

But even a plausible narrative is not enough;

it is necessary but not sufficient.

There must also be evidence to prove that what “could have happened” in fact did happen.

  • Does the anthrax the alleged perpetrator had match (by means of valid scientific tests properly conducted) the anthrax which killed five people and was disbursed widely in post offices and other places?
  • Is there real physical evidence that the alleged perpetrator actually delivered the attack anthrax as it was believed to have been delivered?

If there is no physical evidence to link the alleged perpetrator to the crimes, and it seems there is none, then it must be established that there are no other possible perpetrators who are just as likely as the one charged to have committed the attacks, based on the actual evidence.

  • Did others have access to the attack anthrax? It seems as if at least 100 other scientists, and countless possible accomplices, did have access.
  • Could any of these others (who had access) have delivered the anthrax (by themselves or with accomplices)?

Dr. Bruce Ivins

So far the FBI has presented no evidence to isolate the one they accuse (Dr. Bruce Ivins) from any of the other possible perpetrators.

The FBI has refused to answer many valid questions raised by the media, Congress, and contributors to this blog.

The FBI has (seemingly) hamstrung the ongoing NAS review of the science it used.

The FBI case is (so far) a fraud

which could never be proven in any court.

Which raises the question of why the FBI, which I do not believe is as incompetent as their Amerithrax performance would suggest, has stubbornly focused on Dr. Ivins when they cannot (or at least so far have not) prove their case.

To me, that’s the most frightening question of all, the question I raised and answered (fiction!) in my novel CASE CLOSED.

Click here to

buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein


91 Responses to “* what is compelling evidence? … when will we know if the FBI has produced a compelling case in the 2001 anthrax attacks?”

  1. DXer said

    The suspected ABB gunman in St. Louis in today’s news had sued Company. He felt he had been wrong.

    So when a fellow loses it and takes a gun to co-workers, is it because he feels guilty or because he feels wronged?

    And if his therapist discloses that he had threatened co-workers, and he commits suicide, is it because he felt guilty of an earlier crime (e.g., the anthrax mailings)?

    or is that he feels guilty over what he had told he had felt moved to do (allegedly) because he had felt wronged?

    Or might it have been because he felt he was going to be indicted for altering the record relating to flask 1029?

    • DXer said

      Who with access to the genetically identical anthrax downstream from flask 1029 knew Ayman Zawahiri and/or his followers, whose colleagues had announced he planned to use anthrax against US targets, and that documents show he planned to use the cover of universities and charities?


      Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan: “Stolen”

  2. DXer said

    Anwar Aulaqi was detained for a year and a half.
    His interrogators were FBI. (5:45) He was interrogated by the FBI on and off for a year. (7.00)
    What did Anwar tell them about Ali?

  3. DXer said

    CIA base bomber ‘was triple agent’ [sent by Zawahiri himself]
    (AFP) – 11 hours ago

    Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and White House adviser, told AFP that, according to unconfirmed intelligence reports, Zawahiri himself had ordered Balawi to carry out the attack using the pretext of information about his whereabouts.

    “The bomber allegedly was sent by Ayman Zawahiri himself to conduct the attack and claimed he had information on Zawahiri,” Riedel said.

    NBC said the bomber had called his handler to say he needed to meet with the CIA team in Khost, because he had urgent information about Zawahiri.

  4. DXer said

    Professor Meselson, Friedlander, Eitzen and others. 55 min.

    Bacterial Threat Anthrax: Medical Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties, AVA20995VNB1, March 2000

    • DXer said

      The Washington Post, in an article “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” dated September 3, 2006 summarized events relating to George Mason University computational biology graduate student Ali Al-Timimi:

      “In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.

      Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

      The agents reached an alarming conclusion:

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

      On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.”

      Al-Timimi had rock star status in Salafist circles and lectured in July 2001 (in Toronto) and August 2001 (in London) on the coming “end of times” and signs of the coming day of judgment. He spoke alongside officials of a charity, Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) promoting the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. Another speaker was Ali’s mentor, Bilal Philips, one of the 173 listed as unindicted WTC 1993 conspirators. Bilal Philips worked in the early 1990s to recruit US servicemen according to testimony in that trial and interviews in which Dr. Philips explained the Saudi-funded program. According to Al-Timimi’s attorney, Ali “was referenced in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”) as one of seventy individuals regarding whom the FBI is conducting full field investigations on a national basis.” The NSA was intercepting communications by Fall 2001 without a warrant.

      At the same time the FBI was searching the townhouse of PhD candidate Ali Timimi, searches and arrests moved forward elsewhere.

      In Moscow, Idaho, FBI agents interviewed Nabil Albaloushi. (The FBI apparently searched his apartment at the same time they searched the apartment of IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen, who they had woken from bed at 4:00 a.m.) Albaloushi was a PhD candidate expert in drying foodstuffs. His thesis in 2003 was 350 pages filled with charts of drying coefficients. Interceptions showed a very close link between IANA’s Sami al-Hussayen and Sheikh al-Hawali, to include the setting up of websites, the providing of vehicles for extended communication, and telephone contact with intermediaries of Sheikh al-Hawali. Al-Hussayen had al-Hawali’s phone number upon the search of his belongings upon his arrest. Former Washington State University animal geneticist and nutrition researcher Ismail Diab, who had moved to Syracuse to work for an IANA-spin-off, also was charged in Syracuse and released as a material witness to a financial investigation of the IANA affiliate “Help The Needy.” After the government failed to ask Dr. Diab any questions for nearly 3 months, the magistrate bail restrictions and removed the electronic monitoring and curfew requirements.

      In Moscow, Idaho, the activities by IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen that drew scrutiny involved these same two radical sheiks. U.S. officials say the two sheiks influenced al Qaeda’s belief that Muslims should wage holy war against the U.S. until it ceases to support Israel and withdraws from the Middle East. Sami Hussayen, who was acquitted, made numerous calls and wrote many e-mails to the two clerics, sometimes giving advice to them about running Arabic-language websites on which they espoused their anti-Western views.

      According to witness testimony in the prosecution of the Virginia Paintball Defendants, after September 11, 2001, “Al-Timimi stated that the attacks may not be Islamically permissible, but that they were not a tragedy, because they were brought on by American foreign policy.” The FBI first contacted Timimi shortly after 9/11. He met with FBI agents 7 or 8 times in the months leading up to his arrest. Al-Timimi is a US citizen born in Washington DC. His house was searched, his passport taken and his telephone monitored. Ali Al Timimi defended his PhD thesis in computational biology shortly after his indictment for recruiting young men to fight the US in defending against an invasion of Afghanistan.

      Communications between Al-Timimi with dissident Saudi sheik Safar al-Hawali, one of the two fundamentalist sheikhs who were friends and mentors of Bin Laden, were intercepted. The two radical sheiks had been imprisoned from September 1994 to June 1999. Al-Hawali’s detention was expressly the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War against the United States and the claim of responsibility for the 1998 embassy bombings. He had been Al-Timimi’s religious mentor at University.

      ABC reported in July 2004 that FBI Director Mueller had imposed an October 1, 2004 deadline for a case that would stand up in court. The date passed with no anthrax indictment. Al-Timimi was not indicted for anthrax. He was indicted for sedition. Upon his indictment, on September 23, 2004, al-Timimi explained he had been offered a plea bargain of 14 years, but he declined. He quoted Sayyid Qutb. He said he remembered “reading his books and loving his teaching” as a child, and that Qutb’s teaching was prevented from signing something that was false by “the finger that bears witness.” He noted that he and his lawyers asked that authorities hold off the indictment until he had received his PhD, but said that unfortunately they did not wait. On October 6, 2004, the webmaster of the website Babar Ahmad was indicted. In 2007, the North Brunswick, NJ imam who mirrored the website was indicted (on the grounds of income tax evasion).

      The indictment against the paintball defendants alleged that at an Alexandria, Virginia residence, in the presence of a representative of Benevolence International Foundation (”BIF”), the defendants watched videos depicting Mujahadeen engaged in Jihad and discussed a training camp in Bosnia. His defense lawyer says that the FBI searched the townhouse of “to connect him to the 9/11 attacks or to schemes to unleash a biological or nuclear attack.” Famed head of the former Russian bioweaponeering program Ken Alibek told me that he would occasionally see Al-Timimi in the hallways at George Mason, where they both were in the microbiology department, and was vaguely aware that he was an islamic hardliner. When what his defense counsel claims was an FBI attempt to link Al-Timimi to a planned biological attack failed, defense counsel says that investigators focused on his connections to the men who attended his lectures at the local Falls Church, Va. In the end, he was indicted for inciting them to go to Afghanistan to defend the Taliban against the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan. During deliberations, he reportedly was very calm, reading Genome Technology and other scientific journals. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 70 years.

      • DXer said

        Those CIA and former analysts like Dr. Jennifer A.L.Smith, should work to connect the dots in Amerithrax along “The Straight Path”.

        Al-Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali.” The brief explained that Ali “was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:

        “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden.”

        Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assirat also. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage. Wadih al Hage was Ali Mohammed’s friend and served as Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.”

        Kamal Habib had been a founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and had spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the late 1970s, the cell run by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. In Egypt he formed the Islah (“Reform”) party with Gamal Sultan. While contributing to Al Manar al Jadeed, the Ann Arbor-based IANA’s quarterly journal, the pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999. They were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group. They were just hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless, at the same he withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group.

        In early April 2001, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rented an apartment in Falls Church, Virginia, for about a month, with the assistance of a man they met at the mosque. Nawaf Al-Hazmi had been at the January 2000 meeting at Yazid Sufaat’s Malaysian condominium in January 2000. Hijackers Nawaf and Hani Hanjour, a fellow pilot who was his friend from Saudi Arabia, attended sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Al-Timimi was located until he established the nearby center. The FBI reports that at an imam named Awlawki (Aulaqi) who had recently also moved from San Diego had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. Police later found the phone number of the Falls Church mosque when they searched the apartment of 9/11 planner Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. In his 2007 book, Center of the Storm, George Tenet noted that Ramzi bin al-Shibh had a CBRN role.

        Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:

        “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.

        Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.

        Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

        A man named Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque Sept. 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God. “He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America.” Kwon said Al-Timimi told the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen —preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.

        After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September 16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group and gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch with two of the group on September 19, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting.

        Al-Timimi’s lawyer explains that Al-Timimi was in telephone contact with Al-Hawali on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001:

        “The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.”

        Al-Timimi was urging the young men go defend the Taliban against the imminent US invasion. A recent open letter to Ayman Zawahiri from a senior Libyan jihadist, Bin-Uthman, now living in London, confirms that Ayman Zawahiri and Atef, at a several day meeting in Kandahar in the Summer of 2000, viewed WMD as a deterrent to the invasion of Afghanistan.

        Kwon, who had just become a U.S. citizen in August 2001, went to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001. Kwon practiced with a semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher, but he was not able to join the Taliban. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training. His trainers suggested that he instead go back to the United States and gather information for the holy warriors. Kwon told jurors at al-Timimi’s trial how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago and then found that Al-Timimi lectured locally near his home in Northern Virginia. “Russian Hell” — a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war — was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed. “They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration,” Kwon told the jurors.

        In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League.

        Al Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:

        “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

        In addition to the October 6, 2002 letter, drafted by Al-Timimi, Hawali had sent a lengthy October 15, 2001 “Open Letter” to President Bush in which he had rejoiced in the 9/11 attacks. One Al-Hawali lecture, sought to be introduced in the prosecution of the IANA webmaster, applauded the killing of Jews and called for more killing, praised suicide bombings, and said of Israel that it’s time to “fight and expel this hated country that consists of those unclean, defiled, the cursed.”

        Bin Laden referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 Declaration of War on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik al-Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime.

        Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:

        “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

        As Ali later explained to NBC, “To have a space shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there’s a divine hand behind it.”

      • DXer said

        The involvement of Anwar Aulaqi should serve as a special incentive to get Amerithrax right. Aulaqi is chargeable as part of a conspiracy in the same way Moussaoui was (see recent 4th Circuit decision upholding the logic of the alleged participation of the conspiracy without knowing the details).

        In March 2002, fellow Falls Church iman Anwar Aulaqi — known as the “911 imam” — suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). Upon a return visit in Fall 2002, “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by
        Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” After 18 months in prison in Yemen in 2006 and 2007, he was released over US objections, where he says he was subject to interrogation by the FBI.

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

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

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

        The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was 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. The next month he was alleged to have been involved with the planned bombing of a airliner flying into Detroit. 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.”

  5. DXer said

    Christopher Ketcham (1/3) interviewed by Scott Horton on AWR, September 8, 2008

  6. DXer said

    Buchi Mini Spray Dryer B-290

  7. DXer said

    Speed Vac

  8. DXer said

    History Channel on Anthrax Attacks (January 2008)

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration Of US Biodefense

  9. DXer said

    D.A.R.P.A. Video – Unconventional Pathogen Countermeasures

    • DXer said

      The “Anthrax Attacks” Of 2001

    • DXer said

      Post-It: The Anthrax Letters

      • DXer said

        Dr. Leitner in a letter to the Fairfax County Police Department wrote:

        “Now we see that Sergeant Rasool was the subject of a several-year long investigation – in fact, he was under investigation at the time he lodged his complaints against us — and was recently convicted of a very serious security breach involving misusing FBI databases to assist another person under FBI investigation for Federal terrorism charges.” Rasool has sought to stop the training work being done by Dr. Leitner, who taught biosecurity work at George Mason University’s Center for Biodefense.

    • DXer said

      US pays $5.8 million to scientist

      • Anonymous scientist said

        Interesting that at the end Pete says “I’m also told by a government official that there is no imminent indictment of anyone else on the horizon”. That’s funny – when Ivins committed suicide a few weeks later the FBI claimed they were just about to indict him 😉

        • DXer said

          The $5.8 million, Director Mueller explained, was offered in settlement due to the violation of the Privacy Act. (As I understand the matter, the testimony seems to indicate the leaks were by a member of the managerial or control group and thus can be imputed to the agency, i.e., the taxpayers pay). But offhand I don’t recall Mr. Connnolly ever slowing speed on his theory that damages were due under Section 1983 for intentional violation of Hatfill’s civil right to due process. (I don’t recall the details of his complaint and briefing offhand but that seems a fair summary). Is Mr. Connolly now going to sue the US Department of Justice and AUSA Kohl under Section 1983 for prosecutorial misconduct? Does the DOJ’s motion to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice the charges against Connolly’s client, Slatten, avoid the Department’s liability? I have no idea and don’t follow the Blackwater case. Mr. Connolly gave me those depositions years ago and we have no contact otherwise. But if there is a risk of a Section 1983 suit against the Amerithrax prosecutor by Hatfill’s old attorney, it is an additional reason to let someone else in the office handle Amerithrax. Amerithrax should be viewed by fresh eyes. It is, after all, the taxpayers who foot the bill and who face the anthrax threat.

    • DXer said

      Drummer’s anthrax case spurs a public health hunt
      By Sarah Schweitzer
      Globe Staff / January 4, 2010

      “I just hope this doesn’t indict the act of drumming,’’ he said.
      — Executive Director of the United Campus Ministries

    • DXer said

      Researchers commonly want to bring their old research to a new job. For example, the FBI’s genetics expert KS brought a copy of LSU’s collection to the NAU lab (with his former employer’s authorization).

      Scientist attempts to smuggle 22 vials of Ebola into US

    • DXer said

      GMU intern discussing anthrax

      • DXer said

        In a June 2005 interview in a Swiss (German language) weekly news magazine, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Ken Alibek addresses the anthrax mailings:

        A. “What if I told you Swiss scientists are paid by Al Qaeda? You could believe it or not. It has become somewhat fashionable to disparage Russian scientists. Americans, Iraqis, or whoever could just as well be involved with Al Qaeda. Why doesn’t anyone speculate about that?”
        Q. “But could one of your students build a biological weapon in the garage?”
        A. “Let me reply philosophically: Two hundred years ago, it was unthinkable to believe that people would be using mobile telephones, wasn’t it? Everything changes. Our knowledge grows, and technology develops incredibly quickly. … I am not saying that a student is in a position to build a biological weapon all by himself. But the knowledge needed to do it is certainly there.”

        No one who responded to my inquiries, including Serge Popov, ever knew Al-Timimi to ever have been involved in any biodefense project. For example, former or masters interest, technical abilities, publications, previous work and lab experience, whether student qualifications match the principal interrogators current research, whether there is a space, and if the timing is right. There is no formal screening process or background check that the author is aware of for teaching or research assistantships.”

        Other students took a “red cell” approach that have corroborated the findings of the thesis. The thesis points to a pretty big iceberg indeed. Proliferation leads to great risk of infiltration. LSU researcher Martin Hugh-Jones explained: “There were no more than ten labs in the nation working with the organism, and now it’s about 310—and they all want virulent strains. In the old days virtually everyone was paid by Department of Defense to do their research because that’s the only place where money came from because the organism wasn’t thought to be of economic importance. Now that it’s a bioterrorist threat and money’s available for research, experts have come out of the walls. The whole damn thing is bizarre.” A 2004 Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services report: “Serious weaknesses compromised the security of select agents at the universities under review. Physical security of select agents at all 11 universities left select agents vulnerable to theft or loss, thus elevating the risk of public exposure.”

    • DXer said

      Anthrax and bacteria that form spores

    • DXer said

      After released by the Malaysians, anthrax lab tech/director Sufaat promptly travelled to Pakistan and went whereabouts unknown according to a Pakistan intelligence notice,

      Syed Hamid clarifies ISA releases

      • DXer said

        It’s not like that there was total unawareness in Malaysia, even within 30 days of Sufaat’s capture in December 2001, that the anthrax threat was not something to take lightly. AUSA Kohl could better explain why it took until November 2002 for the FBI to interview him.

        Journal of Medical Sciences
        School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
        ISSN: 1394-195X
        Vol. 9, Num. 1, 2002, pp. 1-2

        Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 9, No. 1, January 2002, pp. 1-2


        Anthrax-Biological Threat in the 21ST Century

        Md Radzi Johari

        Department of Medical Microbiology & Parasitology School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
        Correspondence : Dr. Md Radzi Johari Department of Medical Microbiology & Parasitology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.
        Given appropriate weather and wind conditions, 50 kilograms of aerosolised anthrax spores released from an aircraft along a 2 kilometer line could create a lethal cloud of anthrax spores that would extend beyond 20 kilometers downwind. The aerosol cloud would be colorless, odorless and invisible following its release. Given the small size of the spores, people indoors would receive the same amount of exposure as on the street. There are currently no atmospheric warning systems to detect an aerosol cloud of anthrax spores. The first sign of a bioterrorist attack would most likely be patients presenting with symptoms of inhalation anthrax. A 1970 analysis by Whole Health Organization concluded that the release of aerosolized anthrax upwind to a population of 5,000,000 could lead to an estimated 250,000 casualties, of whom as many as 100,000 could be expected to die. A later analysis, by the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, estimated that 130,000 to 3 million death could occur following the release of 100 kilograms of aerosolized anthrax over Washington D.C., making such an attack as lethal as a hydrogen bomb. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that such a bioterrorist attack would carry an economic burden of $26.2 billion per 100,000 people exposed to the spores.

        In the second half of this century, anthrax was developed as part of a larger biological weapon program by several countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union. The number of nations believed to have biological weapon programmes has steadily risen from 10 in 1989 to 17 in 1995, but the number of nations working with anthrax is unknown.

        Biomedical scientists should
        consider biological weapons as a serious `emerging new pathogens’ to be controlled and prevented for the good of humanity. New revolution in biology could be misused in offensive biological programs directed against human beings and their staple crops or livestock. Any misuse of biology is prohibited by the 1975 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Article 1 of the Convention states:

        ” Each State Party to this convention undertakes never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain :

        1. Microbiological or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types or in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic , protective or other peaceful purposes”

        Let us hope this so called General Purpose Criterion is respected by the over 140 States Party in the Convention for the good of all human kind.

    • DXer said

      Scott Shane of NYT on treatment of prisoners. Note if the anthrax mailings were to protest the rendering and treatment of senior members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Egyptian Islamic Group, as I argue, this would have been an inconvenient motive to dwell on.

    • DXer said

      “DARPA integrated chemical and biological detection system,” by Donlon, M; Jackman, J in the Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest [Johns Hopkins APL Tech. Dig.]. Jul-Sep 1999, explained that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing technologies for detecting these materials in the natural environment. While several technologies show promise as broadband detectors, there is no “silver bullet” that detects all chemical and biological materials at the requisite levels of sensitivity and specificity. DARPA in 1999 was developing a systems approach whereby several different advanced detection schemes (based on different physical phenomena) are being integrated into a chemical and biological detection suite.

      JE, the FBI’s anthrax expert, told me that he had given the irradiated aerosolized Ames to John Hopkins. What did the work involve?

  10. DXer said

    Ivins purported to know (or have deduced) the identity of the “anthrax killer.” What had he deduced?

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  11. DXer said

    Ivins E-mailed Himself About Anthrax Killer

  12. DXer said

    The former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins and funded by DARPA was supplied $50 million from the small DC venture capital firm Perseus that had been led by Richard Holbrooke, now in charge at the State Department of Pakistan and Afghanistan. #3 most powerful at DOS. ($30 million was under Mr. Holbrooke’s tenure). Did that fact impede analysis when lives are at stake? Are the financial fortunes of some investors going to stand in the way of a robust analysis that countenances no obstacles to connecting the dots?

    Why was someone who was said by the New Haven police chief to be the only suspect in a brutal homicide appointed as the DOD’s only analyst on anthrax? Wouldn’t that interfere with one’s ability to connect the dots?

  13. DXer said

    When former Special Agent Jennifer A.L. Smith said (in the audio online) before the National Academy of Sciences that the FBI withheld from the CIA information necessary for them to reach the correct analysis, to what was she referring?

    When the Zawahiri Task Force withheld key information from the Amerithrax Task Force in December 2001 and early 2002, what was its justification?

    Why is the NAS countenancing a failure to provide documents when the science inquiry is being guided by the former collections scientist at the American Type Culture Collection, where “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi, Aulaqi’s colleague, had unfettered access to the ATCC bacteriology collection?

  14. DXer said

    Director Mueller has said that no mistakes were made in Amerithrax. Yet the leaks continued in 2003 only because no proper leak investigation was done after the August 2002 leaks. US Attorney Roscoe Howard says that the three people in the loop in his office were not asked whether they had been the source of the leak. It turns out that the lead criminal prosecutor –whose sister-in-law and brother were arguing that terrorism should not be attributed to Bin Laden — was the source of the leaks. His sister says to be born in Palestine is necessarily to be political. See Wash Po. He was born in Haifa in 1948. His daughter came to represent the other “anthrax weapons suspect” pro bono.

    Director Mueller’s response, rather than ensure a proper leak investigation was done, was to compartmentalize the squad over chief investigator Lambert’s objection that they would not be able to “connect the dots.” Wasn’t that a big mistake? I’m not a big proponent that polygraphs should have been done given their unreliability. But doesn’t Director Mueller find Roscoe Howard’s claim at deposition that no one in his office was asked whether he was the source of the leak a mistake? (Perhaps Mr. Howard was not being precise and in fact Mr. Seikaly was asked — and his and Howard’s entry into private practice was the result).

    And so perhpas the issue of the leak and any failure to forthrightly address the issue when it first arose evemtually was adequately addressed. But then were there still the consequence of the compartmentalization that led to a failure to connect the dots?

    Where is the evidence that indicates Ivins is guilty? The false suggestion by the former schoolmate that Ivins followed her to Gaithersburg a quarter-century earlier? The false claim that it was stored in 1425 under Ivins’ exclusive control? The report of the addictions counsel on house arrest for drunk driving? The opinion of the FBI’s forensic psychiatrist? Ivins’ upset that his life and career was in ruins? The fact that he kept letters to the editor he wrote? The fact that the genetics had winnowed the field from 1,000 to up to 300? The fact that Bruce wrote a cute poem? The fact that he followed the major outlet press about a fatwa being issued and the FBI in some affidavits mischaracterized that as coming before the anthrax mailings rather than after the first one?

    How were the investigators in the Third Squad supposed to be able to connect the dots? How were the investigators in the squad pursuing Ivins supposed to connect the dots? Did the FBI even interview the relevant people? Won’t that, without more, be provably a really big mistake?

    Were Taylor, Persichini and Montooth up to the challenge of connecting the dots without the help of people spending full-time on the details? Taylor was a political appointee from the Bush Administration.

    Will Amerithrax have proved a career-ender for anyone who thinks that what was disclosed against Ivins constitutes sufficient evidence on which to close Amerithrax?

    Isn’t the week that largest number of CIA personnel have died a good time in which to end bureaucratic practices that make connecting the dots less likely?

  15. DXer said

    Spy Agencies Failed to Collate Clues on Terror

    December 30, 2009

    WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency four months ago intercepted conversations among leaders of Al Qaeda in Yemen discussing a plot to use a Nigerian man for a coming terrorist attack, but American spy agencies later failed to combine the intercepts with other information that might have disrupted last week’s attempted airline bombing.

    The electronic intercepts were translated and disseminated across classified computer networks, government officials said on Wednesday, but analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington did not synthesize the eavesdropping intelligence with information gathered in November when the father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, now accused of the attempted bombing, visited the United States Embassy in Nigeria to express concerns about his son’s radicalization.

    The father, a wealthy Nigerian businessman named Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, had urgently sought help from American and Nigerian security officials when cellphone text messages from his son revealed that he was in Yemen and had become a fervent radical.
    In some ways, the portrait bears a striking resemblance to the failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, despite the billions of dollars spent over the last eight years to improve the intelligence flow and secret communications across the United States’ national security apparatus.

    A White House official fired back, blaming the Bush administration as having allowed Al Qaeda to thrive while it focused on the Iraq war.

    A White House review into the episode is finding that agencies were looking at information without adequately checking other available databases — not because they were reluctant to share, as was the case before Sept. 11, but out of oversight or human error, said a senior administration official familiar with the review.

    In interviews Wednesday, government officials and others provided an account of how various agencies had gleaned bits and pieces of information about the young Nigerian, but failed to pull them together to disrupt his plot. Most of the officials spoke only on the condition that they not be quoted by name.

    “Every piece of data, of course, looks different when you know the answer, as everyone does now.”

    Comment: It wasn’t Saddam who had access to the know-how.

    It was Andrew Card’s former assistant Ali Al-Timimi, Anwar Aulaqi’s confidante, who had been given a letter of commendation from the White House for his work for which he had a high security clearance, even though his mentor had been Bin Laden’s sheik and his father worked at the Iraqi embassy. And this has appeared to be the answer for well over a half decade.

    If Obama wants to have Mr. Cheney take a seat in the corner, all they need to do is correctly connect the dots in Amerithrax.

    If more people need to be reassigned or retired, so be it.

    It’s time for the CIA to put the pedal to the metal.

  16. DXer said

    In bio attack, US Post Office could distribute aid
    (AFP) – 1 hour ago

    The US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were instructed to work with the post office to develop a “dispensing model for US cities to respond to a large-scale biological attack, with anthrax as the primary threat consideration.”
    The order calls for the model to be drawn up within 180 days, but gives no details as to whether the idea of using the US postal system to assist Americans in the wake of a biological attack is a new one.

    Comment: A simple google would show that it was tested, for example, in Boston. My friend in Boston at the time suggested that dispensers placed at major thoroughfares (e.g., at toll booths) would be an alternative to consider.
    One question that presented itself in the Boston test is: how many Postal workers would call in sick upon an aerosolized attack? How many employees would determine that their first obligation is to provide for the safety of their family?

    8 CIA agents were killed in Afghanistan.

  17. DXer said

    President Obama gives anthrax “primary threat consideration.”

    Who will be the new special agent in charge of the criminal division of the DC Field Office and is he ready for the test?

    Published: December 30, 2009

    WASHINGTON (AP) — If the nation ever faces a large-scale attack by a biological weapon like anthrax, the U.S. Postal Service will be in charge of delivering whatever drugs and other medical aid Americans would need to survive.

    In an executive order released Wednesday, President Barack Obama put the Postal Service in charge of dispensing ”medical countermeasures” to biological weapons because of its ”capacity for rapid residential delivery.”

    While most likely unrelated, the release of the executive order comes less than a week after a man with alleged ties to al-Qaida tried to bring down a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner. In recent days, Obama has sought to assure the public that his administration is doing what it can to protect the nation from terrorist attacks.

    Under the new order, federal agencies must develop a response plan that includes possible law enforcement escorts for Postal Service workers and gives anthrax ”primary threat consideration.”

    Anthrax made headlines in the weeks following the 2001 terrorist attacks when letters containing the substance were sent to lawmakers and news organizations.

    The spores killed five people: Two Washington, D.C., postal workers, a New York City hospital worker, a Florida photo editor and a 94-year-old Connecticut woman who had no known contact with any of the poisoned letters. Seventeen other people were sickened.

    Obama says his decision to give the Postal Service a role in responding to a widespread biological attack won’t supersede the authorities of other agencies.

    • DXer said

      It’s easy for Obama to call for accountability for the failure to address the red flags posed by the Nigerian trained by AQ in Yemen.

      But where was the FBI in ferreting out the mole, for example, in the lower profile matter of ferreting out the mole who infiltrated Ft. Detrick for the Russians?

      Raymond Zilinskas, who was researching a history of the Soviet bioweapons program, told The Baltimore Sun a couple years ago that “his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.” The Sun quoted him saying: “It was clear there was somebody at Fort Detrick” who worked for Soviet intelligence. Alexander Y. Kouzminov, a biophysicist who says he once worked for the KGB, had first made the claim in a book, Biological Espionage: Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West. Initially, Dr. Zilinskas had dismissed the memoir because the Russian had made separate fanciful inferences about the US program being offensive and some bizarre specific claims unrelated to infiltration of the US program.

      The Sun article explained that then “another former Soviet scientist told The Sun that his lab routinely received dangerous pathogens and other materials from Western labs through a clandestine channel like the one Kouzminov described.” A second unnamed “U.S. arms control specialist” told the Sun he had independent evidence of a Soviet spy at Fort Detrick.”

      The Baltimore Sun, in the 2006 article, also relied on Serguei Popov, who was “a scientist once based in a Soviet bioweapons lab in Obolensk, south of Moscow.” Dr. Popov “said that by the early 1980s his colleagues had obtained at least two strains of anthrax commonly studied in Detrick and affiliated labs. They included the Ames strain, first identified at Detrick in the early 1980s.” Ames was used for testing U.S. military vaccines and was the strain used in the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five people and infected 23 in the U.S. Dr. Popov is now at George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Disease in Fairfax, Va. “If you wanted ’special materials,’ you had to fill out a request,” he said. “And, essentially, those materials were provided. How and by whom, I can’t say.” One colleague, Popov told the Sun, used this “special materials” program to obtain a strain of Yersinia pestis, a plague bacterium being studied in a Western lab. But he didn’t know whether that particular germ came from Ft. Detrick. Former KGB operative and author Kouzminov says the KGB wanted specific items from Western labs — including Detrick — that were closely held and were willing to pay for the privilege. The Soviets also wanted the aerosol powders U.S. scientists developed for testing during vaccine tests.

      Raymond Zilinskas, the bioweapons expert with the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and two colleagues wrote a scathing review of Biological Espionage in Nature, a British scientific journal. But Zilinskas later told The Sun “that his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.”

      Expert William C. Patrick III, a retired Ft Detrick bioweapons expert, and famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek agree. Patrick’s suspicions arose when he debriefed defector Alibek in the early 1990s. Alibek emigrated to the U.S. upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Patrick and Alibek both recognized that the Soviet and American programs had moved in a curious lock step during the 1950s and ’60s. “Anything we discovered of any import, they would have discovered and would have in their program in six months,” Patrick told the Sun. After his talks with Alibek ended, he told the Sun: “For the next two weeks I tried to think, ‘Who the hell are the spies at Detrick?’”

      Both former Russian bioweaponeers Ken Alibek and Serge Popov worked with Ali Al-Timimi at George Mason University. Dr. Al-Timimi has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years. Popov and Alibek worked at the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”). At one point, Al-Timimi worked not much more than 15 feet from both Dr. Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey, who has been a prolific author and listed on a number of publications involving the virulent Ames strain. Neither Dr. Alibek nor Dr. Popov knew Ali to ever have worked on a biodefense project. He had a high security clearance for some work for the government, involving mathematical support work for the Navy, but no one seems to be able or willing to say what it involved. In the Fall of 2006, the Washington Post reported that when they raided his townhouse in late February 2003, two weeks after the capture of the son of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman, they suspected Al-Timimi of being somehow involved in the anthrax mailings. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was on Al Qaeda’s 3-man WMD committee and had spoken alongside Ali Al-Timimi at conferences of the Islamic Assembly of North America in 1993 and 1996.

      • DXer said

        Are the new officials heading the FBI WFO experienced at catching spies so as to no how cell operations are run?

        As explained by author Peter Lance in Triple Cross, after the 1998 embassy bombings, a ten-member federal team secretly entered the California residence of Ali Mohamed, Zawahiri’s former head of intelligence.’ They copied Mohamed’s hard drives and removed a series of CD-ROM and floppy disks. A memo titled “Cocktail” appeared to be a draft manual on sleeper cell structure.

        The file on cell structure read in part:
        “Every member knows how to do everything.
        Every member has a legal job as a cover (Student, worker, trade).
        Safety is the main concern, so the contingency plan is very important. Before working on the target you have (to) specify a rally point to meet in case of separation for any reason.
        The communications between the different groups are conducted through the dead drop only.
        Each group does not know anything about the other group, even Majmouat (the word means “the collected” or “the collection”). Al-qeyada does not know how many group(s) under its leadership. Only the group know each other because the members of one group only working with each other.”

        Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim took on Ali Mohammed’s role. His alias is easier to remember — Abu Jihad al-Masri. Al Masri means the Egyptian. Also known as Al-Hukaymah, he was the author of the description of the Amerithrax investigation in 2002. Born in 1961, Abu Jihad al-Masri joined the Egyptian Islamic Group in 1979. He was arrested in 1981 after Sadat’s assassination. He once was arrested alongside the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Hukaymah is reportedly connected to the blind sheikh’s successor Taha, the Islamic Group head who was in close touch in 1999 and 2000 with the NY-based US postal employee Sattar, the blind sheik’s “surrogate.”. Al-Hukaymah dedicated the treatise “[t]o the pious and the hidden who are not known when they come and who are not missed when they disappear — To those whom their God will answer when they pray to Him. To all the eyes that are vigilant late at night to bring victory to this religion.”

        The introduction of the 152-page book starts:

        “The Manhattan raid led to a radical change in the perception of American Security. After the northern half of the continent had been isolated from the rest of the world and its threats by two oceans, it now came from inside. The surprise hit the symbols of American power in its economic and security dimensions.”

        Published at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website ( by the one-time EIJ shura member al-Sibai, the section on the anthrax investigation appears to have been written in 2002.
        “The Anthrax Scandal:
        Over many months, there was an excited search for the person responsible for the worst biological terror attack on American soil. Six letters sent by mail to Leahy, Daschle, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, The New York Post and the offices of the National Enquirer in Florida, led to the sickening of 18 people and five deaths. The crime was especially scary because anthrax, which is a complex powder that scatters in the atmosphere, had spilled from the envelopes and spread through parts of the mail system and contaminated a Senate building. One year later, the main post office in Washington had not yet opened.
        The FBI is under great pressure to close this case, and the anthrax criminal is supposed to be alive and free. Two members of the Senate have asked to receive regular reports about this investigation from the FBI, and they have become increasingly impatient.”

        After a lengthy discussion of the focus on Hatfill, the author explains,
        “Until the investigators find material evidence that connects a person to the crime, they are forced to speculate about the motives and methods of the criminal. They are still casting a wide net. Law enforcement sources say they have issued hundreds of subpoenas and they are analyzing thousands of documents in search of new evidence.

        The evidence may be small and unseen – sweat or an odor on an envelope – but that is all that they need in order to attract the dogs.”

        Al-Hukaymah pointed to the Aldrich Ames incident and the FBI’s inability to find the perpetrator of the anthrax mailings as evidence that U.S intelligence can be defeated. Aldrich Ames, head of counterintelligence relating to the Russians, had a different rolex for different days of the week. He drove a new jaguar to work. Aldrich told the CIA that his money came from his wife’s foreign inheritance, and the CIA never required meaningful corroboration. So we should not be that surprised when someone known, to borrow Dr. Alibek’s description to me, as an “Islamic hardliner,” is given access to Center for Biodefense and ATCC facilities, to include a program funded by DARPA’s $13 million during the relevant period. Perhaps the focus should not be on more money for biodefense but on doing a better job at maintaining security. Perhaps focus should be on avoiding proliferation of know-how.

        Al-Hukaymah reportedly was Ayman’s connection to Mamdouh Ismail, an Egyptian defense attorney and a former member of “the Jihad group” who since the 1980’s has represented various Egyptians accused of terrorism offenses in Egypt. Mamdouh Ismail represented al-Nashar, the biochemist who was an expert on polymerization and had a key to the 7/7 bomber’s flat. He represented Zawahiri’s family in connection with the rendition of Ayman’s brother, Muhammad Zawahiri, in 1999. Ismail was one of several hundred rounded up following the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. Ismail was arrested on March 29, 2007 and alleged to be serving as a conduit for jihadists.

    • DXer said

      The White House correctly points out that Cheney should save his sharpest criticism for the attackers rather than taking advantage.

      But let’s consider whether the Administration’s defense reaction is sufficiently proactive enough. The Senate and Pentagon probe ordered after the Ft. Hood shooting was truncated so as to only address US Army personnel — rather than infiltration of US Army facilities. Thus, a private contractor or visitor to facilities is not within the scope of the inquiry. That is too limited an unwise approach. Contractors and outsiders are commonplace. Consider the anthrax conference that the US Army scientist Bruce Ivins was in charge of planning for June 2001 in Annapolis. His emails (the website was last updated December 4, 2009) show that his planning of the conference began in September 1998, upon his return from a conference in UK sponsored by Porton Down. (In an email, he noted the security issue of determining who could attend. In 1998, there had been many thorny problems relating to which Russians could attend.) Who was responsible for security at ensuring that Salafist-Jihadi supporters did not attend? Bruce Ivins — the fellow choosing the hotel and the wine that would be served at the reception? Who in the US Army structure could he rely upon in vetting attendees? Had Ivins or the US Army been apprised by MI5 that they had intercepted items from Rauf Ahmad’s luggage upon leaving one of the dangerous pathogens conferences he attended?

      Among the supporters of these militant islamists were people like US scientist Ali Al-Timimi and Pakistan scientist Rauf Ahmad who blended into society and were available to act when another part of the network requested it. Two letters — one typed and an earlier handwritten one — written by a scientist named Rauf Ahmad detailed his efforts to obtain a pathogenic strain of anthrax. He attended conferences on anthrax and dangerous pathogens such as one in September 2000 at the University of Plymouth co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defense Evaluation and Research Agency. In October 2009, historian Christopher Andrew published an official history of MI5 in which he reported that MI5 had equipment and money in Rauf Ahmad’s luggage as he left the September 2000 conference — which correspondence shows he had attended looking to buy samples and information on processing tricks.

      A handwritten letter from 1999 is written on letterhead of the oldest microbiology society in Great Britain. The 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces by Rauf describe the author’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; a conference he attended on dangerous pathogens cosponsored by UK’s Porton Down and Society for Applied Microbiology, and the need for vaccination and containment. Rauf had arranged to take a lengthy post-doc leave from his employer and was grousing that what the employer would be paying during that 12-month period was inadequate. Malaysian Yazid Sufaat, who told his wife he was working for a Taliban medical brigade, got the job instead of Rauf. One typed memo reporting on a lab visit, which included tour of a BioLevel 3 facility, where there were 1000s of pathogenic samples. The memo mentioned the pending paperwork relating to export of the pathogens. The documents were provided to me by the Defense Intelligence Agency (”DIA”) under the Freedom of Information Act. I also have uploaded a copy of earlier correspondence between Rauf Ahmad and Dr. Zawahiri from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The handwritten letter was reporting on a different, earlier visit where the anthrax had been nonpathogenic. Finally, on the same linked page, there are handwritten notes about the plan to use non-governmental-organizations (NGOs), technical institutes and medical labs as cover for aspects of the work, and training requirements for the various personnel at the lab in Afghanistan. Ayman codenamed his project to weaponize anthrax Zabadi or “Curdled Milk.” Over five years ago I identified various infiltrators of US biodefense.

      For example, Taliban supporter Al-Timimi was a graduate student in the same building where famed Russian bioweapon Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey worked at George Mason University. The three worked at the secure facility at Discovery Hall at the Prince William 2 campus. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey headed a biodefense program funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”). Al-Timimi had a top security clearance and had worked for SRA International doing mathematical support work for the Navy. In 2000 and 2001, Timimi was a graduate student in computational sciences. His field was bioinformatics. Al-Timimi tended to travel to give speeches on interpretation of the koran during semester breaks. Al-Timimi spoke in very moderate, measured tones in the UK, Canada, and Australia — once even in China. He spoke against feminism, about the unfavorable treatment of islam in the secular media, about signs of the coming day of judgment, the correct interpretation of the koran and hadiths, and the destruction of the Buddha statutes by the Taliban. Locally, he spoke regularly at the Falls Church center that also housed offices of the charity, the Muslim World League. Timimi’s Ann Arbor-based charity Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) had a spin-off in Syracuse, NY focused on Iraq, called Help The Needy where I was located. Ali’s colleague from the small DC-based Society for Adherence to the Sunnah, Idris Palmer, served as Vice-President.

      A district court judge would say that Al-Timimi’s later speeches tended to favor violent jihad. After 9/11, they reportedly were removed from the website of the Center he had founded. The night of 9/11, he got in a heated debate with some colleagues. He said while islamically impermissible, the targeting of civilians was not impermissible where they were used as a shield. Others thought that it was reckless to say that so soon after the 9/11 attack when emotions were so inflamed.

      Years earlier, the blind sheik’s son, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was scheduled to come from Afghanistan to speak at the IANA 1993 conference alongside Ali Al-Timimi and former EIJ member Gamal Sultan. Al-Timimi was scheduled to speak alongside the blind sheik’s son again in 1996, the year Bin Laden issued his Declaration of War against the United States. In July and August 2001, Ali was scheduled to speak in Toronto and London alongside “911 imam” Anwar Awlaki and unindicted WTC 1993 “unindicted co-conspirator” Bilal Philips. Aulaqi visited him from Yemen in 2002 to further discuss the recruitment of US citizens to the jihad against the United States. Most recently press reports are associating Aulaqi with the Detroit would-be bomber.

      Al-Timimi was not enlisted in the US Army and thus apparently would have fallen under the radar of the US Army’s current review. Limiting the review to US Army personnel rather than more broadly to the question of infiltration is unsound.

  18. DXer said

    Somali arrested with chemicals at airport in November
    Thu Dec 31, 2009
    By Abdi Sheikh

    MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Security officers arrested a young Somali man attempting to board a Dubai-bound plane in November in the capital Mogadishu with a suspicious white powder, liquid and syringes, Somali officials said on Wednesday.

    Somali officials said they initially thought the chemicals were for use in the so-called “black dollar” scam in which fraudsters convince people they can turn black bills into U.S. dollars using chemicals.

    But the botched attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound plane on Dec. 25 by a Nigerian who says he was trained by al Qaeda aroused suspicions the Somali may have had similar aims.

    “Before, we thought these were for washing the money we had seized. But the incident at Detroit shows the similarity of the chemicals,” Ahmed Ali Aftooje, chief of police at Mogadishu airport, told Reuters.

    “He was carrying empty syringes, liquid and powder separately in the same bag,” he said.

    Security Minister Abdullahi Mohamed Ali, Barigye Ba-hoku, spokesman for the African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, and a senior officer in the National Security Service all told Reuters a man carrying suspicious chemicals was detained at the airport.

    Ali told Reuters they had established the chemicals were explosive, and not for the money scam as initially thought.

    The suspect is believed to be in custody in Somalia.

    An initial FBI analysis found the device used by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab aboard the U.S. jet on Dec. 25 contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, one of the explosives carried by “shoe bomber” Richard Reid in 2001.

    The device consisted of a six-inch (15-cm) packet of powder and a syringe containing a liquid, according to media reports.


    Aftooje said the Somali man refused to board the aircraft when he was asked to leave the suspicious material behind and two police officers at the screening gate then identified him as a member of the hardline insurgent group al Shabaab.

    “He was so scared when the police recognised that he is a member of the terrorist group al Shabaab. First, he said he was carrying the chemicals to treat his cattle, and again claimed he wanted to spray his farm,” Aftooje told Reuters.


    Ken Dillon has a substantial theory about Jdey, who Jabarah had said he heard had blown up the flight to the Dominican Republic not long after 9/11. Jdey had been part of the second wave and knew Hambali (an anthrax planner who was Sufaat’s supervisor).

    Jdey pulled back and went missing about the time of the anthrax mailings. Dr. Dillon, a former state department analyst, posits that the location of the explosion is fully consistent with a previous Al Qaeda plane bombing attempt and that the forensics do not point to a different explanation.

    The FBI has a curious tendency to want to say that attacks are not terrorism — such as the confident pronouncement after the Ft. Hood shooting.

    How did the FBI rule out Jdey as the mailer given that they reportedly have not had any idea where he was since the time of the anthrax mailings? Dr. Ivins has an alibi. Jdey doesn’t. Dr. Ivins never expressed a motive. Jdey did (referencing blind sheik Abdel Rahman’s advocacy of violence).

  19. DXer said

    Airline Terror Mission Blessed by Radical Imam
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    The Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner had his suicide mission personally blessed in Yemen by Anwar al-Awlaki, the Muslim imam suspected of radicalizing the Fort Hood shooting suspect, a U.S. intelligence source has told The Washington Times.

    The intelligence official, who is familiar with the FBI’s interrogation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, said the bombing suspect has boasted of his jihad training to the FBI and has said it included final exhortations by al-Awlaki.

    “It was Awlaki who indoctrinated him,” the official said. “He was told, ‘You are going to be the tip of the spear of the Muslim nation.'”


    In a filing unsealed in United States v. Al-Timimi, Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer, Professor and MSNBC commentator Jonathan Turley, explained the central importance of Anwar Aulaqi to the conspiracy alleged against his client who he separately said “was considered an anthrax weapons suspect.”

    Al-Timimi was a computational biologist who came to have an office 15 feet from the leading anthrax scientist and the former deputy commander of USAMRIID. A motion filed in early August 2008 seeking to unseal additional information in federal district court was denied. The ongoing proceedings are highly classified.

    Dr. Al-Timimi’s counsel summarizes:
    “we know Dr. Al-Timimi:
    * was interviewed in 1994 by the FBI and Secret Service regarding his ties to the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing;
    * was referenced in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”) as one of seventy individuals regarding whom the FBI is conducting full field investigations on a national basis;
    * was described to his brother by the FBI within days of the 9-11 attacks as an immediate suspect in the Al Qaeda conspiracy;
    * was contacted by the FBI only nine days after 9-11 and asked about the attacks and its perpetrators;
    *was considered an anthrax weapons suspect;
    * was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having “extensive ties” with the “broader al-Qaeda network”;
    * was described in the indictment and superseding indictment as being associated with terrorists seeking harm to the United States;
    * was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali; and
    * was associated with the long investigation of the Virginia Jihad Group.
    The conversation with [Bin Laden’s sheik] Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. ***
    [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.

    [IANA head and former Ann Arbor resident, Egyptian] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden [redacted]”

    The letter attached as an exhibit notes that in March 2002 Al-Timimi spoke with Al-Hawali about assisting Moussaoui in his defense. Al-Hawali was Bin Laden’s sheik who was the subject of OBL’s “Declaration of War.” Moussaoui was the operative sent by Bin Laden to be part of a “second wave” who had been inquiring about crop dusters. The filing and the letter exhibit each copy defense co-counsel, the daughter of the lead prosecutor in Amerithrax. That prosecutor pled the Fifth Amendment concerning all the leaks hyping a “POI” of the other Amerithrax squad, Dr. Steve Hatfill. His daughter withdrew as Al-Timimi’s pro bono counsel on February 27, 2009.

    ‘Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s Support Committee’ in an email to supporters dated April 5, 2005 explained: “This is a summary of the court proceedings that took place yesterday April 4th 2005. We will send a summary everyday inshallah. *** “In his opening statement, Defense attorney Edward B. MacMahon Jr. said that Al-Timimi was born and raised in Washington DC. He has a degree in Biology and he is also a computer scientist, and a mathematician. He worked for Andrew Card, who’s now the White House chief of staff, at the Transportation Department in the early 1990s.”

    Bruce Ivins had supplied the virulent Ames strain of anthrax to Ann Arbor researchers. One of the researchers, Dr. Hamouda, obtained his PhD in microbiology from Cairo Medical in 1994. He and his wife came to the United States to settle that year. By 1998, he was working on a DARPA-funded project involving nanoemulsions and a biocidal cream. In December 1999, he and two colleagues travelled to a remote military installation in Utah, Dugway, to test its effectiveness in killing aerosolized anthrax surrogates. An April 2001 report describing testing at Dugway concluded that the best performing decontamination agents were from University of Michigan, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLNL).

    The FBI and CIA may have been concerned that there might have been unauthorized access to the Ames strain. That would explain their aggressive prosecution of various matters related to Al-Timimi’s charity, IANA, which was based in Ann Arbor 1 mile from the NanoBio office. IANA promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. Al-Timimi was IANA’s most celebrated speaker. He was in active contact with one of those sheiks, who had been Ali’s religious mentor at university in Saudi Arabia.

    Al-Timimi was a current associate and former student of Bin Laden’s spiritual advisor, dissident Saudi Sheik al-Hawali. Ali Al-Timimi preached on the end of times and the inevitability of the clash of civilizations. He was in active contact with al-Hawali whose detention had been the express subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War. At GMU, Dr. Bailey would publish a lot of research with the “Ames strain” of anthrax. The anthrax used in the anthrax mailings was traced to Bruce Ivins’ lab at USAMRIID, where Ivins, according to a former colleague, had done some work for DARPA. Al-Timimi would speak along with the blind sheik’s son at charity conferences. The blind sheik’s son served on Al Qaeda’s WMD committee. Al-Timimi’s mentor Bilal Philips was known for recruiting members of the military to jihad.

    The first week after 9/11, FBI agents questioned Al-Timimi. He was a graduate student in a program jointly run by George Mason University and the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”). Ali, according to his lawyer, had been questioned by an FBI agent and Secret Service agent in 1994 after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He had a high security clearance for work for the Navy in the late 1990s. The defense webpage reported he had once served as the assistant for the White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. (Mr. Card had been Secretary of Transportation in 1992-1993; from 1993 to 1998, Mr. Card later was President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association.) As time off from his university studies permitted, Ali was an active speaker with the Ann Arbor-based charity Islamic Assembly of North America.

    A laptop evidencing Al Qaeda’s intent on weaponizing anthrax was seized in Baku in July 1998. Two months later, Dr. Ken Alibek, then Program Manager, Battelle Memorial Institute, testified before the Joint Economic Committee on the subject of “Terrorist and Intelligence Operations: Potential Impact on the U.S. Economy” about the proliferation of know-how. Dr. Alibek noted that “[t]here are numerous ways in which Russia’s biological weapons expertise can be proliferated to other countries.” Indeed. Sometimes such proliferation is funded by DARPA and any student who wanted to apply to work in the building could submit an application. One applicant accepted was this Salafist preacher seeing signs of the coming day of judgment and the inevitable clash of civilizations. He had been mentored by the sheik named in Bin Laden’s declaration of war in 1996. In 1999, Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for work for the Navy. His father worked at the Iraqi embassy.

    Dr. Alibek testified before the House Armed Services Committee Oversight Panel on Terrorism again in May 2000 about the issue of proliferation of biological weapons. He explained: “Terrorists interested in biological weapons are on the level of state-sponsored terrorist organizations such as that of Osama bin Laden; on the level of large, independent organizations such as Aum Shinrikyo; or on the level of individuals acting alone or in concert with small radical organizations.” Dr. Alibek in 2003 told me he knew Ali was a hardliner. More recently he described Ali as a fanatic. Dr. Alibek explained to the Congressional Committee in May 2000: “When most people think of proliferation, they imagine weapons export. In the case of biological weapons, they picture international smuggling either of ready-made weapons material, or at least of cultures of pathogenic microorganisms. However, this area of proliferation is of the least concern. Even without such assistance, a determined organization could obtain virulent strains of microorganisms from their natural reservoirs (such as soil or animals), from culture libraries that provide such organisms for research purposes, or by stealing cultures from legitimate laboratories.” American Type Culture Collection, the largest microbiologist depository in the world, co-sponsored Ali’s bioinformatics program. Dr. Alibek explained: “The proliferation issue is particularly complex for biological weapons. In many cases, the same equipment and knowledge that can be used to produce biological weapons can also be used to produce legitimate biotechnological products.”

    By 2001, Al-Timimi was allowed access to the most diverse microbiological repository in the world and allowed to work alongside staff at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense. The Center for Biodefense personnel were working under the largest biodefense award in history. Delta (avirulent) Ames was supplied by NIH. Raymond H. Cypess, president of the germ bank, said of the Ames strain, “We never had it,’ and we can say that on several levels of analysis.” ATCC refuses to confirm to me whether its patent repository, as distinguished from its online category, had Ames, but we can assume government scientists would have ensured that the patent repository was considered at the same time as the online catalog and, to the best of their ability, excluded as a source of the Ames.

    Al-Timimi had supervised Cairo-based militants writing for the Pittsburgh-based Assirat and then for IANA. One of them, Kamal Habib, was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and a friend of Ayman Zawahiri. The Cairo-based writers Kamal Habib and Gamal Sultan approached the blind sheik Abdel Rahman about starting a political party in early 1999. On March 1 and 2, 1999, Lynne Stewart and translator Yousry visited Abdel Rahman in prison in Rochester, Minnesota and relayed the proposal. On March 6, 1999, the first press reports about anthrax appeared quoting the blind sheik’s Cairo lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, and detainees in a massive trial al-Zayat was defending. He explained that Ayman likely was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate against the rendering and detention of the Egyptian militants.

    On March 9, 1999 following the visit in prison at which the political idea had been proposed, Abdel Rahman issued a statement rejecting a proposal that the Islamic Group form a political party in Egypt. That day, the Islamic Group military commander Mustafa Hamza spoke with the blind sheik’s liaison, US Post Office employee Abdel Sattar. The next month, the Blind Sheik’s publicist Sattar spoke with Taha, the IG head close to the Taliban and Bin Laden, in a three-way call with Cairo attorney Al-Zayat.

    Sattar also spoke on the telephone with Vanguards of Conquest spokesman Al Sirri (based in London). From the beginning, the weaponization of anthrax for use against US targets was inextricably linked to the detention of senior militant Egyptian leaders, including the blind sheik. It was in the March-April 1999 period that Ayman Zawahiri’s brother was rendered to Cairo. It had become very personal. Mamdouh Ismail, Al-Zayat’s co-founder of a key reform party, came to represent the Al-Zawahiri family in connection with Muhammad’s rendition and detention. Muhammad’s sister, Heba, a Pharmacology Professor at Cairo Medical, had a special concern that he might be mistreated by Egyptian security services.

    • DXer said

      “The CIA had been tracking a person of interest dubbed “The Nigerian,” but missed the connection with Abdulmutallab, even after his dad contacted the US Embassy in Lagos, CBS News reported.
      CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said the agency didn’t have Abdulmutallab’s name until November and didn’t connect the dots with “The Nigerian” until after the bungled bombing.
      The agency is reviewing data “to determine if more could have been done to stop Abdulmutallab,” he said.
      The young thug’s father told embassy officials his son might have traveled to Yemen to rendezvous with Islamic terrorists.
      That led to a broader meeting the next day, in which the information was shared with representatives of the Homeland Security Department, the FBI and the State Department, a US official told The Wall Street Journal.
      It’s unclear whether intelligence officials then effectively analyzed the information from Nigeria.
      But a US intelligence source told The Post the State Department cable warning about Abdulmutallab on Nov. 20 was “very thin” and could have been summarized in “one sentence” — so sparse that he wasn’t added to any watch list, nor was his US travel visa revoked.”

      Never let it be said that Zawahiri’s warning in connection with anthrax was thin or that there was insufficient information to “connect the dots.”

  20. DXer said

    Third drug death linked to anthrax

    (UKPA) – 6 hours ago

    A third drug user who died had been infected with anthrax, health officials have confirmed.

    Doctors in Glasgow believe the man and two others may have injected contaminated heroin.

    Positive test results on the addict brings the total number of anthrax-linked cases in Scotland to five.

    Copyright © 2009 The Press Association. All rights reserved.

    Comment: Dr. Ahmed and the local authorities should address whether the current episode changes their view of the 2000 episode in which they disagreed with the Porton Down assessment that it was anthrax.

  21. DXer said

    NH health official: Woman with anthrax may have swallowed spores airborne by drumming
    HOLLY RAMER Associated Press Writer

    December 29, 2009 | 2:54 p.m.

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire officials are trying to determine whether a drum circle gathering is the source of what they say is the nation’s first known case of gastrointestinal anthrax.

    Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, an adviser to the state’s public health division, says one theory is that anthrax spores became airborne through vigorous drum playing, and the woman who fell ill swallowed them.

    Officials have shut down the United Campus Ministry center in Durham, where spores have been found on two drums and an electrical outlet. They said Tuesday that vaccines and antibiotics will be available to people who attended the event last month or live or work in the building.

    Two recent U.S. anthrax cases involved African drums covered with animal hides, but those involved spores that were inhaled or entered through the skin.

    • DXer said

      Anthrax vaccine, antibiotics offered to 80 in US
      Authorities investigate nation’s first known case of gastrointestinal anthrax

      CONCORD, New Hampshire – Antibiotics and vaccines are being offered to about 80 people in the state of New Hampshire as authorities investigate America’s first known case of gastrointestinal anthrax.

      Officials have shut down the United Campus Ministry center in Durham, where anthrax spores have been found on two drums and an electrical outlet. They said Tuesday that vaccines and antibiotics will be available to people who attended the event or live or work in the building.

  22. DXer said

    Did the FBI ever ask Dr. Ivins whether he was looking for nightcrawlers and whether he had gone fishing?

    An FBI affidavit states:

    “Further, with respect to backyard at the residence, at approximately 10:30 p.m., in early June 2008, Bruce Edwards Ivins was observed walking in the rain out into an area of his backyard near his back fence. He was then observed making a raking or digging motion in that area. Subsequent visual scrutiny of that area revealed that it was an untended area of grass and other vegetation.”

    Using his screen name,, posted comments on the News-Post’s website in 2006 about looking for nightcrawlers.

    The person commented on a story published in May 2006 about a man who was detained at his Tuscarora house after he went to look for a trash can lid, which had blown off the back of his pickup truck.

    The man, Dave Twigg, held a flashlight out of his truck late April 30 to search for the lid. An officer with the Department of Natural Resources then tried to stop Twigg, but Twigg continued driving until he reached a lighted area — his driveway.

    The officer threatened to charge Twigg for fleeing and eluding a police officer and illegally hunting deer by blinding them with bright lights, according to the article. wrote:

    “I’ve known Dave Twigg for a long time, and he’s a great, honest, law-abiding guy. The DNR agent was more than a bit over-reactive and (testosteronal) in what he did to Dave … Dave should sue the DNR and the officer involved for what happened.”

    “Great … that’s all that night predators need to know: That they can stop anybody, anywhere, for practically any reason and say that they’re ‘DNR.’

    Dave Twigg wasn’t running from anybody, so the ‘attempting to flee’ charge is completely bogus.”

    What’s next? Arresting kids who have flashlights and are looking in their yard for nightcrawlers?”

  23. DXer said

    Ken Kohl explained the problem with the leaks:

    “I think the impression was because of whoever’s talking, and I don’t know it’s, again, DOJ people, FBI, or people outside these entities that are having conversations with people, there’s an impression that we’re focusing on Steven Hatfill to the exclusion of others, and that I think undermines the public’s confidence in the investigation if they think there’s — we’re exclusively looking in one direction. And that has never been true and I think it’s unfortunate if people have that impression.

    There’s been a broad investigation on six continents that has looked at every possibility, international, domestic. And I think if people knew the truth they would be proud of how hard people have worked on this investigation and the breakthroughs in science to try to solve this investigation.”


    Now a key breakthrough was the genetics breakthrough that allowed them to narrow the field from 1,000 to up to 300, is that right? With just the central sloppiness at the end when Taylor said that it was stored in 1425 (rather than also 1412) and argued Ivins had “sole custody.” (Mr. Taylor argued his first case on appeal after the press conference; if he had made this mistake in an appeal, the panel members likely would have been very upset and expressed their displeasure in the formal opinion).

    With that sort of sloppiness, should much credit be given to narrowing the field to one-third of the 1,000 based on genetics? Might it have been important to tend to some in-house matters that were also important?

    At deposition, US Attorney Roscoe Howard said the lead criminal prosecutor Dan (the one who did the leaking) was not subject to the leak investigation — that no investigation was done in his office, and that it was all done at the FBI. Is that a proper leak investigation?

    While it’s nice that the US Attorney received a briefing once a month, (as he says) in case he ever was asked about the matter, wasn’t the management at the US Attorney’s Office totally messed up? In that he never thought to ask his assistant, the lead criminal prosecutor, whether he had leaked the stories? They then both joined the same law firm, as I recall.

    Wasn’t it also messed up that the lead prosecutor’s family were Palestinian activists who publicly advocated (in both journal article and presentation) that terrorism should not be attributed to Bin Laden? And that his daughter then went to work pro bono for Al-Timimi, the other “anthrax weapons suspect”? The one discussing helping Moussaoui with his defense, who the head of Amerithrax was testfifying before Congress about allegations he had failed to connect the dots showing Moussaoui was part of a second wave.

    Who was the “FBI lawyer” who helped the head of the DC Field Office and the two others in the WFO with the exam on domestic terrorism?

    • DXer said

      US Attorney Howard emailed AUSA Ken:

      “As I said yesterday, I think it important that we do the sort of internal inquiry that we represented in the press we would do.”

      But at his deposition he said that the investigation did not even extend to the three people in his office in the know. He never even asked his chief prosecutor, Dan, if he had been the source of the leak.

      They cover their ass, pay the guy who forged a diploma millions of dollars for what Dan did, and then the guy who had so endeared himself to everyone — who is not implicated by any evidence disclosed to date — killed himself after he had lost his life’s work, his friends had been forbidden to speak to him, and he was barred from the only workplace he had known, just blocks from his house. Meanwhile, the anthrax threat was not neutralized.

      Hardly seems fair. Yet the remarkable thing is that it is just business as usual within the beltway.

  24. DXer said

    Doesn’t the transcript of Henry Heine’s testimony before the grand jury show an “Ivins Theory” to be a total and utter crock?

  25. DXer said

    Ken Kohl had an office over with the FBI agents. He worked with them on a daily basis. One way they could determine there was a leak was whether the information was accurate. And one way they could determine whether there was a leak was to consider how closely the information was held. It was his opinion in 2003, as he explained in civil deposition testimony, that there were leaks from those directly involved or who had been briefed. He explained that not only is the information briefed up the ranks but when things are necessarily involving some third parties (like draining ponds) information extends more widely than it ordinarily might.

    At deposition, counsel suggested that in his experience line assistants and line investigators would not be the source of leaks because that would not be helpful. AUSA Kohl agreed with Attorney Connolly’s opinion. (Connolly had formerly worked at US DOJ).

    Question: So did Ken ever ask Dan, his boss, whether he had been the one to talk to the reporters?

    He is asked about one article he forwarded by an email “Amerithrax Media Leak — One More Quote” in which he underscored the reporter’s attribution of the information to “[o]ne official who regularly talks to investigators” “even the ones who favor draining.” Ken had sent it to Mike Rolince and lead investigator Lambert. Who did he think fit the description? Was he at all concerned when the daughter of the lead criminal prosecutor, to whom he reported, came to represent the man whose defense counsel would describe him as an “anthrax weapons suspect”? He had just explained to Connolly that information sometimes is transmitted through unofficial channels because of relationships.

    Who did AUSA Kohl think fit the description as an official who spoke with investigators even the ones in favor of draining — if not his boss, Dan, who was regularly briefed on the investigation?

    If they can’t identify the source of the leak when the suspects are so easily narrowed, why would we expect them to be able to exclude 100-300 with access to flask 1029?

    For an alibi on the dates of mailing, all one needs to do is pass it off to someone else. The acquirer of the strain, the processor and mailer need not be the same person. Thus, certainty claimed to arise from a process of elimination is total crock. It’s not possible. There needs to be direct evidence with regard to an individual’s involvement.

    Mind you, I don’t find it so outrageous that the top banana would be talking to a reporter about a highly public and dramatic pond draining. RHIP.

    My point is if the FBI couldn’t identify who with the knowledge was on the phone with a reporter (and it was their phone, for crying out loud and the leaks continued in 2003 after the investigation was opened in 2002), why would they be expected to know who dropped the envelope in the mailbox?

    All they needed to do was ask personnel, obtain truthful statements, and move on. Forget unreliable polygraphs. How about on-the-record answers where it is understood that false answers will be prosecuted?

    Mr. Rolince was being beaten up throughout this early period with not having connected the dots concerning Moussaoui. I’m sure the question of the salafist scientist sharing the suite with the DARPA-funded leading scientist and former deputy USAMRIID Commander who co-invented the process to concentrate anthrax using silica in the culture medium was disconcerting — especially given that he was talking with Bin Laden’s sheik about helping with the defense of Moussaoui.

    But was to have the lead prosecutor’s daughter represent the anthrax weapons suspect pro bono the best approach — after her dad leaked sensational stories about Hatfill the best approach and given AUSA Kohl recognized that information could be transmitted through relationships?

  26. DXer said

    The flask was initially stored in Building 1412, and not Building 1425, as claimed by United States Attorney.

    Created in October 1997, as I recall, it was first used a year later in September 1998. (see uploaded flask inventory record)

    What was flask 1028 (as distinguished from flask 1029) used for during that period?
    Where was that stored? Was that stored in 1412 or 1425 in 1998?

    Relatedly, what was flask 1030 used for? When was that created? Isn’t the use and origin of flask 1030 important to understand the Silicon Signature given that it had Si-0?

    Where was Dr. Ivins’ office located in 1998? 1412?

    Behind the walls of the Army’s biodefense laboratory
    By Alison Walker
    News-Post Staff

    The headquarters building, 1425, holds laboratories and administrative offices. Officially named the Crozier Building in honor of the first USAMRIID Commander Col. Dan. Crozier, 1425 was opened in 1969 with a second construction phase completed in 1972.

    USAMRIID’s second main facility is Building 1412, adjacent to Building 1425. The building was once the Special Operations Laboratory, before President Richard Nixon ended the U.S. offensive biological warfare program in 1969.

    Building 1412 has been renovated extensively since its assignment to USAMRIID in 1969. The building holds laboratories, office space, animal space and the Center for Aerobiological Sciences.

    At the watercooler in 1412:

    How do you put a giraffe named Ivins into a refrigerator?

    Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe (Ivins), and close the door in a hastily gathered press conference. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way and don’t profile the fellow the documentary evidence shows is recruiting western scientists to infiltrate US biodefense — and don’t understand that Zawahiri felt it was his obligation to use the weapon of his enemies.

    How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator while not talking about it?

    Did you say, “Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?” Wrong Answer.

    Correct Answer: “Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe named Ivins, put in the elephant and close the door.” This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of the previous actions of a highly politicized Department of Justice under the Bush Administration.

    If you get the building where the anthrax was stored wrong, then your view that you were able to exclude every one is fallacious — you were watching the wrong refrigerator for the period it was stored initially. As a result, Ivins remains in the refrigerator and you are not talking about the elephant in the lab.

    But you still have a chance to get things right:

    Bruce Ivins is hosting an annual international anthrax conference. All the animals attend…. except one. Which animal does not attend? Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. Intelligence analysts just put him in there as the result of the May 2001 letter by Ayman Zawahiri to his supporters. This tests your memory and whether the CIA shared information with you.

    If you were not digesting the facts while being briefed regularly, and do not remember what refrigerator the flask was stored in, bring notes to the press conference.

    Try to avoid eating anything if you take a break and go to the drum circle at the anthrax conference.

    Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, but you are up the creek without a paddle. (The senior management was found to have cheated on a test for the Swimming Merit Badge; Anwar Aulaqi just finished boasting of his correspondence with the Ft. Hood shooter; and the banker’s son who had given notice he was working with the Yemeni terrorists was not put on on a no-fly list.)

    How do you manage to cross the river?

    Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting.

    This tests whether you learn from your mistakes.

  27. DXer said

    “Editorial, Washington Post
    “Unconnected dots, yet again, on a terror attempt”
    Monday, December 28, 2009

    “White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the president has ordered a review into “did the government do everything that it could have with the information that they had?” The answer to that question seems obvious.”


    Defense counsel in United States v. Al-Timimi, in which a decision on highly classified briefing is expected in the near future, explained: “Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy.”

    When is the President going to order a review regarding Amerithrax into “did the government do everything that it could have with the information that they had?”

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  28. DXer said

    I have previously asked why Aafia Siddiqui was associated with an address in Ann Arbor, where her brother and sister-in-law, an MD, lived. (Coincidentally, the MD upon moving in 2001 then had an office on the floor with Theresa Koehler who did virulence research on anthrax in 2001. TK’s lab was flooded with millions of gallons in June 2001 from a Tropical Storm, causing the doors to be propped open. TK’s lab first rendered avirulent anthrax virulent and upgraded to BL-3 in March 2001, at the time UNM received virulent Ames by fedex from Bruce Ivins. The lab in 2001 had a $100,000 from the CIA to study the persistence of anthrax in soil.)

    Yvonne Ridley reports today that Aafia was a regular visitor to her brother’s home throughout her stay in the US and was highly regarded by neighbors.

    As I recall, the address in 2001 in Ann Arbor was 1915 Woodbury. She perhaps was highly regarded by those neighbors also as she was in Houston. Her mother and sister are also associated with that Ann Arbor address.

    Aafia tells her defense psychiatrist that she was tasked to study germ weapons under a fatwa.

    “She moved into their community in Texas in 1990 to be near her brother, and after spending a year at the University of Houston, transferred to MIT in Boston.
    But throughout her time in the USA she was a frequent visitor to her brother’s family home where she was hugely respected and admired by the neighbours.
    One took to the stage of the Taj Hall near Savoy Drive, Houston last night to share his memories of Aafia Siddiqui and the rest of her family he had gleaned over 25 years.
    He said it was as likely that she was a member of al-Qaida as his own mother who, he added with a smile, was a good Roman Catholic lady.”

  29. DXer said

    Here is the substance of the February 4, 2001 email by Dr. Ivins detailing the time he spent for Bioport. He and his colleague made repeated trips to Michigan.

    “1) April, 2000 – Joined Potency Test Team; visited BioPort; provided information on spores; made suggestions concerning the potency test
    -30% effort of both of us

    2) May, 2000 – Continued to provide information and suggestions telephonically and in writing
    -30% effort of both of us

    3) June, 2000 – More suggestions made and questions answered concerning anthrax spores, as well as problems with the potency test
    -40% effort of both of us

    4) July, 2000 – ________ and Bruce Ivins named to IPT; made extended visit to BioPort; began planning, writing and carrying out several technical studies
    to support BioPort in their search to solve problems associated with the potency test; hosted visit of BioPort staff to USAMRIID
    -90% effort of both of us
    -20% effort of ___________ contract technician

    5) August 2000 – Continued writing and carrying out technical studies, interpreting data and forwarding results
    -90% effort of both of us
    -20% effort of _________ contract technician

    6) September, 2000 – Completion of most technical studies, interpreting data and forwarding results
    -90% effort of both of us
    -20% effort of _________ contract technician

    7) October, 2000 – Visited BioPort for IPT meeting; completed all formal technical studies except Storage Condition study; finalized reports of technical studies
    -60% effort of both of us

    8) November, 2000 – attended IPT meeting in Crystal City; began planning for aerosol challenge of rabbits vaccinated with AVA
    -20% effort of both of us

    9) December, 2000 – Aerosol challenge of 130 rabbits, with AGI plating for all 130 animals
    -70% effort of both of us
    -20% effort of _______ contract technician
    -30% effort of ________ contract technician

    10) January, 2001 – performed study on effects of transfer on spore counts; attended IPT meeting at BioPort
    -20% effort of both of us.

    I hope this has been helpful. – Bruce”

  30. DXer said

    Pete Hoekstra, the senior Republican on the House of Representative’s intelligence committee, said that the US security services believed Abdul Mutallab had stronger connections with Awlaki than Hasan. “That’s a rather significant connection,” Mr Hoekstra told the Detroit Free Press.

    According to reports in the US, Abdul Mutallab however told FBI agents he was connected to the al-Qaeda affiliate operating in Yemen and Saudi Arabia by another radical Yemeni cleric whom he contacted online.

    In a Dec 21 video, an al-Qaeda operative delivered a eulogy for militants killed in a air strike by the Yemeni air force, backed by the US, on a militant training camp four days earlier. It was followed by another attack on Dec 24.

    The speaker said he had no agenda against Yemeni soldiers, but warned them against co-operating with Americans.

    “We are carrying a bomb to hit the enemies of God,” the speaker said.


    Anwar Aulaqi, according to Al-Timimi’s defense counsel, was coordinating with Ali Al-Timimi, who counsel describes as an “anthrax weapons suspect.” Aulaqi, defense counsel explains, goes to the heart of the government’s allegations.

    A decision is expected in United States v. Al-Timimi but the AUSA advises me that the timing of the forthcoming decision is uncertain.

  31. DXer said

    Why were the initial subpoenas directed to LSU and the University of Michigan limited to Jan. 1, 2000 onward? Wouldn’t that miss the research done by the University of Michigan researchers done in 1998 and 1999 that could have been googled by the FBI investigators?

    Was the University of Michigan on the CDC list of institutions that had select agents such as anthrax? The CDC spokesman refers to the list of 100 universities, including at least one in each state, as being “classified”, “senstiive” and “secure” — but wasn’t the research involving virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins to University of Michigan researchers in 1998 the subject of a press release and published disclosures to the SEC?

    The fellow that was the subject of the complaint dated November 9, 2001 involving false statements (in which he purported to be a professor on loan to the University of Michigan) is alleged to have used the false identity in 1999 on a passport application filled out in Michigan. The front company purportedly involving genetics that sought to ship medical materials to Palestine was of recent minting. What had he done all these years before that, before seeking to launch the recent fraudulent business front? Was he associated with any local genetics company such as Geneworks which worked on the Ames research by University of Michigan authors involving acquisition of iron from the culture medium?

    FBI Subpoenas Labs And Universities In Anthrax Probe
    By Earl Lane
    Washington Bureau

    The Justice Department launched a criminal investigation into the spread of
    anthrax in Florida and New York a week after photo editor Robert Stevens died of
    anthrax inhalation on Oct. 5.

    The FBI anthrax investigation, which is separate from but in communication with
    the FBI’s probe into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is being overseen by the
    FBI’s Washington Field Office, Justice officials said.

    But Justice Department and FBI officials in Washington declined to comment on
    the reports about FBI requests for information from universities and research
    facilities, saying they could not discuss subpoenas or matters before a grand

    A subpoena was delivered Oct. 16 to the lab of Martin Hugh-Jones, an anthrax
    specialist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. According to Richard
    Hidalgo, assistant to the dean of the school of veterinary medicine at LSU, it
    asked the school to provide by Oct. 23 a log of all visitors and employees at
    the Hugh-Jones lab since Jan. 1, 2000, including their Social Security numbers
    and dates of birth. The subpoena also asked for information on shipments of
    pathogens to and from the lab.

    “Besides Dr. Hugh-Jones and his lab director, only three others have been in the
    lab” during the time in question, Hidalgo said. “I’ve never been there myself.”
    Hugh-Jones, who questioned the necessity of using subpoenas to obtain
    information from research labs, said LSU’s reply was sent to the FBI last week.

    A subpoena also was delivered to the University of Michigan, according to a
    source who asked not to be identified. “All research institutions are being
    contacted by the FBI and asked for information,” the source said. “They were
    seeking personnel records for those who may be working with select agents.” That
    refers to the class of hazardous biological agents whose possession and transfer
    is regulated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
    In addition to anthrax, the list includes more than 30 other agents, including
    toxins, bacteria and viruses such as yellow fever and eastern equine

    Barbara Govert, a spokeswoman for the CDC, said recently that more than 100
    laboratories throughout the United States are registered with the agency’s
    Select Agents Standards system. Every state has at least one registered
    laboratory and several states have multiple registrants, such as California and
    Texas. But Govert said the identities of the registrants and the types of
    hazardous materials they possess need to remain anonymous to avoid making them
    targets of future theft or attacks. “What we’ve been telling people is that it’s
    classified, it’s sensitive, it’s very secure,” she said of the list.

    LSU’s Hidalgo said the FBI appears to be looking for any breach in the strict
    handling procedures for anthrax and other select agents. It could not be
    determined yesterday how many institutions have received subpoenas. In some
    cases, the FBI has made investigative inquiries without court orders.

  32. DXer said

    In response to the October 2001 subpoena, did the University of Michigan provide documents relating to use of virulent anthrax in connection with this research? (LSU was also subpoenaed). These subpoenaes long predated the April 2002 subpoenas of other facilities.

    What research prompted the subpoenas?

    “In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on Sept. 26, [1998] Michael Hayes, research associate in the U-M Medical School, presented experimental evidence of BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. James R. Baker Jr., M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology in the U-M Medical School, directed the research study.

    BCTP was developed by D. Craig Wright, M.D., chief research scientist at Novavax, Inc.—a bio-pharmaceutical company in Columbia, Md.—and president of Novavax Biologics Division.”

    Did the documents produced in response to the subpoena show that the research with virulent Ames in a petri dish was done at USAMRIID by a microbiologist working under the direct supervision of Bruce Ivins? Or did it show that the research was done at the University of Michigan?

    A symposium was held in November 2001 after the October subpoenas directed to the University.

    The News Release read:

    “Program Examines Public Health Response to Terrorism Nov. 26
    November 16, 2001 press release from the University of Michigan School of Public Health
    This symposium is available as a webcast video presentation in four sections:

    Introductory Remarks

    The Threats

    The Public Health Toolbox

    The Response and Future


    The University of Michigan School of Public Health is asking challenging questions about how the nation’s public health system and the school itself should deal with biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism. What are the threats, what tools does public health have available to address those threats, and what role should public health experts play in informing the country of the risks? A forum Nov. 26, cosponsored by the U-M Life Sciences Values and Society Program and the International Institute, will delve into those issues with expert speakers and audience discussion.

    Speakers include:

    Suzanne White, medical director at Children’s Hospital of Michigan Regional Poison Control Center and associate professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Taskforce, and will discuss the threats we face.

    Matthew Boulton, state epidemiologist, Michigan Department of Community Health, and clinical associate professor of epidemiology, U-M School of Public Health. In his role as the state’s lead epidemiologist, Boulton has advocated for increased bioterrorism preparation, and he will speak about the tools public health can use to keep people safe from such things as anthrax attacks.

    Henry D. Baier, U-M associate vice president for facilities and operations and a master’s graduate of the School of Public Health’s environmental health sciences program, is scheduled to speak about the country’s response to bioterrorist threats, including the tension between what the public can tolerate, what the military expects, and what our regulations require.”

    What did Henry D. Baier, U-M associate vice president for facilities and operations, say that the regulations require?

  33. DXer said

    Hatfill v. US – DOJ and FBI Statement of Facts
    US DOJ and FBI Memorandum In Support of Motion For Summary Judgment (Statement of Facts) | April 11, 2008 | Department of Justice

    Hatfill has now testified that in fact he created a fraudulent diploma with the assistance of someone he met in a bar who boasted that he could make a fraudulent diploma. Hatfill Dep. Tran., Ex. 49 at 19:20 – 20:12. Glasberg, moreover, has stated under oath that Hatfill’s earlier attempted explanation was untrue. Glasberg, Dep. Tran., Ex. 21, at 314:10 – 317:2. In a nationally televised 60 Minutes episode that aired in March 2007, Connolly confirmed that Hatfill forged the diploma for the Ph.D from Rhodes University. Ex. 50, at 3.

    LSU, meanwhile, had independently hired Hatfill to serve as Associate Director of its Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education. Following the second search, LSU placed Hatfill on administrative leave. Ex. 46. LSU then requested a background check of Hatfill. Ex. 47. During the course of that investigation, the University became concerned that Hatfill had forged a diploma for a Ph.D that he claimed to have received from Rhodes University in South Africa. Hatfill explained to Stephen L. Guillott, Jr., who was the Director of the Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education at LSU, that “[h]e assumed the degree had, in fact been awarded since neither his [thesis advisor] nor Rhodes University advised him to the contrary.” Ex. 48. LSU’s Chancellor, Mark A. Emmert, made “an internal decision to terminate [LSU’s] relationship with Dr. Hatfill quite independent of [the DOJ e-mail] communication.” Ex. 51.


    Virology was in Building 1412.

    • DXer said

      The United States Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the April 2008 filing assert as their last undisputed fact: “The FBI went so far as to compartmentalize investigative information, against the advice of the lead agent on the case. Mueller Dep. Tran., Ex. 77, at 33: 1-6.

    • DXer said

      Here is an email Attorney Glasberg wrote his client Steve Hatfill about the risk of indictment on some other matter.

      Vic Glasberg
      Friday, August 16, 2002
      steven hatfill; Pat Clawson

      I wish briefly to take stock of where we are, and to confirm certain guidelines as we proceed:

      1. We have met with astonishing success in turning the tide of adverse publicity.

      Starting with what was a torrent of government-leaked defamatory innuendo aimed at Steve, we have achieved a clear public awareness that while Steve, like his biowarfare colleagues, is a legitimate subject of interest to the investigating authorities, they have gone haywire in focusing on him like a loser as they have. The public may well be more concerned at this point with governmenta! unfairness and overreaching in Steve’s case as it is in him as a “person of interest.” The case has reached international
      proportions. I have favorable articles from Le Monde in Paris and the leading paper in San Salvador in my office. I am sure there are tons more. and of course we have the Times and Post editorials.

      All this is an enormous achievement. Pat gets enormous credit for having it happen.

      2. We have put, and are in the process of putting, the principal detractors on the . defensive. Rosenberg has shut up. Shane is publishing helpful stuff. The Times has virtually repudiated Kristoff. Kristoff is backing off, however ungraciously, and I have some things in store for him next week. I do not mean to suggest that the defamation will stop. But it can be expected to continue to calm down, big time.

      3. We are moving forward aggressively on the handwriting and dog fronts, and I expect to have something to report next week. I cannot give you a date, but will let you know. You cannot rush experts, just ask them to hurry.

      4. The above is the good news. There is no particularly bad news to report, but the good news cannot overshadow~the reality that Steve is under a criminal microscope, i compare the matter to the flimsy scaffolding that some years ago surrounded the Washington monument as the masonry was being, repaired. We are in the process of shredding the scaffolding, but WE DO NOT KNOW IF THERE IS MASONRY THERE. We do not know stuff the government has not leaked. We do not know what we do not know. What we do know is that they are eyeing Steve for a capital offense, and that if they can’t nail him for that, some other offense, real or bogus, might be an opportune second.

      We must not allow our delight with our publicity successes to obscure this fact. While the immediate and feasible task at hand is winning the public relations trial, the ultimate task is preventing.(or winning) the courtroom trial. The latter will occur, or not occur, based on things WE DO NOT KNOW, CANNOT EXPECT TO LEARN THROUGH LEAKS OR FRIENDS, AND CANNOT EXPECT TO CONTROL EXCEPT INDIRECTLY, MODESTLY AND UNCERTAINLY VIA OUR PUBLIC RELATIONS WORK.

      5. I have spoken with Jon Shapiro at length about the above. He and I are
      in agreement that it is imperative to maintain appropriate vigilance regarding all matters of interest or potential interest to the authorities, regardless of how bogus, and notwithstanding the recent and hopefully ongoing PR successes, in particular, Steve must continue to observe the rule of COMPLETE SILENCE regarding anything and everything about the case except when communicating in legally privileged circumstances, I have no doubt
      that Steve has been doing this, but precisely because things may seem to be improving on the PR front it is imperative to maintain this rule.

      6. Steve’s only privileged forums now are with his counsel. This means,
      Steve, that you should continue NOT SPEAKING about anything with ANYONE.
      This includes Peck and Pat. If you, Steve, feel a need to communicate anything to Peck or

      Pat, let me Know and we’ll figure it out, just as we did when Pat and I jointly spoke with you on the phone several days ago. Pat, the same goes for you: please do not speak to Steve about ANYTHING except, as a friend, to find out how he’s feeling. Please do not discuss any facts, about the case or about the government’s investigation, surveillance, etc.

      If you need to learn something from Steve, Parr let me hnow. I’ll get it to you. Except for your lawyers, Steve, anyone with whom you speak, including Pat and Peck, can be hauled in front of a grand jury to disgorge 100% of what you discussed. The latter should continue to be zero information of substance. Let your lawyers and Pat attend to the talking. I realize it is a pain in the neck. But being under the criminal microscope is worse, in actuality and in potential.

      Have a nice weekend.
      Victor M. Glasberg
      Victor M. Glasberg & Associates

  34. DXer said

    Dr. Inglesby, on the NAS panel, is assuming editorship of the Biosecurity and Bioterrorism journal which had been co-founded by Tara O’Toole, who now is at the Homeland Security Department in charge of biosecurity issues.

    Here are the titles of this month’s articles.

    Assessing the Biothreat: Successes, Progress, and Concerns
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 347-353.

    Thomas V. Inglesby
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 355-356.

    Gerald L. Epstein, PhD: Director, Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    Madeline Drexler
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 357-364.

    Assessing the Impact of Melendez-Diaz on the Investigation and Prosecution of Biological Weapons Incidents
    Elizabeth L. Bahr, Rebecca Katz
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 365-370.

    Antibiotic Resistance
    Kunal J. Rambhia, Gigi Kwik Gronvall
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 371-377.

    Exposure to Bioterrorism and Mental Health Response among Staff on Capitol Hill
    Carol S. North, Betty Pfefferbaum, Meena Vythilingam, Gregory J. Martin, John K. Schorr, Angela S. Boudreaux, Edward L. Spitznagel, Barry A. Hong
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 379-388.

    The Four Faces of Microbial Forensics
    Jonathan B. Tucker, Gregory D. Koblentz
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 389-397.

    Trust Across Borders: Responding to 2009 H1N1 Influenza in the Middle East
    Louise Gresham, Assad Ramlawi, Julie Briski, Mariah Richardson, Terence Taylor
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 399-404.

    Source Reduction in an Anthrax-Contaminated Mail Facility
    Dorothy A. Canter, Thomas J. Sgroi, Laurel O’Connor, Carlton J. Kempter
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 405-412.

    Alphavirus Antiviral Drug Development: Scientific Gap Analysis and Prospective Research Areas
    Erin Reichert, Amanda Clase, Ada Bacetty, Joseph Larsen
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 413-427.

    Influenza Preparedness in Nebraska Assisted Living Facilities
    Philip W. Smith, Alexander W. Smith, Jane L. Meza
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 429-432.

    Prevention of Biothreats: A Look Ahead
    Gigi Kwik Gronvall, Nidhi Bouri, Kunal J. Rambhia, Crystal Franco, Matthew Watson
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 433-442.

    A New Model of Bioterrorism Risk Assessment
    Vladan Radosavljevic, Goran Belojevic
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. December 2009, 7(4): 443-451.

  35. DXer said

    Last week it was announced that Alireza Agha Yousef Kordestani was indicted for false statements and other crimes after allegedly posing as someone working in the field of genetics at University of Michigan.

    Kordestani was apprehended by a Joint Terrorism Task Force officer.

    The AUSA said Kordestani has no known ties to any violent activity in or outside the U.S.

    The defendant claimed to be a professor and travelled to Detroit and Flint to teach.

    A reliable source said the defendant wanted to use the source’s business name and his son’s address to ship things to and from Palestine.

    Click to access 1217kordestani.pdf

  36. DXer said

    Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, of Nigeria, is being treated for burns at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Bruce Ivins was thanked for supplying virulent Ames to University of Michigan Medical Center researchers.

    Methods of preventing and treating microbial infections – Patent …
    by JR Baker Jr – 2003
    … were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, ….. Core Facility (University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich. …

    What does that mean? Where and when was the research done? The lead researcher tells me that it was done at USAMRIID, and not University of Michigan Medical Center. When was it done?

    In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some before 9/11, the inventors thank Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). [i.e., using the lyophilizer he had signed out]. Dr. Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project.

    A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:

    “The release of such agents as biological weapons could be catastrophic in light of the fact that such diseases will readily spread the air.

    In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes increasingly clear that cheap, fast and effective methods of killing bacterial spores are needed for decontaminating purposes. The inventive compounds have great potential as environmental decontamination agents and for treatments of casualties in both military and terrorist attacks. The inactivation of a broad range of pathogens … and bacterial spores (Hamouda et al., 1999), combined with low toxicity in experimental animals, make them (i.e., the inventive compounds) particularly well suited for use as general decontamination agents before a specific pathogen is identified.”

    In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product them to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, is funded by DARPA. NanoBio received a $3,150,000 defense contract in 2003.

    Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio. He received his MBA at Michigan State University where one listing indicates that he was head of Vaccine R&D Research.

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

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

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

    Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support.
    Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Arthur Friedlander, and the staff of USAMRIID for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.
    {Jane Alexander, like the recent CIA notice to law enforcement, in a publication has explained the risk that anthrax would be used in a small scale, such as in a mailing).

    Martin-Hugh-Jones, Kimothy Smith, and Pamela Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).

    Robin Kunkel (Department of Pathology, University of Michigan) for her help with electron microscopy and a couple of others for technical assistance and manuscript preparation.

    The researchers found that their nanoemulsion incorporated into the growth medium completely inhibited the growth of the spores. Transmission electron microscope was used to examine the spores.
    [Note: The implication of the Sandia research is that the source of the Silicon Signature was a silica-based substance incorporated in the growth medium].

    The authors explained that “The nanoemulsions can be rapidly produced in large quantities and are stable for many months *** Undiluted, they have the texture of a semisolid cream and can be applied topically by hand or mixed with water. Diluted, they have a consistency and appearance similar to skim milk and can be sprayed to decontaminate surfaces or potentially interact with aerosolized spores before inhalation.”

    A March 18, 1998 press release had provided some background to the novel DARPA-funded work. It was titled “Novavax Microbicides Undergoing Testing at University of Michigan Against Biological Warfare Agents; Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare.” The release stated that “The Novavax Biologics Division has designed several potent microbicides and is supplying these materials to the University of Michigan for testing under a subcontract. Various formulations are being tested as topical creams or sprays for nasal and environmental usage. The biocidal agent’s detergent degrades and then explodes the interior of the spore. Funding, the press release explains, was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense.

    In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998, Michael Hayes, a research associate in the U-Michigan Medical School, presented experimental evidence of BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. “In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish.” Its website explains that the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is the “[p]remier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology.” [Where was this research done? Did he observe it? He will not respond to inquiries nor provide a copy of his ICAAC presentation.]

    A University of Michigan Medical school, Medicine at Michigan, (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1999) explained:

    “In studies with rats and mice in the U-M Medical School under the direction of James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology, the mixture, known as BCTP, attacked anthrax spores and healed wounds caused by a closely related species of bacteria, Bacillus cereus. (The letters BCTP stand for Bi-Component, Triton X-100 n-tributyl Phosphate.)

    Baker describes the process as follows: “The tiny lipid droplets in BCTP fuse with anthrax spores, causing the spores to revert to their active bacterial state. During this process, which takes 4-5 hours, the spore’s tough outer membrane changes, allowing BCTP’s solvent to strip away the exterior membrane. The detergent then degrades the spores’ interior contents. In scanning electron microscope images, the spores appear to explode.” The rapid inactivation of anthrax bacteria and spores combined with BCTP’s low toxicity thus make the emulsion a promising candidate for use as a broad-spectrum, post-exposure decontamination agent.
    The research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense.”

    Dr. Baker, by email, advises me that Ivins did the studies involving Ames for them at USAMRIID. He reports: “We never had Ames and could not have it at our UM facilities.” Before September 2001, it’s office was described as in the basement of a downtown bank which seems to describe 912 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, just west of University of Michigan campus.

    Dr. Hamouda, in one internet listing involving social networking (which may be in error), is indicated to have been once head of Michigan State University Vaccine R&D. Michigan State (as distinguished from University of Michigan) is where he got his MBA.

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

    “Victory Site: Last December [December 1999] Tarek Hamouda, Amy Shih and Jim Baker traveled to a remote military station in the Utah desert. There they demonstrated for the U.S. Army Research and Development Command the amazing ability of non-toxic nanoemulsions (petite droplets of fat mixed with water and detergent) developed at Michigan to wipe out deadly anthrax-like bacterial spores. The square vertical surfaces shown here were covered with bacterial spores; Michigan’s innocuous nanoemulsion was most effective in killing the spores even when compared to highly toxic chemicals.” Neither Dr. Hamouda nor Dr. Shih responded to my inquiries relating to their research.

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

    It’s naive to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. As just one example, US Army Al Qaeda operative Sgt. Ali Mohammed accompanied Zawahiri in his travels in the US. (Ali Mohamed had been a major in the same unit of the Egyptian Army that produced Sadat’s assassin, Khaled Islambouli). Ali Al-Timimi was working in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”) and had access to the facilities at both the Center for Biodefense and the adjacent American Type Culture Collection. Michael Ray Stubbs was an HVAC system technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab with a high-level security clearance permitting access. (That was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998.) Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. In fact, Aafia and her well-spoken mother and sister, are all associated with Ann Arbor addresses where her brother and sister-in-law, an MD, lived in 2001.

    The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it. Thus, it is important to trace the distribution of virulent Ames and the potential access. What was NanoBio’s old street address? Why is Aafia Siddiqui associated with an address at 1915 Woodbury Drive in Ann Arbor? An Assistant United States Attorney has claimed in open court (in the opening argument in United States v. Paracha) that Aafia was willing to participate in an anthrax attack if asked. Aafia, according to the defense psychiatrist, reports that Aafia says she was tasked to study germ weapons under a fatwa.

    • DXer said

      It’s a real simple and reasonable question that Michael Hayes refused to answer.

      Where and when was the research involving virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins done? Who was present? Why is it okay to take millions in government funding and then not comply with FOIA?

      Novavax Anti-Microbial Agent Shown to Destroy Anthrax, Data Presented at ICAAC

      ‘New Anti-Microbial Agent Destroys Anthrax, But Doesn’t Hurt Animals or the
      Environment’ Say University of Michigan Scientists

      SAN DIEGO, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Novavax, Inc. (Amex: NOX), announced
      today that BCTP, an antimicrobial “nanoemulsion,” destroyed anthrax spores in
      two preclinical studies. BCTP inactivated spores both in a culture dish and
      in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. The data were presented
      by University of Michigan (U-M) researchers at the annual Interscience
      Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in San Diego. The
      studies were directed by James R. Baker Jr., M.D., professor of internal
      medicine in the U-M Medical School.
      BCTP is an emulsion or “nanoemulsion” developed at the Novavax
      laboratories in Rockville, Maryland, by D. Craig Wright, M.D., chief
      scientific officer at Novavax, Inc.
      In the first study, BCTP inactivated greater than 90% of Bacillus
      anthracis spores after four hours of incubation. In the second study, which
      simulated wounds infected with B. anthracis, mice treated with BCTP had
      greatly reduced skin lesions and swelling compared to untreated mice.
      “One of the most remarkable characteristics of this material is its
      ability to rapidly destroy a wide variety of dangerous bacteria and viruses,
      while remaining non-toxic to people, animals and the environment,” Dr. Baker
      said. Concentrated doses of strong disinfectants like bleach or formaldehyde
      will kill anthrax spores, according to Baker. Unfortunately, they also are
      toxic to people and the environment, which makes them useless for
      decontaminating a person, a piece of land or equipment exposed to the
      “When properly formulated, the components in BCTP form an emulsion of tiny
      lipid droplets suspended in solvent,” said Dr. Wright. “These lipids fuse
      with anthrax spores causing the spore to revert to its active state. During
      this process, which takes four to five hours, the spore’s tough outer membrane
      changes allowing BCTP’s solvent to strip away the exterior membrane. BCTP’s
      detergent then degrades the spore’s interior contents. In scanning electron
      microscope images, the spores appear to explode.”
      In recent years military authorities have become increasingly concerned
      about the threat anthrax and other biological warfare agents pose both to the
      armed forces and civilian populations.
      “Anthrax is often fatal and easily dispersed through air or water,” Dr.
      Baker says. “We know that countries hostile to the United States have
      developed strains of anthrax which are resistant to antibiotics and existing
      vaccines. To counter that threat, the Defense Advanced Research Projects
      Agency (DARPA), is testing several possible new antidotes — including BCTP.”
      University of Michigan plans to conduct additional studies to evaluate
      BCTP’s effectiveness against inhaled anthrax spores, as well as other bacteria
      and enveloped viruses. Funding for these studies has come from DARPA’s
      Unconventional Pathogen Countermeasures Program. Novavax and the University
      of Michigan have filed a patent application covering BCTP’s use as a
      decontamination agent for various anti-microbial applications.
      For additional information please contact Novavax, Inc. or the University
      of Michigan.

      SOURCE Novavax, Inc.

    • DXer said

      Novavax in the late 1990s was using a range of microencapsulation technologies at the time it received the DARPA-funding pursuant to the subcontract with the University of Michigan researchers. Micellar nanoparticle delivery technology, encapsulation in unique lipid structures, etc. are all concepts beyond my ken.
      But the who, where, what and when of it is something that everyone can understand. And if questions don’t get asked they won’t get answered (or at least the public will not have the information even though the research was funded by taxpayers).

      Having only the documentary evidence to rely on (given the lack of cooperation by those with personal knowledge), we find the March 18, 1998 press release Mar 18, 98 titled “NOVAVAX MICROBIOCIDES UNDERGOING TESTING AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AGAINST BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS.”

      What is the basis to dispute that the testing was done at the University of Michigan rather than USAMRIID, in light of the September 1998 presentation by Michael Hayes before ICAAC? (Which implies personal observation).

      The timeframe within which the research was done (wherever it was done) appears to have been the spring or summer of 1998.

      The leading researcher at the University of Michigan was Egyptian. He was a former colleague in the microbiology department at Cairo Medical School in the 1990s of Heba Zawahiri, Ayman’s sister. Heba Zawahiri in the microbiology department did research that included antimicrobials in connection with her cancer research and anti-infammation research. Years earlier, not long before Sadat’s assassination, he was at Cairo Medical School where Ayman used to openly recruit. (Medical school is undergrad in Egypt). A mutual friend was recruited by Ayman. My acquaintance would join the University of Michigan researcher when he would visit Cairo from Khartoum, Sudan, where he was living as a child. In 1999, Heba Zawahiri was distraught upon the rendition of her brother Muhammad in March / April 1999. That was when the blind sheik’s lawyer and EIJ shura members explained Ayman Zawahiri’s plan to use aerosolized anthrax against US targets.

      I have a friend who was told in Fall 2001 by a DARPA Program Manager that authorities knew even the machine that was used to make the anthrax.

      I have another friend, a military aerosol expert, who says that a microencapsulation process was used such as has been developed in the pharmacological field to protect drugs from being destroyed while being delivered to the target organ. And that the process might have been used in the case of anthrax (where the exosporium might make the treatment unnecessary) to reduce the need for more sophisticated equipment. Is the NAS going to hear experts who can address this question of whether the forensics point to microencapsulation?

      Was the University of Michigan researcher a US citizen, having just arrived in the country after obtaining his PhD in 1994? If not, was an Export Control License required? Was one obtained? In my limited experience, even where the DIA or DARPA is involved, there still needs to be compliance with the Export Control Act. I once had to interview a former DIA employee and ask whether he knew the weapon subject to controls was being delivered to Iraq without a license. He said no. The arms trafficker who was indicted OTOH said that it was all approved in Ollie’s notebooks in the basement of the White House and funded by Prince Bandar.

      If the research described before ICAAC in the petri dish was done at USAMRIID (as Dr. Baker reports) rather than University of Michigan , what was the date? Who was the microbiologist working with Dr. Ivins? Dr. Baker says only that it was done at USAMRIID by a microbiologist working under Dr. Ivins direct supervision.

      Novavax Microbicides UNDERGOING TESTING AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Against Biological Warfare Agents
      Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare

      COLUMBIA, Md., March 18 /PRNewswire/ — Novavax, Inc. (Amex: NOX ) said it
      is developing antimicrobial products against certain biological warfare agents
      under a contract awarded the University of Michigan from DARPA, the Defense
      Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. The
      Novavax Biologics Division has designed several potent microbicides and is
      supplying these materials to the University of Michigan for testing under a
      The new chemical structures were designed to inactivate viruses, bacteria,
      and bacterial spores like Anthrax on contact by disrupting the organisms’
      biological membranes. Various formulations are being tested as topical creams
      or sprays for nasal and environmental usage.
      “The ongoing collaborative relationship between the University of Michigan
      and Novavax allows for development and testing of new Novavax microbicides
      against bacterial and viral pathogens of military significance,” said D. Craig
      Wright, MD, chief scientific officer of Novavax.

    • DXer said

      Why is there no mention of USAMRIID in the description of the research involving anthrax strains, including Ames, in a petri dish?

      Was NovaVax mistaken in telling the SEC in filed documents that the research was done at the University of Michigan facilities?

      The relationship between Novavax and the University of Michigan researchers supplied virulent Ames by Bruce dates to 1997. SEC documents refer broadly to the research as being “conducted by Novavax under contract from the University of Michigan at the university’s facilities.”


      Novavax, Inc. (“Novavax” or the “Company”) is a biopharmaceutical, drug delivery company focused on the research and development of proprietary topical and oral drug delivery technologies and the applications of those technologies. The Company’s technology platforms involve the use of proprietary microscopic organized lipid structures as vehicles for the delivery of a wide variety of drugs and other therapeutic products, including certain hormones, anti-bacterial and anti-viral products and vaccine adjuvants.

      The Company recently formed two operating divisions, NOVAVAX PHARMACEUTICAL DIVISION (the “PHARMACEUTICAL DIVISION”) and NOVAVAX BIOLOGICS DIVISION (the “BIOLOGICS DIVISION”). This reorganization is intended to streamline operations and give each business division dedicated resources, stronger focus, and tighter management. The PHARMACEUTICAL DIVISION utilizes a range of microencapsulation technologies to develop novel biopharmaceuticals, often reformulating existing, approved drugs for topical delivery in cosmetic-like cream formulations. Its strong technology provides a basis for development of novel products while utilizing resources with little short term opportunity for immediate revenue. The BIOLOGICS DIVISION is a revenue center focused on vaccines, adjuvants and anti-infectives. It has business objectives focused on generating contract revenues and providing research for the PHARMACEUTICALS DIVISION. The BIOLOGICS DIVISION has historically entered into contractual arrangements which usually provide upfront and milestone payments as compensation during development contracts. These contracts may also provide for potential license and royalty fees. Currently the BIOLOGICS DIVISION is working under contract on several governmental and private sector programs in the fields of vaccines and biological defense systems. These contracts include development of an adjuvant for an immunotherapeutic against the human papilloma virus for a British vaccine company and a subcontractor agreement with University of Michigan who is supplying anti-infective defense systems against biological warfare agents for the U.S. military. They are anticipated to generate approximately $.5 million in revenue in 1998 with potential revenue opportunities beyond 1998.


      Vaccine Adjuvants

      Adjuvants are substances that make vaccines more effective. The Company believes that certain of its organized lipid structures (e.g. Novasome lipid vesicles) may provide effective and safe adjuvant carrier systems for a variety of vaccines. The Company believes that Novasome lipid vesicles may be used as vaccine adjuvants and protective carriers in a variety of circumstances, including: (i) encapsulation and protection of delicate antigenic materials from destruction by the body’s normal enzymatic processes; (ii) encapsulation of toxic materials, such as endotoxins and other potent toxins, for gradual releases, thereby providing protection of the body from the toxin while generating an immune response to the toxic antigen; (iii) presentation of small peptide antigens to elicit a heightened cellular immune response.

      Our other anti-microbial agents are currently in pre-clinical research studies, some of which are being funded by DARPA and are being conducted by Novavax under contract from the University of Michigan at the university’s facilities.

      Novavax currently has several anti-microbial agents in pre-clinical studies pursuant to a research collaboration with the University of Michigan. The studies are being performed at the University of Michigan and are being funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (“DARPA”) Unconventional Pathogen Countermeasures Program. Novavax is a subcontractor to the University of Michigan.

      ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 1998) — SAN DIEGO—BCTP looks like skim milk. Laboratory rats gain weight when they eat it. Spray it on your lawn and the grass will thrive. But according to tests conducted by University of Michigan scientists, this seemingly benign material could be a potent weapon against anthrax—one of the deadliest bacteria on Earth.
      When properly formulated, the components in BCTP form an emulsion of tiny lipid droplets suspended in solvent,” said Wright. “These lipids fuse with anthrax spores causing the spore to revert to its active bacterial state. During this process, which takes four to five hours, the spore’s tough outer membrane changes allowing BCTP’s solvent to strip away the exterior membrane. BCTP’s detergent then degrades the spore’s interior contents. In scanning electron microscope images, the spores appear to explode.”

      In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish. “We observed sporicidal activity with dilutions as high as one part BCTP per 1,000 parts culture media,” Hayes said.

  37. DXer said

    “They may be concealing the explosives on the human body – but on the inside upper leg, and we only know this by seeing a very badly burnt leg on the suspected perpetrator.” Now that takes balls.

    Here is John Perren, the new head of the DC Field Office, in an FBI titled “Post-Blast Investigation Training”, discussing the efforts the FBI takes to determine whether there is migration of know-how into the United States.

  38. DXer said

    An OpEd in the Baltimore Sun pokes fun on the FBI’s interpretation of the reason “Greendale School” was used.

    “Holes in anthrax case not novel,” Jean Marbella, August 8, 2008,0,2116899.column

    “And yet: Off-hour work is hardly unusual, and others at the lab had access to that flask. For all the evidence gathered on Ivins, perhaps what is as telling is what wasn’t found – where, as a reporter at the Justice Department news conference Wednesday asked, is anything like a gas station receipt from somewhere between Fort Detrick and Princeton, N.J., where the letters were postmarked, that would support the notion that Ivins drove there?

    “We don’t have that piece of direct evidence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Taylor said.

    What they do have, at least in the documents they released, are some leaps of the imagination, some stretches that seem to me to go beyond Lycra and into LAZR Racer territory.

    Agents quote an e-mail that Ivins wrote to a friend on Sept. 26, 2001, in which he refers to Osama bin Laden as having “just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans” – and noting how “similar” that language is to the anthrax letters sent two weeks later, warning “DEATH TO AMERICA” and “DEATH TO ISRAEL.”

    As those Grey’s Anatomy residents are always saying, “Seriously?” Yeah, and that language also is similar to those overdubbed bin Laden tapes that David Letterman airs on his show every once in a while, in which the al-Qaida leader is made to say in conclusion and almost as an afterthought, “Oh, and death to America.” Meaning, it’s such a commonly known sentiment that it hardly can link anyone to anything at this point.

    Another stretch comes with the attempt to explain the return address on the anthrax mailings, “4th GRADE, GREENDALE SCHOOL.” Apparently, agents discovered that Ivins and his wife donated money … to the American Family Association one month after an article ran in the group’s journal about a lawsuit AFA had filed related to an incident involving a fourth-grade student at Greendale Baptist Academy.

    Interesting, I suppose, but no more so than the link that investigators had made between “Greendale” and their previous anthrax suspect, Hatfill: there is a neighborhood in Harare, Zimbabwe, near where Hatfill once lived, that is known as – you guessed it – Greendale.

    So, case closed? Hardly.”

  39. DXer said

    Ed raises the issues of codes. Let’s consider the codes that are confirmed by the 911 Commission and others to have been used by the 911 hijackers in their planning.

    In planning 9/11, Atta used code in instructing Ramzi Binalshibh to send “the skirts” to “Sally”. The 9/11 Commission Staff explained that the coded reference to “Sally” referred to sending money to Zacarias Moussaoui. (Ramzi then sent Zacarias $14,000). Former CIA Director Tenet in his 2007 book Center of the Storm included Ramzi Binalshibh along with KSM and Hambali as among al-Qa’ida’s leadership “linked to the group’s highly compartmentalized chemical, biological, and nuclear networks.”

    Atta and Ramzi Binalshibh used coded phrases as they approached 9/11 to include:

    Faculty of Fine Arts/arts = Pentagon
    Faculty of Town Planning/architecture = World Trade Center
    Faculty of Law / law = The Capitol
    politics = White House
    White Meat = Americans
    Terminal = Indonesia
    Market = Malaysia
    Hotel = Philippines
    Village = Egypt

    Below, I have provided the documentary evidence showing that Ayman Zawahiri, who was a key anthrax planner, used “School” to refer to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

    The CSIS has explained that EIJ operative Jaballah used code in discussing operational or sensitive matters. For example, in a discussion with a Pakistan-based contact, with whom he was discussing acquiring false documents, he requested help in acquiring a “green outfit.” In describing Mabruk’s detention in Dagestan, and seeking funds to get him out, he told Florida cell member in Alberta, Canada, that the “medicine” needed was expensive and that it would cost $15,000. Daher commented that when the “patients” were Arab it seemed a lucrative trade. Similarly, US supporters of Abdel-Rahman in the 1990s used “Food and Beverage Industry” to refer to the FBI. It is worth considering, then, whether code was used in the anthrax letters. In the conversations that the blind sheikh’s spokesman, Sattar, had with people like the blind sheik’s successor Taha, EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest al-Sirri, and the blind sheikh’s son, they used the same language found in emails between Zawahiri and the Yemeni cell in email. If a brother was in the hospital, it meant he was in prison. If he had an accident, it meant perhaps that Egyptian security services had killed him.

  40. DXer said

    Ed raises the issues of the code used by Ayman Zawahiri.

    In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The letter was found on Al Zawahiri’s computer. The letter was designed to look innocent. It was dated 3 May 2001 and signed “Dr. Nour, Chairman of the Company.” Nour is one of Zawahiri’s aliases. In this context, it was Egyptian Islamic Jihad, not Al Qaeda, of which he was Chairman.
    “We have been trying to go back to our main, previous activities. The most important step was the opening of the school. We have made it possible for the teachers to find openings for profitable trade.”

    The letter read
    “To: Unknown
    From: Ayman al-Zawahiri

    Folder: Letters

    Date: May 3, 2001

    The following is a summary of our situation: We are trying to return to our previous main activity. The most important step was starting the school, the programs of which have been started. We also provided the teachers with means of conducting profitable trade as much as we could. Matters are all promising, except for the unfriendliness of two teachers, despite what we have provided for them. We are patient. [This refers to an internal dispute with two senior London Egyptian islamists].

    As you know, the situation below in the village [Egypt] has become bad for traders [jihadis]. Our Upper Egyptian relatives have left the market, and we are suffering from international monopolies. Conflicts take place between us for trivial reasons, due to the scarcity of resources. We are also dispersed over various cities. However, God had mercy on us when the Omar Brothers Company [the Taliban] here opened the market for traders and provided them with an opportunity to reorganize, may God reward them. Among the benefits of residence here is that traders from all over gather in one place under one company, which increases familiarity and cooperation among them, particularly between us and the Abdullah Contracting Company [bin Laden and his associates]. The latest result of this cooperation is the offer they gave. Following is a summary of the offer: Encourage commercial activities [jihad] in the village to face foreign investors; stimulate publicity; then agree on joint work to unify trade in our area. Close relations allowed for an open dialogue to solve our problems. Colleagues here believe that this is an excellent opportunity to encourage sales in general, and in the village in particular. They are keen on the success of the project. They are also hopeful that this may be a way out of the bottleneck to transfer our activities to the stage of multinationals and joint profit. We are negotiating the details with both sides.”

    The full message, decoded, is thought to say:

    “We have been trying to go back to our military activities. The most important step was the declaration of unity with al-Qaeda. We have made it possible for the mujahideen to find an opening for martyrdom. As you know, the situation down in Egypt has become bad for the mujahideen: our members in Upper Egypt have abandoned military action, and we are suffering from international harassment.”

    “But Allah enlightened us with His mercy when Taliban came to power. It has opened doors of military action for our mujahideen and provided them with an opportunity to rearrange their forces. One benefit of performing jihad here is the congregation in one place of all mujahideen who came from everywhere and began working with the Islamic Jihad Organization. Acquaintance and cooperation have grown, especially between us and al-Qaeda.”

    In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for “Al Qaeda.”

    Dr. Jean Rosenfeld, a researcher associated with the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion, and an expert on the symbolism of religious extremist movements, wrote me: “Greendale’ to me signified a conscious choice to use the symbolic color of Islam.” She continued: “The franked eagle on the envelope of the anthrax letters was identical to the one I caught on a documentary that showed a one-second shot of the site where Sadat was assassinated –- the huge eagle above the podium where he was when he died. That assassination was of great significance to Egyptian Jihad and produced the pamphlet by Faraj that justifies “fard ‘ayn”/individual duty as the basis of jihadist doctrine.” She explained that Al Qaeda “is rooted in Egypt and Salafism, not Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism. Al-Zawahiri, I believe, is intensely nostalgic for the Nile Valley.”

    The CIA factbook explains that the color green — such as used by anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat in naming his lab “Green Laboratory Medicine,” and by the mailer who used the return address “Greendale School” – is the traditional color of islam. Green symbolizes islam, Mohammed and the holy war. In its section on Saudi Arabia, and the “Flag Description,” the CIA “Factbook” explains that the flag is “green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); green is the traditional color of Islam.”

    An intelligence document first released in 2007 involves an operation by EIJ members headed by Atef and including Saif Adel in which the group headed to Somalia to work at developing a new base of operations. The group was called The Green Team. “Greendale School” was used as the return address in the letters and likely is code referring to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The stamp on the prestamped envelopes was of a green bird. For a video depicting the Green Bird’s point of view and invoking Allah’s guidance to “the straight path,” see this video “The 3D Kabah – A green birds eye view.” The koranic “Green Birds” reference is from the sentence relating to being set on “The Straight Path.” Timimi, the graduate student who had access to the Alibek/Bailey patent about concentration using hydrophobic silica, advised the EIJ founder Kamal Habib in writing for the publication called Assirat Al-Mustaqeem (“The Straight Path”).

    Likely for the same reason, Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat and Zacarias Moussaoui used the name Green Laboratory Medicine as the name of the company that he used, for example, to buy 4 tons of ammonium nitrate, and that he used to cover his anthrax production program. Green dale refers to green “river valley” — Egypt, Cairo, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and/or Egyptian Islamic Group. Put it all together and you have their new official name (though the American press does not use it) — Qaeda al Jihad. At the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they would be washed.

    Given that using the same address helps the second recipient receiving the letter to identify it and avoid opening it, the perp would have no reason to use the same address unless he was communicating something and wanted to draw attention to it.

    Adham Hassoun and Kassem Daher used “school” as code. Canadian businessman Daher is an associate of EIJ member Jaballah, who was detained in Canada and had maintained regular contact with Ayman by satellite telephone after coming to Canada in 1996. “Is there a school over there to teach football?” Hassoun asked, using what the FBI says is code for jihad.

    The Amerithrax Task Force explanation of Greendale is as follows:

    “The investigation into the fictitious return address on envelopes used for the second round of anthrax mailings, “4th GRADE,” “GREENDALE SCHOOL,” has established a possible link to the American Family Association (AFA) headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi. In October 1999, AFA, a Christian organization, published an article entitled “AFA takes Wisconsin to court.” The article describes a lawsuit filed in federal court, by the AFA Center for law and Policy (CLP), on behalf of the parents of the students at Greendale Baptist Academy. The articles focuses on an incident that occurred on December 16, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy. The article focuses on an incident that occurred on December 1, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy in order to interview a fourth grade student. The case workers, acting on an anonymous tip that Greendale Baptist Academy administered corporal punishment as part of its discipline policy, did not disclose to the staff why wanted to interview the student. The case workers interviewed the student in the absence of the student’s parents and informed the school staff that the parents were not to be contacted. The AFA CLP filed suit against the Wisconsin Department of Human Services, citing a violation of the parents’ Fourth Amendment rights.”
    [D]onations were made to the AFA in the name of “Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Ivins” on eleven separate occasions beginning on December 31, 1993. After an approximate two year break in donations, the next donation occurred on November 11, 1999, one month after the initial article referencing Greendale Baptist Academy was published in the AFA Journal. It was also discovered that the subscription to the AFA Journal, in the name of ‘Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Ivins,’ … was active until March 2005.”

    The logical fallacy is that Ivins would have had no reason to use the same address unless he was sending a message he wanted to be received. There was no audience that reasonably would have perceived the message being sent. He had no reason to send such a message. The theory was fine for an affidavit in support of a search of a residence — but not on which to close a case.

    • DXer said

      Ed raises the issue of codes. Atta used the codeword “Jenny.” This is worth exploring given the letter of the imminent wedding of Jennifer Lopez. “Wedding” is known to be codeword for attack. See December 1998 PDB from the CIA to President Clinton.

      The sender reportedly said how much he loved her and asked her to marry him. Stevens noted at the time it was especially off the wall given that the Sun did not deal with celebrities, which was the subject of the sister-paper Globe. Stevens’ fellow photo editor Roz Suss was looking over his shoulder: “With that Bob says to me,” Hey, I think there’s something gold in here. It looks like a Jewish star sticking out of the powder.” I walked up behind him and reached over his shoulder. I pulled this little star out of what looked like a mound of powder in this letter. I remember it as a fine white powder.” “It looked like something from a Cracker Jacks box,” she says. She picked it out of the powder and tossed it in her wastebasket. Stevens’ colleague Bobby Bender has a different recollection. He says he opened a letter to Jennifer Lopez, recalls handling a large envelope to Jennifer Lopez, care of the Sun. In it was a cigar tube containing a cigar, a small Star of David charm, and something that seemed like soap powder. Hambali and two al-Qaeda minions considered attacking an Israeli restaurant, with a Star of David above it, in the Khao San Rd. backpacker area in Bangkok.

      A December 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton explained: “An alleged Bin Ladin supporter late last month remarked to his mother that he planned to work in ‘commerce’ from abroad and said his impending ‘marriage,’ which would take place soon, would be a ’surprise.’” The December 1998 PDB continued: “‘Commerce’ and ‘marriage’ often are code words for attacks.” Of course, sometimes, a young man just wants to tell his mom he’s got a job or warn her that she may not approve of the woman he intends to marry. Similarly, sometimes folks who write to tabloids are merely commenting on JLo’s impending nuptials.

      Jennifer Lopez’s fame (“Jenny on the Block”) had withstood a number of under performing movies, to include the movie “The Cell” in the year 2000. In the movie, following a trail of bodies, an FBI agent tracks down and captures a disturbed serial killer. Before the killer can reveal the whereabouts of his next victim (a woman trapped in a cell on the verge of drowning), he falls into a coma. Enter beautiful FBI psychologist Lopez, who uses a radical link to the killer’s brain that could destroy her own sanity. “Her mission: Find the cell’s location before time runs out, and avoid getting trapped inside the killer’s head.” According to an early National Enquirer, Stevens held it up to his face and then put it down on the keyboard (where traces of anthrax were found). The publisher’s wife was the real estate broker who rented to two of the hijackers.

      The heaviest concentration was in the mailroom on the first floor, with positive findings in many cubicles throughout the first floor. The second floor had positive traces mainly in the hallways. The third floor had the fewest positive traces. The FBI has a theory that the spores were distributed on copy paper, perhaps having fallen onto an open ream of paper in the mailroom where it was stored. Perhaps instead spores could have been spread by a vacuum cleaner and collected at copier machines because of the electrostatic charge and the fans on the machines.

      Mrs. Stevens recently explained: “They get strange letters sometimes, and the consensus seems to be that if Robert wasn’t wearing his glasses and if it was something funny, he would hold the letters up to his face. They think perhaps that’s how he got it. Just bad luck.” The key expert evidence on this issue of the Jennifer Lopez letter thus far is the New England Journal of Medicine in which Stevens’ doctor concludes that the letter, opened 9/19 and resulting in symptoms appearing 9/30, evidenced an incubation period consistent with inhalational anthrax. (He refers to the 1979 accidental release in Russia).

      A CDC report discusses a second letter of possible interest thought to have been opened on September 25 by a different woman who was exposed. The jury will have to remain out unless and until there is more information on the letter(s) that transmitted the anthrax to AMI. The FBI went back to AMI in August 2002. A February 2003 article in Esquire says the “cops and the doctors” have concluded that there were two letters, following two different paths, with one having been mailed to an old address of the National Enquirer before being forwarded. If there were two different letters, were they to two different AMI publications? That would make sense — with one directed to the Sun and one directed to the National Enquirer.

      What does the J.Lo letter tell us about the sender, or senders? J.Lo is what they used to call a “sex bomb” — and the biggest one at the time. She had international fame. The vehicle had a “weird” love letter, a Star of David, maybe a cigar. Who had “issues” and weird obsessions with women, sex (with a cigar being a crude symbol) and Jewish symbolism? Atta, for example, had strict instructions in his will about what women would be allowed to do at his funeral. Follow the anomalies.

      Two of the hijackers had subscriptions to AMI publications, as did Al Qaeda operative al-Marabh. Boston cab driver Al-Marabh had been in contact with the hijackers, to include Alghamdi who rented an apartment from the wife of the AMI publisher. Atta was seen at the apartment of Al-Marabh and his uncle (the co-founder with Jaballah of an islamic school in Toronto in the Spring of 2001. After coming to Canada in 1996, Jaballah spoke with Ayman regularly on Ayman’s satellite phone. Jaballah, too, would speak in code. For example, if a EIJ leader was detained, he would be said to be in the “hospital.”

    • DXer said

      On this issue of codes Ed raises today, the best known symbol among jihadists is a “green bird” such as used on the envelopes used to mail the anthrax. As explained by 911 imam Anwar Aulaki, a green bird represents the souls of the martyrs going to heaven.

      It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” The stamp’s image of a green-blue colored bird was designed by artist Michael Doret. Mr. Doret provided me “a file made directly from the original art [he] created, so the color is an accurate representation of the printed envelope.” Michael advises me that the color of the eagle is a “teal” or greenish-blue.

      In the very interview with Al-Jazeera in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh admitted to the Jenny code, the code for representing the date 9/11, and used the symbolism of the “Green Birds.” Osama Bin Laden later invoked the symbolism in his video “The 19 Martyrs”, describing a hijacker as “A man of worship who enjoined good and forbade evil. His body was on earth but his heart roamed with the green birds that perch beneath the Throne of the Most Merciful.”

      A FAQ on Al Qaeda’s website, the Azzam Publications website, explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside. The actual Arabic word used in the Hadith is not Qalb (heart) but it is Jowf which can mean any of interior, inside, or heart (as in center). There was a video based on the hadith with the title “In The Hearts of Green Birds” about foreign mujahideen that had been martyred in Bosnia. The audiocassette was created in August 1996 and its 3rd edition was released in January 1997. The website selling the “In the Hearts of Green Birds” audiocassette was shut down after 9/11 because authorities thought it might contain codes and instructions to militants. British and US intelligence sources reportedly suspected that some of’s jihad photos and graphics contain messages embedded with a technology known as steganography. The code instead perhaps was there for all to see on the stamps of the lethal missives being sent.

      In early Fall 2001, the website was mirrored by someone who lived 6 miles from the mailbox where the anthrax was mailed. He was indicted in Spring 2007 for income tax invasion. To the left of the advertisement for the “Green Birds” video, you’ll see the description of al-Hawali’s imprisonment. The imprisonment of al-Hawali and certain other scholars was the “Cover Theme” (which includes a related article on the torture of prisoners in Saudi prisons). GMU computational biology grad al-Timimi drafted a letter for al-Hawali and had it hand-delivered to every member of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailings.

      Of course, given that the symbolism used in this regard in the anthrax mailings had an origin in religious writing, there is no direct tie with the website — the tie could be with the hadith. The London webmaster once said that the FBI allowed it to remain up (while it moved from server to server) for another year hoping to get leads on supporters.

      Even Zarqawi invoked the imagery in a 60-minute audio message:
      “The martyrs rejoice in the bounty provided by God. Their souls are inside the bodies of green birds that fly in heaven.”

      Bin Laden was using “Green Birds” in the same way he used the repeated phrase “Looming Tower” to hint of what was to come with the planes attack on the World Trade Center. He would say

      “Wherever you are, death will find you
      even in the looming tower.”

      In a prerecorded tape aired October 7, 2001, at the time of the anthrax mailing to the Senators, Bin Laden said “The winds of faith have come.”

      An advertisement for “In The Hearts of Green Birds” sold by Al Qaeda’s website read: “In the Summer of 1996, Azzam Recordings released the first audio tape of its kind to be produced in English. The name of this tape was:

      ‘In the Hearts of Green Birds.’ It outlined some of the stories of these men. This tape was so successful, that it spread, by the Will of Allah, throughout many Muslim homes in the UK, North America and Australia. Due to popular demand, in the Summer of 1997, Azzam Recordings produced the sequel to this tape: ‘Under the Shades of Swords.’ We ask Allah to accept the Shuhadaa’ and shower His Mercy upon them.” (It appeared in the 21st issue of Nida’ul Islam magazine (, December-January 1997- 1998). The Virginia Paintball defendants really liked videos like “In the Hearts of Green Birds” and found them inspirational.

      In July 2002, the President of the Help The Needy (a medical technologist who was president in name only) posted a story titled: “Raising Mujaahideen” on an Islamway bulletin board (noted to be an IANA subsidiary) which invoked the “green bird” imagery. On 9/11, under the screen name islam_1981, she had posted an IANA announcement deploring the unfair suspicion fundamentalists might come over. Soon afterward, she posted an explanation that killing civilians was absolutely forbidden by the koran and that upon acceptance of a visa (and accepted in the country as a guest) a person is forbidden from attacking his host. In July 2002, however, she posted a story titled “Raising Mujaahideen” that (apparently consistent with the earlier posts) celebrated raising children to be martyrs — in the story the martyr’s “soul gently leaves his body to reside in the heart of a green bird in Jannah.” These positions were the same as Al-Timimi’s position. She was President and the Vice-President was Idris Palmer of Northern Virginia, who had co-founded the Society for the Adherence of the Sunnah with Ali Al-Timimi.

    • DXer said

      Ed long ago raised the issue of why the underlined A’s and T’s in the letter. The writing of the text of the letter is interesting in that the “As” and “Ts” are double-lined.

      When the US Centers for Disease Control first identified that the Ames strain had been used in the mailing to Florida in October 2001, Keim and his colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) had nearly finished a project to sequence Bacillus anthracis— specifically, the chromosome of an anthrax isolate from a laboratory in Porton Down, U.K. Ayman had a microbiologist attending Porton Down-sponsored conferences at which presentations were made about the sequencing of Ames. The letter writer appears to have even double-lined A’s and T’s in the letters accompanying the anthrax possibly to simultaneously allude to Atta and the genomic sequence.

      As explained at the Porton Down conferences attended by Ayman’s operative Rauf Ahmad, Keim’s research team eventually discovered 60 new ‘markers’ in the Bacillus anthracis genome—DNA sequences that may vary from one isolate to another. These include insertions or deletions of DNA, and short sequences that are repeated at different lengths in the genome known as VNTRs (variable-number tandem repeats). A decade earlier, it had been determined that one of three proteins comprising anthrax toxin, and the first nucleotide sequence to be reported from B. anthracis (by USAMRIID authors no less), had a consensus TATAAT sequence located at the putative -10 promoter site. It is greek to us but apparently something with meaning to the person who drafted the letter. Perhaps the sender was saying that the bacteria was pathogenic unlike what had been sent to the Canadian immigration minister six months earlier.

      You can just imagine the same fictional CIA or FBI agents, or Postal Inspectors, plugging the underlined letter from the anthrax letters and wondering whether it pointed to the 1988 article “Sequence and analysis of the DNA encoding protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis” in the journal Gene by USAMRIID authors. The authors were from the Bacteriology Division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The abstract reads: “The nucleotide sequence of the protective antigen (PA) gene from Bacillus anthracis and the 5’ and 3’ flanking sequences were determined. PA is one of three proteins comprising anthrax toxin; and its nucleotide sequence is the first to be reported from B. anthracis. A consensus TATAAT sequence was located at the putative -10 promoter site.”

      When authorities determined that the anthrax had not been genetically modified so as to be resistant to antibiotics, Condi Rice told the President: “That’s the best news you’ve had as president.” Years later, at trial for sedition, GMU microbiology grad student Ali Al-Timimi read “Genome Technology.”

      The coded e-mail Faris wrote back to KSM suggesting that the idea of removing bolts from the span of the Brooklyn Bridge was not a viable idea was but one of many examples of the simple codes used by Al Qaeda operatives. Sometimes the code might be as simple as Adham Hassoun’s “stuff” for the local soccer team in places like Bosnia or his references to a young man who wanted to go out and get some “fresh air” [go join the jihad]. Sometimes it might be Iyman Faris’ reference to the weather or Ramzi Binalshibh’s “shirts” for Sally. Sometimes it might be a reference to Greendale School or a marriage proposal to Jenny such apparently in the case of the anthrax mailings. The CIA reports that wedding is Al-Qaeda-speak for an event. That, according to New York Times journalists, is why the CIA got so anxious to have the Buffalo boys arrested. Apart from an email about a “big feast,” the young men from Buffalo had started talking about a planned wedding. Interpreting such code is not without risk. The CIA kicked down the door in Bahrain and dragged him away from the altar to the horror of his bride-to-be.

      But putting aside this question of nuptials, impending or annulled, the fact remains that the sender of the anthrax letters would have had no reason to use the same address on the second letter unless he was communicating something. That identical return address, in fact, helped authorities locate and intercept the letter to a Senator. All of the coding together may have served to tell the world, for example, that Mohammed Atta and the others were going to fly to paradise in a green bird and that the anthrax was courtesy of the Vanguards of Conquest. If you mistreat our prisoners or continue appropriations to Israel and Egyptian regimes, we may attack Washington, D.C. and New York City with aerosolized anthrax. You act at your peril. Zawahiri simultaneously framed the US Army by using the “Ames strain” while telling them who did it.

      • DXer said

        On the return address, Greendale School purported to be in Franklin Park. Padilla, the former Broward man suspected of plotting to explode a ‘’dirty bomb’’ to spread radiation in the United States, worshipped at a Broward County mosque, Masjid Al-Iman, in Fort Lauderdale. That mosque was across the street from Franklin Park. It’s address was 2542 Franklin Park Drive. Padilla was a former gang member who converted to islam while in South Florida and became an extremist while in Egypt beginning in 1998. He attended al Azhar University in Egypt and started a family there after leaving his American wife. In 1999, Padilla left for Pakistan. Authorities detained him May 8, 2002 when he got off a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The FBI has found no ties between Padilla and the September 11 hijackers, even though several of them had lived in Broward County. The first head of Amerithrax was criticized for not seizing on the August 2001 leads relating to Padilla.

        While in Pakistan, Padilla had reported to KSM, the al Qaeda’s No. 3 leader who had anthrax production documents on his laptop when he was arrested. It appears that in April 2002, Khalid Mohammed dispatched Padilla to the United States, with several thousand dollars for a mission to disperse a radiological device that was still in the thinking stage. He was placed in a military brig in North Carolina and was held incommunicado for years, forbidden from contacting his family or attorney.

        A Padilla acquaintance, Adham Hassoun, was detained in June 2002 in Sunrise by federal agents. His home had been searched in November 2001 but authorities laid back, not arresting him and hoping surveillance would lead to insights. Hassoun once served as distributor of a magazine published in Australia advocating Muslim holy war and was associated with one or more charities accused by the Bush administration of funding terrorists. Padilla reportedly had contacted Hassoun from overseas and was apparently en route to meet Hassoun when he was arrested. Investigators monitored the communication between Padilla and Hassoun and arrested Hassoun after he was called by a reporter from Miami about his acquaintanceship with Padilla. State records indicate that he was the Florida registered agent of the Chicago-based Benevolence International Foundation. The leader of the mosque across from Franklin Park was Awad, the Florida representative of Holy Land Foundation.

        Hassoun had established Benevolence International Foundation in Plantation, Florida in 1992. In 1993, the headquarters was moved to Chicago area. A man named Mohammed Loay Bayazid was its president in 1993 and 1994. He was arrested while visiting Northern California in December 1994 along with Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law. Bayazid, according to authorities, had been looking to purchase enriched uranium for Bin Laden. On his driver’s license, his listed address was BIF headquarters. Thus, things had quickly come full circle for BIF to once again be involved in an investigation relating to Al Qaeda’s attempt to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

        In late 2002, it was announced that authorities were urgently seeking a Florida pilot El Shukrijumah, who worshipped at this same Fort Lauderdale mosque across from Franklin Park and had possible ties to Adham Hassoun. The pilot El Shukrijumah is said to be at the level of Mohammed Atta and is thought to have been associated with Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained biologist. Aafia Siddiqui reportedly also has a yet-undisclosed connection to Adham Hassoun. Mohammed Atta lived 11 miles away from this mosque across from Franklin Park, where these members of the Egyptian Islamic Group worshipped. Holy Cross hospital –where Dr. Tsonas treated Flight 93 hijacker Ahmad al-Haznawi for a suspicious leg lesion that he and other experts think was due to cutaneous anthrax — is only 7 miles from the mosque. Is it all a coincidence? Possibly.

        Remember: Given that using the same address helps the second recipient receiving the letter to identify it and avoid opening it, the mailer would have no reason to use the same address unless he was communicating something and wanted to draw attention to it.

        There was a detailed description at a June 1, 2004 press conference of Padilla’s plot and his relationship with Jafar the Pilot by a senior DOJ official. The official also described Padilla’s relationship with Atef, Zubaydah, KSM, and Ramzi Binalshibh. He emphasized that there is an urgent need to find Adnan (Jafar). Ali Al-Timimi’s mentor, Bilal Philips, was a good friend of Jafar the Pilot’s father.

  41. DXer said

    2008 interview with the new acting head of the DC Field Office, John Perren:

    Talk On Terrorisim

    John G. Perren, FBI special agent in charge of counter-terrorism at the Washington field office, spent a half year in Iraq for the bureau in 2005 as the on-scene commander before returning home to headquarters to become section chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction/Domestic Terrorism Operations Section. Earlier this year, he took his new post. He recently sat down in his office with editor Allan Lengel. The following is a condensed version.
    Q. Since Sept. 11, the Internet has become more and more a part of our culture. How has that impacted the terrorism network and has that impacted the way you investigate it?

    A. What its done, its taken this large world of ours and made it a lot smaller. It enabled these Jihadist, these terrorist groups to actually match recipes over the Internet, talk to each other over the Internet, conduct training over the Internet. What we’ve done in the Washington field office, we’ve started a terrorist cyber squad to address such threats.

    Q. How does that work?

    A. Right now, I don’t want to comment too much on that. We’ll be conducting investigations over the Internet. It won’t just be for this area. The Internet squad will be starting out in Manassas. This will be national and worldwide. We’re talking about getting set up in the next couple months. We’re aware of the cyber threat.

    Q. We’ve heard a lot about sleeper cells since Sept. 11. Are there sleeper cells?

    A. That’s always a concern for us. Our biggest concern… that lone wolf. That’s still our concern. Home grown people. We not only have core al Qaeda and we have al Qaeda inspired and we have those that sit there and listen and absorb it and sympathize, and those are the people that run below the radar that we’re really concerned about. That runs across international terrorism, domestic terrorism, WMD threats. The lone wolf is what worries us the most.


    A. We still have that ‘no lead is left unaddressed’. Anything we get we chase it down. In the Washington field office, we have a Guardian Squad that does that. Any threat, any information, suspicious activity, anything we get, we generate a lead and follow it up.

    Q. Before Sept. 11, a lot of people did not know about Middle Eastern culture. What’s the FBI done to close that gap?

    A. We have several agents that have received culture training, they’ve gone over to the Middle East and had language training, culture training. Our Intel analysts that are coming into the bureau and our agents that are coming to the bureau, we’re looking for diversified backgrounds and culture. We have given culture training. Here at the Spy Museum, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, our agents, task force officers, we had these folks from West Pointe come in; professors, doctors, that have been in the culture, teach our folks for about a one-week long lesson plan. It had to do with culture. Everything from talking, to gestures, how to approach people, how to conduct interviews and the historical perspective of cultures, Muslims, Islam, how it all comes together. That’s going to be ongoing. That’s not going to be a one time thing.

    Q. Have terrorists groups changed the way they do things?

    A. We have certain groups out here, they’re here strictly to raise funds. And we follow the money. We know these funds are being used to support terrorists. We’re doing that not just here in the Washington D.C. area, but we’re doing it nationally. I don’t want to get into specifics. We have active investigations where we know folks are raising funds, taking these funds, sending them abroad and they’re used in support of terrorism or used in support of training. Again, it’s following the money.

    Q. Back to sleeper cells. There are a lot of sleeper cells?

    A. I know in 2006, you know when we went to the caves and all that stuff and came up with the pocket litter. That was part of their plan, send people over and have them be westernized and use these folks. To answer your question, I’m not going to answer that question. We’re aware of that possibility.


    A. I think the FBI is very unique that we can combine our intelligence capabilities with our law enforcement capabilities. That’s our uniqueness. We’ve had MI5 come to the United States, take a look at us and say ‘Man, we wish we could do what you could do. We don’t work as well as you do. Don’t turn into MI5.’


    A. What I tell agents now. After they’re probationary time is up I have them come in my office. All new agents, I tell them let us not get complacent. Let us not forget about 9/11. let us keep that sense of urgency. Because nothings happened, let us not let our guard down. That’s my biggest fear that we let our guard down.

    • DXer said


      Event: John Perren (FBI Washington Field Office ASAC) Interview Type of Event: Interview Date: August 4, 2003 Special Access Issues: None Prepared by: Lance Cole Team number: 6 Location: FBI, Washington Field Office Participants Non-Commission: FBI Assistant General Counsel Robert S. Sinton and Pat O’Brien (portion of the interview and office tour) Participants – Commission: Lance Cole and Barbara Grewe

      Background. John Perren served as a police officer for the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department from 1973 until 1987. He was recruited by the FBI and started at the FBI at age 34 in 1987. He was initially assigned to the FBI’s Newark Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and he served on the Newark JTTF for ten years. (The only FBI field offices that had JTTFs at that time were Newark, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C.) Perren is a pilot, and because of that experience he also served as the Aviation Coordinator in Newark. Perren was assigned temporarily to FBI Headquarters after the Oklahoma City bombing. The FBI then separated domestic terrorism from its international terrorism unit and formed a new “DT” domestic terrorism unit at Headquarters; In 1997 Perren received a permanent assignment to the Headquarters DT unit. That unit was “criminal based” and focused on criminal prosecutions. For that reason, former police officers (like Perren) and others with criminal law enforcement experience were recruited to serve on the unit. Perren was responsible for the northeast part of the country. National JTTF Service. In 1999 Perren was promoted to the National JTTF at FBI Headquarters. He recalls that prior to the 9/11 attacks fourteen agencies were represented on the National JTTF; today 23 agencies are represented. Before the 9111 attacks it was difficult to recruit people to serve on the JTTFs. That has changed; today “everyone wants to join the JTTFs.” Now the JTTFs have more people than they have desk space for.

    • DXer said

      For Immediate Release
      January 9, 2008

      Washington D.C.
      FBI National Press Office
      (202) 324-3691

      John G. Perren Named SAC of the Washington Field Office’s Counterterrorism Branch

      In July 2005, Mr. Perren was promoted to Section Chief of the WMD/Domestic Terrorism Operations Section in the Counterterrorism Division, which provided national program management and support to detect, deter, and defeat acts of domestic terrorism, as well as the actual or threatened use of WMD. On July 26, 2006, the WMD Directorate was created to ensure that proper policies, protocols, and resources were established and deployed to minimize and mitigate the effects of a WMD incident and expedite the FBI’s ability to execute its statutory intelligence, investigative, and crisis response obligations. Mr. Perren served as Section Chief of the Countermeasures and Preparedness Section until his appointment as SAC.

      Prior to becoming an FBI agent, Mr. Perren was a member of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC, for 14 years. During his tenure on the MPD, he worked as a patrol officer and plain clothes officer. He worked violent crimes and served as an undercover officer on the Narcotic Task Force before being detailed to the Drug Enforcement Administration on a long-term undercover assignment. He was later promoted to the rank of detective, investigating armed robberies, kidnappings, and assault with intent to kill cases.

    • DXer said

      John Perren used to work with Michael Mason.

      As he investigates terrorist plots and other crimes, Assistant FBI Director Michael Mason ’80 mixes savvy leadership with a winning sense of optimism.

      By Sherry Wallace

      As head of the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office, Michael Mason ’80 obviously knows a lot more about the dangers facing this country on a daily basis than the average citizen ever will. In the span of his 19-year career with the bureau, he’s seen, met, or arrested people behaving in ways that most of us fortunately experience only second-hand, through news reports or T.V. dramas: murderers, kidnappers, drug kingpins, corporate criminals — an endless parade of bad guys.

      For all he’s seen and knows, you might forgive Mason if he were to come across as a bit cynical or jaded. Instead, the former Illinois Wesleyan accounting major is relentlessly positive; an optimism that was amply displayed when he was invited back to campus in March by the University’s Office of Admissions to serve as keynote speaker at the annual Scholars’ Day program.


      The threat of terrorist attacks, according to Mason, has changed many fundamental ways in which the bureau operates. In leading the investigation of what a National Public Radio commentator called one of the most complex criminal cases in American history — the 2001 anthrax attacks, in which five people died — Mason has enlisted the skills of a small army of experts.

      “I have eight Ph.Ds, two scientists, two psychologists, four metallurgists, and even more scuba divers who have helped us, and also a number of different linguists working that case,” he says. “We have about 40 people in total. But, as you can see, we take people from all sorts of skills, from all disciplines, and from all areas. So it’s really, really fascinating work. With this case we are making science (in) trying to figure out who perpetrated that crime, getting down to the molecular level.”

      Despite the complexities of such cases, solving them can seem like child’s play compared to trying to prevent them — which is exactly what FBI agents are being asked to do in the war on terrorism. Mason explains the challenge. In the pre-9/11 days, the FBI would arrive at the scene of a typical crime such as a bank robbery or a kidnapping and be confronted with something like a 100-piece puzzle. “The thing about the puzzle pieces in those kinds of crimes is that the box top with the picture of the finished puzzle is sitting right there,” he says. “You know what you have to do to put that puzzle together.”

      In contrast, “our number one job is disruption today,” Mason continues. “Now, the box-top pictures are gone and instead of 100 pieces, you have 100,000 pieces. And embedded inside those 100,000 pieces is a 20-piece picture that you have to get out in front of and prevent before it happens,” all the while preserving cherished constitutional rights and liberties.

      Above, Mason meets with John Perren, acting-special agent in charge of his field office’s counterterrorism branch.. (Photo by Hilary Schwab)

      This last part of the equation can be especially tricky when the urgency to prosecute the war on terrorism may tempt law enforcement officers to overlook the rights of suspects. Mason recalls one of his agents calling from the field with information “about this guy who’s an Islamic fundamentalist.

      Mike Mason is, most definitely, one of the good guys.

      • DXer said

        “John Perren used to work with Michael Mason.
        Above, Mason meets with John Perren, acting-special agent in charge of his field office’s counterterrorism branch.. (Photo by Hilary Schwab)
        Mike Mason is, most definitely, one of the good guys.”

        Michael Mason was in the Syracuse, New York office, when 2:15 a.m. one night, a 115,000-volt transmission tower came crashing down not far down the street from me. Mason investigated when the tower on the nearby Onondaga Indian reservation came 50 feet from landing on a cigarette shop, near where the local residents buy their smokes.

        “This is a serious felony. It is more than just criminal mischief,” Mason said. The Niagara Mohawk spokesperson declined to comment on what caused the tower to fall. But a local Onondaga businessman Oliver Hill said he knew. The tower missed crushing his cigarette shop by about 50 feet, which had been opened without the permission of the local Onondaga tribal leaders. “There has been sabotage on that tower because on each leg there are 20 to 30 bolts,” said Hill. “All the bolts were taken out on all four legs. So when the bolts are taken out, there’s nothing to hold it up so it fell over. Yes, it was sabotage.” Although I hadn’t arrived in the area yet, I didn’t call the local FBI office about the tower incident. After all, smoking kills 400,000 people a year.

        Instead, years later, with the Christmas presents unwrapped and put away, I contacted the FBI office to tell them that a Ronald Reagan mask had been found along with a bank bag where the man lay in wait with a semi-automatic — first for my brother, and then the next week my father. A Ronald Reagan mask was the signature of a very dangerous bank robber known as the “Closing Time Bandit.” The FBI agent in the small local office, who did not identify himself, said something to the effect: “We killed the Closing Time Bandit who used a Ronald Reagan mask in robbing banks. So this guy can’t be responsible for those robberies.”

        Before moving on to Washington, D.C., Mason said his most memorable case was this “Closing Time Bandit” case. Not long before he was shot dead as 40 FBI agents surrounded him at Henrietta, New York, the robber had decorated his yard with balloons on his daughter’s birthday.

        Ronald Petersen had been killed Aug. 15, 1996 by FBI agents in the Rochester suburb of Henrietta while plotting another heist. The rightist, who had been tracked by a miniature television camera on a telephone pole outside his home, died in a hail of bullets. When police searched his house in Liverpool, a Syracuse suburb, they recovered 20 guns, including two Uzis, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and a cache of explosives.

        “I know. “ I told the agent, “This guy’s parole officer says his apartment in Watertown is covered with newspaper articles glorifying famous New York State criminals. He’s trying to make you fellows look foolish. By being a copycat and making it look like you killed the wrong guy.”

        The ex-convict and three-time loser who tried to take my Dad away at gunpoint that night before Christmas got 20+ years to life. Robbery was the apparent motive. That night, the police siren had come on within seconds of the 9/11 call coming in. The gunman spent the night holed up in a nearby garage and was captured after a psychiatrist/hostage negotiator came from Syracuse and talked him out of the garage. He asked that they kneel and pray together. (I never said the gunman, a former altar boy, was very bright). So why, as an Obama groupie, am I such a booster of the FBI and local law enforcement? Of men like Michael Mason and John Perren?

        Because it is their job to protect and serve when some among us, overcome by anger and brainwashed as children or later in life, resort to hurting innocents, such as the elderly Mrs. Lundgren or the infant at ABC. It’s time to stop second-guessing them based on inadequate information and be supportive even if we might disagree with them until it’s time the evidence is disclosed and opposing evidence can be laid out in detail.

        Mason was a friend in Syracuse, anti-war activist Kathleen Rumpf, who calls herself a “felon for peace” and is a staunch supporter of IANA, for which Ali Al-Timimi was the celebrated speaker. She had been a personal hero of mine long before I met her based on positive comments I had heard. She spent several months in prison for trespassing during a demonstration against the School for the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. She has worked for years fighting for prisoner rights and other issues. When Mason showed up there one of the first things he did was meet with her. “He’s quite wonderful,” Rumpf told the Sacramento Bee in an interview from the Syracuse offices of the American Civil Liberties Union. “He was incredibly responsible and treated me with great respect.” Mason says: “I’m not complicated enough to be political. It’s too hard.” Look at the picture in the article above at the original link picturing Mason and Perren together. It would be hard to find a more experienced candidate to permanently fill the position of head of the DC Field Office — or to find someone who had a better role model in Mason.

        As part of canvassing as part of a local political campaign, I was walking up a street in Syracuse in front of Kathleen Rumpf’s home on October 15, 2003 when my wife drove up, pointing out that the very short street had both Rumpf and the Berrigans (related to the late famed Catholic anti-nuclear pacifist). My time would be wasted urging them to vote for The Candidate. They were long-time family friends. I had been at a charity fundraiser when she ran merrily around the crowd — at the egging of one of the performers on stage — when the elder Berrigan spoke eloquently against the war in Iraq.

        This is how this liberal could be not as concerned about the privacy rights, for example, associated with what people do when they use a computer at the library or use the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive. I once crusaded (in a lawsuit against AT&T) against what I argued was widespread illegal wiretapping by the local law enforcement authorities in some states such as Vermont. With the advent of digital wiretapping, the potential for abuse by a rogue wiretapper is huge and can be done by the person at his desk using a laptop). (Of course, warrantless wiretapping by the NSA that circumvents all FISA judges presents an issue that it will take a federal district court in Eastern District in the Al-Timimi case to sort out under the applicable standards.) On a crisp October morning, I had bought a bumper sticker from Barrie Gewanter, the local ACLU activist, at the Syracuse Festival of Races, who likely was advocating at the time on the IANA matter in the early days. I told her that I greatly admired her work and that reasonable people can disagree. The key, I said, to achieve the best balancing of interests was to have an informed debate. But when I know that people like Michael Mason and John Perren are advising Director Mueller, I feel both secure and confident that authorities will always continue to strive to strike an appropriate balance.

        Mason once gave a speech to 250 high school students gathered at the Syracuse University campus in 1998 for High School Press Day in which he explained to the students that it was important for both the FBI and the media not to rush to judgment. He drew parallels between the two professions, explaining that the most important characteristic in either profession is integrity. On another occasion, he spoke bluntly to young inmates and told them there were consequences to their actions. Another time he and the DA spoke to kids about violence at the request of area educators. One of his most baffling cases was a rash of thefts of two-way radios throughout the area.

        Mason realized the importance of catching a lucky break in a case. Once, in 1998, he had been working for 4 months trying to track down the 2 year old daughter who had been taken by a divorced father from the mother. He fruitlessly tracked leads that seemed to lead to Australia and London. Then one Saturday he went to work to collect his thoughts and plot a new strategy, when someone called from Montreal to describe the drunken boasting of the father in a bar in Montreal.

        Mason investigated teenage Animal Defense League members in connection with an attempted bombing incident at a local meat plant noting that the FBI was not targeting their beliefs, but their actions when those beliefs turned to violence. During his stay in Syracuse, his only apparent involvement in matters relating to radical islamists was to read of goings-on at the kitchen table in the morning. “Bomb focuses on radical cleric: Imprisoned sheik’s followers might have sent letter bombs,” investigators say,” Syracuse Herald-Journal, Jan. 4, 1997. (The article referred to the Al Hayat letter bombs for which there is up to a $5 million reward under the Rewards for Justice program).

        Mason once described how a bank robbery was solved by discovering that the bank note had been written by a second grader. The bank robber handed a teller at the Marine Midland Bank a note demanding money on January 5, 1990. On the bottom half, police found part of a letter to a child signed by “Santa’s Helper.” Agents traced the letter to a second grade class at Franklin Elementary School, where the bank robber’s stepson attended. The FBI then was able to match the robber’s palm print to the note. Let’s hope Mason, while he was working Amerithrax, was working Saturdays and not 99% sure like Ed that a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters.

        How many did it take to monitor one person who needs to be closely surveilled according to Mason? As many as eight agents per shift if he is mobile. Another half-dozen to listen in on his calls. Others perhaps to file wiretap reports or handle aerial surveillance. A couple supervisory agents to oversee the case. $55 an hour for an agent. $150 for a plane. A lot more for electronic surveillance. What linguists were working for Mason? Urdu for one. Arabic for another.

        In March 2004, Michael Mason explained to students gathered at his alma mater: “Our No. 1 job is disruption today. Now you have 100,000 pieces to a puzzle. Somebody has carted off all the box tops, and embedded inside those 100,000 pieces is a 20-piece picture of an event that you have to get out in front of and prevent before it happens while at the same time trying to preserve all the freedoms and liberties that we have come to embrace in this country.” He continued: “But we still have to do the job the right way. My job is to make sure that we do it the right way — that, in our zeal, we do not do anything that takes away from what defines us.” “If we lose confidence in our institutions, then we tear away at the very fabric that defines democracy. When you no longer trust the courts, the police, congressmen, senators, that’s the beginning of the end. That’s some of the most important work that we do.”

        Consider the example of a 35 year-old fellow named Mubarak, who was a friend of Murad, a key player in Bojinka. Mubarak lived with Murad before Murad had gone to the Philippines and plotted to blow up a bunch of airliners simultaneously. And, yes, Mubarak went to flight school. Agent Michael Mason, who headed the FBI’s Sacramento Office before coming to head Amerithrax, said “there were sufficient connections that necessitated his removal to another country.” “If he were a U.S. citizen, he might be walking around the [Sacramento] area today,” Mason said. “But .. inasmuch as his residency in this country was an issue, that just became another arrow in my quiver to neutralize the threat.” The same article also provides interesting examples of associates of the likes of 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi, Almidhar, and Hani Hanjour, the hijackers who followed the 911 imam Aulaqi to Falls Church. “What we have over the U.S. is a net,” Mason has said. “At best, what we’re doing is shrinking the mesh in the net. We’re trying to kick down the door of the person who’s going to drive the truck loaded with explosives. But can we do it in time?” When I told Agent Mason that I thought Zawahiri was behind the anthrax mailings, he responded by email that the FBI had not reached any conclusion but was leaving no stone unturned. Whenever the all-too-familiar refrain was invoked, some needed convincing. That is all the more true given the conclusions about Ivins persuaded no one except the guy urging that a First Grader was involved. The skepticism has been longstanding. Bill Walter, retired microbiologist and former scientist in the U.S. bioweapon program who had not been contacted, once commented: “I read where they haven’t left a stone unturned. There’s about eight of us stones that are still unturned. It’s a joke.”

        Numerous illustrious legal beagles have been hard at work developing an entire new field of science that would stand up to a withering OJ-worthy scrutiny. The book MICROBIAL FORENSICS “describes the new and growing field of Microbial Forensics-the science that will help bring to justice criminals and terrorists who use biological material to cause harm. This compact and elegant book describes the foundation of the field of microbial forensics and will serve as a basic primer to initiate those scientists and officials that have an interest in the topic. It covers a variety of areas from forensic science, to microbiology, to epidemiology, to bioinformatics, and to legal issues.” Authors of the lead chapter “Microbial Forensics” include Bruce Budowie of the FBI Lab and James P. Burans. Burans, as honored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at a Washington, D.C. ceremony in 2002 for his help during the anthrax attacks. He was a scientific consultant to the FBI on the analysis of the mailed anthrax. The Federal Law Enforcement Officer’s Association also named Burans Civilian of the Year for his assistance.

        Names familiar to many who have followed Amerithrax closely include the author of “Bacterial Pathogens” Paul Keim, who has been part of FBI investigation working on the DNA sequencing of Ames and John Ezzell, author of the section on “Forensic handling of biological threat samples in the lab.” The most interesting chapter is “Non-DNA methods for biological signatures” with a raft of authors.

        “Population genetics of bacteria in a forensic context” may not pinpoint the lab, without more, but Paul Keim stands ready with co-author Richard E. Lenski to explain how it could narrow the field.

        Rounding out the text are articles reminiscent of OJ. Joseph M. Campos offers “Quality management in forensics laboratories.” Rock Harmon writes on “Admissibility standards for scientific evidence.” A former long-time Assistant District Attorney from California, Harmon helped develop the protocol to assist law enforcement agencies in solving previously unsolved cases through the use of DNA typing.

        Working for the Homeland Security Department (”HSD”), the Biosecurity and Nanosciences Laboratory has built a computer database of biological signatures, an approach that in Amerithrax is complementary to Keim’s PCR technique, which focuses on DNA signatures. (PCR means polymerase chain reaction.) A detector using PCR amplifies a short stretch of a pathogen’s DNA to determine its characteristics. Dr Yoreo’s lab characterize, for example, single spores of anthrax with high sensitivity.
        Internal newsletters indicate that the Lawrence Livermore was first enlisted to combat the Bin Laden anthrax threat in 1998 by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. And so although former FBI Lab Director Murch, who once played a key role in charting direction of DTRA research in 2001 and 2002 was quoted in a press account saying there is no “smoking gun” in Amerithrax, these young and talented folks at Lawrence Livermore keep looking.

        Now we can always hope that in addition to receiving a crystal plaque, the FBI and US DOJ officials reach the correct solution in Amerithrax. But it will take someone as informed on counterterrorism and the biothreat as Perren to be truly informed on the Amerithrax investigation.

        Mueller’s solid values, too, always come across when he gives those unilluminating answers before Congress. His reticence reminds one of the shyness of movie character, lawyer Atticus Finch. He did not attend the August 2008 briefing because, as one major network legal commentator opined (rightly or wrongly) to Bloomberg, he did not want to be facially associated with the conclusions expressed. Director Mueller in September 2008 then told the Congressional Committee that the case would be reopened if new evidence arose.

        The politicization of the US DOJ under the Bush Administration was bound to cause a hangover. Here’s to a new year and hoping that men like Mueller and Perren are part of the cure. Mason went on to a highly lucrative career with the country’s best wishes.

        Life continues to be a grand mystery. Answers are seldom going to be found in a book or on a webpage or blog.

        Okay, sometimes.

  42. DXer said

    It wasn’t in the Lengel interview where he said that. If he said it elsewhere, I’ll have to find it.

  43. DXer said

    John Perren Named Interim Head of FBI Washington Field Office

    John Perren
    By Allan Lengel

    WASHINGTON – John G. Perren, special agent in charge of counter-terrorism at the FBI’s Washington field office, has been named the interim head of the office, authorities said Wednesday.

    Perren will replace Joseph Persichini Jr, the assistant director in charge of the office, who officially retires on Christmas day. Perren’s appointment becomes effective Dec. 26.

    Perren, who joined the bureau in 1987, spent a half year in Iraq for the FBI in 2005 as the on-scene commander before returning home to headquarters to become section chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction/Domestic Terrorism Operations Section.

    In 2008, he became the special agent in charge of the counterterrorism division for the Washington Field Office.

    He replaces Persichini, who retires under a cloud. The Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating allegations that Persichini and two other high ranking agents in the office may have worked together and may have gotten help from an FBI lawyer on an open book exam on bureau procedures, which is a violation of bureau policy.

    Nothing happened to Persichini, who had been planning to retire anyways from the bureau. The two other agents still face possible discipline, which may include a demotion and a transfer to another FBI office.

    • DXer said

      Here is the new DC Field Office head talking about bioagents and agriculture.

      New Threat: Agro-Terrorism
      Some Experts Warn That America’s Food Chain Could Be An Inviting Target

      Nearly 300 people were sick before the current salmonella outbreak could be tracked to a peanut butter processor in Georgia, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports. Two hundred others were ill and three people had died by the time scientists traced last fall’s E. coli contamination to California spinach.

      Both accidental outbreaks underscore a frightening reality: Once a poison or bio-agent infects America’s food chain, it’s hard to detect — and even harder to stop making the U.S. food supply an inviting target for terrorists.

      “This is the new fight, the battleground since 9/11,” says John Perren, who runs the FBI office handing weapons of mass destruction.

      Perren says so-called “agro-terrorism” is a real threat from “farm to fork.”

      “The food chain, the agriculture system, is very large. Therefore we have vulnerabilities. We consider that a soft target,” Perren says.

      While terrorists have not made a move against U.S. agriculture, bio-weapons researcher Jerry Jaxx says it would be easy to taint the food supply or damage America’s $2 trillion farm economy.

      “Certainly, these are risks that are very, very real,” says Jaxx.

      Comment: The hadiths expressly forbid an attack on livestock and crops.

  44. DXer said

    Yemeni air strike kills 30, targets home of cleric linked to Ft. Hood attack

    By Sudarsan Raghavan
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 24, 2009; 7:10 AM

    SANAA, YEMEN — Yemeni forces killed at least 30 suspected militants in an air strike early Thursday morning on an alleged al-Qaeda hide-out in southeastern Yemen, the second such assault in the past week, according to Yemeni security and government sources.

    The strike appeared to target the home of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the extremist Yemeni-American preacher linked to the suspected gunman in the Fort Hood army base attack in November.

    A Yemeni government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Qaeda leaders were believed to be meeting at the house. It was unknown whether Aulaqi was present at the gathering, and, if so, whether he died or escaped, the official said.


    There is compelling evidence that Anwar Al Aulaqi was coordinating with “anthrax weapons suspect” (his counsel’s phrase) Ali Al-Timimi, who shared a suite with the leading anthrax scientist and former deputy USAMRIID Commander at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense.

    There is compelling evidence that he is linked to Al Qaeda. See History Commons.

    Here is the narrative.

    Profile: Anwar Al Aulaqi
    a.k.a. Anwar al-Awlaki
    Anwar Al Aulaqi was a participant or observer in the following events:
    June 1999-March 2000: FBI Investigates Al-Qaeda-Linked Imam and Misses His Contacts with 9/11 Hijackers

    The FBI conducts a counterterrorism inquiry into Anwar Al Aulaqi, an imam who will later be suspected of involvement in the 9/11 plot. He serves as the “spiritual leader” to several of the hijackers (see March 2001 and After), and by 2008 US intelligence will determine he is linked to al-Qaeda (see February 27, 2008).

    The investigation is opened when it is learned he had probably been visited by a “procurement agent” for bin Laden, Ziyad Khaleel. Khaleel had helped buy a satellite phone for bin Laden; when he is arrested in December 1999 he reportedly tells the FBI crucial details about al-Qaeda operations in the US (see December 29, 1999).

    In early 2000 the FBI is aware when Al Aulaqi is visited by an unnamed close associate of Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. 131 ; WASHINGTON POST, 2/27/2008]
    [Who was this? Was this IANA writer Gamal Sultan who visited the US in 2000?]

    He also serves as vice president of the Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW), the US branch of a Yemeni charity founded by Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, a Yemeni imam who the US will officially designate a terrorist in 2004. …

    The FBI learns that Al Aulaqi knows individuals from the suspect Holy Land Foundation and others involved in raising money for Hamas. Sources allege that Aulaqi has even more extremist connections.
    But none of these links are considered strong enough for criminal charges, and the investigation is closed. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 517]

    AlAulaqi is beginning to associate with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar shortly before the investigation ends. For instance, on February 4, one month before the FBI investigation is closed, Al Aulaqi talks on the telephone four times with hijacker associate Omar al-Bayoumi. The 9/11 Commission will later speculate that these calls are related to Alhazmi and Almihdhar, since al-Bayoumi is helping them that day, and that Alhazmi or Almihdhar may even have been using al-Bayoumi’s phone at the time (see February 4, 2000). Al-Bayoumi had also been the subject of an FBI counterterrorism investigation in 1999 (see September 1998-July 1999).
    February 4, 2000: Phone Calls Suggest Link between 9/11 Hijackers, Omar Al-Bayoumi, and Al-Qaeda-Linked Imam in San Diego

    According to phone records, four calls take place between Anwar AlAulaqi and Omar al-Bayoumi on February 4, 2000. This is the same day hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar move into their own apartment in the Parkwood Apartments complex in San Diego. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 517] On this day, al-Bayoumi is the co-signer and guarantor on their lease, and pays their first months’ rent and deposit. It is possible they are using al-Bayoumi’s phone at this time. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/3/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 517] Al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi spy, helps the hijackers settle in San Diego in many ways (see January 15-February 2000). Al Aulaqi is an imam at the Al-Rribat Al-Islami mosque (also known as Rabat) on the La Mesa-San Diego border. US investigators will later conclude he is connected to al-Qaeda and probably involved in the 9/11 plot. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/27/2008] AlAulaqi is the subject of an FBI counterterrorism investigation at the time these calls are made, but the investigation is closed one month later (see June 1999-March 2000).
    March 2001 and After: Hijackers Continue to Associate with Al-Qaeda-Linked Imam

    After living together in Phoenix since December 2000, hijackers Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazmi move to Falls Church, Virginia.[WASHINGTON POST, 9/10/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 1/26/2004] They live only a few blocks from where two nephews of bin Laden with ties to terrorism go to work (see February-September 11, 1996 and June 1, 2004). They continue to live there off and on until around August. They begin attending the Dar al Hijrah mosque. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/10/2002] When they and Khalid Almihdhar lived in San Diego in early 2000, they attended a mosque there led by the imam Anwar Al Aulaqi. This imam moved to Falls Church in January 2001, and now the hijackers attend his sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque. Some later suspect that Aulaqi is part of the 9/11 plot because of their similar moves, and other reasons:

    The FBI says Al Aulaqi had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ]

    Police later find the phone number of Al Aulaqi’s mosque when they search “would-be twentieth hijacker” Ramzi bin al-Shibh’s apartment in Germany. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ]

    The FBI was investigating Al Aulaqi for ties to Islamic militant groups in early 2000 (see June 1999-March 2000).

    A neighbor of Al Aulaqi later claims that, in the first week of August 2001, Al Aulaqi knocked on his door and told him he is leaving for Kuwait: “He came over before he left and told me that something very big was going to happen, and that he had to be out of the country when it happened.” [NEWSWEEK, 7/28/2003]

    US officials will allow Al Aulaqi to leave the US twice in 2002, but by 2008 they will conclude that he is linked to al-Qaeda attacks (see Early September 2006-December 2007 and February 27, 2008).
    Early April-Early May, 2001: Associate of Suspicious Imam Helps 9/11 Hijackers Rent Flat
    Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rent an apartment in Alexandria, Virginia, for about a month, with the help of Eyad Alrababah, a man whom they met at a local mosque. The mosque is run by Anwar Aulaqi, an associate of Alhazmi’s from San Diego who was investigated by the FBI over terrorism suspicions (see March 2001 and After). Alhazmi and Hanjour had previously lived in Phoenix, Arizona (see December 12, 2000-March 2001) and will later move to Paterson, New Jersey (seeMarch 2001-September 1, 2001). Alrababah will later say that he just happened to meet them after a service in the mosque, when they mentioned they were looking for an apartment and he had a friend who had one to rent. However, given Al Aulaqi’s previous association with Alhazmi, some FBI agents will later doubt this and suspect that Aulaqi told Alrababah to help the hijackers. The 9/11 Commission will comment, “We share that suspicion, given the remarkable coincidence of Aulaqi’s prior relationship with Alhazmi.”

    October 2002: FBI Inexplicably Fails to Detain Imam Linked to 9/11 Hijackers, Lets Him Leave US

    Shortly after 9/11, the FBI begins to suspect that Anwar Al Aulaqi, an imam to several of the 9/11 hijackers, may have had some connection to the 9/11 plot. They interview him repeatedly, but cannot find enough evidence to charge him, and he cannot be deported since he is a US citizen. Investigators discover he had been arrested more than once for soliciting prostitutes. They learn he is consorting with prostitutes in Virginia, and contemplate jailing him on an obscure law against transporting prostitutes across state lines. However, this plan collapses when he leaves the US unexpectedly in March 2002. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/13/2004] But on October 10, 2002, he makes a surprise return to the US. His name is on a terrorist watch list and he is detained when his plane lands in New York City. Customs agents notify the FBI, but they are told that his name was taken off the watch list just the day before. He is released after only three hours. It has not been explained why he name was taken off the list. Throughout 2002, Al Aulaqi is also the subject of an active Customs investigation into money laundering called Operation Greenquest, but he is not arrested for this either, or for the earlier contemplated prostitution charges. [WORLDNETDAILY, 8/16/2003] At the time, the FBI is fighting Greenquest, and Customs officials will later accuse the FBI of sabotaging Greenquest investigations (see After March 20, 2002-Early 2003). While in the US, Al Aulaqi visits the Fairfax, Virginia, home of Ali al Timimi, the leader of a nearby Islamic center. According to a later court filing, Aulaqi attempts to get al Timimi to discuss the recruitment of young Muslims for militant causes, but al Timimi does not show interest. Al Timimi will later be sentenced to life in prison in the US for inciting young Muslims to fight in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/27/2008] Al Aulaqi then leaves the US again. The FBI will later admit they were “very interested” in Al Aulaqi and yet failed to stop him from leaving the country. One FBI source says, “We don’t know how he got out.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/13/2004] He will allegedly take part in other militant attacks (see September 15, 2006). By 2008, US intelligence will conclude that he is linked to al-Qaeda (seeFebruary 27, 2008).

    July 24, 2003: 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Suggests Hijackers Received Considerable Assistance Inside US
    The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry’s final report concludes that at least six hijackers received “substantial assistance” from associates in the US, though it’s “not known to what extent any of these contacts in the United States were aware of the plot.” These hijackers came into contact with at least 14 people who were investigated by the FBI before 9/11, and four of those investigations were active while the hijackers were present. But in June 2002, FBI Director Mueller testified: “While here, the hijackers effectively operated without suspicion, triggering nothing that would have alerted law enforcement and doing nothing that exposed them to domestic coverage. As far as we know, they contacted no known terrorist sympathizers in the United States.” CIA Director Tenet made similar comments at the same time, and another FBI official stated, “[T]here were no contacts with anybody we were looking at inside the United States.” These comments are untrue, because one FBI document from November 2001 uncovered by the Inquiry concludes that the six lead hijackers “maintained a web of contacts both in the United States and abroad. These associates, ranging in degrees of closeness, include friends and associates from universities and flight schools, former roommates, people they knew through mosques and religious activities, and employment contacts. Other contacts provided legal, logistical, or financial assistance, facilitated US entry and flight school enrollment, or were known from [al-Qaeda]-related activities or training.” [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] The declassified sections of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry’s final report show the hijackers have contact with:

    Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, who had contact with Basnan, al-Bayoumi, Aulaqi, Mustafa, and Salamah, “maintained a number of other contacts in the local Islamic community during their time in San Diego, some of whom were also known to the FBI through counterterrorist inquiries and investigations,” but details of these individuals and possible others are still classified. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ]None of the above people have been arrested or even publicly charged with any crime associated with terrorism, although Zammar is in prison in Syria.
    August 1-3, 2003: Leaks Hint at Saudi Involvement in 9/11

    In the wake of the release of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry’s full report, anonymous officials leak some details from a controversial, completely censored 28-page section that focuses on possible Saudi support for 9/11. According to leaks given to the New York Times, the section says that Omar al-Bayoumi and/or Osama Basnan “had at least indirect links with two hijackers [who] were probably Saudi intelligence agents and may have reported to Saudi government officials.” It also says that Anwar Al Aulaqi “was a central figure in a support network that aided the same two hijackers.” Most connections drawn in the report between the men, Saudi intelligence, and 9/11 is said to be circumstantial. [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/2/2003] One key section is said to read, “On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a CIA memorandum, ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists… On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations.’”(see August 2, 2002) Some of the most sensitive information involves what US agencies are doing currently to investigate Saudi business figures and organizations. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/2/2003] According to the New Republic, the section outlines “connections between the hijacking plot and the very top levels of the Saudi royal family.” An anonymous official is quoted as saying, “There’s a lot more in the 28 pages than money. Everyone’s chasing the charities. They should be chasing direct links to high levels of the Saudi government. We’re not talking about rogue elements. We’re talking about a coordinated network that reaches right from the hijackers to multiple places in the Saudi government.… If the people in the administration trying to link Iraq to al-Qaeda had one-one-thousandth of the stuff that the 28 pages has linking a foreign government to al-Qaeda, they would have been in good shape.… If the 28 pages were to be made public, I have no question that the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia would change overnight.” [NEW REPUBLIC, 8/1/2003] The section also is critical that the issue of foreign government support remains unresolved. One section reads, “In their testimony, neither CIA or FBI officials were able to address definitely the extent of such support for the hijackers, globally or within the United States, or the extent to which such support, if it exists, is knowing or inadvertent in nature. This gap in intelligence community coverage is unacceptable.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 8/3/2003]

    Early September 2006-December 2007: Imam Linked to 9/11 Hijackers Arrested in Yemen, Then Let Go

    In early September 2006, Anwar Al Aulaqi is arrested in Yemen at the request of the US. Al Aulaqi served as imam to several of the 9/11 hijackers when they lived in the US (see March 2001 and After).[AUSTRALIAN, 11/4/2006] However, to the dismay of US authorities, Al Aulaqi is released in December 2007. But the US was limited in how much it could pressure the government of Yemen to keep holding him, because he has never been formally charged with any crime. In a taped interview shortly after his release, he claims that while he was imprisoned in Yemen, he was interrogated by the FBI multiple times, and asked about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/27/2008] By 2008, US officials will conclude he is linked to al-Qaeda (see February 27, 2008).

    September 15, 2006: Al-Qaeda-Linked Attack on Oil Facilities in Yemen Is Foiled
    Two simultaneous suicide attacks on oil and gas installations in Yemen fail. The Safer refinery in Marib and the al-Dhabba terminal in Hadramout are attacked by four suicide bombers with car bombs, but Yemeni security forces blow the cars up just before they reach their targets. The four suicide bombers and one security guard are killed. The attacks come just a few days after al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri called for attacks on oil facilities in the Persian Gulf region. A Yemeni court later sentences 32 men to between two and 15 years in jail for their roles in the attacks. Three of them are alleged al-Qaeda operatives tried in absentia who escaped from prison earlier in 2006 (see February 3, 2006). [BBC, 11/7/2007] Anwar Al Aulaqi, an imam for several of the 9/11 hijackers while they lived in the US, was arrested in Yemen earlier in the month (see Early September 2006-December 2007). He allegedly also has a role preparing for the foiled attacks.[AUSTRALIAN, 11/3/2006; AUSTRALIAN, 11/4/2006] …

    February 27, 2008: Report: US Finally Decides Imam to 9/11 Hijackers Is Linked to Al-Qaeda
    The Washington Post reports that US intelligence has finally determined that Anwar Al Aulaqi is linked to al-Qaeda. Al Aulaqi was an imam at two different mosques attended by hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, and Hani Hanjour, and he has been suspected of assisting the 9/11 plot. An anonymous US counterterrorism official tells the Post, “There is good reason to believe Anwar Al Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States [after 9/11], including plotting attacks against America and our allies.” However, the US apparently did not ask Yemen to extradite him when he was arrested there in 2006, because there was no pending legal case against him. He continues to reside in Yemen and apparently still has not been charged with any crime. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/27/2008] He also does not appear to be on any public wanted list.

  45. DXer said
    Feb. 28, 2005

    Jerome B. Wiesner Symposium
    Scientists walk fine line conducting research post-9/11
    By Kevin Bergquist

    It is important for scientists to know the new rules and regulations governing biological research and comply with them, especially in times of heightened security after Sept. 11, a leader in the fight against bioterrorism said Feb. 14.

    Ronald Atlas, graduate dean, professor of biology and co-director of the Center for the Deterrence of Biowarfare and Bioterrorism at the University of Louisville, delivered the keynote address at the Jerome B. Wiesner Symposium.

    Speaking on “Academic Freedom and National Security: Confronting the Dual Dilemma,” Atlas discussed the problem many scientists have conducting research with materials that could be used as biological weapons in the wrong hands.

    “In the wake of 9/11 and anthrax, many new laws were created that impact biological research. It is [scientists’] responsibility to know the regulations and comply with them as part of our ethical responsibilities,” Atlas said.

    “To the maximum extent possible, science should be open and freely available. But we need to engage in a dialogue to help define the boundaries of scientific inquiry.”

    Atlas was a member of an Institute of Medicine committee that authored a 2004 National Research Council Report, “Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism.” He advises the U.S. government on policy issues related to the deterrence of bioterrorism.

    The fifth edition of the Wiesner Symposium was entitled “Academic Freedom and National Security: Biological Research in the Post-9/11 Era.” Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, it examined how research can thrive despite increasing scrutiny over the use of potentially dangerous materials.

    Atlas cited two examples of how researchers have been affected by changing laws governing the possession and use of biological agents.

    He cited a case involving Thomas Foral, a University of Connecticut graduate student who was charged under the U.S. Patriot Act for saving a culture of bacillus anthracis after being ordered by a professor to destroy it. Facing a 10-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine, Foral reached a plea bargain.

    Atlas also recalled the story of a Texas Tech researcher who was charged with illegally transporting Tanzanian plague samples.

    “None of us has the luxury of disobeying the laws and regulations,” Atlas said. “We need to define what is dangerous information and how can it be contained while still allowing legitimate biological research.”

    The National Biosecurity Initiative established a National Scientific Advisory Board for Biosecurity to advise the federal government. Atlas said a code of ethics has been developed that will “prevent the life sciences from becoming the death sciences.”

    “The scientific community should have a self-governance system,” Atlas said. “We are not forced to do this; it is our responsibility to act.”

    Michael Imperiale, professor of microbiology and immunology and chair of U-M’s Institutional Biosafety Committee, introduced Atlas at the symposium.

    “Most scientists cringe at the thought of someone taking their work and using it to bring harm,” Imperiale said.

    • DXer said

      The 2005 Jerome B. Wiesner Symposium

      Academic Freedom and National Security:

      February 14, 2005

      Science and Society
      Striking a balance between them isn’t easy

      Ann Arbor News
      February 13, 2005


      We are living in an era when the risk that our own discoveries in biological research will be used against us is real and imminent. At the same time, protecting and nurturing research is in danger, too.

      In 1940, the German bombing of London began the day after the breakthrough paper on penicillin was published. Fearing their discovery would fall into the hands of the Germans, the scientists working on penicillin in Oxford had already taken the precaution of rubbing spores of the precious mold into their clothing so that if the laboratory were destroyed, their work could later be reconstituted in a safe place. By the end of World War II, penicillin had saved hundreds of thousands of soldiers and, since then, countless lives.

      Today, how do we both protect and nurture biological research when we face an increasing risk that our work will fall into the hands of our enemies? Draconian measures developed by well-meaning bureaucrats could snuff out the spark of too many beneficial discoveries and deprive us of the hard-fought freedom to pursue knowledge wherever it leads. But denying that any real risk exists or that the costs of any regulation are too great is just as dangerous an approach for both human lives and the future of research.

      After 9-11, a group of distinguished scientists, ethicists, lawyers and national security experts convened to grapple with these issues. They have now published a report entitled Biotechnology Research in the Age of Terrorism (National Academies Press, 2004).

      The theme of the report is that scientists, properly sensitized, are in the best position to make judgments about the risks of certain research practices. To assist them, the report outlines seven types of experiments that may be dual-use, that is, used to our benefit or our peril. The authors assert that with only small changes to existing bio-safety rules, the community of researchers performing such experiments can and should take responsibility for policing their publications and their laboratories.

      For instance, a researcher who is exploring how resistance to antibiotics develops should have his or her experiments reviewed by a committee of peers who can make recommendations about how to perform and disseminate the work more carefully.

      The theory is that we wouldn’t want a recipe for how to render penicillin ineffective inadvertently published on a terrorist blog. On the other hand, we wouldn’t want a blanket prohibition on these kinds of experiments. Resistance to antibiotics is a health-care crisis that must be resolved.

      There is good reason for the rest of us to believe that thoughtful dialogue and action by the scientific community can lead to the best, most appropriate policy. The same committees that will review dual-use experiments already exist in every major research university, to review experiments that involve modified or recombinant DNA.

      That is because scientists came up with their own limits on these practices in the 1970s when they believed the technology for artificially creating or altering genes was getting ahead of society’s ability to deal with the potential consequences. By and large, this process (and the regulations that ultimately resulted from the scientific consensus) has let the science proceed incrementally, while leaving the bigger issues for a broader societal debate.

      The Age of Terrorism report is now being considered by the relevant federal agencies and is probably heading for adoption into regulation.

      Some will argue about whether the practices defined are truly risky. Some will debate how broadly or narrowly they should be read. And some will argue that the recommendations do not go far enough to protect us. The University of Michigan is hosting a conference tomorrow, where representatives of Congress, the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health will gather to continue the debate.

      One recommendation of the report should have uniform support – the creation of a national board of advisors on biological research and national security. The board would keep an eye on the evolving big picture, and serve as a resource to the broader scientific community. Unfortunately, it appears the creation of this board is stalled and that may hamper the development of coherent policy in this area.

      I love driving by the Life Sciences Institute at night and seeing our scientists hard at work at their laboratory benches. I know that many of them would rather leave the policy-making to the rest of us. But we need the scientific community to guide us along this tightrope between risk and reward in biological research. It won’t be a blitz the next time around. We need the guidance of our scientists on how to move forward in critical research during this new age of a new kind of war.

      • DXer said

        Robert M. Scripp, Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, spoke at the Ann Arbor 2005 symposium.

        (He since has left for Interpol to be the key biosecurity person. He would work with Amerithrax Special Agent (and then later key CIA WMD person) Dr. Jennifer A. L. Smith. As you’ll recall, Dr. Smith gave an excellent presentation before the NAS that a lack of sharing relevant information can lead to flawed conclusions in analysis.

        Garbage in, garbage out.

        Ronald Atlas’ powerpoint, in particular, is excellent and at a link below)

    • DXer said

      Note: On the program, Robert M. Scripp, Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, then left for Interpol to be the key biosecurity person. He would work with Dr. Jennifer A. L. Smith. Ronald Atlas has excellent powerpoint slide that are available online.

      Academic Freedom and National Security:

      February 14, 2005
      8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
      University of Michigan
      Palmer Commons
      Great Lakes Room
      100 Washtenaw Avenue

      The Wiesner Sympsoium was recorded and a transcipt will be posted here in a few weeks. Powerpoint slides used by some of the speakers are linked for downloading from the Program page.

      Biological research has unquestionably benefited society and has great potential to continue to do so. However, in the hands of terrorists, research findings can be misused to cause great public harm. This conference will examine how such research can continue to thrive even as procedures are developed to prevent potential public health disasters.

      symposium graphic

      Symposium Home | Program | Resources | Maps and Directions | Symposium Poster (pdf)

      Keynote address:

      * Ronald M. Atlas, Professor of Biology and Graduate Dean, University of Louisville; President, American Society for Microbiology (2002-03); Member, IOM Committee which authored “Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism,” (2004)


      * Charles D. Brokopp, Select Agent Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (replacing Holly Bratcher)
      * John P. Ford, Minority Counsel, House Energy and Commerce Committee
      * Thomas Holohan, Office of Biotechnology Activities, National Institutes of Health (replacing Mary Groesch)
      * Harry L. T. Mobley, Frederick G. Novy Collegiate Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan
      * Frederick C. Neidhardt, Frederick G. Novy Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan (Moderator)
      * Robert M. Scripp, Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation
      * J. David Velleman, James B. and Grace J. Nelson Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan

      Note: The University of Michigan intends to offer a second symposium at a later date that will address biosafety and biosecurity issues of broader public concern.

      Free and open to the public. for information, please call 734-763-1289, send email to

      The Wiesner symposium series [indexed at]is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The 2005 Wiesner Symposium is co-sponsored by the Institutional Biosafety Committee, Occupational Safety & Environmental Health, Life Sciences Institute, Medical School, Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative, and the Division of Research Development and Administration.

      The Wiesner symposia are named for Jerome B. Wiesner (1915-1994) one of the University of Michigan’s most distinguished alumni. He was science and technology advisor to President Kennedy and President Johnson during a period of rapid growth in research and development in the United States and president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1971 until his retirement in 1980.

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