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

* Where is the FBI’s evidence that Dr. Bruce Ivins is the sole perpetrator or even involved in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Posted by DXer on December 31, 2009

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Where is the FBI’s evidence

that Dr. Bruce Ivins

is the sole perpetrator

or even involved

in the 2001 anthrax attacks?


DXer’s comment re-posted …

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’s 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 perhaps the issue of the leak and any failure to forthrightly address the issue when it first arose eventually 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 counselor 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 the largest number of CIA personnel have died a good time in which to end bureaucratic practices that make connecting the dots less likely?

139 Responses to “* Where is the FBI’s evidence that Dr. Bruce Ivins is the sole perpetrator or even involved in the 2001 anthrax attacks?”

  1. DXer said

    The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

    Junk Science at the F.B.I.

    “The odds were 10-million-to-one, the prosecution said, against hair strands found at the scene of a 1978 murder of a Washington, D.C., taxi driver belonging to anyone but Santae Tribble. Based largely on this compelling statistic, drawn from the testimony of an analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Tribble, 17 at the time, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 20 years to life.

    But the hair did not belong to Mr. Tribble. Some of it wasn’t even human. “


    “Mr. Tribble’s case — along with the exoneration of two other men who served decades in prison based on faulty hair-sample analysis — spurred the F.B.I. to conduct a sweeping post-conviction review of 2,500 cases in which its hair-sample lab reported a match.

    The preliminary results of that review, which Spencer Hsu of The Washington Post reported last week, are breathtaking: out of 268 criminal cases nationwide between 1985 and 1999, the bureau’s “elite” forensic hair-sample analysts testified wrongly in favor of the prosecution, in 257, or 96 percent of the time. Thirty-two defendants in those cases were sentenced to death; 14 have since been executed or died in prison.”

    “Law enforcement agencies have long known of the dubious value of hair-sample analysis. A 2009 report by the National Research Council found “no scientific support” and “no uniform standards” for the method’s use in positively identifying a suspect. At best, hair-sample analysis can rule out a suspect, or identify a wide class of people with similar characteristics.”

    “Yet until DNA testing became commonplace in the late 1990s, forensic analysts testified confidently to the near-certainty of matches between hair found at crime scenes and samples taken from defendants. The F.B.I. did not even have written standards on how analysts should testify about their findings until 2012.”

    “And courts have only made the problem worse by purporting to be scientifically literate, and allowing in all kinds of evidence that would not make it within shouting distance of a peer-reviewed journal. Of the 329 exonerations based on DNA testing since 1989, more than one-quarter involved convictions based on “pattern” evidence — like hair samples, ballistics, tire tracks, and bite marks — testified to by so-called experts.”


    Let’s consider the prosecutor’s claim in the Isabella Gardner art heist matter that it was 99% certain that Robert Gentile was lying.
    Now I have no idea why defense counsel Attorney McGuigan is going along — aside from his firm’s contingency to share in the return of the paintings he insists his client knows nothing about. (The mere existence of his firm’s contingency in the criminal defense matter seems to pose a conflict of interest). But why does the prosecutor think it is okay to use such a figure in connection with polygraphs in federal district court?

    In Amerithrax, Ivins passed both polygraphs. But prosecutors just had the opinions reinterpreted. (They have not produced any of the reports for good reason). The FBI did the same thing with handwriting examination — and throughout 2008, 2009 and part of 2010 concealed the handwriting examination that found that Bruce Ivins probably DID NOT write the Fall 2001 anthrax letters. The formal handwriting opinion — the only one produced — was not inconclusive. It found that he “probably DID NOT” write the letters.

    US Attorney Taylor should have disclosed that fact at the August 8, 2008 press conference.

    In the Gardner matter, the prosecutor should have detailed Gentile’s taped statements to the undercover and then he would have been free to explain them. Defendant Gentile also could have explained his illegal sale of the handgun that he had hidden in his couch pillow. But there was no reason for the prosecutor to rely on junk science.

    Indeed, such junk science may make it difficult to pursue other leads — to look under other rocks and concrete slabs — such as the concrete slab at Bobby Guarente’s old farmhouse in Madison, Maine.

    The junk science relied upon in Amerithrax caused them to think they had solved Amerithrax — when instead they merely closed the case rather than be accused of pressurizing a fragile innocent man who then committed suicide.

  2. DXer said

    An October 15, 2010 errata submitted in connection to the FBI’s February 2010 Amerithrax Summary states:

    Page 79, fourth paragraph, should read: “Based on a ‘Red Team’ recommendation, experiments were prepared at the direction of the FBI Lab to address the FBIR submission process with regard to RMR-1029. RMR-1029 was sampled 30 times in accordance with the subpoena instructions. In a few instances, fewer than three markers were detected. However, in none of the 30 attempts were no markers detected. It followed that if Dr. Ivins prepared his submission to the repository in accordance with the protocol, that submission could not miss all four of the morphological variants present in RMR-1029.”

    Which brings one back to the question: Who prepared those slants?

    Is the FBI’s statistical approach sound? If in 30 times, you draw into a scrabble bag with 100 tiles and don’t pull out one of the two blanks, does that mean there are no blanks in the bag?

  3. DXer said

    The presentation by Dr. Keim before the NAS tends to be exculpatory of Dr. Ivins because it establishes the admissible scientific evidence relating to the subtilis contamination.

    The Post and Brokaw letters contain low levels of a bacterial contaminant identified as a strain of Bacillus subtilis. The Bacillus subtilis contaminant has not been detected in the anthrax spore powders recovered from the envelopes mailed to either Senator Leahy or Senator Daschle. Bacillus subtillis is a non-pathogenic bacterium found ubiquitously in the environment. However, genomic DNA sequencing of the specific isolate of Bacillus subtilis discovered within the Post and Brokaw powders reveals that it is genetically distinct from other known isolates of Bacillus subtilis.

    Phenotypic and genotypic analyses demonstrate that the RMR-1029 does not have the Bacillus subtilis contaminant found in the evidentiary spore powders, which suggests that the anthrax used in the letter attacks was grown from the material contained in RMR-1029 and not taken directly from the flask and placed in the envelopes. Since RMR-1029 is the genetic parent to the evidentiary spore powders, and it is not known how the Bacillus subtilis contaminant came to be in the Post and Brokaw spore powders, the contaminant must have been introduced during the production of the Post and Brokaw spores.

    At the ASM Biodefense presentation in February 2009, the FBI scientists explained that no subtilis found in any of Dr. Ivins samples was the genetically distinct subtilis. “We don’t know the process used,” Bannan says. “We never found the equivalent B. subtilis at USAMRIID in any of the evidence that we had.”

    Subtilis contamination was also discussed at the August 2008 briefing of the science press linked above but they did not disclose that Ivins lab had been tested for the subtilis and it had not been found:

    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: It is possible always to contaminate potentially a liquid culture or if you’re growing large quantities of an organism where you’re growing lawns of a bacteria on a Petri dish it could be difficult to see other members of the bacillus species because they would be occluded by and look very similar to the organism that you Science Media Press Conference 30
    are culturing. So it appears at some point a low level of bacillus contamination occurred in the preparation of the material and that was detectable and was able to be isolated and characterized.
    QUESTION: Is there any sense of where that might have come from along the process?
    DR. HASSELL: Well, it doesn’t exactly answer — well, I’ll get to that but one other point is that the Subtilis contamination was also in the samples that also had which looked like a rougher preparation, so there was more darker color. They were rougher.
    QUESTION: That was the first one.
    DR. HASSELL: The particle sizes and other things wasn’t as refined a sample. So it’s consistent. If we found that in the other ones it might have raised more question but it just looked like one was just a rougher preparation than the other and that rougher one had the Subtilis.
    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: The B Subtilis is a common environmental organism and so incomplete sterilization or perhaps some sort of settling in media would enable it to be co-cultivated.
    QUESTION: I understand that. If Ivins was such a good microbiologist I’m wondering how likely he would be to contaminate his sample to where it might come from.

  4. DXer said

    Director Mueller has emphasized the importance of wires and sources while others, like Richard Clarke and various Generals, would emphasize the importance of “open source” intelligence.

    Without resolving the opposing views and appreciating that they all are important to varying degrees in different contexts, let’s consider what “open source” intelligence there was at the time the FBI Quantico profilers were pulling out their “lone nut” profile from the filing cabinet.

    Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an eye-opening profile of Khalid Dahab, a Cairo Medical School drop-out who recruited US operatives for Al Qaeda. He was trained in sending lethal letters by by Bin Laden’s head of intelligence, former US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed. Ali Mohammed had recruited him while he was student at Cairo Medical in the early 1980s. The article was based on statements made in a Cairo court proceeding.

    Williams reports that Bin Laden personally congratulated Dahab, an Egyptian- born US Citizen, a Silicon Valley car salesman and member of Zawahri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest, for recruiting Islamist Americans into al Qaeda. The account of Dahab’s confession was first published in the October 10, 2001 edition of the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. Ali Mohamed was also a Silicon Valley resident. Ali Mohamed had traveled to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s to report to bin Laden on the success the two were having in recruiting Americans. Bin Laden told them that recruiting terrorists with American citizenship was a top priority.

    Ali Mohamed has admitted role in planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, killing more than 200 people.

    Williams wrote: “Dahab’s confession supports the view of many terrorism experts that al Qaeda has “sleeper” operatives on station in the United States for future terrorist attacks.” Khaled Duran, an author and terrorism expert who has written about the Silicon Valley cell, said the recruits would be expected to “fade into the woodwork” until the organization needed them, he said. Williams continues: “His story, obtained from accounts of Egyptian court proceedings and interviews with people who knew him, is entwined with that of Mohamed, a former Egyptian military officer and aide to bin Laden who recruited Dahab into al Qaeda, brought him to America and became his handler.”

    Handsome and outgoing, Dahab spoke excellent English. He said he was from a wealthy Alexandria family. His mother was a physician and he was planning a career in medicine.

    “But Dahab told acquaintances he had been radicalized by a tragedy that happened when he was a schoolboy: his father, he claimed, had been among 108 people killed in the 1973 crash of a Cairo-bound Libyan Arab Airlines plane that was shot down by Israeli fighter jets when it strayed over the Sinai Peninsula, which at the time was occupied by Israel. He claimed that his father’s death — and Egypt’s failure to avenge it — had turned him against the Egyptian government and against Israel and the United States, as well. He said he was drawn toward Islamic Jihad, a radical movement that had assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981 in an effort to remake Egypt into a fundamentalist Muslim state.”

    Williams reports that it was while a medical student in about 1984, according to his confession, that Dahab met Mohamed, who then was an officer in the Egyptian commando forces and a Jihad operative planning to emigrate to the United States. Dahab came to the United States in 1986, obtaining a student visa by saying he wanted to study medicine. He rented an apartment in Santa Clara, where Ali Mohamed now lived with his American wife. He dropped the name Dahab, calling himself Khaled Mohamed or Ali Mohamed, the same name used by the man who had recruited him. “He sometimes claimed, falsely,” Williams explains, “that he had been a physician in Egypt, said people who met him.”

    “In 1992, Dahab married a junior college student from a tiny town in South Dakota whom he met while lawn-bowling in Santa Clara. His third wife converted to Islam. They had four children, and the marriage helped him win citizenship, acquaintances said. The family settled in a duplex near Santa Clara High School. Dahab struggled to support his family, court records show. He worked as a maintenance man at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara, then at National Semiconductor, then as a $30,000-per-year car salesman in San Jose.” In the mid-1990s, despite financial problems, “[h]e was often abroad, traveling extensively in the Middle East, vacationing in Pakistan, telling associates he was starting a chemical business in Egypt.”

    “In 1995, using a fake passport and identity documents, Dahab and Ali Mohammed smuggled Zawahiri into the US from Afghanistan for a covert fund-raising tour. Dahab reports that part of the money financed the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan. Dahab also said that at Mohamed’s direction he had gone to terrorist camps in Afghanistan in 1990 and trained guerrilla fighters to fly hang gliders. He said Islamic Jihad was planning a hand-glider assault to liberate imprisoned Jihad leaders, some of whom had been locked up since the assassination of Sadat.”

    A former friend remembers that Dahab turned up in the parking lot at the Al- Noor Mosque in Santa Clara, driving a station wagon with a hang glider in the back and saying he was bound for Afghanistan. “He said, ‘I am going to take (the aircraft) to Afghanistan and help the mujahedeen — I am going to take it over there and train people to fly it,’ ” the friend said. “People said, ‘Oh, you crazy guy — they thought he was joking.’ ” Jihad later canceled the attack, Dahab said in his confession.”

    Williams continues: “Meanwhile, Dahab said Mohamed gave him military training and taught him how to make letter bombs. Dahab said he had also worked as an al Qaeda communications specialist, aiding terrorists inside Egypt by patching through their calls to other operatives in Afghanistan and the Sudan. This helped the terrorists plan operations while avoiding electronic surveillance by Egyptian security forces who routinely wiretapped calls between Egypt and countries that harbored jihad terrorists.

    Also in the 1990s, Dahab said, he and Mohamed were told to begin recruiting U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern heritage. Dahab said the recruitment project had first been outlined to him by an al Qaeda fighter named Abdel Aziz Moussa al Jamal, who, according to Arabic press accounts, recently surfaced in Islamabad, Pakistan, serving as translator for Taliban envoy Abdul Salam Zaeef. On another visit to Afghanistan, Dahab said, he and Mohamed discussed the project with Zawahiri and bin Laden.” “Dahab told Egyptian authorities he and Mohamed had found 10 recruits, all of them naturalized U.S. citizens who had been born in the Middle East. The account of the confession did not name the recruits or provide other details about them.”

    Williams explains that Dahab was arrested and sent to an Egyptian prison. “By 1998, Dahab was spending more and more time abroad, and he told a family law judge in San Jose that he intended to move his family back to Egypt. In August 1998, while Dahab was in Egypt, al Qaeda mounted suicide attacks on the embassies in East Africa. Within weeks Ali Mohamed was arrested for complicity in the attack. He pled guilty. .

    In October 1998, the Egyptian military moved to crush Islamic Jihad by arresting more than 70 of the organization’s leaders. Dahab decided to flee, and on Oct. 28 booked a flight to the United States. According to Dahab acquaintances, Egyptian security police boarded the plane shortly before takeoff and took him away in handcuffs. Dahab confessed his involvement with al Qaeda and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.”

    Sleepers, the former head of Bin Laden’s intelligence (and a former US Army sergeant) Ali Mohammed testified, “don’t wear the traditional beards and they don’t pray at the mosques.” An Al Qaeda encyclopedia, Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants, advises sleepers to “have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation,” and for men not to wear a beard. The book also instructs sleepers not to denounce unjustice faced by the ummah, and not to use common Islamic expressions such as “peace be on you,” nor to go to Islamic locations, such as mosques.

    Consider the example of another “sleeper” or operative, Tarik Hamdi of Herndon, Virginia. ABC News employed him to help secure an interview with bin Laden in early 1998. ABC News transported Hamdi to Afghanistan, unaware that his real purpose in going there was to carry a replacement battery to bin Laden for the satellite telephone he would later use to order the embassy bombings in East Africa. ABC was also unaware that the CIA had planted a listening device in the phone. The successful CIA operation, however, did not serve to prevent the planning of the embassy operation. Ironically, it facilitated it. If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

    But what do we get from the FBI? Public BS statements like the Ft. Hood shooting was not motivated by his interpretation of his religion and a failure to read his emails with the 911 imam because someone had a different interpretation of “Comm.” meant.

    Isn’t “the buck stops here” just something the very best leaders say to avoid anyone from being held accountable? Aren’t they just nice words said by people who have so much capital that no one actually would hold them responsible? If the buck stops with Director Mueller, why couldn’t he give basic answers to basic questions that he could be expected to be asked at the September 2008 hearing? Why does only meaningless and uninformative mush come from someone so highly intelligent and well-spoken? Why does he always claim he’ll get back to the Senators but then when the answer comes 7 months later the short paragraph is incomprehensible gobbledygook? How is that consistent with a “the buck stops here” approach? It is Attorney General Holder, FBI Director Mueller, the Acting US Attorney (who had an earlier role in Amerithrax) and FBI WFO head John Perren who should resign if the Amerithrax case is closed claiming, without evidence, that Ivins was the processor and mailer. As has often been said in different contexts, the buck stops with them — that is, well, er, until it is bumped up so high to someone so likable and respected that no one expects actual accountability because the most senior people don’t know the details.

  5. DXer said

    Suicide Bombing Puts a Rare Face on C.I.A.’s Work
    Published: January 6, 2010

    ” The other woman killed, the chief of the Khost base, was, before the Sept. 11 attacks, part of a small cadre of counterterrorism officers focused on the growth of Al Qaeda and charged with finding Osama bin Laden.

    Working from a small office near C.I.A. headquarters, the group, known inside the agency as Alec Station, became increasingly alarmed in the summer of 2001 that a major strike was coming. One former officer recalls that the woman had a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Al Qaeda’s top leadership and was so familiar with the different permutations of the leaders’ names that she could take fragments of intelligence and build them into a mosaic of Al Qaeda’s operations.

    “She was one of the first people in the agency to tackle Al Qaeda in a serious way,” said the former officer, who, like some others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the victims’ identities remain classified.
    One NATO official in Afghanistan spoke in stark terms about the attack, saying it had “effectively shut down a key station.”

    “These were not people who wrote things down in the computer or in notebooks. It was all in their heads,” he said. The C.I.A. is “pulling in new people from all over the world, but how long will it take to rebuild the networks, to get up to speed? Lots of it is irrecoverable. Lots of it.”

    Comment: It was the CIA’s Zawahiri Task Force to which I gave my information in December 2001, not the FBI. And it was all written down in a long memorandum. No one should be under the impression that they don’t have explaining to do if Amerithrax is not successfully resolved.

    Now Ed has argued that targeted assassination was not the modus operandi of the jihadists led by Ayman Zawahiri — that they went for the “big bang.” Would it vengeance for the death of this woman to ask Lake to drop his labels and actually address the merits? For 5 years, he didn’t even know there was a Third Squad and still has never addressed its work.

    Contrary to the pundits who just associate Al Qaeda with a “big bang” who do their research by watching television at the gym, a key modus operandi of the Vanguards of Conquest was targeted assassination and it was widely known known that Zawahiri was seeking to weaponize anthrax for use against US targets. God forbid that there might be something material to analysis that is not read from a teleprompter. The Egyptian Islamic Jihad group specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian government officials, including Cabinet ministers. The group had a “hit list” that included tens of Egyptians to be killed by the group, including journalists. In May 1987, a Major General was shot outside his home in Cairo. Several EIJ members and two Islamist Group members were arrested in connection with the attack. In November 1990, six members of EIJ were arrested in connection with the murders of People’s Assembly Speaker and five security men on October 12, 1990. The EIJ’s military wing, the Vanguards of Conquest, launched a violent campaign in March 1992. Of 223 killed in the first year or two, 67 were policemen, 76 were Islamic militants, 36 were civilian Christian Copts, and three were foreign tourists.

    Prosecutors and policemen would be targeted to avenge torture. By April 1995, 700 had been killed. Al-Jihad has had a role in most foreign terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies over the past 20 years. The group is most well known for its first, the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

    In August 1993, the same year as the bombing of the World Trade Center, al-Jihad attempted to assassinate Egyptian Interior Minister by firing on his motorcade and detonating a homemade bomb. The group also made an attempt that year against Prime Minister with an explosion which occurred about 500 yards from his home as his motorcade passed. A 15-year-old girl standing at a nearby bus stop was killed. EIJ issued a statement claiming the action was to avenge the recent death sentences. In 1992, Islamic Jihad activists murdered an author, Faraj Fodah, who had openly supported Israeli-Egyptian peace. The secular columnist in his last article had suggested that the militants were motivated by sexual frustration more than politics.

    In March 1994 Egypt’s higher military Court passed death sentences in absentia that included Tharwat Salah Shehata, Yasser al-Sirri, and ‘Isam Muhammad ‘Abd-al-Rahman for the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sedki on November 25, 1993. In 1994 al-Jihad militants were linked to two unsuccessful attempts to bomb the Israeli and U.S. embassies in Manila. In June 1995, the Vanguards of Conquest claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In November 1995, an EIJ suicide car bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan killed 17 and injured 59. An Egyptian with Canadian citizenship, Ahmad Saeed Kadr (Khadr), was charged in connection with the bombing. Kadr worked as the regional director of Human Concern International, a Canadian relief agency in Peshawar, and was alleged to have moved money through the aid agency from Afghanistan to Pakistan to pay for the operation. In December 1995, the Vanguards of Conquest sent a communiqué warning Pakistan to stop extraditing militants to Egypt, or “it will pay a heavy price.” That month, Egyptian Security forces arrested 56 terrorists after being tipped off by an EIJ informer. The group was accused of planning to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak on 1995 using 550 pounds of explosives to blow up the President’s motorcade.

    In November 1997 after the killing in Luxor, Egypt, of 58 tourists by Al Gamaa Al Islamiyaa, the Vanguards of Conquest warned that orders had “already been given for attacks on Americans and Zionists not only in Egypt but elsewhere.” In February 1998 Al Jihad was one of the founding signatories involved in the creation of the World Islamist Front for the Jihad against Jews and the Crusaders (World Islamist Front). The Front subsequently issued a fatwa calling for the killing of Americans worldwide and the expulsion of Americans from the holy land and Jews from Jerusalem. Egyptian Islamist sources declared that the release of the statement marked Al Zawahiri’s and Al Jihad’s return to the field of active terrorist groups.

    In June 1998 Egyptian security authorities arrest seventeen members on charges of forming an Al Jihad cell in east Cairo. By then, a former Cairo Medical alum and Zawahiri associate was head of a DARPA project for which he would be supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. Resulting confessions revealed that Al Jihad was planning to assassinate a number of public figures and security officers. That month, Jihad members al-Najjar (head of Al Jihad in Albania), and Majed Mustapha were arrested in Albania, reportedly with the aid of the Central Intelligence Agency, and extradited to Egypt in late June 1998. An August 1998 Statement issued by the Information Office of the Jihad Group in Egypt vowed revenge on the United States for the extradition of three Al Jihad members from Albania to Egypt.

    In September 1998, a number of senior EIJ and IG leaders in London were arrested, including the EIJ cell members who had faxed the claim of responsibility for the embassy bombings. In April 1999, after verdicts in the “Returnees from Albania,” the Vanguards of Conquest and Al Jihad issue separate threats of retaliation. Of the 107 accused, 87 defendants were found guilty, including Canadian Mahmoud Mahjoub. The day of the bombing, shortly after the explosions, EIJ military commander Mabruk called Canadian VOC member Jaballah and told him to call the London cell members and tell them he could be reached at Shehata’s residence. Shehata was Jaballah’s brother-in-law. The London cell members then issued a claim of responsibility for the blasts. That year, the group also planned an unsuccessful attack on the U.S. Embassy in Albania.

    Throughout these years, an estimated 70 Egyptian militants were rendered by the US to Cairo prior to 9/11 and the anthrax mailings. The fact that targeted assassination was the modus operandi of the US-based islamists — and that he motivation was retaliation for the detention of senior leaders and to create leverage aimed at their release — was established by the first of a series of terrorist attacks in the US — the assassination of radical rabbi Meir Kahane by Egyptian Nosair, who had emigrated from Egypt in 1981. In his address book, Nosair had written the names of some Jewish officials, to include two judges who recently had extradited an Arab terrorist. Nosair’s job had been to protect the blind sheikh in the US. He was a friend of Ali Mohammed who stayed with him when he came to New York. The commentators who argued that Al Qaeda just goes for the “big bang” were overlooking the modus operandi of the Vanguards and what was known about Ayman’s biological program through “open source” materials.

    In his March 2007 confession to a military tribunal, KSM admitted to having been involved in a plot to assassinate a number of former American presidents (including Jimmy Carter), Pope John Paul II and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. In December 2007, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. In January 2008, it was revealed that Jabarah, the go-between KSM and Hambali had vowed to avenge the death of a friend by killing FBI agents and prosecutors he knew and apparently intended to use some steak knives he had secreted. To suggest that Zawahiri and his colleagues do not use targeted assassination as their modus operandi — indeed, to not appreciate that it is the EIJ’s key modus operandi — totally misses the mark. And if any one adheres to that view in the government, they should be fired.

    • DXer said

      In 1995, Ayman came once again to the United States where he was accompanied by US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed on his travels to California, then Brooklyn, then the Washington, D.C. area. Who did he visit in Washington, D.C.? Zawahiri traveled to the US in 1991 and 1995 under an alias (though the dates are disputed). Zawahiri sometimes was accompanied by two brothers, a New Jersey pharmacist and a California doctor, Ali Zaki (a fellow Cairo Medical alum who denies knowing who Zawahiri was). They were joined by a former US Army sergeant and key Al Qaeda operative, Ali Mohammed. In Santa Clara, Ayman reportedly stated at the home of Ali Mohammed, even though Mohammed had recently been subpoenaed to testify about what he knew about Bin Laden’s activities. Dr. Zaki says he was a good friend of Ali Mohammed and that it was widely known that Ali Mohammed was a liaison between the islamists in Afghanistan and the CIA. In one of his trips, he also reportedly went to Texas. One of the most important starting points of the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation should have been to trace the contacts that al-Zawahiri made on his last trip to the United States. He met with supporters associated with the Maktab Khidmat al-Mujahidin (the Al-Mujahidin services office) in the US.

      The troubles of Cairo Medical School graduate (’71), San Jose physician Ali Zaki, over taking Ayman Zawahiri and Bin Laden’s head of intelligence around the US in 1995 had just about faded from memory. In January 2000, a new problem then reared its head. In 1999, he had prescribed $164,000 in prescriptions for Viagara, a syringe of a drug for renal insufficiency and a vial for hypogonadism. (Bin Laden suffered from renal insufficiency.) The California Board governing physicians found that Dr. Zaki violated regulations because no patient was named and he had kept no records. The drugs were ordered ostensibly for a fictitious business MedChem. When an investigator went to check out the listing it was the address at 550 Bevans Drive it turned out to have been a recently closed deli called Landmark Gourmet Delicatessen. Owned by Hasan Ibrahim, the business had been evicted. According to the decision, the drugs reportedly were for resale abroad. If they were intended for Afghanistan, someone must have expected a lot of action with some virgins. Elzahabi in the September 2009 interview with Colin Freeze was confident that God would find the time to provide him with the 72 virgins to which he felt he was entitled for keeping quiet about the 3 individuals whose picture he was shown. Perhaps erectile dysfunction is common in Afghanistan because of the cold, harsh conditions and the stress in that line of work. One of the allegations in the January 21, 2000 “Accusation” alleged that “On or about June 15, 1999, respondent ordered 100 bottles of Viagara, 30 tablets per bottle, at 100 milligram strength.” Cost: $164,000. Memories: Priceless. The public reprimand issued in August 2001 and is available online at the State agency’s website.

  6. DXer said

    Updated January 07, 2010
    National Security Adviser Says Airline Bomber Report Will ‘Shock’ Americans

    James Jones, a retired four-star Marine general, says Americans will feel “a certain shock” when a report is released today detailing the intelligence failures that could have prevented the Christmas Day attack.

    Suspected airplane bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (FNC)

    Americans will feel “a certain shock” when a report is released today detailing the intelligence failures that could have prevented the alleged Christmas Day airline bomber from ever boarding the plane.

    In an interview Wednesday with USA Today, White House national security adviser James Jones said President Obama “is legitimately and correctly alarmed that things that were available, bits of information that were available, patterns of behavior that were available, were not acted on.”

    “That’s two strikes,” he was quoted as saying, referring to the failed Northwest jet attack and the shooting massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, in November. The Army base attack left 13 dead after officials failed to act on intelligence identifying suspected gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan as a threat to fellow soldiers.

    Jones, a retired four-star Marine general, told the paper that Obama “certainly doesn’t want that third strike, and neither does anybody else.”


    If we are thinking about what to do proactively, I would ask: Has a different AUSA been been put in charge of Amerithrax? If a federal district court judge has expressly held that he deliberately flouted the constitution and he made misrepresentations before the grand jury in seeking indictment — and then gave an implausible account at a court hearing of his actions — then with all due respect I think it is important that the baggage is not brought into the Amerithrax matter. (Moreover, that baggage should not remain there unchecked). If baggage passes through unchecked, you need to shut the line down and hold flights from taking off.

    I’ve never seen anything that points to him having done anything wrong in Amerithrax. But given his relationship with the head of criminal who was intentionally leaking the sensational Hatfill stories (see Seikaly Depo. and his plea of the Fifth Amendment), and that office’s failure to put an end to the leaks in 2002, I think a fresh pair of eyes is in order. The last time someone was fired from that office involved the attorney taking his male organ out of his pants and walking into a female colleague’s office. And even then it was only because he was in charge of giving new attorneys their assignments. Clearly, someone higher up at DOJ can appreciate that the District Court’s characterization in the Blackwater case, whether warranted or not (I have no way of judging) counsels that a fresh pair of eyes consider whether there has been a failure to “connect the dots” in Amerithrax. No one said “connecting the dots” is easy and we are all in this together. But I do know that Mr. Kohl never picked up the phone and called me about my claim that Bruce Ivins gave virulent Ames to a former Zawahiri associate. And so I wonder how much he even knows about Amerithrax even while having an office at the FBI. Given the huge turnover in the Task Force, with entirely new personnel being brought in a few years ago, he has played a key role all these years because he represented the continuing role. A protege of Dan Seikaly is not best suited to do that because there would have been the two or three years in which his views may have been shaped.

  7. BugMaster said

    Hey Ed!

    PS: Loose Lips Sink Ships

  8. DXer said

    Mueller on Anthrax Attack, dated October 6, 2005

  9. DXer said
    U.S. Saw a Path to Qaeda Chiefs Before Bombing
    Published: January 5, 2010

    “This is the C.I.A’s top priority, and when I was in Afghanistan, if any intelligence came about the possible whereabouts of Zawahri or bin Laden, you dropped everything to run it to ground,” said a former senior C.I.A. officer. “Everyone would have wanted to be on the team that caught Zawahri. That’s the kind of thing that makes careers.”

    On Monday, the top American military intelligence officer in Afghanistan published a report calling the information gathered in the country “only marginally relevant” to counterinsurgency efforts and concluding that little of the information gathered in the field is useful for analysts working in Washington and Kabul.

    “The problem is that these analysts — the core of them bright, enthusiastic and hungry — are starved for information from the field, so starved, in fact, that many say their jobs feel more like fortune-telling than serious detective work,” concludes the report, written partly by Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.


    My good friend tells me he is the brother of the chief Egyptian prosecutor. When I told the Zawahiri Task Force nearly a decade ago that Ayman was responsible for the anthrax mailings, they should have promptly told the FBI.

    My other good friend was recruited by Ayman Zawahiri into the Egyptian Islamic Jihad — and his childhood friend and Cairo Medical school classmate was supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. That scientist’s small company’s product was tested in cleaning up the Capitol building and the company pitched hand cream to postal workers. There’s been $80 million in investment without a product — almost all of it post-911. His wife was on the faculty there in Cairo for 10 years and he got his PhD just three years before heading the DARPA project.

    When I asked University of Michigan when and where the research using the virulent Ames was done, the University should have provided the documents relating to the taxpayer-funded (DARPA) research under FOIA.

    I recommend AUSA Ken Kohl get this one right because President Obama has said it is important to put together the bits and pieces.

    And I recommend agency heads understand that they are responsible for the failure of their agency to comply with FOIA.

  10. DXer said

    Al Qaeda in Yemen says it is fighting the US – 22 Dec 09

    • DXer said

      A February 1999 a letter signed by “Army of Suicidals Group 66, Bin Laden Militant Wing,” threatened anthraxattacks against Westerners if they stayed in Yemen beyond a 11-day ultimatum ending February 27, 1999. Investigators considered a possible connection to the attempted extradition to Yemen of the London-based Egyptian islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. Zawahiri was in touch with a Yemeni cell. As I recall, he groused at them for ordering a new fax when they already had two. Money in the 1990s was constantly an issue for Ayman and there was lots of bickering over a span of years.

      According to Lawrence Wright in his landmark New Yorker article in September 2002, Ayman Zawahiri visited a hospital in Yemen shortly before 911. Why?

      Did he meet with his former EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest mentor, Cairo MD Al-Sharif, who was a doctor working at a hospital there?

      • DXer said

        Former bin Laden bodyguard is among ex-guerrillas in Yemen
        Wednesday, January 6, 2010

        [he came to Yemen in 2000 and was in jail ]

        “after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, FBI agents arrived to interrogate him. In testimony before the U.S. Senate in May, former FBI agent Ali Soufan said interrogators obtained from Bahri “a treasure trove of highly significant actionable intelligence,” including extensive information on bin Laden’s terrorism network, its structure and its leadership. Bahri, he added, also provided “explicit details” of the Sept. 11 plot.”

  11. DXer said

    Exclusive interview with al-Qaeda third in command – 22 Jun 2009

  12. DXer said

    In today’s news –

    1. Obama

    Analysis: For Obama, what will accountability be?
    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    2. Aulaqi

    06, January, 2010
    Sheikh Anwar Aulaqi
    Suspected & Wanted Terrorist

    3. Triple Agent medical doctor


    How did an Al-Qaida double agent dupe the CIA?

    “Al Balawi’s primary goal was to get close to the inner circle surrounding Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian radical and deputy to Osama bin Laden. The spy’s handlers had hoped that their shared medical background would help the Jordanian agent in carrying out his mission.

    The doctor from Jordan, though, ended up making a fool of his handlers. He earned their trust, occasionally passing along intelligence that was thought to be reliable, and ultimately was revealed to be a double agent.”

    4. “Connecting the dots”

    “Two attacks highlight counterterrorism’s bureaucratic bog”

    By David Ignatius
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    “The late CIA Director William Casey insisted that employees read the management classic “In Search of Excellence” to encourage every officer to take personal responsibility for solving problems, rather than kicking them on to the next guy in line.

    CIA Director Leon Panetta should use these searing events to foster a culture of initiative and accountability at a CIA that wants to do the job — but that needs leadership and reform.”

    Comment: Do the Amerithrax investigator or prosecutors abide by the “personal responsibility for solving problems”?

    Didn’t FBI Director Mueller’s well-intentioned order compartmentalizing the Task Force not merely prevent the “connecting the dots” but also exercising such personal responsibility? An early internal FBI memo talked about how only creative and self-starting investigators should be assigned to Amerithrax. But lead Investigator Lambert appears to have been right in objecting in a written memo to Director Mueller’s order of compartmentalization.

    Director Mueller strikes me as a stand-up and very smart guy who, despite his numerous and overwhelming responsibilities, will do all he can to reach a successful and correct Amerithrax resolution — despite the obstacles. He no doubt understands that dozens of scientists, attorneys, intelligence analysts, and prosecutors have cast serious skepticism about the FBI’s characterization of its evidence against Dr. Ivins. The validation of the science by the NAS is an irrelevant sideshow given the nature of the gaps in the evidence presented thus far by the FBI. Their characterization of the proof of Ivins’ guilt profoundly undermined the public’s confidence. It is as if the investigators and officials were motivated by a fear of being sued for Dr. Ivins’ death.

    There is something worse than being sued. That’s getting the Crime of the Century wrong — when a threatened aerosol attack of a major city using anthrax may be at stake.

  13. DXer said

    Obama: Terrorism is ‘a challenge of the utmost urgency’
    USA Today – ‎1 hour ago‎
    President Obama said today that the nation faces “a challenge of the utomost urgency” in face of continued al Qaeda attempts to “kill Americans. …

    Intelligence analysis has to improve in light of last month’s near-bombing of a Detroit-bound passenger plane.

    “I will accept that intelligence by its nature is imperfect,” he said, “but it is increasingly clear that intelligence was not fully analyzed or fully leveraged. That’s not acceptable, and I will not tolerate it.”

    “This was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had,” Obama said. “The information was there.”

    “In short, we need our intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement systems and the people in them to be accountable and to work as intended — collecting, sharing, integrating, analyzing and acting on intelligence as quickly and effectively as possible to save innocent lives, not just most of the time, but all of the time. That’s what the American people deserve. As president, that’s exactly what I will demand.”

    Inside the White House: The Situation Room

  14. DXer said

    “It was the failure to integrate and piece together those bits and pieces of information.”
    President Obama – Jan 4, 2010‎

    For that Langley analyst in your life, I bring you

    “Bits and Pieces”

  15. DXer said

    Ayman Zawhari’s triple agent, a medical doctor, kills 7 CIA pursuers with bomb

    • DXer said

      CIA Blast Blamed On Double Agent
      JANUARY 5, 2010


      WASHINGTON — The suicide bomber who killed seven Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors and a Jordanian intelligence officer was a double agent the CIA had recruited to provide intelligence on senior al Qaeda leadership, according to current and former U.S. officials and an Afghan security official.

      The officials said the bomber was a Jordanian doctor likely affiliated and working with al Qaeda.

      The Afghan security official identified the bomber as Hammam Khalil Abu Mallal al-Balawi, who is also known as Abu Dujana al-Khurasani. The Pakistani Taliban also claimed that Mr. al-Balawi was the bomber, Arabic-language Web sites reported Monday.

      Mr. al-Balawi was brought to the CIA’s base in Khost Province by the Jordanian intelligence official, Sharif Ali bin Zeid, who was working with the CIA, according to the Afghan security official.

      The bomber appears to have been invited to an operational planning meeting on al Qaeda, a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. “It looks like an al Qaeda double agent,” the former official said. “It’s very sophisticated for a terrorist group that’s supposedly on the run.”

      The blast on Dec. 30 killed four CIA officers, including the Khost base chief; three CIA contractors; and Mr. bin Zeid, officials said. Six CIA employees were wounded in the attack.

      The Al Jazeera television network reported that the bomber had initially been recruited to provide intelligence on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri. That couldn’t be independently confirmed Monday.

      The CIA’s deputy chief of station from Kabul traveled to the meeting at the CIA Khost base, Forward Operating Base Chapman, according to former intelligence officials, pointing to the meeting’s importance. The officer was wounded in the attack, according to people familiar with the matter.

      Both the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. …

      The U.S. and Jordanian intelligence services have worked closely together for years, said a former senior intelligence official. “There’s a confidence level with them,” the former official said. Mr. al-Balawi likely was seen as trustworthy because he’d previously provided the U.S. with valuable intelligence, said the former intelligence official. “This is someone they obviously trusted very, very much,” the former official said.

      Since Mr. al-Balawi was perceived by U.S. authorities as a cooperative intelligence informant, that could explain why he was not more thoroughly searched upon entering Chapman. It also would explain how he gained access to top intelligence officials.

      Mr. al-Balawi was an active recruiter and an “elite writer” on al Qaeda’s password-protected al-Hisba Web site, where he went by the name Abu Dujana al-Khurasani, according to the monthly journal of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.

      In a posting on the site in May of 2007, Mr. al-Balawi sought to persuade people from a variety of backgrounds, including African-Americans, Native Americans, Vietnamese and poor immigrants to join the fight against their “oppressor,” the U.S., the West Point analysts found.

      Mr. al-Balawi had studied medicine in Turkey with government funding, according to a translation of the Jordanian Web site Jerasa News by the Middle East Media Research Institute. He left Jordan about a year ago after being detained for a few months by Jordanian intelligence officers.

      The Jordanian news outlet cited eyewitness reports that Jordanian security forces had arrested Mr. al-Balawi’s youngest brother and summoned his father after the blast….


      A U.S. intelligence official declined to speak about the specifics of the attack but said the agency “is looking closely at every aspect of the Khost attack.” The official added, “The agency is determined to continue pursuing aggressive counterterrorism operations. Last week’s attack will be avenged.”

      A former senior intelligence official said that al Qaeda had attempted to run double agents against the CIA prior to 9/11, but such efforts appeared to trail off after the 2001 offensive in Afghanistan that drove them into the tribal regions of Pakistan.

      The bodies of the seven CIA employees arrived in the U.S. Monday, and CIA Director Leon Panetta, along with other agency officials and family members, attended a private ceremony at Dover Air Force Base to honor them, said CIA spokesman George Little.

      Comment: If he was a terrorist they thought they had recruited to betray the jihadists, but he was really loyal to the jihadists, doesn’t that make him a triple agent rather than a double agent?

      On this revenge thing, I recommend a correct analysis of Amerithrax. Any analyst or agent involved not fully conversant with the example of Ali Mohammed’s experience as a triple agent has no business working as an analyst on the matter.

      If a teacher ordered that students would be compartmentalized in the knowledge imparted to them, wouldn’t that lead to a classroom of uninformed students not able to work the problem on the blackboard? Isn’t it a matter of garbage in, garbage out? (See affidavits submitted in Ivins matter). While a “hammer tends to find a nail” is a fine principle in carpentry, it is not a sound strategem in true crime or intelligence analysis.

      • DXer said


        “Current and former American officials said Monday that because of Mr. Mohammed’s medical background, he might have been recruited to find the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahri, the Egyptian doctor who is Al Qaeda’s second in command.

        Agency officers had traveled from Kabul, the Afghan capital, to Khost for a meeting with the informant, a sign that the C.I.A. had come to trust the informant and that it was eager to learn what he might have gleaned from operations in the field, according to a former C.I.A. official with experience in Afghanistan.

        The former official said that the fact that militants could carry out a successful attack using a double agent showed their strength even after a steady barrage of missile strikes fired by C.I.A. drone aircraft.

        “Double agent operations are really complex,” he said. “The fact that they can pull this off shows that they are not really on the run. They have the ability to kick back and think about these things.”

        Jarret Brachman, author of “Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice” and a consultant to the United States government about terrorism, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Mohammed had used the online persona Abu Dujana al-Khorasani and was an influential jihadi voice on the Web.

        “He’s one of the most revered authors on the jihadists’ forums,” Mr. Brachman said.

        “He’s in the top five jihadists. He’s one of the biggest guns out there.”

        In many of the posts under his online persona, Mr. Mohammed used elusive language filled with references to literature and the Koran to describe his support for violent opposition to the United States-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Mr. Brachman said that Al Fajr Media, which is Al Qaeda’s official media distribution network, conducted an interview with Abu Dujana al-Khorasani published in Al Qaeda’s online magazine, called Vanguards of Khorasan.

        • DXer said

          Zawahiri’s spymaster who wrote on Amerithrax doesn’t have much respect for the ability of US intelligence to ferret out moles. Given the example of Aldrich Ames, Ali Mohammed, and the FBI’s Ivins Theory, can you blame Ayman for being cocky?

          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. Ismail was one of several hundred rounded up following the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. He served three years. He represented Ayman Zawahiri’s family in connection with the rendition and detention of Ayman’s brother Muhammad in the Spring of 1999. Ismail was arrested on March 29, 2007.

          In 1999, Ismail was refused permission to establish an Islamist political party with the help of fellow lawyer attorney al-Zayyat. After the blind sheik said in March 1999 that an attempt through a political party should not be attempted, Al-Zayat and Mamdouh Ismail deferred and Attorney Ismail has publicly objected to a reconciliation between Cairo and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The two had worked with EIJ shura member al-Sibai before he took refuge in the UK. Mamdouh Ismail now is accused of complicity in an “Egyptian project” of al-Qaeda, taking his orders from Ayman al-Zawahiri via al-Qaeda propaganda chief al-Hukaymah and the UK-based EIJ publicist Hani al-Sibai. Both al-Hukaymah and Al-Sibai deny the charge. Al Sibai considers himself historian of the movement and published his diaries in Al Hayat in 2004. He is at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website that published the treatise that included the discussion of Amerithrax.

          Al-Hukaymah was apparently killed at the end of last month in a missile strike in late October 2008. Cairo-based IANA writer Kamal Habib says that the man was a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad that had assassinated Sadat but was part of a second generation, not part of the first generation responsible for the assassination. Abu Jihad al-Masri was said by US authorities to operate in Iran as the head of media and propaganda for al-Qaeda, and “may also be the Chief of External Operations for al Qaeda”.

          Al-Hukaymah appeared in an August 2006 as-Sahab (al-Qaeda) video to announce the merger of al-Qaeda with part of the Egyptian Islamic Group. Ayman al-Zawahiri introduces him. The video claims that al-Hukaymah joined al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in 1979 and was arrested in connection with the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Al Sadat in 1981, and subsequently rearrested several times in various countries. Zawahiri claims in that video that Muhammad al-Islambouli (brother of assassin Khalid al-Islambouli) had joined al-Qaeda with al-Hukaymah.

          In addition to the analysis of the American intelligence community, the next month he wrote a short piece entitled Towards A New Strategy in Resisting the Occupier that appeared on a jihadist website. Abu Jihad Al-Masri emphasized the need to consider public opinion in planning operations. Did the Amerithrax perpetrators know Al-Hukaymah or Mamdouh Ismail?

        • DXer said

          While Director Mueller focuses on “sources and wires”, other leaders such as Richard Clarke have emphasized the importance of open intelligence. The value of sources and wires is self-limiting given the amount of dross and misdirection that a hardened target will generate.

          Mark A. Gabriel, PhD, once taught at Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote a very lucid book Journey Into The Mind Of An Islamist Terrorist. He discusses a booklet Zawahiri wrote titled COVERT OPERATIONS which is available online in Arabic. The Nigerian underpants bomber Abdulmutallab wrote his father asking “when is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?”

          If you want to know how Zawahiri views deceit on such issues as battle plans and spying, read his own words online. Gabriel explains:

          “Ayman al-Zawahiri leads a busy terrorist organization, and he must solve practical problems. For example, he may want some Al-Qaeda members to blend in and live in the United States. If these men wore full beards and went to ultraconservative mosques to pray, they they would arouse suspicion and get put on a watch list. Instead, al-Zawahiri would want these operatives to go undercover and blend into society. However, these devout Muslims will not go undercover unless they believe they have permission to do so from the teachings of Islam. As a result, al-Zawahiri wrote a booklet titled COVERT OPERATIONS, which goes deep into Islamic teaching and history to describe how deceit can be a tool in Muslim life.”

          The entire book by al-Zawahiri is posted in the Arabic language website for al-Tawheed Jihad (The Pulpit of Monotheism and Jihad). Zawahiri concluded that “hiding one’s faith and being secretive was allowed especially in time of fear from prosecution of the infidels.” Indeed, his student group in Cairo in the 1970s was known as the “shaven beards.” The founder of one of the cells merged with Ayman’s to form the Egyptian Islamic Jihad then wrote for Al-Timimi’s charity IANA.

          Al-Zawahiri discussed two specific ways Muhammad used deceit in battle: (1) keeping battle plans secret, and (2) spying. The author writes: “Al-Zawahiri specifically gave radicals permission not to pray in the mosque or attend Friday sermons if it would compromise their position.” He noted that Al-Zawahiri sealed his argument with a very important quote from Ibn Taymiyyah (who was quoted by Al-Timimi upon his his indictment). Ever the practical man, Muhammad approved lying in three circumstances (1) during war, (2) to reconcile between two feuding parties, and (3) to a spouse in order to please her.

      • DXer said

        Infiltrator Ali Mohamed was the “Teflon terrorist.” Ali Mohammed, an EIJ member who was associated with the unit that killed Sadat, had an alibi for the Sadat assassination. He was at an officer exchange program studying at the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina., Green Beret and Delta Force officers trained there. After he was forced out of the Egyptian Army for his radical beliefs, he went to work at Egyptair. As a security advisor, where he learned how to hijack airliners. He then joined the CIA and the US Army. He was a supply sergeant at the US Army’s Fort Bragg. He lectured Green Beret and Delta Forces on the middle east. He stole high resolution maps from the map shack and brought them to Zawahirii in Afghanistan. In 1989, Ali Mohamed traveled from Fort Bragg to train men that would later commit WTC 1993. When Ali Mohammed traveled to Brooklyn, he stayed with Islamic Group and Abdel-Rahman’s bodyguard Nosair, the man who would assassinate Rabbi Kahane in 1990.

        WTC 1993 prosecutor Andrew McCarthy concludes that “in small compass, [Ali Mohammed] is the story of American intelligence and radical islam in the eighties and nineties: the left hand oblivious not only to the right but to its own fingers … while jihadists played the system from within, with impunity, scheming to kill us all.” He emphasizes: “There is no way to sugar coat it: Ali Mohamed is a window on breathtaking government incompetence.” He writes: ”I raised holy hell … that I strongly suspected Mohamed was a terrorist, that the FBI should be investigating him rather than allowing him to infiltrate as a source … Because, you know what they say “IMAGINE THE LIABILITY.”

        In 1991, when Bin Laden wanted to move from Afghanistan to Sudan, Ali Mohammed served as his head of security and trained his bodyguards. Along with a former medical student, Khalid Dahab, Ali Mohamed recruited ten Americans for “sleeper cells.” After the 1998 embassy bombings, when FBI agents secretly swarmed his California residence, they found a document “Cocktail” detailing how cell members should operate. Even Al Qaeda central would not know the identity of members and different cells would not know each other’s identity. It was Ali Mohamed who was the source for the December 4, 1998 PDB to President Clinton explaining that the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Islambouli, was planning attacks on the US. In November 2001, did the Quantico profilers know of this egregious history of infiltration and harm flowing from treating the Nosair case as a “lone wolf” rather than an international conspiracy? One man’s “lone wolf” experiencing howling loneliness is another man’s Salafist operating under strict principles of cell security and “need-to-know.”

        A former FBI agent in the New York office who asked not to be identified, told author Peter Lance: “Understand what this means. You have an Al Qaeda spy who’s now a U.S. citizen, on active duty in the U.S. Army, and he brings along a video paid for by the U.S. government to train Green Beret officers and he’s using it to help train Islamic terrorists so they can turn their guns on us. By now the Afghan war is over.”

        Steve Emerson once said of the former US Army Sergeant who was Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence: “Ali Mohamed is one of the most frightening examples of the infiltration of terrorists into the infrastructure of the United States. Like a [character in a] John Le Carre thriller, he played the role of a triple agent and nearly got away with it.” Those officials who sought to minimize the security breach would have to explain away the classified maps of Afghanistan he stole from the map shack, and the classified cables and manuals found in such places as the home of Nosair, the assassin of Rabbi Kehane.

        Not even Ali Mohammed, however, could boast the letter of commendation from the White House once given Ali Al-Timimi, previous work for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, or a high security clearance. Ali Mohammed did not even have a security clearance but was merely a supply sergeant at the base where Special Operations was located. ‘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.”

        There was an elephant in the rooom no one talked about. A colleague of famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander Charles Bailey, a prolific Ames strain researcher, has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years in prison. He worked in a program co-sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection and had access to ATCC facilities, as well as facilities of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense at George Mason University then run by Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. The bionformatics grad student once had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy.

        Many commentators have long held strong and divergent opinions of what has been published in the media about Amerithrax, what they knew and their political views. But it turns out that they apparently have just been seeing the elephant in the living room from a different angle. Actually, they’ve just been in a position to see the elephant’s rump from outside the living room door. One US law professor, Francis Boyle, who has represented islamists abroad, first publicized the theory that a US biodefense insider was responsible. He has served as legal advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Separately the theory was adopted by professor Barbara Rosenberg. But Professor Boyle and Rosenberg were not so far from the truth — just incorrect as to motive. The documentary shows that Zawahiri’s plan was to infiltrate the US and UK biodefense establishment, and the evidence shows that is exactly what he did.

  16. DXer said

    FBI Director Mueller on Intelligence. He discusses sources and wires. Panning for gold.

    • DXer said

      In October or November 2001, Al Qaeda’s spokesman al-Kuwaiti wrote a letter to the Administration claiming that they would use their biological weapons if the US did not stop their financial and military support for Israel and the muslim regimes. The letter from Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Kuwaiti outlined the next attack against the Americans and issued a statement to the Americans to let them know of their fighters’ readiness to kill hundreds of thousands with their nuclear and biological arsenal. The letter has been declassified and cleared for release (and was released by West Point Combating Terrorism Center in 2006).

      Your Brother Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Kuwaiti; 1- Announcing publicly the next attack.2- Announcing publicly that we gave some groups the green light to move.3- The groups that are present in America and Europe are above suspicion. 4- We obtain our intelligence information from your government and intelligence agencies.5- The statement/letter should be directed to the American people.A- There is no animosity between us. You involved yourselves in this battle. The war is between us and the Jews. You interfered in our countries and influenced our governments to strike against the Moslems.

      If the American people are ready to die as we are ready to die, then our combat groups along with our military, nuclear, and biological equipment will kill hundreds of thousands of people we don’t wish to fight.

      B- If you are ready to die as we are ready to die, the thousand present here in Afghanistan equals hundreds of thousands of Americans. I am pleased to inform you that the billions you spent fighting us so far have resulted in killing a small number of us. We consider them martyrs and they did not exceed (10) martyrs. We warn you that our war against you has not ended, but its effects will increase. Isn’t it time to end American arrogance and begin listening to your people before you experience more devastating disasters?

      In early October, Abu Graith had appeared on two widely-circulated videos on al Jazeera television to defend the attacks and threaten retaliation for the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan, saying “Americans should know, the storm of the planes will not stop. There are thousands of the Islamic nation’s youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live.” Abu Gha’ith, Bin Laden’s spokesman, was from Kuwait and made a similar threat in a videotape released June 2002. In June, he renewed the biochem threat, more broadly, urging that under the koran, it was morally justified to kill up to 4 million Americans, including 1 million children, with biological or chemical weapons. In July 2003, a Kuwaiti minister announced that the Iranian government had offered to extradite Abu Ghaith to Kuwait, but that Kuwait had refused the offer.

    • DXer said

      The issue of triple agents is not merely relevant to the faraway lands of Afghanistan.

      In November 2007, FBI Director Mueller gave a speech in which he warned against the need to guard against spies at universities, who for example, may have access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information.

      “Al Qaeda is tremendously patient and thinks nothing about taking years to infiltrate persons in and finding the right personnel and opportunity to undertake an attack. And we cannot become complacent, because you look around the world, and whether it’s London or Madrid or Bali or recently Casablanca or Algiers, attacks are taking place.”

      In 2000, IANA radio ran an item “CIA to Monitor Foreign Students.” The item as published on the IANA website read: “American anti-terrorism policies are ‘seriously deficient according to the US National Commission on Terrorism, a body created by Congress after the bombing of 2 US embassies in East Africa.'”

  17. DXer said

    In his 48 years of experience in biowarfare, Mr. Patrick has worked with USAMRIID, DIA, FBI, and many other institutions. Doctors for Disaster Preparedness
    2007 Annual Meeting. Choose “whole item.” You can stream it using ITunes. Estimates that in their early field test using poor aerosol of a simulant, 400,000 would have been infected.

    August 5-6, 2007 – Portland, OR

    • DXer said

      Patrick explains the issue of charge — why it was very effective in the letters but is not for filling munitions.

      He gave the example of having made 7 or so grams but ended up with only .5 gram because it was flying all over the place.

      But in the case of the letter, with the opening of the letter being a low energy event, it is very well-suited.

      The Bucchi technical representative years ago told me that the Bucchi mini-spraydryer 290 inevitably results in a charge due to the speed it comes out of the nozzle (that they’ve never been able to avoid).

  18. Anonymous Scientist said

    This is a long and detailed article but captures the Meselson/Dwight Adams scam over the silicon in the anthrax nicely.

    FBI Frame-up of Bruce E. Ivins Made Simple

    by Michael Green,
    August 19, 2008
    Copyright 2008 Michael Green

    On Wednesday, August 8, 2008, the Department of Justice held a news conference announcing that Bruce E. Ivins, a former anthrax researcher for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), was the sole person responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks. Headed by U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor and FBI Assistant Director Joseph Persichini, the presentation was noteworthy for often not answering relevant questions, but instead referring reporters to several dozen court documents they had just been provided, but had not had time to read, let alone digest. After hurriedly reading one of these documents I decided to hedge my strong conclusion in a version of an earlier essay, “911 Plotters Bury the Evidence of Anthrax as their Follow-up Punch,” published at OPEDNEWS, published also on this website without the hedge. The strong conclusion — hedged until determining enough facts to decide the matter — was that the FBI had persecuted and framed Ivins in order to protect the actual perpetrators. I stated, “The most important question is whether Ivins was provided with fully weaponized cutting-edge anthrax that he could use by merely drying it out as the FBI case requires. If not, then the cover-up explodes in the face of the FBI.” And, indeed, the cover-up had exploded in the face of the FBI and DOJ.

    Richard Spertzel, UNSCOM’s biological weapons chief from 1994-1999, had described an exquisitely weaponized anthrax contained in the letters to Senators Leahy and Daschle that “far exceeds that of any powdered product found in the now extinct U.S. Biological Warfare Program.” These included anthrax spores of 1.5-3.0 microns necessary to make a pure spore mix, a polyglass that tightly bound hydrophilic silica to each particle (to prevent clumping) and a weak electrical charge to optimize dispersion by means of repulsion with no other propellant required. Spertzel concluded:

    The multiple disciplines and technologies required to make the anthrax in this case do not exist at the Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Inhalation studies are conducted at the institute, but they are done using liquid preparation, not powdered products.
    Furthermore, the FBI spent 12-18 months trying to “reverse engineer” the Daschle-Leahy anthrax without success. The FBI case against Ivins gives him 7½ hours in the evening over the course of three days to prepare his first concoction sent in letters postmarked September 18, 2001 and roughly 15½ hours over eight days to prepare the Senate anthrax letters postmarked October 9, 2001. But after reading the first DOJ document, which was suggestive and not apparently made from whole cloth, I was seized by the possibility that the FBI might have been concealing that Ivins had been working with fully weaponized anthrax in order to disguise a violation of the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory, hence the hedge in my essay (made on the final day of OPEDNEWS’s window for editing one’s essays). Direct inspection of the BTWC rules out that concern. Apparently what matters is in the heart or mind of the weapon maker: fully weaponized materials may be made and stored so long as the purpose in doing so is in some part defensive or prophylactic, as was Ivins’s purpose in testing the efficacy of anthrax vaccines.

    The gravamen of the FBI’s case against Ivins is that in 1997 he mixed an anthrax batch, RMR-1029, that was a genetic match to the letter anthrax, and thereafter Ivins was the “sole custodian” of the flask that contained it. (The FBI does not mention that other scientists at his facility had unfettered access to the flask, nor emphasize that over 100 individuals at other facilities had access as well, and this does not include the sources that provided Ivins with the anthrax components to mix.) The crucial question to determine whether Ivins could be the “lone biokiller” is thus whether the RMR-1029 in the flask in Ivin’s possession was fully weaponized. The answer is that it was not.

    Neither the DOJ oral presentation, nor anything in any of its documents states or implies this during a public presentation whose purpose was to convince the American public that the FBI “got the right man” this time. They cannot even bring themselves to say that the spores in Ivins’s possession were of the same consistently tiny size of 1.5-3.0 microns that made them so deadly — something they would surely say were it so. In fact, the topic is sedulously avoided even though — or precisely because — it is essential to making the case against Ivins.

    Better, Jeffrey Taylor, who seemed to have a weak grasp of the evidence, in his opening remarks gave away the fact that the anthrax in the letters did not come directly from the flask with the sample of spores “RMR-1029” that Ivins monitored and that were reportedly a genetic match to the anthrax that killed its victims. Mr. Taylor advised:

    As the court documents allege, the parent material of the anthrax spores used in the attacks was a single flask of spores, known as “RMR-1029,” that was created and solely maintained by Dr. Ivins at USAMRIID. This means that the spores used in the attacks were taken from that specific flask, regrown, purified, dried and loaded into the letters.
    So, that’s the game and the frame-up right there. Regrown spores don’t weaponize themselves. They do not regrow super-small and covered with state-of-the-art anti-clumping silica (silicon dioxide) with a weak electrical charge for dispersion. And how do we know, aside from voluminous ongoing reports that we will soon examine, that there was such silica on the spores, and that it was cutting edge technology? Search Warrant Affidavit 07-534-M-01 (available at USDOJ: Amerithrax Court Documents), dated October 31, 2007, states in pertinent part, p.4:

    Microscopic examination of the evidentiary spore powders recovered from all four letters identified an elemental signature of Silicon within the spores. This Silicon signature had not been previously described for Bacillus anthracis organisms.
    This fundamental problem with the FBI case has been around for a long time, and examination of the media coverage helps us understand how covert action can take place in front of the public without being noticed. For example, the entire emphasis of the DOJ and FBI is focused on proving that there is a genetic match between the letter anthrax and the anthrax batch RMR-1029 allegedly in Ivins’s possession while ignoring that RMR-1029 lacked the weaponized qualities found in the Senate anthrax letters. That focus is a deliberate red herring to make it seem possible that Ivins was the lone nutcase perpetrator. An October 2, 2002 Washington Post article by Guy Gugliotta and Gary Matsumoto underscores how committed the FBI has been to protecting the 911 plotters from the beginning, e.g., by starting with a conviction that the perpetrator had to be a lone nutcase:

    A profile of the attacker issued by the FBI last November described an angry, “lone individual” with “some” science background who could weaponize the anthrax spores in a basement laboratory for as little as $2,500.
    Instead, the scientists who understood the spores opined as follows:

    “In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I’m one of them,” said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. “And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good.”

    Instead, suggested Spertzel and more than a dozen experts interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks, investigators might want to reexamine the possibility of state-sponsored terrorism, or try to determine whether weaponized spores may have been stolen by the attacker from an existing, but secret, biodefense program or perhaps given to the attacker by an accomplice. …

    “Just collecting this stuff is a trick,” said Steven A. Lancos, executive vice president of Niro Inc., one of the leading manufacturers of spray dryers, viewed by several sources as the likeliest tool needed to weaponize the anthrax bacteria. “Even on a small scale, you still need containment. If you’re going to do it right, it could cost millions of dollars.” …

    Several sources agreed that the most likely way to build the coated spores would be to use the fine glass particles, known generically as “fumed silica” or “solid smoke,” and mix them with the spores in a spray dryer. “I know of no other technique that might give you that finished product,” Spertzel said.

    According to William C. Patrick III, the former chief of product development for the U.S. Army’s now-defunct bioweapons program, U.S. government scientists made biological agents using spray dryers, but did not spray dry anthrax. …

    In spray drying, a technician mixes fumed silica and spores with water, then sprays the mist through a nozzle directly into a stream of superheated air shooting from a second nozzle into an enclosed chamber. The water evaporates instantly, leaving spores and additive floating in space.
    What do the DOJ and FBI offer us for how Ivins could have done all this? Silence and disinformation. The aforementioned affidavit states:

    Culturing anthrax and working safely with dried anthrax spores requires specific training and expertise in technical fields such as biochemistry or microbiology. It also requires access to particular laboratory equipment such as a lyophilizer or other drying device, biological safety cabinet or other containment device, incubator, centrifuge, fermentor, and various protective gear, all of which Dr. Ivins had readily accessible to him through his employment at USAMRIID.
    The above paragraph is a carefully worded frame-up. Yes, a special drying device is needed to coat the anthrax with silica in the right way; it is a spray dryer — a device that works with intense heat to vaporize nearly instantly a water suspension of silica particles that then is drawn to the anthrax. Ivins had access to a lyophilizer, but not to a spray dryer. A lyophilizer freeze-dries liquid anthrax into a powder. So the affidavit slips the fact that Ivins lacks even the basic tools by including “or other drying device” and states (truly and deceptively) that Ivins had access to “all of which,” i.e., the unhelpful lyophilizer but not the essential spray dryer, let alone the specialized silica and team of colleagues to make it work. The Post continues about the requirements:
    “Surface tension will pull those little [silica] particles together onto the big one,” said California Institute of Technology chemical engineer Richard Flagan. “You will end up with some degree of coating.”

    Whoever made such an aerosol would “need some experience” with aerosols and “would have to have a lot of anthrax, so you could practice,” Edwards said. “You’d have to do a lot of trial and error to get the particles you wanted.” It would also help to have an electron microscope to examine the results.

    This would mean at least several hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment, several experts said. Niro’s cheapest spray dryer sells for about $50,000. Electron microscopes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    In all, said Niro’s Lancos, “you would need [a] chemist who is familiar with colloidal [fumed] silica, and a material science person to put it all together, and then some mechanical engineers to make this work . . . probably some containment people, if you don’t want to kill anybody. You need half a dozen, I think, really smart people.”

    The following year, Gary Matsumoto wrote an article for Science 28, November 2003, Volume 302 that stated that “a schism now exists among scientists who analyzed it for the FBI.” Initially, there was consensus:

    Early in the investigation [once it took to heart the science needed to produce the spores], the FBI appeared to endorse the latter view: that only a sophisticated lab could have produced the material used in the Senate attack. This was the consensus among biodefense specialists working for the government and the military. In May 2002, 16 of these scientists and physicians published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, describing the Senate anthrax powder as “weapons-grade” and exceptional: “high spore concentration, uniform particle size, low electrostatic charge, treated to reduce clumping” (JAMA, 1 May 2002, p. 2237). Donald A. Henderson, former assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Department of Health and Human Services, expressed an almost grudging respect: “It just didn’t have to be that good” to be lethal, he told Science.

    As the [criminal] investigation dragged on, however, its focus shifted. In a key disclosure, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft revealed in August 2002 that Justice Department officials had fixed on one of 30 so-called “persons of interest”:Steven J. Hatfill, a doctor and virologist who in 1997 conducted research with the Ebola virus at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Hatfill has denied any involvement in the anthrax mailing.)
    Thus, the FBI had begun with the “backyard biokiller” profile, then was forced to abandon it by the advanced design of the anthrax that points the finger where it belongs at state-sponsored terrorism, and then embraced it again once it felt that Steven Hatfill could be made to fill the role of “patsy.” But in order to convict Hatfill, the FBI would need to demonstrate how Hatfill could have produced the anthrax in the Daschle-Leahy letters, hence their effort to “reverse-engineer” the process. One lovely comparable historical example is the FBI’s fantasy that the WTC was truck-bombed in 1993 by a coven of committed Arabs urinating to generate the “uric acid” needed for its imaginary “home-made” bomb in order to conceal that high-grade military explosives provided by FBI mole Emad Salem were used in that event. But those were Muslim “terrorists,” easy to convict with the help of Judge Michael Mukasey, since promoted to Attorney General. Something better was needed for Hatfill, so the FBI tried, and failed:

    Although the FBI did not spell out its theory [about Hatfill], this announcement and leaks to the media from federal investigators indicated that the inquiry had embraced the idea that a lone operator or small group with limited resources could have produced the Senate anthrax powder.
    This premise now appears to have run its course. In September 2003, the FBI’s Michael Mason admitted that the bureau failed to reverse engineer a world-class anthrax powder like the Senate material and expressed regret that Hatfill had been called a “person of interest.”

    Hatfill’s story remains instructive for many reasons. The FBI violated normal investigative procedures by leaking Hatfill’s name to the press and keeping politicians informed about the ongoing investigation. When Hatfill found a university position, the FBI forced the university to fire him. The FBI deliberately informed the press in advance of their searches of Hatfill’s residence, both when he voluntarily submitted to a search and when the search was done under warrant, in order to create a media circus and to antagonize and intimidate Hatfill. The FBI harassed Hatfill by following him everywhere under the pretext that he would strike again if let out of their sight. The wave of propaganda against Hatfill was so pervasive and effective that when Hatfill reported to D.C. police that the FBI had run over his foot while surveilling him, he was ticketed for “walking to create a hazard.” FBI sources stated that the Bureau had focused on Hatfill until 2006, but when a federal judge reviewed the case in 2008, including still-secret FBI summaries, he opined “There is not a scintilla of evidence that would indicate that Dr. Hatfill had anything to do with this.”

    Former FBI counter-terrorism agent Brad Garrett, now working for the ABC network whose Brian Ross broadcast the manufactured leaks from four “well placed” sources that Iraq planted the anthrax and that now refuses to identify these plotters, is happy to tell us what went wrong with the Hatfill investigation in a June 30, 20008 “EXCLUSIVE: How the FBI Botched the Anthrax Case.” According to Garrett:

    The anthrax investigation, almost from the beginning, was hampered by top-heavy leadership from high ranking, but inexperienced FBI officials, which led to a close-minded focus on just one suspect and amateurish investigative techniques that robbed agents in the field of the ability to operate successfully.

    Garrett ignores the obvious implications of the fact that there was not a scintilla of evidence against Hatfill, viz., that the FBI modus operandi against Hatfill — and Ivins as well — was “frame ’em and break ’em.” Garrett notes that “The original complaint accused several government officials, including Ashcroft, of deliberately leaking information about the criminal probe into Hatfill in order to harass him and to hide the FBI’s lack of hard evidence,” but he also states that the $5,825,000 settlement included no such admissions without seeming to understand that so much money was paid to avoid having to make that admission or having a jury so find. One wishes for more hard facts, but instead of taking the convenient route that the FBI investigation of this crucial act of domestic terrorism was hamstrung by stupid, incompetent and inexperienced high-ranking officials, the better interpretation in this case is that the FBI’s wild goose chase was grand political theater to keep the public confused and distracted from the actual terrorists.

    What about the “schism” that developed amongst scientists familiar with the Daschle-Leahy anthrax samples? Well, Matsumoto is an establishment journalist, which means that he is not permitted to think aloud in public. So he is careful to separate the John Ashcroft designation of Steven Hatfill in August 2002 as a “person of interest” from what follows way below in the article, and careful not to integrate the two facts into a coherent narrative, but to his full credit he does all that he can with a picture that is worth a thousand words. Hatfill is grimacing in fury, not the furtive guilt of a trapped perpetrator:

    By the fall of 2002, the awe-inspiring anthrax of the previous spring had morphed into something decidedly less fearsome. According to sources on Capitol Hill, FBI scientists now reported that there was “no additive” in the Senate anthrax at all. Alibek said he examined electron micrographs of the anthrax spores sent to Senator Daschle and saw no silica. “But I couldn’t be absolutely sure,” Alibek says, “because I only saw three to five of these electron micrographs.” Even the astonishingly uniform particle size of 1.5 to 3 micrometers, mentioned in 2001 by Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), now included whopping 100-micrometer agglomerates, according to the new FBI description recounted by Capitol Hill aides. The reversal was so extreme that the former chief biological weapons inspector for the United Nations Special Commission, Richard Spertzel, found it hard to accept. “No silica, big particles, manual milling,” he says: “That’s what they’re saying now, and that radically contradicts everything we were told during the first year of this investigation.”

    In the cold. The U.S. Justice Department revealed that it was investigating scientist Steven Hatfill (bottom), formerly of Fort Detrick, and searched a nearby pond for clues.
    Indeed, Matsumoto gives a clear and vivid description of what was first known about the anthrax spores in 2003, that survives now in the official story, only briefly and vastly under-described in the October 31, 2007 DOJ affidavit as “an elemental signature of Silicon within the spores.”

    Glassy finish
    More revealing than the electrostatic charge, some experts say, was a technique used to anchor silica nanoparticles to the surface of spores. About a year and a half ago, a laboratory analyzing the Senate anthrax spores for the FBI reported the discovery of what appeared to be a chemical additive that improved the bond between the silica and the spores. U.S. intelligence officers informed foreign biodefense officials that this additive was “polymerized glass.” The officials who received this briefing–biowarfare specialists who work for the governments of two NATO countries–said they had never heard of polymerized glass before. This was not surprising. “Coupling agents” such as polymerized glass are not part of the usual tool kit of scientists and engineers making powders designed for human inhalation. Also known as “sol gel” or “spin-on-glass,” polymerized glass is “a silane or siloxane compound that’s been dissolved in an alcohol-based solvent like ethanol,” says Jacobsen. It leaves a thin glassy coating that helps bind the silica to particle surfaces.

    Thus, the shift of anthrax description in the fall of 2002 occurs just in time to make Attorney General John Ashcroft fingering Hatfill seem superficially plausible to those without knowledge or memories. Alibek, a Soviet defector, has gone over to the official government position, as have others for reasons not hard to fathom. Reading Matsumoto’s Science article with care reveals the unstated political pressures that were applied to the scientists committed to the truth with the hard data on the Daschle-Leahy anthrax, but I shall not elaborate that here. There is not one example given of a scientist who changed his mind on the crucial issue of whether the Senate anthrax could have been done by a loner for solid scientific reasons. These political pressures are the source of the “schism.”

    That “schism” was formalized by FBI scientist Douglas J. Beecher, who published a technical paper on the dispersion of anthrax spores through the postal facilities and buildings in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, p. 5304-5310, Vol. 72, No. 8. In that paper, unrelated to its content and, as a letter to the editor pointed out, wholly unsupported by scientific research, Beecher simply asserted in the second quoted sentence, ipse dixit, “Individuals familiar with the compositions of the powders in the letters have indicated that they were comprised simply of spores purified to different extents (6). However, a widely circulated misconception is that the spores were produced using additives and sophisticated engineering supposedly akin to military weapon production.” Kay A. Mereish, an official at the United Nations, wrote:

    In a meeting I attended in September 2006, a presentation was made by a scientist who had worked on samples of anthrax collected from letters involved in the same incident in October 2001; that scientist described the anthrax spore as uncoated but said that it contained an additive that affected the spore’s electrical charges (D. Small, CBRN Counter-Proliferation and Response, Paris, France, 18-20 September 2006; organized by SMi []).

    We would like but cannot obtain the details of why D. Small thought the spores he/she examined were uncoated, but Lois R. Ember interviewed two scientists who claimed to have examined the electron micrographs of the Senate anthrax and observed no silica or other additive. She wrote of and quoted one of them December 2006 in Chemical and Engineering News, “If silica was present, I would have seen it, but nothing could have been purer than what I saw.”

    The previously mentioned political wrangling infects the science. The scientist just quoted by Ms. Embers is Matthew Meselson, a Harvard molecular biologist. Professor Meselson had distinguished himself in 2002 after the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) had reported the presence of silica based on lab reports showing the presence of the element silicon. AFIP’s chief of Chemical Pathology said “There was silica there. There was no mistaking it.” And Major General John S. Parker, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command who saw the lab reports commented, “There was a huge silicon spike. …It peaked near the top of the screen.” Professor Meselson’s response was to send the FBI a 1980 article from the Journal of Bacteriology that noted silicon present in the spore coat of a different but related bacterium, B. cereus. The detection of silicon in B. cereus was never again replicated, its authors admitted their first report could be due to a contamination, B. cereus is not the anthrax spore, and silicon has never been reported as part of the naturally occurring coat of the anthrax spore. Using this pseudo-science from a great Harvard scientist, top-ranking FBI scientist Dwight Adams gave a briefing in late 2002 on Capitol Hill suggesting that the silicon was part of the natural coating of the anthrax, and quoting the paper sent by Professor Meselson as an authority. (Matsumoto, Science, supra.) The FBI would then invite the politically friendly Meselson to inspect electron micrographs of an anthrax sample they would tell him was the Senate anthrax and that he would report to be silicon free.

    But FBI “science” went a step further. Using the Meselson-Adams perspective, the FBI decided to contract with two top biological warfare institutes to make an anthrax powder comparably lethal to the Senate anthrax but without having to worry about the “elemental signature of Silicon” that the October 31, 2007 search warrant affidavit would swear under oath was present in the anthrax “recovered from all four letters.”

    Elders gives us powerful details of the efforts of the U.S. Army’s biodefense center at Dugway Proving Grounds to reverse engineer the anthrax using the Meselson-Adams assumption that no special additives were involved. Quoting Milton Leitenberg, a University of Maryland arms control expert:

    Leitenberg says a well-connected former military scientist told him that Dugway was only able to produce preparations containing “one-fifth the number of spores found in the Leahy powder.” This same military source also told Leitenberg that Battelle Memorial Institute was also asked to back engineer the Leahy powder.

    As Matsumoto wrote in Science:

    The Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Columbus, Ohio, is possibly the only corporation in the world known to possess both the Ames strain as well as a “national security division” offering the services of a team of “engineers, chemists, microbiologists, and aerosol scientists supported by state-of-the-art laboratories to conduct research in the fields of bioaerosol science and technology.” On its Web site, Battelle calls this research group “one-of-a-kind.”

    The failure by both Dugway and Battelle to produce a comparable product was the basis for the public announcement in the fall of 2003 by Michael A. Mason, then assistant director of the FBI Washington field office to admit that after more than a year of efforts by two full scale out-in-the-open bioweapons research teams, the FBI had failed to make a comparably powerful product — even without silicon. This failure, and the failure to explain how Ivins could have done so alone in a few hours of night-time lab work, remains the hippopotamus in the living room from which the FBI and the DOJ have worked so hard to distract the public with its long tale about the DNA match between the Senate anthrax and the RMR-1029 strain in Ivins’s possession, to which so very very many others had access over the years.

    It is important not to distract ourselves with the task of resolving exactly what attributes the Senate anthrax spores had — attributes that the FBI and DOJ have deliberately kept secret and muddled through confusing and contradictory press leaks and releases. It is wiser to rely on the obvious inference that if the FBI had a simple, straightforward, true and compelling story to tell about how Ivins could have made such a deadly powder in a few brief spates at night, they would have told it. They did not tell it because they did not have it.

    I am not going to discuss the rest of the DOJ case against Ivins because it rests on the slimmest of hunch and speculation, distortion and innuendo, legerdemain and suppression of relevant fact, especially the central fact that has been our focus here. The DOJ-FBI case is interesting, and in the absence of much of the actual evidence of this case that the FBI has been so busy suppressing, would be fruitful for further investigation of Ivins, but nothing more. In the face of the actual facts, the single-minded pursuit of Ivins as the lone perpetrator is a full-blown cover-up whether or not Ivins had any involvement in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

    Others, especially Glenn Greenwald of, have done a fine job of pointing out problems with the legal case against Ivins. In one especially powerful post, Greenwald notes:

    The FBI’s total failure to point to a shred of evidence placing Ivins in New Jersey on either of the two days the anthrax letters were sent is a very conspicuous deficiency in its case. It’s possible that Ivins was able to travel to Princeton on two occasions in three weeks without leaving the slightest trace of having done so (not a credit card purchase, ATM withdrawal, unusual gas purchases, nothing), but that relies on a depiction of Ivins as a cunning and extremely foresightful criminal, an image squarely at odds with most of the FBI’s circumstantial evidence that suggests Ivins was actually quite careless, even reckless, in how he perpetrated this crime (spending unusual amounts of time in his lab before the attacks despite knowing that there would be a paper trail; taking an “administrative leave” from work to go mail the anthrax letters rather than just doing it on the weekend when no paper trail of his absence would be created; using his own anthrax strain rather than any of the other strains to which he had access at Fort Detrick; keeping that strain in its same molecular form for years rather than altering it, etc.).

    In that same post, Greenwald — who apparently has knowledge of the postal pick-up times from September-October 2001 of the Princeton, N.J. mailbox from which the letters were sent — notes that the FBI has presented an impossible theory of how Ivins could have mailed the letters in September 2001 and the FBI presents as damning evidence against Ivins what in fact exculpates him (assuming that the Washington Post has accurately reported its facts). Again, this modus operandi is Warren Commission redux: the blue ribbon authority publicly asserts the opposite of what its evidence reveals. Nonetheless, Greenwald continues to suffer from the illusion that the FBI acted in good faith, preventing him from thinking, let alone saying plainly, that Ivins is the patsy chosen to protect the real conspirators, and that as in the Downing Street memorandum, “the facts were being fixed around the policy.”

    My focus in this article has been on the ways by which FBI has clearly framed Ivins as the lone nutcase biokiller as part of a state apparatus of disinformation. It is very difficult to find players in this drama whose motives are pure, or who can be counted upon to act and report on the facts alone independent of their motives. UNSCOM’s Richard Spertzel, for example, seems to favor Iraq as the state sponsor of the anthrax terrorism. Silicon is one of the elemental components of bentonite — an aluminum phyllosilicate — the supposed “Iraqi marker” that the four “well placed” ABC sources lied to ABC was present. And, alas, it is impossible to assess how free from political influence are the results of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology lab that first found the dramatic silicon spike, given the pervasive efforts of the Cheney/Bush regime to generate and fabricate a pretext to invade Iraq.

    Nonetheless, my considered opinion is that the Senate anthrax properties were accurately given in May 2002, by the 16 biodefense scientists and physicians working for the government and the military who published the paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, describing the Senate anthrax powder as “weapons-grade” and exceptional: “high spore concentration, uniform particle size, low electrostatic charge, treated to reduce clumping” (JAMA, 1 May 2002, p. 2237). These qualities are the fingerprints of a high-level, well organized multi-specialty team “inside job” that had to be protected by creating and framing a lone nutcase patsy. Indeed, if the FBI were able to make a solid genetic match between the letter anthrax and the RMR-1029 strain in Ivins’s possession, then what it has succeeded in proving is that since Ivins could not have made the weaponized spores found in the Senate letters, others within the U.S. government and/or private bioweapons industry did so. Concealing this fact has been the principal purpose of the vast public media theater that the FBI and DOJ have orchestrated.

    There is a large group of suspects in the 2001 anthrax attacks, but they are all state or corporate-state agents who were implementing neocon foreign policy and domestic repression, and hence are being protected by the FBI. That the FBI is operating under orders from on high congenial to its institutional purposes is the only reasonable explanation of this clumsy frame-up of Ivins. Demonstrating the deliberate frame-up and thus exposing the motive of protecting the guilty is relatively simple provided one can follow the facts and reason clearly; solving the crime by showing just which people and institutions did just which deeds is much more difficult and much more dangerous.

    As I opined originally, Hatfill proved a “formidable” opponent whereas Ivins “has been chosen as the most vulnerable individual to serve as a patsy.” And so Ivins has been. Ivins’s funeral was attended by 250-300 professional colleagues who offered their warm support, something they were not likely to have done had they believed the DOJ-FBI case against him, and they were in a position to know how strong it was, or was not. These colleagues for the most part will imagine that the FBI has made some terrible mistake; the seemingly small step required to appreciate that no mistake was made is far too difficult for most to make, for when followed to its proper conclusions, the ground gives way beneath one.

    Michael B. Green, Ph.D.
    Clinical Psychologist
    Qualified Medical Examiner (1992-2006, retired)
    Former Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    University of Texas at Austin

    • Anonymous scientist said

      No Ed, as usual you are making an ad hominen argument – the only type you know how to make. That and your unhealthy obsession with 6 year old boys writing bioterror letters is enough to give anyone the creeps. You should really stick to your own website where you don’t allow anyone to comment.

      Guilt by association
      Main article: Association fallacy

      Guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem fallacy, if the argument attacks a source because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.[citation needed]

      This form of the argument is as follows:

      Source A makes claim P.
      Group B also make claim P.
      Therefore, source A is a member of group B.

  19. DXer said

    Anthrax attacks were simulated using aerosolized Bacillus atrophaeus spores in fumed silica, and corresponding Tb-DPA intensities were monitored as a function of time and correlated to the number of airborne endospores collected. A concentration dependence of 10^210^6 spores/mg of fumed silica yielded a dynamic range of 4 orders of magnitude and a limit of detection of 16 spores/L when 250 L of air were sampled. Simulated attacks were detected in less than 15 min.

    PonceGroup’s Anthrax Smoke Detector

  20. DXer said

    Anthrax Contaminated Materials Decon 2001 USEPA

  21. DXer said

    Commercial featuring personnel of Paul Keim’s genomics lab. (He doesn’t like snakes).

  22. DXer said

    4thrax [Anthrax, Biothrax, And Nothing But The Thraxx]

  23. DXer said

    Isn’t the DOJ and FBI constantly in the position of being damned if they do, damned if they don’t? See Kessler’s book. The Department had just paid out $5.8 million after the Attorney General used the phrase “Person of Interest” upon a dramatic public search and the lead prosecutor in 2002 and 2003 giving a reporter some context on a couple of occasions.

    What are they supposed to say when there is an unexpected suicide? We’re sorry for the loss but there are still some persons of interest? Bear with us while we sort things out?

    It seems a very challenging and often thankless job.

    Ivins Sole Suspect In Anthrax Case

    • DXer said

      Tom Ridge: Hasan was Islamic Jihad, not Mentally Stressed

    • DXer said

      Umar Lee – Interview part 3 ( On Sheikh Ali al-Timimi)

      • DXer said

        Ali Al-Timimi 😦

        • DXer said

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

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

          Al Qaeda continued to seek religious approval from blind sheik Abdel-Rahman for its attacks. The US indictment of the Post Office worker in contact with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman alleged:

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

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

          Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was arrested in mid-February 2003 and Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse was searched two week later.

      • DXer said

        “Ali Al-Tamimi – A few words before his arrest!”

      • DXer said

        Milton Viorst, who knew Ali as a teenager, wrote a fascinating and sympathetic yet balanced portrait in “The Education of Ali Al-Timimi” that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, June 2006. In Saudi Arabia, Al-Timimi had been mentored by a Saudi-trained Canadian imam Bilal Philips. Philips was Al-Timimi’s Islamic Studies teacher at Manaret Riyadh High School in the early 1980s. Al-Timimi adopted Philips’ view that “The clash of civilizations is a reality,” and “Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam.” Between 1991 and 1993, Philips relocated to the Mindinao, Philippines, where he taught at an islamic school. In 1993, according to an interview he gave in a London-based Arabic-language magazine interview, Philips ran a program to convert US soldiers to Islam stationed in Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War. Philips was made a proselytization official by the Saudi Air Force. Philips followed up in the US, with telephone calls and visits intended to recruit the veterans as potential members of Bin Laden’s network. He enlisted assistance from others based in the U.S. and members of Islamic centers all over the US. These conversion specialists financed pilgrimages for US veterans and would later send Muslim clerics in the United States to their homes. Bilal Philips encouraged some converts from this program to fight in Bosnia in the 1990s. Bilal Philips explained these recruitment efforts to a London newspaper in Arabic (translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service) in an article titled “Jamaican-Born Canadian Interviewed on Islamic Missionary Work Among US Troops”:

        “[redacted] used to coordinate with US intelligence. And, when Croatia closed its borders to Arab volunteers, there were a group of black Americans who completed their training and knew Islam through me. [Redacted] contacted Shaykh Umar Abd-al-Rahman and offered to use this group for sabotage acts inside the United States. The offer was made on the telephone, which apparently was tapped by US intelligence. Shaykh Umar replied by saying: ‘”Avoid civilian targets.’”

        After completing his religious education in Saudi Arabia in Medina, Ali Al Timimi returned to the United States and received a second bachelor’s degree — this time in computer science at the University of Maryland, while also studying software programming at George Washington University. Timimi spoke at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1994. A senior al Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman Dosari, also spoke at three IANA conferences in the early 1990s. In December 1993, Al-Dosari (a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke on ‘Jihad & Revival” and exhorted young men to fight for their faithjust as Al-Timimi would later be accused of doing privately with young men in Virginia.

        At the first annual IANA conference in 1993, scheduled speakers included Bilal Philips, Mohammed Abdul-Rahman from Afghanistan, Mohammad Qutb from Cairo, Gamal Sultan from Cairo, and Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ (Bosnia).

        Mohammad Abdul-Rahman was the blind sheik’s son. The blind sheik soon was sentenced for terrorism relating to WTC 1993 and the “Day of Terror” plot directed at NYC landmarks. In 2000, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was sitting alongside Bin Laden and Zawahiri and was videotaped encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

        Mohammad Qutb was Sayyid Qutb’s brother. Egyptian Mohammad Qutb, a renown scholar and activist, taught Bin Laden at university in Saudi Arabia, having emigrated to Saudi Arabia. In the 1970s, bin Laden was taught by Sayyid Qutb’s brother, Dr. Mohammad Qutb, and a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood member, Dr. Abdullah Azzam. Azzam’s ideas of non-compromise, violent means, and organizing and fighting on a global scale were central to Al Qaeda methods. Qutb, as al-Hawali’s teacher, also strongly influenced al-Hawali. Al-Hawali was sent to prison in 1994.

        Gamal Sultan was a former EIJ member who would seek to start a political party in 1999 with the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. They sought to chart a nonviolent course (given the practical reality that the movement had been so infiltrated by the security forces). The blind sheik declined to endorse the venture. In 2000, on a trip to Pittsburgh, Gamal Sultan and his colleagues thought Pittsburgh reminded them of Kandahar given its rolling hills.

        Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ was a well-known holy warrior and fundraiser from Saudi Arabia. In 1994, Abdel Aziz glorified jihad and praised the Pittsburgh magazine Assirat for its interest in holy war. He asked Assirat readers and in a 1995 update, to donate money for holy war. He lauded Dr. Abdullah Azzam, the founder of al-Qaeda. He explained jihad will continue till the day of judgment.” In 1996, he was detained as the primary suspect in the attack on the Dhahran barracks, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed. Expert Evan Kohlmann explains: Barbaros was “one of the key individuals responsible for LeT’s formation and development.” He “was a Saudi Al-Qaida member.” Kohlmann writes “In the fall of 1992, a former Al-Qaida lieutenant-turned-government informant attended secret meetings in Croatia chaired by Abu Abdel Aziz (“Barbaros.”). During those meetings, Abu Abdel Aziz talked about his directives from Usama Bin Laden and indicated that Al-Qaida was seeking to use regional jihads such as those in Bosnia and Kashmir as “a base for operations… against al Qaeda’s true enemy, the United States.”

        In 1995 Ali Al Timimi headed an IANA delegation to China together with IANA President Bassem Khafagi and Syracuse oncologist and IANA Vice Chairman Rhafil Dhafir. The IANA condemned the UN women’s rights conference as “an attack on Islam.” They urged Imams worldwide to tell Muslims about “the hidden agenda of this UN Conference, and how to foil the libertine and Westernization movements in the Islamic world.”

        Salafist commentator Umar Lee has explained that in the early 1990s “the most dynamic part of the salafi movement in the DC-area were the students Sheikh Ali al-Timimi who in the 1990’s co-founded a very small group with a small office for an organization called the Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah. In early July 1994, cooperation with Al-Timimi’s Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah, Washington, D.C., IANA held its first annual summer camp in English in Frederick, MD (where the ponds were drained in the Amerthrax investigation). The theme of the camp was “Living the Shahadah in America.” This is what Sheikh Ali was teaching kids at the 1st Annual IANA Summer Camp at a Frederick, MD park:

        “Reflections on the Meaning of Our Testimony of Faith: ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” by Ali Al-Timimi.
        “6 Wage Jihad in the Path of Allah
        “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and practice not the true religion (Islam), being of those who have been given the Scripture (the Jews and the Christians) — until they pay tribute readily and have been brought low. (The Qur’an 9:29)
        The Prophet has said:
        I am commanded to fight mankind till they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayers and pay the charity. When they do that they will keep their lives and their property

        Author Milton Viorst, the father of a boy who knew Al-Timimi as a young teen, wrote: “Dozens of his talks are available on the Internet in text and in audio format. They contain little about Arab concerns with the Arab-Israeli wars, the rivalries between the Arab states, the problems faced by Muslims living in the West, or even the war in Iraq. Rather, they reveal a man who reflects deeply on the Islamic vision of Judgment day, prophecy, the nature of the divine, and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) — subjects with which he grappled in Medina and in his private reading.” Al Timimi’s lectures (in English after Arabic opening) include “The Negative Portrayal Of Islam In the Media,” “Signs Before the Day of Judgement,” “Advice to the UK Salafis” and “Crusade Complex: Western Perceptions of Islam.” In one of his taped talks available online, al-Timimi warned Muslims not to become too friendly with non-Muslim “disbelievers” or even work for them if other jobs were available. “A Muslim should never allow the disbeliever to have the upper hand.”

        According to the webpage of his first defense committee (which disbanded when they felt under pressure due to their support), at some point years earlier had worked for Andrew Card for 2 months.

        Al-Timimi’s increasing computer skills got him a job at SRA International where Ali worked as a “bioinformatics software architect” providing information technology to the government. Some of his jobs required that Ali obtain a high-level security clearance. One job resulted in a letter of recommendation from the White House. He then enrolled in a PhD program in computational biology at George Mason University. In 1999, Battelle consultant and former USAMRIID Charles Bailey also worked at SRA By 2000, Ali Al-Timimi was already taking advanced courses at Mason in computational sciences. Dr. Bailey became co-Director of the DARPA-funded Center of Biodefense there in the Spring of 2001.

        Timimi once explained his research: “I am currently a research scientist at the Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics, George Mason University. I am involved in the analysis of the microarray data generated by the CTRF Cancer Genomics Project. Likewise, I am developing new computational approaches and technologies in support of this project.” The webpage for Timimi’s program at the time explained: “Faculty members and graduate students in the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology participate in numerous collaborative efforts including but not limited to the following Laboratories and Research Centers: Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics (GMU) , Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Biocomplexity (GMU) and Center for Biodefense (GMU). Beginning the Spring of 2002, GMU hired Ali to develop a computer program that coordinated the research at several universities, letting him go only after he came under suspicion by the FBI. In Spring 2002, according to salary information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, GMU hired him for $70,000 a year. In 2002, the employment was through the School of Computational Sciences and in 2003, it was through Life Sciences Grants & Contracts.

        The School of Computational Sciences at George Mason is a joint venture between the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”) and George Mason. The joint venture is an effort to maximize research efforts by combining the academic and applied approaches to research. The School’s first activity was to teach an ATCC course in DNA techniques adapted for George Mason students. The ATCC is an internationally renown non-profit organization that houses the world’s largest and most diverse archive of biological materials. The Prince William Campus shares half of Discovery Hall with ATCC. ATCC moved to its current state-of-the-art laboratory at Discovery Hall (Prince William II) in 1998. ATCC’s 106,000-square-foot facility has nearly 35,000 square feet of laboratory space with a specialized air handling system and Biosafety Level 2 and 3 containment stations. The ATCC bioinformatics (BIF) program carries out research in various areas of biological information management relevant to its mission. BIF scientists interact with laboratory scientists in microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology at ATCC and other laboratories throughout the world. ATCC has strong collaborations with a large number of academic institutions, including computational sciences at George Mason University. Through these partnerships, the George Mason Prince William Campus offers George Mason microbiology students an opportunity for students to be involved in current research and gain access to facilities and employment opportunities at ATCC and other partner companies.

        While I’ve not yet found any reference directly confirming Timimi’s room number, the person who inherited his old telephone number (3-4294) is Victor Morozov in the Center for Biodefense. Dr. Morozov, upon joining the faculty and inheriting the phone number was in Rm. 154A, very near Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B. One faculty member who consulted with Al-Timimi suggested to me that Ali instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite. GMU Information Services helpfully looked up the listings from 2001 directory. As of October 2001 (when the directory is published according to GMU Information Services), judging from the directory, Al-Timimi was still just a graduate student.

        Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames strain anthrax researcher Charles Bailey, in Rm 156B, was given a Gateway desktop computer in mid-March 2001 (upon his arrival) — serial number 0227315480. It was like the one Dr. Alibek would get the next year in 156D. One way to think of proximity analysis — a form of true crime analysis — is the number of feet or inches between 154B and 156B/156D. Another way is to think of it is in terms of the number of feet or inches to the hard drives. You can judge the distance for yourself from a First Floor plan that is available online, clicking upon 154-156 area to enlarge.

        The December 2007 biodefense PhD thesis explains:
        “Although computers are password protected, anyone can access the computers located throughout the labs. Research results can be recorded on lab computers. Someone wanting to access research results would first have to understand what the numbers meant. Research results are also kept in a lab notebook that is kept in the lab or office. This enables other students to repeat what was already done or to see results.”

        In April 2007, at a talk at Princeton University, Dr. Alibek noted that he felt that
        “[u]nfortunately, the likelihood is very high” of a follow-up to the anthrax mailings of 2001. “And the agent very likely is still anthrax.” “The biggest part of my life now is devoted to cancer and cardiovascular (research). If you work in the biodefense community, good luck to you. I hope you succeed.” Dr. Alibek explained that he had been scrutinized and consulted, and given a polygraph after the anthrax mailings. He said that anthrax likely would be the pathogen favored by terrorists because it is relatively easy to grow and transport. Dr. Alibek suspects it it was “a person who knew from some source how the U.S. manufactured anthrax years and years ago.” He said, “It’s not rocket science.”

        In a separate appeal, the conviction of Al-Timimi’s assistant Chandia affirmed but the 15 year sentence was vacated and remanded for resentencing because of failure to making findings warranting terrorism enhancement. The conviction was reaffirmed by the District Court. He was alleged to have helped a Pakistan group buy components of a UAV.

    • DXer said

      Note: Dr. Popov graciously provided me a lengthy expert opinion bearing on the FBI’s Ivins Theory and it was uploaded by Dr. Nass.

      NOVA – Bioterror – Sergei Popov

      • DXer said

        Ali Al-Timimi worked at George Mason University’s Discovery Hall throughout 2000 and 2002 period. The Mason Gazette in “Mason to Pursue Advanced Biodefense Research” on November 17, 2000 had announced: “The School of Computational Sciences (SCS) and Advanced Biosystems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hadron, Inc., of Alexandria, are pursuing a collaborative program at the Prince William Campus to enhance research and educational objectives in biodefense research. The article noted that the program was funded primarily by a grant awarded to Advanced Biosystems from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). A 2007 GMU PhD thesis explains that the “An Assessment of Exploitable Weaknesses in Universities” by Corinne M. Verzoni offices and research located in Discovery Hall, making this an attractive building on the Prince William Campus to target for information and technology.” The 2007 PhD student biodefense student explained: “Discovery Hall currently has BSL 1, 2 and 2+ labs in which students work with attenuated and vaccine strains of Fracella tularemia, anthrax and HIV. GMU will eventually have new biological labs featuring a BSL-3 lab which will have anthrax and tularemia.”

        Instead of starting a center from scratch, GMU chose to join forces with Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey’s existing research firm, Hadron Advanced Biosystems Inc. Hadron was already working under contract for the federal government, having received funding from DARPA. Dr. Alibek told the Washington Post that he and Bailey had spent their careers studying an issue that only recently grabbed the country’s attention, after the anthrax mailings the previous fall. Dr. Bailey and Alibek met in 1991, when a delegation of Soviet scientists visited the USAMRIID at Ft. Detrick. Dr. Bailey explained that the purpose of the tour was to show the Soviets that the US was not developing offensive biological weapons. Bailey said he tried to engage Alibek in conversation but Alibek remained aloof. Alibek, for his part, explains that he was suspicious of this American smiling so broadly at him. A year later, Alibek would defect to the US and reveal an illegal biological program in the Soviet Union of a staggering scope. Alibek says that one reason he defected was that he realized that the Soviet intelligence was wrong — that the US research was in fact only defensive.

        Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames researcher Bailey coinvented, with Ken Alibek, the process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide so as to permit greater concentration upon drying. He was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. The patent application was filed March 14, 2001. Rm 154A was Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to the newly constructed Bull Run Hall). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface.

        One ATCC former employee felt so strongly about lax security there the scientist called me out of the blue and said that the public was overlooking the patent repository as a possible source of the Ames strain. ATCC would not deny they had virulent Ames in their patent repository pre 9/11 (as distinguished from their online catalog). The spokesperson emailed me: “As a matter of policy, ATCC does not disclose information on the contents of its patent depository.” Previously, though, the ATCC head publicly explained that it did not have virulent Ames.

        George Mason University, Department Listings, accessed August 17, 2003, shows that the National Center For Biodefense and Center for Biomedical Genomics had the same mail stop (MS 4ES). The most famed bioweaponeer in the world was not far from this sheik urging violent jihad in an apocalyptic struggle between religions. Dr. Alibek’s office was Rm. 156D in Prince William 2. The groups both shared the same department fax of 993-4288. Dr. Alibek advises me he had seen him several times in the corridors of GMU and was told that he was a religious muslim hard-liner but knew nothing of his activities. At one point, Timimi’s mail drop was MSN 4D7.

        Charles Bailey at 3-4271 was the former head of USAMRIID and joined the Center in April 2001. He continued to do research with Ames after 9/11. Dr. Alibek reports that shortly after the mailings, he wrote FBI Director Mueller and offered his services but was advised that they already had assembled a large group. A 2004 report describes research done by Dr. Alibek and his colleagues using Delta Ames obtained from NIH for a research project done for USAMRIID. There were two grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2001. One $3.6 million grant dated to July 2001 and the other was previous to that.

        Ali Al-Timimi had the same telephone number that Dr. Victor Morozov of the Center for Biodefense would later have when he joined the faculty and occupied the newly constructed Bull Run Building, which opened in late 2004 (Rm. #362). Dr. Morozov focuses on the development of new bioassay methods for express analysis, high-throughput screening and proteomics. He has recently developed a new electrospray-based technology for mass fabrication of protein microarrays. Dr. Morozov is currently supervising a DOE -funded research project directed at the development of ultra-sensitive express methods for detection of pathogens in which slow diffusion of analytes is replaced by their active transport controlled and powered by external forces (electric, magnetic, gravitational or hydrodynamic). His homepage explains that: “A variety of projects are available for students to participate in “*** 7. Develop software to analyze motion of beads. 8. Develop software to analyze patterns in drying droplets. 9. Develop an electrostatic collector for airborne particles.”

        Al-Timimi obtained a doctorate from George Mason University in 2004 in the field of computational biology — a field related to cancer research involving genome sequencing. He successfully defended his thesis 5 weeks after his indictment. Curt Jamison, Timimi’s thesis advisor, coauthor and loyal friend, was in Prince William II (Discovery Hall) Rm. 181A. The staff of Advanced Biosystems was in Rm. 160, 162, 177, 254E and several others. Computational sciences offices were intermixed among the Hadron personnel on the first floor of Prince William II to include 159, 161, 166A, 167, 181 B and 181C. Rm. 156B was Charles Bailey, former commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who was head of the Center for Biodefense. Defense contractor Hadron had announced the appointment of Dr. Bailey as Vice-President of Advanced Biosystems in early April 2001. “Over 13 years, Dr. Bailey had served as a Research Scientist, Deputy Commander for Research, Deputy Commander and Commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute. As a USAMRIID scientist, he designed and supervised the construction of BL-3 containment facilities. His hands-on experience with a wide variety of pathogens is chronicled in 70 published articles. During his 4 years with the Defense Intelligence Agency, he published numerous articles assessing foreign capabilities regarding biological weapons.” When I asked Dr. Bailey to confirm Al-Timimi’s room number relative to his own, his only response was to refer me to University counsel. Counsel then never substantively responded to my inquiry regarding their respective room numbers citing student privacy. Ali’s friend and thesis advisor, Dr. Jamison never responded to an emailed query either. GMU perhaps understandably was very nervous about losing the $25 million grant for a new BL-3 regional facility to be located very near our country’s capitol.

        The reports on the study on the effectiveness of the mailed anthrax in the Canadian experiment was reported in private briefings in Spring and Summer of 2001. An insider thus was not dependent on the published report later that Fall. (The date on the formal report is September 10, 2001).

        Dr. Charles Bailey for DIA wrote extensively on the the biothreat posed by other countries (and presumably terrorists). He shared a fax number with Al-Timimi. What came over that fax line in Spring and Summer of 2001? At some point, Dr. Al-Timimi, Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey also shared the same maildrop. It certainly would not be surprising that the two directors who headed the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense — and had received the biggest defense award in history for work with Delta Ames under a contract with USAMRIID — would have been briefed on the threat of mailed anthrax. The 1999 short report by William Patrick to Hatfill at SAIC on the general subject was far less important given that it did not relate to actual experimental findings.

        Plus, it is common sense that while someone might use as a model something they had surreptitiously learned of — they would not use as a model something in a memo that they had commissioned. Thus, it was rather misdirected to focus on the 1999 SAIC report commissioned by Dr. Hatfill rather than the 2001 Canadian report. The Canadian report related to the anthrax threat sent regarding the detention of Vanguards of Conquest #2 Mahjoub in Canada. Mahjoub had worked with al-Hawsawi in Sudan (the fellow with anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop). The anthrax threat in late January prompted the still-classified Presidential Daily Brief (“PDB”) in early February 2001 by the CIA to President Bush on the subject.

        In Fall 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”) had detected silicon dioxide (silica) in the attack anthrax — with a characteristic big spike for the silicon. No silica was observable on the SEMs images that Dr. Alibek and Dr. Matthew Meselson saw. The Daschle product was “pure spores.” Was silicon dioxide used as part of a microdroplet cell culture process used prior to drying to permit greater concentration? As explained in a later related patent, the silica could be removed from the surface of the spore through repeated centrifugaton or an air chamber.
        It would not be an additive added post-production but would permit greater concentration with less sophisticated equipment.

        Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had filed a patent application in mid-March 2001 involving a microdroplet cell culture technique that used silicon dioxide in a method for concentrating growth of cells. The patent was granted and the application first publicly disclosed in the Spring of 2002. Weren’t the SEMS images and AFIP EDX finding both consistent with use of this process in growing the culture? It’s been suggested informally to me that perhaps the silicon analytical peak was due to silanol from hydrolysis of a silane, used in siliconizing glassware. But didn’t the AFIP in fact also detect oxygen in ratios characteristic of silicon dioxide? Wasn’t the scientist, now deceased, who performed the EDX highly experienced and expert in detecting silica? Hasn’t the AFIP always stood by its report. In its report, AFIP explained: “AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica.” Perhaps the nuance that was lost — or just never publicly explained for very sound reasons — was that silica was used in the cell culture process and then removed from the spores through a process such as centrifugation. The applicants in March 2001 for an international patent relating to vaccines were a leading aerosol expert, Herman R. Shepherd, and a lonstanding anthrax biodefense expert, Philip Russell.

        Dr. Morozov is co-inventor along with Dr. Bailey for a patent “Cell Culture” that explains how the silicon dioxide can be removed from the surface. Perhaps it is precisely this AFIP finding of silicon dioxide (without silica on the SEMs) that is why the FBI came to suspect Al-Timimi in 2003 (rightly or wrongly, we don’t know). The FBI would have kept these scientific findings secret to protect the integrity of the confidential criminal/national security investigation. There was still a processor and mailer to catch — still a case to prove. After 9/11, intelligence collection takes precedence over arrests. As Ron Kessler explains in the new book, Terrorist Watch, many FBI officials feel that they are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Outside observers are constantly second-guessing them about how to proceed rather than trusting that they are in the best position to balance the competing considerations of national security, intelligence gathering, the pursuit of justice, and the safeguarding of civil liberties. Above all, in disclosing the theory of access to know-how, the FBI has needed to protect the due process rights of Al-Timimi while he defended himself on other charges.

        An example from October 2006 of equipment that went missing from GMU’s Discovery Hall was a rotissery hybridization oven belonging to the Center for Biomedical Genomics. “This equipment can be used to manufacture biological agents and genetically modified agents, which could potentially be used as biological weapons,” Corinne Verzoni explained in her PhD 2007 thesis. “Upon hearing about instances or missing equipment in Discovery Hall, the author contacted campus security who was unaware of instances of missing equipment. Missing equipment should be reported to the equipment liaison. Missing equipment may not be reported to campus security because labs tend to share equipment. Equipment also goes missing because it is not inventoried if it is under $2,000.”

        One of her other examples was equally dramatic (Serge Popov would say that any hyperventilation is unwarranted):

        “A DI system is a de-ionized water system, which removes the ions that are found in normal tap water. The assistant director for operations noticed the DI system in Discovery Hall was using the entire 100 gallons in two days, which is an enormous amount of water for the four DI taps in the whole building. According to the assistant director for operations, it is difficult to calculate the reason for that much water since no leak was found. A large amount of water used over a short period of time for unknown reasons could indicate that the research is being conducted covertly.”

        “A student with legitimate access to Discovery Hall,” she explained, “has easy accessibility to equipment. A student with access to the loading dock could steal equipment on the weekend when campus security is not present in Discovery Hall. A student could also walk out of the entrance with equipment on the weekend without security present.” She concluded: “The events at GMU demonstrate opportunity to create a clandestine lab, the ability to sell items illegally, or the ability to exploit school equipment.” In a late September 2001 interview on NPR on the anthrax threat, Dr. Alibek said: “When we talk and deal with, for example, nuclear weapons, it’s not really difficult to count how much of one or another substance we’ve got in the hands. When you talk about biological agents, in this case it’s absolutely impossible to say whether or not something has been stolen.”

        Presently, Al-Timimi’s prosecution is on remand while the defense is given an opportunity to discover any documents that existed prior to 9/11 about al-Timimi and to address an issue relating to NSA intercepts after 9/11. Ali’s defense counsel explained to the federal district court, upon a remand by the appeals court, that Mr. Timimi was interviewed by an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent as early as February 1994 in connection with the first World Trade Center attack. The agents left their business cards which the family kept. Defense counsel Johnathan Turley further explained that “We have people that were contacted by the FBI and told soon after 9/11 that they believed that Dr. Al-Timimi was either connected to 9/11 or certainly had information about Al Qaeda.” Defense counsel argues that Anwar Aulaqi is central to the conspiracy allegations against his client.

        Al-Timimi worked for SRA in 1999 where he had a high security clearance for work for the Navy. At a conference on countering biological terrorism in 1999 sponsored by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Alibek was introduced by a former colleague of Dr. Bailey:

        “Dr. Llewellyn: This is rather strange because I just met Dr. Alibek today. He was introduced to me by Dr. Charlie Bailey, who now works for SRA. But Charlie and I were associated with the Army Medical Research and Development Command Defense Program for over 20 years.”

        When I emailed Dr. Bailey in December 2007 to confirm Ali had the room right near his at Discovery Hall and whether he had worked with Al-Timimi at SRA he politely referred me to counsel and took no questions. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov have told me that Ali is not known to have worked on any biodefense project. Dr. Popova told me I should direct any such questions to Dr. Bailey. Dr. Bailey told me I should direct any questions to University counsel. University counsel declined to answer any questions.

    • DXer said

      A correct recounting of the anthrax mailings would include reference to the assassination of Anwar El Sadat and not a college sorority.

      Assassination of Anwar El Sadat

      • DXer said

        This video is about former Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader and Cairo Medical school alum Sayyid Imam and his repudiation for Ayman Zawahiri’s approach to jihad.

        The anthrax mailer and cell would favor the Sayyid Imam’s view. But as Aulaqi demonstrates, it’s a slippery slope and so it’s best to stop the murder of innocents in its tracks.

        Constants of Jihad, Jihad fi Sabilillah, Anwar Awlaki

      • DXer said

        KSM used a numeric code in communicating with biochem operative Al-Marri. 8 becomes 2. 9 becomes 1. 6 is 4 etc. Add or subtract from 5. Who did Al-Marri ship his computer to in Washington and did that person use the same numeric code?

        Square One TV: Neighborhood Super Spy

  24. DXer said

    Benchmark Award – Battelle National Biodefense Institute

    • DXer said

      Ft. Detrick Biological Warfare Program 1950s Maryland US Army

      • DXer said

        Army Tested Biological Weapons On U.S. Citizens part 1 of 2 (AandE)

        • DXer said

          Separately, in an audio far above, William Patrick describes how they used 1,000 volunteers from the Seventh Day Adventist church to test three pathogens and the minimum number of spores necessary to infect them. No one died. Monitoring has continued. The men are middle-aged now and had a reunion where Patrick spoke on how they prepared the pathogens.

          He also in the same talk describes a San Francisco experiment.

      • DXer said

        The Horror of UNIT 731 pt.2

        • DXer said

          WW II is interesting to study because of Ayman Zawahiri’s reading. Drawings included drawings of balloons and the note “Bang, you’re dead!” drawn next to a jet fighter that was shooting down the balloon. During WW II, numerous high altitude balloons came from Japan. If they were laden with anthrax, rather than just ordinance, they apparently landed without much affect. But it is curious that people think the letters were written too simplistically when the English language notes from the English-language seminar being conducted by the anthrax planners said “Bang, you’re dead!” That is far more probative than the email Ivins wrote long after the first mailing on the day Gertz reported on the Bin Laden fatwa and biochem weapons. In which he was merely passing on what was being widely reported and in no way evidenced his intent.

        • DXer said

          Ayman Zawahiri had requested Atef to obtain a copy of William, P, and Wallace, D. (1989). Unit 731: The Japanese Army’s Secret of Secrets.
          Hodder and Stoughton, London.

  25. DXer said

    Interview with Edward Hammond – Biodefense and Bioweapon – Sunshine Project

  26. DXer said

    Peter Leitner on Somali Pirates, Shariah & the DHS Report

    Dr. Peter Leitner in discussion with Frank Gaffney. Dr. Leitner covers the Somali Pirates and their associates within the United States, law enforcement approach to terrorism, and the recent DHS reports threat to veterans. Dr. Peter Leitner is the President of the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center where he has helped to train over 7,000 law enforcement, first responders, military, FBI, and CIA personnel in the following areas: Intelligence Analysis & Source Development, Islamic Terrorism, Muslim Brotherhood, Clandestine Cell Operations, Dark Sun Exercise/Simulation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arab and Islamic culture. He is also the President of the Washington Center for Peace & Justice a non-profit organization providing assistance to victims of terrorism and their families. In addition, Dr. Leitner is a Professor with the National Center for Biodefense at George Mason University as well as a Senior Fellow and Professor with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies responsible for Terrorism, Intelligence, and Cyber War issues.

  27. DXer said

    Inside a secret plague and anthrax laboratory in Kazakhstan

    • DXer said

      Both Ken Alibek and Serge Popov have said that the Russians had virulent Ames and a mole able to obtain samples upon request from Ft. Detrick. A former member of the KGB branch handling such moles has said the same thing. He explained that husband-wife teams of illegals were often used. He wrote a book. The author’s jurisdiction was Europe rather than the US but he is very specific in his description of the Russian spies who had infiltrated European biodefense.

  28. DXer said


  29. DXer said

    Kuwaiti professor on anthrax

    • DXer said

      The case against Aafia Siddiqui – 6 Aug 08

      • DXer said


        • DXer said

          The fatwa mentioned in the court documents is from “Abu Lubaba.” Today I think Abu Lubaba is Abu Lubaba Shah Mansoor, the ideologue of Dharb-i-Monim, the newspaper of the Jaish-i-Mohammed. The suggestion is that she received it sometime after 2003, but it’s not certain.

      • DXer said

        Interview of Aafia’s sister and mom (not in English).

        • DXer said

          Aafia Siddiqui, who says she was tasked to study germ weapons under a fatwa, did contribute to the Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America, but was not very active in it, according to one source, due to theological disagreements.

    • DXer said

      We’re the Defense Intelligence Agency

    • DXer said

      Civil Defense – Biological Weapons

    • DXer said

      This Kuwaiti professors on the tape above mentions meeting with the Taliban.

      In October 2001, the Taliban emissary to Pakistan denied any involvement in the anthrax mailings, saying “We don’t even know what anthrax is.” The Taliban had long denied having any interest in biological or chemical weapons research. The next month, however, reporters were tipped off by a senior official of the Northern Alliance to check out the Institute of Veterinary Vaccine Production in Kabul run by the Minister of Agriculture. The lab was repeatedly targeted by bombers but the closest of 13 B-52 bombs landed 50 feet away, causing craters. There was a walk-in incubator to develop bacteria. The equipment used to make vaccines was taken away the day before the bombardment began. The cement walls of the building were cracked. Doors were blasted off their hinges. Shards of glass were strewn on the floor. At the end of one corridor on the second floor a reporter and photographer from The Mirror (UK) were led into a small office. The word “anthrax” was scribbled on an unbroken test tube. A sign read “to be safe than sorry” — the word “better” had fallen off. When AP journalist Kathy Gannon and a photographer stood in front of a glass bottle labeled in English “anthrax spore concentrate” in the two-story building, the photographer’s reflection shone back.

      The scientists explained that their work at the lab was intended only to develop animal vaccines. Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the one place where the only vial that had English on it said ‘anthrax’ kind of gives you pause.” Testing showed that it was avirulent strain used in developing animal vaccines. The scientists complained that much of the anthrax vaccine on hand had expired and that they were having trouble getting the supplies they needed to produce more. Before 9/11, private companies in India and Iran had been their main suppliers. Shipments were halted after Sept. 11, and the laboratories had to rely on their stocks.

      Mullahs oversaw the anthrax vaccine laboratory much to the consternation of the scientist in charge of the lab. The mullahs had ordered that the lab be moved to Kabul so that they could oversee it. According to one British press report, much of the laboratory staff had disappeared some months before 9/11 and their whereabouts were unknown. The Institute once had a staff of 45 and one of Afghanistan’s most modern buildings. The scientists gathered before an AP journalist and photographer pointed to a large clear container that held concentrated anthrax spores. The scientists explained that the Taliban had taken a keen interest in their work. Although he was famed for his ability to recite the koran and not scientifically inclined, the Minister of Agriculture would come and inspect what they were doing. The head of the lab explained, “He and his Taliban superiors were interested in the technical detail of what happened here, although they had no background in science.” The International Committee of the Red Cross and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization provided the scientists technical help. The head of the lab noted that the Taliban could have obtained the knowledge to handle and develop anthrax.

      Minister of Agriculture hated the West. “We’d rather have been running the labs on our own,” the lead scientist explained. “But the mullahs were in charge of everything and we couldn’t stop them learning about our activities. There was always a danger information could get into the wrong hands.” The lab was first built in a northern province in 1993 with equipment from India. Scientists infected three sheep to study the results in developing new vaccines. They told a reporter from the Mirror that they buried the carcasses 30 feet down away from any water supplies. “This was very dangerous work, though we knew what we were doing. We developed the technology of how to keep anthrax bacteria and how to develop it for use in vaccines.” “I would be suspicious of the anthrax research and any research during the Taliban (period) because they were under the control of Osama and al-Qaida,” the deputy head of Northern Alliance military intelligence, told The Associated Press. “We have strong evidence of their involvement in chemical weapons,” he added. “We believe that they were using government facilities, like the Ministry of Agriculture, to do their research in terrorism.”

      A source who worked at the factory told the Mirror (UK): “There’s no doubt the Taliban were planning chemical or biological warfare against the West. I believe anthrax might have been first on their list.” It was the American Taliban John Walker Lindh that reported the battlefield rumor that the next wave would be a chemical or biological attack.

  30. DXer said

    Sandia aids FBI in investigation of anthrax letters

  31. DXer said

    Colleague on anthrax suspect

    “A lot of it is just consternation at the ridiculous motives they’re attributing, and I get upset whenever I hear that,” Byrne explained.


    “[Ivins] was one of five researchers who patented that,” Byrne pointed out. “The patent is owned by the United States government. There may be some small monetary incentives, but the government owns that patent.”

    To illustrate the intensity of the investigation’s pressure on Ivins, Byrne related an anecdote. He said that the FBI had inquired as to why Ivins might have borrowed a set of Byrne’s camouflage uniforms. Byrne explained to them that Ivins had borrowed the uniforms to dress as a member of ’70s music group the Village People at a Halloween costume party.

    “It became a running joke how he never returned them to me,” Byrne recalled. “One week after I saw the FBI, [Ivins] brought them back to the house — but neither one of us could talk about that. That was the big elephant in the room that we couldn’t discuss [because] I had signed a paper saying [that] if I discussed anything about this interview, I could be liable for criminal prosecution.”

    Ultimately, Byrne feels Ivins’ apparent suicide was triggered when he was removed from Fort Detrick by police after ranting about weapons and making death threats, and admitted to a psychiatric ward.

    “I think he committed suicide when he walked out of the building, escorted by law enforcement officials,” Byrne told Vieira. “That meant the end of his career. That meant he never had a scientific career.”

  32. DXer said

    This report in passing says (correctly or not) his daughter was hospitalized at the time she was shown photos.

    FBI Used Aggressive Tactics In Anthrax Probe

  33. DXer said

    The only reason Amerithrax prosecutor Ken Kohl should let someone else be the public face on Amerithrax is a matter of public relations.

    The scathing opinion on federal district court judge Urbina in the Blackwater case would be the first thing that critics of an Ivins Theory likely would rely upon. The judge wrote that AUSA Kohl had distorted and mischaracterized evidence before the Blackwater grand jury and deliberately flouted constitutional protections. That’s Taylor-made for a quick and easy rebuttal to conclusions in Amerithrax.

    So even if just justified only on the grounds for public relations, they should have someone else take over Amerithrax given the importance of public confidence in the Department’s conclusions on an issue of such great public importance. see Presidential Directive.

    KK’s been the lead AUSA all these years and so I’m not saying it is so easy to bring someone up to speed. But he’s had his hands full anyway with Blackwater and so someone with a lesser workload would be advisable anyway.

    US Attorney Taylor resigned upon the change in parties and had never been confirmed.

    Washington Field Office FBI head Persichini resigned when he fell under investigation for cheating on an open book exam by allegedly getting help from an unnamed “FBi attorney.” And his two assistants, including head of criminal, reportedly are to be demoted or resassigned.

    And top cop at Postal Inspectors, Lazaroff, announced his retirement in October 2008 (alleged very sketchily by Brian Ross any maybe unfairly to be in connection with gambling/casino/conferences / expenses).

    And so all 3 or 4 standing up at the Ivins press conference are gone — and now AUSA Kohl brings lots of baggage in the PR department.

    If there is a Press Conference at the end of the month, I hope they release the rest of Ivins emails from early 2001 onward, along with Lab Notebook 4010 at the time and the documents provided the NAS.

    Coincidentally, there may be a decision in the briefing relating to anthrax in the highly classified ongoing proceeding in United States v. Al-Timimi.


  34. DXer said

    The DNA Problem in American Spying
    Peter Turnley/Corbis

    SPYING BLIND would be a scholarly book to read on the subject of connecting dots.

    I think a key bureaucratic tendency is that by hoarding information it makes the holder feel important. The problem is that it prevents dots from being connected — and often the analyst’s interpretation of events would be shown to be crock if they weren’t allowed to rely on vague hints or innuendo.

    By withholding documents without an authorizing exemption under FOIA for “pending NAS review”, the NAS staff is able to promote the organization’s status as special.

    By the FBI withholding permission to release the USAMRIID emails, the prosecutor and investigators are able to avoid being contradicted and shown to have mischaracterized Dr. Ivins’ emails.

    By withholding information from the FBI, the Zawahiri Task Force perhaps felt like it was increasing its chances of catching Zawahiri.

    Any organizational behavior approach has to consider the incentive to the individual employee to withhold information so that he or she is more indispensable to the organization. Lucrative private jobs await those promoted mainly because they are “in-the-loop.”

    President Obama’s task is to provide disincentives to a failure to share information where contemplated by the law while at the same time safeguarding information that should not be disclosed.

    Not an easy task to be sure. For example, it likely would be against public policy to publicly address the weaponization of anthrax.

    Outsiders should be slow to second-guess or finger point.

    I’ve still never seen any outside commentator on Amerithrax have a work product or analysis comparable to what is regularly put out by the United States Department of Justice.

  35. DXer said

    Just saw STATE OF PLAY starring Russell Crowe as the Washington Globe reporter breaking the story.

    Can you imagine him going to press, even on the internet version, with a rumor anonymously emailed him like Ed did?

    And then not disclosing (at the time) that his source was an anonymously emailed rumor?

  36. DXer said

    I wonder if they did focus groups or provided surveys to Post Office workers about whether they would report for duty the day after an aerosol attack. It seems that with a map, though, any National Guardsman could then walk the same route, just as is done by volunteers in a political campaign.
    Obama: In case of anthrax attack, your postman will deliver antidote
    January 3, 10:03 AM

    “Let’s imagine a situation where this EO kicks in. First, the primary-threat consideration is anthrax. That suggests that the target zone is limited. In fact, I can’t imagine a biological attack that would send the entire country into lock-down. So let’s presume NYC immediately following, say, KLM’s opening statement at his faux trial. Mode of delivery: Cropduster planes supplemented on the ground by exploding jihadists.

    The feds determine some ground zero and because of prevailing winds declare the affected areas to be 20 miles in all directions. That’s an area of 1,256.8 miles. They would have to over-estimate the possibly affected area, right? What if they said Paramus, NJ was fine (about 15 miles) , and then someone dies of apparent anthrax poisoning?

    How many people in the 20-mile circle? There’s over eight million in the boroughs alone, and 20 miles would include Paterson, Newark, the Oranges, and Yonkers. Let’s just round it to 10 million.

    Next step: We’re talking about delivering antidotes. The federal government will bring the antidote to you. They must know where you are. We will not be allowed to go to a distribution point. Answer: Martial law. Full restriction on movement.

    How many postal-delivery folks? We have 3% of the US population. Three percent of all USPS workers would be about 20,000 people. Assume one in four actually deliver (yes, I made that up), that gives us 5,000 folks needing protection. That number seems low since we are delivering to 10 million people – about 5 million homes. That’s 1,000 homes per mailguy/gal. But it’s better to under-estimate for now.

    Enter armed escorts to supplement “local law enforcement personnel, as necessary and appropriate, with local Federal law enforcement, as well as other appropriate personnel.” If we are talking complete local lock-down, then local cops are maxed out. We have two alternatives: Federal personnel or state personnel. The state’s have the National Guard. Obama seems to be saying that he will protect his own – the USPS folks being federal personnel. He has the military. He has ICE (which just ordered 200 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition, btw). Barry’s got options.

    Here is where I find it interesting. The black market for antidote dosages is going to be profitable. If a mailguy/guyette is going to have thousands of dosages on their person, then security had better be more than one additional person riding along. We may also need to revisit the vehicle being used. It doesn’t seem too far to envision using National Guard or other military vehicles with 3 or 4 “escorts” accompanying the postaldude/dudess. Hunh. Where does the USPS end and the military begin? It seems as if the USPS is merely the guide on this trip.

    Is any of this a problem, or it is all just good planning? Imagine a liberal’s reaction if President Bush did this exact same thing. He/she/it would be distrustful. Well, count me as distrustful. Barry has earned the title of “He whose words and actions travel different paths.”

    I don’t trust him not to exploit a crisis – any crisis. And remember, those are Rahm’s words, not mine.

    Finally, how do you give a postal person a direct order to delivery? The compliance alternative is being fired – at worst – and is not a court martial. So the posties say, “No way am I entering a war zone.” Then what? Do we call UPS?”

  37. BugMaster said

    Oh, and Ed:

    Regarding the “ Enigma”, may I suggest:

    in the search field, type in the following:

    Proxy Server

    Could it be that Ed’s Lake is getting a bit over-fished these days?

    • BugMaster said


      You’ve been known to discuss the traffic on your website and at least from what organizations some of the log-ons have been coming from.

      Going through a proxy server disguises the URL of the individuals logging onto your site.

      Clearly, you are visited by many interested in the anthrax case.

      But I can think of at least two organizations that must contain at least a few interested parties that you have never mentioned.

      Just a thought, Ed, just a thought.

      Oh, and the traffic pattern from you analyzed is rather interesting.

      • BugMaster said


        The reason you don’t find me in your email is that I never have emailed you.


        You don’t know all the facts. And either do I.

        I am sure there will be more info forthcoming in the next few weeks, so I don’t see any point to continued bickering and name-calling (by anyone!) serves any purpose.

      • BugMaster said

        The task is to accurately evaluate the facts that ARE known.”

        Agreed. But the difficulty associated with such evaluations is that neither of us know all the facts.

        My evaluation is based on the facts and knowledge I possess, and you base your conclusoins on what you know.

        Once again, remember the parable about the 3 blind men argueing about the elephant.

        • Anonymous scientist said

          The FBI also once said Steven Hatfill was the anthrax mailer. Of course, we all know that you like to pretend the following never happened – or rather, the media “misinterpreted” what their FBI sources told them. That’s it – that’s all it was – an itby bitsy, teensy weensy misinterpretation by the bad media 😉

          Privately, however, agents say it would only have been icing on the cake because they believe they already have their man, even if they never get his indictment, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          Ed Lake also seems to have conveniently forgotten that the the 2 architects behind the “selection” of Bruce Ivins as the anthrax perpetrator are now OUT OUT OUT.

          The FBI’s Joseph Perischini was booted out out a short time ago for purportedly cheating at an exam. His shameful exit follows his shameful handling of the Amerithrax investigation, having taken over from Michael Mason 3 years previously.

          The architect on the DOJ side, Jeffrey Taylor, a political appointee from the Bush administration who was unconfirmed, resigned last year.

          This now leaves room for a change in mindset around the disgraceful treatment of Bruce Ivins and the laughable and pathetic fairy-tale Perischini and Taylor dreamt up to “solve” the Amerithrax case.
          Who in the their right mind taking over the roles of this pair would commit immediate career suicide by supporting their fantasy and closing the case with Ivins as sole perpetrator and without a scintilla of evicence?

  38. BugMaster said

    Not sure anyone can make any hard statement about who was indicted, Ed.

    After all, they are rumours, and the information you obtained was from an anonymous source.

    Regardless, I don’t see how “indictments for making false statements” and “ongoing criminal litigation” (two months after the FBI first informed some individuals that the case was going to be closed) jibes with closing the case at the end of the month.

    Case closed with Ivins being the only guilty party, that is.

    • BugMaster said

      “Instead the DOJ evidently decided to pursue some additional evidence pertaining to things Dr. Ivins confessed to other people.”

      This is your assumption, and yours alone, right, Ed?

      • Anonymous scientist said

        “I’m done with posts to this site until his comments are removed.”

        You have your own entire website to write any nonsense you want on and make any allegation against anyone you like. Why don’t you just stick over there? People here want to discuss the facts without your continual fantasies, innuendo, distortions, malicious accusations, reports from multiple anonymous sources and outright lies.

      • BugMaster said

        Anonymous Scientist is being a bit vitriolic here. I believe it is because you repeatedly personally offended him sometime in the past.

        “As it says on my web site, it’s a “deduction,” not an assumption.”

        Ed, that’s fine. But you don’t seem to hesitate to berate others for their deductions that do not confirm your beliefs. Instead, you call us conspiracy theorists, true believers, lunatics (O.K., there may be a lunatic in our midst, but you get my point.)

        As far as someone reviewed a confidential DOJ document (after all, it wasn’t yet released to the public) and discussing it with you?


        Someone’s been leaking in Ed’s Lake!

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          The BS from Lake gets higher and deeper. He’s now saying his deductions are better than anyone else’s because his are based on “facts”. In other words, he’s claiming he’s smarter than anyone else.
          Is that why he lives in a tiny apartment complex and drives a twenty year old car?
          Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy, on the other hand, don’t drive twenty year old cars and don’t run websites on nude celebrities. They have prosecuted a few cases in their time – and they both agree there was NOT enough to convict Ivins. They both agree Ivins, if he was involved at all, could not have acted alone. Charles Grassley, on the other hand, has accused the FBI of covering up information that they know about the anthrax case.
          It really does take stupefying ignorance, which Ed Lake possesses in spades, to make the claimns that he does.

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          STUPEFYING ignorance. Yes, Specter and Leahy only expressed OPINIONS. It wasn’t based on FACTS they were told. 😉
          You’ve been fantasizing for 18 months that the FBI have “secret” evidence against Ivins that they witheld from Specter and Leahy. You also seem to have fantasies that only you have “special insights” that nobody else kniows about into the FACTS the FBI have.

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          “It’s ridiculous to believe that the FBI doesn’t have any evidence that they haven’t already made public.”

          It’s hardly ridiculous to believe that they haven’t already fired their best shots. The FACT is – they have. And the shots were pathetically weak. They came out with a narrative that Ivins drove to Princeton at certain times. The very next day it was pointed out by bloggers on the internet that this was impossible. The FBI responded by CHANGING THEIR MINDS about the timelines and making up a new narrative. That’s how pathetic the FBI’s facts are. Specter and Leahy, both experienced prosecutors, saw right through the sham. Only stupefyingly ignorant shills like yourself cannot see that (or rather will not see it)

          Shill: “Shill” can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws.

      • DXer said

        Ed, I apologize in advance for having named this palindromic poem a couple years ago after you. I would have used Anonymous Scientist, but I couldn’t figure out a palindrome.

        Rats Live On No Evil Star
        (Ed Ode)

        (A palindrome reads the same forwards and backwards)

        Ma handed Edna ham
        Ma is as selfless as I am

        [that’s the street where I live]

        Kayak salad, Alaska yak.
        Campus Motto: Bottoms up, Mac

        Wow! Sis! Wow!
        Wonton on salad? Alas, no, not now!

        “Desserts, sis?” (Sensuousness is stressed).
        Desserts I desire not, so long no lost one rise distressed.

        [this no doubt, although written some years ago, is clearly an allusion, in hindsight, to the FBI’s sorority theory]

        “Do nine men interpret?” Nine men, I nod.
        Doc, note I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

        We panic in a pew.
        We’ll let Mom tell Lew.

        [This was no doubt a reference to the types of fears evidenced by the recent Presidential Directive; Lew hadn’t been called out of retirement yet and so I was sending up the bat signal, assuming for the sake of argument he actually is CIA].

        ‘Tis in a DeSoto sedan I sit.
        To Idi Amin I am an idiot.

        Race fast, safe car.
        Rats live on no evil star.

        Toot! Toot!
        Too hot to hoot.

        [This in hindsight was a reference to Ivins automobile, of a model and make that permitted the odometer to be turned back perhaps]

        Stop, Syrian! I start at rats in airy spots.
        Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots.

        Trap a rat! Stare, piper, at star apart!
        Trade ye no mere moneyed art.

        [This, in hindsight, was a reference to the Syrian study Bruce and Pat and Mara had worked on and was being supplemented in September 2001]

        If I had a hi-fi!? If I had a hi-fi!?
        I, madam, I made radio. So I dared! Am I mad? Am I?

        Ah! A mop, a man, a map: Omaha!
        Was it felt? I had a hit left, I saw.

        Solo gigolos.
        So many dynamos.

        [This no doubt is an allusion to what we’ll call The Super Patriot Theory]

        Oh, no! Don Ho.
        Ogre, flog a golfer. Go!

        Ten animals I slam in a net.
        Pets, Ed, I sidestep.

        [This was to tell Ed I always have to sidestep my three cats].

        Nurse, save rare vases, run!
        Now, sir, a war is won.

        Mad? Am I, madam?
        Madam, in Eden, I’m Adam!

        Reviled did I live, said I, as evil did I deliver.
        Revered now I live on. O did I no evil, I wonder ever?

        Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
        Are we not drawn onwards, we few, drawn on to new era?

        • DXer said

          “tonsured rumpots” apparently refers to someone from Germany who removed hair before mailing.

        • DXer said

          Now Dr. Ivins never confessed to me, but I’m not saying whether he helped me with my poetry (someone might imply that it is cheating). Communications between artist and muse are privileged communications.

          But Lew, if you delete BugMaster’s clever allusion to peeing all over Ed, I’m going to quit writing poetry. You need to respect her as an artist.

          –DXer (KC2VDX)

  39. DXer said

    Below is President Obama’s Presidential directive about cipro being delivered by mail carriers after a mass attack.

    On this unstated question presented about targetting of a civilian population, how, under any understanding of the hadiths, could Aulaqi justify blowing up an airplane? How many elderly were on the plane? How many children? How many muslims?

    Let’s consider for the sake of argument that an earlier bombing in Yemen in 2008 by military killed women and children. (I don’t know the facts or timeline). What religious doctrine would then find the killing of innocents justified? And how it can be said that the people on the plane were not innocents?

    Ramzi Bin-AlShibh addressed this question after 911 in justifying the Planes Operation. And in June 2002 Abu Ghaith, as I recall, issued a fatwa that sought to justify killing 4 million, including women and children, using a biological weapon. (There had been no fatwa on the issue prior to that).

    But under their religious beliefs, doesn’t an error in analysis lead to serious consequences in what they understand to be an after-life?

    They might want to check the support for their analysis.

    The White House Office of the Press Secretary
    For Immediate Release
    December 30, 2009
    Executive Order — Medical Countermeasures Following a Biological Attack


    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to plan and prepare for the timely provision of medical countermeasures to the American people in the event of a biological attack in the United States through a rapid Federal response in coordination with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments.

    This policy would seek to: (1) mitigate illness and prevent death; (2) sustain critical infrastructure; and (3) complement and supplement State, local, territorial, and tribal government medical countermeasure distribution capacity.

    Sec. 2. United States Postal Service Delivery of Medical Countermeasures. (a) The U.S. Postal Service has the capacity for rapid residential delivery of medical countermeasures for self administration across all communities in the United States. The Federal Government shall pursue a national U.S. Postal Service medical countermeasures dispensing model to respond to a large-scale biological attack.

    (b) The Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, in coordination with the U.S. Postal Service, within 180 days of the date of this order, shall establish a national U.S. Postal Service medical countermeasures dispensing model for U.S. cities to respond to a large-scale biological attack, with anthrax as the primary threat consideration.

    (c) In support of the national U.S. Postal Service model, the Secretaries of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Defense, and the Attorney General, in coordination with the U.S. Postal Service, and in consultation with State and local public health, emergency management, and law enforcement officials, within 180 days of the date of this order, shall develop an accompanying plan for supplementing local law enforcement personnel, as necessary and appropriate, with local Federal law enforcement, as well as other appropriate personnel, to escort U.S. Postal workers delivering medical countermeasures.

    Sec. 3. Federal Rapid Response. (a) The Federal Government must develop the capacity to anticipate and immediately supplement the capabilities of affected jurisdictions to rapidly distribute medical countermeasures following a biological attack. Implementation of a Federal strategy to rapidly dispense medical countermeasures requires establishment of a Federal rapid response capability.

    (b) The Secretaries of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, within 90 days of the date of this order, shall develop a concept of operations and establish requirements for a Federal rapid response to dispense medical countermeasures to an affected population following a large-scale biological attack.

    Sec. 4. Continuity of Operations. (a) The Federal Government must establish mechanisms for the provision of medical countermeasures to personnel performing missionessential functions to ensure that mission-essential functions of Federal agencies continue to be performed following a biological attack.

    (b) The Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, within 180 days of the date of this order, shall develop a plan for the provision of medical countermeasures to ensure that mission-essential functions of executive branch departments and agencies continue to be performed following a large-scale biological attack.

    Sec. 5. General Provisions.

    (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

    (i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or
    (ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


    December 30, 2009.

  40. DXer said

    I see that the Complaint I mentioned (by Washington County Hospital) was dismissed in September 2008.

  41. Anonymous scientist said

    Ed also often get’s caught up in the tangled web of lies he has promulgated over the last 8 years on the internet. A nice example was last July/August when the FBI had leaked to the media that they were “on the verge” of closing the case. He posted on this blog like a cancer, denying the FBI had said this – pretending the media must have “misinterpreted” what it heard from the FBI source:

    2 weeks ago he appeared to have forgotten that particular set of lies and misdirections he had spread when he wrote on his website that he had been told the FBI had set a specific date of July 24 to close the case:

    December 27, 2009 (B)
    Back in July of this year, several people told me that the FBI was notifying victims, victims’ families and everyone who had cooperated with the Amerithrax investigation that the case was going to be officially closed on Friday, July 24.

    Busted again, Ed – but no doubt you will be back to spread more of your usual BS here.

    • BugMaster said

      I’m beginning to think Ed won’t be back.

      Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

      • Anonymous scientist said

        Looks like he’s back. Cancer’s never really go away, they linger around and stew in the wasteful cells they have produced.

        And, naturally, he’s outright denying that he deliberately distorted information last August. He came on this blog in his usual vile cancerous fashion, poking doubts that the FBI had said anything to the AP. He did this because he knew the fact that when the FBI said they would close the case on July 24 and they DIDN’T FOLLOW UP, it would make his beliefs look idiotic. So he conveniently forgot to mention whilst promulgating his usual vile garbage, that he had heard that the FBI had specifically told relatives, victims they would close the case on July 24.

  42. DXer said

    From a Newsweek Top10 list (looking back at the decade)
    Overblown Fears
    By Tom Brokaw

    Unlike other fears on this list, Anthrax was actually under-played at the time. It’s easy to forget that the week after 9/11 brought with it the worst bioterror attack in American history. It began with a series of toxic letters and ended with five people dead and 17 others sick, including my personal assistant and an NBC news intern. It was an ordeal that remains deeply painful to this day. At the time, I was putting in long hours on the air, and my personal assistant provided a kind of protective shield from distractions. One day she handled a crude, handwritten letter that had originally been opened by the intern, who found brown powder. It was a biological weapon, but a maddening three weeks passed before we knew it. The NYPD, FBI, and local health officials kept insisting that the resulting lesions on her shoulder (and the leg of the news intern) couldn’t possibly be anthrax related. In truth, they had no idea. Finally, after a physician friend cast doubt on their conclusions, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed that the rashes were caused by anthrax. Understandably, neither my assistant nor the intern was able to forgive authorities for being so unprepared, so ignorant, really, of what cutaneous anthrax even looked like. Fortunately another attack has not come. My assistant and the intern have also recovered, but the emotional wounds will always be with them, wounds brought on by a craven attack meant for me. That they paid the price is a guilt I will carry forever.


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

    Dr. Tara O’Toole of the Biodefense Center at John Hopkins, now head of biosecurity at Homeland Security, concluded it was anthrax. The former head of that group, Dr. Henderson, and National Academy of Sciences anthrax science review panel member, explained: “The probability of someone this age having such an ulcer, if he’s not an addict and doesn’t have diabetes or something like that, is very low. It certainly makes one awfully suspicious.” The FBI says no anthrax was found where the hijackers were. (The FBI tested the crash sites where the planes came down and found no traces of anthrax). Although no doubt there are some other diseases that lead to him, and other experts. “No one is dismissing this,” said CIA Director Tenet. Alhaznawi had just arrived in the country on June 8. He had traveled with Wail al Shehri from Dubai, United Arab Emirates via London-Gatwick, England to Miami, Florida. His exposure perhaps related to a camp he had been in Afghanistan. He said he got the blackened gash-like lesion when he bumped his leg on a suitcase two months earlier. Two months earlier he had been in camp near Kandahar (according to a videotape he later made serving as his last Will and Testament). His last will and testament is mixed in with the footage by the al-Qaeda’s Sahab Institute for Media Production that includes Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. There are some spiders that on rare occasions bite and cause such a blackened eschar (notably the Brown Recluse Spider found in some parts of the United States).

    At the time, CBS reported that “U.S. troops are said to have found another biological weapons research lab near Kandahar, one that that was eyeing anthrax.” But CBS and FBI spokesman further noted that “Those searches found extensive evidence that al-Qaida wanted to develop biological weapons, but came up with no evidence the terrorist group actually had anthrax or other deadly germs, they said.” Only years later did author Suskind claim that in fact there was extremely virulent anthrax at Kandahar. A Congressional Commission made specific findings regarding the evidence relating to anthrax, which they called “Agent X.” Thus, a factual predicate important to assessment of the John Hopkins report on the leg lesion needed to be re-evaluated after Hambali’s interrogation in Jordan.

  43. Anonymous scientist said

    The below article is also worth another read. This could certainly explain Mueller’s recent statement that there is ongoing civil as well as criminal litigation. Note some of the key points – the FBI were simultaneously playing games with 2 of Ivin’s colleagues just before Ivins killed himself – then they suddenly decided it was the dead man. Ivins former colleagues approached a lawyer to instigate a lawsuit against the FBI. Was this lawyer Kemp? Kemp says below that the Pentagon refused permission for any Detrick scientists to talk to him.
    One wonders – what will the FBI do next? Will they concede that they have no evidence against Ivins? Or will they stick to their guns? If they stick to their guns they may have to keep up with even more outlandish “evidence”. Have the pressured a third party to make false statements that Ivins admitted the crime? That would surely be too easy to see through – but the FBI might try it as they seem to be totally desperate now.

    By Susannah Cahalan

    Last updated: 4:02 am
    November 2, 2008
    Posted: 3:21 am
    November 2, 2008

    It was an open-and-shut case, the FBI said.

    But three months after agents pinned the post-9/11 anthrax mailings on Army scientist Bruce Ivins – who committed suicide as the FBI closed in on him – his former colleagues have approached a lawyer to sue the feds for fingering the wrong man, The Post has learned.

    They argue that the FBI abused its power and violated its own policies as they probed an innocent man for six months.

    One of Ivins’ former colleagues was being aggressively pressured to confess to the crimes just two months before Ivins killed himself on July 29, he told The Post. And he identified at least one other employee who was under the same pressure.

    The move by the Army scientists comes on the heels of a Senate Judiciary Committee demand for an independent review of the case following a hearing with FBI Director Robert Mueller in which committee members called the bureau’s case an “open matter.” The bureau has named a panel of independent scientists to review the evidence against Ivins – a probe that will take six to 18 months.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy, a target of the 2001 anthrax attacks, said at the Judiciary Committee hearings that he doubted Ivins, who worked at Fort Detrick, Md., could have acted alone and that he believes “there are others who could be charged with murder.”

    Anthrax-laced letters were also mailed to then-Sen. Tom Daschle and news media outlets, including The Post.

    “The people at Fort Detrick would love to see some suit brought, some way of reckoning, adjudicating this,” said Ivins’ Maryland-based lawyer, Paul Kemp. The Pentagon had refused a request to allow Ivins’ colleagues to speak to Kemp.

    The case the feds presented rested mainly on these FBI claims:

    * The dry anthrax used in the mailings shared key genetic variables unique to a wet anthrax strain created by Ivins in his lab at Fort Detrick.

    * Ivins logged an increasingly large amount of after-hours overtime in his lab in the weeks leading up to the anthrax mailings.

    * Ivins submitted false samples of anthrax from his lab to the FBI for forensic analysis in order to mislead investigators.

    * Ivins was psychologically troubled and told co-workers that he had “incredible paranoid, delusional thoughts at times” and that he feared he might not be able to control his behavior. They cited his preoccupation with the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma – which included altering its Wikipedia page, e-mailing former members and spreading Internet chatter about the sorority – as indications of an unstable and obsessive mind.

    In interviews with a dozen of Ivins’ colleagues at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, his friends and independent scientists, The Post found many of them would speak only on the condition of anonymity because they believed they were still under FBI surveillance and their phones were being tapped.

    Together, those closest to Ivins cited a laundry list of holes in the feds’ conclusions. They include:

    1) Ivins could not have made dry anthrax spores in his lab without sickening people.

    To convert the wet anthrax strain he had developed at Fort Detrick – the only strain he worked with – into dry anthrax, which can be inhaled and is much more lethal, Ivins would have had to use a lyophilizer, a freeze-drying machine that is able to dry large quantities of liquid.

    Ivins’ colleagues say they never saw the scientist working with dry spores – in fact, dry anthrax was not made at USAMRIID – until he was asked to examine the anthrax-laced letter sent to Daschle.

    The lyophilizer, located in a hallway surrounded by four labs, did not have a protective hood. A hood is necessary to circulate and filter air and make it possible to use the lyophilizer to work with harmful bacteria without the bacteria becoming airborne. Co-workers say the hoodless lyophilizer would have spewed poisonous aerosols, infecting co-workers. But no colleagues of Ivins experienced any symptoms.

    Co-workers also point out that the machine would have to be fully decontaminated after use – a 24-hour process called paraformaldehyde decontamination that involves locking down the lab.

    Without a full decontamination, the machine would have contaminated other bacteria or liquids used on the machine at a later date. And if it had not been decontaminated, the FBI should have been able to find traces of the dry anthrax on the machine. Yet they swabbed Ivins’ machinery numerous times and were unable to find traces of dry anthrax spores in his lab, Kemp said.

    2) Records show that Ivins logged an average of only two hours of overtime in the weeks leading up to the attacks – and even at those times, he could not have gone undetected.

    Even if Ivins did have access to a freeze-drying machine and a protective hood, sources who worked closely with Ivins estimate it would take a minimum of 40 days of continuous work without detection to create the volume of spores used in the attacks.

    “If he was working eight hours a day on spore prep every day, it would be noticed,” said Gerry Andrews, Ivins’ supervisor between 2000 and 2003. “It’s ridiculous.”

    Ivins’ lab – just 200 square feet – was in “highly trafficked areas, and Bruce had colleagues that worked with him every day,” Andrews said.

    Meanwhile, in September and October of 2001, Ivins was involved in 19 research projects, including working on the Department of Defense-funded anthrax vaccine that is now in clinical trials, anthrax vaccine testing on rabbits and monkeys, and an outside project with a government-contracted lab, the Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio.

    3) The FBI called Ivins the “sole custodian” of the strain of anthrax used in the mailings. But at least 200 people had access to the strain created by Ivins at Fort Detrick.

    More than 100 people had access to Ivins’ lab at USAMRIID. Ivins’ anthrax strain, RMR-1029, was kept there as well as stored at a nearby building between 1997 and 1999, a building to which others had access. In addition, multiple facilities outside of Fort Detrick were sent RMR-1029 for their own research, including government laboratories, the Battelle lab and academic institutions like the University of New Mexico.

    In September, FBI Director Mueller conceded other labs and scientists had access to Ivins’ anthrax, but would not disclose how the bureau had ruled out other suspects.

    4) The FBI has not released any physical evidence linking Ivins to the attacks or defined a motive.

    After obtaining three warrants to search the Ivins home starting in October 2007, the FBI never found a single anthrax spore there – though scientists say the kind of airborne anthrax used in the mailings would have clung to any objects it came in contact with.

    Nor were they able to place Ivins near the Princeton, NJ, mailbox from which all the lethal anthrax letters were mailed – though they noted that a Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter kept its rush materials, initiation robes and other property 100 yards from where the anthrax letters were sent.

    Ivins passed two polygraph tests – one administered after the attacks and another when he became a suspect, according to his lawyer. He also submitted a writing sample that, Kemp said, did not implicate him.

    Co-workers said Ivins stood to gain only $2,000 for a patent and minimal royalties from drug companies for the vaccine he helped produce.

    “There is not one substantial motive,” Andrews said.

    In 2003, USAMRIID implemented a Personnel Reliability Program, with employees undergoing psychiatric evaluations, financial background checks and full medical exams. If Ivins had psychological issues, the Army never flagged them – and instead deemed him capable of working with biological weapons.

    5) The FBI investigation was filled with inconsistencies and bordered on harassment.

    The FBI claims Ivins was a suspect since early 2007, but they waited until July 23, 2008, to gather DNA evidence from him, delayed examining records showing Ivins’ late nights spent in the lab, and waited years to swab the mailbox in Princeton.

    They also allowed Ivins to have full access to the anthrax labs until November 2007.

    Scientists at USAMRIID said the FBI was aggressively pursuing other suspects two months before Ivins killed himself.

    In April 2007, the FBI sent Ivins a letter saying he was “not a target of the investigation” and said it was investigating 42 people who had access to RMR-1029 at the Battelle labs in Ohio, Kemp said.

    Once they identified him as a suspect, the FBI investigators conspicuously tailed Ivins for six months before he killed himself, two neighbors of Ivins told The Post. They sat outside his house in their cars and rented the house next door for stakeouts.

    After three months under surveillance, Ivins hired a lawyer, Kemp, to whom he complained that agents had approached his adopted twins, Amanda and Andy, both 24. Ivins said they offered Andy $2.5 million and a sports car for information on his father, friends confirm.

    To Amanda, they showed pictures of anthrax victims and said, “Look at what your father did,” according to Kemp. The FBI denied this.

    Friends said agents took Ivins’ wife, Diane, and the children to hotels where they grilled them for hours.

    “Most people in Fort Detrick believe that [the FBI was] just going after the weakest link,” said Dr. W. Russell Byrne, Ivins’ supervisor between 1998 and 2000. “It looked like an organized effort in intimidation.”

    Co-workers of Ivins’ were warned by USAMRIID officials not to speak with Ivins in his office, and he was told that he couldn’t participate in work activities or parties. His friends say it was the last straw for a man who relied on work for his social life.

    Since the investigation against Ivins began, workers at USAMRIID have been forced to sign confidentiality agreements.

    FBI spokeswoman Debbie Weierman said: “The FBI is still handling administrative business and closing the loop on outstanding issues. Therefore, the investigation is still pending. However, the case has been solved; as the FBI and the Department of Justice have stated publicly.

    “The FBI is absolutely positive that Dr. Bruce Ivins and only Dr. Bruce Ivins was responsible for the anthrax mailings.”

    • DXer said

      Thanks for posting the article. New York Post has had some important Ivins coverage.

      “In interviews with a dozen of Ivins’ colleagues at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, his friends and independent scientists, The Post found many of them would speak only on the condition of anonymity because they believed they were still under FBI surveillance and their phones were being tapped.”

      Attorney Kemp has explained that at all times the FBI agents acted professionally with Dr. Ivins. You should presume the good faith of all investigators just as you and I ask we do in the case of Dr. Ivins. Attorney Kemp, having been a confidante of Dr. Ivins, would be in the best position to know how he was treated. FBI agents can be intimidating but that comes with the job. I have no idea what the answer is to the questions you raise, but I do know some of Dr. Ivins’ colleagues, including his key and most vocal defenders, are very at ease, have had no contact, do not what is going on etc.

      One former colleague did tell me he thought he was being wiretapped. That, ironically, was the FBI’s former lead anthrax expert. But I have no doubts about his forthrightness. The man on the telephone was telling me that he was under a gag order and that the FBI likely was wiretapping his telephone. Dr. John Ezzell was the FBI’s anthrax specialist who first examined the finely powderized anthrax sent to the United Senators Leahy and Daschle. It was July 2009. He had returned my call from moments earlier. When he called, I was on the other line continuing a message on his answering machine. I was saying I knew he was innocent and that the aerosolized Ames he had supplied had been tested to be inactive.

      He confirmed that he made dry powdered anthrax at USAMRIID’s Ft. Detrick in 1996 for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”). Beginning in 1996, he also worked for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit. After coming under suspicion, Dr. Bruce Ivins wrote an email to his colleague and friend Patricia Fellows saying that he had heard that the aerosolized anthrax made by Dr. Ezzell for DARPA was the closest match to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001 that Dr. Ezzell had examined.

      Dr. Ivins had emailed a superior on December 18, 2006 about what he heard about the FBI at a party. Ivins expressed concern that something might have been taken or altered from his B3 stocks. Ivins was told by email from the superior to not talk about it — that the FBI situation was under control. But it turned out not to be under control. Dr. Ivins’ colleagues were ordered not to talk to him beginning November 2007. He was removed from the base by armed escort in late July. Bruce Ivins took his life on July 29, 2008. It has now been over 15 months since the FBI said that the crazy, dead guy was the sole suspect in the anthrax mailings. At the time, the US Department of Justice announced that the case was solved and the case would be closed shortly. The trail of evidence that should have led Amerithrax investigators to the infiltration of DARPA and US biodefense and withdrawal from Dr. Ivins’ stock dated back to the time of the mailings and was discernable from “open source” intelligence.

      Ali Al-Timimi’s current defense counsel, MSNBC commentator and First Amendment scholar Jonathan Turley, says the FBI considered his client an “anthrax weapons suspect.” In 2001, Ali worked alongside researchers at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense who invented a process to concentrate using silica in the culture medium which then was removed from the surface of the spore by repeated centrifugation. Professor Turley wrote: “Al-Timimi is the spiritual adviser to many Muslims across the country. He has worked with the government, including White House chief of staff Andrew Card…” His counsel argued that Anwar Aulaqi was central to the allegations of the alleged conspiracy against his client.

      After an October 2001 bombing raid at a Qaeda camp in Darunta, Afghanistan US forces found 100+ printed, typed, handwritten pages of documents that shed light on Al Qaeda’s early anthrax planning. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided me the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents confirmed that it was Zawahiri’s plan to use established specialists and the cover of universities and charities as cover for weaponizing anthrax. From early on, the evidence suggested that charity is as charity does. 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and the disease handbook excerpts. It was not clear whether they had yet acquired virulent anthrax or weaponized it, but it was clear that the planning was well along.

      When Vice President Cheney was briefed on the documents in late 2001, he immediately called a meeting of FBI and CIA. “I’ll be very blunt,” the Vice President started. “There is no priority of this government more important than finding out if there is a link between what’s happened here and what we’ve found over there with Qaeda.” At one point, security personnel thought that the home belonging to Elizabeth Cheney, his daughter had been hit by an anthrax attack. Elizabeth had to call her nanny to get her to take the kids to be tested for exposure.

      A June 1999 memo from Ayman to military commander Atef said that “the program should seek cover and talent in educational institutions, which it said were ‘more beneficial to us and allow easy access to specialists, which will greatly benefit us in the first stage, God willing.’ ”Thus, in determining whether Al Qaeda was responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall of 2001, the FBI and CIA had reason to know based on the growing documentary evidence available by mid-December 2001, that Al Qaeda operatives were likely associated with non-governmental organizations and working under the cover and talent in universities.

      Sometimes rather than being truly invisible or on the “dark side,” an enemy is merely hiding in plain sight — or hidden by inappropriate redactions or highly classified, compartmentalized, operations intended to avoid embarrassment to decision-makers or to further personal agendas. Most intelligence is “open source.” Sunshine is the best disinfectant. If you can’t trust Michael E. Leiter and President Obama to correctly sort it out, who can you trust?

  44. DXer said

    Michael E. Leiter, a former President of the Harvard Law Review, is in the news today describing the work of the US National Counterterrorism Center.

    In April he told the Aspen Institute that the center is “very focused efforts on combating terrorist acquisition – chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear weapons. There is a lot of fear about that and we have, I think, brought together probably the single-best focus in the U.S. government on that topic.”

    As President Obama could attest, being President of the Law Review is a full-time job with plenty of overtime. Michael Leiter was magna cum laude to boot.

    He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Breyer. Started as an AUSA. Appointed by Bush, he was kept on by President Obama.

    Judging by his pedigree and success at multitasking, he seems highly qualified to process large amounts of information in connecting the dots.


  45. Anonymous scientist said

    Anthrax case falls apart
    Clarice Feldman
    In yet another chapter of your FBI in Peace and War, the FBI is proven off base–this timme in its assessment of who was behind the anthrax attacks in September 2001:

    Michael Barone reports in the washington Examiner :

    Here’s some news I missed.Edward Jay Epstein reported on December 21 that the FBI’s anthrax case has fallen apart. In 2008 the FBI declared that Dr. Bruce Ivins, who died an apparent suicide in July 2008, was the perpetrator who sent anthrax-laced letters to members of Congress and others just days after the September 11 attacks. The FBI’s investigation, apparently the most lengthy it had ever conducted, was directed primarily at scientists who had access to anthrax materials. But, Epstein reports, it turns out that Dr. Ivins did not have access to the sophisticated form of anthrax used in September 2001.

    It seems that question was one they should have answered before they started draining ponds and tracking Dr. Ivins.

  46. Anonymous scientist said

    Who was behind the September 2001 anthrax attacks?
    By: Michael Barone
    Senior Political Analyst
    01/01/10 6:59 PM EST

    Here’s some news I missed.Edward Jay Epstein reported on December 21 that the FBI’s anthrax case has fallen apart. In 2008 the FBI declared that Dr. Bruce Ivins, who died an apparent suicide in July 2008, was the perpetrator who sent anthrax-laced letters to members of Congress and others just days after the September 11 attacks. The FBI’s investigation, apparently the most lengthy it had ever conducted, was directed primarily at scientists who had access to anthrax materials. But, Epstein reports, it turns out that Dr. Ivins did not have access to the sophisticated form of anthrax used in September 2001.

    Back in October 2001 I wrote a U.S. News column arguing that a state actor may have been behind the anthrax attacks, and I blogged on the subject twice in September 2006 and again in November 2007. It seemed to me then that the anthrax attacks were overwhelmingly likely to be the product of al Qaeda or another terrorist organization, quite likely aided by a state actor, and that the FBI by concentrating its investigation on domestic scientists had been barking up the wrong tree. The announcement in 2008 that the case was solved and a domestic scientist was responsible seemed to refute my conclusions. Now Epstein’s report that the FBI’s case has fallen apart has me thinking along the same lines as I was from 2001 to 2008.

    Will we ever learn who was behind the September 2001 anthrax attacks?

  47. DXer said

    This week I expect to publish at cost a book that contains (without comment) the powerpoints before the National Academy of Sciences.

    Before long, I expect to figure out a way to make it fully freely previewable but initially only the first 15 pages will be (and I can rotate those 15 daily).

    Lew and Ike (and anyone else) are free to grab and post any they find of interest.

    The powerpoints in no way tend to show that Bruce Ivins is the processor or mailer or in any way complicitous in the anthrax mailings of Fall 2001.

    Al Qaeda and Anthrax: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  48. DXer said

    Shouldn’t everyone be given the benefit of the doubt?

    Isn’t that a standard that should apply both in court and in press coverage?

    Even Bruce Ivins?


    “Excellent!” I cried.
    “Elementary,” said he. “It is one of those instances where the reasoner can produce an effect which seems remarkable to his neighbour, because the latter has missed the one little point which is the basis of the deduction. The same may be said, my dear fellow, for the effect of some of these little sketches of yours, which is entirely meretricious, depending as it does upon your retaining in your own hands some factors in the problem which are never imparted to the reader.
    The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893)
    Watson and Holmes in “The Crooked Man” (Doubleday p. 412)

  49. DXer said

    Mr. Connolly gave me a copy of his deposition of AUSA Kenneth Kohl in Hatfill v. United States.

    Two things seem clear: These prosecutors have a tough job, and former prosecutors can make highly successful defense counsel.

    Here are some excerpts in no particular order:


    “the press has — they don’t just deliver news, they have to have an angle. And the angle must be, you know — and frequently it’s criticize the administration or people like John Ashcroft they don’t like, or it may be that we’re nowhere near close to solving the case. So they have to have an angle and so this is part of it.”


    “A “the [August 2002] article had run in Newsweek already at that point and he had talked about the bloodhounds and some other things. And I expressed my concern to the attorney general that there had — that leaks occurred in the case and that I — that Van Harp was with me at that briefing. And I used that as an opportunity to –well, I mean, what I did was I told the attorney general that Van Harp had personally assured me he was vigorously investigating those leaks and that that was not — neither of us viewed that as asppropriate, you know, for these leaks to happen — occur.
    Q And so Van Harp had assured you that he was vigorously investigating the leaks?”

    [Comment: How was it a vigorous investigation if, as US Attorney Howard explained in his deposition, the US Attorney’s Office weren’t even asked?]

    Q All right. I’m going to have you look at the bottom of this e-mail, and it’s an AP Wiret story apparently that you annexed to this e-mail. The first sentence which you’ve underscored, “Several FBI and Justice Department officials told the Associated Press, speaking on the condition of anonymity.” Did you underline that because it concerned you that several FBI and Justice Department officials would be speaking anonymously to the AP?
    A Yes, absolutely. I mean, I was very upset by this and many other articles like this.”


    A. I’m a criminal prosecutor, so to the extent — you know, a leak by law enforcement in the middle of a criminal investigation would come within my jurisdiction in two ways: If the leak is an attempt to obstruct justice I can investigate it criminally, if it’s a leak of classified information I can investigate it criminally. Otherwise, it’s a matter to be handled administratively either by the Department of Justice or the FBI, you know, if the leak came from someone among those ranks, or by OPR at either the DOJ or FBI.

    [Comment: Question: Did he ever think to ask his boss if he had spoken to the reporter?\

    Q Let me ask you more personally, isn’t it infuriating to see this kind of information about an ongoing important investigation you’re conducting.
    A Absolutely.”

  50. DXer said

    In the Blackwater prosecution, Thomas Connolly (Steve Hatfill’s defense counsel), is the defense counsel who argued that the prosecutor (who has been the lead AUSA in Amerithrax throughout) had repeatedly mischaracterized the testimony of witnesses and excluded exculpatory evidence from the grand jury.

    Twice since Justice attorneys moved to dismiss the charges, the defense lawyers, Thomas Connolly and Steven Fredley, have filed court papers urging Judge Ricardo Urbina of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to hold a status conference.

    In the court papers, Connolly charged the prosecutors with misconduct and said a public airing of the Justice Department’s position is necessary. Connolly is asking for a status conference to seek guidance from Urbina on how to respond to the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss [without prejudice]. Slatten’s attorneys want the charges dismissed with prejudice.

    The government’s case against Slatten became unsustainable, Connolly said, “for reasons that became clear” during the recent hearing that was held behind closed doors. The hearing explored defense allegations that prosecutors inappropriately used confidential information against the defendants.

    The defense attorney lodged serious allegations against the government: the trial team “repeatedly mischaracterized” the testimony of witnesses and excluded exculpatory evidence from the grand jury.

    Connolly argued:

    “These grounds for a dismissal with prejudice go far beyond the narrow technical grounds conceded by the Department of Justice, and far beyond the substantive failure of the government’s proof against Mr. Slatten,” Connolly said. “They amount to a disturbing case of prosecutorial misconduct, undermining the integrity of the judicial process.”

  51. DXer said

    Returning to the merits, we see from the article posted by Anonymous Scientist the September 2008 NYT article that highlights the following issue:

    Who altered the flask 1029 record? Why did the FBI create the impression that the flask had always been stored in 1425 when initially it was stored in 1412? (The summary is misleading and goes centrally to who had access to the flask).

    Who altered the record using white out?

    I did not think to ask Scott for a copy of the record until 6 months after this important article.

    His colleague Eric is from Dewitt, perhaps the area’s most famous and accomplished former resident.

    “Laboratory records obtained by The New York Times show that the anthrax supply labeled RMR-1029, which the F.B.I. linked to the attacks, was stored in 1997 not in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, in Building 1425, but in the adjacent Building 1412. Former colleagues said that its storage in both buildings at different times from 1997 to 2001 might mean that the bureau’s estimate of 100 people with physical access to it was two or three times too low.”

    • DXer said

      When is the FBI going to provide a copy of this email by Dr. Ivins. Redactions under (b)(6) and (b)(7) would be warranted but it would avoid some substantial legibility problems for text not subject to redaction under FOIA.

      Sent: Tuesday June 27 2005 /6 7:38 AM
      Subject: Hot News!

      (1) xxxxxx was giving his opinion on xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ?
      (2) ? examine all of the letter spore powder samples. He said like XXXX
      (3) ??????. Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had
      (4) letter material. Then the bombshell, He said that the best duplication
      (5) was if ???? ??????? ?????? ??????? exactly about looking at ?
      (6) xxxxxx coming on and ????? ??????? xxx ??? him if this powder
      (7) his knees got shaky and he sputtered “But I told the General we didn’t
      (8) investigators that xxxxxxx was involved in some way in the letter incident
      (9) was finding it was actually funny. The sentences were quite ????? ??
      (10) words and phrases xxx said that xxxx was the worst Commander
      (11) just believe that I had heard xx had made Ames spore powder just
      (12)?? heard that xxxxxxx either knew about it or was behind it and that
      (13) ???

    • Anonymous scientist said

      It’s worth taking a re-look at the original document versus the altered document. It would be much more effective if someone were to make a graphic showing them side-by-side. The person who altered it went to extraordinary lengths and must have used a very steady hand with the white-out – making sure not to obscure the printed solid line whilst necessarily coming extremely close to it with the edge of the white-out.

      the 2 documents can be seen here:

      Whoever altered the document seemed to go to a great deal of trouble. Not only did they obscure the original “room 115 Bldg 1412″ and the hand-drawn arrow adjacent to it, but they also altered the entry next to “Vendor”. It still has the same text – that is “From B. anthracis, Ames strain, Ames Iowa” but in the altered document this is forced into TWO lines. It appears whoever altered it wanted to make room for the new location. The new location is given as “B3 cold room in Bldg 1425″. This uses 2 lines and would have covered the original “Vendor” entry had it not been altered also.

      All in all, this looks highly suspicious. Who would have the motivation to re-write history here and change the record completely? Who would want to obliterate that RMR-1029 was stored somewhere other than “B3 cold room in Bldg 1425″?

      Note that the location of RMR-1029 during the attacks was a critically important part of the FBI’s case against Ivins:

      Click to access 07-524-M-01.pdf

      and here:

      USAMRIID containment Suite B3 is a Biological Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) suite of laboratories used by USAMRIID Bacteriology personnel for research on dangerous animal and human pathogens. The flask identified as RMR-1029 was stored in Suite B3 at the time of the letter attacks.
      When these records are compared to Dr. Ivins for the same period, Dr. Ivins’s habits are significantly different than those of the other researchers, in that he was frequently in Suite B3, where RMR1029 was kept, late at night and on weekends when no other researchers were present in Suite B3. Additionally, while Dr. Ivins was in Suite B3 at night, no other USAMRIID employee was present.

      • DXer said

        Anonymous Scientist,
        Isn’t it, by far, most likely that Dr. Ivins altered the document?
        1) It is his handwriting (IMO).
        2) It is his document.
        3) He very well might have had a strong motive to change it. He would have reason to alter it if any transfer was not in compliance with mid-1997 regulations or if he thought there might be civil, administrative or criminal consequences.
        4) One notation regarding the mailing to UNM on its face indicates it was added in 2004.
        5) Note a different format was used between page 1 and page 2 — with page 1 not listing “amount in.”
        6) I’m sure with the original they can identify the ink that was used. They thus likely have a confident opinion from a document examiner as to who and when it was changed.
        7) Most of all, Ivins would know if it were changed, and his lawyer likely would have a copy of it as it was provided to the FBI in 2001 etc.

        But I do agree that it would be helpful to see them side by side.

        It is curious that the alteration was not relied as a grounds in support of the searches.

        • Anonymous scientist said

          I think your very last statement that it’s curious that the alteration was not relied as a grounds in support of the searches is reason enough to suppose that it may not have been Ivins that altered the document.

          Another reason is the nature of the alteration. This was not just an alteration – it was a careful attempt to almost show that there never had been alteration. This follows from the extreme care taken in whiting out the original features without accidentally whiting out the solid line above “room 115, bldg 1412”. Why would a diligent person like Ivins not simply add “moved to B3 cold room in bldg 1425 on XX/XX/XX” thus reflecting the true movement of the flask with time?

        • DXer said

          Conversely, if Attorney Kemp, Ivins’ lawyer, learned that there had been an alteration that his client had told him he did not make, wouldn’t he have raised it in defense?

          Why didn’t he note, at the time it was made, the transfer to UNM? As I recall, it was less than 1 ml. The only other transfer less than 1 ml. was the one contemplated that required an export control license. (An export control license is required when the transfer is to a non-US citizen in the US or a transfer to outside the US.) E.g., Suffield in Canada. Porton Down in the UK. The Sweden defense agency.

  52. DXer said

    Remarks Prepared for Delivery by U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor at …
    I am joined here today by Joseph Persichini; Assistant Director in Charge of … Postal Inspector Alexander Lazaroff; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Kohl. …

    Now in terms of who might be a spokesman if AUSA Kohl were to sit the next go-round out for public relations reasons, Postal Inspector Lazaroff resigned a couple months after the Ivins press conference and thus, like Mr. Taylor and Mr. Persichini, is not available.

    Exclusive: Top Federal Postal Cop Retires in Wake of ABC News Investigation
    Official Gambled at a Casino During Conference He Arranged at Nearby Resort
    October 17, 2008

    Two weeks after being questioned by ABC News about his travel expenses and gambling habits, the head of the US Postal Service’s Inspection Service abruptly announced his retirement.
    The federal official is under internal investigation for gambling and travel.

    Alexander Lazaroff announced his retirement earlier this month saying, “after 37 years of federal service, I feel that it’s time for me to begin a new chapter in my life.”

    It is totally unclear to me why Brian Ross would make such a big deal about going to play some slot machines while at a conference. It would seem that going to a casino under the circumstances was not in any way inappropriate.

    But I mention it to point out that there may be a wholesale change of personnel in the next press conference.

  53. DXer said

    Amerithrax prosecutor Ken Kohl has been tied up this past year with the Blackwater prosecution. He was in charge of the Blackwater prosecution and gave a press conference from Iraq in December 2008 as I recall. In a lengthy and scathing opinion, the District Court wrote:

    “The explanations offered by the prosecutors and investigators in an attempt to justify their actions and persuade the court that they did not use the defendants’ compelled testimony were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility,” Judge Urbina wrote.

    The judge also criticized prosecutors for withholding “substantial exculpatory evidence” from the grand jury that indicted the defendants, as well as for presenting “distorted versions” of witnesses’ testimony and improperly telling the grand jury that some incriminating statements had been made by the defendants but were being withheld.
    The prosecutorial team was led by Kenneth C. Kohl, an assistant United States attorney. The Justice Department declined to make him available for comment.”

    Charges dismissed against Blackwater guards in Iraq deaths
    Washington Post Staff, January 1, 2010

    The judge wrote:

    “From this extensive presentation of evidence and argument, the following conclusions ineluctably emerge. In their zeal to bring charges against the defendant in this case, the prosecutors and investigators aggressively sought out statements the defendants had been compelled to make to government investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and in the subsequent investigation. In so doing, the government’s trial team repeatedly disregarded the warnings of experienced, senior prosecutors, assigned to the case specifically to advise the trial team on Garrity and Kastigar issues, that this course of action threatened the viability of the prosecution. The government used the defendants’ compelled statements to guide its charging decisions, to formulate its theory of the case, to develop investigatory leads and, ultimately, to obtain the indictment in this case. The government’s key witnesses immersed themselves in the defendants’ compelled statements, and the evidence adduced at the Kastigar hearing plainly demonstrated that these compelled statements shaped portions of the witnesses’ testimony to the indicting grand jury. The explanations offered by the prosecutors and investigators in an attempt to justify their actions and persuade the court that they did not use the defendants’ compelled testimony were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility.

    In short, the government has utterly failed to prove that it made no impermissible use of the defendants’ statements or that such use was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the court must dismiss the indictment against all of the defendants.”

    “But Urbina’s scathing and detailed review of the ways that crucial evidence and witnesses had been tainted by exposure to the defendants’ early statements — or news media accounts based on them — appears likely to complicate any effort to ask an appeals court to overturn his opinion or to bring a new prosecution by a different legal team using any untainted evidence.”

    Reuters – In a “reckless violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights,” the judge wrote, investigators, prosecutors and government witnesses had inappropriately relied on statements that the guards had been compelled to make in debriefings by the State Department shortly after the shootings.”

    After watching Vin Diesel in FIND ME GUILTY about a RICO trial against a crime family years ago, the lesson I draw from the dismissal of the Blackwater charges is that these investigators and prosecutors have very difficult jobs under the best of circumstances.
    While disagreeing with their conclusion on Amerithrax, we should appreciate the inherently difficult nature of what they are asked to do.

    But as I’ve argued here, I believe that substantial exculpatory evidence also has been withheld in Amerithrax.

    I would ask that Mr. Kohl be reassigned, offered our best wishes on the New Year, and that a fresh look be given to Amerithrax (without a compartmentalization of investigative leads) given the nature of misconduct found in this lengthy federal district court opinion.

    It should be appreciated that compartmentalization was regrettable and partly the result of the failure to ask the lead prosecutor if he had been the leak. That is something that Mr. Kohl could easily have done.

    • DXer said

      The United States District Court says of AUSA Kohl’ s sworn testimony at a hearing in his lengthy opinion:

      “These inconsistent, extraordinary explanations smack of post hoc rationalizations and are simply implausible.”

      AUSA Kohl was also the hands-on Ameritharx prosecutor. That pretty much summarizes the government’s “Ivins Theory.”

      The District Court at one point wrote:

      “This reckless behavior was in keeping in with the way the prosecution [which was led by AUSA Kohl] conducted itself throughout the grand jury process, as it withheld the testimony of numerous percipient witnesses who had provided substantial exculpatory evidence to the first grand jury, presented the second grand jury with distorted and self-serving “summaries” of the accounts of other witnesses and implied to the second grand jury that the defendants had given inculpatory statements to State Department investigators which the government could not disclose to the grand jury because they were given “in exchange for immunity.”

      Now, Henry Heine, who testified before the grand jury in Amerithrax has said that an Ivins Theory is a total crock and he will be able to explain that once he is freed of the gag order.

      Why should AUSA Kohl be allowed to prevent people from coming forward to explain that his case before the grand jury was a total crock?

      Ivins committed suicide. Is it fair to allow the accusation to stand while selectively producing documents and going through a misleading process whereby validation of the science will make it seem like there is a validation of the bullshit charges against Ivins — when the science in fact does little to implicate him in the first place? And, instead, is exculpatory?

      USAMRIID and NAS should be urged by President Obama and Attorney General Holder to comply with FOIA.

      • DXer said

      • DXer said

        Some internal emails from the Amerithrax matter provide some context.

        From Kohl, Ken [AUSA]
        To: Phillips, Channing
        cc. Blier, William
        Subject : RE: what I’m hearing from the media


        “By the way, WFO has opened a leak investigation in an attempt to find out who spoke to NEWSWEEK magazine over the weekend about the bureau’s use of bloodhounds in the investigation.”

        [Note that Attorney Seikaly verified the interrogatory response relating to his contact with reporters and omitted his contact with Klaidman about bloodhounds.]

        “From: Blier, William
        Sent: August 11, 2002
        To: Howard, Roscoe C, Fredericksen, Scott; Seikaly, Daniel
        Subject: Conversation with Glenn Fine

        Here is a summary of my conversation with Glenn about the anthrax leak investigation:

        The manner in which investigations of leaks are allocated between OIG and OPR is somewhat less clear than you might think. If the universe of persons with knowledge is mixed, attorneys and agents, OPR and OIG will meet and determine who should do it, with OIG essentially deferring unless there appears to be a potential criminal violation. Glenn opined that his office is better equipped, with a staff of investigators, to handle a criminal investigation than is OPR. He was aware of the allegations in this case, but not of the potential leaking of classified material.

        Neither OIG nor OPR open investigations based on news accounts. Both await a referral from a complainant (Hatfill) or from within the department (in particular, the DAG’s office). So far, his ofice has not received a referral and he does not believe OPR has either. Glenn said we could either wait to see what Hatfill does, or, if we think it is in the department’s or our Office’s best interest for an investigation to be opened, to talk to the DAG’s office and have the referral made by OGI by the DAG. Because Hatfill said he was going to make his referall to OPR, and because the substance of Hatfill’s complaints are not really criminal, Hatfill’s referall would probably result in OPR handling it (with OIG deferring).

        Let me know if you want me to do anything further in this connection. Thanks, Bill.”

        From: Howard, Roscoe, Jr.
        Sent: Monday, August 12, 2002 6:42 P.M. (responding to email above which was at 6:39 P.M.)
        To: Blier, William
        Subject: RE: Conversation with Glenn Fine

        Find out who the FBI opened their investigation with. Van says that they have — but wouldn’t that be OIG?”

        From: Blier, William
        Sent : Tuesday, August 13, 2002 1:23 P.M.
        To: Howard, Roscoe C, Jr.
        Subject: RE: Conversation with Glenn Fine

        Van has indicated to Ken that WFO opened the investigation and assigned it to a separate squad, but neither Ken nor any of the agents have been interviewed or have any other indication that an investigation is ongoing. OIG had not received a referral. Ken has prepared and I have approved a letter to Van from inquiring of the status of the “leak investigation.” I think the letter is consistent with the approach you articulated last night. Ken feels strongly about it and we should keep Van and the FBI honest. If we receive no response to the letter, perhaps we should send a copy of it to OIG. We will provide to you a copy of Ken’s letter. Thanks, Bill.

        From: Howard, Roscoe C, Jr.
        Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 3:55 PM
        To: Blier, William
        cc: Seikaly, Daniel; Leary, Mary Lou; Fredericksen, Scott
        Subject: RE: Conversation with Glenn Fine

        Bill — The letter to Van is fine. It should ask, specifically, what has been done to “open” the investigation. I have some problem with the FBI investigating its own Imagine the field day a publication would have with that]. You mentioned yesterday contacting the DAG and having him make the referral to OIG. We should consider that. As I said yesterday, I think we need to make sure we are doing the “internal inquiry” we represented to the press that we would do. Roscoe

        From: Blier, William
        Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 3:57 P.M.
        To: Kohl, Ken
        Subject: FW Conversation with Glenn Fine

        Looks like we still have our jobs. Let me know what kind of reaction you get from Van. Thanks, Bill.

        From: KENNETH KOHL

        Van / Rick / Jack

        Yesterday, ABCNEWS.COM ran another Brian Ross article on the anthrax investigation (attached). The report states that “Federal investigators on the anthrax task force continue to focus on former government Steven J. Hatfill as the man most likely responsible for the bioterror attacks last year that killed five people, even though they have found no hard evidence linking him to the attacks.” The source of the story are described as “several officals who attended a recent task force summit meeting in Washington [who] talked with ABCNEWS on the condition of anonymity.”

        The most disturbing aspect of the article is that the “officials are quoted as saying that [about 5 lines redacted].

        [Comment: the quote redacted relates to the FBI’s plan to re-interview other current and former government scientists (i.e., under a non-Hatfill theory).

        So Mr. Seikaly’s leak had the effect of letting the folks re-interviewed know they were under suspicion].




  54. DXer said

    Anthrax samples from same strain
    Woman remains in critical condition
    January 01, 2010

    The strain of anthrax found on a Strafford County woman has been determined to be the same as the one found on two drums used during a drum circle the woman attended, state public health officials said yesterday.

  55. DXer said

    God forbid that every man flirting with a young co-worker (or whoever the woman is) is accused of murder.

    On its face, the correspondence is stronger evidence of a moral compulsion he felt not to lie.

    The money is what a husband might do if in trouble upon a wife finding a receipt showing that the husband paid for something for a woman.

    Gaithersburg is very near Frederick; he used to live there while working at Ft. Detrick. The detergent was where he was for a work meeting.

    These emails just show that he had an apparently unrequited crush on the other woman.

    His wife mentioned the name of the two women in telling him that the FBI seemed to think he was having an affair with one or both. She named Pat and Mara.

    (The woman was familiar with the term “IPT” but did not attend the meeting which clarifies her identity).

    The FBI reasoned:

    “The following examples show Dr. Ivins use of the postal system, driving habits, and how he
    manipulates the information he provides his wife:

    E-mail February 1, 2001, from Dr. Ivins: “I want to send to
    you a self-addressed (to me) stamped envelope with some money
    in it. When you get it, please send it back to me in the mail. Then
    I can tell what happened and won’t be lying.”

    E-mail March 4, 2001, from Dr. Ivins: “The reason I put
    different names on the packages and card is in your message to me
    below.. ..Then you recognized who sent you everything, despite
    the fact that they weren’t sent from Frederick.”

    E-mail March 13, 2001, from Dr. Ivins: “Then I got your
    e-mail making me wonder if you thought that I was trying to get
    something from you by sending you care packages, Christmas or
    birthday gifts, etc. That had me rather worried, so I decided to go
    ahead and send you the things, but from different places and with
    different names. The detergent from Laundry Boy was mailed
    from Virginia during an IPT meeting. The gift certificate and
    birthday card were mailed from Gaithersburg. The jacket – when it
    finally came – was to be mailed from Gaithersburg, but you had
    already figured out who sent you everything else, so I just went
    ahead and sent it from Frederick.”

  56. DXer said

    “On March 31, 2005, Dr. Ivins was asked by the FBI about his access to Suite B3 and
    could provide no legitimate reason for the extended hours, other than “home was not good” and
    he went there “to escape” from his life at home. A review of Dr. Ivins’s and co-workers’
    laboratory notebooks and projects at the times in question was conducted and determined that
    Dr. Ivins’s role in the experiments were minimal, and did not justify the time he spent in B3.
    Dr. Ivins has admitted to investigators that the research he was conducting in 2001 did not
    require, and does not explain, his late night hours in the B-3 laboratory around the time period of
    the anthrax mailings.”

    What did he say when he was interviewed in Fall 2001? That 302, his emails from those days, and transcript of polygraph is key evidence.

    “When interviewed again on May 7, 2007, Dr. Ivins told investigators that, within three
    months of the letter attacks, he was aware that his stock of anthrax, RMR-1029, exhibited
    morphological similarities to the anthrax used in the attacks, and that he allegedly learned this
    information from three coworkers at USAMRIID who participated in the forensic analysis of the
    anthrax in the letters. Each of those three coworkers was interviewed by the Task Force, and
    deny disclosing such information to Dr. Ivins.”

    God forbid someone mistakenly or falsely deny disclosing information they were forbidden to disclose.

    “Use of E-mail and False Names to Facilitate an Obsession with
    a Sorority Group Linked to the Location of the Anthrax

    It is the norm to use false screen names when posting on the internet.

    “Over the course of this edit war, Dr. Ivins provided his personal e-mail address to other
    contributors to e-mail him directly before they removed his contributions from the site.

    Dr. Ivins ‘seemed to encourage people to e-mail him directly’ and
    described such action as counter to the ‘culture’ of Wikipedia, where contributors usually
    communicate with each other through the individual article talk pages or e-mail using their
    Wikipedia user name. By so doing, Dr. Ivins was also keeping other contributors out of the
    discussions about the KKG article.”

    Oh, brother. So what? How did such irrelevant conjecture find its way into an affidavit in support of a search warrant?

    • DXer said

      He had just restarted being vaccinated for anthrax. His late hours in fact continued in November and December 2001. Thus, the unusual late hours in B3 are contrived issue, isn’t it?

      “September 7, 2001, “I was taken off the Special
      Immunization Program because of what happened last spring, and
      I’ve just gotten back on it, getting my anthrax and Yellow fever
      shots. We are currently finishing up the last of the AVA, and
      when that is gone, there’s nothing to replace it with. I don’t know
      what will happen to the research programs and hot suite work until
      we get a new lot There are no approved lots currently available
      at BioPort.”

      Contrary to an “Ivins Theory,” his late hours actually continued in November and December 2001. We have no records regarding entry into the hot suite for the first half of 2001 or for 2002.

      Apart from the lack of documentation supporting the reliance on the unusual hours, isn’t it entirely explainable by both the vaccination issue and the fact that when the lot was gone, there was nothing to replace it with?

      Has the issue survived until now only because of the government’s failure to provide the emails from the relevant days?

      Couldn’t the government by selective production of emails make most anyone look like a horse’s patoot? Make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Reading the emails in context in no way moves the reader to think he is guilty — which is why people don’t even take notice when large numbers of additional emails by Ivins are produced.

  57. DXer said

    The journal Nature summarized:

    “At a biodefence meeting on 24 February, Joseph Michael, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, presented analyses of three letters sent to the New York Post and to the offices of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin, says Michael.” Ivins’ flask did not contain tin.  

  58. DXer said

    The Post and Brokaw letters contain low levels of a bacterial contaminant identified as a strain of Bacillus subtilis. The Bacillus subtilis contaminant has not been detected in the anthrax spore powders recovered from the envelopes mailed to either Senator Leahy or Senator Daschle. Bacillus subtillis is a non-pathogenic bacterium found ubiquitously in the environment. However, genomic DNA sequencing of the specific isolate of Bacillus subtilus discovered within the Post and Brokaw powders reveals that it is genetically distinct from other known isolates of Bacillus subtilis.

    Phenotypic and genotypic analyses demonstrate that the RMR-1029 does not have the Bacillus subtilis contaminant found in the evidentiary spore powders, which suggests that the anthrax used in the letter attacks was grown from the material contained in RMR-1029 and not taken directly from the flask and placed in the envelopes. Since RMR-1029 is the genetic parent to the evidentiary spore powders, and it is not known how the Bacillus subtilis contaminant came to be in the Post and Brokaw spore powders, the contaminant must have been introduced during the production of the Post and Brokaw spores. Taken together, the postmark dates, the Silicon signature, the Bacillus subtilis contaminant, the phenotypic, and the genotypic comparisons, it can be concluded that, on at least two separate occasions, a sample of RMR-1029 was used to grow spores, dried to a powder, packaged in an envelope with a threat letter, and mailed to the victims.

    At the ASM Biodefense presentation in February 2009, the FBI scientists explained that no subtilis found in any of Dr. Ivins samples was the genetically distinct subtilis. “We don’t know the process used,” Bannan says. “We never found the equivalent B. subtilis at USAMRIID in any of the evidence that we had.” Has there been a space more swabbed? With the swabbing done in 2002?

  59. DXer said

    After the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology detected silica, [USAMRIID Major General John] Parker reported that the anthrax in question contained silica, a common substance found in sand and quartz. At the August 18, 2008 Science Briefing On The Anthrax Investigation, in his opening statement Dr. Vahid Majidi explained “First of all, let me dispel some frequently repeated erroneous information. For example: There were no intentional additives combined with the bacillus anthracis spores to make them any more dispersible.” He noted that the Silicon Signature may have been due to a silica-based substance in the culture medium used to grow the anthrax. Another department colleague of Bin Laden’s sheik’s protege — Dr. Alibek’s co-director of the Center for Biodefense at GMU — told a reporter that the presence of silica is significant, but he declined to say why, citing national security concerns. “I don’t think I want to give people — terrorists — any information to help them, said Dr. Charles Bailey, a scientist at Advanced Biosystems Inc. at George Mason University and former deputy USAMRIID commander. The problem was that a microbiologist trained in computer science and actively communicating with Bin Laden’s sheik where the 7/7 London bomb was made. His field was the use of functional polymers to protect drugs until they reach the intended organ.

    Montasser Al-Zayat was the lawyer in the Spring of 1999 who said that Ayman Zawahiri planned to use anthrax against US targets to retaliation for the rendering and mistreatment of senior Movement leaders. “Montasser al-Zayat, a lawyer and a former cellmate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, said Mr. Zawahiri excels at finding recruits with no previous records who can be easily planted in the West.”

    Kathryn Crockett, Ken Alibek’s assistant — just a couple doors down from Ali Al-Timimi — addressed these issues in her 2006 thesis, “A historical analysis of Bacillus anthracis as a biological weapon and its application to the development of nonproliferation and defense strategies.” She expressed her special thanks to Dr. Ken Alibek and Dr. Bill Patrick. Dr. Patrick consulted with the FBI and so the FBI credits his expertise. “I don’t want to appear arrogant. I don’t think anyone knows more about anthrax powder in this country,” William Patrick told an interviewer. Dr. Alibek’s access to know-how regarding anthrax weaponization, similarly, seems beyond reasonable dispute.

    On the issue of encapsulation, she reports that “many experts who examined the powder stated the spores were encapsulated. Encapsulation involves coating bacteria with a polymer which is usually done to protect fragile bacteria from harsh conditions such as extreme heat and pressure that occurs at the time of detonation (if in a bomb), as well as from moisture and ultraviolet light. The process was not originally developed for biological weapons purposes but rather to improve the delivery of various drugs to target organs or systems before they were destroyed by enzymes in the circulatory system.”

    “The US and Soviet Union, however, ” she explains, “used this technique in their biological weapons programs for pathogens that were not stable in aerosol form… Since spores have hardy shells that provide the same protection as encapsulation would, there is no need to cover them with a polymer.“ She explains that one “possible explanation is that the spore was in fact encapsulated but not for protective purpose. Encapsulation also reduces the need for milling when producing a dry formulation.” She wrote: “If the perpetrator was knowledgeable of the use of encapsulation for this purpose, then he or she may have employed it because sophisticated equipment was not at his disposal.”

    One military scientist who has made anthrax simulants described the GMU patents as relating to an encapsulation technique which serves to increase the viability of a wide range of pathogens. More broadly, a DIA analyst once commented to me that the internal debate seemed relatively inconsequential given the circumstantial evidence — overlooked by so many people — that US-based supporters of Al Qaeda are responsible for the mailings. Most of Dr. Ivins’ colleagues have thought Al Qaeda was responsible.

    For years, Dr. Alibek’s theme has been:
    “‘[J]ust because you have a sophisticated product doesn’t mean the technique has to be sophisticated.’ ” Silica in the culture medium would not be a sophisticated “additive” added post-production that aided dispersability (Majidi’s definition of “weaponization”). But apparently it would permit the agent to be concentrated.

    But a key issue concerns flask 1030 — why did that have a Silicon Signature? That should be apparent from his Lab Notebook which is being withheld and apparently provided no support for the searches worth citing.

  60. DXer said

    The genetics merely narrows the inquiry from 1,000 to up to 300 — and does not point to Ivins.

    US Attorney Taylor justifiedly focused in 2008 on whether Dr. Ivins knew that the genetics would point to the stream of isolates downstream from flask 1029. He had every reason to know how special the flask was — and thus it points away from him as the culprit, not toward him.

    Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, who runs the Federation of American Scientists’ chemical and biological arms control program, announced in December 2001. “I’m certain it’s someone connected with a government program, or who works in a laboratory connected with a government program,” she said. “The grapevine has it that the results of an experiment on genetic variation at certain locations suggest that this material was made in a very small batch, and that suggests that the material was not made in some old weapons program on a large scale,” she said, citing sources inside and outside the government. “All the available information is consistent with a U.S. government lab as the source, either of the anthrax itself or of the recipe for the U.S. weaponization process.”

    Dr. Read, a scientist helping with the Amerithrax investigation in the DNA sequencing, long ago published the news that the anthrax was a 50/50% mixture of genotype 62 (Ames) and genotype 62 with an inversion on the plasmid. This would mean two distinct nucleic acids were detected in the sample. This means that some of the Ames had a segment of DNA that is inverted, or flipped, relative to the remainder of the plasmid. Years ago one expert advised me that no properly trained microbiologist would propagate or archive a mixture. Standard microbiological procedure calls for isolation of single colonies – i.e., single, unmixed cells and their clonal, unmixed progeny — at each step.
    Inversions are not an uncommon class of mutational events, however. It would only be especially probative if it were a rare inversion and if samples were to be present among samples collected from laboratory archives. It was always possible that the anthrax used was highly distinctive (pinpointing a single lab) and the authorities just didn’t have that sample collected. But given that since 2002 they have known it was a mix of Ames strains, it is surprising that they did not zero in on Ivins flask a half decade ago given that any description of how it was created would have revealed it to be a mix of two sources. The FBI in August 2008 announced that 8 samples were an exact match. The FBI reports that 100+ individuals had access. Unnamed Ft. Detrick sources estimate that 200-300 individuals had access. The source of the stream of genetically identical isolates downstream was the original flask. The FBI’s failure to disclose that initially it was stored in 1412, which appears to be the case, remains unexplained. Moreover, the record shows that it was often taken there and virulent Ames was left overnight on his desk. There is no indication that any refrigerator it was stored in was locked. Thus, the idea he had exclusive control over it is baseless.

    Even genetics consultants Fraser-Liggett and Keim do not claim it establishes that Dr. Ivins is guilty. Claire Fraser-Liggett, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences, asked in one news report, “What would have happened in this investigation had Dr. Hatfill not been so forceful response to being named a person of interest. What if he, in instead of fighting back, had committed suicide because of the pressure? Would that have been the end of the investigation?” “I have complete confidence in the accuracy of our data,” Fraser-Liggett says, but she concedes it fails to prove Ivins is guilty.

  61. DXer said

    Instead of BugMaster’s BS innuendo and avoiding of the merits, let’s review the facts.

    The USAMRIID FOI people, after it was vetted by the US Department of Justice, gave me a xerox showing that flask 1029 was kept in  Bldg 1425.  An earlier version of this document, however, showed 1412.  The “1412” had been very neatly whited out and replaced by 1425.  Who did that?  Dr. Ivins? The original version of the document showing that it was stored in 1412 has never been produced by the government under FOIA even though the FBI presumably has a copy.

    The unredacted copy of the document produced under FOIA includes a March 2001 shipment that was not added until 2004.

    The flask 1029 record raises serious issues regarding record-keeping that may have been constituted indictable offenses — including for false statement or accessory after the fact. So Dr. Ivins might very well have been subject to a valid criminal charge.

  62. Anonymous scientist said

    The entire article below from September 2008 is worth a re-read. That was 16 months ago – almost 500 days ago. And yet not a scrap of the information promised by the FBI’s public affairs person, John Miller, has been forthcoming. No interview notes with Ivins. No interview notes with other suspects (with names deleted). No statements from witnesses. No surveillance logs detailing Ivins movements and actions. Nada. Zero. Zipo. Zilch. A big round nothing. Which exactly represents the entirety of the evidence the FBI have against Ivins.

    “Who had the means, motive and opportunity?” said John Miller, assistant F.B.I. director for public affairs. “Some potential suspects may have had one, some had two, but on the cumulative scale, Dr. Ivins had many more of these elements than any other potential suspect.”

    Mr. Miller said the bureau ultimately planned to release much more information from its investigative files, including notes of F.B.I. interviews with Dr. Ivins and other suspects and witnesses and surveillance logs detailing his movements and actions. But those disclosures, requiring a detailed review to remove private and classified information, are likely to be months away.

    • BugMaster said

      “Who had the means, motive and opportunity?” said John Miller, assistant F.B.I. director for public affairs. “Some potential suspects may have had one, some had two, but on the cumulative scale, Dr. Ivins had many more of these elements than any other potential suspect.”

      O.K., so according to the FBI, Ivins had the “highest score” and therefore, was it.

      Problem is, they are definately wrong in regards to “motive”. “Means” is a bit shaky, and “Opportunity”?
      Right, he was able to make 3 round trips to Princeton and not be noticed.

      Then there is the b. subtilis contamination issue.

      The entirety of the evidence the FBI have against Ivins is nothing, because he didn’t commit the crime. Which is what will be revealed in a few short weeks.

      Happy New Year, Everyone.

      And Ed, regardless of the outcome, I will stop in the next time I am in that neck of the woods and buy you that beer!

      • DXer said

        “Who had the means, motive and opportunity?” said John Miller, assistant F.B.I. director for public affairs. “Some potential suspects may have had one, some had two, but on the cumulative scale, Dr. Ivins had many more of these elements than any other potential suspect.”

        This is a really stupid thing for Mr. Miller to have said given that there is no basis for the premise that only one individual was involved. It is sheer conjecture. Even Ed as of July 2008 positive four individuals being involved.

        BugMaster continues:

        “Problem is, they are definitely wrong in regards to “motive”. “Means” is a bit shaky, and “Opportunity”?
        Right, he was able to make 3 round trips to Princeton and not be noticed.”

        How was he able to make roundtrips (there are alleged to have been two mailings) without being noticed? At night, we have reason to think he slept with three adults in a small house. If anyone has lived under similar conditions, the reality is that one would not be able to travel unnoticed. His son did not go away to school until the next year. And we know from his wife’s note that she sincerely believed he had nothing to do with it. We have not heard an express alibi for him — but we didn’t for Dr. Hatfill either. Perhaps counsel advises that there is reason not to address it (I would have thought it would be something to be addressed but will defer to their expertise and counsel on the issue). As for during the day, he had an appointment that precluded travel on the day that a leak to the Wash Po first had him travelling. If emails and phone records were produced instead of being wrongfully withheld under FOIA, along with the Lab Notebook, we could further block out additional days. Henry Heine, who received a transfer from Ivins on one of the key days reports to a colleague that the Ivins Theory is a total crock. And so there is also reason to think that personal testimony will further block off times at which there could not have been travel.

        The most damning bit of evidence I saw was that he made secret trip to Ithaca to leave a gift for his young co-worker and assistant in the lab. Having made numerous long trips to Ithaca myself and left roses in Ithaca anonymously, I have the perspective that it is not probative evidence. Ed also turned me into the FBI even though I had spent the day emailing him telling him he lacked critical reasoning ability. If the FBI had a case, they would have laid out the relevant evidence and not referred vaguely to an interview years later in which he could not recollect why he needed to be working late. (I can’t even remember what I was doing two days ago, let alone years ago.) It is the documentary evidence that is probative and they have been withholding it.

        BugMaster continues:
        “Then there is the b. subtilis contamination issue.”

        And also the tin signature and the iron signature.

        “The entirety of the evidence the FBI have against Ivins is nothing, because he didn’t commit the crime.”

        I’ve deleted BugMaster’s last sentence because there is even less support for BugMaster’s theory and she offers none.

        Happy New Year, Everyone.

        And Ed, regardless of the outcome, I will stop in the next time I am in that neck of the woods and buy you that beer!


        • DXer said

          Any theory that did not start out with travel on the mailing dates — and where motive, means, modus operandi and opportunity was established by documentary evidence — was extremely weak.

          The theories about first graders who don’t exist and the parade of tantalizing innuendo by anonymous posters like Anthrax Profiler, The Great Satan and more recently BugMaster were always non-starters because they lacked the above.

  63. DXer said

    Anthrax from drums at ministry center in Durham still only a logical assumption

    By Adam D. Krauss
    Thursday, December 31, 2009

    DURHAM — Until the results of certain tests are known the state’s “strongest hypothesis” of what caused a Strafford County woman to contract anthrax at a local ministry center remans just that — a logical assumption.

    The state’s Division of Public Health Services is waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say whether the anthrax strains found on two drums, or on samples taken from electrical outlets at the Waysmeet Center, match the strain infecting the woman, who is in critical condition with the nation’s first case of gastrointestinal anthrax.

    “If the patient’s strain does not match the environmental specimen we would imagine this may be a baseline of the presence of anthrax in our environment,” Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, a state public health adviser, said in an interview Wednesday. “If the drums have the same strain between them” and the woman it’s “highly suggestive of a drum-based aerosolization event.”

    Such an event is the basis for what Talbot described as “our strongest hypothesis” of how the woman contracted the potentially fatal disease. She has said the naturally occurring, wild-type anthrax could have become “stirred up or agitated” during a Dec. 4 African drumming event at the center, with the woman either inhaling and swallowing the spores or getting them on her fingers before transferring them to her mouth.

    The woman brought her own, synthetic drum to the event.

    Investigators focused on the center after learning the woman participated in a drum circle there, and in recent years there have been three cases in the U.S. where people handling African drums made of animal hides contracted either cutaneous or inhalation anthrax.

    Given the nature of naturally occurring anthrax, the public shouldn’t be shocked if the results of CDC testing, which could be available late Friday, suggest the anthrax spores existed at the center before the event, Talbot said.

    “If we sample everybody’s backyard and everybody’s electrical outlet it’s not known what we would find, but most certainly there would be some positive results,” she said. T


  64. DXer said

    If Aulaqi wants to poison schoolchildren with beef hamburger with ammonia gas, he should get approval from the FDA so that he doesn’t have to provide warning as would be required under the hadiths.

    How does blowing up a plane begin to square with targeting permitted under the koran and hadiths?

    Yemeni officials eye Abdulmutallab link to radical cleric

    By Sudarsan Raghavan
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Thursday, December 31, 2009; 1:19 PM

    SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni investigators believe the Nigerian man who allegedly attempted to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day may have met with suspected al-Qaeda operatives in a house used by a radical Yemeni American cleric, a senior Yemeni official said Thursday.

    In an extensive interview, Rashad Mohammed al-Alimi, Yemen’s vice prime minister for defense and security affairs, also said the cleric, Anwar al-Aulaqi, is believed to be alive. It was the first such statement from Yemen’s government on the fate of the U.S.-born preacher, …


    Alimi said Aulaqi’s family and tribesmen in Shabwa have informed Yemeni authorities that he is alive.

    ABC News quoted a Yemeni journalist, Abdulelah Hider Shaea, as saying he talked on the telephone to Aulaqi, who proclaimed, “I’m alive.” Shaea said he recognized Aulaqi’s voice from previous interviews.

    “He said the house that was attacked was two or three kilometers away from him and he was not there,” Shaea told ABC.

  65. DXer said

    In briefing before the federal district court — the declassified portions that I am able now to quote at length — his defense counsel says he was considered an “anthax weapons suspect” and that Anwar Aulaqi’s involvement was central to the alleged conspiracy.

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

    Outside pundits wringing their hands over Aulaqi’s connection to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab would do well to focus on his connection to others and the implications for analysis.

    An article in George Mason University Gazette, in “CAS Holds Terrorism Briefing on Capitol Hill,” dated October 16, 2001 stated:

    “On Friday, October 12, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) hosted a legislative briefing on terrorism, bioterrorism, and extremist movements on Capitol Hill. The briefing provided legislators and their staffs with comprehensive background information on Islam, al-Qaeda and the Taliban, bioterrorism, and information security. Ken Alibek, affiliate faculty member at George Mason and president of Advanced Biosytems Inc., addressed chemical and biological warfare issues. Alibek served as first deputy chief of defense of the civilian branch of the Soviet Union’s offensive biological weapons program.” Ali Al-Timimi was knowledgeable about Islam, the Taliban and information security. Indeed, he was actively recruiting for the Taliban and was communicating with Bin Laden’s sheik and the so-called fellow Falls Church “911 imam” at the time. Did Ali attend the briefing? Did Ali’s colleague, Anwar Aulaqi attend the briefing? The briefing of Senators and Congressman had about 100 people present including a lot of media.

    In 2000, IANA radio ran an item “CIA to Monitor Foreign Students.” The item as published on the IANA website read: “American anti-terrorism policies are ‘seriously deficient according to the US National Commission on Terrorism, a body created by Congress after the bombing of 2 US embassies in East Africa.'”

    “Al Qaeda is tremendously patient and thinks nothing about taking years to infiltrate persons in and finding the right personnel and opportunity to undertake an attack. And we cannot become complacent, because you look around the world, and whether it’s London or Madrid or Bali or recently Casablanca or Algiers, attacks are taking place.”

    In November 2007, FBI Director Mueller gave a speech in which he warned against the need to guard against spies at universities, who for example, may have access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information. How can George Mason credibly say that Al-Timimi did not have access to know-how and materials when he had unfettered access to the largest microbiological depository in the world and when researchers shared computers in the lab?

    Infiltrator Ali Mohamed was the “Teflon terrorist.” Ali Mohammed, an EIJ member who was associated with the unit that killed Sadat, had an alibi for the Sadat assassination. He was at an officer exchange program studying at the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina., Green Beret and Delta Force officers trained there. After he was forced out of the Egyptian Army for his radical beliefs, he went to work at Egyptair. As a security advisor, where he learned how to hijack airliners. He then joined the CIA and the US Army. He was a supply sergeant at the US Army’s Fort Bragg. He lectured Green Beret and Delta Forces on the middle east. He stole high resolution maps from the map shack and brought them to Zawahirii in Afghanistan. In 1989, Ali Mohamed traveled from Fort Bragg to train men that would later commit WTC 1993. When Ali Mohammed traveled to Brooklyn, he stayed with Islamic Group and Abdel-Rahman’s bodyguard Nosair, the man who would assassinate Rabbi Kahane in 1990.

    WTC 1993 prosecutor Andrew McCarthy concludes that “in small compass, [Ali Mohammed] is the story of American intelligence and radical islam in the eighties and nineties: the left hand oblivious not only to the right but to its own fingers … while jihadists played the system from within, with impunity, scheming to kill us all.” He emphasizes: “There is no way to sugar coat it: Ali Mohamed is a window on breathtaking government incompetence.” He writes: ”I raised holy hell … that I strongly suspected Mohamed was a terrorist, that the FBI should be investigating him rather than allowing him to infiltrate as a source … Because, you know what they say “IMAGINE THE LIABILITY.”

    After Nosair’s arrest, the FBI did not bother to translate or study the dozens of boxes of materials seized from Nosair’s home. The documents included maps and cables from the Joint Chiefs stolen by Ali Mohammed. In 1991, when Bin Laden wanted to move from Afghanistan to Sudan, Ali Mohammed served as his head of security and trained his bodyguards. Along with a former medical student, Khalid Dahab, Ali Mohamed recruited ten Americans for “sleeper cells.” After the 1998 embassy bombings, when FBI agents secretly swarmed his California residence, they found a document “Cocktail” detailing how cell members should operate. Even Al Qaeda central would not know the identity of members and different cells would not know each other’s identity. It was Ali Mohamed who was the source for the December 4, 1998 PDB to President Clinton explaining that the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Islambouli, was planning attacks on the US. In November 2001, did the Quantico profilers know of this egregious history of infiltration and harm flowing from treating the Nosair case as a “lone wolf” rather than an international conspiracy? One man’s “lone wolf” experiencing howling loneliness is another man’s Salafist operating under strict principles of cell security and “need-to-know.”

    A former FBI agent in the New York office who asked not to be identified, told author Peter Lance: “Understand what this means. You have an Al Qaeda spy who’s now a U.S. citizen, on active duty in the U.S. Army, and he brings along a video paid for by the U.S. government to train Green Beret officers and he’s using it to help train Islamic terrrorists so they can turn their guns on us. By now the Afghan war is over.” Steve Emerson once said of the former US Army Sergeant who was Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence: “Ali Mohamed is one of the most frightening examples of the infiltration of terrorists into the infrastructure of the United States. Like a [character in a] John Le Carre thriller, he played the role of a triple agent and nearly got away with it.” Those officials who sought to minimize the security breach would have to explain away the classified maps of Afghanistan he stole from the map shack, and the classified cables and manuals found in such places as the home of Nosair, the assassin of Rabbi Kehane. Not even Ali Mohammed, however, could boast the letter of commendation from the White House once given Ali Al-Timimi, previous work for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, or a high security clearance. Ali Mohammed did not even have a security clearance but was merely a supply sergeant at the base where Special Operations was located. ‘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.”

    There was an elephant in the rooom no one talked about. A colleague of famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey, a prolific Ames strain researcher, has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years in prison. He worked in a program co-sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection and had access to ATCC facilities, as well as facilities of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense at George Mason University then run by Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. The bionformatics grad student once had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. I spoke to William Livingstone, one of the officers of ExecutiveAction, in advance of the group’s release of the monograph they wrote for Pharmathene titled “Spores: The Threat of a Catastrophic Anthrax Attack on America.” I asked him, “How much more obvious does a case of infiltration have to be — does he need to be sitting on Dr. Ken Alibek’s lap?” Al-Timimi actively coordinated with 911 imam Anwar Aulaqi, who was a fellow Falls Church imam.

    Many commentators have long held strong and divergent opinions of what has been published in the media about Amerithrax, what they knew and their political views. But it turns out that they apparently have just been seeing the elephant in the living room from a different angle. Actually, they’ve just been in a position to see the elephant’s rump from outside the living room door. One US law professor, Francis Boyle, who has represented islamists abroad, first publicized the theory that a US biodefense insider was responsible. He has served as legal advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Separately the theory was adopted by professor Barbara Rosenberg. But Professor Boyle and Rosenberg were not so far from the truth — just incorrect as to motive.

    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. These days even high-school kids can breed recombinant microbial strains. 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 ever knew Al-Timimi to ever have been involved in any biodefense project. For example, former Russian bioweaponeer Sergei Popov did not know of any such work by Al-Timimi. Anna Popova had only seen him in the hall on a very rare occasion. Dr. Alibek thought of him as a “numbers guy” rather than a hands-on type. Given that the FBI knows what Al-Timimi had for dinner on September 16, 2001 and lunch on September 17, it is very likely that the past years have involved a continued search for the mailer and/or processor. His attorney emphasizes that while they searched for materials related to a planned biological attack when they searched his townhouse in late February 2003, they came up empty.

    DOD official Peter Leitner, who also taught at GMU, supervised a 2007 PhD thesis by a graduate student that explores biosecurity issues at GMU. The PhD biodefense thesis on the vulnerability of the program to infiltration explains:

    “As a student in the biodefense program, the author is aware that students without background checks are permitted to work on grants, specifically Department of Defense, that has been awarded to NCBD under the Department of Molecular and Microbiology at GMU. Students are also permitted to do research separately from work in the lab for their studies. Work and studies are separate, but related by the lab. Thus, student access, research and activities go unchecked and unmonitored. Students have access to critical information and technology.”

    The author explains:

    “A principal investigator (PI) may hire a student based on a one on one interview, post doctoral 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.”

    How good is the United States government at ferreting out moles or sympathizers who out of personal bias assisted terror suspects under investigation by the FBI? Let’s consider the recent example of the Fairfax, VA police sergeant who tipped off a terror suspect.

    Weiss Rasool, age 30, a Sergeant with the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department, was sentenced to two years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to a criminal information charging him with unauthorized computer access. In June 2005, he accessed the federal database at the request of a friend from his local mosque. He checked his own name and the names of others to determine if those names were registered within the Violent Crime and Terrorist Offender File. The target was arrested and deported in November 2005.

    The Washington Post reports: “Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanine Linehan said that the target and his family were already dressed and destroying evidence at 6 a.m. when agents arrived to make the arrest, indicating that they had been tipped off. The target’s name and the charges against him have not been disclosed.” “His acquaintance had asked him to run some license plates to see if the cars were part of FBI surveillance. Sergeant Rasool told his acquaintance on the phone he could only tell him if the three license plates traced back to an individual or not. If they didn’t, that was a tip-off they related to government surveillance. Mohammad Weiss Rasool is from Afghanistan, having immigrated in 1983. The man and the target were not good friends. The transcript of the conversation reads: “This is Weiss. You spoke to me after the Juma prayer today; I’m the police officer. Umm, as I told you, I can only tell you if it comes back to a person or not a person and all three vehicles did not come back to an individual person. So, I just wanted to give you that much. Uhh, okay. Hope things work out for you. Enshullah!”

    Rasool wept upon sentencing, saying: “If I could turn back time, I would maybe do things different,” he said. “It was an error in udgment. I never intended for things to turn out this way. I don’t know what to say to you or anyone. . . . I admit I made errors of judgment. But I never intended to put anybody’s life at risk.”When confronted in October 2007, Rasool denied knowing the man. He confessed only when they played a recording of him agreeing to check the databases. Rasool’s supervisor says his unauthorized database was not as bad as the unauthorized access by other police officers.

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

    “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 trainig work being done by Dr. Leitner, who taught biosecurity work at George Mason University’s Center for Biodefense.

    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.

    n 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. It was not until 2007 that 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.

    In briefing before the federal district court, his defense counsel says he was considered an “anthax weapons suspect” and that Anwar Aulaqi’s involvement was central to the alleged conspiracy.

  66. DXer said

    Frances Townsend wrote an OpEd this week about the importance of information sharing and bi-partisanship, noting that fingerpointing undermines the common goal of keeping the country safe.

    No one connected the dots on terror plot

    The former homeland security adviser at the White House under President George W. Bush, previously has testified before a Senate panel that the missteps violated the cardinal rule of information sharing: If you “see it, say it.”

    “Certainly if (information) passes you, just because it’s not in your jurisdiction, your particular agency doesn’t relieve you of the fundamental law-enforcement obligation to follow it up,” Townsend said.

    Senator Collins said the absence of information sharing recalled “the siloed information” that impeded the Bush administration’s ability to anticipate the 9-11 attacks.

    Did turnover among Amerithrax investigators exacerbate the lack of cross-fertilization due to compartmentalization — by having new investigators not have the accumulated investigative knowledge? So not only did they have blinders on, but the horse had a short memory.

    Did it lead to a situation where the truth was both out of sight and out of mind.

    What role in decision-making, if any, did Frances Townsend have in Amerithrax during her tenure?

  67. DXer said

    The Nigerian underpants bomber Abdulmutallab wrote his father asking “when is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?” Ayman Zawahiri has addressed this and Aulaqi agrees.

    Mark A. Gabriel, PhD, who once taught at Al-Azhar in Egypt, addressed the question in a lucid book Journey Into The Mind Of An Islamist Terrorist. He discusses a booklet Zawahiri wrote titled COVERT OPERATIONS which is available online in Arabic.

    Zawahiri’s booklet addresses deceit on such issues as battle plans and spying, such as was involved in the infiltration of western biodefense.

    Gabriel explains:

    “Ayman al-Zawahiri leads a busy terrorist organization, and he must solve practical problems. For example, he may want some Al-Qaeda members to blend in and live in the United States. If these men wore full beards and went to ultraconservative mosques to pray, they they would arouse suspicion and get put on a watch list. Instead, al-Zawahiri would want these operatives to go undercover and blend into society. However, these devout Muslims will not go undercover unless they believe they have permission to do so from the teachings of Islam. As a result, al-Zawahiri wrote a booklet titled COVERT OPERATIONS, which goes deep into Islamic teaching and history to describe how deceit can be a tool in Muslim life.”

    Ayman’s book was posted in the Arabic language website for al-Tawheed Jihad (The Pulpit of Monotheism and Jihad). Zawahiri concluded that “hiding one’s faith and being secretive was allowed especially in time of fear from prosecution of the infidels.” Indeed, his student group in Cairo in the 1970s was known as the “shaven beards.” The founder of one of the cells merged with Ayman’s to form the Egyptian Islamic Jihad then wrote for Al-Timimi’s charity IANA.

    Al-Zawahiri discussed two specific ways Muhammad used deceit in battle: (1) keeping battle plans secret, and (2) spying. The author writes: “Al-Zawahiri specifically gave radicals permission not to pray in the mosque or attend Friday sermons if it would compromise their position.” He noted that Al-Zawahiri sealed his argument with a very important quote from Ibn Taymiyyah (who was quoted by Al-Timimi upon his his indictment).

    Ever the practical man, Muhammad approved lying in three circumstances (1) during war, (2) to reconcile between two feuding parties, and (3) to a spouse in order to please her.

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