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

* DXer … Keith Olbermann, who has strongly questioned the FBI’s “Ivins did it all” conclusion about the 2001 anthrax attacks, needs to talk more with his frequent guest Jonathan Turley about Turley’s client Al-Timimi

Posted by DXer on January 8, 2010

CASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question … Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case? Here’s an early discussion by the (fictional) DIA team investigating the FBI anthrax investigation …

“Let’s start with the assumption the Bureau is not dumb,” Sowickey began. “So that can’t be the excuse for the lamebrain way they conducted this supposedly high priority investigation. Nor can it explain the way they failed to establish links between pieces of information they clearly had. Nor why they hinted for years that Farmer was the perp and then gave him $5.8 mil to go away. There was, by the way, even less evidence implicating Dr. Farmer than there was on Dr. Ingram, which is close to nothing … after seven years.”

Click here to buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

in paperback or kindle

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Keith Olbermann needs to talk more

with his frequent guest Jonathan Turley

about Turley’s client Al-Timimi

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Below are extracts from DXer’s comment, which can be found in full appended to the post … * it’s well past time for the Congress and President Obama to insist that the FBI tell the truth about the 2001 anthrax attacks

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Before it becomes any more fashionable to bash the FBI and CIA, let’s step back and consider that the media pundits are no more astute.  They are just free to level charges that the FBI is not in a position to rebut.

Let’s take the example of Keith Olbermann’s commentary.  His influence in opposing an Ivins Theory cannot be disputed and yet he does not have time to do necessary reading or analysis.

  • Relying on an unnamed DOJ source who was a key part of the failure to successfully resolve Amerithrax, Mr. Olbermann attacked the Bush Administration for pressing the FBI for proof that the anthrax mailings were the result of a suspected sleeper cell. Andrew Card knew precisely the priorities given that the POI was his former assistant.
  • In contrast to relying on a self-interested former DOJ official who was involved in a major CYA exercise, Keith should have turned to the pertinent facts in an on-the-record interview of his frequent legal commentator, Professor Turley, who is Al-Timimi’s defense counsel and a frequent guest on both the Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann show.

Olbermann has never discussed that in a filing unsealed in United States v. Al-Timimi,  Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer, Professor and MSNBC commentator Jonathan Turley,  explained that his client “was considered an anthrax weapons suspect.”  Al-Timimi was a computational biologist who came to have an office 15 feet from the leading anthrax scientist and the former deputy commander of USAMRIID.   A motion filed in early August 2008 seeking to unseal additional information in federal district court was  denied.  The ongoing proceedings are highly classified.

Dr. Al-Timimi’s counsel summarizes … “we know Dr. Al-Timimi …

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

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from a later DXer comment …

Professor Turley appears regularly on both the Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman’s show.  His views on torture are the subject of full-length interviews and yet he is nowhere ever asked about anthrax.  If there is a mass anthrax attack on the United States, what will have been Professor Turley’s role at the level of morality?

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18 Responses to “* DXer … Keith Olbermann, who has strongly questioned the FBI’s “Ivins did it all” conclusion about the 2001 anthrax attacks, needs to talk more with his frequent guest Jonathan Turley about Turley’s client Al-Timimi”

  1. DXer said

    In thinking of the utility of the genetic investigation, isn’t it misleading to think of it in terms of narrowing 1,070 samples to 8?

    For example, if all the same employees had access to flask 1029 as to the flask ABC, flask MNO, flask XYZ etc. the same potential people had access even when flask ABC, flask MNO and flask XYZ are eliminated as the source. To that extent, the field is not narrowed.

    Here, it once had been estimated that 1,000 were known to have access. 16 labs. Perhaps a few more abroad where there no cooperation or where it had been obtained surreptitiously. That was narrowed, depending on whose estimate you rely on, to 100-300. At just a few labs rather than 16+.

    On this central issue of access, the US DOJ committed the most fundamental misdirection imaginable — with no mention at all of Building 1412 where the virulent Ames was often used and appears even to have been stored the first full year when it just sat unused in an unlocked refrigerator. They used the phrase “sole custody” as if it had practical meaning when applied to an unlocked refrigerator or a package left overnight on a desk for shipping — or that was available any time it was used from contamination.

    In terms of criminal attribution, the genetics by itself is not as useful as a wide range of other issues. If anything, it points away from the fellow who was the “go-to” guy for the strain because he would not want to use a weapon with his name on it.

    As a single example of a more probative forensic analysis, the alleged printing irregularity on the federal eagle envelope is just as probative, if not more. Yet there has been no review of the issue.

    As an aside, note that we’ve not heard anything about the failure to associate Dr. Ivins with any copy machine that produced the forensic signature. Hair, fiber, Tin Signature, Iron Signature, alibi… everything points away from Dr. Ivins, not toward him. The rest is sheer conjecture as to critical issues like motive.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, keep your eyes on the center ring for the dog and pony show and be amazed and amused while investigators point to the raking of a backyard in the dark while the POI is looking for nightcrawlers, kept copies of letters to the editor, and used screen names on the internet.

    Be wowed while they isolate a man from his friends and pressure him into being so miserable he has lost the desire to live — and then watch in amazement while a former appointee moved over from the same administration seeking to avoid embarrassment uses that suicide to create the impression that the dead man was guilty of the crime.

    Don’t bother to declassify the February 2001 PDB by the CIA to President Bush, of which Dr. Ivins knew nothing, which put all the evidence in context and point to the critical October 5 trigger for the reason to send to Senator Leahy and Daschle. This PDB — like the “Planes Operation” PDB over the summer — is critical to understanding and correctly profiling Amerithrax.

    Don’t bother to comply with FOIA. That would be too easy. There would be no millions in taxpayer money to distribute. There would be no hundreds of millions to spend in proliferating the risk further by building labs. No sole source vaccine contracts. No 10% (actually more) given to Admiral Crowe as a stake in Bioport for doing nothing. Just a little embarrassment on the part of an Administration no longer in power. Oh, and just the rule of law under the Government in Sunshine Act.

    There wasn’t really any change, was there, President Obama? At least none for the good as far as Amerithrax is concerned, was there? Wasn’t it all just hot air — such as the memos about compliance with FOIA? Memos about how FOIA should never be used to avoid political embarrassment. And you are talking about a guy who has your picture — a very large one — hanging in his living room. It took a lot for me to lose faith because of your Administration’s failure to require compliance with FOIA — rather than just write nice memos.
    Compliance with FOIA is due to the actions by men and women like Lt. Col. Laurel or John Peterson. And by a US DOJ that stands by the rule of law rather than flouts it.

    Had their been compliance with FOIA by USAMRIID, EPA and the University of Michigan and Louisiana State University, an Ivins Theory could have been flushed down the toilet many months ago.

    The entire criminal investigation and withholding of documents has been overseen by an AUSA who a federal district court judge recently found had deliberately flouted the law and mischaracterized the evidence in a grand jury hearing charges relating to the murder of 17 people. That AUSA in terms worked for years under the criminal head who intentionally leaked sensational stories whose daughter then came to represent the other “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi pro bono in a criminal prosecution for sedition. Al-Timimi was the former assistant to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and the Bush Administration did not want the fact to be a focus — lest the invasion of Iraq be understood to be the fault of the Bush Administration for allowing the infiltration.

    The state of affairs extended from 2002 to 2003 and happened again only because the FBI as part of its leak investigation never bothered to ask people in the US Attorney’s Office if they were source of the leak (according to the former US Attorney’s in his civil deposition).

    So does the fact that the DOJ was able to narrow things from 1,000 to 300 mean a hill of beans in pointing to a USAMRIID scientist? When those same scientists had access to all the samples in 1425 and 1412?

    When the DOJ gets around to triumphantly explaining that the Silicon Signature was due to a “microencapsulation process,” rather than post-production addition of an additive for the purpose of aiding floatability, will it constitute anything more than admitting to their unproductive obfuscation of the issue by their withholding of the AFIP data? (psst. Hey, Ed. Microencapsulation involves “coating.”)

    The FBI has a long history of denying attacks on the United States were terrorism in support of the Salafist-Jihadis. Amerithrax is just one more example.

    The FBI spent hundreds of millions to install a proper computer system — and then scrapped the project. Doesn’t that pretty much summarize Amerithrax?

    • DXer said

      The buck stops with President Obama on this issue of the anthrax threat.

      I know of no one better suited in terms of combining intelligence, integrity and leadership ability to address it.

      It’s time for President Obama to show his stuff and be personally accountable for the correct solution of Amerithrax.

      Not Just Hot Air — Change

  2. DXer said

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/health/12glob.html
    Anthrax: In Scotland, Six Heroin Users Die of Anthrax Poisoning

    Six heroin users in Scotland have died of anthrax poisoning, and more have fallen ill, British health authorities said last week.

    The suspected source of the anthrax is bone meal from Afghanistan,

    Comment:

    What did Sufaat and Hambali say about why Ayman Zawahiri was studying the article anthrax and bone meal? Did he at one time contemplate obtaining anthrax locally rather than from a western lab?

    Here is a 1958 commentary on the subject of anthrax and bone meal although not the one Zawahiri had obtained.
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/25385431

  3. DXer said

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2010767700_apusalqaidasuspectshooting.html

    “Prosecutors allege she was carrying a list naming the Stature of Liberty and other New York landmarks, and notes about chemical and biological weapons.”

    What did the notes say?

  4. DXer said

    The former of the NYC FBI Field Office says “stovepiping” is a formula for disaster.

    Question: When did the “stovepiping” between the two investigative squads end? Dr. Ivins’ suicide? Before? After? (There is a third compartmentalized science squad that was never privy to the investigation).

    The FBI: a counterterror success
    By JAMES KALLSTROM

    Last Updated: 3:22 AM, January 11, 2010

    Ever since 9/11, critics have suggested that the FBI isn’t up to its task as our nation’s lead counterterrorism agency. Yet, as the nation focused on the failures of the intelligence community in the Christmas Day bombing attempt over Detroit, last Friday saw two more arrests in the ongoing FBI investigation of a plot to bomb New York City first exposed by the September arrest of Najibullah Zazi. It’s easy to stand on the periphery, without the benefit of real-world experience, and render judgments with the benefit of hindsight. But counterterrorism cases are extremely complex and often require a relatively quick series of judgments, often with incomplete information. Counterterror investigations and intelligence gathering aren’t black and white, simple or easy.

    America went on a war footing against terrorism only after 9/11. Before then, our government viewed international terrorism strictly as a law-enforcement matter, giving the FBI the responsibility to address it. In that period, the FBI had significant accomplishments, including the apprehension of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers within six days, preventing attacks on New York’s most important landmarks with the arrest and conviction of the “Blind Sheik,” sending agents in 1998 to East Africa, where they quickly solved the two US embassy bombing cases without the assets normally available to investigators in America — and, in 2000, dispatching agents after the USS Cole bombing to Yemen, where they determined that al Qaeda terrorists had carried out the bombing.

    During this period, the Justice Department severely and unnecessarily restricted the FBI’s ability to share intelligence information, and Congress acted haltingly to properly resource, fund and provide the legal framework for the FBI’s counterterrorism program, including new technology required to defend the nation.

    Post-9/11, as al Qaeda and other Muslim extremist groups have demonstrated their obsession with radicalizing US Muslims, the FBI has disrupted a number of plots.

    While some claim that collecting and analyzing intelligence is a new phenomenon in the FBI culture, in fact, the FBI’s intelligence and counterintelligence mission began before World War II and predates the creation of the fabled OSS and the CIA. Indeed, the FBI has long honed the skills and techniques necessary for success in protecting against international terrorism — using informants, undercover operations and court-ordered electronic surveillance. Historically, the FBI has collected and analyzed information, whether the threat was the Soviet Union, domestic terrorist groups like the Klu Klux Klan or organized crime.

    Yet such critics as Gabriel Schoenfeld (in his Dec. 4 Post op-ed, “The FBI Bungles on Terror Again”) assert, “It’s high time to look at creating a new and separate domestic counterterrorism . . . agency along the lines of Great Britain’s MI5.” In evaluating this naive and discredited suggestion, we need to consider the following: Americans have rejected the notion of a national police force for over 200 years. The FBI was not established as a law-enforcement agency until 1933, precisely because the republic wanted to limit the authority of those whom protect our civil liberties. The FBI is designed to be as transparent as possible for the purpose of protecting the nation, as well as the rights and liberties enshrined in the Constitution. The oversight provided by Congress, the courts and others have ensured the FBI did not evolve into a secret police force operating in the “Perpetual Black.” While England’s MI-5 might be viewed as a panacea, it needs to be examined in light of the long, painful history of its operations in Northern Ireland. Moreover, MI-5 didn’t protect England from the London Subway bombings and other acts of terrorism.

    It would be difficult, if not impossible, for a myriad of state, local and federal law-enforcement officials to have effective liaison with a secret domestic police operation. A painful lesson learned from 9/11 is that the bifurcation of our intelligence and law-enforcement competencies leads to “stove piping” of information — a formula for disaster. Creating a separate secret-police organization would revive that failed model — weakening and balkanizing the law-enforcement and intelligence communities, rather than creating a united, seamless effort. While many terrorism and legal experts have weighed in, the most qualified critics are the Brits themselves. If fact, many senior British law-enforcement officials criticize the MI-5 model and prefer the FBI’s dual criminal and intelligence/terrorism roles. This isn’t to say the FBI can’t do a better job integrating these disciplines and more broadly coordinating within the larger intelligence and law enforcement communities. Yet the fact these structures don’t always perform seamlessly doesn’t suggest the current process is dysfunctional. Having devoted a considerable amount of my life in the “arena,” I am confident the dedicated men and women of the FBI will continue to perform at a very high professional level to protect this great nation, while adhering to constitutional principles and the rule of law. James Kallstrom served as assistant director of the FBI’s New York Division and director of the New York Homeland Security Agency.

  5. DXer said

    “Biological Warfare,” Popular Science, Mar. 2005
    http://books.google.com/books?q=anthrax+FBI++%22Popular+Science%22

  6. DXer said

    It used to be reasoned that the mailer would be living alone — because otherwise his wife would know. Dr. Ivins’ wife, in a private note to Dr. Ivins, stated that she knew he had nothing to do with it. That is a pretty compelling piece of evidence as to her private thoughts. Especially after the first mailing when the public was sensitive to the matter, the FBI would not have met its burden on the evidence disclosed that Dr. Ivins could have travelled without being observed.

    In terms of what has NOT yet been disclosed, there likely are contemporaneous emails from those days that both would establish his location at some particular times and would refer to how he was spending his time generally. It thus is worth noting that the most probative evidence, such as contemporaneous emails from the dates they allege processing and mailing and Lab Notebook 4010, are being withheld. Instead the affidavit in support of probable cause for a search referred only to his inability to justify his time in a 2005 interview (or at least that is their characterization). At the same time there was a FOIA for exit/entry times, there was a FOIA for emails. Why are they withholding the emails? They were processed many months ago but are being withheld. The FBI’s unsupported factual assertion of travel therefore is in the context of a refusal to provide the documents that might corroborate or contradict their assertion. If someone cannot back up their claims and refuses to provide documentary support, a logical inference is that the evidence does not support the claim.

    Alleged bomber’s wife proud

    • Anonymous scientist said

      “Why are they withholding the emails? They were processed many months ago but are being withheld. The FBI’s unsupported factual assertion of travel therefore is in the context of a refusal to provide the documents that might corroborate or contradict their assertion. If someone cannot back up their claims and refuses to provide documentary support, a logical inference is that the evidence does not support the claim.”

      I think this is a very good observation. If Ivins sent time-stamped emails on the days he supposedly drove to Princeton to mail the letters this immediately destroys the FBI’s theory. There would have to be at least 12 hour windows of zero emails sent in a distinct pattern. There would also have to be 12 hour windows of zero cell phone usage, zero credit card usage etc.

      I think it’s obvious they DON’T have this – and they know fully well that releasing emails will immediately have internet bloggers all over the emails analyzing them for gaping holes in the FBI’s theory.

      Michael Green (see below) also pointed out that the FBI failed completely to adequately describe how Ivins made the powder and Green similarly concluded that the reason the never explained it is simple – they couldn’t.

      http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/green/FBIFrameupOfIvins.html

      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.

      • DXer said

        12 hours? I think instead 7 hours. I believe it was 3 1/2 hours to Princeton. On the day first mentioned by a leak as the day of mailing it turned out he had an appointment out of the office. We should also obtain a list of any screen names he used in 2001 (and any forums) to post on the internet and look at the time of postings.

  7. DXer said

    There have been a lot of popular culture quotes picked up on warrantless NSA intercepts that are only now being processed by analysts given a lack of linguists trained in the idiom:

    1. Bruce Ivins at Red Cross trailer referring to Special Agents Jennifer Agent and Pam Lane nearby.
    “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.” — Dennis the Peasant, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    2. “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” – HAL, 2001: A Space Odyssey
    What Senator McCain said when Mr. Letterman asked why he was late for his show.

    3. “Spock. This child is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth. Now, what do you suggest we do….spank it?” — Dr. McCoy, Star Trek: The Motion Picture
    Biosecurity advisor from Princeton to Vice-President Cheney in the Fall 2001.

    4. UMinn biosecurity expert in 2000 book co-authored with NYT journalist.
    “Five card stud, nothing wild. And the sky’s the limit” — Captain Jean Luc Picard, uttering the last line of the series, Star Trek: The Next Generation “All Good Things…”

    5. Me at social gathering.
    “If you think that by threatening me you can get me to do what you want… Well, that’s where you’re right. But – and I am only saying that because I care – there’s a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.” – Chris Knight, Real Genius

    6. On Zawahiri’s suggestion that the US oppresses islamic countries.
    “We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog.” – John Winger, Stripes

    7. Bradley Garrett at his retirement party.
    “If I’m not back in five minutes, just wait longer.” – Ace Ventura, Ace ventura, Pet Detective

    8. Airline pilot on flight to Hawaii.
    “Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” – Adam West, Batman & Robin

    9.
    Scientist on latest oil-in-water emusion.
    “Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.” – Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    10. From RMS’ webpage on Amerithrax conspiracy theories.
    “Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There’s some spooky shit goin’ on there. And it’s green too.” – Slater, Dazed and Confused

    11. Referring to the undisclosed data by the Armed Force Institute of Pathology on the level of silicon in the first mailing.
    “Never argue with the data.” – Sheen, Jimmy Neutron

    12. Lew commenting on this post.
    “Oooh right, it’s actually quite a funny story once you get past all the tragic elements and the over-riding sense of doom.” – Duckman (Jason Alexander)

    13. BugMaster referring to Ed’s convictions.
    “This is the way society functions. Aren’t you a part of society?” – Kramer, Seinfeld

    14. NSA technician tracking cellphone location.
    “No matter where you go, there you are. ” – Buckaroo Banzai, Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension

    15. Advice on how to respond in an FBI interview.
    “Ray, if someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!” – Winston, Ghostbusters

    16. Advice on what not to respond in an FBI interview.
    “I guess you picked the wrong god-damned rec room to break into, didn’t you?!” -Burt, Tremors

    17. Zawahiri in 149th video message.
    “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” -Darth Vader, Star Wars

    18. National Guardsman deployed to Afghanistan
    “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side, kid.” -Han Solo, Star Wars

    19. Obama to Attorney General Holder on Amerithrax.
    “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

    20. Co-workers when told that the FBI’s theory is based on fact that USAMRIID scientist edited Wikipedia entry about sorority.
    “Goonies never say die.” -Mike, The Goonies

    21. Serge
    “Nothing shocks me–I’m a scientist.” – Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    22. Hatfill
    “Bright light! Bright light!” – Gremlins

    23. Vaccine manufacturer lobbyist.
    “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” – Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

    24. Scientist upon being criticized for publishing dual purpose research.
    “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein

    25. FBI to computer security expert at data retrieval from 10 years earlier from computer now used for kid’s games.
    “Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?” – Marty McFly, Back to the Future

    26. Ken D. to Ed.
    “Don’t call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight blob of grease!” – C3PO, Star Wars

    27. Hijacker at Maryland gym in August 2001.
    “I know kung fu.” – Neo, The Matrix

    28. Obama to Zawahiri
    “Your soul-suckin’ days are over, amigo!” – Elvis, Bubba Ho-Tep

    29. Abu Ghaith in June 2002.
    “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” J. Robert Oppenheimer

    30.Bill Patrick explaining the aerosol he had just sprayed in backyard as it wafted toward Frederick.
    “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.” – Wash, Serenity

    31. Interrogator to FBI Agent who FBI Mueller had ordered out of the room.
    “No matter what you hear in there, no matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, do not open this door or you will undo everything I have worked for.” – Young Frankenstein

    32. Salafist-Jihadist revealing his motive.
    “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” -Inigo, The Princess Bride

    33. Moussaoui’s spelling of the capital crime charged.
    “Redrum.” Danny, The Shining

    34. Battelle counterintelligence operative working on contract for CIA
    “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” – announcer, The Shadow radio drama

    35. Chemistry Professor discussing shipment with the senior Paracha.
    “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” – Chief Brody, Jaws

    36. Describing how the an aerosol attack would begin.
    “Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.” – Ian Malcolm, The Lost World: Jurassic Park

    37. Heard at conference room at the White House Situation Room in debate between Powell and Rumsfield.
    “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!” – President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove

    39. James Carville this past week at an airport security point
    “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” – Taylor, Planet of the Apes

    40. Dr. Dillon referring to the flight that exploded shortly after taking off NYC for Dominican Republic after 911.
    “You maniacs! You blew it up! Oh, damn you! Damn you all to hell!” – Taylor, Planet of the Apes

    41. Forum posters in unison to Ed.
    “We thought you was a toad!” – Delmar, O Brother Where Art Thou?

    42. Anthrax vaccine lobbyist.
    “Danger Will Robinson! Danger!” – Robbie the Robot, Lost in Space

    43. Bruce Ivins upon security review
    “You can’t fool me! There ain’t no Sanity Clause!” – Chico Marx, A Night at the Opera

    44. CIA defending rendition in Italy.
    “Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” – Harry Lime, The Third Man

    45. Dr. Hasan
    “Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.” – John McClane (in writing), Die Hard

    46. 1950s aerosol scientist releasing aerosol
    “Shall we play a game?” – Joshua, WarGames

    47. Al-Marri in September 2001
    “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.” “Hit it!” – Elwood, The Blues Brothers

  8. DXer said

    The documentary evidence that the DIA provided me under FOIA shows that Dr. Zawahiri always planned to use the cover of charities and universities to weaponize anthrax and that is precisely what he did. Bruce Ivins gave virulent Ames to a former Zawahiri associate but the media is too busy, underfunded and useless to ask and report the details.

    On August 20, 2001, Saleh Hussayen, who would soon be appointed minister of the Saudi government and put in charge of its two holy mosques, arrived in the United States to meet with some of this country’s most influential fundamentalist Sunni Muslim leaders. He met with officials of the Global Relief Foundation. He also met with IANA representatives in Ann Arbor, Michigan according to court testimony by an FBI agent in the unsuccessful prosecution in Idaho of his nephew Sami Hussayen. IANA promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. On the night before September 11, Hussayen stayed at a Herndon, Virginia hotel where three of the Saudi hijackers stayed.

    As a Detroit Free Press headline explained in 2004, “Unproven weapons claim led to Islamic charity raid in [mid-December] ‘01.” Global Relief Founder (”GRF”) co-founder Rabih Haddad was associated with Bin Laden’s Makhtab al-Khidamat, which was headed by Mohammed Islambouli in Peshawar. The government froze the assets of the Global Relief Foundation (“GRF”) on December 14, 2001, saying it was a financial conduit to terrorists. The 911’s Terrorist Financing Monograph notes that GRF’s newsletter, “Al-Thilal” (“The Shadow”) openly advocated a militant interpretation of Islam and armed jihad. The 911 Commission reports that the FBI suspected the Executive Director of being affiliated with the blind sheik’s Egyptian Islamic Group. The 911 Commission explains: “In early 2000, Chicago informed Detroit that GRF’s executive director, Chehade, had been calling two Michigan residents. One of these subjects was considered GRF’s spiritual leader and the other, Rabih Haddad, was a major GRF fund-raiser.”

    Its Chairman, Ann Arbor, Michigan community leader Rabih Haddad, was arrested in mid-December 2001 for overstaying his visa. Haddad taught twice a week at an Ann Arbor school and was an assistant to the leader at Ann Arbor’s mosque. He was an imam there. Rabih Haddad was an effective fundraiser for the mosques in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and for the Ann Arbor chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). As part of DARPA-funded research, Dr. Bruce Ivins of USAMRIID supplied virulent Ames to Ann Arbor researchers whose office by September 2001 was 2 minutes –1 mile — from the mosque where Mr. Haddad was an imam.

    The New York Times reported that “Prosecutors said they were keeping some evidence secret to protect terrorism investigations.” Haddad’s lawyer arranged the pro bono representation for the Virginia Paintball defendants, including Al-Timimi.

    It was KSM’s assistant, al-Hawsawi, who had the anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop. Al-Hawsawi was working with Al-Baluchi to get the 911 hijackers into the country. Al-Baluchi would marry MIT-graduate Aafia Siddiqui who told her defense psychiatrist that she had been tasked to study germ weapons under a fatwa. In an earlier prosecution, an Assistant United States Attorney asserted in passing in open court, without naming her, that Aafia was willing to participate in an anthrax attack if asked. She had been tasked by “Abu Lubaba” to study germ warfare. Aafia Siddiqui is associated with Ann Arbor addresses near the mosque where her brother and sister-in-law, an MD, lived.

    Global Relief Foundation (“GRF”) and Benevolence International Foundation (”BIF”) attorneys in unison explained that the US had supported Makthab al-Khidamat in Afghanistan in the 1980s and Bosnia in the 1990s. (BIF head Arnaout, a Syrian, was at the meeting at which Al Qaeda was founded.) Investigation of the two charities was well underway prior to 9/11, although plagued by lengthy unnecessary delays emanating from headquarters. The 9/11 Commission Report notes that on April 21, 1999, upon weekly dumpster diving, FBI “agents had recovered from BIF’s trash a newspaper article on bioterrorism, in which someone had highlighted sections relating to the United States’ lack of preparedness for a biological attack.” (Many articles that year quoted famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek who was at George Mason University in Falls Church, Virginia.)

    The FBI had a better relationship with the CIA in the investigation of BIF than with GRF. The 9/11 Commission noted that “[t]he Chicago agents believed the CIA wanted to shield certain information from the FBI because of fears of revealing sources and methods in any potential criminal litigation in the United States.” Chicago agents benefited from the New York Office files on the two charities but the New York FBI office personnel were overwhelmed and working their own leads. The Illinois-based investigations remained an intelligence gathering exercise with no thought given to a criminal prosecution to disrupt the financing of Al Qaeda until after 9/11.

    In mid-October 2001, Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones of Louisiana State University told an NPR reporter that an insider could have taken some anthrax from a lab. He didn’t want to be interviewed on tape. ‘If I were to guess,’ he says, ‘it was probably some summer intern talking to a friend in a local bar. The friend said, “Could you get me some?”‘ Hugh-Jones says various protest groups have been scouting for anthrax for years.

    In January 2003, the Chairman of Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America, which promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks, was arrested for bouncing a $6,000 check. Dr. Bassem Khafagi operated International Media Group out of his home. Before 911, according to the counsel for Falls Church scientist Ali Al-Timimi, Ann Arbor resident Khafagi was asked about Al-Timimi “purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden — [redacted]” Khafagi was a good friend of microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi and his personal papers were later found in Al-Timimi’s residence.

    In 1999 and in repeated references in patents and literature over the next decade, Cairo Medical PhD (1994) Dr. Tarek Hamouda at NanoBio in Ann Arbor thanked Bruce Ivins for supplying virulent Ames. He thanked Louisiana State University researchers for making space available for the research. The LSU researchers had provided four characterized strains while Bruce Ivins had provided the virulent Ames. Dr. Hugh-Jones said. that after the anthrax mailings, “We’ve had subpoenas left, right and center. We were inspected twice by the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. Hugh-Jones told a reporter. “The FBI is frequently calling in. We’re cooperating closely.” “It very quickly became clear that we have good control over it, and it didn’t come from here,” Martin Hugh-Jones said. “We handle a lot of deadly items very frequently as a matter of routine.”

    The Ann Arbor researchers in December 1999 went to Dugway, a military installation in the remote Utah desert to demonstrate the effectiveness of their biocidal cream on an aerosolized anthrax surrogate.

    In late August 2001, NanoBio moved in to its new offices from less impressive digs in the basement of a bank. Bruce Ivins had first supplied its University of Michigan researchers Ames strain a couple years earlier for DARPA-funded biodefense research.

    But Mr. Olbermann is too busy with the many myriad and complicated issues facing the nation to call Dr. Hamouda and ask when and where the research supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins was done.

    That needs to be left to someone else. But if not Keith, who? Ezra Cornell?

    And why is the brilliant, articulate and beautiful Rachel Maddow so uncharacteristically silent about Amerithrax? She should interview Professor Turley on the record about his views of Amerithrax.

    • DXer said

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

      A handwritten letter from 1999 is written on letterhead of the oldest microbiology society in Great Britain. The 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces by Rauf describe the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; a conference he attended on dangerous pathogens cosponsored by UK’s Porton Down and Society for Applied Microbiology, and the need for vaccination and containment. Rauf had arranged to take a lengthy post-doc leave from his employer and was grousing to Zawahiri that what the employer would be paying during that 12-month period was inadequate. Malaysian Yazid Sufaat, who told his wife he was working for a Taliban medical brigade, got the job instead of Rauf.

      One typed memo reporting on a lab visit, which included tour of a BioLevel 3 facility, where there were 1000s of pathogenic samples. The memo mentioned the pending paperwork relating to export of the pathogens. The documents were provided to me by the Defense Intelligence Agency (”DIA”) under the Freedom of Information Act.

      An earlier handwritten letter from Rauf Ahmad to Dr. Zawahiri from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The handwritten letter was reporting on a different, earlier visit where the anthrax had been nonpathogenic. Finally, there are handwritten notes about the plan to use non-governmental-organizations (NGOs), technical institutes and medical labs as cover for aspects of the work, and training requirements for the various personnel at the lab in Afghanistan. Ayman codenamed his project to weaponize anthrax Zabadi or “Curdled Milk.”

      Taliban supporter Al-Timimi was a graduate student in the same building where famed Russian bioweapon Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey worked at George Mason University. The three worked at the secure facility at Discovery Hall at the Prince William 2 campus. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey headed a biodefense program funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”). Al-Timimi had a top security clearance and had worked for SRA International doing mathematical support work for the Navy. In 2000 and 2001, Timimi was a graduate student in computational sciences. His field was bioinformatics.

      Al-Timimi tended to travel to give speeches on interpretation of the koran during semester breaks. Al-Timimi spoke in very moderate, measured tones in the UK, Canada, and Australia — once even in China. He spoke against feminism, about the unfavorable treatment of islam in the secular media, about signs of the coming day of judgment, the correct interpretation of the koran and hadiths, and the destruction of the Buddha statues by the Taliban. Locally, he spoke regularly at the Falls Church center that also housed offices of the charity, the Muslim World League. Ali’s colleague from the small DC-based Society for Adherence to the Sunnah, Idris Palmer, served as Vice-President. Al-Timimi’s speeches are widely distributed on the internet and tend to focus on religious rather than political issues.

      A district court judge would say that Al-Timimi’s later speeches tended to favor violent jihad. After 9/11, they allegedly were removed from the website of the Center he had founded (I’ve never seen them and cannot confirm they exist; blogger Umar Lee disputes that there are such speeches and challenges the reader to point to one). The night of 9/11, Al-Timimi got in a heated debate with some colleagues. He said while islamically impermissible, the targeting of civilians was not impermissible where they were used as a shield. Others thought that it was reckless to say that so soon after the 9/11 attack when emotions were so inflamed.

      Years earlier, the blind sheik’s son, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was scheduled to come from Afghanistan to speak at the IANA 1993 conference alongside Ali Al-Timimi and former EIJ member Gamal Sultan. Al-Timimi was scheduled to speak alongside the blind sheik’s son again in 1996, the year Bin Laden issued his Declaration of War against the United States. In July and August 2001, Ali was scheduled to speak in Toronto and London alongside “911 imam” Anwar Awlaki and unindicted WTC 1993 “unindicted co-conspirator” Bilal Philips.

      Connect the dots yourself — why waste your breath issuing the usual oped or rabid broadcast after an event or attempted event of some stranger’s failure to connect the dots. It’s what personal accountability is all about. I don’t have the time, you say. You don’t have time when what is at stake is an aerosolized attack on NYC and DC? Make the time.

      • DXer said

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      • DXer said

        Jonathan Turley on Rachel Maddow: “Obama is obstructing justice”

        • DXer said

          Professor Turley appears regularly on both the Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman’s show. His views on torture are the subject of full-length interviews and yet he is nowhere ever asked about anthrax. If there is a mass anthrax attack on the United States, what will have been Professor Turley’s role at the level of morality?

          The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy would not support Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey because Mukasey hadn’t taken a firm enough stand against torture. Leahy said: “No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is torture.” Separately, Patrick Leahy at last report is very dissatisfied with the briefing the former US Attorney General Gonzales had promised to give him on why he had been sent mailed anthrax. He repeatedly criticized Gonzales for allowing waterboarding. Judge Mukasey was in a difficult spot through no fault of his own. Senator Leahy, one of my favorite Senators, was targeted in Fall 2001 precisely because of this issue of torture. The folks connected to the WTC 1993 prosecution overseen by Judge Mukasey were responsible. History will Judge Mukasey’s tenure as Attorney General by whether he understands the correct analysis of Amerithrax.

          After the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Cairo attorney Montasser al-Zayat first met blind sheik Abdel-Rahman after Montasser had been tortured for 12 hours. He was near a mental breakdown. Abdel-Rahman came over to where he was huddled in a corner of a cell, bent over and whispered: “Rely on God; don’t be defeated.” Mohammed had spoken the words in the Koran. Al- Zayat would become one of Sheik Omar’s most trusted legal advisers and a lawyer on the defense team of El Sayyid Nosair. Nosair was the Egyptian who served as Abdel-Rahman’s bodyguard and was tried in New York in 1990 for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane. In March 1999, attorney al-Zayat was representing defendants in a massive prosecution of jihadists in Cairo. He told the press that Ayman Zawahiri would use weaponized anthrax against US targets because of the continued extradition pressure and torture faced by Egyptian Islamic Jihad members. Two senior EIJ leaders then on trial were saying the same thing to the press and in confessions.

          US Postal employee Sattar, who had been the blind sheik’s spokesman after his 1993 arrest, in a 1999 Frontline interview spoke of the role of appropriations and torture in fueling the islamist rage:

          “this is the same old story happening again, and again, and again. American government don’t get it. The American government [is] deceiving the American people. They’re not telling them what’s really going on. You can kill Osama bin Laden today or tomorrow. You can arrest him and put him on trial in New York or in Washington.”

          “Tomorrow you will get somebody else, his name probably will be different, Abdullah, or Muhammad. It’s not going to end. Until you, take a hard, and a good look at your policies in the Islamic world and the Muslim world, as long as you’re supporting dictators like Mubarak as long as you are giving aid to regimes that [are worse] to their people than Saddam Hussein, things will get ugly, and you cannot control the emotion of people when you are tortured in Egyptian prison by an American trained Egyptian officer. He is torturing you, and he is bragging that he was in the United States getting his training, when the equipment that he is using is American made.”

          The founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad Kamal Habib (who wrote for the quarterly magazine of the US charity Islamic Assembly of North America) told scholar Fawaz Gerges:

          “The prison years also radicalized al-shabab [young men] and set them on another violent journey. The torture left deep physical and psychological scars on jihadists and fueled their thirst for vengeance. Look at my hands — still spotted with the scars from cigarette burns nineteen years later. For days on end we were brutalized — our faces bloodied, our bodies broken with electrical shocks and other devices. The torturers aimed at breaking our souls and brainwashing us. They wanted to humiliate us and force us to betray the closest members of our cells.

          I spent sleepless nights listening to the screams of young men echoing from torture chambers. A degrading, dehumanizing experience. I cannot convey to you the rage felt by al-shabab who were tortured after Sadat’s assassination.”

          While Kamal Habib wrote for the jihad-supporting Assirat, Al-Timimi was on the Board of Advisers.

          In a videotape that circulated in the summer of 2001, Zawahiri said “In Egypt they put a lot of people in jails — some sentenced to be hanged. And in the Egyptian jails, there is a lot of killing and torture. All this happens under the supervision of America. America has a CIA station as well as an FBI office and a huge embassy in Egypt, and it closely follows what happens in that country. Therefore, America is responsible for everything that happens.”

          An August 29, 2001 opinion column on Islamway, the second most read site for english speaking muslims, illustrates that the role of “Leahy Law” was known by educated islamists:

          “There is an intolerable contradiction between America’s professed policy of opposition to state-sponsored terrorism, exemplified by the Leahy Law, and the U.S. Congress’ continuing sponsorship of Israeli violence against Palestinians.” The article cited “References: CIFP 2001. “Limitations on Assistance to Security Forces: ‘The Leahy Law’” 4/9/01 (Washington, DC: Center for International Foreign Policy) Center for International Foreign Policy Accessed 8/28/01.Hocksteader, Lee 2001.

          The next day, in the same publication, there was an article describing the 21-page document released in Ottawa on August 29, 2001, in which the CSIS claimed that Canadian detainee Jaballah had contacts with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Shehata and sought to deport Jaballah. Shehata was in charge of EIJ’s Civilian Branch and in charge of “special operations.”The nominal President of the Syracuse-based Help the Needy IANA spin-off was moderator of islamway for women. It would be seven more years — not until February 2008 — before the Canadian government for the first time revealed that after coming to Canada in 1996, Jaballah would contact Ayman regularly on Ayman’s Inmarsat satellite phone.

          “They [Senators Daschle and Leahy] represent something to him,” says James Fitzgerald of the FBI Academy’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. “Whatever agenda he’s operating under, these people meant something to him.” To more fully appreciate why Leahy — a human rights advocate and liberal democrat — might have been targeted as a symbol, it is important to know that Senator Leahy has been the head of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, the panel in charge of aid to Egypt and Israel. In addition to the Senate majority leader, anthrax was mailed to the position symbolic of the 50 billion in appropriations that has been given to Israel since 1947 (and the equally substantial $2 billion annually in aid that has been keeping Mubarak in power in Egypt and the militant islamists out of power).

          Within a couple weeks after September 11, a report in the Washington Post and then throughout the muslim world explained that the President sought a waiver that would allow military assistance to once-shunned nations. The militant islamists who had already been reeling from the extradition of 70 “brothers”, would now be facing much more of the same. President Bush asked Congress for authority to waive all existing restrictions on U.S. military assistance and exports for the next five years to any country where the aid would help the fight against international terrorism. The waiver would include those nations who were currently unable to receive U.S. military aid because of their sponsorship of terrorism (such as Syria and Iran) or because of their nuclear weapons programs (such as Pakistan).

          In late September 2001, the Washington Post quoted Leahy: “We all want to be helpful, and I will listen to what they have in mind.” The article noted that he was chairman of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, which were considering the legislation. “But we also want to be convinced that what is being proposed is sound, measured and necessary and not merely impulsive,” said Leahy. “Moral leadership in defense of democracy and human rights is vital to what we stand for in the world. Acts of terrorism are violations of human rights. Now is the time to show what sets us apart from those who attack us,” he said.

          The options being considered in response to the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington included potential cooperation with virtually every Middle Eastern and South and Central Asian nation near Afghanistan. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” would be the only test for foreign aid. The “Leahy Law” plays a key role in the secret “rendering” of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Al Qaeda) operatives to countries like Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Algeria where they are allegedly tortured. Richard Clarke, counterterrorism czar during the Clinton Administration, has quoted Vice-President Gore saying: “Of course it’s a violation of international law, that’s why it’s a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.” Although humanitarian in its intent, the Leahy Law permits continued appropriations to military and security units who conduct torture in the event of “extraordinary circumstances.”

          In an interview broadcast on al-Jazeera television on October 7, 2001 (October 6 in the US) — about when the second letter saying “Death to America’” and “Death to Israel” was mailed — Ayman Zawahiri echoed a familiar refrain sounded by Bin Laden: “O people of the U.S., can you ask yourselves a question: Why all this enmity for the United States and Israel? *** Your government supports the corrupt governments in our countries.”

          A month after 9/11, late at night, a charter flight from Cairo touched down at the Baku airport. An Egyptian, arrested by the Azerbaijan authorities on suspicions of having played a part in the September 11 attack, was brought on board. His name was kept secret. That same night the plane set off in the opposite direction. Much of the Amerithrax story has happened at night with no witnesses, with the rendering of University of Karachi microbiology student Saeed Mohammed merely one example. Zawahiri claims that there is a US intelligence bureau inside the headquarters of the Egyptian State Security Investigation Department that receives daily reports on the number of detainees and those detainees who are released. At the time Ayman Zawahiri was getting his biological weapons program in full swing, his own brother Mohammed was picked up in the United Arab Emirates. He was secretly rendered to Egyptian security forces and sentenced to death rendered in the 1999 Albanian returnees case.

          Throughout 2001, the Egyptian islamists were wracked by extraditions and renditions. CIA Director Tenet once publicly testified that there had been 70 renditions prior to 9/11. At the same time a Canadian judge was finding that Mahmoud Mahjoub was a member of the Vanguards of Conquest and would be denied bail, Bosnian authorities announced on October 6, 2001 they had handed over three Egyptians to Cairo who had been arrested in July. In Uruguay, a court authorized the extradition to Egypt of a man wanted in Egypt for his alleged role in the 1997 Luxor attack. Ahmed Agiza, the leader of the Vanguards of Conquest (which can be viewed as an offshoot of Jihad), was handed over by Sweden in December 2001.

          One islamist, a Hamas supporter, summarized why the anthrax was sent in an ode “To Anthrax” on November 1, 2001: “O, anthrax, despite, your wretchedness, you have sewn horror in the heart of the lady of arrogance, of tyranny, of boastfulness!” In an interview that appeared in the Pakistani paper, Dawn, on November 10, 2001, Bin Laden explained that “The American Congress endorses all government measures, and this proves that [all of] America is responsible for the atrocities perpetrated against Muslims.”

          At a December 2002 conference held by “Accuracy in Media,” former State Department analyst Kenneth Dillon noted that Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), the key component of al Qaeda under Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, head of al Qaeda’s biowarfare program, likely targeted Senator Leahy because of his role as head of a panel of the Senate Appropriations Committee that had developed the so-called “Leahy Law” in 1998. Dillon explained, “According to the wording of the Leahy Law, the U.S. Government was authorized to ‘render’ suspected foreign nationals to the government of a foreign country, even when there was a possibility that they would be tortured, in ‘exceptional circumstances.’ When the Leahy Law was applied to send EIJ members captured in the Balkans back to Egypt, Zawahiri fiercely denounced the United States. So Leahy was a high-priority target.”

          That aid goes to the core of Al Qaeda’s complaint against the United States. (The portion going to Egypt and Israel constituted, by far, the largest portion of US foreign aid, and most of that is for military and security purposes.) Pakistan is a grudging ally in the “war against terrorism” largely due to the US Aid it now receives in exchange for that cooperation. The press in Pakistan newspapers regularly reported on protests arguing that FBI’s reported 12 agents in Pakistan in 2002 were an affront to its sovereignty. There was a tall man, an Urdu-speaking man, and a woman — all chain-smokers — who along with their colleagues were doing very important work in an unsupportive, even hostile, environment. The US agents — whether CIA or FBI or US Army — caused quite a stir in Pakistan along with the Pakistani security and intelligence officials who accompanied them. In mid-March 2003, Washington waived sanctions imposed in 1999 paving the way for release in economic aid to Pakistan. Billions more would be sent to Egypt, Israel and other countries involved in the “war against terrorism.”

          The commentators who suggest that Al Qaeda would have had no motivation to send weaponized anthrax to Senators Daschle and Leahy as symbolic targets — because they are liberal — are mistaken. The main goal of Dr. Zawahiri is to topple President Mubarak. He views the US aid as the chief obstacle and is indifferent to this country’s labels of conservative and liberal.

          Zawahiri likely was surprised that the plainly worded message of the letters accompanying the anthrax was not deemed clear. Perhaps the talking heads would not have been so quick to infer an opposite meaning if no message had been expressed using words at all. Perhaps the public the sender had relied only on what KSM describes as the language of war — the death delivered by the letters — the pundits would not have been so misdirected. But why was Al Qaeda evasive on the question of responsibility for the anthrax mailings, dismissing the issue with a snicker, and falsely claiming that Al Qaeda did not know anything about anthrax? Simple. Bin Laden denied responsibility for 9/11 until it was beyond reasonable dispute. On September 16, 2001, he said: “The US is pointing the finger at me but I categorically state that I have not done this. I am residing in Afghanistan. I have taken an oath of allegiance (to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar) which does not allow me to do such things from Afghanistan.” Before that, Ayman had denied the 1998 embassy bombings too. On August 20, 1998, coincidentally on the day of strikes on camps in Afghanistan and Sudan, Ayman al-Zawahiri contacted The News, a Pakistani English-language daily, and said on behalf of Bin Laden that “Bin Laden calls on Moslem Ummah to continue Jihad against Jews and Americans to liberate their holy places. In the meanwhile, he denies any involvement in the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings.” To Ayman, “war is deception.”

          The targeted Senators have another connection pertinent to the Egyptian militants. The United States and other countries exchange evidence for counterterrorism cases under the legal framework of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (”MLAT”). Egypt is signatory of such a treaty that was ratified by the United States Senate in late 2000. For example, when the Fall 2001 rendition of Vanguards of Conquest leader Agizah was criticized, the US explained that it was relying on the MLAT. In the prosecution of Post Office worker Ahmed Abdel Sattar, the MLAT was described. Sattar’s attorney Michael Tigar, at trial in December 2004 explained: “Now, that might be classified, it’s true, but we have now found out and our research has just revealed that on, that the State Department has reported that it intends to use and relies on the mutual legal assistance treaty between the United States and Egypt signed May 3, 1998, in Cairo, and finally ratified by the United States Senate on October 18th, 2000. The State Department issued a press report about this treaty on November 29th, 2001 and I have a copy here.” He explained that “Article IV of the treaty provides that requests under the treaty can be made orally as well as under the formal written procedures required by the treaty, that those requests can include requests for testimony, documents, and even for the transfer to the United States if the treaty conditions are met.”

          Vanguards of Conquest spokesman Al-Sirri was a co-defendant in the case against post office worker Sattar. In the late 1990s Sattar and he often spoke in conversations intercepted by the FBI. Al-Sirri’s fellow EIJ cell members in London were subject to process under those treaties at the time of the anthrax mailings. Those London cell members had been responsible for the faxing of the claim of responsibility which stated the motive for the 1998 embassy bombings. A group calling itself the “Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places” took credit for the bombings listing as among their demands “the release of the Muslims detained in the United State[s] first and foremost Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (the spiritual guide of the Gama’a Islamiya) who is jailed in the United States.” As reason for the bombings, in addition to the rendition recent EIJ members to Cairo and the detention of Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman, the faxes pointed to the detention of dissident Saudi Sheik al-Hawali . Al-Hawali was the mentor of GMU microbiology student Al-Timimi who spoke in London in August 2001 alongside 911 Imam Awlaki (also from Falls Church) and unindicted WTC 1993 conspirator Bilal Philips. Al-Timimi was in contact with Saudi sheik Al-Hawali in 2002 and arranged to hand deliver a message to all members of Congress he had drafted in al-Hawali’s name on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailings to Senator Leahy and Daschle.

          Michael Scheuer the former chief, Bin Laden Unit, eruditely defended the extraordinary rendition program he had launched at the request of President Clinton and his advisors before Congress in April 2007. There’s always been a huge irony in Michael Scheuer’s emphasis on how OBL is attacking the US for its policies without publicly acknowledging the importance of the rendition policy is to those planning the attacks. For the purpose of true crime analysis, it’s not rendition as a policy or human rights issue — or even a tactical issue — that is the question presented. It is walking in the shoes of your adversary (as expert Scheuer urged us to do in his 2002 book). The key is seeing things in terms of what motivates them to act. Sometimes it’s the only way to catch the bad guys — so that you then have the luxury of deciding how well you are going to treat them.

          The Amerithrax Task Force imagines that Ft. Detrick anthrax researcher Bruce Ivins targeted Leahy and Daschle because they were Catholics who voted pro-choice in opposition to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. The affidavit regarding Dr. Ivins further explains:

          “On September 26, 2001, in an email to a friend, Dr. Ivins writes: “The news media has been saying that some members of Congress and members of the ACLU oppose many of the Justice Department proposals for combating terrorism, saying that they are unconstitutional and infringe too much on civil liberties. Many people don’t know it but the official ACLU position to oppose all metal detectors in airports and schools and other public buildings. It’s interesting that we may now be living in a time when our biggest threat to civil liberties and freedom doesn’t come from the government but from enemies of the government. Osama Bin Laden has just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans, but I guess that doesn’t mean a lot to the ACLU. Maybe I should move to Canada…”

          The Task Force’s analysis is not sound.

    • DXer said

      Countdown: Jonathan Turley on Potential Torture Prosecutions and Proof Torture Didn’t Work

  9. DXer said

    Biographer Draper in Dead Certain reports that on October 4, 2001, Bush teared up during a speech at the State Department thanking them for their hard work after 9/11. Back at the White House, Bush motioned Fleischer into the Oval Office. “A Boca Raton tabloid editor had checked into a Florida hospital yesterday, Bush told Fleischer. Anthrax. The veil of resoluteness fell away from the president. His shoulders were hunched. Fleischer had never seen him more upset. Neither man said a word — neither had to: This was it, the second wave.”

    Then, immediately after the October 5 denial of bail of the Vanguards of Conquest #2, someone mailed, on or about October 6, 2001, very fine powdered anthrax to US Senators Leahy and Daschle. An infant visiting ABC was one of the first affected, which should have been prohibited (haram) in anyone’s book. Five people died, including an elderly woman and a hospital worker. Dr. Kenneth Alibek on October 19, 2001 told CBS News’ “48 Hours” that he thought the mailings were connected in some way to the September 11th attacks and the people who planned them. He said, “In my opinion, what we see now is the second wave.”

    The August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (”PDB”) to the President Bush explained that Bin Laden planned to hijack some aircraft as part of an effort to free the blind sheik. A little noticed December 1998 PDB to the same effect to President Clinton, however — declassified and included in the 911 Commission Report — reported that the aircraft and attacks were being planned by the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Mohammed Islambouli. Islambouli was in a cell with Khalid Mohammed (”KSM”), who by November 2001 had come to lead the cell planning anthrax attacks in the United States. The anthrax was sent on the date of Sadat’s assassination and the date the Camp David Accords were approved. Sadat’s peace with Israel was a key reason the militants killed Sadat.

    ‘I think the seminal event of the Bush administration was the anthrax attacks,’ someone close to the president told Jacob Weisberg, the editor-in-chief of the online daily
    magazine, Slate. ‘It was the thing that changed everything. It was the hard stare into the abyss.’”

    “Dick Cheney was the strongest advocate of the possibility of attack and the need to prepare for it.” After 9/11, the Secret Service began monitoring the air inside and outside the White House — the chimneys of bio-detectors were visible from the front lawn. Cheney reportedly began traveling with a biohazard protective suit. At some point, fifty members of the mail-handling staff in the executive office buildings were taking Cipro.

    “The anthrax spores in the letter to Daschle were so professionally refined, the Central Intelligence Agency believed the powder must have been sent by an experienced terrorist organization, most probably Al Qaeda, as a sequel to the group’s September 11 attacks.

    During a [October 17] meeting of the White House’s National Security Council that day, Cheney, who was sitting in for the President because Bush was traveling abroad, urged everyone to keep this inflammatory speculation secret.**

    Cheney in particular was so stricken by the potential for attack that he insisted that the rest of the National Security Council undergo a gruesome briefing on it on September 20, 2001. When the White House sensor registered the presence of such poisons less than a month later, many, including Cheney, believed a nightmare was unfolding. “It was really a nerve-jangling time,” the former official said.

    In time, the Situation Room alarm turned out to be false. But on October 22, the Secret Service reported it had what it believed to be additional traces on an automated letter-opening device used on White House mail.”

    “By August [2003], Hambali had been captured, and had reportedly gave information leading to the revelation that Al Qaeda had been in the process of producing high-grade anthrax….”

    In any case, it predictably triggered renewed fears in the White House, where Bush and Cheney hammered the Agency for more details and chastised the FBI for doing too little to root out domestic sleeper cells.”

    Jacob Weisberg in the 2008 The Bush Tragedy writes. “Inside the administration, the October bioterror attacks had a greater impact than is generally appreciated — and in many ways greater than 9/11. Without the anthrax attacks, Bush probably would not have invaded Iraq.” He explains: “The anthrax attacks in New York and Washington created a sense of vulnerability that was in many respects greater than the mass murder at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. As horrific as September 11 was, it was a discrete crime, whose perpetrators were quickly identified and pursued. The anthrax letters, by contrast, killed only a few people, but remained unsolved.”

    The investigation was led by the Assistant United States Attorney who recently was found to have deliberated mischaracterized the evidence before a grand jury and then implausibly defended his actions in a court hearing.

    Isn’t this concept of “personal accountability” just nice PR?

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.blurb.com/books/1114765

    • DXer said

      Michael Hayes, a lab tech at the University of Michigan, reported on killing virulent Ames supplied by Dr. Ivins in a petri dish. I spoke to him today on the telephone today hoping to obtain a copy of the ICAAC presentation but he said “You don’t want to talk to me and I don’t want to talk to you.” But I did want to talk to him which is why I called. I wanted to ask for a copy of the ICAAC presentation and, relatedly, to ask where the petri dish research he described — the research which used the virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins.

      Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett told the panel assembled by the National Academies of Sciences in July 2009 that she began her work to find a match began in late 2001 — a successful method was not completed until 2007, when agents report that they began to seriously investigate Ivins. “I was hopeful that perhaps genomics would provide sufficient amount of information to be able to track the material to its source, but I then, and have always, asserted that in no way did I ever believe that this kind of genomics-based investigation was ever going to lead to the perpetrator,” Fraser-Liggett said. “That was going to require much more traditional police investigation.”

      Fraser-Liggett, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences and an adviser to the FBI on Amerithrax, asked, “What would have happened in this investigation had Dr. Hatfill not been so forceful in his response to being named a person of interest. What if he, instead of fighting back, had committed suicide because of the pressure? Would that have been the end of the investigation?” It was Fraser-Liggett’s genetic analysis of the anthrax spores in the letters that led to Ivins’ flask, and the other 7 isolates with the same genetic profile. “The part that seems still hotly debated is whether there was sufficient evidence to name Dr. Ivins as the perpetrator,” Fraser-Liggett says. “I have complete confidence in the accuracy of our data,” Fraser-Liggett says, but she says it does not indicate Ivins is guilty.

      Similarly, asked if he thinks Ivins was the anthrax letters terrorist the FBI’s genetics expert Paul Keim says he just doesn’t know. “It remains to be seen.”

      In October 2001, LSU and University of Michigan were subpoenaed. A DARPA Program Manager at the time privately told a friend of mine that they knew where the attack Ames came from and even the machine used to make it. LSU and University of Michigan were subpoenaed out of the gate. According to Richard Hidalgo, assistant to the dean of the school of veterinary medicine at LSU, the DOJ asked the school to provide by Oct. 23 a log of all visitors and employees at the Hugh-Jones Special Pathogens Lab since Jan. 1, 2000, including their Social Security numbers and dates of birth. The subpoena also asked for information on shipments of pathogens to and from the lab. “Besides Dr. Hugh-Jones and his lab director, only three others have been in the lab” during the time in question, Hidalgo said. “I’ve never been there myself.” Why did the FBI limit the October 2001 subpoena of LSU Special Pathogens Lab to visitors after January 1, 2000. Wasn’t the DARPA research involving virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins prior to that?

      Newsday reported:

      “A subpoena also was delivered to the University of Michigan, according to a source who asked not to be identified. “All research institutions are being contacted by the FBI and asked for information,” the source said. “They were seeking personnel records for those who may be working with select agents.” …”LSU’s Hidalgo said the FBI appears to be looking for any breach in the strict handling procedures for anthrax and other select agents. It could not be determined yesterday how many institutions have received subpoenas. In some cases, the FBI has made investigative inquiries without court orders.”

      Alibek says Russia had Ames. Porton Down reportedly provided it to four unnamed researchers. American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”) has written me to say that as a matter of policy, they will not address whether their patent repository (as distinguished from their online catalog) had virulent Ames prior to 9/11. Although ATCC did not take the opportunity to deny it, one can infer from the FBI’s affidavit in connection the search of Ivins’ residence that no lab in Virginia is known by the FBI to have had virulent Ames. Thus, FBI, in its “Ivins Theory,” was working on the understanding that ATCC did not have Ames in its patent repository.

      Ari Fleischer explained: “What you have to keep in mind is the difference between knowledge about what type of information you have to have to produce it, and who could have sent it. They are totally separate topics that could involve totally separate people. It could be the same person or people. It could be totally different people. The information does not apply to who sent it.” Ken Alibek, the former head of the Soviet bio-weapons program suggests that ‘If I were a terrorist, I would certainly not use a strain known to be from my country.'” To the same effect, Bruce Ivins would not have used the strain — a special mixture of the US Army strain — for which he was the “go-to” person.

      The Washington Post explained in a late October 2008 article: “While some FBI scientists were analyzing genetic mutations, others were scouring the planet for repositories of Ames-strain bacteria. To their surprise, Ames turned out to be quite rare, with only 15 U.S. institutions and three foreign ones possessing live, virulent Ames. Samples of Ames were collected and added to a repository the FBI had established at Fort Detrick. In a process that ended only in late 2006, bureau scientists picked up 1,072 samples of anthrax bacteria and tested each for mutations identical to the ones in the bioterrorist’s letters.”

      “Back at the bureau’s Washington field office, agents were reconstructing the history of RMR-1029. A giant flow chart, covering most of a wall, recorded each discovery about the origins of the spores and what Ivins did with them. But the agents wondered: Could others, besides Ivins, have gotten access to the flask of spores?” The Post article continues: “The question drives much of the skepticism about the FBI’s case.”

      At a news conference in August, bureau officials estimated that as many as 100 people potentially had access to the biocontainment lab where Ivins kept his collections. Investigators have maintained that other possible suspects were ruled out, but they have never explained how. It is one of the gaps that independent experts and lawmakers have raised since Ivins’s death.” Journalist Joby Warrick writes: “In interviews, FBI officials said the list of 100 names included USAMRIID scientists as well as anyone with even a tenuous connection to Ivins’s lab, such as visitors or janitors. Each person was investigated, though most could not have gotten to the spores under any reasonable scenario the investigators could construct.” “Still, dozens of people were cleared at various times to enter USAMRIID’s Building 1425, where Ivins worked and kept his spore collection (that is, when it was not in Bulding 1412).

      There was no requirement to document transfers prior to mid-1997. One former USAMRIID-sponsored vaccine researcher at UMass, Dr. Curtis Thorne reports that samples used to be sent by ordinary mail. In 2001, his research on virulence of genetically altered anthrax strains was being built upon at the University of Texas (Houston) by Theresa Koehler under a grant from the CIA, the National Institutes of Health and others. The Ames strain, along with other strains, would be distributed not for nefarious purposes, but for veterinary and other research, to include use in challenging vaccines in development.

      “We just don’t know how many hands it went through before it got to the ultimate user,” explained Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and once a consultant to the government’s investigation. One expert, Dr. C.J. Peters, summarizes: “Knowing that this strain was originally isolated in the U.S. has absolutely nothing to do with where the weapon may have been prepared because, as I tried to make the point, these strains move around. A post doc in somebody’s laboratory could have taken this strain to another lab and it could have been taken overseas and it could have ended up absolutely anywhere. Tiny quantities of anthrax that you couldn’t see, that you couldn’t detect in an inventory can be used to propagate as much as you want. So that’s just not, in fact, very helpful.”

      Although the FBI estimates that, at a minimum, 100 had access to the flask in Bruce Ivins’ lab, Ft. Detrick scientists point out that it used to be stored in a different lab in 1997, bringing the number up to 200-300 people. Other labs outside of Fort Detrick were sent RMR-1029 for their own research, including Dugway in Utah, the Battelle lab in Ohio, and academic institutions like the University of New Mexico.

      In April 2007, the United States Attorney sent Ivins a letter saying he was “not a target of the investigation.” Ivins’ attorney reports that Ivins was told that the FBI was investigating 42 people who had access to RMR-1029 at the Battelle labs in Ohio. Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, commented in February 2009: “The recent inventory issues at USAMRIID highlight the difficulties confronted by the FBI in their efforts to trace the evidentiary material back to its source at USAMRIID, and reinforce our conclusion that samples of anthrax could easily have been removed from the facility undetected.”

      The question relevant to an Al Qaeda theory is what access to the US Army strain might have been accomplished by someone with 1) an organization supported by funds diverted from charities backing his play, and 2) a lot of educated and technically-trained Salafists who believe in his Islamist cause.

      A former KGB spy master says that the Russians had a spy at Ft. Detrick who provided samples of all specimens by diplomatic pouch. But it seems more likely that Al Qaeda got it directly from a western laboratory. For example, Ayman had a trusted scientist attending conferences sponsored by Porton Down scheduling 10-day lab visit as early as 1999. In the US, he had the support of other scientists (such as GMU’s Al-Timimi) who did advanced research alongside researchers working with the Ames strain under a contract with USAMRIID for DARPA.

      In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some filed before 9/11, the inventors thank Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with virulent Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). Dr. Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project. A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:

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

      In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product them to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, is funded by DARPA. NanoBio received a $3,150,000 defense contract in 2003. Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio.

      The University of Michigan researchers presented in part at various listed meetings and conferences in 1998 and 1999. The December 1999 article titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in the Journal for Infectious Diseases states: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1B strains, were supplied by Bruce Ivins (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD) and were prepared as described elsewhere. Four other strains of B. anthracis were provided by Martin Hugh-Jones (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge).” Dr. Baker reports the work NanoBio’s research with virulent Ames was “done at USAMRIID by a microbiologist under Dr. Ivins’ direct supervision and at LSU under the direction of Dr. Hugh Jones.”

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

      Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support.
      Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Arthur Friedlander, and the staff of USAMRIID for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.
      Martin-Hugh-Jones, Kimothy Smith, and Pamela Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).
      Robin Kunkel (Department of Pathology, Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense.

      In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998, Michael Hayes, a research associate in the U-Michigan Medical School, presented experimental evidence of BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. “In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish.” Its website explains that the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is the “[p]remier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology.”

      In 1999, LSU researcher Dr.Kimothy Smith moved to the Arizona lab, bringing with him the lab’s first samples of anthrax.”

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

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

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

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

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

      “Victory Site: Last December [December 1999] Tarek Hamouda, Amy Shih and Jim Baker traveled to a remote military station in the Utah desert. There they demonstrated for the U.S. Army Research and Development Command the amazing ability of non-toxic nanoemulsions (petite droplets of fat mixed with water and detergent) developed at Michigan to wipe out deadly anthrax-like bacterial spores. The square vertical surfaces shown here were covered with bacterial spores; Michigan’s innocuous nanoemulsion was most effective in killing the spores even when compared to highly toxic chemicals.”

      An EPA report explains:

      “In December 1999, the U.S. Army tested a broad spectrum nanoemulsion and nine other biodecontamination technologies in Dugway, Utah, against an anthrax surrogate, Bacillus globigii. Nanoemulsion was one of four technologies that proved effective and was the only nontoxic formulation available. Other tests against the vaccine strain of B. anthracis (Sterne strain) were conducted by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.”

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

      It’s naive to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. US Army Al Qaeda operative Sgt. Ali Mohammed accompanied Zawahiri in his travels in the US. (Ali Mohamed had been a major in the same unit of the Egyptian Army that produced Sadat’s assassin, Khaled Islambouli). Ali Al-Timimi was working in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) and had access to the facilities at both the Center for Biodefense and the adjacent American Type Culture Collection. For example, Michael Ray Stubbs was an HVAC system technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab with a high-level security clearance permitting access; that was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998. Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it.

      Among the documents found in Afghanistan in 2001 were letters and notes written in English to Ayman Zawahiri by a scientist about his attempts to obtain an anthrax sample. One handwritten letter was on the letterhead of the Society for Applied Microbiology, the UK’s oldest microbiological society. The Society for Applied Microbiology of Bedford, UK, recognizes that “the development and exploitation of Applied Microbiology requires the maintenance and improvement of the microbiological resources in the UK, such as culture collections and other specialized facilities.” Thus, Zawahiri’s access to the Ames strain is still yet to be proved, but there was no shortage of possibilities or recruitment attempts by Ayman. One colleague of his estimates that he made 15 recruitment attempts over a many year period. Dr. Keim observes: “Whoever perpetrated the first crime must realize that we have the capability to identify material and to track the material back to its source. Whoever did this is presumably aware of what’s going on, and if the person is a scientist, they can read the study. Hopefully, the person is out there thinking: When am I going to get caught?”

      The FBI has not yet identified the location of the 8 isolates downstram from Ivins’ flask known to be an identical match — or the 100+ people it says had access. For the US Attorney Jeff Taylor to make it seem, however, that only Ivins had control over anthrax that was genetically identical was specious. The more commonsensical point would be that Ivins would have no reason to use anthrax so directly traceable to him by reason of being a distinctive mix of Ames strains.

      In June 2001, in addition to the conference at Annapolis organized by Bruce Ivins, a conference was held at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood) for small businesses that might contribute to the biodefense effort. It showcased APG’s world class facillities that had the full range of relevant equipment, as well as the range of activities and research featured by presenters at such conferences. It was called “Team APG Showcase 2001.″ Edgewood maintains a database of simulant properties. The information and equipment, including spraydrying equipment, is available to participants in the SBIR — promoting small business innovation. Might the anthrax attack have required the learning of a state? Well, to get that, all you needed to do was go to the program that shares such research for the purpose of innovation in the area of biodefense. APG built a Biolevel-3 facility and, according to a Baltimore Sun report, by October 2002 had 19 virulent strains of anthrax, including Ames. A 1996 report on a study done at Edgewood involving irradiated virulent Ames provided by John Ezzell that was used in a soil suspension. Another article discusses Delta Ames supplied to Edgewood by the Battelle-managed Dugway, subtilis, and use of sheep blood agar. Did Battelle have virulent Ames across I-95? Edgewood tested nanoemulsion biocidal agents during this time period, according to a national nanobiotechnology initiative report issued June 2002.

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