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

* more source materials regarding the FBI’s science in the anthrax investigation

Posted by DXer on January 11, 2010

materials sent by DXer …

Colwell – Overview of the Anthrax Science Investigation

Beecher – Forensic Microbiology

Budowle – Microbial Forensics


CASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question … Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case? Here’s the (fictional) DIA Director giving the charge to his team re-investigating the FBI anthrax investigation …

“Those FBI bastards hounded a Defense Department employee until he committed suicide, if it was suicide. After seven years the FBI hasn’t come close to making a case that could convict the lowest grade criminal, let alone an internationally respected scientist. And they think they can say ‘case closed’ and sweep their incompetent investigation under the rug?”

“I’ve already spoken to Secretary Morgan,” General Drysdale continued. “The Secretary agrees that the Defense Department is taking an unwarranted hit from the FBI, and we don’t know why. At my request, the Secretary has authorized us to find out what really happened.

“You’re the team I’ve selected. You’re authorized to go where you need to go, ask what you need to know. You’ll have whatever resources are necessary.

Click here to buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

in paperback or kindle


8 Responses to “* more source materials regarding the FBI’s science in the anthrax investigation”

  1. DXer said

    The label appears to be typed but I believe the text of the letters was handwritten.

    The FBI has deep expertise, I expect, on comparing typewriters — and computer printers.

    In the event the letters were not photocopied, then there can be comparison of the ink.

  2. DXer said

    There is a cluster of nine suspicious heroin-related deaths have been reported in Coimbra, Portugal, though it is not known if those are linked to anthrax-tainted heroin in Scotland and Germany.

  3. DXer said

    Mystery shrouds Pakistani scientist in US trial
    By Hasan Mansoor (AFP) – 5 hours ago
    “She loves people, animals and flowers. She wouldn’t hurt anything alive. How can she try to kill US soldiers?” Ismat Siddiqui told AFP.
    “She was a good Muslim and at the same time she was a good human. She would help people in distress and never thought of killing an insect. How can she be accused as a terrorist and a member of Al-Qaeda?”
    Ismat sits on a spacious veranda overlooking the manicured lawn of the large family home where her daughter spent some of her childhood before attending the prestigious MIT university in Massachusetts.
    Siddiqui’s elder sister, Fowzia, a doctor, recalled her sibling’s childhood love of animals and academic excellence.
    “She was religious but not a religious fanatic. She was crazy about roses and she had planted different varieties of roses in our little garden” — a garden where Pakistani police now guard the family.
    “She had four pet dogs, one of them I remember was called Shaggy…. She was brilliant in all respects. She was an excellent student and a brave mother,” said Fowzia.

    Aafia seems like a very nice young mom. If she gets acquitted, I’m going to ask her to our local zoo where they have a photo contest ongoing this month. Lew stubbornly refuses to post my zoo photos without appreciating that Dr. Ivins’ June 2001 emails on spore and foaming are imbedded in their entirety using steganography.

    • DXer said

      Please forgive my reference at the end of the video to the FBI’s practice of obtaining phone records using post-it notes rather than NSLs.

  4. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: ” Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
    Subject: RE: Spores and foaming
    Date: Thursday, June 21, 2001 8:07:30 AM
    This is VERY troubling! When it’s done here, there is some frothing, as you would expect from a
    biological suspension being subject to some vigorous agitation, but we never see anything such as what
    you have described, with a complete separation of spores and liquid. Are conditions of aerosolization,
    including vacuum, equipment, etc. EXACTLY, 100% the same? I have no idea what the problem is.
    When we spray what you sprayed, we get AGI counts (at 10^-4 dilutions) of 20 to 80 consistently. If
    necessary, and if the system is free, we could give aerosolizers some of the same spores at the 10^9
    dilution to run here. I’ll be in and out of the suite today, so perhaps could come up
    with ideas, and I’ll be happy to do what I can. I’m not sure when the aerosol at Battelle is planned, but
    if I’m needed there, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week are OK, but not Thursday or Friday.
    Possibly can handle it all.
    – Bruce
    —–Original Message—–
    Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 4:31 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’; ‘l
    Subject: Spores and foaming
    I nebulized 10E9 spores, and as previously it foamed during nebulization to
    a whipped cream consistency, would not go back into suspension and at the
    end the surface there was a layer of foam and the water was almost totally
    clear (i.e. all the spores came out of suspension and went into the foam).
    We should do a conference call tomorrow morning to discuss options. It was
    4:30 by this time and the techs. had to leave, so it was not worth the
    trouble of trying do the spray factor, since the results will likely be as
    we saw previously. Dilution air was set at 12.5 L and pressure going into
    the nebulizer was 20 psi (as recommended by the manufacturer, BGI). AGI was
    pulling 6 L and outflow from vacuum was 13.8 L.
    the collison we use is called a 3-jet modified MRE collison
    nebulizer. Do you use the same ones? BGI recommends no less than running
    it at 20 psi and said running at 30 psi should not be a problem. It was
    explained to me that the 3-jet collison is critical orifice and that
    anything less than 20 psi is not optimal.
    ANY Ideas???????????

  5. DXer said

    Preliminary case report of fatal anthrax in an injecting drug user in
    North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, December 2009
    [Rapid communications: D Radun et al]

    A fatal case of anthrax occurred in an injecting drug user in Germany,
    in December 2009. A potential link to similar cases in Scotland in the
    same time period is currently under investigation.

    The Robert Koch Institute, in collaboration with the Friedrich
    Loeffler Institute in Jena, the Federal Research Institute for Animal
    Health, and the respective local and regional health authorities in
    the Aachen district, North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, are currently
    investigating a fatal case of anthrax in a 42-year-old male injecting
    drug user.

    The individual was hospitalised on 6 Dec 2009, complaining of a
    swelling of his leg following drug injection into the popliteal fossa
    — reportedly attempting to inject into a vein. He probably injected
    heroin, however, details are unknown. Following treatment with
    meropenem and surgical debridement of a subsequent necrotising
    fasciitis, the patient died with multiorgan failure on 13 Dec 2009.
    Anthrax had not been suspected clinically.

    Spore-forming bacteria from a wound swab specimen were identified, and
    on 18 Dec [2009], the diagnosis of anthrax was confirmed by PCR. The
    last case of human anthrax in Germany had been reported in 1994, at
    that time affecting a 66-year-old man (1).

    At this point in time, it is not clear whether there is a link between
    this case and the anthrax outbreak among injecting drug users in
    Scotland. As far as we know, the deceased had no travel history to
    Scotland. However, it can be assumed that other drug users in the same
    area in Germany, or perhaps elsewhere in the country, have been
    exposed. In case the hypothesis of a potential link to the Scottish
    cases proves true, it might well be that also other countries have
    been supplied with contaminated injectable drugs.

    We launched an epidemiological investigation and exchanged information
    with the colleagues in the United Kingdom and, in particular, Scotland
    to coordinate the approach.

    So far, the following measures have been taken:
    – we have distributed information to public health colleagues, medical
    care facilities, and low-threshold facilities in Germany to raise
    awareness of the event;
    – we are collecting information on the case and his contacts, and on
    the substances consumed;
    – we attempt further case finding;
    – we aim at a microbiological comparison of isolates to establish a
    potential epidemiological link with the Scottish cases.

    The success of the epidemiological investigation will rely on public
    health authorities’ efforts, alertness amongst clinicians and medical
    microbiologists, but also on the degree to which drug users themselves
    can be reached. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to utilise
    existing communication channels to inform those who might be at risk.

    1. Robert Koch Institute: Ein Fall von Milzbrand im Land
    Niedersachsen. [A case of anthrax in Lower Saxony]. Epid Bull. 1994;
    1:10. German.

  6. DXer said

    One of Dr. Beecher’s powerpoint gives gives a few definitions to include:

    “Agglomerate: a group of particles held together by van der Waals forces or surface tension”

    “Flocculate: a group of particles very loosely held together, usually by electrostatic forces. Flocculates can be easily broken apart by shear forces in the air.”

  7. DXer said

    The Report on Strengthening the Biosecurity of the United States:

    Click to access biosecurity-report.pdf

    issued last Friday described Amerithrax as follows:

    “In 2001, letters containing spores of B. anthracis were distributed via the U.S. postal system, infecting 22 people and resulting in five deaths, extensive social disruption, and enormous costs for emergency response, remediation, and subsequent investigation. The well-publicized FBI investigation that followed, which focused on U.S. scientists,FN has resulted in renewed scrutiny of laboratory security.”

    “FN/ In 2008, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI announced their intention to indict a U.S. scientist working in a Federal research facility. These charges were never filed; the scientist took his own life.”

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