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

* Epstein (WSJ 1-24-10) … The FBI says Ivins was the sole perpetrator, but it has presented no evidence to support that conclusion … and the largest case in FBI history is still open

Posted by DXer on January 25, 2010

CASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question … Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?

The (fictional) DIA team considers the role of the President and Vice-President in the early days of the FBI’s anthrax investigation …

“Then a curious thing happens. A second attack is made against the great country, this time with lethal anthrax powder mailed in envelopes. Is it a coincidence that this occurs within days of the launching of a massive retaliatory attack on Osama? The answer to that question is currently outside the bounds of this fable, although if it was not a coincidence, our tale becomes much, much darker.

“The very best police force in the land is assigned to track down the person or persons who prepared and mailed the lethal anthrax envelopes. But even before any evidence is obtained, the great leader announces the desired result – there may be some possible link to Saddam, he says; I wouldn’t put it past him. The great vice-leader also chimes in, saying that Saddam had henchmen who were trained in the use and deployment of these kinds of substances, so you start to piece it all together.

“I would ask you to note that these instantaneous, unsupported allegations are directed at Saddam; Osama, who sent the planes, is not mentioned.”

******

The FBI says Ivins was the sole perpetrator,

but it has presented no evidence to support that conclusion

… and the largest case in FBI history is still open

******

Edward Jay Epstein writes in the Wall Street Journal (1-24-10) …

  • The investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks ended as far as the public knew on July 29, 2008, with the death of Bruce Ivins.
  • Less than a week after his apparent suicide, the FBI declared Ivins to have been the sole perpetrator of the 2001 Anthrax attacks.
  • The FBI’s six-year investigation was the largest inquest in its history, involving 9,000 interviews, 6,000 subpoenas, and the examination of tens of thousands of photocopiers, typewriters, computers and mailboxes.
    • Yet it failed to find a shred of evidence that identified the anthrax killer—or even a witness to the mailings.
    • Eventually, the FBI zeroed in on Ivins.
    • The FBI turned the pressure up on him, isolating him at work and forcing him to spend what little money he had on lawyers to defend himself.
    • He became increasingly stressed. Then came his suicide (which) provided an opportunity to close the case.

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

  • But there was still a vexing problem—silicon.
    • Silicon was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax.
    • since weaponization was banned by international treaties, research anthrax no longer contains silicon, and the flask at Fort Detrick contained none.
    • Yet the anthrax grown from it had silicon, according to the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
    • This silicon explained why, when the letters to Sens. Leahy and Daschle were opened, the anthrax vaporized into an aerosol. If so, then somehow silicon was added to the anthrax.
  • But Ivins, no matter how weird he may have been, had neither the set of skills nor the means to attach silicon to anthrax spores.
    • At a minimum, such a process would require highly specialized equipment that did not exist in Ivins’s lab—or, for that matter, anywhere at the Fort Detrick facility.
  • The FBI’s answer was that the anthrax contained only traces of silicon, and those, it theorized, could have been accidently absorbed by the spores from the water and nutrient in which they were grown.
    • No such nutrients were ever found in Ivins’s lab, nor, for that matter, did anyone ever see Ivins attempt to produce any unauthorized anthrax (a process which would have involved him using scores of flasks.)
    • Natural contamination was an elegant theory that ran into problems after Congressman Jerry Nadler pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller in September 2008 to provide the House Judiciary Committee with a missing piece of data: the precise percentage of silicon contained in the anthrax used in the attacks.
  • The answer came seven months later on April 17, 2009.
    • According to the FBI lab, 1.4% of the powder in the Leahy letter was silicon.
    • “This is a shockingly high proportion,” explained Stuart Jacobson, an expert in small particle chemistry. “It is a number one would expect from the deliberate weaponization of anthrax, but not from any conceivable accidental contamination.”
  • in an attempt to back up its theory, the FBI contracted scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs in California to conduct experiments in which anthrax is accidently absorbed from a media heavily laced with silicon.
    • When the results were revealed to the National Academy Of Science in September 2009, they effectively blew the FBI’s theory out of the water.
    • The Livermore scientists had tried 56 times to replicate the high silicon content without any success.
    • Even though they added increasingly high amounts of silicon to the media, they never even came close to the 1.4% in the attack anthrax. Most results were an order of magnitude lower, with some as low as .001%.
    • “If there is that much silicon, it had to have been added,” Jeffrey Adamovicz, who supervised Ivins’s work at Fort Detrick, wrote to me last month.
  • If Ivins had neither the equipment or skills to weaponize anthrax with silicon, then some other party with access to the anthrax must have done it.
  • So, even though the public may be under the impression that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI investigation is still open—and, unless it can refute the Livermore findings on the silicon, it is back to square one.

Read the entire article at … http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704541004575011421223515284.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

******

LMW COMMENT …

Readers of this CASE CLOSED blog have been aware of everything in Mr. Epstein’s article, and much more, for months.

The FBI’s case has always been unfounded, and the FBI’s insistence that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator does a disservice to our nation.

It’s time for Director Mueller to fess up. Either the FBI doesn’t know who perpetrated the attacks, or they do know and they’re covering up the truth.

Which is worse?

46 Responses to “* Epstein (WSJ 1-24-10) … The FBI says Ivins was the sole perpetrator, but it has presented no evidence to support that conclusion … and the largest case in FBI history is still open”

  1. DXer said

    I don’t think the first line made it into the letter as published. In comments to the OpEd, I point out the inaccuracy I saw — overlooking that flask 1030 contained silicon — and addressed the range of scientific issues. The “Silicon Signal” is just one of a number of scientific issues that bears scrutiny, and it is important to explore all hypotheses of the reason for the Si and O in the spore coat (to include something as exotic as contamination in a spraydrier used for processing rice hulls). There is nothing whatsoever in the science disclosed to date that establishes Dr. Ivins was the processor or mailer (or that even points to that). For the most part, it tends to be exculpatory.

    Press Release
    For Immediate Release
    February 3, 2010

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

    Letter to the Editor on FBI’s Scientific Work in Anthrax Case

    A version of this letter was published in The Wall Street Journal on February 1, 2010.

    Letters to the Editor
    The Wall Street Journal
    1211 Avenue of the Americas,
    New York, NY 10036

    Dear Editor:

    Monday’s opinion piece, “The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved,” was filled with inaccuracies and omitted several relevant facts that are necessary for a balanced discussion of the science applied in the anthrax investigation.

  2. anonymous scientist said

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704878904575031453694587406.html?mod=WSJ_topics_obama

    Regarding Edward Jay Epstein’s “The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved” (op-ed, Jan. 25): From the outset, the FBI’s scientific work in the anthrax case has had a foundation in validation and verification of its approach and conclusions. This process began within weeks of the initial events of 2001 and has included: consultation with numerous subject matter experts in technical panels; collaboration with partner laboratories in government, academia and the private sector throughout the course of the investigation; ongoing efforts to publish our work and that of our partner labs in peer-reviewed technical journals; analytical data and reports provided to the National Academy of Sciences, so it can evaluate the scientific analysis applied to the evidence in the anthrax investigation.

    The FBI is confident in the scientific findings that were reached in this investigation. We utilized established biological and chemical analysis techniques and applied them in an innovative manner to reach these findings.

    D. Christian Hassell, Ph.D.

    • anonymous scientist said

      The response from the FBI’s Christian Hassell is completely inadequate. Dr Hassell does not even mention the stark contrast between the 1.45% silicon found in the Leahy powder and the Livermore attempts to try to introduce silicon “accidentally” into powder preparations. Livermore tried 56 times and most of their spore preparations contained TWO ORDERS of magnitude less than what was found in the Leahy powder. In short, Dr Hassell says basically nothing in his response.

      Furthermore Dr Hassell made a statement to the National Academy of Science in July of 2009 that makes little scientific sense:

      Click to access fbi-assistant-director-hassell-statement-to-nas-7-30-09.pdf

      “There has been a great deal written regarding the presence of silicon in the samples and the location of that silicon. The FBI Laboratory used Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) to quantify silicon, as well as other elements, in the Leahy letter spore powder. The results indicated the Leahy spores contained 1.45% by weight. The New York Post letter spore powder was qualitatively analyzed using ICP-OES and was found to have Silicon present in the sample. However, the limited quantity of recovered material precluded a reliable numerical measurement of any elements present within this powder. Insufficient quantities of both the Daschle and Brokaw letters spore powders precluded the analysis of these samples using this elemental analysis technique.”

      Ironically, in his presentation to NAS, Dr Hassell acknowledged the involvement of Pacific Northwest National Labs. He should then be well aware that Pacific Northwest Labs demonstrated in 2005 that accurate quantitative Elemental Analysis can be performed on bacillus spores with samples as small as one nanogram (one nanogram is one thousandth of one millionth of a gram). The Pacific Northwest paper on this technique can be seen here:

      Differentiation of Spores of Bacillus subtilis Grown in Different Media by Elemental Characterization Using Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, John B. Cliff, Kristin H. Jarman, Nancy B. Valentine, Steven L. Golledge, Daniel J. Gaspar, David S. Wunschel, and Karen L. Wahl, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, November 2005, p. 6524-6530, Vol. 71, No. 11
      http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/71/11/6524?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=subtilis&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=630&resourcetype=HWFIG

      The quantities of silicon in the ALL the recovered powders should have been known by the FBI within days of receiving them. The fact that it took seven years for the FBI to give ONE piece of data on the Leahy powder can only lead to speculation that there is something about these silicon concentrations that make them extremely uncomfortable. If there is nothing to hide, why not just reveal the numbers? As the Pacific Northwest results show – it can be done easily. These quantities of silicon are perhaps the single most important piece of forensic evidence needed to solve the case.

  3. anonymous scientist said

    http://justbarkingmad.com/?p=7428
    Your Federal Government at Work: Anthrax Edition

    As far as anyone knew the investigation into the Anthrax attacks on Congress ended with the suicide by Tylenol of Bruce Ivins. That isn’t true, nor is Ivin’s the only body left in the wake of the FBI’s six year investigation.

    The WSJ’s Edward Jay Epstein reports:

    The FBI’s six-year investigation was the largest inquest in its history, involving 9,000 interviews, 6,000 subpoenas, and the examination of tens of thousands of photocopiers, typewriters, computers and mailboxes. Yet it failed to find a shred of evidence that identified the anthrax killer—or even a witness to the mailings. With the help of a task force of scientists, it found a flask of anthrax that closely matched—through its genetic markers—the anthrax used in the attack.

    There’s someone out there who weaponized Anthrax and it isn’t the fall guys the FBI identified.

  4. DXer said

    FOIA Appeals & Litigation
    http://www.foiadvocates.com/appeals_litigation.html

    • DXer said

      • The court may review the case de novo, that is, the court may create its own record of events without depending on the agency’s administrative record. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B). Thus, courts reviewing FOIA cases may grant somewhat less deference to an agency interpretation of the case than would normally be the case when a court reviews and administrative action.

      • In almost all circumstances, a FOIA complaint should also plead an APA claim as a violation of the terms of FOIA can also usually be framed as either “arbitrary and capricious” or an “abuse of discretion.”

      • The complaint, in addition to demanding the release of the records at issue, and/or the granting of a fee waiver, could further seek:

      • A request for an order enjoining the agency from relying on an invalid regulation or practice in all future FOIA undertakings. Cf.McGehee v. CIA, 697 F.2d 1095 (D.C. Cir. 1983).

      • An order declaring the agency’s actions to be violative of FOIA.

      • An award of attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(E). Attorney fees may be awarded when the plaintiff has “substantially prevailed.” Id.

      • If the actions of the agency were so flagrant to be arbitrary and capricious, ask that the court make a specific finding of that fact and refer the matter to the Merit System Protection Board for investigation. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(F).

      • Consider the active use of requests for admission (RFA’s) as a discovery tool. Outline the elements of your claim in your RFA’s. If not admitted or denied by the government within 30 days from service of the RFA’s, they will be deemed admitted pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. FRCP 36(a).

      • Generally, FOIA cases are well suited for resolution by summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. There are usually few material facts in dispute and the conflict is often based on divergent interpretations of the relevant law. Thus FOIA cases may often be litigated relatively cheaply (in comparison to other types of federal litigation).

      • DXer said

        “The action may be filed in the federal district court in the district where the complainant resides, has a principal place of business, in which the agency records are located, or in the District of Columbia. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B).”

        Requestor, location of documents, or District of Columbia.

        The USAMRIID documents being withheld are in Maryland.

        National Academy Science documents being withheld are in Virginia.

        Task Force documents are where? Virginia? US Attorney’s Office is in DC? DOJ HQ documents are in DC?

        There could be four to six FOIA suits brought against four to six agencies, in as many jurisdictions.

  5. Anonymous Scientist said

    I was going to write a piece called “FBI’s Top Ten Excuses for Not Closing the Case by the End of January” but I could only came up with:

    (1) Ed Lake’s anonymous source was an inmate in a mental hospital.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Anthrax-attacks-still-unexplained–83058882.html

    Anthrax attacks still unexplained
    By: Michael Barone
    Senior Political Analyst
    01/29/10 4:05 PM EST
    This week in the Wall Street Journal, Edward Jay Epstein explains why the September 2001 anthrax attacks have still not been explained, despite the most extensive investigation in the FBI’s history. He demonstrates why the FBI’s pinning of the crime on a chemical weapons scientist who committed suicide is utterly unconvincing.

    I blogged on this on New Year’s Day, citing an earlier version of Epstein’s article that appeared on his website. It seemed to me in September 2001 and it seems to me today, eight years and four months later, that there is a high likelihood that a state actor was behind the anthrax attacks.

    A reasonable retort: why then was there no recurrence of the anthrax attacks after September 2001? (One possible answer: because those attacks did not kill nearly as many people or incite nearly the panic that the instigator intended.)

    But I still think that my theory seems more likely than the theory on which the FBI based much of its investigation, which is that the attacks were the work of a disgruntled or disturbed U.S. scientist. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and the main business of the FBI is to track down domestic crime and accumulate evidence that can stand up in court. An investigation that leads to a state actor, however, raises other and disturbing issues. What to do about a state actor that attacks America is not the province of law enforcement but of the president and Congress.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Anthrax-attacks-still-unexplained–83058882.html#ixzz0e2d5suuh

    • BugMaster said

      I don’t think anyone closely associated with the investigation that drove an innocent man to suicide would be in the loop anymore.

      Thus the inability of any of Ed’s “inside sources” to provide any factual or useful information.

      • DXer said

        Ed never claimed to have inside sources.

        He said one was an anonymous email who had the perspective analogous to a doorman and others who were in the role of victims or consulting scientists were were alerted to the possibility of a briefing. The scientist would be Joe. But like the victims, the scientists have never been privy to the investigative information. In fact, all indications are that they know far less than is in the public domain.

        Ed is the only one who for a half year thought genetics narrowed things to a single isolate — and yet he bizarrely accuses reporters of not getting their facts straight. He is the last one you should be looking to for information on the investigation (including the science). He also thought silica would make anthrax less floatable by reason of making it heavier.

        • DXer said

          There is no reporter in the country who would have reported dramatic news emailed to him by an anonymous source (whose identity was unknown to Ed) and the information uncorroborated by independent means — particularly without disclosing that he did not know the person’s identity. That is important to remember: Ed did not tell us that he did not know who had emailed with the news he was reporting. So his criticism of reporters making mistakes is laughable.

        • BugMaster said

          Ed stated that he did know the identity of one of his inside sources, it is possible the person’s first name is James, not Joe?

          Another source he admits is an anonymous individual who has emailed him several times. He told Ed the name of the person supposingly indicted for making false statements.

          So three questions for Ed:

          Since this is a source which has contacted you repeatedly, do you therefore regard him as a “Known Anonymous Source”?

          Since disclosure of such information by one who has actual inside knowledge of it is a felony, what makes you so special to the point where someone engages in feloneous activity just to leak to you?

          And since you stated that you didn’t feel that any of your sources requested that you keep any information derived from them a secret,

          Who was indicted?

        • BugMaster said

          Ed:

          You previously mentioned that “Person C” was anonymous and not known to you.

          “No one broke the law by telling people that Dr. Hatfill was about to be indicted for mass murder or that Dr. Hatfill had testified before a Grand Jury in the case.”

          Hatfill?

        • BugMaster said

          Ed:

          These indictment rumours are just plain bizarre.

          I don’t think you can read much into them.

      • DXer said

        Who do you think altered flask 1029 record? If Dr. Ivins did, was he chargeable as an accessory after the fact? Chargeable for obstruction of justice? What version did he submit to the FBI? (I don’t know). And wouldn’t he be under just as must distress if he was chargeable as an accessory after the fact or for obstruction of justice?

        And was Dr. Hatfill an innocent man where he forged a PhD diploma? Didn’t that, without more, require that the job offer at LSU be rescinded?

        If the FBI had announced there was other POIs, wouldn’t they receive the same grief as Attorney General Ashcroft did when he said Dr. H was a “POI”? Isn’t the FBI damned if they do, and damned if they don’t? Just as the senior FBI officials explained to Ronald Kessler for his book. I do agree that Amerithrax is a mess and that the FBI is wrong in its conclusions, but I think a hands-on attention to forcing document disclosure would be far more constructive — and more fruitful in the end.

        So I recommend everyone email FOIA requests relating to their particular interests to the relevant agency. I think people should channel the energy that otherwise would be devoted to criticizing the FBI into obtaining documents under FOIA. Then the evidence can speak for itself.

        There likely will be one or more major DC firms handling the FOIA litigation pro bono.

        • DXer said

          Anonymous Scientist, you should provide inspiration by submitting your appeal as soon as possible after reading the URL providing advice above and Lew could post it.

          Given that Maryland is a good forum for one of the FOIA suits, someone influential with Attorney Kissin should encourage him to be counsel for that suit against USAMRIID. For example, one broad category of documents being withheld includes all emails from July 2001 to August 2008. He is a charismatic speaker, judging from the recent trailer on YouTube, and so although I disagree with him on the merits, he would be a fine champion on FOIA issues in Maryland relating to USAMRIID, while other counsel pursue other agencies and documents.

        • DXer said

          As for the suit against the National Academy of Sciences, NAS is located in DC. FACA technically (as opposed to FOiA) is the statute involved (long with the APA). With the FOIA procedure not technically applicable (and FACA and APA providing the framework), I would say that Lew has exhausted his remedies — or at least exhausted the PR person. :0)

          While we pursue other DC leads for pro bono assistance, inquiry should also be made of Attorney Kissin on this. I would be glad to do whatever briefing and research on the matter he likes subject to his lead. Attorneys fees are recoverable.

          Of course, Attorney Connolly — who has achieved historic results and is highly knowledgeable in the area — could be asked although it might require a written consent by his former client. If his firm agreed to handle FOIA litigation pro bono, there would be cause to weep for joy given the prowess he and his colleagues showed in obtaining discovery through the numerous civil depositions they conducted. I can’t emphasize enough the value of that firm’s knowledge of the facts of the matter relating to the historical investigation. For $5, a copy of the exhibits containing much, if not most, of those depositions, can be obtained. (Or I can email the depositions in a senies of 10 or so emails to anyone who would like to see them).

        • DXer said

          Initial Litigation Strategies

          When an agency is sued under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),(1) preliminary determinations should be made at or before the time that the agency files its answers to the complaint joining issue with the requester. Addressing these threshold questions can result in completely dismissing a legally insufficient claim, eliminating issues, or otherwise placing a case in the proper posture for the most efficient adjudication on the merits. Some of the determinations are unique to FOIA litigation while others are common to all civil litigation.

          Several of these determinations relate directly to the underlying request. First, the underlying request should be examined to determine whether “agency records,” the only records that are the proper subject of a FOIA suit,(2) are being sought. While the FOIA provides no definition of “agency records,” it does define “agency” in section 552(e) to include “. . . any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency.”(3)

          Second, the request should also be examined to determine if it reasonably describes the records sought. Section 552(a)(3) limits an agency’s obligation to honor requests to those that do so. This requirement has been interpreted to mean that “[a] ‘description’ of a requested document would be sufficient if it enabled a professional employee of the agency who was familiar with the subject area of the request to locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort.”(4)

          Third, it is also important to determine the exact status of the request. If the plaintiff has failed to submit a proper request or to follow the appeal procedure, the suit may be subject to dismissal based upon the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies.(5) However, section 552(a)(6)(C) also provides that when an agency fails to comply within the time limits the requester shall be deemed to have exhausted his or her administrative remedies. Hence, an agency may find itself in court before it has completed processing the request. In enacting FOIA, Congress recognized that there would be instances when an agency would not be able to meet the relatively short time limits of the FOIA and, accordingly, a “safety valve” was provided to cover such situations. Congress provided in section 552(a)(6)(C) that “[i]f the Government can show exceptional circumstances exist and that the agency is exercising due diligence in responding to the request, the court may retain jurisdiction and allow the agency additional time to complete its review of the records.” If an agency finds itself in court before it has had an opportunity to process the request, a determination should be made as to the appropriateness of filing a motion to stay the court action pursuant to Section 552(a)(6)(C).(6)

          Two preliminary determinations that are common to all civil litigation are the Court’s jurisdiction and the appropriate venue. Under FOIA, these determinations are relatively straightforward. Section 552(a)(4)(B) provides that a Federal district court “. . . has jurisdiction to enjoin the agency from withholding agency records improperly withheld . . . .” Courts have rejected efforts by plaintiffs to use FOIA as a basis for obtaining other relief such as creating explanatory material,(7) compelling expert testimony by agency personnel(8) and granting money damages.(9) Section 552(a)(4)(B) also provides for venue of FOIA suits in the District of Columbia, in the district where the plaintiff resides or has his/her principal place of business, or where the agency records are situated.

          In sum, in FOIA cases, as in other litigation, there are preliminary determinations that are necessary to appropriately focus the litigation and to place the case in a posture to be resolved with the greatest judicial economy. The determinations set forth above are intended to be examples and not an exhaustive list of preliminary determinations.

  6. Anonymous Scientist said

    http://www.bioprepwatch.com/news/211800-questions-raised-as-to-guilt-of-bruce-ivins-in-2001-anthrax-attacks

    In an article written by Edward Epstein in the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion section, Epstein has claimed that Bruce Ivins, long thought to be the source of the 2001 American anthrax attacks, was not guilty.

    Epstein notes that the anthrax used in the attacks had silicon in it, which was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax. Siliconized anthrax vaporizes into the air, which is what happened when letters sent to Sens. Leahy and Dashcle were opened.

    This means, Epstein posits, that the anthrax sent to the senators had silicon added to it. This was a common practice to weaponize silicon in the 1960, wherein anthrax spores were coated with silicon. After international treaties banned the weaponization of anthrax, research anthrax was no longer coated.

    Ivins, Epstein says, would not have had the skills or the means to siliconize anthrax spores, a process he says would have required highly specialized equipment that was not available in Ivins’ Fort Detrick lab or anywhere on the facility.

    “I don’t think there’s anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it,” Richard Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist working with Ivins, said in a private briefing, Epstein says.

    The FBI said that traces of silicon in the 2001 attacks could have been absorbed naturally from water and nutrients in which they were grown, though no such nutrients were found in Ivins’ lab.

    An FBI lab report from April 17 reported that 1.4 percent of the anthrax in the Leahy letter was silicon – a number that is common when anthrax is weaponized but not from accidental contamination.

    Fifty-six subsequent tests to prove that anthrax could accidentally absorb silicon performed by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs in California were performed without success. Their results for accidental exposure were as low as .001 percent.

    The FBI’s investigation into the attacks remains open, though it will not comment on specifics.

  7. Anonymous Scientist said

    From “Letter from The Capital”

    http://www.letterfromthecapitol.com/letterfromthecapitol/2010/01/lftc–7.html

    January 27, 2010
    LFTC – Athrax: FBI Fakes It
    Just when you wondered whether to trust the FBI, comes more reason not to: the anthrax 2001 investigation. Investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein shows that the FBI’s 2001 anthrax attack “case closed” lacks Emperor’s clothes.

    Try this from Epstein’s piece for openers:

    The investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks ended as far as the public knew on July 29, 2008, with the death of Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md. The cause of death was an overdose of the painkiller Tylenol. No autopsy was performed, and there was no suicide note.

    Less than a week after his apparent suicide, the FBI declared Ivins to have been the sole perpetrator of the 2001 Anthrax attacks, and the person who mailed deadly anthrax spores to NBC, the New York Post, and Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. These attacks killed five people, closed down a Senate office building, caused a national panic, and nearly paralyzed the postal system.

    The FBI’s six-year investigation was the largest inquest in its history, involving 9,000 interviews, 6,000 subpoenas, and the examination of tens of thousands of photocopiers, typewriters, computers and mailboxes. Yet it failed to find a shred of evidence that identified the anthrax killer—or even a witness to the mailings. With the help of a task force of scientists, it found a flask of anthrax that closely matched—through its genetic markers—the anthrax used in the attack.

    This flask had been in the custody of Ivins, who had published no fewer than 44 scientific papers over three decades as a microbiologist and who was working on developing vaccines against anthrax. As custodian, he provided samples of it to other scientists at Fort Detrick, the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and other facilities involved in anthrax research.

    According to the FBI’s reckoning, over 100 scientists had been given access to it. Any of these scientists (or their co-workers) could have stolen a minute quantity of this anthrax and, by mixing it into a media of water and nutrients, used it to grow enough spores to launch the anthrax attacks.

    The FBI treated suspects harshly, leading one to commit suicide, perhaps even contributing to the main suspect’s suicide. And then came the canary in the investigative coal mine:

    But there was still a vexing problem—silicon.

    Silicon was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax. Through an elaborate process, anthrax spores were coated with the substance to prevent them from clinging together so as to create a lethal aerosol. But since weaponization was banned by international treaties, research anthrax no longer contains silicon, and the flask at Fort Detrick contained none.

    Yet the anthrax grown from it had silicon, according to the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. This silicon explained why, when the letters to Sens. Leahy and Daschle were opened, the anthrax vaporized into an aerosol. If so, then somehow silicon was added to the anthrax. But Ivins, no matter how weird he may have been, had neither the set of skills nor the means to attach silicon to anthrax spores.

    At a minimum, such a process would require highly specialized equipment that did not exist in Ivins’s lab—or, for that matter, anywhere at the Fort Detrick facility. As Richard Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins, explained in a private briefing on Jan. 7, 2009, the lab didn’t even deal with anthrax in powdered form, adding, “I don’t think there’s anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it.” So while Ivins’s death provided a convenient fall guy, the silicon content still needed to be explained.

    The FBI’s theory of accidental contamination was exploded by the Livermore Laboratory:

    The answer came seven months later on April 17, 2009. According to the FBI lab, 1.4% of the powder in the Leahy letter was silicon. “This is a shockingly high proportion,” explained Stuart Jacobson, an expert in small particle chemistry. “It is a number one would expect from the deliberate weaponization of anthrax, but not from any conceivable accidental contamination.”

    Nevertheless, in an attempt to back up its theory, the FBI contracted scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs in California to conduct experiments in which anthrax is accidently absorbed from a media heavily laced with silicon. When the results were revealed to the National Academy Of Science in September 2009, they effectively blew the FBI’s theory out of the water.

    The Livermore scientists had tried 56 times to replicate the high silicon content without any success. Even though they added increasingly high amounts of silicon to the media, they never even came close to the 1.4% in the attack anthrax. Most results were an order of magnitude lower, with some as low as .001%.

    So what does the FBI plan to do soon, given that its theory of the case is exploded, and thus the perp is still at large?

    Easy. If your case explodes, and you have no idea how to proceed, you declare the case closed. Which is precisely what the FBI intends to do.

  8. Anonymous Scientist said

    Seed Magazine has blurb that new results casts doubt on Ivin’s guilt

    http://seedmagazine.com/

    Science shows US anthrax attacks remain unsolved

    “But new data on the nature of the weaponized anthrax casts doubt on Ivin’s guilt”

  9. Anonymous Scientist said

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/01/26/old-war-bloggers-never-die/

    The irony is that Sullivan posted his shameless excuse-making on the same day as the publication, in the Wall Street Journal, of a piece by Edward Jay Epstein on the provenance of the anthrax attacks and the ongoing nature of the “Amerithrax” investigation.

    Yes, it’s ongoing, even though Bruce Ivins, the biologist who committed suicide when the Feds targeted him as a suspect, received the official blame as the perpetrator. Yet, it turns out, as Epstein reveals, that if Ivins was involved – a highly dubious proposition, as I’ve written here and here – he had plenty of help. Because the anthrax used in the attacks contained a large proportion of silicon – much larger than previously thought – an additive which made it much more effective as a weapon. Ivins had neither the expertise nor the facilities to “weaponize” the anthrax in this manner, which leads us to the conclusion drawn by Edwards:

    “If Ivins had neither the equipment or skills to weaponize anthrax with silicon, then some other party with access to the anthrax must have done it…. So, even though the public may be under the impression that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI investigation is still open—and, unless it can refute the Livermore findings on the silicon, it is back to square one.”

    In a Salon piece published in 2008, Greenwald pointed out the often overlooked significance of the anthrax attacks:

    “The 2001 anthrax attacks remain one of the great mysteries of the post-9/11 era. After 9/11 itself, the anthrax attacks were probably the most consequential event of the Bush presidency. One could make a persuasive case that they were actually more consequential. The 9/11 attacks were obviously traumatic for the country, but in the absence of the anthrax attacks, 9/11 could easily have been perceived as a single, isolated event. It was really the anthrax letters … that severely ratcheted up the fear levels and created the climate that would dominate in this country for the next several years after. It was anthrax – sent directly into the heart of the country’s elite political and media institutions, to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt), NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, and other leading media outlets – that created the impression that social order itself was genuinely threatened by Islamic radicalism.”

    • Anonymous Scientist said

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/48570.html
      The Weaponization of the Anthrax
      Posted by Kathryn Muratore on January 26, 2010 11:50 AM
      You may recall that we (the mere taxpayers) were told that the Amerithrax spores had been weaponized with silicon. Then, later, we were told: No, no… there was only a trace amount of silicon and had not been weaponized.
      According to Edward Jay Epstein in the Wall Street Journal, this “trace” amount was 1.4%—i.e., more than what microbiologists would consider “trace.” He says that researchers at the LLNL have been unable to replicate accidental contamination with silicon that is anywhere close to 1.4%.

  10. anonymous scientist said

    Discussed here on radio show last night (interview with Henry Miller):

    http://www.wabcradio.com/sectional.asp?id=33447

    Monday 01/25/10 – Batchelor 11pm: Avatar and China

    Henry Miller, Hoover Institution, in re: Anthrax, Hugo Restall, WSJ, in re: Avatar, David Grinspoon, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, in re: space flight, B. Raman, ex-Indian intelligence, in re: London terror

    Listen or Download this show

    • anonymous scientist said

      http://www.hoover.org/bios/miller_h.html

      Henry I. Miller
      Research Fellow

      Expertise: Biotechnology; genetic engineering; bioterrorism; government regulation of science and technology, especially pharmaceutical development and biotechnology; regulatory reform

      • anonymous scientist said

        Direct link to Promed commentary (Livermore results are now in hands of Promed as requested below)

        http://www.promedmail.org/pls/otn/f?p=2400:1001:39801698715772::NO::F2400_P1001_BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,81074

        A search has been done to find the published research which is the
        basis of Edward Epstein’s article, but it has not been found. If
        anyone has a reference to it, it would be gratefully received and
        posted. This is not to doubt the scientific basis of this article,
        just to provide the standard underpinnings.

  11. Anonymous Scientist said

    Communicated by:
    ProMED-mail

    [A search has been done to find the published research which is the basis of Edward Epstein’s article, but it has not been found. If anyone has a reference to it, it would be gratefully received and posted. This is not to doubt the scientific basis of this article, just to provide the standard underpinnings.

    http://relative-risk.blogspot.com/2010/01/anthrax-story-without-ending.html

    An excellent summary of the anthrax case in the Wall St. Journal and published online by ProMED. Here’s the entire post from and comments from ProMED.

    Early on, we commented that there was a silicon disparity between the letter fill and routine cultures. And after a vast amount of FBI investigation and ancillary research, we are right back at the beginning in ignorance of the identity of the perpetrator(s) of this 2001 event. But one might suggest that if the silicon content was a surprise to the Lawrence Livermore researchers, it is also a surprise to whoever grew up the material used in the letters. It is a technical “fingerprint” of no insignificant value in eventually tracing whoever is responsible, a brand on the perpetrators. Like many others, I am convinced of the innocence of Bruce Ivins in this matter. – Mod.MHJ]

    • DXer said

      The moderator is Martin Hugh-Jones, a highly respected researcher in the field — oft-quoted on Amerithrax when it was most active.

    • BugMaster said

      “It is a technical “fingerprint” of no insignificant value in eventually tracing whoever is responsible, a brand on the perpetrators.”

      As is the B. subtilis contaminating strain.

      It came from somewhere.

  12. DXer said

    1/26 Wash Po –
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012601265.html?hpid=topnews

    Didn’t AQ/Ayman’s chief of intelligence Ali Mohammed instruct Dahab to make lethal letters? (so why does the fellow say it is not a modus operandi)

    Didn’t the hadiths require a warning? (There was no fatwa until June 2002). (so why wasn’t a warning required?)

    Don’t the Al Hayat letters relating to the detention of the WTC 1993 plotters serve as the exact model? Newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic positions relating to detention of WTC attackers.

    Didn’t Saif Adel at the time dismiss the idea that Vanguards of Conquest (EIJ) were responsible on the grounds for the Al Hayat letters that it would “mere flirtation” – only to be chastised for purporting to speak to the group by the official spokesman for Vanguards (presumably Al-Sirri in London).

    Doesn’t the CIA February 2001 PDB to President Bush advise about the threat to use anthrax? And in timing it relates to the threat relating to the announced bail hearing announced for Vanguards of Conquest #2, Mahmoud Mahjoub?

    Bruce Ivins gave virulent strain to a former Zawahiri associate Tarek Hamouda. Heba Zawahiri was very distraught over the rendering of her brother Muhammad, as was Ayman. It was when he was rendered that it was publicly announced that Ayman planned to use anthrax to retaliate for the rendering of senior Movement leaders (by Mabruk, Al-Nashar and Al-Zayyat).

    Tarek Hamid was Dr. Hamouda’s childhood friend. He was recruited into the Egyptian Islamic Jihad by Zawahiri. A room was set aside for the purpose at medical school. He pulled out when he got queasy about burying a security officer near the mosque. Tarek Hamouda was in Tarek Hamid’s older brother’s class at Medical School and those two graduated in December 1982 at the height of the frenzy over the Sadat assassination. Tarek Hamid now consults with intelligence agencies.

    Before 911, Tarek Hamid called up Tarek Hamouda to ask about patents and Tarek Hamouda said it was all in the marketing.

    Dr. Hamouda’s firm’s decontamination agent was tested at the Capitol and the firm pitched hand cream to postal workers. They garnered $80 million in investment without a product — with $50 million coming from the DC venture firm Perseus headed by the current Department of State #3 Richard Holbrook.

    Well, we’ve seen the evidence and it was crap. Are they going to have better evidence this time around with their next announcement?

    • DXer said

      “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors… ,” says the Koran (2:190). Post office employee and blind sheik spokesman Abdel Sattar has explained that Mustafa Hamza, who took over from Taha as Islamic Group leader after the Luxor debacle in which in 58 tourists were murdered, was asked how can you explain killing tourists. Mustafa Hamza answered in every moment and action, the group starts off by consulting with the righteous Olama. No action is initiated without fatwas from our trusted Olama — meaning scholars in the plural. In other words, before carrying out an operation, they get a fatwa. He confirmed that fatwas are important because they are authoritative statements by religious leaders declaring what is and is not Islamically permissible. Sattar had a copy of the book written by former Islamic Group leader Taha justifying the attacks that had been committed, to include Luxor. The book had been uploaded at the website maintained by London-based Vanguards of Conquest publicist Al-Sirri.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Zawahiri is the grandson of the well-known “Pious Ambassador,” who was President of Cairo University. Dr. Zawahiri is reserving himself a spot in a bad place by reason of his botched analysis of the hadiths and teachings of Mohammed governing warfare (no women, children, noncombatants etc.) The same principles prohibit attacking livestock, crops or wells. Judging by the interpretive texts, it would seem that Al Qaeda and the anthrax mailer have violated the Quran and hadiths by killing noncombatant women and children, and even the aged. It cannot be persuasively argued that those noncombatant women and children and the aged attacked the jihadists first. An infant visiting ABC was infected by the anthrax.
      Before the military tribunal, KSM says the koran forbids killing children. He noted that warfare is guided by the koran and hadiths.

      The head of Egyptian Islamic Group, who approved of Sadat’s assassination and was released after a quarter-century in prison, said of 9/11:
      “The killing of businessmen is forbidden by Islamic law and the World Trade Center was all businessmen. The killing of women and children and old people is forbidden by Islamic law and many of those were killed in the building.”
      Thus, the harshest judgment may await true believers in another world.

      The CIA fellow dismisses the idea of a cell in the United States responsible for the anthrax letters. He couldn’t imagine it. Condi Rice couldn’t imagine planes being used to fly into buildings. The CIA fellow’s view does not take into account the raging debate with the Salafist-Jihadi circles that were raging — and the fact that Zawahiri was expressly seeking approval regarding attacks. There was no fatwa until June 2002 permitting a mass attack.

  13. DXer said

    1/26 Wash Po –
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012601265.html?hpid=topnews

    “The former official, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, draws on his knowledge of classified case files to argue that al-Qaeda has been far more sophisticated in its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction than is commonly believed, pursuing parallel paths to acquiring weapons and forging alliances with groups that can offer resources and expertise.”

    ***
    “This was far from run-of-the-mill terrorism,” he said in an interview. “The program was highly compartmentalized, at the highest level of the organization. It was methodical, and it was professional.”

    Mowatt-Larssen said he has seen no evidence linking al-Qaeda’s program with the anthrax attacks on U.S. politicians and news outlets in 2001. Zawahiri’s plan was aimed at mass casualties and “not just trying to scare people with a few letters,” he said.

    Comment: Mowatt-Larsen ignores what the evidence shows about EIJ’s modus operandi as to lethal letters.

    Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an eye-opening profile of Khalid Dahab, a Cairo Medical School drop-out who recruited US operatives for Al Qaeda. He was trained by Bin Laden’s head of intelligence, former US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed. Ali Mohammed had recruited him while he was student at Cairo Medical in the early 1980s. The article was based on statements made in a Cairo court proceeding.
    Williams reports that Bin Laden personally congratulated Dahab, an Egyptian- born US Citizen, a Silicon Valley car salesman and member of Zawahri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest, for recruiting Islamist Americans into al Qaeda. The account of Dahab’s confession was first published in the October 10, 2001 edition of the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. Ali Mohamed was also a Silicon Valley resident. Ali Mohamed had traveled to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s to report to bin Laden on the success the two were having in recruiting Americans. Bin Laden told them that recruiting terrorists with American citizenship was a top priority.
    Ali Mohamed has admitted role in planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, killing more than 200 people.
    Williams wrote: “Dahab’s confession supports the view of many terrorism experts that al Qaeda has “sleeper” operatives on station in the United States for future terrorist attacks.” Khaled Duran, an author and terrorism expert who has written about the Silicon Valley cell, said the recruits would be expected to “fade into the woodwork” until the organization needed them, he said. Williams continues: “His story, obtained from accounts of Egyptian court proceedings and interviews with people who knew him, is entwined with that of Mohamed, a former Egyptian military officer and aide to bin Laden who recruited Dahab into al Qaeda, brought him to America and became his handler.”
    Handsome and outgoing, Dahab spoke excellent English. He said he was from a wealthy Alexandria family. His mother was a physician and he was planning a career in medicine.
    “But Dahab told acquaintances he had been radicalized by a tragedy that happened when he was a schoolboy: his father, he claimed, had been among 108 people killed in the 1973 crash of a Cairo-bound Libyan Arab Airlines plane that was shot down by Israeli fighter jets when it strayed over the Sinai Peninsula, which at the time was occupied by Israel. He claimed that his father’s death — and Egypt’s failure to avenge it — had turned him against the Egyptian government and against Israel and the United States, as well. He said he was drawn toward Islamic Jihad, a radical movement that had assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981 in an effort to remake Egypt into a fundamentalist Muslim state.”
    Williams reports that it was while a medical student in about 1984, according to his confession, that Dahab met Mohamed, who then was an officer in the Egyptian commando forces and a Jihad operative planning to emigrate to the United States. Dahab came to the United States in 1986, obtaining a student visa by saying he wanted to study medicine. He rented an apartment in Santa Clara, where Ali Mohamed now lived with his American wife. He dropped the name Dahab, calling himself Khaled Mohamed or Ali Mohamed, the same name used by the man who had recruited him. “He sometimes claimed, falsely,” Williams explains, “that he had been a physician in Egypt, said people who met him.”
    “In 1992, Dahab married a junior college student from a tiny town in South Dakota whom he met while lawn-bowling in Santa Clara. His third wife converted to Islam. They had four children, and the marriage helped him win citizenship, acquaintances said. The family settled in a duplex near Santa Clara High School. Dahab struggled to support his family, court records show. He worked as a maintenance man at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara, then at National Semiconductor, then as a $30,000-per-year car salesman in San Jose.” In the mid-1990s, despite financial problems, “[h]e was often abroad, traveling extensively in the Middle East, vacationing in Pakistan, telling associates he was starting a chemical business in Egypt.”
    “In 1995, using a fake passport and identity documents, Dahab and Ali Mohammed smuggled Zawahiri into the US from Afghanistan for a covert fund-raising tour. Dahab reports that part of the money financed the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan. Dahab also said that at Mohamed’s direction he had gone to terrorist camps in Afghanistan in 1990 and trained guerrilla fighters to fly hang gliders. He said Islamic Jihad was planning a hand-glider assault to liberate imprisoned Jihad leaders, some of whom had been locked up since the assassination of Sadat.”
    A former friend remembers that Dahab turned up in the parking lot at the Al- Noor Mosque in Santa Clara, driving a station wagon with a hang glider in the back and saying he was bound for Afghanistan. “He said, ‘I am going to take (the aircraft) to Afghanistan and help the mujahedeen — I am going to take it over there and train people to fly it,’ ” the friend said. “People said, ‘Oh, you crazy guy — they thought he was joking.’ ” Jihad later canceled the attack, Dahab said in his confession.”
    Williams continues: “Meanwhile, Dahab said Mohamed gave him military training and taught him how to make letter bombs. Dahab said he had also worked as an al Qaeda communications specialist, aiding terrorists inside Egypt by patching through their calls to other operatives in Afghanistan and the Sudan. This helped the terrorists plan operations while avoiding electronic surveillance by Egyptian security forces who routinely wiretapped calls between Egypt and countries that harbored jihad terrorists.
    Also in the 1990s, Dahab said, he and Mohamed were told to begin recruiting U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern heritage. Dahab said the recruitment project had first been outlined to him by an al Qaeda fighter named Abdel Aziz Moussa al Jamal, who, according to Arabic press accounts, recently surfaced in Islamabad, Pakistan, serving as translator for Taliban envoy Abdul Salam Zaeef. On another visit to Afghanistan, Dahab said, he and Mohamed discussed the project with Zawahiri and bin Laden.” “Dahab told Egyptian authorities he and Mohamed had found 10 recruits, all of them naturalized U.S. citizens who had been born in the Middle East. The account of the confession did not name the recruits or provide other details about them.”
    Williams explains that Dahab was arrested and sent to an Egyptian prison. “By 1998, Dahab was spending more and more time abroad, and he told a family law judge in San Jose that he intended to move his family back to Egypt. In August 1998, while Dahab was in Egypt, al Qaeda mounted suicide attacks on the embassies in East Africa. Within weeks Ali Mohamed was arrested for complicity in the attack. He pled guilty. .
    In October 1998, the Egyptian military moved to crush Islamic Jihad by arresting more than 70 of the organization’s leaders. Dahab decided to flee, and on Oct. 28 booked a flight to the United States. According to Dahab acquaintances, Egyptian security police boarded the plane shortly before takeoff and took him away in handcuffs. Dahab confessed his involvement with al Qaeda and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.”
    Sleepers, the former head of Bin Laden’s intelligence (and a former US Army sergeant) Ali Mohammed testified, “don’t wear the traditional beards and they don’t pray at the mosques.” An Al Qaeda encyclopedia, Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants, advises sleepers to “have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation,” and for men not to wear a beard. The book also instructs sleepers not to denounce unjustice faced by the ummah, and not to use common Islamic expressions such as “peace be on you,” nor to go to Islamic locations, such as mosques.
    Consider the example of another “sleeper” or operative, Tarik Hamdi of Herndon, Virginia. ABC News employed him to help secure an interview with bin Laden in early 1998. ABC News transported Hamdi to Afghanistan, unaware that his real purpose in going there was to carry a replacement battery to bin Laden for the satellite telephone he would later use to order the embassy bombings in East Africa. ABC was also unaware that the CIA had planted a listening device in the phone. The successful CIA operation, however, did not serve to prevent the planning of the embassy operation. Ironically, it facilitated it. If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

  14. DXer said

    A top former CIA expert says Jdey was arrested at time Moussaoui was arrested. Moussaoui stayed in the condo of the anthrax lab tech and was funded by the guy whose laptop contained spraydrying documents. The former head of Amerithrax, Michael Rolince, was the one taking all the grief about not connecting the dots over Moussaoui even though the FBI had been alerted to be on the look for Bin Laden supporters learning to fly planes. An FBI warned his superiors 70 times. Does the Amerithrax mess follow directly from the failure to avoid 911? Does the failure to connect the dots relate not by analogy — but directly?

    So let’s reconsider Ken Dillon’s question. A PhD, he is a former State Department analyst who served in Turkey and in positions in Washington, D.C.:

    “Was Abderraouf Jdey the Anthrax Mailer?

    A top secret Canadian Security Intelligence Service report leaked on August 27, 2004 may provide the missing piece of evidence needed to identify the long elusive Anthrax Mailer of 2001. While confirmation is still lacking, we now have enough shreds of evidence to piece together a theory of the case that resolves key anomalies. In turn, that theory can point us toward where we might find confirmatory evidence.

    According to the article in Canada’s National Post, Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, a 22-year old Canadian, told interrogators that he had heard from an assistant of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, that the November 12, 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight #587 in New York was the result of an al Qaeda shoe. The bomber was “Farouk the Tunisian”. Newspaper photographs showed him to be Abderraouf Jdey, a 36-year old Montreal-based Canadian of Tunisian origin.

    Jdey is one of the seven al Qaeda terrorists listed in the FBI’s plea for information from the public in May, 2004. He had emigrated to Canada in 1991, gained citizenship in 1995, and then travelled to Afghanistan where he trained as one of the ten substitutes for the 9/11 attackers. According to KSM, Jdey was slated for pilot training and was to be in the second wave of attacks. Jdey recorded a martyrdom statement in a video later found by American forces in Afghanistan. He returned to Montreal in summer 2001.

    A Theory of the Case

    Al Qaeda had a history of interest in biological weapons. There is evidence that the 9/11 attackers had anthrax in their possession during the months preceding September 11, 2001. They were evidently seeking a way to use a cropduster to spread anthrax over an American city. A medical doctor who treated a future hijacker for a skin lesion has stated that the lesion he treated was consistent with one caused by anthrax. A pharmacist reported to FBI that Mohamed Atta, leader of the 9/11 attacks, had sought a remedy for skin irritation on his hands, which were red from the wrists down. An accompanying fellow terrorist sought a remedy for a cough.
    If the 9/11 attackers possessed anthrax, they would have had to hand it off to another al Qaeda operative before September 11. Otherwise the precious vials of anthrax, the first and only weapon of mass destruction that al Qaeda had ever possessed, would have been wasted.
    But they wouldn’t necessarily trust just any al Qaeda operative to safeguard and perform with the anthrax, and perhaps they knew very few of al Qaeda’s sleepers in North America anyway. They would want to give the anthrax to an operative they knew and trusted, one who would use it to the best effect.
    Abderraouf Jdey appears to have been exactly such a person. He differed markedly from the nine other 9/11 substitutes. He was older, from a different country of origin, with Canadian citizenship, with semi-sleeper status, and with a clear designation as part of the second wave. He had trained in Afghanistan simultaneously with Mohamed Atta. He was well enough educated to have been slated for pilot training. In effect, Jdey can be viewed as the counterpart of Atta, as the leader of the second wave of al Qaeda attacks following 9/11.
    And he had studied biology at the University of Montreal in his late twenties. He was the only al Qaeda operative in North America known to have studied biology.
    So Jdey was the logical person for Atta to hand off the anthrax to. We can also identify the logical time and place for such a transfer to have occurred.

    An especially hard-to-explain anomaly in the hijackers’ story has been why Atta and a fellow hijacker travelled from Boston to Portland, Maine on September 10. Taking a feeder flight from Portland to Boston on the morning of September 11 caused Atta nearly to miss his connection, and he and his companion had to pass through security questioning twice rather than once–at a significant added risk of detection.

    So Atta must have had a reason to go to Portland that outweighed such risks. The most obvious explanation would be that he had an important meeting on a subject that required face-to-face contact, not just a veiled telephone conversation. A transaction with someone coming from the North, arranged for outside of Boston to lessen the risk of surveillance.

    Clearly, Jdey would be a very likely “someone”, and handing over the vials of anthrax would furnish a compelling reason for their otherwise risky meeting.

    More Anomalies Resolved

    If Jdey indeed was the recipient of vials of anthrax in Portland, then subsequent eventscould have followed this course:
    While the 9/11 hijackers had sought access to a cropduster to spread the anthrax over an American city, Jdey presumably saw that receiving training at an American flight school was not in the cards after 9/11. So he had to resort to another method of distributing the anthrax. (Another, perhaps more telling explanation is that it was Atta who had the idea of mailing letters and who provided Jdey with a mailing list of targets. Seeking revenge against specific individuals and organizations seems to have been a very characteristic personality trait of Atta.)
    Jdey decided to mail the anthrax. The first mailings took place in September soon after the 9/11 attacks. The second mailings, to Senators Daschle and Leahy, occurred in October and included high-quality anthrax. Driving hundreds of miles from Montreal to Trenton to mail the letters made sense because it perfectly disguised Jdey’s Canadian base. The presumed trip to Portland indicates that such a long drive to reduce the likelihood of surveillance was a modus operandi of Jdey.

    The anthrax letters do not show any obvious Gallicisms that would betray that they were from a fluent French-speaker, which Jdey presumably was. But they are consistent with a person who has acquired English as a second language, and there is nothing in them that is inconsistent with Jdey as author. In fact, Jdey is a highly believable author of the anthrax letters. Various objections that have been raised to al Qaeda authorship of the letters can be readily met. For instance, the concept of warning the target that he/she was being attacked was standard al Qaeda procedure in keeping with an injunction from the Prophet Mohammed.
    One of the main characteristics or anomalies of the Anthrax Mailer case has been how remarkably elusive the Mailer was both during his period of activity in autumn, 2001 and thereafter. Despite a massive FBI investigation backed by hundreds of thousands of tips from the American public, the Mailer has succeeded in hiding his tracks. Being based in Canada, contrary to every expectation, would nicely explain his elusiveness during his period of activity.

    The recently leaked Canadian intelligence report from 2002 provides a plausible explanation for the lack of information about Jdey’s whereabouts since then (as well as for the cessation of the anthrax mailings): Jdey committed suicide on Flight #587 on November 12, 2001.
    Why might Jdey be a likely candidate to do this, quite aside from the Jabarah account?

    If he was indeed the Anthrax Mailer, he was a hard-headed man of action. Instead of dreaming about impractical schemes of sowing the anthrax in the skies above a city, he realized that he had to use it before being captured. And in a way (mailing letters) that would minimize the possibility of arrest, which would keep him from fulfilling his pledge to commit suicide in an attack on the enemy. This tactic also enabled him to target the hated Senator Leahy, author of the legislation permitting “renditions” of suspected terrorists to their countries of origin, where they were subjected to torture. (These considerations explain another anomaly–that al Qaeda would use its first weapon of mass destruction in a manner unlikely to cause mass casualties.)

    In early November, 2001, Jdey recognized that–as the Anthrax Mailer–he was likely to be arrested at any moment, so he would do well to act on his pledge of martyrdom by turning himself into a shoebomber. The Canadian intelligence report has him leaving Canada in November, though the date is not provided. On November 12 he showed up at Kennedy International Airport and boarded Flight #587. No Canadian passport holders are listed on the final passenger list of Flight #587.
    Possessor of many aliases, Jdey presumably had several other passports. A number of the passengers were plausibly francophones; perhaps one of them was Jdey.
    The cessation of the mailings after October, 2001 after their initial success is another anomaly neatly explained by this account. Yet another anomaly, of course, is that Flight #587 disintegrated and crashed for no apparent reason.

    Seeking Confirmation

    The scenario sketched out above has the virtue of conforming to the evidence available in a logical manner. Three main perceptions support it: 1) it would powerfully explain Atta’s mysterious Portland trip; 2) it would show why the Mailer has proven so elusive and why the mailings ceased (Jdey might also not have revealed to any other al Qaeda operatives that he had the anthrax, so no one would know that he had been the Mailer once he committed suicide); and 3) it fits very well the characteristics that caused Jdey to stand out among the substitute hijackers, and indeed that differentiated him from the actual hijackers as well.
    Of course, there are major gaps in the evidence. The putative Portland meeting may never have occurred. The cause of the crash of Flight #587 remains controversial. According to the official inquiry, there was no evidence of an explosion on board. Accounts of eyewitnesses from the ground, however, are highly consistent with a shoe bomb explosion. The explosion could have been small enough to be masked by wake turbulence from the preceding JAL aircraft. The co-pilot’s frantic manipulation of the rudder would thus have been a hopeless attempt to rescue a doomed aircraft.
    We don’t know when or how Jdey crossed the border. We have no proof that he ever was in Trenton. It is also possible that Atta left a vial of anthrax behind in Florida with an al Qaeda sleeper who then mailed several anthrax letters, including the one that killed photoeditor Bob Stevens. In short, we don’t know a lot that we need to know.
    So it is necessary to seek evidence that would confirm, refute, or modify this account. Here are some ways to do so:

    ***

    So it is reasonable to think that the answer to “Was Abderraouf Jdey the Anthrax Mailer?” is: more likely than not. Or rather: much more likely than not.

    It is still not clear exactly how al Qaeda gained access to the anthrax, though it had opportunities to do so in several university laboratories. See the findings of attorney Ross Getman, an expert on al Qaeda’s biowarfare program.
    In this writer’s opinion, going beyond the conclusions of Getman, the most likely route was via a collaborative biodefense research project funded by the Department of Defense involving Advanced Biosystems, Inc. and what would become George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. At GMU’s Manassas, Virginia facility, Islamic ideologue Ali Al-Timimi, later imprisoned for recruiting American Muslims to fight U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was a graduate student in computational biology with an office in some proximity to that of Charles Bailey, Vice President of Advanced Biosystems and former Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. The project was using an avirulent Delta strain of anthrax from NIH. However, circumstantial evidence suggests that Bailey, a former boss of Bruce Ivins at Fort Detrick, had obtained a sample of virulent anthrax from Ivins (the circumstantial evidence is just that: all the surrounding evidence cited here, but also including the facts that the anthrax in the Mailer’s letters was the virulent strain and that one can infer that Bailey was the “former deputy commander” who was one of FBI’s ultimate four main suspects–i.e., that he had obtained the virulent anthrax from Bruce Ivins.). Bailey has remained silent and refers questioners to a university lawyer.

    A computer expert, Al-Timimi appears to have accessed Bailey’s computer files to obtain the text of a patent application he had filed in March, 2001 along with co-principal investigator on the Department of Defense biodefense project Ken Alibek, formerly of the Soviet biodefense program, on a method for treating biological samples such as anthrax spores. This method can be characterized as a combination of Soviet and American techniques for preparing cells, with wide commercial potential. It included repeated references to silica, which was present in a high concentration in the anthrax in the Mailer’s letters. In addition, the ultrafine, concentrated quality of the anthrax in the letters to the senators was consistent with the instructions in the application. Amid lax laboratory security, Al-Timimi also seems to have stolen some anthrax, which he apparently then provided to an al Qaeda-sympathizing scientist in a northern tier state or in Canada (the isotope ratios in the water used to prepare the Mailer’s anthrax were typical of water from the U.S.-Canada boundary region) to prepare the anthrax using the patent application instructions. Al-Timimi then provided the prepared anthrax to Mohamed Atta.
    As for the FBI investigation, construing the available circumstantial evidence above, one can surmise that FBI found enough further evidence in 2004 successfully to identify Jdey as the Anthrax Mailer and shoebomber of Flight #587. But this finding would have been exceptionally embarrassing to both FBI Director Robert Mueller and President George W. Bush. At a time of the highest alert, the Bureau and the rest of the U.S. Government had failed to stop an al Qaeda operative, whose whereabouts were known, from perpetrating two major attacks. It is also possible that Mueller and Bush had previously covered up the evidence that Flight #587 had been brought down by a terrorist shoebomb. At any rate, via Mueller’s “briefings” of the President on the anthrax case, they seem to have conspired to suppress all evidence regarding Jdey and to find some other suspect, which led eventually to the of necessity invalid case against Bruce Ivins.

    For further information and analysis regarding the 2001 anthrax mailings, see Intriguing Anomalies: An Introduction to Scientific Detective Work; Leading Theories of the Anthrax Mailings Case; and “The Anthrax Mailings Can’t Have Been al Qaeda”.

    Kenneth J. Dillon is an historian and former Department of State intelligence analyst. See the biosketch at http://scientiapress.com/aboutus .

  15. Anonymous Scientist said

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/25/AR2010012502598.html

    New report warns al-Qaeda still determined to attack U.S

    When al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called off a planned chemical attack on New York’s subway system in 2003, he offered this chilling explanation: The plot to unleash poison gas on New Yorkers was being dropped for “something better,” Zawahiri said in a message intercepted by U.S. eavesdroppers.

    The meaning of Zawahiri’s cryptic threat remains unclear more than six years later, but a new report warns that al-Qaeda has not abandoned its goal of attacking the United States with a chemical, biological or even nuclear weapon.

    The report, by a former senior CIA official who led the agency’s hunt for terrorists’ weapons of mass destruction, portrays al-Qaeda’s leaders as determined and patient, willing to wait for years to acquire the kinds of weapons that could inflict widespread casualties.

    The former official, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, draws on his knowledge of classified case files to argue that al-Qaeda has been far more sophisticated in its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction than is commonly believed, pursuing parallel paths to acquiring weapons and forging alliances with groups that can offer resources and expertise.

    “If Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants had been interested in . . . small-scale attacks, there is little doubt they could have done so now,” Mowatt-Larssen writes in a report released Monday by Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

    The report comes as a panel on weapons of mass destruction appointed by Congress prepares to release a new assessment of the federal government’s preparedness for such an attack. The review by the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism is particularly critical of the Obama administration’s actions so far in hardening the country’s defenses against bioterrorism, according to two former government officials who have seen drafts of the report.

    The commission’s initial report in December 2008 warned that a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction was likely by 2013.

    Mowatt-Larssen, a 30-year CIA veteran, led the agency’s internal task force on al-Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and later was named director of intelligence and counter-intelligence for the Energy Department. His report warns that bin Laden’s threat to wage WMD attacks against the West is not “empty rhetoric” but a top strategic goal for an organization that seeks the economic ruin of the United States and its alliesto hasten the overthrow of pro-Western governments in the Islamic world.

    He cites patterns in al-Qaeda’s 15-year pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that reflect a deliberateness and sophistication in assembling the needed expertise and equipment. He describes how Zawahiri hired two scientists — a Pakistani microbiologist sympathetic to al-Qaeda and a Malaysian army captain trained in the United States — to work separately on efforts to build a biological weapons lab and acquire deadly strains of anthrax bacteria. Al-Qaeda achieved both goals before September 2001 but apparently had not successfully weaponized the anthrax spores when the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan forced the scientists to flee, Mowatt-Larssen said.

    “This was far from run-of-the-mill terrorism,” he said an interview. “The program was highly compartmentalized, at the highest level of the organization. It was methodical and it was professional.”

    Mowatt-Larssen said he has seen no evidence linking al-Qaeda’s program with the anthrax attacks on U.S. politicians and news outlets in 2001. Zawahiri’s plan was aimed at mass casualties, and “not just trying to scare people with a few letters,” he said.

    Evidence from al-Qaeda documents and interrogations suggests that terrorists leaders had settled on anthrax as the weapon of choice and believed that the tools for a major biological attack were within their grasp, the former CIA official said. Al-Qaeda remained interested in nuclear weapons as well, but understood that the odds of success were much longer. “They realized they needed a lucky break,” Mowatt-Larssen said. “That meant buying or stealing fissile material or acquiring a stolen bomb.”

    Bush administration officials feared that bin Laden was close to obtaining nuclear weapons in 2003 after U.S. spies picked up a cryptic message by a Saudi affiliate of al-Qaeda referring to plans to obtain three stolen Russian nuclear devices. The intercepts prompted U.S. and Saudi governments to go on alert and later led to an aggressive Saudi crackdown that resulted in arrest or killings of dozens of suspected al-Qaeda associates.

    After that, terrorists’ chatter about a possible nuclear acquisition halted abruptly, but U.S. officials were never certain whether the plot was completely dismantled or simply pushed deeper underground.

    “The crackdown was so successful,” Mowatt-Larssen said, “that intelligence about the program basically dried up.”

    • DXer said

      –“Hambali (aka Riduan Isamuddin), the head of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an al Qaeda-associated militant Islamist group based in southwest Asia, introduces an ex-Malaysian Army Captain, Ya- zid Sufaat, to Ayman Zawahiri, to develop anthrax in a second, parallel network to Rauf Ahmed’s Afghanistan program. Neither network knew of the existence of the other, and each reported to Za- wahiri independently.”

      “-August 2001
      Ayman Zawahiri and Riduan Isamuddin (Hambali) personally inspect Rauf Ahmed’s completed laboratory in Kandahar.29 They separately meet with Yazid Sufaat, a member of al Qaeda’s terror- ist network with a degree in biochemistry, who gives them a weeklong briefing on his reportedly successful efforts to isolate and produce a lethal strain of anthrax.30 Note: Presumably, the inspection visit was timed to occur at the last possible time before the events of 9/11, of which both Zawahiri and Hambali were of course well aware.31”

      “Summer 2001
      Detention of Abderraouf Yousef Jdey, a biology major with possible interest in biological and nuclear weapons,35 who traveled with Zacharias Moussaoui from Canada into the United States. Moussaoui is detained with crop duster manuals in his possession;36 Jdey had biology textbooks.37 Earlier, they attended McMaster University in Canada, along with Adnan Shukrijumah.38
      Note: There has been unconfirmed speculation that they were slated to be part of a “second wave” of attacks post-9/11.39 Their whereabouts are unknown.”

      Click to access al-qaeda-wmd-threat.pdf

      • DXer said

        Moussaoui was in Canada? I thought he was in Oklahoma. I thought he drove across country to Minnesota from Oklahoma. When was he at McMasters? Is this expert saying that Jdey accompanied Moussaoui to Oklahoma?

        “August 23, 2001: FBI Agents Visit Moussaoui’s Former Flight School; Fail to Make Connections
        Two agents from the Oklahoma City FBI office visit Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma, to learn about Zacarias Moussaoui’s training there earlier in the year. One of these agents had visited the same school in September 1999 to learn more about Ihab Ali, an al-Qaeda agent who trained there in 1993. Apparently, this agent forgets the connection when he visits the school to look into Moussaoui. He later admits he should have connected the two cases. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18/2001; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. 322] The staff director of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry later states, “No one will ever know whether a greater focus on the connection between these events would have led to the unraveling of the September 11 plot.” [NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 9/25/2002] The Oklahoma City office also does not connect Moussaoui to a memo that had come from its office in May 1998 warning that “large numbers of Middle Eastern males” were receiving flight training in Oklahoma and could be planning terrorist attacks (see May 15, 1998). Furthermore, Moussaoui’s Oklahoma roommate Hussein al-Attas is also under suspicion at this time (see August 16, 2001). One of the people who attempted to post bond for al-Attas, William Webb, had previously been the subject of an extensive investigation by the same Oklahoma City FBI office. Webb is a member of the extremist group the Muslim Brotherhood and is also Vice President of Overseas Operations and Recruiting for the Palestinian group Fatah. Further, Webb is connected to Anwar Al Aulaqi, an imam who has frequent ties with some of the 9/11 hijackers and is suspected of involvement in the 9/11 plot (see March 2001 and After). Al Aulaqi was the subject of an FBI counterterrorism inquiry the year before (see June 1999-March 2000). These connections are also not noticed. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. 322; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 134-5 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ]
        Entity Tags: William Webb, Ihab Ali, FBI Minnesota field office, FBI Oklahoma City field office, Airman Flight School, Hussein al-Attas, Zacarias Moussaoui
        Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline”

        • DXer said

          When was Moussaoui in Canada? Given the specific reference to Jdey having biology textbooks and Moussaoui having cropduster manuals, I’m thinking that perhaps he means Jdey came from Montreal to Minnesota, meeting Moussaoui who had driven cross-country from Oklahoma with a friend. And that Jdey was arrested in mid-August 2001 and then released. If so, given the grief Amerithrax head Michael Rolince was getting over not connecting the dots with Moussaoui, this would have proved a headache for it to be suggested that Jdey was a good candidate for the anthrax mailer.

          1999: Zacarias Moussaoui, living in London, is observed by French intelligence making several trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan. French investigators later claim the British spy agency MI5 was alerted and requested to place Moussaoui under surveillance. The request appears to have been ignored. [Independent, 12/11/01]

          September-October 2000: Zacarias Moussaoui visits Malaysia twice, and stays at the very same condominium where the January al-Qaeda meeting was held (see January 5-8, 2000). [CNN, 8/30/02, Los Angeles Times, 2/2/02, Washington Post, 2/3/02] After that meeting, Malaysian intelligence keeps watch on the condominium at the request of the CIA. But the CIA stops the surveillance before Moussaoui arrives, spoiling a chance to expose the 9/11 plot by monitoring Moussaoui’s later travels. The Malaysians later say they were surprised by the CIA’s lack of interest. “We couldn’t fathom it, really,” Rais Yatim, Malaysia’s Legal Affairs minister, told Newsweek. “There was no show of concern.” [Newsweek, 6/2/02] While Moussaoui is in Malaysia, Yazid Sufaat, the owner of the condominium, signs letters falsely identifying Moussaoui as a representative of his wife’s company. [Reuters, 9/20/02, Washington Post, 2/3/02] When Moussaoui is later arrested in the US about one month before the 9/11 attacks, this letter in his possession could have led investigators back to the condominium and the connections with the January 2000 meeting attended by two of the hijackers (see January 5-8, 2000). [USA Today, 1/30/02] Moussaoui’s belongings also contained phone numbers that could have linked him to Ramzi bin al-Shibh (and his roommate Atta), another participant in the Malaysian meeting. [Associated Press, 12/12/01] But the papers aren’t examined until after the 9/11 attack (see September 11, 2001).

          February 23, 2001: Zacarias Moussaoui flies to the US. He starts flight training in Norman, Oklahoma three days later. He trains there until May, but doesn’t do well and drops out before getting a pilot’s license. His visa expires on May 22, but he doesn’t attempt to renew it or get another by briefly leaving the country. He stays in Norman, making arrangements to change flight schools and frequently exercising in a gym. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 10/17/02, MSNBC, 12/11/01] According to US investigators, would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see November 20, 2002) said he met Moussaoui in Karachi (Pakistan) in June 2001. [Washington Post, 11/20/02] Moussaoui moves to a flight school in Minnesota in August (see August 13-15, 2001) and is arrested by the FBI a short time later (see August 15, 2001). [Senate Intelligence Committee, 10/17/02, MSNBC, 12/11/01]

          August 1, 2001 (C): A motel owner in Oklahoma City later claims that Zacarias Moussaoui and hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi all come to his motel on this day. Although the FBI has investigated this lead, they have not commented on it, and prosecutors have not attempted to use the incident as evidence in their case against Moussaoui. It is widely admitted the case against Moussaoui is not strong (for instance, Newsweek states: “there’s nothing that shows Moussaoui ever had contact with any of the 9/11 hijackers” [Newsweek, 8/5/02]).

        • DXer said

          A LIFE Board member who has a PhD in food processing and consults from home researches rice hulls which are silicon. I called him upon a small newspaper report that his home had been searched and in his voice he seemed sincere in saying that the report was mistaken. (I tend to believe anyone who will talk to me. :0) ) The charity and other officials had been raided and so I didn’t think he would lie on the issue.

  16. Anonymous Scientist said

    http://www.mainjustice.com/2010/01/25/anthrax-attacks-remain-unsolved-wall-street-journal-says/

    Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved, Wall Street Journal Says
    By Ryan J. Reilly | January 25, 2010

    The FBI’s six-year investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people, closed a Senate office building for months and nearly paralyzed the U.S. Postal system was the largest inquest in its history and involved 9,000 interviews, 6,000 subpoenas, and the examination of tens of thousands of photocopiers, typewriters, computers and mailboxes.

    But it failed to find evidence that identified the anthrax killer or a witness to the mailings, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday in an opinion piece titled “The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved.”

    The Journal notes that less than a week after the apparent July 29, 2008, suicide of Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., the FBI declared him to have been the sole perpetrator of the attacks. But, according to the Journal, there is troubling evidence that Ivins could not have acted by himself.

  17. Anonymous Scientist said

    http://blogs.rep-am.com/worth_reading/2010/01/25/still-unsolved/

    Still unsolved
    Posted on January 25th, 2010 by stevemacoy
    Who killed Ottilie Lundgren?

    The 94-year-old Oxford resident was one of five people killed during the 2001 anthrax attacks. She apparently received a piece of mail that came into contact with a contaminated package intended for one of the attacker’s victims.

    After senior biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins killed himself in July 2008, most Americans figured he was the killer. He had been shown to be a very disturbed man and had access to spores similar to the ones used in the attacks, as well as the knowledge to use them. Knowing the FBI was closing in, he took his own life. Makes for a tidy narrative.

    But reporting by Edward Jay Epstein in Monday’s Wall Street Journal reveals a gaping hole in that story. The anthrax used in the attacks contained a quantity of silicon. This element can cause the anthrax to vaporize so the victim unknowingly inhales it, making it far more lethal than superficial exposure. And it appears Ivins had neither the equipment nor the knowledge to “weaponize” anthrax in this manner.

    Eight years have passed since the last anthrax attack. Epstein’s reporting does not prove Ivins innocent, but it does suggest that if he was involved, others were, too. And they’re still out there.

  18. Anonymous Scientist said

    http://newsmax.com/InsideCover/anthrax-ivins-fbi-epstein/2010/01/25/id/347911

    Epstein: Anthrax Attacks Still Unsolved
    Monday, January 25, 2010 12:15 PM Article Font Size
    By: Jim Meyers

    Just days after bio-defense researcher Bruce Ivins died from an overdose of Tylenol in July 2008, the FBI declared that he was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people.

    Ivins, who was developing vaccines against anthrax at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., had a flask of anthrax that closely matched the anthrax used in the attacks on several media outlets and the offices of two senators.

    But there is one problem with the FBI’s conclusion: silicon.

    Silicon was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax, turning it into a lethal aerosol, according to author Edward Jay Epstein, who offered a fresh look at the anthrax attacks in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. The anthrax used in the attacks contained silicon, while Ivins’ flask contained none.

    Moreover, Epstein found that Ivins did not have the means to attach silicon to anthrax spores, which requires highly specialized equipment not present at the Fort Detrick facility.

    “So while Ivins’ death provided a convenient fall guy, the silicon content still needed to be explained,” Epstein wrote.

    The FBI asserted that the silicon could have been accidentally absorbed by the anthrax spores from the water and nutrients in which they were grown.
    But in April 2009, an FBI lab disclosed that 1.4 percent of the powder in the anthrax-laden letter sent to Sen. Patrick Leahy was silicon — a “shockingly high proportion,” chemist Stuart Jacobson told Epstein.

    Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs in California conducted experiments in September to learn how much silicon could be absorbed by anthrax spores from a medium heavily laced with silicon. The tests fell far short of 1.4 percent and “effectively blew the FBI’s theory out of the water,” Epstein observed.

    The experiments showed that the silicon had to have been deliberately added to the anthrax spores, and since Ivins did not have the means to do that, someone else must have done it, Epstein wrote. He concluded:

    “So even though the public may be under the impression that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI investigation is still open — and unless it can refute the Livermore findings on the silicon, it is back to square one.”

    Epstein is currently writing a book about the 9/11 Commission. He notes on his Web site that the Commission’s report did not deal with “possible evidence linking at least one 9/11 hijacker to anthrax in Florida.”

  19. DXer said

    “Nobody is arguing that silicon was not used as microencapsulation. The argument is that the FBI’s theory that the silicon got there in some plausibly accidental manner is impossible, as proven by the Livermore study. There were no protocols for adding silicon at Detrick.”

    Remind me: Where does the government say “accidental” as distinguished from “naturally occurring” – and then Joe Michael covered himself by saying that we could argue all day over what “naturally occurring” means. The conclusions in his powerpoints are actually very conservative and fully consistent with the use of silicon in the culture medium as part of an encapsulation process for biodefense or bioweapons purposes. If he ever opined as to its purpose, he was speaking beyond his field and his data.

    In other words, you general argument is correct but you are not showing proper deference to the conclusions of the microbiologist with experience making aerosols using anthrax simulants who did controlled experiments showing you are correct (albeit the details vary). In short, all the experts with the relevant experience (e.g., Popov) agree that whatever its purpose, it was intentionally added. The trickiness in the FBI’s position centered on the use of the phrase “naturally occurring” to refer to the natural tendency of the silicon to be absorbed into the spore coat.

  20. DXer said

    Ed E. writes: “research anthrax no longer contains silicon.” He is mistaken. Dr. Ivins flask 1030 (as distinguished from flask 1029) DID contain silicon. If Anonymous Scientist and Ed E. keep arguing that the Silicon Signature was due to an additive to make it more floatable, they are shooting opposition to an Ivins Theory in the foot. Anonymous Scientist should have deferred to the microbiologist he consulted who did controlled experiments on the subject. His finding was that it did NOT contribute to floatability. I repeat: Anonymous Scientist’s own expert, a senior military scientist whose lab did controlled experiments precisely for resolving this question, found precisely the opposite of what Ed E. and Anonymous Scientist argue. The simulant performed as well with or without the silanizing solution in the slurry. Opponents to an Ivins Theory do not understand encapsulation even though Ayman Zawahiri and Rauf Ahmad and other supporters of the Salafist-Jihadis do. Microencapsulation was the reason for the Silicon Signature.

    • DXer said

      microencapsulation = coating (by absorption of the silicon into the spore coat)

      • anonymous scientist said

        microencapsulation = coating (by absorption of the silicon into the spore coat)

        Nobody is arguing that silicon was not used as microencapsulation. The argument is that the FBI’s theory that the silicon got there in some plausibly accidental manner is impossible, as proven by the Livermore study. There were no protocols for adding silicon at Detrick.

        Most of the Ames spores were made at Detrick. For all we know 100% of RMR-1030 was made at Dugway. RMR-1030 may have been made in 2000 (RMR-1029 was made in 1997 – with >80% of it’s contents coming from several production runs at Dugway). We know from Ivins summer 2001 emails that he was ordering MORE Ames spores from Dugway – in other words Dugway was the sole source for Ames spores.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: