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

* floor plan of suite at GMU’s Discovery Hall in 2001 with Ali Al-Timimi and leading anthrax scientists

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 7, 2010

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CASE CLOSED

is a novel which answers the question

… Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?

Here’s the fictional Lieutenant General Clifford Drysdale, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), organizing a new look at the FBI’s anthrax investigation …

“Those FBI bastards hounded a Defense Department employee until he committed suicide, if it was suicide. After seven years the FBI hasn’t come close to making a case that could convict the lowest grade criminal, let alone an internationally respected scientist. And they think they can say ‘case closed’ and sweep their incompetent investigation under the rug? I’ve already spoken to Secretary Morgan,” General Drysdale continued. “The Secretary agrees that the Defense Department is taking an unwarranted hit from the FBI, and we don’t know why. At my request, the Secretary has authorized us to find out what really happened. You’re the team I’ve selected. You’re authorized to go where you need to go, ask what you need to know. You’ll have whatever resources are necessary.

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *


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floor plan of suite at GMU’s Discovery Hall in 2001

with Ali Al-Timimi and leading anthrax scientists

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From DXer …

  • Here is the floor plan at George Mason University’s Discovery Hall in 2001 occupied by Ali Al-Timimi and leading anthrax scientists as part of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense.
  • Dr. Alibek was the leading anthrax scientist and co-founded the Center with the former deputy USAMRIID Commander Charles Bailey.  They were Battelle consultants.  Dr. Bailey was the lead DIA person on biothreat assessment.
  • DXer suggests that it shows that the man coordinating with 911 imam Anwar Aulaqi and Bin Laden’s sheik Al-Hawali (who was subject of the 1996 Declaration of War) was within 15 feet or so of the leading anthrax scientist and the former deputy USAMRIID Commander.  Published articles indicate  that Dr. Bailey came to be a prolific Ames researcher.
  • Ali Al-Timimi was in a program sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection where the FBI’s lead Amerithrax scientist was a collections scientist at the ATCC Bacteriology Division.
  • Did Ali Al-Timimi, convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years, infiltrate US biodefense?

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80 Responses to “* floor plan of suite at GMU’s Discovery Hall in 2001 with Ali Al-Timimi and leading anthrax scientists”

  1. DXer said

    Analysis
    4 August 2017
    We’ve got to talk: The militarization of biotechnology

    http://thebulletin.org/we%E2%80%99ve-got-talk-militarization-biotechnology10987

    • DXer said

      AI Makes Anthrax Bioterror Detection Easier

      By Jeremy Hsu
      Posted 4 Aug 2017
      http://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/imaging/ai-makes-anthrax-bioterror-detection-easier
      In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, separate terror incidents involving letters laced with anthrax killed five Americans and sickened 17 in what the FBI describes as the worst biological attacks in U.S. history. Detection of such lethal anthrax spores could get a speed boost from artificial intelligence that has learned to identify the telltale patterns of the dangerous bacteria within microscope images. …

      the new potential to quickly identify individual anthrax spores may have special resonance given that aerosolized anthrax capable of being spread over large areas and inhaled by hundreds or thousands of people remains a bioterrorism nightmare for experts. Anthrax is the main culprit in a suspected bioweapons production mishap that killed about 100 Soviet citizens in 1979. Then there were the anthrax-laced letters that killed a handful of Americans and sparked a massive FBI investigation in 2001. Countries considered hostile to the United States, such as North Korea, have attempted to develop weaponized anthrax spores in past decades.

      For decades, many studies have tried to establish effective early warning systems for anthrax attacks,” Park says. “However, the limited sensitivity of conventional biochemical methods essentially require preprocessing steps, and thus the consequent limitations in detection speed hampers their use in the realistic setting of biological warfare.”

      It was not easy for the Korean researchers to more rapidly identify anthrax. They first tried using supervised machine learning algorithms to identify the anthrax spores, but were only able to identify the genus of the samples (a broader classification of organisms one step above individual species). Success only came after the researchers turned to deep learning.

      Getting clearance to conduct this latest experiment also took almost a year because they needed access to a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory at South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development. Sangjin Park, one of the coauthors of the published research, had access to the lab as an employee of the Agency for Defense Development. But he had to wear the usual protective clothing while handling the anthrax samples and using the holographic microscope inside the lab.

  2. DXer said

    Analysis
    3 July 2017
    Ignore Bill Gates: Where bioweapons focus really belongs

    Filippa Lentzos
    http://thebulletin.org/ignore-bill-gates-where-bioweapons-focus-really-belongs10876

    “Gene editing and engineering technologies form another area of concern. These technologies could, for instance, enable the construction of dangerous pathogens from scratch, assist in the design of modified or radically new pathogens, or permit the reconstitution of an eradicated or extinct pathogen. Pharmacogenomics and genomic biomarker research could tailor drug responses to particular genetic groups, and might enable selective and more precisely targeted “genetic weapons.” Neurobiological research could enable the precise manipulation of bioregulators such as hormones, neurotransmitters, or signalling factors, which would then function as biological weapons controlling vital homeostatic systems such as temperature, sleep, blood pressure, heart rate, and immune response. Finally, new technologies could improve the yield, speed, or availability of bioweapons production; enhance the capabilities of sprayers or drone swarms; facilitate the use of non-living vectors such as nanomaterials; enhance delivery platforms for getting pathogens, molecules and drugs into the body; and advance self-assembled nanodevices and DNA origami (that is, complex nanostructures created by folding DNA) with the potential to transport biomolecules to targets within the body.”

    Comment: Yikes. That doesn’t sound good. As I recall, convicted seditionist Ali Al-Timimi, whose appeal is pending decision upon remand I believe, was reading GENOMICS periodical during jury deliberations. I’m glad he wasn’t working for the State and only sharing computers and research facilities with the leading DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense Ames anthrax researchers (who were using silicon), while being paid $70,000 to handle computer research relating to bioinformatics.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      “Finally, national biodefense capacities must be developed. If good ways of defending against future biological weapons existed, these weapons would become less attractive. But biodefense efforts must be transparent—it is in biodefense that the potential is greatest for permitted activities to cross the line, inadvertently or intentionally, into prohibited activities. States with biodefense programs, therefore, have a special responsibility to demonstrate that their programs are not used as cover for offensive programs—and also to ensure that their programs are not perceived as cover for anything offensive, as this might provide other states with a justification for initiating or continuing their own offensive warfare programs.”

      Analysis
      3 July 2017
      Ignore Bill Gates: Where bioweapons focus really belongs

      Filippa Lentzos
      http://thebulletin.org/ignore-bill-gates-where-bioweapons-focus-really-belongs10876

      Comment:

      In terms of transparency, perhaps the FBI — 10 years after accusing Bruce Ivins — could end its concealment of the contemporaneous notes from his lab notebook 4282.

      Perhaps the UK government could end its concealment of the identify of the second lab that Rauf Ahmad visited on behalf of Ayman Zawahiri. (He announced in his correspondence reporting on his mission to acquire virulent anthrax that his targets had been achieved.)

      Maybe Malaysia could address Yazid Sufaat’s claim that he had been part of a secret bioweapons program for that country.

      And perhaps Pakistan could explain why Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist, Rauf Ahmad, who continued to lie so massively to the FBI at the ISI safehouse, was afforded a servant serving tea and cookies rather than being thrown in jail.

      Otherwise, absent public confidence in such institutions, funding for biodefense should be cut off.

    • DXer said

      Scientists synthesize smallpox cousin in ominous breakthrough

      Washington Post-40 minutes ago
      In 2001, Australian researchers manipulated the genetic code of … Such concerns spiked after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks of that autumn.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/07/scientists-synthesize-smallpox-cousin-in-ominous-breakthrough/?utm_term=.61b0f6e25561

      Evans said he was not trying to prove a point, but he acknowledged that he has long argued that it would be possible to synthesize a pox virus through laboratory techniques.

      Smallpox, the deadliest disease in human history, was formally declared eradicated in 1980. Government officials and virologists have long debated whether to destroy the existing samples of smallpox kept under close guard at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as in government facilities in Russia. One argument against doing so, advanced by Evans and others, is that destroying the known stocks would not conclusively get rid of smallpox, because there could be unknown caches of the virus hidden somewhere, and that, in any case, modern techniques would be able to synthesize the virus based on already published genetic sequences.

  3. DXer said

    Synbio and biosecurity

    February 7, 2017 by Devang Mehta, Plos Blogs

    https://phys.org/news/2017-02-synbio-biosecurity.html

    With CRISPR, the narrative of de-skilling is even stronger, with several scientists presenting competing claims of ease: from “A grad student could do it” to “Any idiot can do it”.

  4. DXer said

    911 Imam Awlaki’s Call From Grave: Attack With Bioweapons ; Awlaki Was Coordinating With Ali Al-TImimi Who Shared A Suite With the Leading DARPA-funded Ames Researchers
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 4, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/911-imam-awlakis-call-from-grave-attack-with-bioweapons-awlaki-was-coordinating-with-ali-al-timimi-who-shared-a-suite-with-the-leading-darpa-funded-ames-researchers/

    8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki among those killed in Yemen raid, report says
    Published February 02, 2017
    FoxNews.com
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/02/8-year-old-daughter-anwar-al-awlaki-among-those-killed-in-yemen-raid-report-says.html

    ‘TERRORIST’ ATTACK STOPPED
    French soldiers open fire on machete-wielding suspect at Louvre in Paris
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/03/shooting-at-louvre-french-soldier-reportedly-opens-fire-during-security-scare.html

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  5. DXer said

    Ex-head of virology state research centre Vector vanishes: Interpol alerted

    By Olga Gertcyk
    20 January 2017
    Centre is one of only two repositories in the world of smallpox virus, and a key hub of research into the planet’s deadliest diseases.

    The disappearance of Professor Ilya Drozdov came to light in the latest twist in a long-running legal action over fraud and abuse of office during his leadership of State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology Vector, in Koltsovo, Novosibirsk, between 2005 and 2010.

    After quitting the institute, he returned to his native Saratov, but has now vanished.

    It is now confirmed that last month the 63 year old scientist – who needed top vetting clearance to lead Vector – was put on the Interpol wanted list, indicating fears he has gone abroad.

    He is accused by state investigators of misappropriating some 2 million roubles – then worth around $55,000, while his tenure also led to an outflow of staff unhappy at his management style.

    Biological weapon terror fears after Russian scientist in charge of producing Ebola and smallpox for the Kremlin disappears

    • Professor Ilya Drozdov, 63, has knowledge of Moscow’s bio-warfare secrets
    • He has been put on Interpol’s wanted list after vanishing without a trace
    • For five years he was head of research centre Vector, in Koltsovo, Siberia
    • Vector holds one of only two sources of smallpox in the world
    By Will Stewart In Moscow for MailOnline

    Published: 09:01 EST, 20 January 2017 | Updated: 09:36 EST, 20 January 2017

    A court decision this week in Novosibirsk ordered Drozdov to be arrested ‘in absentia’ over alleged fraud, in a mysterious case linked to Vector which was only launched four years after he left the research centre, one of Russia’s most heavily guarded sites, reported The Siberian Times.

    The case accuses him of misappropriating around £27,000.

    After leaving Vector in 2010, he returned to the southern Russian city of Saratov, where he had earlier headed another major complex called Russian Scientific Research Anti-Plague Institute ‘Microbe’, providing protection against dangerous deceases like bubonic plague, anthrax, and cholera.

    Colleagues at Vector claimed that as director he paid ‘exorbitant’ salaries to executives, while laboratory workers received ‘humiliatingly low wages’.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4140268/Russian-scientist-Ilya-Drozdov-disappears.html#ixzz4WlfoiJjG

  6. DXer said

    https://pandorareport.org/
    July 29, 2016

    • Tensions between Federal versus local and law enforcement versus public health (which is especially prudent with the current situation of San Juan suing the CDC over pesticide spraying). Consider these tensions during Amerithrax, when the FBI wanted to treat the AMI building as a crime scene, while the CDC wanted to go in and do testing, etc. In fact, these lessons have fueled the support for forensic epidemiology, which seeks to combine public health and law enforcement in order to facilitate a better working relationship.

  7. DXer said

    The always gracious daughter of Yazid Sufaat retweets Ali Al-Timimi’s mentor Bilal Philips — upon the news of the deal made with her father, the former Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat.

    “Dr. Bilal Philips ‏@DrBilalPhilips 15 hours ago

    If Allah has written something to be yours. It will be. Time might be different. The journey might be different. But it’ll be yours.”

    • DXer said

      Bilal Philips was Ali Al-TImimi’s and recruited American servicemen to jihad.

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

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

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilal_Philips

      Education[edit]
      Philips had encountered Islam several times in his travels, but the book that won him over was Islam, The Misunderstood Religion by Muhammad Qutb, the younger brother of Sayyid Qutb.[5]

      Controversies

      In 2007 Philips was banned from entering Australia on the advice of national security agencies.[13]

      In 2010 Philips was banned from entering the UK by home secretary Theresa May for holding “extremist views”.[10][14]

      In April 2011, Philips was banned from re-entering Germany as persona non grata.[15]

      In 2012, Philips was banned from entering Kenya over possible terror links.[16][17][18] Philips was named by the US government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing.

      In June 2014, the Bangladeshi intelligence service ordered Phillips, who had come to Dhaka to give lectures, to leave the country.[23][24]

      In September 2014, Philips was arrested[25] in the Philippines for “inciting and recruiting people to conduct terrorist activities.”[26][27][28] He was expected to be deported by Philippine immigration authorities after police arrested him in southern Davao City.[27][29][30] Eddie Delima, an immigration officer in Davao stated: “He’s classified as undesirable because of his extremist views and possible link to terrorist groups”.[27][28] The director of the Philippine National Police in Southern Mindanao, said Philips is being questioned for his possible links with terror groups including the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).[25] He was deported from the Philippines back to Canada.[31][32]

      Comment:

      Years ago, I once was told by Zawahiri’s friend from childhood that Qutb was a more important than thinker (in understanding current post-2001 events) than Zawahiri. The same fellow recently came to town last month and asked someone if I was still researching the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. The answer is yes. I have an insatiable hunger for yet undisclosed contemporaneous documents.

  8. DXer said

    Ali Al-TImimi’s December 7, 2015 “Defendant’s Reply Brief In Support Of His Motion to Compel The Disclosure Of Unredacted Documents To Cleared Defense Counsel And The Production Of An Index of Undisclosed Evidence” is now cleared for public release.

    Counsel notes “While the defense believes that the Squad IT-3 is material on its face, the materiality of the serialized investigation designations have only become clear over the last few years of disclosures into the public domain.”

  9. DXer said

    This document has been filed with the court security officer and is undergoing review for classified material. Shhhhh…

    I wonder what requires classification from 14 years ago.

    Reply by Ali Al-Timimi re 420 Response in Opposition, re 417 Motion to Compel Disclosure of Unredacted Documents to Cleared Defense Counsel and Production of Index of Undisclosed Evidence (Huff, Thomas) (Entered: 12/07/2015)

  10. DXer said

    FBI warns university researchers to beware of spies
    Academic leaders to be cautious of ‘insider threat, theft of trade secrets’

    By Dane SchillerNovember 22, 2015 Updated: November 22, 2015 9:05pm
    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/FBI-warns-university-researchers-to-beware-of-6650857.php

    Federal agents warn that university researchers ­­- on the cutting edge of everything from fighting cancer to improving farming – need to guard against foreign spies seeking to exploit their brilliance by stealing their work.

    Houston’s vast ties to the medical and energy sectors mean academics here need to protect their research from espionage, according to the FBI.

    “Some of the greatest threats to academia in the Houston area are the insider threat, theft of trade secrets and economic espionage,” said Maryjo Thomas, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Division.

    Thomas spoke to more than 100 academic and technology leaders, including some from MD Anderson Cancer Center, who recently gathered behind closed doors at the FBI’s Houston headquarters to discuss protecting research….

    It notes that while most foreign students, professors and researches in the United States are here for legitimate reasons, a “very few” of them are actively working at the behest of another government or competing organization.

    Academic theft

    Hua Zhao, a research assistant at the Medical College of Wisconsin, allegedly stole three vials of a patented compound used in cancer research. He was convicted in 2013 of unauthorized access of a protected computer.

    When he was arrested, he had 384 sensitive research files on his personal computer as well as an application to a Chinese foundation in which he claims to have discovered the compound and requests funding for additional research.

    In 2010, a U.S. security consultant purposely created an account for a young, attractive and fictitious cyber expert named Robin Sage. The account was used to collect almost 300 social network connections, including the then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the chief of staff for a U.S. congressman and several other leaders in the military and defense contracting arena.

    Michael Baker, who was with the Central Intelligence Agency for 17 years, said foreign governments and corporations know if they can avoid the high price of research and development by stealing someone else’s work, they save a massive amount of money, he said.

    “It is a very aggressive world out there, whether we are talking about state sponsored actors or private companies,” said Baker, who is the co-founder of Diligence, a global business intelligence firm based in New York. “They want just about anything.”

    Comment:

    I once played scrabble each week with and adored a woman from China (by way of Singapore, I think). Her field was computer security. Her doctorate involved embedding herself at a local company and assessing how people treated their passwords. Her view was that people would do a cost / benefit analysis whether they wanted to do this or that — such as play an online game (that posed risks). She was a non-citizen and yet I would trust her completely. The first day she had brought cookies decorated so as to look like scrabble tiles — she had me with hello. As a logical and dispassionate matter, though, it is mind-boggling to consider the risks faced by universities which regularly have researchers from around the world in their graduate student ranks.

    For example, I commend to you the PhD thesis by Corinne Verzoni on the risks at George Mason University with respect to biodefense work. Her thesis advisor, as I recall, had a day job at DOD.

    Dr. Al-Timimi, who had a $70k job coordinating computer research at the university, had access to the same computers in the labs where the biodefense people up and down the hall did their research. According to a whistleblower who telephoned me (who had been promptly let go when she raised the issue of the lax security), Al-Timimi had unfettered access to the ATCC patent repository (which is very different from the public catalog). (An FBI scientist guiding the Amerithrax effort, JB, was a bacteriology collection scientist there at the time so he could confirm the details or not).

    Dr. Al-Timimi was within a paperclip’s throw to the fax, phone and computer of the heads of the biggest DARPA-funded biodefense project ever — and it involved the Ames strain.

    So after the Ames strain was known to have been used in October 2001, if it truly was not until early 2003 that the FBI took a keen interest in whether US biodefense had been infiltrated, then maybe it was because of the profile that came out of Quantico in early October 2001.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    What was most needed in Amerithrax was deeply informed intelligence analysis by the CIA and NY Joint Task Force with experience with WTC 1993 — not off-the-shelf criminal profiling by the FBI by folks in the basement of Quantico.

    An Assessment of Exploitable Weaknesses in Universities
    https://books.google.com/books/about/An_Assessment_of_Exploitable_Weaknesses.html?id=9MTkMQAACAAJ

  11. DXer said

    My understanding of the United States v. Al-TImimi files is still a work in progress and very tentative. I am reading defense counsel’s late August 2015 memorandum in support of the motion to compel. I believe it was declassified and filed in early October 2015.

    The memorandum states:

    “Moreover, these documents reference even more undisclosed case files that may in turn contain more undisclosed (and unraveled) material documents.”

    These documents show that, as of October 23, 2002, three investigations were ongoing: 199N-WF-217423, 199N-222852, and a third redacted investigation.”

    Personally, I find the redacted documents and information to be the most interesting ones.

    Alibek’ biodefense project involved virulent Ames at the Southern Research Institute in Frederick, Maryland.

    If the FBI was not all over that lead — and the still unaccounted for 340 ml. Ames shipped from Dugway on June 27, 2001 — then that would surprise me.

    This is particularly true now that we know that (1) the FBI’s scientist at USAMRIID made lyophilized materials and put it in the shipping package in amounts excess of what had been requested, and (2) a shipment was rumored to have been lost or misdirected.

  12. DXer said

    “August 21, 2003 FBI 302 interview of Ali Al-Timimi states:

    “Timimi is currently pursuing his PHD at George Mason University (GMU). … The building at which Timimi works houses a number of administrative offices related his and other research projects. Housed within the same building, are the offices of the head of a Bio-Defense project. Timimi frequently talks to this individual about questions related to scientific research. The actual research for the Bio-Defense project is conducted at a separate building….”(p. 9)

    Ha! I have located the directory showing who was in which room. The hallway was loaded room-by-room by the scientists working for Alibek, the former Russian defector, and Bailey, the former USAMRIID acting commander.

  13. DXer said

    In an FBI 302 dated August 21,2003 (field in federal district court yesterday),Timimi explained his relationship with Andy Card [the White House Chief of Staff to which FBI Director Mueller reported on the Amerithrax investigation].

    “Timimi advised that in the past he has been placed in positions of trust with the United States government. In 1992, while Timimi was employed by Unisys, he worked on a project with the Department of Transportation (DOT) in which he created a contact database for the Director of the DOT, ANDY CARD. In conjunction with this project, Timimi entered personal information for about 500 or 600 individuals into a database to be used by Card while conducting DOT business. Timimi feels that he was trusted enough that he had access to personal information of a great number of important people, to include cabinet leaders and their children. At the end of the project, Card wrote TImimi a letter of commendation for his work at DOT. Timimi also worked for the U.S.Navy.”

    Note: I have previously explained that his work for the US Navy was classified.

  14. DXer said

    Dr. Alibek told me that he knew Ali Al-Timimi was a hardliner. So I ask: What WTF was he doing?

    HADRON Subsidiary Awarded $3.3 Million Biodefense Contract by DARPA -[SOUTHERN RESEARCH INSITITUTE]

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 4 /PRNewswire/ — Hadron, Inc.
    (OTC Bulletin Board: HDRN) today announced that one of its wholly-owned
    subsidiaries has been awarded a $3.3 million, one-year contract by the Defense
    Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
    Hadron’s subsidiaries, Avenue Technologies, Inc. and Advanced Biosystems,
    Inc., will perform the biodefense research programs under this contract. The
    scientific and medical research will consist of several related programs
    regarding the development of rapid-acting broad-spectrum protection against
    biological threat agents. Southern Research Institute, a well known research
    organization based in Birmingham, Alabama, is a subcontractor on this program.
    “We are pleased to be working with DARPA to provide proof of concept of
    certain innovative medical concepts regarding protection against biological
    threat agents,” said Dr. Ken Alibek, Hadron’s Chief Scientist and President of
    Advanced Biosystems. “There are many novel approaches to biological weapons
    defense that I believe may provide superior protection than those methods
    currently in use,” Dr. Alibek continued. “We hope this program is just the
    beginning of new, innovative research, funded by government agencies and the
    private sector, to develop new prophylactic means and treatments for a broad
    spectrum of infectious diseases,” he concluded.

    DECEMBER 2000 [UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA]

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Hadron, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board:
    HDRN) today announced that its Advanced Biosystems, Inc. subsidiary has won
    a contract award from the University of Alabama at Birmingham to provide
    support for the development of a training course for medical practitioners
    who may be faced with “rare events,” such as bioterrorism. This work will
    be funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an agency of
    the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    The training course is targeted to enhance the ability of medical
    professionals to identify and treat a wide variety of rare and potentially
    fatal diseases. Advanced Biosystems’ expertise with these rare infectious
    diseases will be used to develop the initial course outline and provide
    subject matter expertise for the course content. Advanced Biosystems’
    President, Dr. Ken Alibek, said, “We are glad to collaborate with the
    excellent researchers and scientists at the University of Alabama at
    Birmingham in the development of this significant program for biodefense
    education.”
    “We are pleased that Dr. Ken Alibek and his team of scientists and other
    experts, have been chosen to work on curriculum development for an area that
    is so key to our national security,” said Jon M. Stout, Hadron’s President
    and Chief Executive Officer. “The value of the contract is not material to
    Hadron in terms of dollars, but is quite important in that we are properly
    positioned to pursue larger analytical — as well as medical — research
    contracts in the field of biowarfare defense. We look forward to providing
    the Hadron guarantee of customer satisfaction to our newest partner,” he
    concluded.

    MARCH 2001

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 22 /PRNewswire/ —
    Hadron, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: HDRN) today announced that its Advanced
    Biosystems, Inc. subsidiary has been awarded a $2.6 million, one-year contract
    by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to study and develop
    new medical defenses for anthrax.
    This contract is a major step in Advanced Biosystems’ multi-phase program
    to develop defenses against, and treatments for, specific biological agents
    that may be used in warfare or terrorist attacks. This research will develop
    innovative medical approaches to treating anthrax, including methods of
    enhancing antibiotic therapies, modulating the host immune response, and new
    methods to battle anthrax sepsis and septic shock.
    Advanced Biosystems’ President, Dr. Ken Alibek, said, “The research
    program funded by this contract will explore promising alternatives to the
    present medical defense approaches to anthrax. These new alternatives are
    based on a new view of anthrax etiology and pathogenesis.” Sterling E.
    Phillips, Jr., Hadron’s President and Chief Executive Officer, added, “We are
    pleased that Hadron has been chosen to perform this research, in an area so
    important to our national security. Contracts such as this are key to the
    aggressive growth potential we see in developing novel treatment and
    prophylactic approaches for many other biological threat agents that could be
    used in biological warfare and terrorism.”
    Hadron specializes in developing innovative intelligence and biodefense
    solutions in support of our Nation’s national security. Hadron focuses on
    developing innovative technical solutions for the intelligence community,
    analyzing and supporting defense systems and developing medical defenses and
    treatments for toxic agents used in biological warfare and terrorism. The
    Company’s stock trades on the OTC Electronic Bulletin Board under the symbol
    HDRN. Hadron can be found on the Internet at http://www.hadron.com .

    APRIL 2001

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 12 /PRNewswire/ — Hadron, Inc.
    (OTC Bulletin Board: HDRN) today announced the appointment of Dr. Charles L.
    Bailey to the position of Vice President of Science for its Advanced
    Biosystems, Inc. subsidiary. Dr. Bailey will provide scientific and
    management leadership to existing programs, as well as identifying new sources
    of funding for Advanced Biosystems’ research and analysis of defenses against,
    and treatments for, specific biological agents that may be used in warfare or
    terrorist attacks.
    Dr. Ken Alibek, President of Advanced Biosystems, said, “We are
    exceptionally pleased that Dr. Charles Bailey is working with us. Dr. Bailey
    will preside over essential aspects of our programs to develop novel
    treatments and prophylactic approaches against the many biological threat
    agents that could be used in biological warfare and terrorism.” Sterling
    Phillips, Hadron President and CEO, added, “Dr. Bailey is well known for his
    exemplary contributions to our national security, and we are honored that he
    has joined Hadron to support our biological warfare defense and anti-terrorism
    programs.”
    “I am pleased to join Dr. Alibek and his team of excellent scientists,”
    said Dr. Bailey. He added, “I look forward to contributing to the enormous
    growth we anticipate in these vital scientific and national security
    programs.”
    Dr. Bailey is internationally recognized for his twenty-five years of
    research/development and senior program management experience with the U.S.
    Army in the field of biological warfare defense. During his career, he worked
    for more than twelve years at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of
    Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), where he served as Commander during the Desert
    Storm War. Dr. Bailey’s career also included serving as a senior intelligence
    officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency. Most recently, Dr. Bailey has
    worked in the private sector in senior program management positions for SRS
    Technologies and Battelle Memorial Institute.
    Dr. Bailey retired from the U.S. Army as a Colonel. He holds B.S., M.S.,
    and Ph.D. degrees from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Bailey has published
    more than 70 scientific articles concerning the results of his experiments
    with a wide variety of infectious agents and toxins.

    PR NEWSWIRE) Hadron Subsidiary Awarded $2.6 Million Anthrax Research Contrac
    Hadron Subsidiary Awarded $2.6 Million Anthrax Research Contract By the United
    States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command

    JUNE 2001

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 14 /PRNewswire/ — Hadron, Inc.
    (OTC Bulletin Board: HDRN) today announced that the U.S. Army Medical Research
    and Materiel Command has awarded a Hadron subsidiary, Advanced Biosystems,
    Inc., a $1.7 million increase in the total amount of its existing one-year
    contract to develop new medical defenses for anthrax. Hadron was awarded the
    original $2.6 million contract in March 2001.
    This contract funds research into promising alternatives to the present
    medical defense approaches for anthrax, one of the most dangerous biological
    warfare weapons. Under development by Advanced Biosystems are innovative
    medical approaches to treating anthrax, including methods of enhancing
    antibiotic therapies, strengthening the host immune response, and new methods
    for battling anthrax sepsis and septic shock. The research to be performed
    under this additional contract will focus on treatment from the period of
    initial exposure to the later stages of the disease. The direction of these
    additional research tasks is based on recent findings by Advanced Biosystems
    regarding potentially new views of the causative factors of the disease.
    Advanced Biosystems’ President, Dr. Ken Alibek, said, “The research
    specifically funded at this time will investigate new modalities to treat
    anthrax, including antibody-based treatments and combating the factors in the
    disease that lead to septic shock.” Sterling Phillips, Hadron’s President and
    Chief Executive Officer, added, “We are pleased with the continuing
    recognition of Advanced Biosystems’ multi-phase program to develop defenses
    against, and treatments for, specific biological agents that may be used in
    warfare or terrorist attacks. These innovative programs are vital to national
    security, the key focus of Hadron.”

    JULY 2001

    HADRON INC – Subsidiary Awarded New $3.6 Million Biodefense Contract By
    DARPA

    New York, New York, Jul 09, 2001 (Market News Publishing via COMTEX) — Hadron,
    Inc. announced that its Advanced Biosystems, Inc. subsidiary has been awarded a
    new $3.6 million contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    (DARPA). This eighteen-month contract represents a continuation of medical
    biodefense research previously funded by DARPA.

    Specifically, this contract funds research into ways to enhance the body’s
    innate immune response against a wide variety of biological weapons threats.

    The areas under investigation will include both in vitro and in vivo
    investigation of the effects of certain cytokine combinations, other natural and
    synthetic modulators of the innate immune response, computer modeling of
    cytokines and cytokine-receptors, and the construction of new peptides which
    mimic the effects of certain cytokines. The research is being conducted under
    the direction of Advanced Biosystems’ President, Dr. Ken Alibek, who has been
    developing these and other novel approaches to the development of new
    prophylactic means and treatments for a broad spectrum of infectious diseases.

    Dr. Alibek stated, “We are gratified by our preliminary research results to
    date, and are pleased to continue working with DARPA to advance this research
    into new medical concepts regarding protection against biological threat
    agents.” Hadron’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Phillips,
    commented, “We continue to have great confidence in Advanced Biosystems’
    multi-phase programs to develop defenses against, and treatments for, biological
    agents that may be used in warfare or terrorist attacks. Since support of
    national security is the key focus of Hadron, we are pleased these programs are
    part of our Company.”

    OCTOBER 2001

    HADRON INC – Subsidiary Awarded Grant by National Institute of Health To
    Study – New Medical Defenses Against Anthrax

    New York, New York, Oct 02, 2001 (Market News Publishing via COMTEX) — Hadron,
    Inc. announced that its Advanced Biosystems, Inc. subsidiary has been awarded a
    grant by the National Institute of Health. The three-year, $800,000 grant will
    focus on very specific aspects of medical defenses against Anthrax.

    The grant, entitled “Preparedness Against Illegitimate Use of Pathogens,” will
    study the role of certain cellular components in blocking development of the
    disease. Research currently being conducted by Advanced Biosystems concerning
    the Anthrax pathogen, has shown that its spread from a cellular to a systemic
    level can be affected by various factors. Certain of these factors will be
    explored in depth for this study. The grant is another step in Advanced
    Biosystems’ multi-phase program to develop defenses against, and treatments for,
    specific biological agents that may be used in warfare or terrorist attacks.

    Advanced Biosystems’ President, Dr. Ken Alibek, said, “We are very pleased to be
    working with the National Institute of Health in this very important area. The
    medical defenses against Anthrax which will be explored are based on a new view,
    developed in our labs, of the etiology and pathogenesis of the disease.”
    Sterling Phillips, Hadron’s President and Chief Executive Officer, added, “We
    believe the research being conducted by Dr. Alibek and his team of scientists is
    vital to our national security. Hadron is pleased to participate in our Nation’s
    defense in this time of international conflict.”

    AUGUST 2002

    Analex’s Subsidiary Awarded New $3 Million Biodefense Contract By DARPA
    (Source : Analex Corporation ; issued Aug. 1, 2002)
    http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/11187/darpa-biodefense-contract-to-analex-(aug.-2).html

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Analex Corporation today announced that its Advanced Biosystems, Inc. subsidiary has been awarded a new $3 million contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This eight-month contract builds upon medical biodefense research findings previously funded by DARPA, and initiates studies to develop immune system research models. Other members of Advanced Biosystems’ team include George Mason University, Sciperio, Inc., Southern Research Institute, and Structural Bioinformatics, Inc.

    The research is being conducted under the direction of Advanced Biosystems’ Vice Chairman and Chief Scientist, Dr. Ken Alibek, who has vast experience in the development of these and other novel methods of prophylaxis (prevention) and treatment of a broad spectrum of infectious diseases. This new biodefense contract focuses on researching ways to enhance the body’s innate immune response against a wide variety of biological weapons threats. The areas under investigation will include an expansion of prior in vitro and in vivo studies of the effects of certain cytokines and other modulators of the innate immune response; the computer modeling, design, construction, and in vitro testing of a new peptide designed to mimic the immunomodulating effects of a specific cytokine; and initial studies of various tissue deposition techniques to be used in creating a three-dimensional model of mucosal immunity.

    “We are gratified that our prior research has yielded promising results, and we are pleased to continue working with DARPA to develop advanced protection against biological threat agents,” Dr. Alibek stated. “Under this contract we will also continue the development, and small animal in vivo testing, of prototype biodefense products. Our Company continues to explore opportunities to license its developing technology to, or seek a joint venture with, a partner to complete the necessary clinical trials, regulatory approvals, and the development, manufacturing, and marketing of any future products that might arise from this work,” he added.

    Analex’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Phillips, commented, “We are pleased with the continuing recognition of Advanced Biosystems’ efforts to develop protection against biological agents that may be used in warfare or terrorist attacks. This research is an important component of Analex’s commitment to supporting national security.”

    Analex specializes in developing intelligence, systems engineering and biodefense solutions in support of our nation’s security. Analex focuses on designing, developing and testing aerospace products and systems; developing innovative technical solutions for the intelligence community, analyzing and supporting defense systems; and developing medical defenses and treatments for infectious agents used in biological warfare and terrorism. …

  15. DXer said

    Someone with deep experience pointed out that it has been inapt of me to describe Dr. Bailey as an Ames expert. Although highly distinguished and expert in his personal fields of study, Dr. Bailey is an entomologist. For the DARPA-funded project headed by Dr. Bailey and Dr. Alibek involving Ames anthrax research, I believe the subcontractor Southern Research Institute did the work with virulent Ames in Frederick, MD. That information is based on the press releases at the time and my conversations with Ken Alibek (although Ken did not name names and I needed the press releases obtainable through the Wayback Machine to fill in the details). It would help analysis if the SRI Prez or VP would specify when SRI first obtained virulent Ames and where they obtained it.

  16. DXer said

    The Ali Al-Timimi case was remanded in early August 2015. Al-Timimi is seeking inclusion of a document in the appellate record that is thought to reflect investigation of Ali Al-TImimi prior to 2003. In contrast, the FBI’s narrative has Wade Ammerman and John Wymann first coming to suspect Ali Al-Timimi as a suspect in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in early 2003.

    But let’s consider the FBI’s position that prior to early January 2003, they didn’t suspect Ali Al-TImimi as a suspect. Given he shared a suite with the DARPA-funded researchers using Ames strain of anthrax — the strain used in the anthrax mailings — wouldn’t that have been incompetent? Indeed, any profile that presupposed that the processor was the same as the mailer — and the same as the person who gained access to the strain — would have been pretty unsound. And yet that is exactly what the profile relied upon by the FBI posited.

    Here in Syracuse, by early 2003 there had already been 30 extensions of warrants on Al-TImimi’s charity colleague, the Vice-Chairman of the Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    I like to think of the AUSA, who I know and like, as having responded in good faith to the judge’s question about what the FBI suspected and when. The judge asked, in so many words, “so am I right that that the government insists that 2003 was the first of the investigation of Al-TImimi?” AUSA Kromberg responded affirmatively.

    But that doesn’t mean that Gordon was in fact told of the FBI’s and CIA’s and NSA’s efforts. Clients withhold information from their lawyers all the time — including government lawyers.

    Of course, Ali Al-TImimi was a suspect. To not know that is to not understand Amerithrax. It would be to not understand that both the CIA and FBI knew that Ayman Zawahiri’s colleagues had publicly announced that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax against US targets.

    For example, I routed a lengthy memo on the subjec to the CIA in December 2001 — all the while not knowing that there was already an active investigation locally that had predated 911. By February 2003, there had been 30 extensions on the warrants.

    After the raid of Ali Al-TImimi in February 2003, I had to call up Ames anthrax bioweaponeer Ken Alibek, Ali’s suitemate, to find out what the heck was going on.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US BIodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    Here is ann excerpt from a late summe r filing by Al-TImimi providing some background:

    “On remand, Assistant United States Attorney Gordon Kromberg answered affirmatively when directly asked to confirm the court’s understanding that “the government insists that there was no material investigation of Timimi until 2003.” In addition, Special Agent Ammerman testified that the investigation began in early 2003. (Trial Tr. 1337:6 (Apr. 11, 2005)); see also Dkt. No. 220, Hr’g Tr. 38:9-11, (Jan. 16, 2007). On its face, Squad IT-3 is evidence of a material investigation before 2003 and refers to hundreds of other potential material documents that could further undermine the government’s false representations to the lower court.

    ***

    The government disregards the fact that Ammerman repeatedly referenced Al-Qaeda and stated that Dr. Al-Timimi mirrored the views of the organization, associated with Al-Qaeda suspects, and used his position to get young Muslims to fight alongside Al-Qaeda. See Exhibit J (MacMahon Declaration).3 Thus, the prosecution suggests that a document that directly relates to (1) the search of Dr. Al-Timimi’s home, (2) the alleged conduct in the indictment, (3) the results of the investigation of Al-Qaeda associations, and (4) the testimony of these agents is not in any way discoverable in this trial. It is truly an argument that shocks the conscience.

    ***

    Dr. Al-Timimi has sought disclosure of the long-denied pre-2003 investigations that would have shown not only his refusal to associate with Al-Qaeda but conflicts in the testimony of key witnesses like Ammerman on his suspected associations and how this investigation of Dr. Al-Timimi began.”

  17. DXer said

    Dr. Alibek told me that he got his Ames from NIH. (The Delta Ames was cured of at least one of its virulence plasmids.) His work with virulent Ames, judging from press releases accessible through the Wayback Machine, was done at Southern Research Institute in Frederick.

    Moreover, in contrast to my earlier understanding, the gamma irradiated Ames strain provided the Aberdeen/Edgewood researcher (see November 2000 publication) was provided by the FBI’s expert at USAMRIID, John Ezzell — not ATCC — as I suggested before I had my first coffee this morning. Dr. Ezzell was the scientist who made the dried powder out of the Ames from Ivins’ Flask 1029.

    The flow cytometry work done with live Ames spores by the Aberdeen researcher at Dugway.

    The flow cytometry of Bacillus anthracis spores revisited †
    • Peter J. Stopa*
    Article first published online: 13 NOV 2000
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0320(20001201)41:4%3C237::AID-CYTO1%3E3.0.CO;2-3/full

    “Work with gamma-irradiated spores of BA and other strains of Bacillus was performed at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC) under Bio-Safety Level 1 (BSL-1) practices. Work that required the use of live BA spores was performed under Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) practices at the Baker Lifesciences Test Facility (BLTF), U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground.

    Bacterial Stocks
    Gamma-Irradiated spores of BA (strains: Sterne, Ames, and Vollum) were obtained from Dr. John Ezzell of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). BA was grown as described in Ezzell et al. (12), harvested, and allowed to sporulate. Media were then removed by centrifugation and the pellet was resuspended in water with 0.1% phenol as a preservative. Spore concentration was estimated by dilution plating methods. The spore suspensions were then frozen and gamma irradiated. Samples were then safety tested by standard techniques.

    Live spores of BA were provided by Dr. Lloyd Larsen (BLTF) for experiments that were conducted under BSL-3 conditions at Dugway Proving Ground. Spores were prepared as described above and supplied as stocks of 108 CFU/ml in water. Log-fold dilution series from 107 to 102CFU/ml were then prepared using flow cytometer sheath fluid (Iso-Flow; Coulter).

    For cross-reactivity studies, Bacillus globigii (BG; now known as Bacillus subtilis var. niger) was obtained from Dr. Bruce Harper (BLTF). BG was supplied as either a dry powder or as spore suspensions in water. Additional cultures of Bacillus species and other bacteria used in this study were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC; Rockville, MD).

  18. DXer said

    A classified document was submitted on April 29, 2015 in USA v. Ali-Al-Timimi.

    Appellant Ali Al-Timimi has moved for leave to file an oversize brief up to 200 pages or 50,000 words, whichever is greater. Methinks some law students helped the professor and submitted scholarly treatises on issues they were tasked.

    I used to clerk for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which heard cases in New York. I think any judge’s clerk would love to be assigned this case — even if 200 pages is allowed, First Amendment issues are very interesting.

    Although Jonathan Turley is a very noted First Amendment scholar and commentator of the time, I can hear the late Archibald Cox waxing eloquent on the issues — being able to argue thoughtfully either position equally well. First Amendment issues often involve a delicate balancing of conflicting interests.

    But the 4000 page appendix is what will be especially interesting for the purposes of the facts addressed by this blog.

    The motion by Ali-Al-TImimi’s defense counsel to submit a 200 page brief:

    “Appellant acknowledges and appreciates that this Court has a heavy caseload and favors concise briefs, but files this motion only in light of a series of appellate issues that are exceptional in their complexity, novelty, and importance—even by standards of other national security prosecutions. Defense counsel have repeatedly edited the draft brief in order to reduce it to the 200-page limit sought, and respectfully submit that the leave Al-Timimi seeks is comparable to that granted in similarly complex appeals before this Court.

    In further support of this motion, Appellant states as follows:

    1. This is a direct appeal of a decade-long complex national security prosecution. The case has produced a voluminous factual record and implicates multiple issues of exceptional complexity— including novel counts with little or no legal precedent, an expansive theory of inchoate criminal liability that the district court described as “unique” and “a tough case,” a widely discussed First Amendment issue, and a complicated post-trial Brady proceeding involving classified pleadings related to secret government surveillance programs. The appendix in this case is expected to approach 4,000 pages.

    2. At its core, this case centers on allegations that Dr. Ali Al- Timimi—a computational biologist employed in cancer research and a prominent Muslim scholar—made comments at a dinner shortly after September 11th that inspired certain men in attendance to go forward with a plan to travel to a camp in Pakistan called Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a group the United States would later designate as a terrorist organization. Under assorted theories of inchoate liability, Dr. Al-Timimi was charged with and convicted of 10 felonies. In a result that the district court described as “very draconian,” he received a mandatory lifetime prison sentence.

    3. Eight of the ten counts charged Al-Timimi as an accomplice to crimes prosecuted in a separate national security proceeding in United States v. Royer, et al., 1:03-cr-296-LMB (E.D. Va.). The facts of that separate proceeding are inextricably intertwined with the appellate issues in this case and so must be additionally summarized for this Court.

    4. After Al-Timimi’s trial, Professor Jonathan Turley accepted the case as pro bono lead counsel on appeal. His investigation led to an extensive post-trial Brady proceeding concerning allegations that the government withheld material evidence related to a secret government surveillance program. The proceeding necessitated the use of classified pleadings and evidence, and required almost 10 years of additional litigation before final judgment.

    5. To facilitate this Court’s efficient examination of the voluminous record below and to minimize the need for potentially burdensome independent review, it is essential for counsel to submit a comprehensive statement of facts. Given the complexity of this record, defense counsel believe that cuts below 200 pages will not be possible without sacrificing comprehensibility.

    6. A comprehensive treatment of the factual record is particularly compelled by the unique theories of inchoate liability asserted by the government in this case. Some of those theories combine both conspiracy and accomplice liability in a single count, claiming for example that Dr. Al-Timimi “Induc[ed] others to Conspire to Violate the Neutrality Act” and “Induc[ed] Others to Conspire to Use Firearms.” At trial, the district court described these counts as approaching “almost a third level of culpability,” and even after conviction commented on “the second- to third-degree-removed nature of the defendant’s activities.” Given this removed nature of the defendant’s alleged activities from the underlying crimes at issue, it is crucial for this Court to have a full analysis of the facts used to support his conviction.

    7. After going through multiple iterations, Dr. Al-Timimi’s defense team has pared the appeal to thirteen main issues. These issues implicate novel legal counts with little or no precedent, a widely debated First Amendment issue, a unique theory of inchoate liability, intersecting questions of constitutional and evidentiary law, intervening Supreme Court decisions, and complex issues of surveillance and national security investigations. No issue is minor or ancillary, and some raise matters of first impression in this Circuit. Dr. Al-Timimi’s conviction for “Soliciting Others to Levy War,” for example, requires historical treatment of the underlying terminology and standards, and his conviction for “Inducing Others to Conspire to Violate the Neutrality Act” involves analysis deeply rooted in historical sources. Moreover, his First Amendment defense has been widely discussed in both the academic and mainstream media for its relationship to the Supreme Court’s “imminent lawless action” standard for criminal incitement elucidated in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). See, e.g., Thomas Healy, Brandenburg In A Time of Terror, 84 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 655 (2009); Jerry Markon, Terrorism Case Puts Words of Muslim Leader On Trial, WASHINGTON POST, April 4, 2005.

    8. Finally, the brief must also address years of post-remand litigation related to claims that the government has withheld material evidence—claims that the appellate record will show have been vindicated in later discovery. Pursuant to an ongoing declassification review, the record is still being completed below, but suffice it to say here that the relevant documents make extensive use of surveillance codes that are not facially obvious and that must be appropriately presented and explained to facilitate a ruling on the merits. Based on the current results of the declassification review, it is clear that this will require both classified and unclassified briefing.

    9. Dr. Al-Timimi’s proposed 200-page limit is consistent with that permitted by this Court in the direct appeal in United States v. Moussaoui, No. 06-4494—a national security case that did not include the type of remand and major post-trial litigation present in this case.

    10. For all of these reasons, Dr. Al-Timimi’s defense team respectfully asserts the need to file a brief not to exceed 200 pages or 50,000 words in order to fully present the complex factual record and legal issues implicated in this appeal. Counsel acknowledge the necessity of endorsing the brevity of arguments to the greatest extent possible, but submit that the unique facts, circumstances, and sheer volume of the record below justify the appropriateness of this request.

    11. Defense counsel has sought the government’s consent on this motion; the Justice Department has indicated its opposition.

    WHEREFORE, Appellant Ali Al-Timimi respectfully requests that the Court grant this motion for leave to file an oversize brief not to exceed 200 pages or 50,000 words, whichever is greater.

    • DXer said

      There is no need to read AUSA’s opposition to defense counsel’s brief. But fn. 2 is noteworthy. It explains that the four year delay:

      “The docket reflects no filings regarding substantive activity between February 2009 and July 2013. This was, in large part, a result of the district judge’s decision that she would not resolve the outstanding matters unless and until the government cleared her clerk for the secret NSA program at issue. Transcript of Hearing, February 19, 2009 (open session), at page 6 (“What I’m saying is I will not work and I will not address the final merits of this issue — these issues until I have a clerk who is cleared”).”

      The United States opposes the appellant’s motion for authority to file a brief of up to 50,000 words. There is no good reason to grant a motion for such extraordinary relief in this appeal.

      Procedural Background Ali Al-Timimi was prosecuted in the course of an investigation into individuals who attended the Dar al-Arqam Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, where Al-Timimi was the featured teacher until September 11, 2001. Right after 9/11, Al-Timimi successfully induced at least four of those men to travel to Pakistan to obtain military-style training from the Lashkar-e- Taiba terrorist group so that they could fight against the American troops that he predicted would soon arrive in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. Those four, among others, were prosecuted in 2004 in the Eastern District of Virginia for a variety of offenses related to their training and travel. See United States v. Khan, 461 F.3d 477 (4th Cir. 2006). See also United States v. Chandia, 514 F.3d 365 (4th Cir. 2008) (affirming the conviction of another attendee of the Dar l-Arqam Islamic Center, who traveled to Pakistan in November 2001, at the urging of Al- Timimi).
      After a two-week trial before Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in the Eastern District of Virginia in April 2005, Al-Timimi was convicted by a jury of soliciting treason in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 373 and 2381, seditious conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2384, and inducing others to conspire to provide material support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, aid the Taliban, violate the Neutrality Act, use firearms in connection with a crime of violence, and carry explosives during the commission of a felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 844, 924, 960, and 2339A, and 50 U.S. C. §1705.

      On July 13, 2005, Judge Brinkema sentenced Al-Timimi to life in prison. Al-Timimi filed a timely notice of appeal. In late 2005, however, the existence of what had been a secret program of the National Security Agency (“NSA”) to intercept international phone calls was reported in the media. Al-Timimi assumed that he must have been intercepted by the secret NSA program, and reasoned that the government must have violated its discovery violations before his trial by failing to disclose those intercepts to him. Accordingly, he moved this Court to remand the case for the district court to consider his allegations. The government consented to the motion for remand, but denied any discovery violation. Accordingly, in April 2006, this Court vacated the appeal and remanded the case to the district court.

      Between 2006 and 2014, the district court considered various motions of Al-Timimi for disclosure of what Al-Timimi claimed was evidence that was improperly withheld from him. In April 2014, the district court concluded that no information was improperly withheld from Al- Timimi, and denied his post-remand motions. This appeal followed.

      Argument As Al-Timimi noted in Paragraph 3 on page 3 of his motion to exceed the page limit, his prosecution in 2005 was closely related to that of the defendants in the case captioned U.S. v. Royer, et al, 1:03-cr-296-LMB (E.D. Va.).1 Indeed, as noted in that same paragraph of his pleading, eight of the ten counts in the indictment against Al-Timimi charged him as an accomplice to crimes prosecuted in the Royer case in 2004. The briefing in this Court upon the appeals from the Royer case highlights the lack of necessity for the relief that Al-Timimi seeks in his own appeal.

      The Royer indictment alleged 32 counts against seven defendants. Two of the seven defendants indicted pled guilty before trial; one was severed and tried separately; and a fourth was acquitted at trial. See generally, United States v. Benkahla, 530 F.3d 300 (4th Cir. 2008); United States v. Khan, 309 F.Supp.2d 789 (E.D. Va. 2004). Of the three defendants that were convicted on the basis of that indictment, one was convicted of seditious conspiracy and conspiring to provide services to the Taliban; two were convicted of conspiring to violate the Neutrality Act; and all three were convicted of a conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and at least one related firearms offense. Masaud Khan was convicted of eight counts and appealed his sentence to life in prison plus 65 years; Seifullah Chapman was convicted of five counts and appealed his sentence to 85 years in prison; and Hammad Abdurraheem was convicted of three counts, and appealed his sentence to nine years in prison. United States v. Khan, 461 F.3d 477 (4th Cir. 2006).

      As is apparent from this Court’s opinion affirming the convictions in Khan, the factual context of that appeal was complicated, and it presented many novel legal issues with respect to charges very similar to those that might now be raised in Al-Timimi’s appeal. Moreover, the sentences imposed on Khan and Chapman were just as severe as the one that was imposed on Al- Timimi. Yet, in the appeal of that case, the three appellants were together authorized to file one joint brief – – and that one brief was limited to 20,000 words. See Order, United States v. Khan, No. 04-4519(L), filed by this Court on December 16, 2005.

      Al-Timimi suggests that this appeal is particularly complicated by its long procedural history. Although its procedural history is surely long, its factual record is not commensurately extensive. For example, the presentation of evidence at trial occupied only eight days. Moreover, after the remand, more than four years passed without any substantive activity2 – – and many of the post-remand docket entries consist of repeated defense motions for relief and supporting memorandum that were substantially similar to those that had already been filed.

      In any event, the factual record regarding those post-trial discovery issues is extremely limited. After all, the factual record for those issues is made up of documents submitted by the government that describe (1) the searches conducted by the government for the materials sought by the defense; (2) the results of those searches; and (3) the district court’s rulings on those searches and the results. Because the record contains only a handful of such documents, many pages should not be needed to challenge their adequacy.

      _________
      FN/
      The docket reflects no filings regarding substantive activity between February 2009 and July 2013. This was, in large part, a result of the district judge’s decision that she would not resolve the outstanding matters unless and until the government cleared her clerk for the secret NSA program at issue. Transcript of Hearing, February 19, 2009 (open session), at page 6 (“What I’m saying is I will not work and I will not address the final merits of this issue — these issues until I have a clerk who is cleared”).

      _________

      Al-Timimi argues that his appeal is particularly complicated because it involves FISA evidence and classified pleadings, but the Khan prosecution contained the same elements. He argues that many novel legal issues are raised, but at least as many were raised by the Khan defendants. Indeed, the docket in the Khan/Royer case reflects a motions practice that was at least as sophisticated as that conducted in connection with the trial of Al-Timimi.

      Moreover, while Al-Timimi suggests (in Paragraph 1 on page 2 of his motion) that “[t]he appendix in this case is expected to approach 4000 pages,” that volume of material is not substantially different from volume of material used in the appeal from the earlier trial; after all, the appendix in the Khan appeal (based on a trial at which evidence was presented for 13 days) was limited to 3,250 pages.3

      And, whereas the district court’s docket for Al-Timimi’s prosecution reflects about 400 entries, its docket for Khan reflected 581 entries before the case was initially appealed to this Court.4 While some of the entries on the Khan docket refer only to defendants who did not appeal because they either pled guilty or were acquitted, the docket still reflects a prosecution that was similar in scope to the related prosecution of Al-Timimi that followed the next year.

      In essence, the issues presented in Al-Timimi’s appeal are not significantly different in nature or complexity than those that were presented in the closely-related appeal decided in United States v. Khan. Yet, the limitation this Court placed on the length of the briefs in the Khan appeal enabled three appellants to present their best arguments cogently. Al-Timimi should be able to do the same with even fewer pages than the three Khan appellants shared. See generally United States v. McDonnell, No. 15-4019 (4th Cir. February 2, 2015) (allowing 21,000 words for the briefs in the appeal of the conviction of the former governor of Virginia after a five-week jury trial); United States v. Woodard, No. 13-4863 (4th Cir. December 19, 2013) (allowing 21,000 words for a joint brief for three defendants convicted after a 39-day bank fraud trial).

    • DXer said

      The judge granted defendant’s request to slip the briefing schedule:

      Opening brief and Appendix due: 06/08/2015 Response brief due: 07/06/2015 Any reply brief: 10 days from service of response brief.

  19. DXer said

    Dr. Majidi in his self-published e-book writes:

    “… on the result of the “risk assessment” study, Dr. Hatfill developed a PowerPoint presentation and in it, he specifically depicted an anthrax mail attack scenario with the letters to be sent to multiple targets including Government Agencies and News Agencies.”

    Question:

    Did Ali Al-Timimi at the Center for Biodefense see the powerpoint? The researchers on his hall from Alibek’s Hadron did their work with virulent Ames anthrax in downtown Frederick, Maryland.

    I guess I don’t understand why the head of WMD for the FBI did not consider the possibility that the USG had been infiltrated.

    To assume that Al Qaeda could not get it from a lab that had it is, well, stupid.

  20. DXer said

    Sheik Al-Hawali was one of Bin Laden’s sheiks. He was Ali-Timimi’s mentor. Isn’t he a subject of the “28 pages” being withheld by the Administration?

    Is Ayman Zawahiri Behind The Anthrax Mailings?
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0704/S00262.htm

    Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 11:49 am
    Opinion: Ross Getman
    Is Ayman Zawahiri Behind The Anthrax Mailings?

    “In late February 2003, authorities searched the townhouse of Ali Al-Timimi, a graduate student and employee in bioinformatics at George Mason University who shared a department fax with famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head and anthrax researcher Charles Bailey. Al-Timimi was a celebrated speaker and religious scholar associated with the Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”), an Ann Arbor-based charity. The Washington Post later summarized: “The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.”

    On October 6, 2002, Ali Al-Timimi drafted a letter from dissident Saudi Sheik Al-Hawali threatening disastrous consequences if the US invaded Iraq and had it delivered to all members of Congress. Al-Hawali was one of two dissident Saudi sheiks who inspired Bin Laden and remained in contact with him. Ali Al-Timimi was thought by colleagues as a “numbers guy” rather than having hands-on drying expertise, and was not known to have worked on any biodefense projects. There’s every reason to think the FBI concluded that Al-Timimi was neither the processor nor the mailer, given that the government never charged him with the anthrax crimes. The FBI knows what he had for dinner on September 16, 2001, just two days before the first mailing.”

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Isn’t another subject of the “28 pages” being withheld funding of 911 by the charity al-Haramain?

      Al-Timimi and NSA Wiretapping: What The Government Is Not Telling Us
      Ross E. Getman
      Tue 18 Dec 2007
      http://www.islamdaily.org/en/charities/6127.al-timimi-and-nsa-wiretapping-what-the-government-.htm

      “In 2006, federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, where al-Timimi was convicted, consented to the decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, to send the case back to U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema for further hearings. The district court may determine whether NSA-gathered evidence was used against al-Timimi without the court having been told. She also could press the government to reveal whether it withheld evidence gathered by the NSA that could have helped al-Timimi’s defense.

      Sometime during 2002, authorities learned that Ali Al-Timimi was in contact with Bin Laden’s mentor, dissident Saudi sheik al-Hawali. The detention of al-Hawali had been the express subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war and the claim of responsibility for the 1998 embassy bombings. Rather than pointing to the intercepts of conversations between al-Hawali and al-Timimi, however, defense counsel Turley publicly has pointed to conversations that the NSA intercepted involving a US charity official, Suliman al-Buthe, who Turley says was a central figure in al-Timimi’s trial. Professor Turley has argued that it is a First Amendment right to celebrate the hoped-for destruction of Western Civilization as Ali did in conversations with al-Buthe. Well, at the same time, it is a First Amendment right to tell you that it is a very bad idea for the US government to grant a high security clearance and access to anthrax weaponization know-how to someone such as Al-Timimi who hopes that the US is destroyed. If that does happen, it is a very bad idea to conceal the fact from the public as is being done here by the government.”

      Al-Buthe was an officer of the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, an Islamic charity in Oregon with alleged terrorism ties. Government attorneys revealed by accident in a separate unrelated case that al-Buthe’s conversations with individuals abroad were secretly monitored and intercepted by the NSA. The document labeled TOP SECRET had been given to the charity mistakenly in discovery. The document then was given by the charity to reporters. When the FBI learned of the disclosure, they asked the charity’s counsel for the document back. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week reversed and remanded to the District Court a ruling on whether the charity could rely on that document in a claim for illegal wiretapping. Under the “state secrets” documents, the Court held that not only could the charity not rely on the document in proving its claim, it would not be allowed to rely on the recollections of counsel and others who saw it. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, remanded to the District Court for a ruling whether the “State Secrets” doctrine was preempted under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (”FISA”), the statute authorizing the interception of communications with suspected terrorists. The legality of the NSA wiretapping program still seems very much in the air given that the preemption issue could be dispositive of the legality of the program. That, in turn, makes it all the more interesting and important what evidence was material and relevant to the conviction of Ali Al-Timimi.

      The father of a childhood friend, Milton Viorst, wrote a fascinating and sympathetic portrait of Dr. Al-Timimi in the Atlantic Monthly in June 2006. He explained that Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy, and at one point had received a letter of commendation from the White House. He even had briefly worked for White House chief of staff Andrew Card while Mr. Card was at the Department of Transportation. By 2001, Al-Timimi was a microbiologist at the George Mason University in a building, Discovery Hall, that contained the Center for Biodefense funded by the US government. The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency funded the program to the tune of about $13 million in 2001 and the adjoining years. By early 2002, Ali Al-Timimi had an office just 10-15 feet from the office of famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and Charles Bailey, the former head of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick (”USAMRIID”). Dr. Bailey has published many articles about the Ames strain of anthrax. The Center for Biodefense co-directors Alibek and Bailey consulted for Battelle. Battelle has world-class expertise in aerosols and contracts with the government. Dr. Bailey did important work for the Defense Intelligence Agency relating to the threat of biological weapons.

      FBI Director Mueller is quoted in Ron Kessler’s new book commenting that Al Qaeda thinks nothing of taking years to infiltrate personnel into key positions. In a recent speech, Mueller spoke about the need for universities to safeguard against spies and avoid unauthorized access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information. In an unclasssified Homeland Security briefing from late October, examples of infiltration are given. The report explains that Al Qaeda operative Dhiren Bharot had tasked someone with taking a job at a hotel to learn how to defeat alarm systems. The report gave the JFK plot and Ft. Dix plots as other examples where an insider’s knowledge was key. When the access to know-how involves cutting-edge means of weaponizing anthrax, then, it is fascinating that the mainstream press so scrupulously avoids noting who drank from the same water cooler as Ali Al-Timimi. Newspaper journalists have even avoided mention of the fact he had a high security clearance. Yet, we know that American scientist Steve Hatfill — once of interest to a different squad of the Task Force investigating the anthrax mailings — had a car accident years earlier, sometimes used to carry a gun while in Zimbabwe, and had written a novel.

      Before his graduate work at GMU, Al-Timimi had done graduate work in computers at a different area university. But there might have been no need for installing something that logged what was typed on department computers, because he soon would be put in charge of coordinating the research from several universities using the computers at $70,000 a year. His program was co-sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection. ATCC does not deny to me that its patent repository (as distinguished from its online catalog) had virulent Ames. Although in bioinformatics, as part of that program, Ali had access to both ATCC facilities and Center for Biodefense facilities.

      At Al-Timimi’s trial, the jurors heard testimony about a conversation between al-Timimi and al-Buthe that had been intercepted. The interception of the conversation was not disputed. In that conversation, which was disclosed to the defense, al-Timimi talked about the crash of the space shuttle Columbia. The indictment said Mr. Al-Timimi told followers after the shuttle crash that the loss of the Columbia made him “feel good” and that it was a “strong signal that Western supremacy [especially that of America] that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end … as occurred to the shuttle.” The government claimed that Al-Timimi, noting that the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations had said Mr. Ramon was carrying all the hopes and ambitions of the Israeli people, told his followers, “All these hopes and ambitions were burnt with the crash and the burning of the shuttle and one of its astronauts, the Israeli.” The government alleged that Mr. Al-Timimi said because the shuttle crashed near Palestine, Texas, “America will fall and disappear nearby Palestine.”

      Al-Timimi discussed the conversation in an exclusive NBC interview:

      “LISA MYERS: This is Ali al Timimi, an American biologist and Islamic spiritual leader. Prosecutors charge that only days after 9/11, al Timimi urged a group of Virginia men to go to terrorist camps in Kashmir and train to fight Americans in Afghanistan.

      Some men did train, and already have been convicted of terrorism charges. In an exclusive interview with NBC News, al Timimi denies the allegations.

      (Question to Ali al Timimi): Did you ever tell these men to go abroad and join in violent jihad?

      ALI AL TIMIMI: Never.

      MYERS: Who would someone make all this up about you?

      AL TAMIMI: Perhaps certain people in the government, in a zeal to silence outspoken Muslims in North America, have pushed an investigation further than it really should go.

      MYERS: In the wake of 9/11, the case does break new ground.

      DAVID COLE (Professor, Georgetown Law School): Well, it’s the first case in which the government has prosecuted a religious leader as such for, essentially, his speech.

      MYERS: Critics say this prosecution is a troubling incursion on the First Amendment and goes too far. But others contend the case isn’t about freedom of speech or religion but akin to a Mafia boss ordering a hit.

      VICTORIA TOENSING (Former Federal Prosecutor): It’s not an accepted religious or political belief to say, ‘Go out and kill somebody.’

      MYERS: To bolster their claims, prosecutors point to a message al Timimi wrote to followers in 2003 after the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Quote: ‘Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy.’

      AL TIMIMI: I thought it was an omen.

      MYERS: Al Timimi says he believed the accident suggests Allah was punishing the United States.

      AL TIMIMI: To have a Space Shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there is a divine hand behind it.

      MYERS: When we pressed further, al Timimi’s lawyer abruptly ended the interview.”

      Al-Haramain’s Al-Buthe had published al-Timimi’s views on the religious significance of the space shuttle crash that suggested it was punishment of the United States. In its recent decision in the NSA wiretapping case, the Ninth Circuit summarized the background:

      “Al-Haramain is a Muslim charity which is active in more than 50 countries. Its activities include building mosques and maintaining various development and education programs. The United Nations Security Council has identified Al-Haramain as an entity belonging to or associated with Al Qaeda. In February 2004, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of Treasury temporarily froze Al-Haramain’s assets pending a proceeding to determine whether to declare it a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” due to the organization’s alleged ties to Al Qaeda. Ultimately, Al-Haramain and one of its directors, Soliman Al-Buthi, were declared ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists.’”

      Professor Turley argues that if the U.S. government had secretly intercepted additional conversations involving al-Buthe, and then failed to turn them over to al-Timimi’s defense attorneys, that would be a violation of federal law even though Al-Buthe did not testify at trial.

      The transcript of a January 2007 motions hearing, although not shedding light on the NSA issue because relevant argument contained in letters was sealed, is nonetheless very interesting. There was a separate but related issue discussed relating to whether the government failed to provide copies of FBI 302 interview statements from a 1994 interview after the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and also whether the government failed to provide a copy of an FBI 302 interview statement from shortly after 9/11. The government argued that any statement relating to the February 1994 interview is not relevant. The federal prosecutor claims not to know whether such an interview took place and reports that records at the FBI from the time are not searchable by computer. (The family, however, still has the business card of the FBI Special Agent and Secret Service Agent who conducted the interview. ) As for the interview conducted shortly after 9/11, the federal prosecutor takes the position that it would only be subject to production if it contained exculpatory information. It does not, the federal prosecutor reports. The district court, however, noted that prosecutors, in complying with the federal rule, typically would err on the side of caution and produce record of all such statements by the defendant. The adversarial process contemplates that the defendant might find something relevant even if the prosecution does not.

      Finally, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals also authorized District Judge Brinkema to evaluate conditions under which al-Timimi was being held by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Turley reported that al-Timimi has been transferred to a half-dozen prisons over the past six months. He described it as a game of “Where’s Waldo?” Initially after an transfer, a prisoner is not able to communicate. Professor Turley reports that the effect of all the unannounced transfers was that he was finding it difficult, if not impossible, to represent his client effectively on appeal. When he was able to meet, prison officials reportedly were monitoring the conversation and even reviewing Ali’s notes from the meeting.

      NSA intercepts indeed may exist showing that this microbiologist religiously trained in Saudi Arabia by Bin Laden’s sheik worked with that same sheik to draft and hand-deliver a letter to all members of Congress about the dire consequences of invading Iraq. The letter was delivered on the first anniversary of the mailed anthrax to US Senator Leahy and Daschle. Perhaps the government’s aggressive prosecution of Ali Al-Timimi is best understood as an omen of the FBI’s successful resolution of Amerithrax.

      Posted November 19, 2007

      Update: Perhaps not.

  21. DXer said

    Graeme McQueen in his highly political “2001 Anthrax Deception” book writes:

    “Kissin argued that one of the chief suspects in the attacks ought to be Battelle Memorial Institute, the largest R&D company in the world, which regularly does work for the CIA and the U.S. military and was involved in anthrax weaponization projects that began in the second half of the 1990s. He noted that Battelle had the facilities for working with dry anthrax spores, while USAMRIID did not. Battelle publicizes its advanced methods of producing a variety of sophisticated aerosols. Kissin also showed how, throughout the anthrax investigation, the FBI had taken steps to keep Battelle’s name out of the discussion.
    Kissin dismissed the FBI’s attempt to explain the silicon in the attack anthrax, the substantial presence of which was not in doubt, as “naturally” occurring. Experiments had demonstrated that the deliberate addition of silicon is the only way to explain the high amounts of this chemical element in the anthrax. Silicon has long been key to American methods of weaponizing anthrax.”

    Does Barry even know that Alibek and Bailey were consultants for Battelle in 1999?

    Does he understand that the sophistication he claims was also a hallmark of the Russian know-how?

    Does he know that it was a local yet unidentified lab that did the work for Alibek’s company Hadron?

    Heck, Barry’s chief consultant on these issues (who is my dear friend) referred for a decade in emails to Barry and posts to the Alibekov formula (putting aside whether it was used or not).

    Does Barry understand that Alibek and Bailey co-invented a process in March 2001 to grow concentrated anthrax using silica in the culture medium?

    The FBI’s Dr. Majidi has expressly noted that the silica could have been in the culture medium.

    My consultant — who unlike Barry’s consultant actually has made anthrax simulant aerosols for use in biodefense experiments — says the patent by the former Battelle consultants is a microencapsulation patent.

    So under Barry’s own reasoning, his analysis brings him to within a few feet of the desk of Ali Al-Timimi, the man coordinating with the “911 imam” who from his grave urges anthrax attacks on the United States.

    911 Imam Awlaki’s Call From Grave: Attack With Bioweapons ; Awlaki Was Coordinating With Ali Al-TImimi Who Shared A Suite With the Leading DARPA-funded Ames Researchers
    Posted on May 4, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/911-imam-awlakis-call-from-grave-attack-with-bioweapons-awlaki-was-coordinating-with-ali-al-timimi-who-shared-a-suite-with-the-leading-darpa-funded-ames-researchers/

    Anonymous states … This DARPA budget document shows that DoD was experimenting with microencapsulated pathogens in 2000-2001 … Bruce Ivins could not have produced such a dry anthrax powder that was microencapsulated
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/anonymous-states-this-darpa-budget-document-shows-that-dod-was-experimenting-with-microencapsulated-pathogens-in-2000-2001-bruce-ivins-could-not-have-produced-such-a-dry-anthrax-powder-that/

    when did Southern Research Institute (SRI) first obtain virulent Ames and from whom?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 6, 2010
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/when-did-southern-research-institute-first-obtain-virulent-ames-and-from-whom/

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  22. DXer said

    Graeme MacQueen writes:

    “At this time we can only speculate on the precise relationship of the NSA initiative to the anthrax attacks, but it is important to remember that there was a great deal more going on in the U.S. at this time than the trauma from September 11 mentioned in most accounts of NSA spying. There were almost daily warnings by the U.S. administration of further attacks to come; there were people taking Cipro, buying gas masks and attempting to get anthrax vaccines; and, as time went on, there were deaths from anthrax. On October 3, the day before Bush’s signing of the order, Robert Stevens was diagnosed with anthrax. He died the day after the signing. Likewise, two days before the four members of Congress were briefed, two postal workers died of anthrax.

    Later, defenders of the secret NSA program (the “Terrorist Surveillance Program”) attempted to defend it as a legitimate interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. But this, of course, does not hold water. Bush signed the NSA order before the Patriot Act had been approved either by the Senate or by the House of Representatives.” (p. 55)

    The excellent book, BUSH’S LAW, explains that Al-Timimi’s extended network was subject to the wiretapping.

    Aafia’s sister, Fowzia, for example, at Johns-Hopkins, has been mentioned as subject to the NSA warrantless wiretapping.

    Senator Bob Graham was one of the four members of Congress briefed. Bob Graham has long said that the FBI is engaged in a cover-up about the investigation in Florida. He separately has urged that the 28 pages in the “Joint Inquiry” report should be disclosed.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US BIodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  23. DXer said

    Dr. Reynolds Salerno testified at his civil deposition in Stevens v. US:

    “And at that time — and you may not be aware of this — but at the same time that I started at Sandia, a book was published by a former defector [Ken Alibek] from the Soviet Union, and that book was called “Biohazard.” And that book basically blew open the cover of the former Soviet biological weapons program. And it described in detail how the Soviet Union had abrogated the biological weapons convention since its signing in 1972. And this was — and the infrastructure that remained in the former Soviet states associated with this biological weapons program was my primary — one of my primary concerns at that time. And this was part of why I thought Sandia should be focusing in this area when I started my job. And I happened to know some people in Washington who were focused in this area. At this time this was a very, very small field.” (p. 18)

    Did this expert on biosecurity notice that the fellow sharing a suite with the Russian defector was preaching the inevitable clash of civilizations and resulting destruction of Western Civilization?

    • DXer said

      Dr. Reynolds Salerno testified:

      “Anyway, with the publication of this particular book — and this book revealed to the U.S. Government, in an unclassified sense, that the Soviet program had laboratories all over the former Soviet Union that were associated with this biological weapons work. And now, in the late ’90s, with Russia collapsing and the former Soviet states having lost their Soviet protector, these facilities were languishing. And the scientists didn’t have money, the facilities were, in all likelihood, not being well cared for. And so I was among the small group of people associated with the field who were very concerned about the status of these facilities overseas. Because we knew — especially with this book released — that these facilities were working with many, many dangerous pathogens. So this is a long way of saying an idea that occurred to me and a colleague of mine at the time that was working at the Monterey Institute was, called Biosecurity. And at the time the term didn’t even exist. Okay. From my point of view, this was the origins of this technical field. And so quickly, I spent, you know, most of the first nine months or so of the year 2000 working with my colleagues in the physical protection area, and trying to adapt their methodologies and approaches to securing nuclear material to an approach that we thought would be reasonable for biological facilities.

      And so quickly, I spent, you know, most of the first nine months or so of the year 2000 working with my colleagues in the physical protection area, and trying to adapt their methodologies and approaches to securing nuclear material to an approach that we thought would be reasonable for biological facilities. And it was through this process of preparing for this big meeting, as well as the meeting itself, that I got to know a lot of principals at many of the most important U.S. facilities that work with dangerous materials. USAMRIID was one of them. CDC, NIH, Plum Island. Because they, in one way or another, were being 18 engaged by the Defense Department to work with these former Soviet lab directors, lab directors of facilities in the former Soviet Union. And that was really the — you know, my very rapid introduction to a field that I had little practical experience with. But you know, it was in a subject area that was very new to them, as well as to us.”

      (p. 19-21)

    • DXer said

      Dr. Salerno testified at deposition:

      So the program manager for that project was Ivan Waddoups.
      Q. How do you spell that last name?
      A. W-A-D-D-O-U — I think his name is on the first page of this report. W-A-D-D-O-U-P-S.
      Q. So your person that you reported to was Arian Pregenzer —
      A. Yes.
      Q. — but Ivan Waddoups was the person who had the overall responsibility for the contract to do —
      A. Yes — Q. — USAMRIID? A. — correct. So in our parlance, I was the
      principal investigator, and Ivan was the project manager or program manager. (p. 27)

  24. DXer said

    Agent FBI Wade Ammerman explained in his affidavit in support of his search of the raid on Al-Timimi’s townhouse:

    “I further know, as FBI Director Robert Mueller related to the United States Senate on February 11, 2003, that al-Qaida has developed a support infrastructure inside the United States that would allow al-Qaeda to mount another terrorist attack on our soil. Such an attack may rely on local individuals or use these local assets as support elements for teams arriving from outside the U.S.

    I also know that al-Qaeda appears to be enhancing its support infrastructure in the United States by boosting recruitment efforts. al-Qaeda no doubt recognizes the operational advantage it can derive from recruiting United States residents and citizens who are much less likely to come to the attention of law enforcement and who also may be better able to invoke constitutional protections that can slow or limit investigative efforts. The FBI is additionally deeply concerned about al-Qaeda’s interest in acquiring the capability to employ chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.”

  25. DXer said

    Why the U.S. Is Building a High-Tech Bubonic Plague Lab in Kazakhstan

    By Alex Pasternack
    http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/why-the-us-is-building-a-high-tech-plague-lab-in-kazakhstan

  26. DXer said

    The fellow who headed the Air Force lab, John Kiel, and did controlled experiments on the reason for the silicon signature — involving adding silanizing fluid to the slurry — told me that the Spring 2001 by the DARPA-funded suitemates of Ali Al-Timimi’s was a “microencapsulation patent.” It involved growing anthrax in a solution with silica.

  27. DXer said

    Whistleblower and Liability Protections for Scientific Laboratory Employees

    Gonzalez, Jarod S. / Sutton, Victoria
    Citation Information: Journal of Biosecurity, Biosafety and Biodefense Law.Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 2154-3186, DOI: 10.1515/2154-3186.1042, July 2012
    July 31, 2012

    Abstract

    The American whistleblower protection scheme as applied to whistleblowers in the laboratory context is a complex patchwork of federal, state, and local laws. Substantial differences in whistleblower protection for laboratory employee whistleblowers depend on a number of factors, including whether the laboratory employee whistleblowers work for public or private institutions and the location of the whistleblower. This document provides a basic summary of the American whistleblower protection scheme applicable to workers employed in laboratories in the United States, with a focus on biological laboratories, and those working with select agents, which are highly infectious agents that warrant special regulations for public safety and national security reasons.

    Comment: A scientist (JD/PhD) with BL-3 and BL-4 experience once called me to tell me that Ali Al-TImimi would have had unfettered access to the ATCC collection by reason of the program he was in. (ATCC was a co-sponsor of his bioinformatics program). She was immediately let go by ATCC when she pointed out the incredibly lax security upon starting there. The lead FBI scientist had been the collection scientist for the bacteriology collection. Given the small field, the Amerithrax investigation presented a dense thicket of difficult conflict of interest issues.

  28. DXer said

    The Soviet Biological Weapons Program
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Soviet-Biological-Weapons-Program/dp/0674047702/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344515255&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=Milton+Leitenberg+Zlinskas

    If you read just the first 122 times the authors cite and discuss Ken Alibek in their book on the secret Russian biological weapons program, you have to ask yourself:

    what are the views of the authors on the supporter of the jihadists Ali Al-Timimi who was coordinating Anwar Awlaki. Ali shared a suite with Ken Alibek. He later was represented by the daughter of the lead Amerithrax prosecutor who leaked the hyped Hatfill stories. For example, what is their view of Al-Timimi’s access to the know-how in the computers in the labs there? …such as described by the PhD candidate a couple doors down in her PhD thesis on biosecurity. Ali was paid $70,000 to coordinate, using computers, the research of 3 universities in a joint project relating to bioinformatics. Ali’s friend, the IANA webmaster who was indicted, was a PhD computer security expert. Ali was just a few feet away from the computer of the former acting commander of USAMRIID, Charles Bailey, the fellow said he wasn’t going to talk about silica because he didn’t want to give terrorists any ideas.

    The reporters will be giving interviews on a book tour. Reporters should ask them so we have a record of their current analysis in advance of the GAO report.

    Let ML put himself on record before any future attack or open acknowledgement.

  29. DXer said

    Ambassador Crump, while at the State Department 2005, reported to Condi Rice. Bush famously once asked Condi, I believe, how’s that throat-slitter as Ambassador thing working out. Well, Ali Al-Timimi had prevkiously been White House Chief of Staff’s assistant at Transportation. Hank would meet with University presidents to ask if he could be put in contact with professors who could cooperate and provide insight — did he consider getting in touch with Ali’s former boss Andy Card? (In the section immediately preceding the section on “Biological Weapons,” he writes of meeting with a University President willing to help.)

    Back in 2001, when President Bush put his hand on Hank’s shoulder and said “go get ’em” — did Hank understand that meant to go wherever he needed to go? Or was Andy Card off-limits in terms of intelligence collection. Card, after all, was receiving regular reports from Director Mueller on the progress of Amerihrax and so that might have been awkward.

  30. DXer said

    Is it really true that none of these journalists know that Anwar Awlaki was coordinating with Ali Al-TImimi, who shared a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers?

    Didn’t have bioweapons capability? Why? Is it because they couldn’t find a stamp?

    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/02/from-the-grave-al-awlaki-calls-for-bio-chem-attacks-on-the-u-s/

    From the grave, al-Awlaki calls for bio-chem attacks on the U.S.
    By Tim Lister and Paul Cruickshank

    The editor and star contributor may be dead, but that hasn’t prevented al Qaeda in Yemen from issuing the eighth and ninth editions of its online English-language magazine, Inspire.

    The eighth edition of the high-color magazine includes the most detailed advice yet from radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on launching attacks against Western countries. In a five-page article entitled “Targeting the Populations of Countries at War With Muslims,” al-Awlaki justifies the killing of women and children and the use of chemical and biological weapons in addition to bombings and gun attacks.

    Al-Awlaki and the man widely believed to have been Inspire’s editor, former North Carolina blogger Samir Khan, were both killed in a drone attack in September in Yemen. It’s unclear why it’s taken so long to publish their articles.

    The influence of al-Awlaki through his writings in Inspire and elsewhere have become apparent in several terrorism cases in Europe and the United States,

    Al-Awlaki says women and children should not be deliberately targeted, but if they are among “combatants,” it is “allowed for Muslims to attack them.”

    “Muslims are allowed to target the populations of countries that are at war with Muslims by bombings or fire-arms attacks or other forms of attacks that inevitably lead to the deaths of non-combatants,” al-Awlaki wrote.

    The continuation of jihad, al-Awlaki wrote, took precedence over every other consideration – and gun attacks such as that by Pakistani militants against civilian targets in Mumbai in 2008 were legitimate. More than 150 people were killed in a three-day assault on hotels and other places in Mumbai. Jihad allowed the shooter “to shoot randomly at crowds,” al-Awlaki added.

    “The use of poisons of chemical and biological weapons against population centers is allowed and strongly recommended due to the effect on the enemy,” al-Awlaki continued. He then quoted several religious scholars to justify such attacks, concluding: “These statements of the scholars show that it is allowed to use poison or other methods of mass killing against the disbelievers who are at war with us.”

    ***

  31. DXer said

    Secret Reports: With Security Spotty, Many Had Access to Anthrax
    http://www.propublica.org/article/secret-reports-with-security-spotty-many-had-access-to-anthrax

    The Army report also said that contractor labs, such as Battelle, had limited regulation and no screening of individuals working with anthrax and other pathogens, creating “the potential for unauthorized access to these materials.”

    Comment: The DARPA-funded co-founders of the Center for Biodefense were Battelle consultants in 1999. Dr. Alibek told me in 2003 that he knew Ali was a hardline Salafist. Okay, so why did he and his suitemate, head of biological threat assessment for DIA, share a suite with this man who was coordinating with the 911 imam?

    FBI scientist Jason Bannan was the collections scientist at ATCC, the co-sponsor with GMU of Al-Timimi’s program.

    Amerithrax is all about CYA. Amerithrax represents the greatest failure of intelligence analysis in the history of the United States.

    The only way to overcome it is to demand the non-exempt documents be produced.

    Internal Army emails that I’ve previously uploaded explain that the Army FOIA people recognize that there is nothing under FOIA that would prevent release of the information — it is DOJ that is orchestrating and causing the withholding of numerous documents.

    The GAO should address the lies that prosecutors and investigators have told about Dr. Ivins’ time in the lab. They provably knew that it related to Dr. Ivins’ formaldehyde study with rabbits and yet nowhere disclosed that fact and have affirmatively prevented production of the relevant notebooks.

  32. Dxer said

    Dan vergano of usa today has story…al Qaeda lab lingers re anthrax story .. Lew, can you find and post? From 30 minutes ago but am traveling and only have a free finger

  33. DXer said

    U.S. officials warn of possible retaliation over al-Awlaki killing
    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-01/middleeast/world_meast_yemen-radical-cleric_1_al-awlaki-drone-strike-jawf?_s=PM:MIDDLEEAST

    The recent INSPIRE magazine had a cover of a picture of the twin towers with $’s and 0s and 1s.

    It also had the message that Shaikh Anwar “is coming” and a picture of Grand Central.

    If one were to credit that the group from Yemen tends to say in advance what is going to do, perhaps the plan is to simultaneously bomb several subway trains.

    Similar to 7/7.

    With the bombers — at least a key partiicipant — having some connection to Yemen.

    It all seems a pretty pointless exercise — not advancing any cause or goal. (as does US presence in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last decade)

    but perhaps the killing of the underwear bomb maker has messed up the plan.

    Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s colleagues (e.g., Mabruk, Al-Najjar. Al-Zayat) announced in advance that Dr. Ayman was developing anthrax for use against US targets (the plan was for him to use the cover charities and universities and recruit an established specialist). The MSM media did not report this even after 9/11. We’ll never know whether if they had, the anthrax mailings would have been avoided.

    The late Shaikh Awlaki was coordinating with fellow Falls Church imam Ali Al-Timimi in 2001-2002. My source tells me that AUSA Rachel Lieber was forbidden from visiting Ali Al-Timimi in prison. A settlement had been reached in connection with other charges. But that to her great credit, she went anyway to ask about the anthrax mailings (although there were consequences). Is that correct? I don’t have corroboration of the sole source.

  34. DXer said

    http://mindingspot.blogspot.com/2011/06/keys-to-kingdom-by-senator-bob-graham.html

    “Senator Bob Graham’s first thriller is written in such a manner as to make the reader question, what is truth and what is actually fiction?
    A blogger writes of Senator Graham’s novel:

    “Ex-special forces agent Tony Ramos and Senator Billington both believe that the Iraq war is using funds that could be better spend elsewhere. But when Senator Billington is murdered, a series of events transpire that changes lives forever. Billington had left Ramos instructions to investigate the 9/11 terrorists attacks and Saudi Arabia complicity. He feels compelled to do so, along with Laura, Billington’s daughter, because he had dismissed Billington’s claims. Now, they discover a shocking international conspiracy, that if not stopped, could change and destroy lives forever.

    Political manipulations and connivance, on-the-edge of your seat action, a splash of romance and suspense tangle together into a first-rate thriller. Brimming with exclusive information that only Senator Bob Graham can tender, Keys to the Kingdom is a first row seat for political thrillers! ”

    Was there anything redacted from the 9/11 Commission report that could not have been public knowledge through investigative reporting? For example, consider what was publicly known about the visit of Sami Al-Hussayen’s uncle to the United States and what was known about Sheik Al-Hawali’s coordination with Ali Al-Timimi.

    http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=saleh_ibn_abdul_rahman_hussayen

    Terror Suspect’s Photos Cited; Trade Center Pictures Found on Computer of Saudi Student
    [FINAL Edition]
    The Washington Post – Washington, D.C.
    Author: Susan Schmidt
    Date: Mar 12, 2003

    Sami Omar al-Hussayen, 34, allegedly raised and distributed money through radical Islamic Web sites that promoted suicide attacks against the United States. Federal prosecutors in Boise, appearing in court yesterday seeking to have al-Hussayen held without bond, said the photos were found after he was taken into custody on 11 counts of visa fraud and false statements.

    The indictment against al-Hussayen said he provided computer services and advice to Web sites that “advocated violence against the United States.” Among them are sites run by the Michigan-based Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), which the government said posted fatwahs, or religious edicts, by radical Saudi clerics associated with bin Laden in the spring of 2001 that authorized the murder of innocents in pursuit of jihad attacks.

    The affidavit unsealed yesterday also stated that al-Hussayen’s uncle, Saleh Abdel Rahman Al-Hussayen, wired him nearly $100,000 in 1998 that he largely transferred to IANA. The uncle traveled to the United States shortly before the Sept. 11 attacks, visiting New York and IANA offices in Ann Arbor, the affidavit stated.

    Hardball Tactics In An Era Of Threats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  35. DXer said

    Excerpt:

    The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Questions, Potential Answers

    June 11, 2011

    Martin E. Hugh-Jones, et al.

    2. Silicon and Tin additives in the attack letter powders

    Silicon has been recognized as a “key component”# of the attack anthrax from the beginning,# although there has been much controversy over its nature and purpose. The presence of silica (SiO2) nanoparticles, classically used to increase the dispersibility of biological agents, was eventually ruled out. Six months after the attacks, an unusual chemical was said to be found in the letter spores,# and in November 2003 the journal Science published an article claiming the spores contained a “polymerized glass” component–a silane or siloxane compound that “leaves a thin glassy coating.”# This information was said to have been provided by US Intelligence to officials of two NATO countries. Richard Spertzel, former Deputy Commander of USAMRIID and Senior Biologist of the UN Special Commission for Iraq, later confirmed that this was known to the German Foreign Ministry.#

    Meanwhile, Dwight Adams, the Chief FBI scientist, stated at a private FBI briefing of Senators Daschle and Leahy in late 2002 that the letter anthrax contained no additives, but did contain Silicon which occurred naturally in the spore coat, not on the surface of the spore (the exosporium). This information was leaked by “sources on Capitol hill”# but did not become fully known until Adams testified in January, 2006 in the Hatfill vs. Ashcroft et al. lawsuit. At that time Adams said, in a sworn deposition, that scientific information obtained by the FBI about the letter anthrax is too sensitive to reveal to either the public or the Senate, Congress or their staff.#

    The ongoing concern of the FBI may have been to protect what may originally, before all the leaks and speculations, have been valuable security information about anthrax spore preparation. In an August, 2006 scientific article by an FBI scientist,# ostensibly about the procedures used to search bags of Congressional mail, a carefully-worded paragraph was inserted to imply, once again, that the attack anthrax consisted simply of spores, without additives, and was not weaponized. The article was widely touted as “the most expansive public comment on the nature of the powder by any FBI official.”# When the scientific journal printed a reader’s letter objecting to the absence of evidence in the FBI article to support its conclusions,# the journal’s Editor invited a reply but the FBI refused.

    Two years later, in connection with the announcement in 2008 that Ivins was the perpetrator of the anthrax attacks, the FBI held a science briefing in which they reiterated that the attack spores contained no additives and that Silicon was naturally present in the spore coat. When asked for the percent Silicon in the spores, the FBI spokesman refused to specify it.# A few weeks later, FBI Director Robert Mueller was asked the same question at a Congressional hearing on FBI oversight. Mueller said he was unable to answer at that time; but he eventually did so in an April, 2009# letter to the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, saying that the powder in the Leahy letter contained 1.4% Silicon by weight. He added that insufficient material made it impossible to analyze material from the NY Post, Daschle or Brokaw letters.# In fact, however, the FBI had known the percentage of Silicon in the NY Post powder since October, 2002, when an FBI laboratory measured a Silicon content of 10.77%# (this was not publicly divulged until the FBI document dump of February, 2011) . The FBI also analyzed the Leahy sample in 2002 and again in 2004, and found it contained 1.84 and 1.44% Silicon.#

    Even earlier, measurements made by the Armed Services Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in October, 2001, when they first discovered the presence of Silicon, must have been available to the FBI. AFIP released its data in response to a FOIA request in April, 2010.# Using the AFIP data, one of us (SJ) has calculated# a Silicon content of the order of 3% in the Daschle powder and 30% in the NY Post powder.

    Since it was already known from earlier work that Silicon can be naturally incorporated into Bacillus spores during their formation, the FBI contracted scientists at Sandia National Laboratory in December, 2001 to determine the location of the Silicon within the spores by examining thin sections with high-resolution scanning and transmission electronmicroscopy (SEM and STEM).# The Sandia findings became public in September, 2009: Silicon was localized on the spore coat, “not on the spore surface,” in the letter samples, as well as in surrogate samples that contained naturally-incorporated Silicon.# The weight-percent Silicon “at the spore level” was the same in the Leahy, Daschle and NY Post samples, approximately 1.5%. Sandia did not report the percentage at the bulk level.

    Thus, the Silicon content per spore in the Leahy letter, as determined at Sandia (1.5%), matched the bulk Silicon content, as determined by the FBI (1.4-1.8%). But for the NY Post letter, as the NAS Report notes, “there was a substantial difference between the amount of Silicon measured in bulk [by the FBI (10.77%), and by AFIP] and that measured in individual spores [1.5%, by Sandia]. No compelling explanation for this difference was provided to the committee.”# Neither the FBI nor the NAS committee mentioned the extra-cellular material visible in AFIP’s images of the NY Post sample, but not in images of the Daschle sample. Extra-cellular material would be included in measurements made on bulk samples, but not in measurements using higher-resolution SEM on single spores or spore slices, the focus of the Sandia work. We will come back later to the extracellular material in the NY Post sample.

    The high levels of Silicon found in the attack anthrax are extremely unusual. The largest amount that scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory could find,# in samples submitted to them by DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and collaborating laboratories,# was about 0.4 wt%, and the highest level they were able to achieve themselves through growth of spores in the presence of silicate (the mechanism of incorporation postulated by the FBI#), even in media approaching silicate saturation, was 0.3%. Similarly, the Sandia group found that the B. anthracis Ames spore samples sent them by the FBI (other than the attack samples) had either no Silicon or considerably lesser amounts, and a much smaller fraction of spores that contained Silicon.#

    In an effort to ‘reverse engineer” the attack anthrax, the FBI had asked Dugway early on to make 36 surrogate spore preparations by various methods.# Bulk elemental analysis was carried out by the FBI in 2002# on only ten of these surrogates (none of which contained added “dispersant,” i.e., silica nanoparticles). All ten were found to contain between 0.2% – 5% Silicon; four of these contained an amount of Silicon in the same range as the attack samples. However, when analyzed for Silicon in the spore coat, none of them were similar to the attack samples with respect to either the amount of Silicon per spore in the coat, or the fraction of spores containing any Silicon in the coat.# The NAS committee wrote that the bulk Silicon analyses indicate that it is possible to prepare spores with high Silicon content “without adding a dispersant.”# Evidently, however, Dugway must have introduced Silicon into the spores in some (other) way–possibly by growth in the presence of Antifoam C, which was used in some of the 36 Dugway surrogate preparations.# Antifoam C is polydimethylsiloxane. The NAS Report notes that “no studies have considered the effect of the chemical form of silicon (e.g., silicate impurity versus polydimethylsiloxane antifoam agent) on uptake.”# The NAS was not provided with all of the preparation procedures used;# the committee “sought, but could not obtain, a detailed explanation of the thought process that went into selection of the DPG [Dugway] methods…it was not clear to the committee how the subset of surrogate preparation methods was selected and whether these choices were based on an understanding informed by the investigation or on other assumptions about the approach taken to produce the evidentiary materials.”# In light of all the open questions, it is strange that a “red team,” convened at Quantico on March 13, 2007, recommended that the FBI pursue no further research on the Silicon in the letter powders.#

    A new book# edited by Bruce Budowle of the FBI and others suggests a reason why the FBI may have wished to avoid the Silicon question: “if the estimates of silicon concentrations in the Amerithrax spores are correct, they are not consistent with our current understanding of silica deposition, or those materials must have indeed been produced under an unusual set of conditions. If the latter were true, the silica [sic] evidence might provide a significant bound on the credible growth and production scenarios that would be consistent with the prosecution narrative in this case.”

    It has usually been assumed that any intentional additive containing Silicon must have been intended to increase the dispersibility of the attack spores.# In reporting their work to the FBI the Sandia scientists wrote that “the Silicon and Oxygen found on the spore coat are difficult to explain as an intentional addition to the spores, mainly because of their location on the spore coat, which surrounds the spore core and is surrounded or encased by the exosporium.”# In accord with this, it has recently been shown that natural incorporation of Silicon on the spore coat of B. cereus does not affect the spores’ dispersibility.# It does confer acid resistance,# however–resistance to environmental hazards would be a desirable property for anthrax spores as a biological weapon. Moreover, the spore coat of Bacilli, not the exosporium, is the effective surface of the spore; it is at the spore coat that large molecules (mol. wt. about 16,000 and above) are totally excluded from the spore,# and the coat is an important factor in spore resistance to toxic chemicals.# A dispersibility effect cannot be ruled out in the case of the attack spores, however. It has not been established that the Silicon on their spore coats is the result of natural incorporation, since the FBI has not been able to reproduce the observed Silicon levels by that means. The specific chemical form of the Silicon on the attack spore coats has yet to be determined.

    An effort to determine the dispersibility of the attack spores by direct measurement was undertaken in late 2001 and early 2002 by Michael Kuhlman of Battelle Memorial Institute. He measured the particle size distributions of aerosolized Daschle and Leahy samples and of several B. subtilis globigii spore samples made at Battelle using standard methods, with no milling or other processing.#.H
    He found them all to be similar. The particle sizes in all cases had bimodal distributions; for the Daschle sample, surprisingly, only 0.05 % of the mass had a diameter of 2 micrometers or less, and 0.9% had a 10 micrometer diameter or less; the Leahy sample had ten times more particles in this respirable range. The NAS Report took the Battelle data to indicate that “powders with dispersion characteristics similar to those of the letter materials could be made without the addition of a dispersant.”# However, there is reason to question whether the attack samples were in pristine condition when these measurements were carried out, or whether Battelle had autoclaved them first, which might have caused clumping. Richard Preston’s The Demon in the Freezer# describes an argument at a meeting in October 2001 involving the FBI laboratory, scientists from the Battelle Memorial Institute, and scientists from the Army. The Army scientists were telling the FBI that the attack powder was “extremely rarified and dangerous,” while Michael Kuhlman of Battelle “was allegedly saying that the anthrax was ten to fifty times less potent than the Army was claiming….One Army official is said to have blown up…at the meeting, saying to the Battelle man, ‘Goddamn it, you stuck your anthrax in an autoclave, and you turned it into hockey pucks.’” The FBI’s conclusion that the Silicon content of the attack anthrax had nothing to do with its dispersibility remains unproven.

    Returning to the question of the chemical form of the Silicon in the attack anthrax, AFIP summarized some of its October, 2001 SEM-EDX findings as follows: “Significant findings for the SPS02.03 [Daschle] sample included the presence of silicon and oxygen, which is indicative of silica [SiO2] or, more likely, silicates (Sio4, etc.). Distinguishing among the various possibilities would require additional work with standard materials…The SP02.88.01 [NY Post] samples had regions which exhibited the same set of elements found in SPS02.03 [Daschle], but these tended to be on ‘large’ pieces within the sample. Many of the smaller pieces within the sample exhibited the main peak associated with silicon. It appears that silicon (not bonded to oxygen or other elements) is present in many areas of this sample.”# When the NAS committee asked the FBI about this last point, the FBI answered that the presence of “reduced Silicon” was “just an observation.”#

    Since we now know that the NY Post and Daschle spores, in isolation, are elementally indistinguishable, the “large” pieces in the NY Post sample that exhibited the same elements as the Daschle sample must have been spore aggregates. The “smaller pieces” are probably cellular debris, absent in the more highly-purified Senate samples, but present as extra-cellular material in the NY Post spore preparation. The Silicon “not bonded to oxygen or other elements” in the smaller pieces may be in the form of silyl groups–a remnant of a silane additive used to treat the spores. More on this below. In any case, an explanation is needed for the fact that the NY Post sample contains two different chemical forms of Silicon.

    Besides Silicon, a second unusual element was found in the attack anthrax: Tin (Sn). The Sandia group found Tin and Iron in the 10-20 nm continuous Si-O layer surrounding the spore coats of all the attack samples, but not in any of the surrogate samples they studied, including those that contained naturally-incorporated Si-O on the spore coat.# These two elements may be a fingerprint, they wrote. But the NAS committee “was never shown any evidence to indicate that this possibility was pursued further or that these discussions led to any conclusions about the source of material or production methods.”#

    FBI laboratories also carried out extensive elemental analyses of the attack samples and of various other spore preparations, including the surrogates made at Dugway. Using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), a sensitive method, they found Tin in the attack samples in early 2002, but no Tin in any other spore preparations or in media.# Table I shows some of the FBI data. The amounts of Silicon and Tin–but not Iron#–appear to be related: the more of one, the more of the other. This suggests a process that involved both Silicon and Tin. There is no Tin in the simulant to which silica particles had been added, and no Silicon or Tin in the simulant without added silica, or in the contents of flask RMR 1029. The levels of other elements are reflective of media components, as can be seen by comparing Table II, showing elemental analyses determined by ICP-OES for nine Bacillus spore samples prepared by different methods:# Neither Silicon nor Tin was detectable in any of the samples.

    All the evidence in the public domain fits well with the concept that the attack spores were silicone-coated. The procedure can be outlined chemically as follows. Silicone polymers are typically formed by hydrolysis of a monomer such as dimethyldichlorosilane# (or other silane monomers with similar substituents).# Hydrolysis forms dimethylsilanols, which polymerize to form polydimethylsiloxane. In this process an Oxygen atom is added to every Silicon atom, in accord with the elemental analyses that find Silicon and Oxygen on the spore coat. Silane monomers are low-molecular-weight liquids that would be expected to penetrate the exosporium, the loose-fitting membrane sac that encloses the spore. If silane monomers were added to a suspension of dry spores in an organic solvent, the silane would not contact moisture until it reached the spore coat, where residual moisture diffusing from inside the spore would cause hydrolysis, followed by polymerization at the spore coat. The polysiloxane chains formed# at the spore coat must then be cross-linked (“cured”) in order to form a three-dimensional coating for encapsulation. This step requires continued diffusion of moisture and a dialkyltin catalyst#´# such as a dibutyltin dicarboxylate.# Organotins have low solubility in water but are soluble in organic solvents such as ether, carbon tetrachloride, etc.# The ratio of Tin to Silicon in the attack spores is “about right” for a Tin-catalyzed silicone coating on the spores, according to a chemist in the field.#

    In the absence of water, chlorosilane compounds react readily with various functional groups in organic materials (e.g., amino groups, carboxylic acid groups, etc. in cellular debris), resulting in “silylation” of the material, adding a Silicon but no Oxyen atom at each site. The silylated material (e.g., the extracellular material observed in the NY Post samples–the “smaller pieces”) would then contain Silicon not bonded to Oxygen.

    Microencapsulation can provide protection from the environment and better dispersibility and flowability.# The polydimethylsiloxanes have a low surface tension that produces “very hydrophobic films and a surface with good release properties, particularly if the film is cured…[The] surface tension is also in the most promising range considered for biocompatible elastomers.”# Methods have been developed to encapsulate biologicals with Silicon polymers that confer high stability while protecting biological activity.# Polydimethylsiloxane has been used in some pharmaceutical coating materials for years, even though a toxic material, organotin, is employed as catalyst in its production.#

    Inorganic Tin compounds are genotoxic to bacteria;# organotins are increasingly toxic; triorganotins are used as general biocides.# The potential toxicity of Tin compounds underlines the probability that Tin was not added to the attack spores during their growth, but rather, during post-production treatment of the spores.

    Whether or not this hypothesis is accurate in detail, it is obvious that the attack spores must have been treated with some procedure that produced the Silicon-Tin signature observed on their spore coats. That signature, alone, shows that the attack spores were grossly over-qualified for their job. The FBI has adequately proclaimed and demonstrated that surrogate samples, containing no Silicon or Tin, can be sufficiently dangerous. A qualified perpetrator, inspired on September 11 and ready to go on September 18, would not bother with unnecessary complications like coatings. If he could, he would take advantage of pre-existing spore preparations, regardless of their sophistication.

    It would be difficult not to conclude that the spores in the attack letters were prepared for some purpose other than terrorism. The procedures for coating spores, barely touched on here, are complex and highly esoteric processes that could not possibly have been carried out by a single individual. They would require a laboratory with specialized capabilities and expertise not found at USAMRIID, as well as possession of the right strain of B. anthracis Ames.

    In addition to the need for further analyses of the attack samples to determine the chemical forms of the Silicon and Tin they contain, critical information at various locations is waiting to be uncovered in records pertaining to Silicon and Tin compounds, their purchase, possession, use, testing, storage and so forth.

    Source:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/10ONTNGMiPAcQ0Z3jo4S1Y7eI2IdNtf6-8xe1bq__tNI/edit?hl=en_US&authkey=CNSH1YML&pli=1

  36. DXer said

    Isn’t the luncheon at the Pentagon emphasized by Catherine Herridge in her new book THE NEXT WAVE trivial in comparison?

  37. DXer said

    Is it true that AUSA Rachel Lieber was told by her supervisors that Al-Timimi was off limits to interview because a deal had been cut with him in another case? That to her great credit she went to the prison anyway? And that she suffered for it?

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/floor-plan-of-suite-at-gmus-discovery-hall-in-2001-with-ali-al-timimi-and-leading-anthrax-scientists/

  38. DXer said

    David Willman in Mirage Man (June 7, 2011) writes:

    “The ritual would get underway between 8 and 9 A.M. just outside the Oval Office, where Mueller waited with Attorney General John Ashcroft and Tom Ridge, who joined the Administration in early October 2001 as the president’s homeland security advisor and late became a cabinet-level secretary.


    When Tenet concluded, White House chief of staff Andy Card would open the door so that Mueller and the others could enter and brief the assembled officials on the latest in the anthrax investigation.” (p. 202)

  39. DXer said

    Threats and Responses, May 13, 2011
    Posted by James Lamond
    http://www.democracyarsenal.org/2011/05/threats-and-responses-.html

  40. DXer said

    UPDATE 1-U.S. briefs Wall Street about al Qaeda threat

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/01/idUKN0111904720110201

    But he called the briefings routine every time there is a threat, even when they are vague or of limited credibility. He declined to say how often such briefings have occurred or when the last ones took place.

    “In the post-9/11 world we routinely give security briefings to security personnel in various parts of the private sector. This was in the course of a periodic update in the evolving threat stream,” Margolin said.

    The briefings, which were first reported by the New York affiliate of NBC television, were conducted by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force that includes various state and local law enforcement agencies.

    Before the briefings, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued one of their periodic bulletins to thousands of law enforcement agencies in which they analyzed four recent editions of “Inspire.”

    “(The magazine) talks about different possible ways to do jihad. One of them talks about how those with degrees in biology and chemistry should develop a weapon of mass destruction. And then there’s a picture of an envelope with the word ‘anthrax’ written on it. But no specifics,” Margolin said.

  41. DXer said

    Son of blind sheikh released from Egyptian prison, September 5, 2010
    http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/son-blind-sheikh-released-egyptian-prison

  42. DXer said

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/06/30/alleged_spies_always_strived_for_connections/?page=3

    “Nonetheless, the episode is an extraordinary illustration of how the US government spends years tracking individuals it suspects are spies.

    In January 2001, after Heathfield obtained his Harvard degree and had begun working as a sales consultant, FBI agents obtained a court order and secretly searched a safe deposit box in Cambridge registered to the couple, the affidavit said.”

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense (June 29, 2010 revision)
    http://www.blurb.com/books/1443811

    Comment: The FBI has known that Ayman Zawahiri used the cover of universities and charities to infiltrate US biodefense since at least late 2001 when a female CIA analyst reviewed documents seized in Afghanistan evidencing his specific plans.

  43. DXer said

    George Mason University opens Biodefense lab

    June 23, 9:03

    Plague and anthrax are two of the biohazard agents to be studied at the new facility
    informationweek.com

    A new biodefense research facility was opened on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia. Some 50 scientists and researchers employed there will study infectious diseases and be part of a national effort to fight bioterrorism.

    The George Mason facility will be one of 13 planned U.S. biodefense facilities to receive grant funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    According to Charles Bailey, the lab’s director, “This is groundbreaking work we will be doing, we feel certain that our BRL-based research will lead to medical breakthroughs that will ultimately help protect the nation from bioterrorism and outbreaks of infectious disease.”

    The lab will be highly secure and only those who pass a federal background check will have access to secure areas. In addition, due to the nature of the biodefense work to be conducted at the facility, the site was built with an advanced air-filtration system as well as explosion-proof walls and windows, and an electronic surveillance system, all put in place to make the likelihood of pathogens escaping from the site very low.

    The types of pathogens to be studied at the new facility include plague, anthrax, influenza and Rift Valley fever.

    The new lab will join the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases on the George Mason campus.

    http://www.newanthraxandalqaeda.com

  44. DXer said

    Times Sq. Bomb Suspect Is Linked to Militant Cleric

    By SCOTT SHANE and MARK MAZZETTI
    Published: May 6, 2010
    WASHINGTON — The Pakistani-American man accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square has told investigators that he drew inspiration from Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American cleric whose militant online lectures have been a catalyst for several recent attacks and plots, an American official said Thursday.

    ***

    He was imprisoned in Yemen in 2006 and 2007, and after his release he was more overtly approving of violence. Last year, he published a tract entitled “44 Ways of Supporting Jihad” that was widely circulated on the Internet.

    Comment:

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

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

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

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

    The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was Aulaqi’s roommate. Smith tells me that he was very extreme in his views when speaking privately and not like his smooth public persona. “Aulaqi is deep into hardcore militant Islam. He is not a cleric who just says prayers and counsels people as some of his supporters have suggested.” Sami al-Hussayen uncle checked into the same Herndon, VA hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn, on the same night — September 10, 2001 as Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and another hijacker. Hussayen had a seizure during an FBI interview and although doctors found nothing wrong with him was allowed to return home. During his trip to the US, al-Hussayen had visited both “911 imam” Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi.

    The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states

    “Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmi’s personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.”

    The Washington Post explains that “After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. His CD “The Hereafter” takes listeners on a tour of Paradise that describes “the mansions of Paradise,” “the women of Paradise,” and “the greatest of the pleasures of Paradise.” In London, after leaving the United States, he spoke at JIMAS and argued that in light of the rewards offered to martyrs in Jennah, or Paradise, Muslims should be eager to give his life in fighting the unbelievers. “Don’t think that the tones that die in the sake of Allah are dead — they are alive, and Allah is providing for them. So the shaheed is alive in the sense that his soul is in Jennah, and his soul is alive in Jennah.” He moved to Yemen, his family’s ancestral home, in 2004.” Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in San’a run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.

    Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: “Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi’s charity as its Yemeni partner. A Washington Post article explained: “The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.”

    He now has been released and came to be at the center of a controversy concerning what the FBI should have known and shared about Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. The next month he was alleged to have been involved with the planned bombing of a airliner flying into Detroit. What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? The Washington Post reports that in a taped interview posted on December 31, 2007 on a British Web site, “Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers.” “I don’t know if I was held because of that or because of the other issues they presented,” Aulaqi said. Aulaqi once said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so “until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.” Now it’s been announced that the US wants to drop a missile on him.

    Anwar Aulaqi’s name does come up in filed court pleadings by Ali Al-Timimi’s defense counsel, the famed MSNBC commentator and First Amendment scholar Jonathan Turley, who says the FBI considered his client an “anthrax weapons suspect.” Attorney Turley says Anwar Aulaqi is central to the allegations against his client in the alleged sedition conspiracy. He says: “Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy.”

    In 2001, Ali worked alongside researchers at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense who invented a process to concentrate using silica in the culture medium which then was removed from the surface of the spore by repeated centrifugation. Professor Turley wrote: “Al-Timimi is the spiritual adviser to many Muslims across the country. He has worked with the government, including White House chief of staff Andrew Card…”

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

    When Vice President Cheney was briefed on the documents in late 2001, he immediately called a meeting of FBI and CIA. “I’ll be very blunt,” the Vice President started. “There is no priority of this government more important than finding out if there is a link between what’s happened here and what we’ve found over there with Qaeda.”

    In a filing unsealed in United States v. Al-Timimi, Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer, Professor and MSNBC commentator Jonathan Turley, explained that his client “was considered an anthrax weapons suspect.” Al-Timimi was a computational biologist who came to have an office 15 feet from the leading anthrax scientist and the former deputy commander of USAMRIID. A motion filed in early August 2008 seeking to unseal additional information in federal district court was denied. The ongoing proceedings are highly classified.

    Dr. Al-Timimi’s counsel summarizes:

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

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

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

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

  45. DXer said

    Edward Montooth has been employed as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for over 21 years. Over the course of his career he has investigated numerous terrorism cases, both domestically as well as internationally with foreign Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies. Special Agent Montooth’s career has required him to spend a significant amount of time working in Asia, Europe and Africa. His outstanding service has been recognized by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, U.S. Intelligence Agencies, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United Nations. Edward Montooth co-teaches PSSL 240 Political Violence and Terrorism. Was it his sole responsibility to integrate the information coming from the compartmentalized squads? If so, shouldn’t he either get it right or resign?

    • DXer said

      There is nothing that FBI Director Mueller did not know. Shouldn’t he either get it right or resign?

      • DXer said

        Shouldn’t Attorney General Eric Holder either get it right or resign? I worked at the law firm, A&P, that represented that Marc Rich pardoned at the last minute under Clinton. The guy’s lawyer would hang out in the The Garden Room after playing squash. Is this going to be a re-do of that situation?

    • DXer said

      Factoid: Over 250 members of the Cairo Vanguards of Conquest were prosecuted in 1993-1994 and Ed Montooth did not interview a single one. Why not? It reminds me of when it took the FBI until November 2002 to interview Sufaat, who had been captured in December 2001.

      • DXer said

        Next up: Courtesy of Egyptian security, a list of many of the 250 members of the Cairo Vanguards of Conquest prosecuted in 1993-1994 that Ed Montooth did not interview.

  46. DXer said

    Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense (February 10, 2010)
    http://www.blurb.com/books/1182928

  47. DXer said

    “The silicon is probably the most important scientific evidence that would lead anybody to question whether Bruce was capable of making these spores,” says Gerald P. Andrews, Bruce Ivins’ former boss. Andrews and George Mason University professor and former Soviet bioweapons researcher Sergei Popov believe — whatever its function or purpose — the silicon was intentionally added, due to unnaturally high levels of the mineral in the spores. The government’s obfuscation of the issue by use of the undefined phrase “naturally occurring” is not helping matters.

    Kathryn Crockett, Ken Alibek’s assistant — just a couple doors down from Ali Al-Timimi — addressed these issues in her 2006 thesis, “A historical analysis of Bacillus anthracis as a biological weapon and its application to the development of nonproliferation and defense strategies.” She expressed her special thanks to bioweaponeering experts Dr. Ken Alibek and Dr. Bill Patrick. Dr. Patrick consulted with the FBI. Dr. Crockett successfully defended the thesis before a panel that included USAMRIID head and Ames strain researcher Charles Bailey, Ali Al-Timimi’s other Department colleague. In 2001 he said he did not want to discuss silica because he did not want to give terrorists any ideas. Oops! Too late. The scientist coordinating with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s Sheik was 15 feet away.

    Dr. Crockett in her PhD thesis says that scientists who analyzed the powder through viewing micrographs or actual contact are divided over the quality of the powder. She cites Gary Matsumoto’s “Science” article in summarizing the debate. She says the FBI has vacillated on silica. The AFIP data, if released, would point to the high level of silica in the first batch of letters.

    On the issue of encapsulation, Crockett reports that “many experts who examined the powder stated the spores were encapsulated. Encapsulation involves coating bacteria with a polymer which is usually done to protect fragile bacteria from harsh conditions such as extreme heat and pressure that occurs at the time of detonation (if in a bomb), as well as from moisture and ultraviolet light. The process was not originally developed for biological weapons purposes but rather to improve the delivery of various drugs to target organs or systems before they were destroyed by enzymes in the circulatory system” (citing Alibek and Crockett, 2005). “The US and Soviet Union, however, ” she explains, “used this technique in their biological weapons programs for pathogens that were not stable in aerosol form… Since spores have hardy shells that provide the same protection as encapsulation would, there is no need to cover them with a polymer.“ She explains that one “possible explanation is that the spore was in fact encapsulated but not for protective purpose. Encapsulation also reduces the need for milling when producing a dry formulation.” She wrote: “If the perpetrator was knowledgeable of the use of encapsulation for this purpose, then he or she may have employed it because sophisticated equipment was not at his disposal.”

    Or as Dr. Michael told National Geographic (using the word “weaponized” to narrowly refer to aiding dispersability) he does not think the silica was used for that purpose of “weaponization”, whether under the historical Dugway method from the 1990s or otherwise. Michael told FOX News, “I don’t think this exonerates (Ivins) at all.” He added, “I don’t think it’s not enough to say that he did it, as well.”

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

    “Anonymous Scientist”comments:

    “The REAL reason that the NYP analysis is not being provided is because it is massive. The % of silicon is more than 10% – in fact it’s above to 50%. The NYP sample is actually MOSTLY silicon”

    The AFIP lab results (the results that the FBI refused to provide to Sandia and Gary refuses to share) seem to demonstrate that the silica was massive. I provided the data but Gary disputes the accuracy of the data. Dr. Michael, too, expressed skepticism to me privately. Once released, it can then be meaningfully addressed by the Sandia scientists. That is the entire purpose of Anonymous Scientist’s FOIA request on the issue and I wish him well in that litigation. In the past, they were making inferences and conclusions about whether the silica would be useful in making mailed anthrax — and whether it would be highly probative — that go far beyond both their field of expertise and the data apparently available to them. I find Peter Setlow’s commentary on the recent Japanese article about silicon encapsulation to be thoughtful and would have preferred that he address the issue before the NAS. I appreciate that Sandia’s powerpoint and presentation was sound given that it was limited to the narrow issue of the location of the silicon.

    I respect the government view, if it is the government’s view, that these are not issues that should be discussed public necessarily. Outsiders, in my opinion, need only enough information to know whether “they got the right guy.” Presently, most people think the FBI did not — and the FBI’s interference with USAMRIID’s FOIA production has only served as Exhibit A in that argument. While I truly believe Amerithrax will prove a great CIA and FBI success story, the FBI doesn’t make it easy to keep a longstanding and deeply held confidence in their good faith.

    From where I sit, for all I know, it is the FBI’s Dr. Bannan, formerly the collections scientist at the American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”) at GMU which sponsored Al-Timimi’s program, who is supporting the decision to withhold the AFIP data. Given the government assures us that it does not relate to “weaponization,” then it would seem that there is no reason not to release it.

    Once it is released, experts like Peter Setlow can consider the source of the reason for the silica such as whether it was putting virulent Ames soil (silica) suspension such as the FBI scientist John Ezzell did in 1996 for DARPA when he made dry powdered anthrax at Ft. Detrick. Or we can turn to the “Microdroplet Cell Culture” patent filed by Ali Al-Timimi’s Discovery Hall colleagues at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense and see if there is a connection. The silica would be in the culture medium used to concentrate the anthrax and then would be removed by repeated centrifugation.

    Or we can explore the other hypotheses relating to the reason for the Silicon Signature.

    I’m not a scientist which is why it seems that the data and pictures need to be released so that we can have experts like the Center for Biodefense’s Sergeui Popov and the government’s John Kiel review it. If we learned anything from 9/11, it is that there are times that information needs to be shared so that people can connect the dots. This is such a time. Any one with a conflict of interest should recuse himself from the particular aspect of Amerithrax.

    As for the defenders of Dr. Ivins, I have to focus their attention again on the record of flask 1029. Who altered the record? If he did, wouldn’t he be indictable as an accessory after the fact and for obstruction of justice? And might alteration be motivated simply by a failure to keep proper records, or record a transfer as required by mid-1997 regulations? He specifically emailed his superior and said that he was concerned that his records would not square up with the inventory. He was told to shut up, not to repeat what he had heard at a party about the FBI’s line of inquiry — that everything was under control. Well, we’re not interested in whether someone with something to hide had everything under control. It certainly proved not to be under control for Dr. Ivins.

    So whodunnit? Let’s start with an easy question. Who told Dr. Ivins to shut up about it — that everything was under control? And why was Dr. Ivins concerned that there would be material missing from his inventory — to which his superior advised there would then be reason or justification for the missing Ames.

  48. DXer said

    Hardball Tactics In An Era Of Threats

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

    “In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.
    Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

    The agents reached an alarming conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • DXer said

      Dr. Crockett, who ventured the reason for the silicon encapsulation, was in Room 157 in the picture above. She also would have been a fascinating witness before the NAS. She was within spitting distance of the scientist coordinating with Anwar Aulaqi and the sheik who had been subject to OBL’s 1996 Declaration of War — the scientist his counsel says is an “anthrax weapons suspect.”

      The FBI and CIA understands all of this. I repeat: the FBI and CIA understands all of this. Joe Michael and Paul Kotula at Sandia of course are not privy to the investigative side of the case. Being top of their game, they were just recruited to identify the location of the silicon and all indications are that they got that right.

      At the end of the day, however, the location of silicon is just one small aspect of an analysis of the means, motive, modus operandi and opportunity.

      Dr. Burans understands silicon encapsulation. Dr. Bannan understands it.

      So I think criticism of the FBI is not well conceived. Criticism of the compartmentalization of the two investigative squads, however, is justified — though reasonable people can disagree. And it is way past time for national security matters to stop being a political football when it interferes with running down the field.

      Amerithrax is solved. It’s time for the FBI to stand up and take a bow. Of course, if they name Dr. Ivins as the mailer, there will be time enough to throw them all in the snow bank again.

  49. DXer said

    The Education of Ali Al-Timimi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Author Milton Viorst, the father of a boy who knew Al-Timimi as a young teen, wrote: “Dozens of his talks are available on the Internet in text and in audio format. They contain little about Arab concerns with the Arab-Israeli wars, the rivalries between the Arab states, the problems faced by Muslims living in the West, or even the war in Iraq. Rather, they reveal a man who reflects deeply on the Islamic vision of Judgment day, prophecy, the nature of the divine, and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) — subjects with which he grappled in Medina and in his private reading.” Al Timimi’s lectures (in English after Arabic opening) include “The Negative Portrayal Of Islam In the Media,” “Signs Before the Day of technologies in support of this project.” The webpage for Timimi’s program at the time explained: “Faculty members and graduate students in the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology participate in numerous collaborative efforts including but not limited to the following Laboratories and Research Centers: Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics (GMU) , Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Biocomplexity (GMU) and Center for Biodefense (GMU). Beginning the Spring of 2002, GMU hired Ali to develop a computer program that coordinated the research at several universities, letting him go only after he came under suspicion by the FBI. In Spring 2002, according to salary information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, GMU hired him for $70,000 a year. In 2002, the employment was through the School of Computational Sciences and in 2003, it was through Life Sciences Grants & Contracts.

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

    While I’ve not yet found any reference directly confirming Timimi’s room number, the person who inherited his old telephone number (3-4294) is Victor Morozov in the Center for Biodefense. Dr. Morozov, upon joining the faculty and inheriting the phone number was in Rm. 154A, very near Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B. One faculty member who consulted with Al-Timimi suggested to me that Ali instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite. GMU Information Services helpfully looked up the listings from 2001 directory. As of October 2001 (when the directory is published according to GMU Information Services), judging from the directory, Al-Timimi was still just a graduate student. Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames strain anthrax researcher Charles Bailey, in Rm 156B, was given a Gateway desktop computer in mid-March 2001 (upon his arrival) — serial number 0227315480. It was like the one Dr. Alibek would get the next year in 156D. One way to think of proximity analysis — a form of true crime analysis — is the number of feet or inches between 154B and 156B/156D. Another way is to think of it is in terms of the number of feet or inches to the hard drives. You can judge the distance for yourself from a First Floor plan that is available online, clicking upon 154-156 area to enlarge.

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

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

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

  50. DXer said

    Al-Timimi’s Connection to AQ WMD Comm. member Mohammed Abdel-Rahman

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

    The “Superseding Indictment” in United States of postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar and others explains that on February 12, 1997, with Mohammed Abdelrahman back in Afghanistan, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “The Islamic Group declares all American interests legitimate targets to its legitimate jihad until the release of all prisoners, on top of whom” is Abdel Rahman. Three months later, on May 5, 1997, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “If any harm comes to the [S]heikh [,] al-Gama al-IsIalamiy[y]a will target [] all of those Americans who participated in subjecting his life to danger.” The statement also said that “A1-Gamaa al-Islamiyya considers every American official, starting with the American president to the despicable jailer [] partners endangering the Sheikh’s life,” and that the Islamic Group would do “everything in its power” to free Abdel Rahman.

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

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

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

  51. DXer said

    “The Straight Path”: Connecting the Dots

    Al-Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali” and “was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:
    “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden.”

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

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

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

    Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:
    “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.

    Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.
    Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Al-Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:
    “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

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

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

    Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:
    “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

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

  52. DXer said

    GMU Center for Biodefense: Discovery Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In Fall 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”) had detected silicon dioxide (silica) in the attack anthrax — with a characteristic big spike for the silicon. No silica was observable on the SEMs images that Dr. Alibek and Dr. Matthew Meselson saw. The Daschle product was “pure spores.” Was silicon dioxide used as part of a microdroplet cell culture process used prior to drying to permit greater concentration? As explained in a later related patent, the silica could be removed from the surface of the spore through repeated centrifugaton or an air chamber.

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

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

    There is no shortage of other hypotheses that need to be explored in assessing the origin of the Silicon Signature — not the least of which is the lesser Silicon Signature in flask 1030. What was the cause of that? Use of an antifoaming agent? Encapsulation for the purpose of genetic studies? June and July 2001 correspondence shows that Dr. Ivins hoped to get a new contract started for production of new Ames spores.

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

    One of her other examples was equally dramatic:

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

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

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

    Al-Timimi worked for SRA in 1999 where he had a high security clearance for work for the Navy. At a conference on countering biological terrorism in 1999 sponsored by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Alibek was introduced by a former colleague of Dr. Bailey:
    ust met Dr. Alibek today. He was introduced to me by Dr. Charlie Bailey, who now works for SRA. But Charlie and I were associated with the Army Medical Research and Development Command Defense Program for over 20 years.”

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

    • DXer said

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

      BIODEFENSE, THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR . . . . . . . . . . . 3-8545 . . . . . . FAX 993-4288 . . . . . . . . MS 4E3
      http://www.gmu.edu/centers/biodefense
      EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
      KEN ALIBEK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156D Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-8545
      Deputy Director
      Charles Bailey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156B Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-4271
      Partnerships and Education Assistant
      Mary-Margaret Flannery . . . . . . . . 182B Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-4263
      Research
      Kathryn Crockett . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Prince William II . . . . . . . . . 3-4297
      Anne Keleher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156A Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-8396
      Research Assistant Professor
      Monique Van Hoek . . . . . . . . . . . . 156E Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-4273

      Anne Keleher and Monique Van Hoek were right in the same area as Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. What do they say about the hypothesis I first publicly raised 7 years ago about Dr. Al-Timimi’s access to the know-how relating to the use of silicon dioxide in the culture medium and his coordinating with 911 imam Aulaqi and Bin Laden’s sheik Al-Hawali?

      BIOMEDICAL GENOMICS, CENTER FOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-2674 . . . . . . FAX 993-4288 . . . . . . . . MS 4E3
      http://www.gmu.edu/centers/genomics
      DIRECTOR
      VIKAS CHANDHOKE . . . . . . . . . . 181B Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-2674
      *Christina Largent . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182F Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-2674
      Assistant Director of Operations
      Tom Huff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225D Prince William II . . . . . . . . 3-1255
      George Mason University – Department Listings 12
      Al-Timimi, Ali . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-4294
      DelGiacco, Luca . . . . . . . . . 3-4041
      Dols, Shellia . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-3768
      Fortney, Amanda . . . . . . . . 3-4289
      Gandreti, Vijaya . . . . . . . . . 3-4580
      Gorreta, Francesco . . . . . . . 3-2672
      Schlauch, Karen . . . . . . . . . 3-4269

      What does Luca say? Amanda? Vijaya? Francesco? Karen? Who was in 154A Who was in 154E?

      • DXer said

        Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 60-69
        Published Online: 4 Sep 2009
        Opening up the secret city of Stepnogorsk: biological weapons in the Former Soviet Union
        Caitríona McLeish*
        *SPRU, Freeman Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QE

        For almost 30 years, the Soviet government hid a large part of its biological weapons programme behind the façade of a network of civilian bio-technology facilities, called the All-Union Production Association Biopreparat, which were established to overcome deficiencies in molecular biology and genetics research. This paper, which is developed from a presentation given during an ESRC-sponsored seminar series, ‘Locating Technoscience: The Geographies of Science, Technology and Politics’, details the secret geography of one of those Biopreparat facilities located in Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan. In doing this the paper illustrates how secret geographies can operate simultaneously, and at multiple scales. In the case of the Soviet bio-weapons programme, enacting secrecy at these multiple scales was made possible by the purposeful exploitation of ‘dual use’ technologies. By recounting a trip made to the Kazak facility, and using personal communications with UK and US experts involved with uncovering the Soviet bio-warfare programme, the author addresses some of the methodological challenges involved with researching secret geographies. This case study therefore looks in several directions – to work on the geographies of scale, research on the geographies of knowledge and work on secrecy in science and technology studies.

        Introduction

        For almost 30 years the Soviet government hid part of its biological weapons programme behind the façade of a network of civilian bio-technology facilities called the All-Union Production Association Biopreparat. Outwardly established to overcome national deficiencies in molecular biology and genetics research, the Biopreparat network was in fact a kind of Matryoshka doll: a massive offensive biological weapons effort hidden behind, and within, a legitimate scientific industry.

        The image of the Matryoshka doll has been used in geographical debates as a metaphor to relate the idea of scales. Whilst this metaphor emphasises a vertical view of the world, where hierarchies are fixed and nested (Herod and Wright 2002), other scholars have nuanced scale as a more complex set of linkages between vertical hierarchies and the horizontal planes that exist within them (see for example Leitner 2004; Taylor 2004). In this paper the vertical hierarchy suggested by the Matryoshka doll metaphor is evident: the secrecy surrounding the Soviet biological weapons (hereafter BW) programme was created by top-down state-level policies, which were then enacted at the local level through technological and built architectures and through social behaviours. However, the reality of the Soviet programme was more complex than the ‘image of a simple, singular hierarchy which orders all inter-scalar arrangements and the social relations therein’ (Mahon 2006, 452). Although secrecy was dictated by the policies from above, it was sustained through situated practical activities at the local level, which in turn influenced the direction of national policies.

        Scientific and technological activities are frequently portrayed as, or aspire to be, universal and open, but the landscape of knowledge production is far more fractured. Much of the work on the spaces of knowledge production explicitly links the making of and communicating of knowledge in public contexts (see for example Withers 1999; Livingstone 2003; Secord 2004) and work in geography and science and technology studies has explored the links between the practices of science and politics through attention to the performance of transparency and accountability (for example, Brown and Michael 2002; Barry 2001) and the co-construction of scientific and public knowledges in participatory and other policy contexts (Davies 2006; Jasanoff 2005; Owens et al. 2006).

        ***
        Within the institutional context of the Soviet BW programme, multiple worlds were created – one populated by those who ‘knew’ the true purpose of Biopreparat, another populated by those who did not have access to that information. There were of course other worlds that existed between these two extremes, populated by those who had access to some but not all of the information regarding Biopreparat. It was the population of the first world who constructed the practices of secrecy, which were then played out in the different spaces. So although the account of secrecy in this paper deliberately produces distinct accounts of spatial secrecy, in reality the spaces co-existed and were linked.

        Secret spaces

        Secrecy in the Soviet BW programme was practised on at least three clearly identifiable scales: the international-geopolitical, the national and the local. Each of these scales produced different kinds of spaces, which were populated by different institutions and actors who participated (knowingly or unknowingly) in a complex set of social practices that actively concealed the true purposes of the Biopreparat network (see Wright and Wallace 2002). In this sense, the Soviet BW programme was more than something that was simply not known, it was actively kept secret from the national and local populations (see for example Nesterenko 1993; Moscow NTV 1997) and from some sections of the international community. Reflecting on the difference, Gilbert suggests:

        In the imagination of most people a ‘secret’ is something, very specifically, which is shared by some– perhaps only by two, perhaps only by one subject and their ‘conscience’, their confessor, or God – but shared nonetheless. The secret is something which is not public knowledge, but which nonetheless is knowable and shareable and hence is made the object of an active and collaborative act of secrecy, of hiding and guarding, or enclosure. (2007, 26)

        By examining the secrecy surrounding one particular biological weapons facility in the Biopreparat system, located in Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan, this paper will draw attention to the different kinds of spatialities involved in the production of secrecy and the links between them. At the Stepnogorsk facility, the enactment of secrecy at the national and local spaces is clearly visible. The city of Stepnogorsk, for example, was designated by the Soviet authorities as ‘entirely secret’ due to its proximity to a location of strategic importance to the nuclear weapons programme.2 As such, Stepnogorsk did not appear on any maps and population movement was restricted.3 Once the decision had been made to locate a BW facility in Stepnogorsk, we will see how an additional level of secrecy was created by locating the facility next to a civilian biotechnology facility, allowing the industrial setting of biotechnology to be exploited. Institutional and personal scales of secrecy then came into play. Within the BW facility, military rather than civilian scientists were given positions that required full knowledge about the purpose of the facility. The director of the facility also implemented policies that prevented the employment of inhabitants of the local town. Before beginning a close examination of secrecy at these scales, however, it is necessary to discuss methodological issues relating to studying this particular secret space.

        Opening up secret places
        In July 2000 I was fortunate enough to be offered a chance to attend a conference in Stepnogorsk, which would include a tour of the former biological weapons facility, Stepnogorsk Scientific and Experimental Production Base (SNOPB). The conference, held on 12–14 July 2000, examined ‘Biotechnology development in Kazakhstan: non proliferation, conversion and investment’. Present at the conference were scientists who had worked at SNOPB when it was conducting offensive BW work, representatives from other former BW facilities in Russia, and representatives from the US government and a small number of European governments. The foreign participants at the conference were chaperoned at all times, including on the guided tour of the SNOPB.

        At the time of the conference SNOPB was being dismantled by agreement between Kazakhstan and the US governments (for more information see Ben Ouagrham and Vogel 2003; Roffey and Westerdahl 2001). The conference, sponsored by the US Department of Defense and organised by the Biotechnology Centre at Stepnogorsk in cooperation with the Monterey Institute of International Studies office in Kazakhstan, was intended to present the results of the US Department of Defense Co-operative Threat Reduction Program4 at Stepnogorsk so as to attract potential partners to other conversion projects.

        To attend this conference and see SNOPB was a unique opportunity for a doctoral student who was studying the purposeful exploitation of ‘dual use’ biological technologies – that is, studying the idea that biological technologies can be used for more than one purpose. The problem of duality is particularly prevalent in BW-related technology because the same upstream activities, materials, information and equipment can have simultaneous potentially hostile and peaceful applications. Compared with the potentially hostile application as a biological weapon, there are a large number of legitimate purposes for which biological knowledge and technologies can be used, including scientific research, drug and vaccine production, agriculture and industrial processing (Dando 2001 1999; McLeish 2002). Such legitimate uses remove the possibility of banning outright BW-related dual use technology.

        The scales of secrecy that are discussed in this paper were epitomised by my attempt to gain access to the research site. The visa official at the Kazak Embassy in London, for example, could not locate Stepnogorsk on a map and had to converse with his colleagues to find out where this city was located and internal travel arrangements were handled by the Monterey Office in Kazakhstan, because as a former closed city no public transport system served the location. Once we had arrived in Stepnogorsk, access to potential interview subjects had to be negotiated. Actual communication was only possible via the limited number of translators, most of whom were provided by the host organisation. Another obstacle to overcome was the background tensions to the conference. These included disappointment at how the foreign assisted conversion programmes at Stepnogorsk were progressing5 and tense negotiations for contracts relating to the next phase in the dismantling of SNOPB (for more on this see Ben Ouagrham and Vogel 2003). Despite these obstacles and tensions, I conducted a number of interviews in the margins of the meeting and material from those interviews and impressions recorded in my field notes are used in this paper.

        Although in 1999 the deputy director of the Biopreparat network and former director of SNOPB Kanatjan Alibekov (now called Ken Alibek) had published his account of the Soviet BW programme, including SNOPB activities (see Alibek with Handelman 1999), many of the former BW scientists present at the conference were reluctant to talk openly about any offensive BW activities undertaken in Soviet times. Part of this reluctance was explained to me as being due to ‘growing up in the Soviet Union’. Their willingness to perpetuate the secrets of Soviet BW activities into the post-Soviet era meant that promises of the strictest confidentiality had to be given so as to gain information from the former BW scientists. As I was not a naïve observer with purposeful ignorance (Latour 1990, 146), I took a sceptical view of the information given to me by my Stepnogorsk interview subjects. Consequently, I triangulated the information received with personal communications with US and UK Soviet BW experts and close reading of secondary source material and the limited amount of declassified information that has been released about the activities undertaken at Stepnogorsk. What follows is an examination of the operation of secrecy at three of the interlinked and simultaneously operating scales of secrecy: international-geopolitical, national and local, and personal.

        Secrecy, visibility and geopolitical spaces

        The need for the Soviet Union to conceal its interest in biological warfare from the international community was, in the main, due to the negotiation and eventual signing in 1972 of an international treaty that renounced germ weapons so as to ‘exclude completely’ the possibility of such weapons being used against human beings, other animals or plants. The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) extended the existing regime of chemical and biological weapons no-first-use established by the 1925 Geneva Protocol (and its antecedents) by explicitly outlawing the development, production and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. Despite signing the BWC, Soviet interest in BW did not diminish. One hypothesis put forward to explain this is that the Soviet Union did not believe the United States had given up their offensive BW programme. According to Alibek, ‘the notion that the Americans had given up their biological weapons was thought of as the great American lie’ (Preston 1998, 57) and as a result the BWC was considered a ‘worthless bit of paper’ (Davis 1999, 509).

        Whatever the reason for their continued interest, two years after signing the BWC the Soviet authorities expanded their existing offensive BW programme. In April 1974, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) and the USSR Council of Ministers issued a public decree, which stated that ‘the general level and scale of research in molecular biology and molecular genetics in our country is still not satisfactory’ and that the civilian network of facilities, The All-Union Production Association Biopreparat, would work to improve this situation (see Rimmington 2000, 7). In June of that year, several already existing civilian microbiological facilities were transferred to Biopreparat control. In private, the CC CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers gave the Biopreparat network another key task to establish a firm scientific foundation for the development of offensive biological weapons (Domoradskij and Orent 2003, 144). In the words of its former deputy director, the purpose given to Biopreparat was to erase ‘any “footprints” of BW activity in the Soviet Union’ (Tucker 1999, 4).

        One of the Biopreparat facilities was located in the secret city of Stepnogorsk in north-west Kazakhstan. Progress Scientific and Production Association included a civilian plant called Plant Progress and a BW mobilisation facility. Plant Progress was considered ‘the largest and most technologically advanced in the Soviet microbiological industry’ (Bozheyeva et al. 1999, 9): indeed the plant was one of the largest facilities occupying an area of 300 000 m2 and employing several thousand scientists and engineers.

        Plans to couple Plant Progress with BW activities were developed prior to its official establishment in 1982.6 Its original plans were adapted after an accidental release of anthrax spores at a BW military facility in Sverdlovsk in March 1979, which threatened to reveal the Soviet Union’s offensive BW programme to the international community.7 In order to continue concealing their BW activities, Soviet authorities ordered the relocation of active anthrax spore production away from the military facility at Sverdlovsk. Of the three BW facilities considered, SNOPB was chosen because it had yet to be fully constructed and so had no firm utilisation plans assigned to it. In 1981, Soviet Premier Brezhnev ‘signed a secret decree ordering the relocation of all BW-making equipment and materials from Sverdlovsk to Stepnogorsk’ (Alibek with Handelman 1999, 82), including the relocation of 65 scientists from the Ministry of Defence BW facilities at Sverdlovsk and Kirov, and the relocation of technical papers and plans on topics such as how to fill and assemble bombs and warheads and supplier details for all of the raw materials (Vogel 2006, 666).8 SNOPB was given two new functional objectives over and above those given to it as a mobilisation facility, namely to improve the potency of Bacillus anthracis strain 836 and to increase Biopreparat’s capacity for producing that strain.9 This resulted in an expansion of the workforce from 40 to over 970 employees.10

        Physically locating BW activities within the Biopreparat network allowed the Soviet authorities to conceal their illegitimate pursuits from the international community. The Soviet authorities took advantage of the prevailing US position that ‘national technical means’ (which at the time referred to resources such as satellite imagery11) were adequate to detect a violation of the BWC. By hiding SNOPB behind the façade of Plant Progress, the resources that could be used to detect a violation of the BWC were restricted. Satellite imagery alone could not detect a violation because it could not distinguish between a facility dedicated to legitimate biological activities and one dedicated to illegitimate activities. Thus human intelligence (e.g. spies, whistleblowers and defectors) became crucial to detecting violations. Furthermore, because Stepnogorsk did not appear on any maps, and population movement to and from it was restricted, the Soviet authorities were provided with three layers of protection against their BW activities at Stepnogorsk being discovered by the international community. The first was the cartographical secrecy of the city of Stepnogorsk itself; the second was the physical cover provided by Plant Progress to SNOPB allowing the design features of the plant to be explained away; and the third layer of protection was the ability to restrict the movement of the human population in and out of the city.

        Enacting secrecy at national and local scales

        To further reduce the possibility that the secrets of the BW programme might become known, secrecy also had to be enacted at the national and local levels. The tension created between enabling research and keeping it secret was made possible by the existence of dual use technologies.

        The first level of enacting secrecy at these levels was through the creation of a system of cover stories, or ‘legends’, to conceal work being done at BW facilities, including at the Biopreparat facilities. In part, legends were created to limit the information flow to only a ‘few men at the very top’ (Cooper 2003, 70) and allow them to communicate amongst themselves about the programme. So for example, the real purpose given to Biopreparat was code named FERMENT, or F, and post office box numbers were assigned both to the Biopreparat network as a whole and to the individual facilities that made up the Biopreparat network. These post office box numbers allowed the geographical location of a facility and the specific task assigned to that facility to be identified and discussed openly by those who knew the true purpose of Biopreparat.12

        A second mechanism for enacting secrecy was done through the purposeful exploitation of the industrial setting of civilian biotechnology. Soviet authorities routinely co-located their BW facilities with civilian facilities working in closely related legitimate areas of biology. Plant Progress, for example, worked on Bacillus thuringiensis, which is widely used as a biological pest control agent and a bacterium closely related to the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. During my guided tour around SNOPB I observed other methods of exploiting the industrial setting of Plant Progress, including the purposeful architectural mirroring of the buildings of SNOPB and the simple wire fence that in most places was all that separated the two facilities. This made satellite imagery redundant as there was no obvious way to differentiate between the two sites.

        The extreme end of exploiting the biotechnological industrial setting was the creation of mobilisation facilities such as SNOPB. Mobilisation facilities were designed to be dormant facilities which would ‘provide enough production inputs to ensure that defense plants could operate at full-scale wartime production levels for four to six months before the rest of the economy had geared up for total mobilisation effort’ (Gaddy 1996, 38). The organisational framework adopted by the Soviet authorities meant that it was critical to mobilise its entire industrial capacity to the defence of the country at a time of war. Mobilisation facilities were found across all defence-related areas and gave the Soviet authorities the time to enact what Collier and Lakoff (2006) have called ’emergency federalism’.

        In the BW field, the Soviets had at least five mobilisation facilities located at Berdsk, Kurgan, Omutninsk, Stepnogorsk and Penza. The Ministry of Agriculture was also in charge of one at Pokrov (Rimmington 2000, 11). Each of these facilities was fully equipped, regularly tested and ready to operate BW production facilities with weapons-filling lines. Once a mobilisation facility came on-line, necessary utilities (e.g. electricity, water and steam production) and skilled staff (who would receive additional training by master-trainers in their BW equivalent specialisation) were diverted from the co-located civilian facilities.

        At SNOPB, the new functional objectives meant adaptations to the normal forms of co-dependency found between civilian and mobilisation facilities. For example, although SNOPB would continue to receive its utility supplies from Plant Progress, it became necessary to appoint SNOPB with its own director. Officially the director of Plant Progress remained in charge of both facilities, with the head of SNOPB acting as his deputy, but in reality each had control over their respective facilities, with the director of SNOPB becoming wartime director of both facilities.13 These changes led to friction. For example, during my tour of the SNOPB facility our guide explained that when SNOPB needed to test the production cycles it would use if mobilisation was ordered, it required a far greater power supply than normally allocated to SNOPB. The director of Plant Progress who controlled the utility supply allowed no more than 20 per cent of the entire complex’s energy capabilities to be diverted to SNOPB for testing. This prohibited SNOPB from simultaneously testing its four 20 m3 reactors. As SNOPB’s director had to keep the true nature of the facility’s work secret he was unable to reverse the allocation of resources.

        A third form of secrecy was aimed at the local population. In order to conceal the true purposes of SNOPB, it was imperative that the local population did not know the nature of the work being conducted there. Alibek, SNOPB’s director, chose to adopt a policy of not employing workers from Plant Progress, regardless of their specialisation. Despite occupying ‘more than half the buildings in the compound’, Alibek recalls, ‘the several thousand pesticide workers employed there could not be told of its new function’ (Alibek with Handelman 1999, 88). Instead, scientists and engineers were recruited from other BW facilities in Russia.

        Alibek’s policy of not recruiting from Plant Progress was also extended to not employing anyone from the town of Stepnogorsk. Again, workers were recruited from outside the town, including from the nearby uranium mine, which by this time was downsizing (Ben Ouagrham and Vogel 2003). This policy further separated the activities being conducted at SNOPB from the local population. It was presumably for this reason that, during the July 2000 conference, no representatives from the local population attended the meeting and foreign participants were kept away from the local population.

        Organisational codes and personal secrets

        In part, the creation of legends and the assignment of post office box numbers to Biopreparat facilities reduced the likelihood of a person making an inadvertent breach of security, but creating codes of organisational secrecy also allowed those who knew the real purpose assigned to the network to abstract themselves from the illegitimacy of their work. Academician Domoradskij, a scientist who knew the real purpose of Biopreparat, explains

        I had little time for reflection, perhaps due to my vaulting pride that I was one of their circle . . . I had no doubts as to the country’s need of our work, as it was directed towards the solution of strictly scientific problems . . . We were involved with the scientific not the applied aspects of bioweapons work. We thought in terms of creating genetically modified strains, not of creating bombs and missiles filled with weaponised agent. (Domoradskij and Orent 2001, 249)

        Former deputy director of Biopreparat and director of the Stepnogorsk facility, Ken Alibek justified his participation in the programme by appealing to norms of patriotism and service to the motherland, explaining that he ‘considered [it] an honor to make a contribution to the nation’s defense’ (Tucker 1999, 1). Alibek explains elsewhere:

        It was a matter of propaganda. You were told that what you do is in response to the US’s evil efforts to develop biological weapons against the Soviet Union. The US was lying, and was going to destroy our country with nuclear weapons and biological weapons. To protect our families, our children, ourselves, we needed to do exactly the same but with more powerful weapons. When you put everything together you come to a conclusion: I need to protect my family. I need to protect my children. I need to protect my country. (Nowak 2001, 44)

        Appealing to, or justifying participation in, weapons-related work on the grounds of patriotic duty was not restricted to Soviet scientists (see for example Balmer 2002; Gusterson 1998), but in this context it did allow those who knew ‘to become abstracted from . . . ones own pangs of conscience’ (Domoradskij 1996, 5). Abstraction was also enforced by the extreme compartmentalisation of the programme. The creation of tiers of legends restricted the flow of information to an individual’s security clearance. Four tiers existed:

        For people designated Level One, inquiries were met with an ‘open legend’ which meant there was no BW program. The institute’s work was purely academic; at Level Two a ‘closed legend’ operated to explain away any BW research as strictly defensive; individuals cleared to Level Three were provided with limited aspects of programs and what the true purposes of these programs were. Only those at Level Four knew the full story. (Cooper 2003, 72)

        During the conference at Stepnogorsk, I was repeatedly told by former civilian scientists that they were not, at the time, aware of the overall purpose of the work they were doing and did not know about an international treaty banning biological weapons. As such they were not equipped to enter into a dialogue about the legitimacy of the work they carried out. This may have some truth. At SNOPB, Alibek was careful to place only Ministry of Defence or military-ranked scientists and engineers in positions of importance such as department chiefs, laboratory heads, senior scientists and key technological manufacturing and biosafety positions.15 Only they had overall knowledge of the work being done there.

        However, local practices at SNOPB departed from what appears to be the normal operational model of secrecy practised in other BW facilities across the Soviet Union. Work at SNOPB seems not to have been performed under conditions of extreme compartmentalisation. Rather, to promote interactions between the scientific and technological parts of the facility, Alibek allowed technical staff to openly discuss their work and if necessary collaborate with one another. Multidisciplinary teams of BW specialists were organised across research, production and weaponisation divisions and worked together on various aspects of these processes. In an interview, conducted by Kathleen Vogel, Alibek explained his reasoning behind this policy:

        It was permitted to collaborate and cooperate, at least in my facility. In our facility everything was interconnected, from all standpoints, so it would have been stupid to impose secrets between different departments, divisions and labs. (Vogel 2006, 669)

        By adapting the general policies on compartmentalisation into a more appropriate localised and situated form of secrecy, SNOPB appears to be a unique institution within the Soviet BW programme. Such a departure from normal practices may be due to having to adapt SNOPB’s work plans to accommodate the transfer of work from Sverdlovsk. Whilst this localised form of work practices places some doubt on statements made to me by former civilian SNOPB scientists that they did not know the true purposes of the work being done at the facility, it does not invalidate their testimony. Despite the numbers employed there, the ‘secret’ of SNOPB remained intact: the local population was unaware of the true nature of the facility (see for example Nesterenko 1993; Moscow NTV 1997) and the international community was not cognisant of the size and/or type of work being done at the facility. The ‘secret’ in this sense was to an extent known and shared by some of the workforce at SNOPB, who made the activities that took place at the facility ‘the object of an active and collaborative act of secrecy, of hiding and guarding, of enclosure’. (Gilbert 2007, 26)

        Conclusions

        ***

        The material connections – from the scale of the associations between different kinds of bacilli to the mirrored architectural design of the civilian biotechnology and BW production plants – were important to successfully enacting secrecy within the Soviet BW programme. The ‘secret’ of work being done in Biopreparat, and at SNOPB specifically, was bounded through trying to enclose shared secret knowledges at these scales and the achievement of these scales of secrecy was dependent on material-technical relations that transcended and linked them.

        In the case of Biopreparat, it was the exploitation of the dual use nature of the technology that linked these scales and made possible the balance between enabling research to be conducted and enacting secrecy. As such dual use technologies are exemplars of ‘fluid’ technologies. Just as de Laet and Mol (2000) introduced the notion of fluidity in their study of the Zimbabwe bush pump (because it displayed different identities, operated across different boundaries such as technological, community, national and international, and invited at each level a different set of criteria for judging whether the pump ‘works’), a similar analogy can be made here. The fluidity of dual use technologies, displaying different identities (in this case legitimate and illegitimate) and operating across different ‘boundaries’ (the international-geopolitical, national and personal) permitted successful concealment of the BW activities.

        By successfully exploiting the dual use characteristic of biological technologies, the spaces of secrecy were folded into a landscape of legitimate research. The Soviet authorities for example purposefully used the industrial setting of biotechnology to conceal their illegitimate activities. The system of legends created to conceal the true purposes of the work being performed within the Biopreparat network also permitted the secret acts to be folded into a landscape of legitimate research. In creating multiple worlds whose inhabitants were determined by their access to information, the system of legends allowed those who had full information to abstract themselves from any responsibility for the work they were doing, and permitted those workers who had limited or no information to hide behind their ignorance. The centrality of dual use technologies to the successful concealment of the Soviet BW programme at the international-geopolitical, national and local scales suggests that a researcher should not only identify different scales at which secrecy may be simultaneously operating, but also search out the linkages which transcend those scales.

    • DXer said

      David Willman in Mirage Man (and I very much enjoy his precise writing style) states in an Appendix:

      “If the silicon-containing material was not added — how did it get inside the spores?”

      A likely source would be the brothlike culture medium in which anthrax cells are sometimes grown.” (p. 345)

      • DXer said

        David Willman in Mirage Man (at page 345) writes:

        “In its review of the investigation, the National Academy of Sciences committee pointed out the difficulty of reconstructing precisely how silicon came to be in the attack material. The committee also noted the complexity of measuring the amounts of silicon in the anthrax recovered from the letters: The refined uniformity of the Leahy powder may have lent itself to more consistent measurements of silicon, unlike the coarse, granular material mailed to the New York Post. (p. 345)

        • DXer said

          He writes: “Sandia examined the percentage of silicon for each spore; the FBI lab measured silicon not by spore, but on the entire sample. The FBI’s “bulk” method was less precise, and more vulnerable to a misleading result, especially because of the crude composition of the Post anthrax.” (p. 345-46)

          He quotes the NAS stating that “one cannot rule out the intentional addition of a silicon-based substance to the New York Post letter, in a failed attempt to enhance dispersion” but notes that statement “conflicts with its own finding that there was “no evidence of intentional addition of silicon-based dispersants.”

          Comment: I don’t understand why the addition of the silicate is addressed only in terms of a dispersant when its probativeness of the Signature Signature is not limited to its addition as a dispersant. It also extends to whether the powder was microencapsulated, such as under the DARPA-funded “Microdroplet Cell Culture” patent to which the scientist sharing a suite with lead Ames anthrax researchers and coordinating with Anwar Awlaki had access. The co-applicant on the international patent worked on the old US offensive program.

  53. DXer said

    The 2006 Arrest Of Falls Church “911 Imam” And Fellow Salafist Lecturer Awlaqi

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

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

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

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

    The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was Aulaqi’s roommate. Smith tells me that he was very extreme in his views when speaking privately and not like his smooth public persona. “Aulaqi is deep into hardcore militant Islam. He is not a cleric who just says prayers and counsels people as some of his supporters have suggested.” Sami al-Hussayen uncle checked into the same Herndon, VA hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn, on the same night — September 10, 2001 as Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and another hijacker. Hussayen had a seizure during an FBI interview and although doctors found nothing wrong with him was allowed to return home. During his trip to the US, al-Hussayen had visited both “911 imam” Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi.

    The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states

    Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmi’s personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.”

    The Washington Post explains that “After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. His CD “The Hereafter” takes listeners on a tour of Paradise that describes “the mansions of Paradise,” “the women of Paradise,” and “the greatest of the pleasures of Paradise.” In London, after leaving the United States, he spoke at JIMAS and argued that in light of the rewards offered to martyrs in Jennah, or Paradise, Muslims should be eager to give his life in fighting the unbelievers. “Don’t think that the tones that die in the sake of Allah are dead — they are alive, and Allah is providing for them. So the shaheed is alive in the sense that his soul is in Jennah, and his soul is alive in Jennah.” He moved to Yemen, his family’s ancestral home, in 2004.” Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in San’a run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.

    Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: “Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi’s charity as its Yemeni partner. A Washington Post article explained: “The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.”

    He now has been released and came to be at the center of a controversy concerning what the FBI should have known and shared about Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. The next month he was alleged to have been involved with the planned bombing of an airliner flying into Detroit. The underwear bomber now has told authorities that Aulaqi told him to detonate her underwear somewhere over the United States. What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? The Washington Post reports that in a taped interview posted on December 31, 2007 on a British Web site, “Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers.” “I don’t know if I was held because of that or because of the other issues they presented,” Aulaqi said. Aulaqi once said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so “until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.”

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