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

* from DXer … infiltration of U.S. Biodefense? … document seized in Afghanistan

Posted by DXer on February 20, 2010

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22 Responses to “* from DXer … infiltration of U.S. Biodefense? … document seized in Afghanistan”

  1. DXer said

    At page 121, Graeme McQueen describes the exercise “Dark Winter” as follows:

    “Dark Winter

    During June 22-23, 2001, less than three months before the initiation of the anthrax attacks, several institutions joined to sponsor a biological warfare simulation at Andrews Air Force Base. The exercise, called Dark Winter, involved a scenario where terrorists release smallpox virus, via aerosol spray, in three American cities, beginning in early December, 2002. By the time of the Christmas holidays of 2002, 16,000 smallpox cases are reported in 25 states. The disease has by this time also spread to 10 other countries.30

    Biological weapons attacks are frequently simulated as part of preparedness training, so there is nothing inherently suspect about such an exercise. Moreover, such simulations can be expected to share certain common elements. But the cumulative parallels between this particular simulation and the actual anthrax attacks are worthy of note. Consider the following ten elements common to both Dark Winter and the anthrax attacks:31

    (i) Dark Winter: Anonymous letters are sent to the mainstream media. The letters contain threats, including threats of follow-up attacks with anthrax. In addition, the strain of smallpox in the epidemic is identifiable since “each letter also contained a genetic fingerprint of the smallpox strain matching the fingerprint of the strain causing the current epidemic.”

    Comment:

    What did Ali Al-Timimi, who shared a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers know about “Dark Winter”? He shared a maildrop and fax with Alibek and Bailey.

    What about the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins who did aerosol work at Dugway?

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

  2. DXer said

    Mr. Rizzo, former General Counsel of the CIA, in his book COMPANY MAN, merely refers to the “anthrax letter” incidents in historical context as “unsolved.” He separately notes that the subject of AQ’s biochem drew the most muttering and head-shaking in 2002 — even before, it seems, the question of OBL’s whereabouts.

    Whether CIA officials were going to be prosecuted for destruction of the tapes of the waterboarding, though, loomed very large to him for many years.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  3. DXer said

    Attorney Cohen, did your client write this handwritten note on ATT stationery above? A federal court judge has found that the USG was not persuasive in suggesting a different Al-Kuwaiti had written it.

    Is that Mr. Abu Ghayth’s handwriting? Are there other exemplars in which he used ATT stationery?

    As Attorney Cohen explained to the federal court in a filing yesterday, counsel entered the case of mid-May 2013. He assembled a defense team, including several attorneys, a number of researchers, investigators, interpreters and translators, both here and overseas. He and his team has worked diligently on behalf of Abu Ghayth since his first appearance. He thus likely knows whether the above statement was written by Abu Ghayth.

    In a court filing yesterday, Attorney Cohen explains:

    “The core of this matter concerns events of approximately twelve years’ vintage, which occurred in a war zone on the other side of the globe, and those events encompass or implicate key developments in the world history of the past decade and , it is likely, the coming century. Much of the present circumstances regarding al Qaeda, which may impact upon the investigation and defense of the matter, in fact exist within the context of an ongoing global conflict — as such, witnesses, evidence and stategies of defense are necessarily complicated. For example, some witnesses to the events at bar are long dead, have disappeared, or are held in custody and beyond access, whether in in foreign countries or in American military facilities, including Guantanamo Bay.”

    “In conducting the defense of Mr. Abu Ghayth, the undersigned has personally travelled abroad, with co-counsel, staff or assistance engaged overseas, on five occasions since entering the case, as part of the investigations sthus far. Travel has included the Middle East, the Gulf States, North Africa and elsewhere. no effort has been spared in this regard, in vigorously pursuing Mr. Abu Ghayth’s defense This travel has required visits to security-sensitive areas, and some of this travel has been delayed by administrative, intelligence or security concerns.”

    “In the course of these overseas investigations, I have spoken with more than dozen persons at length, many of them persons with direct knowledge of or prior involvement with al Qaeda and some of the events at the heart of this prosecution. Nearly all of these persons have required face-to-face meetings, fearing more remote means — such fears owing in no small part to the part year’s revelations about global electronic surveillance carried out by the United States on an official basis — effectively negating any benefit computers or telephony might provide in bridging time and distance, or in defraying costs. Many of these persons themselves have been incarcerated at length by both foreign governments and/or the United States in Guantanamo Bay — many of them report having been subjected to torture or harsh treatment, making their willingness to speak to defense lawyers a delicate negotiation.”

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      I’ll leave it to these expert legal counsel — on the respective sides — to sort out the merits of Abu Ghayth’s defense.

      But in judging the issue of “pure speech” raised Attorney Cohen, it seems that folks will want to understand whether Abu Ghayth is the one who wrote:

      “”The groups that are present in America and Europe are above suspicion.”

      “We obtain our intelligence information from your government and intelligence agencies.”

      Attorney Nubani, you knew Anwar Awlaki and Ali Al-Timimi.

      Ali Al-Timimi shared a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

      What do you think?

    • DXer said

      Moreover, as to Attorney Cohen’s suggestion that Abu Ghayth’s Fall 2001 videotaped speech may have been authored by BIn Laden, the handwritten note above states:

      “Announcing publicly that we gave some groups the green light to move.”

      We know who spoke the words on film. But it hasn’t yet been established for the record who wrote this note.

      Once it is, we can ask the details of the infiltration he is describing.

    • DXer said

      Compare also the substance of the Fall 2001 handwritten note on AT&T stationery with Abu Ghayth’s June 2002 three-part article.

      http://triceratops.brynmawr.edu:8080/dspace/bitstream/handle/10066/5058/GHA20020612P.pdf?sequence=4

      Most prominent is the reference to nuclear, chem and bioweapons.

      ‘Why We Fight America’: Al-Qa’ida Spokesman Explains September 11 and Declares Intentions to Kill 4 Million Americans with Weapons of Mass Destruction
      http://triceratops.brynmawr.edu/dspace/handle/10066/5058

      We Have the Right to Kill 4 Million Americans
      “We have not reached parity with them. We have the right to kill 4 million Americans – 2 million of them children – and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons, so as to afflict them with the fatal maladies that have afflicted the Muslims because of the [Americans’] chemical and biological weapons.”

      As another example, both refer to the lack of success in killing Al Qaeda leaders.

      IntelCenter al-Qaeda Tactic/Target Brief, 14 June 2002
      http://www.intelcenter.com/QaedaTacticTarget-v1-5.pdf

      A key theme in both is the right to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans because of American “arrogance.”

      A news article from the time –

      Sunday, 23 June, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK

      Al-Qaeda claims Tunisia attack

      The Kuwaiti-born cleric said 98% of al-Qaeda leaders – including Bin Laden – were alive and that Bin Laden would make a statement broadcast on television.

      ***

      The spokesman praised the 11 September attacks as a “great historic victory” and warned America to prepare for more attacks.

      “As long as America insists on its unjust and biased policy towards Muslims in favour of Jews and Christians around the world, then… we will continue to hit it anywhere in the world.”

      He said that “neither [US Vice President] Dick Cheney nor Defence Secretary [Donald Rumsfeld] nor their president [George Bush] will be able to specify the place, the time or the manner in which these attacks will be carried out”.

      Attorney Ashraf, did you know in 2001 that Ali Al-Timimi shared a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers?

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Bin Laden son-in-law’s attorney stays on case despite tax charges

      http://www.vagazette.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-crime-binladen-soninlaw-20140107,0,1118825.story

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden charged in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, refused on Tuesday to jettison his defense lawyer, who is himself facing federal tax and wire fraud charges.

      ***

      The defense lawyer, Stanley Cohen, was indicted last month for failing to report more than $3 million in income to the Internal Revenue Service. The case against Cohen was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, the same agency that is prosecuting Abu Ghaith.

      At a court hearing, Kaplan warned Abu Ghaith that Cohen could potentially put his own interests ahead of his client’s when dealing with prosecutors, but Abu Ghaith said he preferred to keep Cohen as his attorney.

      After his indictment last month, Cohen said in an email that he was “fully confident” he would be vindicated and accused the Justice Department of a “vendetta” against him for his years of activism.

      ***

      Meanwhile, prosecutors also asked Kaplan to allow one of their witnesses to testify from abroad.

      The witness has not been identified in court papers, but, based on his description it appears to be Saajid Badat, who plotted with Richard Reid to blow up airplanes using bombs hidden in their shoes.

      Badat did not follow through with the plan; Reid attempted to set off an explosive and is serving a life sentence in the United States. Badat, a British citizen, pleaded guilty in Britain and agreed to cooperate with the government.

      Prosecutors are seeking to have Badat testify live via video feed, since he refuses to travel to the United States, where he remains under indictment in Massachusetts for his role in the shoe bomb plot. His testimony will show that Abu Ghaith knew of the shoe bomb plan in advance, prosecutors have said.

      ***

      Comment:

      Judging from his description in the filings filed yesterday, the tax charges do not seem to have interfered with a vigorous defense.

      While I appreciate that Abu Ghayth needed to be cautioned again against about his choice of counsel (given the tweaked indictment against defense counsel), Mr. Cohen is not the type to put the tax charges before the defense of his client.

      Given that his client, IMO, is obviously guilty as charged and will serve the rest of his life in prison, I think he might have been better served by a gray-haired, non-ideological defense counsel who could emphasize Abu Ghayth’s cooperation and non-operational role. As I recall, Bin Laden’s chauffeur, Hamdan, did especially well with an Army lawyer. There the court focused on the legal argument rather than an ideology that backs destroying the United States.

      Separately, I expect Attorney Cohen’s request for a continuance will be granted by the judge for the reasons he set forth yesterday in his filings relating to the new charges against Abu Ghayth.

  4. DXer said

    Attorney Stanley Cohen or co-counsel: Was this note written by Abu Ghaith like I claimed in 2006?

    You can compare his handwriting to other handwriting exemplars in your possession. Thanks.

    From 2006:

    http://insidestraight.typepad.com/the_inside_straight/2006/07/anthrax_and_alq.html

    Here is the text of a message I received from Ross today:

    Al Qaeda Claim – in Fall 2001 – , that US-Based Operatives Who Had Gained Access to US Government and Intelligence Information Had Been Green-Lighted On Biological Attack

    In October or November 2001, Al Qaeda’s spokesman Abu Ghaith wrote a letter to the Administration with the message that they would use their biological weapons if the US did not stop their financial and military support for Israel and the Muslim regimes.

    A letter from Abu ‘Abullah Al-Kuwaiti outlined the next attack against the Americans and issued a statement to the Americans to let them know of their fighters’ readiness to kill hundreds of thousands with their nuclear and biological arsenal.

    Abu Gha’ith, Bin Laden’s spokesman, was from Kuwait and made a similar threat in a videotape released June 2002. The letter has been declassified and cleared for release by West Point Combatting Terrorism Center in 2006.

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

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

    English language translation
    http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Letter-of-Threat-to-AmericansTranslation1.pdf

    • DXer said

      Abu Abdullah was thought by the USG to have been a logistiics and supply officer at the 2001 battle of the Tora Bora.

      The USG had a theory that “Abu Abdullah al Kuwaiti, “a notorious ally of Osama Bin Laden,” was a fellow named Rabia. Rabia lost a lot of sleep over the USG theory.

      But a U.S. district court in Washington disagreed in what a reporter described as “the most critical assessment of government evidence” yet of a Guantanamo case.

      http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/86296:judges-order-to-release-kuwaiti-detainee-puts-obama-in-a-bind

      Judge’s Order to Release Kuwaiti Detainee Puts Obama in a Bind
      Wednesday, 30 September 2009 17:36
      By Carol Rosenberg, McClatchy Newspapers

      Washington – A year ago, an Air Force prosecutor swore out charges of conspiracy and providing material support to a terrorist organization against Fouad al Rabia, a 50-year-old Kuwaiti aviation engineer who was seized by U.S. forces in Afghanistan nearly eight years ago.
      Now a U.S. district court judge in Washington has ordered him released from the Guantanamo military prison, saying the government has presented no evidence of his guilt.
      ***
      Rabia’s been held at Guantanamo since soon after his capture in Afghanistan on suspicion he was ” Abu Abdullah al Kuwaiti ,” a notorious ally of Osama bin Laden who allegedly served as logistics and supply officer at the 2001 battle of Tora Bora.
      In a recently released decision, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly , in 65 pages, dissected and discredited the evidence that the Justice Department cited in its bid to continue to hold Rabia.
      She noted that the Guantanamo testimony against Rabia was contaminated by a sleep deprivation program at odds with the U.S. Army’s own field manual. She pointed out that Rabia’s confession came only after an interrogator advised that he needed to be convicted to go free. She revealed that even American intelligence analysts doubted that an obese aviation engineer, who’d washed out of military training for the Kuwaiti military, had been transformed into an al Qaida field commander in two weeks.
      “If there exists a basis for al Rabia’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this court,” she wrote.
      Rabia is the 30th person ordered freed by a federal judge since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo detainees had the right to appeal their detention in U.S. civilian courts. The indefinite detention of eight detainees has been upheld. Nearly 200 cases are pending.
      Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling in the Rabia case, however, was the harshest denunciation yet of the government’s evidence, analysts say.
      “Despite heavy deletions, blacking out many details, what remains is a withering denunciation of military and intelligence data,” Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston wrote in a posting Saturday on Scotusblog.com, a respected Web site devoted to legal affairs. He called the ruling by far “the most critical assessment of government evidence” yet of a Guantanamo case.

    • DXer said

      The USG alleged that Rabia was aka “Abu Abdullah Al Kuwaiti.”

      http://www.defense.gov/news/d20081021rabiasworn.pdf

      “from in or about June 2001 to in or about December 2001, in the context of and associated with an armed conflict and with knowledge that al Qaeda has engaged in and engages in terrorism, did provide material support and resources that include, but are not limited to personnel, including himself, currency and monetary instruments to Al Qaeda, an internal terrorist organization…”

      Al Rabia was to face charges in 2008 before a Guantanamo military commission but all charges were dropped in 2009.
      In September 2009 Al Rabia’s habeas corpus petition concluded, and US District Court Judge ordered that he be released “forthwith”. That release occurred on December 9, 2009.

      Fouad Mahmoud al Rabiah
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fouad_Mahmoud_al_Rabiah

      CNN published an article based on interviews with Fouad and other former Guantanamo captives, entitled “Former Guantanamo inmates tell of confessions under ‘torture'”. Al Rabiah told Jenifer Fenton he was tortured by his initial Northern Alliance captors, tortured in the Kandahar detention facility, tortured in the Bagram Collection Point, and tortured in Guantanamo. He told her he had been interrogated over 200 times, including “lots and lots of torture”. Al Rabiah showed Fenton a copy of a two-page letter found in Tora Bora that he was tortured into confessing he wrote. The letter’s author wrote that he and his son Abdullah lead an attack in Afghanistan in 1991. However, while Al Rabiah’s son is named Abdullah, he was only one year old in 1991.

      Al Rabiah told Fenton he started to confess to all his interrogators accusations after he was asked “Would you like to go home a drug addict?”[7] He told Fenton that he regarded this as one of the threats, that triggered his false confessions.

      The person is being referred to by the name of their first born son. So “Abu Abdullah” suggests that his first born son is named Abdullah.

      Given the use of practice among Al Qaeda jihadists, it often is though as part a nom de guerre that serves to muddle a jihadist’s identity.

      Attorney Stanley Cohen: For starters, did Abu Ghaith have a son named Abdullah? His indictment doesn’t list any aliases.

      This WAFA Karachi head had Abu Ghaith’s telephone number. Abu Ghaith was reportedly a founder of WAFA. WAFA was involved in procurement for Yazid Sufaat and Al Qaeda’s anthrax program — to include Dr. Batarfi and the young microbiology student from Karachi who was rendered to Jordan in October 2001.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/al-wafas-financial-facilitator-for-al-qaeda-anthrax-program-pt-1/comment-page-1/#comment-26433

      Your client, Abu Ghaith, was a spokesman for Al Qaeda and his father-in-law Bin Laden and made similar pronouncements in June 2002 about WMD. Did he write this? If so, what infiltration was he describing?

      The writer seems awfully close — very connected — to the big kahuna to be making such a broad announcement. He seems involved in Al Qaeda’s propaganda effort.

    • DXer said

      Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader was also forced to speak out against Abu Ghaith after he ordered Americans and Britons to leave the Arabian Peninsula before the land burned “with fire under their feet.”

      According to 2004 court testimony posted by AP, Abu Ghaith may have founded al Wafa, the “humanitarian organization” sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council for its ties to al-Qaeda.

      Little has been published about Abu Ghaith’s life before the Sept. 11 attacks. Born in Kuwait, he was “a quiet school teacher and mosque preacher,” according to the AP.

      In Afghanistan, Abu Ghaith married one of bin Laden’s daughters. … According to the BBC report, Abu Ghaith had six children at that time and was 36, which would make him 47 or 48 years old now. A U.S. detainee who testified to working with him at al-Wafa called Abu Ghaith “a good person” who “honored his family.”

      The same detainee testified that he helped move Abu Ghaith’s family to Pakistan shortly before the Sept. 11 attacks.

      “Definitely, one by one, we are getting the top echelons of al-Qaeda,” [ Rep. Peter King (R-N.) ] said. “I give the administration credit for this: it’s steady and it’s unrelenting and it’s very successful.”

      Comment:

      When the WAFA employee helped move him and his family to Pakistan, Abu Ghaith had six children. Did he have a son named Abdullah?

      Rep. Peter King: Did Abu Ghaith write the above pronouncement?

      What infiltration was the author describing in threatening a mass bioattack?

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  5. DXer said

    Isn’t Abu Ghaith the one who knows about infiltration of US biodefense? Isn’t he the author of this letter?

    I once emailed this to someone and then he posted it

    “The Inside Straight
    Turning scraps of data into intelligence is like trying to fill an inside straight: You need patience -and a bit of luck”

    http://insidestraight.typepad.com/the_inside_straight/2006/07/anthrax_and_alq.html

    “In October or November 2001, Al Qaeda’s spokesman Abu Ghaith wrote a letter to the Administration with the message that they would use their biological weapons if the US did not stop their financial and military support for Israel and the Muslim regimes.

    A letter from Abu ‘Abullah Al-Kuwaiti outlined the next attack against the Americans and issued a statement to the Americans to let them know of their fighters’ readiness to kill hundreds of thousands with their nuclear and biological arsenal.

    Abu Gha’ith, Bin Laden’s spokesman, was from Kuwait and made a similar threat in a videotape released June 2002. The letter has been declassified and cleared for release by West Point Combatting Terrorism Center in 2006.

    “Your Brother Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Kuwaiti;

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

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

    B- If you are ready to die as we are ready to die, the thousand present here in Afghanistan equals hundreds of thousands of Americans.

    I am pleased to inform you that the billions you spent fighting us so far have resulted in killing a small number of us. We consider them martyrs and they did not exceed (10) martyrs. We warn you that our war against you has not ended, and its effects will increase.

    Isn’t it time to end American arrogance and begin listening to your people before you experience more devastating disasters?”

    Earlier in October, Abu Graith had appeared on two widely-circulated videos on al Jazeera television to defend the attacks and threaten retaliation for the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan, saying “Americans should know, the storm of the planes will not stop… There are thousands of the Islamic nation’s youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live.”

    In June 2002, he renewed the biochem threat, more broadly, urging that under the Koran, it was morally justified to kill up to 4 million Americans, including 1 million children, with biological or chemical weapons.

    In July 2003, a Kuwaiti minister announced that the Iranian government had offered to extradite Abu Ghaith to Kuwait, but that Kuwait had refused the offer. It is unclear (as of July 2003) whether he is currently in Iranian custody, or indeed in Iran at all.”

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

    • DXer said

      Private to KSM’s defense counsel.

      Is true that Abu Ghaith is now recaptured and is cooperating with Jack Reacher about Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning in advance of KSM’s trial?

    • DXer said

      If the FBI has not interrogated Abu Ghaith about Al Qaeda’s anthrax program, the FBI should be called before the Senate Judiciary Committee and be asked to explain to Senator Leahy why they didn’t.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

      Sen. Leahy on anthrax case: ‘It’s not closed.”

      By Paul Kane
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Wednesday, February 16, 2011; 4:15 PM

      After the deadly shooting rampage in Tucson, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) was asked to reflect on his own experience as the would-be target of an assassin. That’s when he let slip something that he rarely talks about publicly: He has never accepted the FBI’s decision to close the case in the series of anthrax-laced letters mailed to public officials in fall 2001.

      “I still wonder who sent it and why they sent it,” the Judiciary Committee chairman told a crowd gathered last month at the Newseum in Northwest Washington to hear his 2011 legislative agenda.

      More than a month later, Leahy was given fresh evidence this week that the science in the case was not airtight, reopening emotional wounds 91/2 years after letters sent to him and then-Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) helped cause the deaths of five people and sickened 17 others. On Tuesday, the National Research Council questioned the efficacy of the genetic testing used by the FBI to allege that a Fort Detrick scientist had acted alone in mailing the deadly letters to Capitol Hill and media outlets.

      ***

      Leahy has generally declined to comment on the anthrax investigation, telling The Washington Post that he has tried not to discuss it much “because it affects me so. . . . ” his voice trailing off without finishing the thought.

      But in a brief interview Tuesday, he said he has “extreme doubts” about the case. “I’ve expressed those concerns to the FBI ,and this report adds to those concerns,” Leahy said.

      The handling of the almost nine-year investigation, dubbed “Amerithrax” by the FBI, has never sat well with Congress. On Tuesday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a longtime FBI critic, called for an independent review, and Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), from whose district the letters to Leahy and others were mailed, called for Congress to create an independent commission to examine the entire case.

      For years the targets of the Capitol Hill-bound letters felt shut out of the anthrax investigation, which included an official blackout of any congressional briefings ordered by the Bush administration in 2004. Now, however, there are key figures throughout the Obama administration, and Leahy and Grassley are the top senators on the Judiciary panel with FBI oversight.

      A huge collection of former Daschle staff members now occupy the highest echelon of posts in the Obama administration. Pete Rouse, then the chief of staff to the majority leader, is President Obama’s deputy chief of staff. Laura Petrou, the top aide in Daschle’s suites in the Hart Senate Office Building, where an anthrax letter was opened Oct. 15, 2001, is now chief of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services. Mark Patterson, then Daschle’s top policy adviser, is chief of staff at the Treasury Department.

      Daschle declined to comment Tuesday, but he has criticized the handling of the case, which included several years of focusing on a scientist who was later cleared.

      ***
      In an interview after his Newseum comments last month, the 36-year veteran of the Senate expanded on his concerns about the case. Both as chairman of the committee overseeing the FBI and as a target of one of the letters, Leahy has been granted unique access to the investigation. He has seen any file he wanted and has studied the case.

      • DXer said

        Although reports are conflicting, it seems that Abu Ghaith may actually have been detained two weeks ago — detained for two weeks rather than 6 hours. Did the FBI have a chance to question him?

        http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

        According to this report Abu Ghaith’s wife and children were with him at the hotel and then Saudi Arabia sent papers allowing them to proceed to Saudi Arabia with Abu Ghaith’s brother-in-law.

        Abu Ghaith held after failed attempts to enter Kuwait – Former Al-Qaeda leader in Turkish net

        http://news.kuwaittimes.net/2013/02/04/abu-ghaith-held-after-failed-attempts-to-enter-kuwait-former-al-qaeda-leader-in-turkish-net/

        • DXer said

          Abu Ghaith greatly moderates his tone in this 2010 “20 Guldelines in which he criticizes Al Qaeda and Zawahiri without naming them.

          http://al-shorfa.com/en_GB/articles/meii/features/main/2010/12/16/feature-01

        • DXer said

          An NPR show today discusses DOJ policy as to when the DOJ deems it legal to kill an Al Qaeda official even if not engaged in an imminent plot.

          http://www.npr.org/2013/02/05/171138329/doj-paper-when-its-ok-to-kill-americans-in-al-qaida

        • DXer said

          Are the moral calculations made by the jihadists and the DOJ officials ultimately similar — with them just using a different book or memo for guidance?

        • DXer said

          Read the entire ‘white paper’ on drone strikes on Americans
          “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force.”
          http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf

          By its extensive watermarking, NBC wants to make sure you know they obtained it.

          Scott Shane, as I recall, sued DOJ for a copy of the document but I don’t know the status of that lawsuit offhand.

          The memorandum says that an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”

          Here, I don’t believe the DOJ would say that Abu Ghaith’s recent activities pose a threat of violent attack. (And at least in the newspapers I haven’t read of any). Moreover, here there is evidence he has (to an extent) renounced such activities. Thus, this memo seems not to warrant his killing.

          IMO, he nonetheless should face trial on the conspiracy to kill 3,000 innocent civilians at the World Trade Towers on 911. Any true ally should assist in having Abu Ghaith face those charges in court.

          At the very least, Abu Ghaith, if he wants to temper his reputation, should take the high road and make a clearer statement on his past activities and his current thinking.

      • DXer said

        AFP report today:

        Report: U.S. Wants Turkey to Extradite Bin Laden Son-in-Law

        by Naharnet Newsdesk 29 minutes ago

        http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/70889-report-u-s-wants-turkey-to-extradite-bin-laden-son-in-law

        “The United States has asked Turkey to extradite Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Sulaiman Abu Ghaith after his detention in Ankara last week, a Turkish newspaper reported on Wednesday.

        Abu Gaith, the former spokesman of the al-Qaida terror network, was seized last week at a luxury hotel in Ankara after a tip-off from CIA, and is being held there by police, the Hurriyet newspaper said.

        Ankara police declined to comment on the report while a spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Ankara said it would not comment on terror-related cases.”

        Comment:

        Private to the various defense counsel for KSM, al-Hawsawi and al-Balucchi:

        Just botched, dated reporting?

        Or does it sound to you that although Abu Ghaith was ordered released by one judge, he still is not footloose and fancy free.

        Is Abu Ghaith telling what he knows so that he then can rejoin his family in Saudi Arabia?

        Has he concluded that Dr. Ayman and KSM were never quite the scholar of the hadiths that was required to provide guidance regarding the murder of innocents?

        As head of WAFA’s procurement activities (which participated in some procurement activity relating to Al Qaeda’s anthrax program) and a confidante of Bin Laden and Zawahiri, such cooperation about Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning would be significant.

        He was Al Qaeda’s Ari Fleischer.

    • DXer said

      A recent article discussed the threat perceived at the Super Bowl post-911:

      “For Thornton, there were deeper issues. The Superdome is ventilated by a circulation system that, at the time, wasn’t well guarded. The fear before the Super Bowl was that anthrax would somehow be released into the system, something that could potentially have been deadly for more than 70,000 fans and workers in the stadium.

      So Thornton and his colleagues devised a system in which the facility’s multiple giant filters would be checked at certain intervals along with taping the doors shut and videoing the room. Then, weeks before the game, a guard was stationed outside the door with only approved personnel having access.

      It worked and there were no problems.”

    • DXer said

      http://intelnews.org/2013/02/04/01-1189/#more-9905

      at a hotel in Ankara’s affluent Çankaya district. The hotel where Ghaith was captured is reportedly located near the official residence of the Turkish President and a stone’s throw from numerous foreign embassies —including the embassy of the US, …

      Interestingly, notesMilliyet, a Turkish judge refused to detain Ghaith because “he had not committed any criminal act while in Turkey” other than entering the country on a forged passport. Soon after his court hearing, Ghaith was turned over to the Turkish military, which deported him back to Iran. In doing so, the Turkish authorities rejected an official US request for Ghaith’s extradition, claiming that they were obligated to return bin Laden’s son-in-law to Iran due to a host of “technical reasons”. Turkey has repeatedly refused to collaborate with US counterterrorism agencies in recent years, citing concerns about Washington’s alleged favorable treatment of Kurdish interests in Northern Iraq, and its alleged support of Israel in its ongoing dispute with Turkey.

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