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

* from DXer … infiltration of U.S. Biodefense? … was code used in the anthrax letters?

Posted by DXer on February 20, 2010

28 Responses to “* from DXer … infiltration of U.S. Biodefense? … was code used in the anthrax letters?”

  1. DXer said

    Viewpoint: Was CIA ‘too white’ to spot 9/11 clues?

    More on Bin Laden and 9/11

    By 2000, the “anti-modern, uneducated rabble” had swelled to an estimated 20,000, mostly college educated and with a bias towards engineering. Yazid Sufaat, who would go on to become one of al-Qaeda‘s anthrax researchers, had a degree in chemistry and laboratory science. Many were ready to die for their faith.

    Meanwhile, senior CIA official Paul Pillar (white, middle-aged, Ivy league), was discounting the very possibility of a major act of terrorism. “It would be a mistake to redefine counterterrorism as a task of dealing with ‘catastrophic‘, ‘grand‘ or ‘super‘ terrorism,” he said, “when in fact these labels do not represent most of the terrorism the United States is likely to face”.

    Another flaw in the CIA‘s deliberations was their reluctance to believe that Bin Laden would initiate conflict with the US. Why start a war he couldn‘t possibly win? They hadn‘t made the conceptual leap that the victory for the jihadists was to be secured not on earth but in paradise.

    The al-Qaeda code name for the plot was The Big Wedding. In the ideology of suicide bombers, the day of a martyr‘s death is also his wedding day where he will be greeted by virgins in heaven.

    The CIA could have allocated more resources to al-Qaeda. They could have attempted infiltration. But they were incapable of grasping the urgency. They did not allocate more resources, because they didn‘t perceive a threat.

    They didn‘t seek to penetrate al-Qaeda because they were ignorant of the gaping hole in their analysis. The problem wasn‘t (just) the inability to connect the dots in the autumn of 2001, but a failure across the entire intelligence cycle.

    The dearth of Muslims is merely one illustration of how homogeneity undermined the world‘s foremost intelligence agency. It provides an insight into how a more diverse group would have created a richer understanding not just into the threat posed by al-Qaeda, but dangers throughout the world. How different frames of reference, different perspectives, would have created a more comprehensive, nuanced, and powerful synthesis.

  2. DXer said

    With the Kavanaugh vote upon us, as we consider the meaning of “FFFFF” and “Devil’s Triangle” today — and consider whether FBI Director Wray and DAG Rosenstein follow some Yale Law School Federalist Society code — we are presented with the odd message in one of the messages that the former Navy sailor from Logan, Utah sent.

    Utah – Man Arrested for Mailing Ricin to Trump, Pentagon
    one of the letters also contained an index card with writing, “Jack the missile bean” and “Stock powder.” It is not yet clear if those are codes for something.
    It is not yet clear what the suspect’s motive was.
    The precise phrasing is
    “Jack & the missile bean” and

    If a person is a nutter, are they sometimes speaking in a code only understandable to themselves?
    It doesn’t seem that he is warning that someone might “jack” (or steal) a missile and load it with ricin. (Wouldn’t the uncapsulated ricin powder incinerate and be rendered harmless?) But what are his politics? When he is not smoking weed, does he have a day job? Who are his friends that he smokes with? He goes to church with his wife?
    Does he watch Jack Bean? Read nursery rhymes?

    On the USS Detroit after 9/11 amidst the anthrax scares, did he receive training on the possible loading of ricin on in-bound missiles? I believe he would have been one of the ones to respond to a fire caused by an in-bound missile or bomb. Has he been treated for mental health issues?

    If FBI Director Wray cannot figure out (and doesn’t even attempt to ascertain, definitively, the meaning of) FFFFF and “Devil’s Triabgle”) maybe Gibbs at the NCIS will be the one to figure this out. I was on the Harvard Law Review in 1983-1984 and worked alongside the handful of Federalist Society members. Wray, Rosenstein and Kavanaugh would know each other.FN/

    The FBI should not have allowed the meaning of “FFFFF” and “Devil’s Triangle” to remain in dispute. It relates to documentary evidence and needs to be reliably interpreted.

    Similarly, Wray and Rosenstein should not have allowed the FBI to withhold the Sept-Oct 2001 Ivins emails after it was the FBI and DOJ officials who ordered USAMRMC Official John Peterson to cull them from the production to me.

    In pending litigation, the FBI has agreed that a District Court judge may inspect the documents in chambers. The FBI, however, argues that none of the memo written by the former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert — who summarized the emails and says now a massive amount of information exculpatory of Bruce Ivins is being withheld — should see the light of day.

    Someone needs to check even the FBI’s work when it is subject to “black outs” to ensure that it complies with the rule of law. Sometimes it is not the black out that is of concern, sometimes the FBI is just asleep at the switch — as they were before 9/11.

    Sometimes people just want to cover their ass — or that of a colleague.


    “Thirty years ago, Wray was two years behind Kavanaugh at Yale College, and followed him to Yale Law School. Famously small and insular, Yale Law School’s reputation is largely liberal but it has an intense, dedicated cadre of conservative professors and students. This conservative group has played an outsized role in conservative judicial circles, as the cradle for the influential Federalist Society back in 1982.
    Kavanaugh and Wray surely knew each other then, and later. According to their Judiciary Committee questionnaires, each joined The Federalist Society upon starting Yale Law and continued as members up through the Trump administration. The Society’s website shows each were active over the years since, speaking at conferences and contributing to Society publications.”

  3. DXer said

    Now this is the sort of conviction and sentence that makes total sense and seems supported by the evidence presented.

    Post 911, using “wedding” or “marriage” as code is never a good idea.

    Dr. Ayman Zawahiri is guilty of mismanagement for not having rewritten the code book.

    Man gets 40 years in al-Qaida plot to bomb NYC subway
    The Associated Press12:20 p.m. EST November 24, 2015

    But most of the case hinged on email exchanges in 2009 between Naseer and a person described by prosecutors as an al-Qaida handler who was directing plots to attack civilians in Manchester, New York City and Copenhagen. Naseer insisted the emails consisted only of harmless banter about looking for a potential bride after going to England to take computer science classes.

    But the prosecutor accused Naseer of lying on the witness stand by claiming the women he wrote about were real. Ahmed said the women’s names actually were code for homemade bomb ingredients: Nadia stood for ammonium nitrate and Huma for hydrogen peroxide.

    She dismissed Naseer’s explanations as “blather” and said, “This man wanted to drive a car bomb into a crowded shopping center and watch people die.”

    One prosecution witness, Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty in the subway plot as part of a cooperation agreement. Zazi testified that after receiving explosives training in Pakistan, he received instructions from the same al-Qaida contact as Naseer and was told to use “marriage” and “wedding” as code for attacks.

    Another witness was an FBI legal attache who handled evidence found in the bin Laden raid, including letters written among top al-Qaida officials. One referred to sending “brothers” to New York and Britain and to arrests made there — a passage prosecutors suggested was a reference to Naseer.

  4. DXer said

    “On the Day when Great Terror shall steal all their words
    Your souls will rest in the hearts of green birds,”

    ISIS pens poem about 72 virgins to ignite base
    By Paul Sperry
    September 13, 2014 | 8:31pm

    How do Islamic extremists fire up the troops? …

    During a investigation into home-grown terrorists, the FBI monitored communication between two Boston Muslims, Tarek Mehanna and Ahmad Abousamra.

    Mehanna would be charged with aiding al Qaeda and given 17 years in prison, Abousamra fled the US before arrest, and is now serving as chief propagandist for ISIS.
    Abousamra posts beheading videos to the Internet, and promotes them on social media. He’s one of the FBI’s most wanted.


    The precise meaning of Green Birds was explained in an FAQ in September 2001 on Al-Qaeda’s website mirrored in New Brunswick, New Jersey — it explained that it referred to “what was inside.”

    Was the North Brunswick computer person Mazen Mokhtar who mirrored Al Qaeda’s website (which explained the symbolism of the “green birds”) in contact with subtilis expert Walied Samarrai in 2001?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 8, 2011

    The United States Attorney Falsely Alleged That The Federal Eagle Stamp Was Uniquely Sold At Dr. Bruce Ivins’ Post Office And Then That Ran As An AP Headline. In fact, the envelopes with the printing defects are known to have been sold throughout Maryland and Virginia post offices (and that is where the hijackers were).
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 10, 2010

    Records showed that the “Federal Eagle” envelope printed during the January 2001 to June 2002 run was sold by 45 offices in Virginia and Maryland — including Laurel, Maryland, where Atta and the hijackers had their need for postal supplies served by the Mail Boxes Etc. office in Laurel.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 25, 2012

  5. DXer said


    US trained Alaskans as secret ‘stay-behind agents’
    Published August 31, 2014Associated Press


    Three years later, Hoover was pulled back in, briefly.

    In October 1954, an envelope and a typewritten letter containing a coded message were turned over to the FBI by a woman in Anchorage. It had been misaddressed by the anonymous sender in Fairbanks. Espionage was suspected, triggering flurries of FBI internal memos. Hoover was informed that bureau code breakers were urgently trying to decipher the message.

    They never broke the code but eventually declared the crisis over. The mystery message, they determined, was not from an enemy spy. It was a “practice message” sent errantly by one of the “Washtub” agents.

  6. DXer said

    Afghan doctor in Phila. passed coded messages, U.S. says


    LAST UPDATED: Saturday, August 9, 2014

    A 62-year-old Afghan doctor detained in Philadelphia this week on immigration fraud charges received and passed along coded messages from an anti-Western terror group with ties to al-Qaeda, federal prosecutors said.

    At a court hearing Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said FBI agents discovered the documents written in Pashto and hidden between glued pages of religious tracts mailed to Hayatullah Dawari’s Northeast Philadelphia home.

    The package, intercepted during a January raid, came from Pakistan and included instructions to forward several books inside to various people across the United States.

    A later search uncovered a coded message similar to that found in Dawari’s possession at the home of another associate in Philadelphia.

    “The note, when translated from Pashto to English, appears to contain a message directing some urgent action,” Williams said.

    Please, utilize the sentence number [#] for the time being,” one read, according to a government motion, which did not include the number mentioned in the cipher. Another instructed, “please, wait to receive other books for sentences number [#]”

    Though Dawari has not been charged with terrorist activity, he has continued to communicate with members of the group, Williams said, most recently in a conversation this year in which he spoke to a Pakistani contact about the shipment of books.

    “That is incorrect,” Dawari said at a court hearing Friday, in which he was ordered detained until trial. “I am absolutely not guilty.”

    Nino Tinari, Dawari’s lawyer, balked at the suggestion his client was involved in any anti-Western plotting.

    The Justice Department frequently uses immigration fraud charges to target foreign nationals it suspects of other crimes.

    He accused the government of inflating a simple immigration matter into a terrorism case.


    Before Dawari’s arrest in the federal case Wednesday, U.S. immigration authorities had initiated deportation proceedings against him over allegations that he lied about a previous arrest record in Russia while obtaining his green card.

    “This is a person who helped American individuals in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who is now being put to the test over some sentences in a letter,” Tinari said.

    If convicted in the immigration fraud case, Dawari could face up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors said Friday that they intend to introduce evidence obtained through the U.S. government’s warrantless surveillance program at Dawari’s trial.

    “This is a fraud case,” he said. “They’re trying to elevate it into something involving al Qaeda.”


    To avoid any misunderstanding on the part of the federal law enforcement, you should always avoid speaking in code, especially when communicating with members of Al Qaeda or its operatives.


    Here are some new scrabble words. (Note that cava, a sparkling Spanish wine, is featured in a front-page NYT article today.)


    Stay tuned for the next transmission of new scrabble words. 73.

  7. DXer said

    The Abu Ghayth trial is ongoing in Manhattan with testimony from a jihadist from Upstate New York and code that was used to refer to Al Qaeda spokesman Abu Ghayth.

    At trial of former al-Qaida spokesman, American testifies he met bin Laden before 9/11 attacks
    LARRY NEUMEISTER , Associated Press
    March 6, 2014

    NEW YORK — An American who trained at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan in the spring of 2001 before losing his nerve testified Thursday how he encountered Osama bin Laden and the terror group’s spokesman at a safe house — and that bin Laden hinted that a suicide attack on U.S. soil was in the works.

    “Just know you have brothers willing to carry their souls in their hands,” bin Laden told the witness, Sahim Alwan, and other recruits, Alwan said on the witness stand …

    Alwan, 41, was among a half-dozen men who became known as the Lackawanna Six after their arrests on charges of providing material support to terrorists by attending bin Laden’s al-Farooq camp in Afghanistan in 2001. He pleaded guilty in 2003 and served about seven years behind bars.

    Testifying under subpoena, Alwan told jurors that he became an aspiring jihadist after worshipping at a mosque in Lackawanna , N.Y., where he grew up.

    But he was told that he needed to meet face-to-face with bin Laden first and that the al-Qaida leader knew he was from the United States even though he and the others had been warned not to disclose that fact.

    He testified that Bin Laden quizzed him about America, asking, “… How are the youth there? What do they think of the operations?” By operations, Alwan said, he assumed bin Laden meant suicide missions.

    “I just said, ‘Oh we don’t think about it,'” he testified.

    Alwan was arrested in 2002 and ultimately sentenced to 9-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He was released from prison in July 2010 after agreeing to cooperate with the government in another investigation, and is now in the cell phone business, he said.

    On radio broadcasts, AQ used a code to refer to different individuals.

    Jury Shown Al-Qaeda Cards With Bin Laden Spokesman’s Name
    By Patricia Hurtado Mar 6, 2014

    “My understanding was they were being used in conjunction with the radio to talk and disguise their communications,” Karnes testified. He said U.S. military personnel use such a code, by substituting an individual’s name with a number to conceal the true identity of the person being discussed on a broadcast.

    Alwan, the fellow from Buffalo, was released in 2010 when he agreed to cooperate with the government in another investigation.

    Abu Ghaith urged Qaeda recruits to ‘pledge’ to bin Laden: witness
    NEW YORK Thu Mar 6, 2014

    Alwan was arrested in 2002 and ultimately sentenced to 9-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He was released from prison in July 2010 after agreeing to cooperate with the government in another investigation, and is now in the cell phone business, he said.

  8. DXer said

    The CIA allowed the mirrored website to remain up throughout 2002 while they watched who visited.
    I discussed the “green birds” FAQ in 2005 here:

    Al Qaeda’s Agent X

    “Just because Al Qaeda likes its truck bombs and the like to be effective does not mean they do not see the value in a deadly missive. As Brian Jenkins once said, “terrorism is theater.” A sender purporting to be islamist sent cyanide in both early 2002 and early 2003 in New Zealand and ingredients of nerve gas in Belgium in 2003. There’s even a chapter titled “Poisonous Letter” in the Al Qaeda manual.

    The “Federal Eagle” stamp used in the anthrax mailings was a blue-green. It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” In the very interview in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, the masterminds admitted to the Jenny code, the code for representing the date 9/11, and used the symbolism of the “Green Birds.” Osama Bin Laden later invoked the symbolism in his video “The 19 Martyrs.” A FAQ on the Azzam Publications website explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside.

    The mailer’s use of “Greendale School” as the return address for the letters to the Senators is also revealing. A May 2001 letter that Zawahiri sent to Egyptian Islamic Jihad members abroad establish that Zawahiri used “school” as a code word for the Egyptian militant islamists in his correspondence. Green symbolizes Islam and was the Prophet Mohammed’s color. By Greendale School, the anthrax perp was being cute, just as Yazid Sufaat was being cute in naming his lab Green Laboratory Medicine. “Dale” means “river valley.” Greendale likely refers to green river valley — i.e., Cairo’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Islamic Group. The sender probably is announcing that he is of either Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Group or Jihad-al Qaeda, which is actually the full name of the group after the merger of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda. At the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they were washed. In a Hadith the Messenger of Allah explains that the souls of the martyrs are in the hearts of green birds that fly wherever they please in the Paradise.”

  9. DXer said

    Vahid Majidi says that cryptologists reviewed the letters. Okay, Vahid. Then where are their reports? Why didn’t you see that they were produced under FOIA?

  10. DXer said

    Study the particulars of the code that El Shukrijumah used in connection with the 2009 NYC subway plot and compare that to the code used in the anthrax letters.

    Also review the script of the martyrdom video that Shukrijumah wrote for Zazi.

    CNN Wire

    May 2, 2012 Wednesday 5:35 AM EST

    Time line for a terror plot

    BYLINE: By Paul Cruickshank


    At an al Qaeda camp in South Waziristan, the group met American Adnan
    Shukrijumah, who had joined al Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2000. He also tried to
    persuade them to return to the United States, saying they could avenge the U.S.
    drone attacks and pressure the United States to leave Afghanistan. He told them
    that other al Qaeda operatives lacked their travel documents or comfort
    operating in the United States.

    Eventually, after Shukrijumah became increasingly insistent, according to
    Ahmedzay, they agreed — and discussion began about possible targets: the New
    York Stock Exchange, Times Square, Penn Station, Grand Central Station, movie
    theaters and the New York subway, because it was “the heart of everything in New
    York City,” Zazi said later.

    Shukrijumah suggested striking a Wal-Mart because it would damage the U.S.
    economy and told them that if they could not carry out a large attack, they
    should launch something smaller.

    Zazi, escorted once again by Ahmad, later received specialized explosives
    training in South Waziristan, where he learned to build and successfully tested
    a variety of explosive devices. (Medunjanin had flown home because his visa was
    about to expire, and Ahmedzay had gone to visit his wife in Afghanistan.) He was
    told how to find the necessary chemicals and told how to pack ball bearings into
    the device.

    Soon after Obama won the U.S. presidential election in 2008, Shukrijumah came to
    the camp and told Zazi he wanted his group to send a message to shake the
    incoming president by launching an attack during the transition before he took
    office. Zazi told him he’d need more time. But he signaled his commitment to the
    plot by recording a martyrdom video that Shukrijumah scripted, which could be
    used by al Qaeda after the attack. Before returning to the United States he and
    Ahmad set up a way to communicate by coded e-mails.

  11. DXer said

    What were the full details of the code used by the plotters in the El-Shukrijumah plot in 2009 involving a planned attack on NYC subways?

    Doesn’t FBI Director Mueller think that it would be a good idea to reopen Amerithrax before El-Shukrijumah’s next attack?

    • July 8, 2010

    Subway Bomb Plot Tied to Planned U.K. Attack

    In an indictment unveiled in federal court in Brooklyn, prosecutors said 34-year-old Adnan el Shukrijumah, described as a leader of an al-Qaeda program dedicated to terrorist attacks in the U.S. and other Western countries, “recruited and directed” three U.S. citizens to carry out suicide bombings in Manhattan in September 2009. …

    Prosecutors said Mr. Naseer sent emails to the same account that Ahmad allegedly used to communicate with Mr. Zazi. Mr. Naseer referred to different explosives in coded language and spoke of planning a large “wedding” for numerous guests in April 2009, and said Ahmad should be ready, prosecutors alleged. A similar code, meaning an attack was ready to be executed, was used by Mr. Zazi when he discussed the planned New York attack with Ahmad, prosecutors said.

  12. DXer said

    Edward Jay Epstein writes:

    Nor did the text of the anthrax letters themselves point to a single American scientist, since it used the plural “we,” contained the misspelling of the word “penicillin,” and also had jihadist formulations, such as “Death to America.” If, as the FBI assumed, the text was a deliberate deception, it left little material to support its profile of a lone American scientist. Yet, by clinging to this profile, it neglected investive paths that may have resolved this crime.”

  13. DXer said

    The first thing to do in advancing analysis is to confirm that Yazid’s Kandahar lab had virulent Ames. He and Barq and al-Sudani were all vaccinated. The hijacker who came from Kandahar (arriving in Florida in early June 2001) got a gash in his leg there and then later his remains tested positive for Ames. So we can ask Yazid whether he can confirm that the strain anthrax that he was using was Ames. In a chat message, he confirmed to me that he likes making people smile and that would make me smile. He would not be speaking out of school in that the tests already point to the strain being Ames in the molecular analysis.

    The second and related thing we might do is ask him if he knows what BL-3 lab Abdur Rauf visited.. the one where he wrote Dr. Ayman that the “targets had been achieved.” The FBI knows and so it is not like Yazid would be speaking out of school. He might not know given the strict compartmentalization that Dr. Zawahiri is said to have maintained in the anthrax project.

    Yazid was just one component of a broader effort that included, for example, Mohammed Saaed’s procurement efforts in Karachi buying equipment and Abdur Rauf’s effort in 1999 to obtain virulent anthrax and vaccine.

    Ross Getman’s slide presentation at the Nov 29 anthrax letters seminar
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 5, 2010

  14. DXer said

    Late last month, Saif Al-Adel was suspected of sending code words in the form of Christmas greetings.

    “Al-Adel is suspected of sending code words in the form of Christmas greetings to a number of websites, which are being picked up in Britain. These are really instructions on what to do next and GCHQ is now racing against time to decipher them.”

    • DXer said

      Saif al-Adel is the nom de guerre of former Egyptian Army Colonel Muhamad Ibrahim Makkawi (Special Forces). It was his boss Atef who was the former Cairo police sergeant. (The documents on Ayman’s computer from Spring 1999 showed him reporting on his anthrax planning to Atef). “4th Grade” refers to Sergeant. The code deciphers to the anthrax coming from Atef of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest. But then very promptly Atef was targeted and a missile landed on his head.

  15. DXer said

    I ordinarily wouldn’t care anything about the CIA “Kryptos” sculpture puzzle but there is new information being provided by the artist. 6 of the 97 letters. He would like it solved before he dies.

    Clues to Stubborn Secret in C.I.A.’s Backyard

    The dustjacket for the DaVinci Code references the CIA “Kryptos” sculpture — and friends Mario and Fafa of Captain and his crew of reference the DaVinci code.

    I am looking for someone to join me today or next Saturday in kayaking out to Shooter’s Island today off Staten Island to the north-northeast beach amidst the ruins of the 5 docks. I’ll provide the precise GPS coordinates- you bring a camera to take pictures of the birds.

  16. DXer said

    The LA Times is reporting the addresses and fictitious names of historical significance used in the mail bombs from Yemen and musing over their significance.*

    In the case of Amerithrax bombs, the CIA should have known that Ayman Zawahiri used “school” to refer to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and that was cemented by Greendale (such as their Green Team, Green Laboratories (for weaponizing anthrax etc.) The text of the May/June 2001 letter to his past supporters has been uploaded and extensively uses the code related to the school — e.g., the teachers.

    On September 18, 2001, they accessed Zacarious Moussaoui’s email given him by anthrax lab tech Sufaat —

    Kaczynski, in his 1979 airport bomb, had addressed it to Weiberg Tool & Supply. Ravenswood, for example, was a return address. His 1981 bomb to Percy Wood, the President of the United Airlines in a Chicago suburb was the ICE BROTHERS about a ship Valkyrie. Kaczynski was a big fan of Wagner’s Opera “The Ring Cycle” and urged in his manifesto that nordicist anarchists join him. See paras. 222, 227 and 229 of his manifesto. He thought Nazis were perhaps an essential part of his hoped-for revolution so long as they placed priority on the destruction of technology. Ironically, as I explain in a book by Vankin at Barnes and Noble now, Kaczynski lived at home in 1978 and 1979 during the heyday of Frank Collin’s Skokie protest.

    Bruce Ivins, in contrast, had no reason to use Greendale School. Using the same address on both permitted the second one to be discovered. It would serve no purpose unless a message was being sent. Under an Ivins theory, there was no audience. The earnest young investigators in the compartmentalized Ivins squad sought to develop a theory based on a family newsletter sent to the Ivins home without any evidence whatsoever that Ivins read the letter or cared about the issue. We all get numerous magazines we never read. I don’t read any of the magazines that come here for example and it is my spouse who donates to the various organizations. The fault lies not with the investigators but with any compartmentalization that prevented them from judging the relevant strength of the theory against the code known to have been used by the Egyptian Islamic Jihad supporters.

    Ayman Zawahiri’s minion OTOH was sending a message identifying the sender in code. He likely received a copy of the letter from Ayman Zawahiri.–mailbombs-chicago,0,1583701.story

    “Authorities are still trying to figure out why the addresses on the packages were for buildings no longer used by Jewish synagogues — one of buildings is now empty and other is a Unitarian church that had stopped renting space to a Jewish congregation seven years ago.

    Even stranger: the names on the packages were not for people in Chicago but rather obscure historical figures. One packages was addressed to Diego Deza, a figure from the Spanish Inquisition, and the other for Reynald Krak, who was beheaded by a Muslim general during the 12th century Crusades.

    The FBI and local authorities are not saying much publicly about whether al-Qaida has specifically targeted Chicago or if the Chicago mentions are a coincidence. About the only thing agents said when they visited the IQRA International Educational Foundation is that they knew about the letter the Skokie, Ill.-based nonprofit Islamic foundation received from Yemen.”

    • DXer said

      So what you have is a modus operandi of mailbombs and targetting related to the rendering and mistreatment of jihadists.

      The one historical figure used in the address on the mailbomb, Diego Deza, was accused of being overzealous in his work during the Spanish inquisition and of showing excessive cruelty. Reynald Krak was a 12th century crusader also known for his excesses.

      I’m reminded that anthrax lab tech Aafia Siddiqui said “Death to America!” as she picked up that rifle and pointed it. The talking heads in Fall 2001 oddly suggested a jihadist or jihadist supporter would not use the phrase even though that it precisely what the crowds would chant as AQ’s/EIJ’s deputy military commander Saif Adel and his colleagues watched.

      I’ve never found the discussion of tactics used in the anthrax letters to be informed by the history of tactics used by the Ayman Zawahiri’s group, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

      Mailing deadly letters is not merely their modus operandi, it is the group’s signature as illustrated by the unsolved Al Hayat letter bombs relating to the detention of the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. The blind sheik’s son, a member of AQ’s 3-member WMD committee, was recruiting scientists at the same time he was speaking alongside Al-Timimi at the conference of the Ann Arbor-based IANA charity.

      Indeed, there was correspondence between Ayman Zawahiri and a Yemen EIJ cell precisely at the time when a threat to use anthrax was made in 1999.

      While Zawahiri’s email and computer overflows with murderous intent, there is no evidence at all of Dr. Ivins’ involvement in the many hundreds of work emails produced.

      Editing wikipedia, having numerous screen names, liking scantily clad women was in no way evidence of the anthrax mailings.

      The Infiltration of US Biodefense: Anthrax and Al Qaeda (fully available online)

      You click to enlarge the text.

      Here are downloadable graphics detailing the documentary evidence establishing Dr. Ivins’ innocence.

    • BugMaster said

      I agree with you, DXer, in that the FBI’s explanation for the return address of “Greendale School” is pathetically lame!

      Then again, so was their “explanation” for Princeton.

  17. DXer said

    Someone should check to see how many of the Russian spies just arrested were licensed ham radio operators.

    “It is said they communicated with the spy masters in Moscow by posting apparently innocent pictures on the internet which contained detailed texts. They also used special radio signals and computer technology. The FBI observed older techniques as well, money buried next to a beer-bottle marker, and “brush pasts” in the park.”

    I went to ham radio field days this weekend and met this nice person from Lockheed who would be the perfect kind of individual to track down the “numbers” that appear to maintain communication with spies located in the U.S. My daughter made her first contact.

    The code in the anthrax letters should have been apparent to any counterintelligence analyst.

    If that’s his final answer, FBI Director Mueller should resign given the failure of counterintelligence that Amerithrax represents.

    • DXer said

      The complaints followed a multiyear investigation that culminated with Sunday’s arrest of 10 people in Yonkers; Montclair, New Jersey; Boston; and northern Virginia. The documents detailed what authorities called the “Illegals Program,” an S.V.R. effort to plant Russian spies in the United States to gather information and recruit people able to infiltrate government policy-making circles.

      The “Illegals Program” extended to other countries around the world, the charging documents said.

      Using fraudulent documents, the complaint said, the spies would “assume identities as citizens or legal residents of the countries to which they are deployed, including the United States. Illegals will sometimes pursue degrees at target-country universities, obtain employment, and join relevant professional associations” to deepen their false identities.

      It added: “Illegals often operate in pairs – being placed together by Moscow Center” – the S.V.R. headquarters – “while in Russia, so that they can live together and work together in a host country, under the guise of a married couple. Illegals who are placed together and co-habit in the country to which they are assigned will often have children together,” further establishing their cover.

      According the the charges, the agents would communicate back to Moscow using such techniques as steganography – including secret encrypted data in an image that could be posted on a publicly available website but would appear unremarkable to the naked eye; radiograms – coded bursts of data sent by a short-wave radio transmitter; and setting up wireless laptop computer networks in public places.

      It was far not clear what their intelligence reports were about and whether it succeeded in stealing any state secrets of major value. The defendants were charged with crimes like failing to register as an agent of a foreign government and money laundering – not the more serious offense of espionage. There is no allegation in the court documents that any of the defendants obtained classified materials.

      Still, the court documents painted a vivid portrait of the sophisticated mechanisms allegedly used by the defendants and the lengths to which the network was willing to go to establish and maintain their cover.

      Once planted in their host country, the agents’ entire lives – “education, bank accounts, car, house, etc.,” the complaint quoted on Moscow message as saying — would be secretly financed by the Russian government in order to fulfill their mission, which was to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in the United States and send intelligence reports back.

      As the years went by, that arrangement sometimes led to friction, the complaint said, citing an acrimonious exchange of encrypted messages between a pair of alleged agents living under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy. The couple, who have allegedly operated in the United States since the mid-1990s, decided in 2008 to move from an apartment in Hoboken to a house in Montclair, N.J. – leading to an argument over whether they or the S.V.R. would own it.

      The agents eventually dropped the argument, writing: “We are under the impression that C. views our ownership of the house as a deviation from the original purpose of our mission here. We’d like to assure you that we do remember what it is. From our perspective, purchase of the house was solely a natural progression of our prolonged stay here. It was a convenient way to solve the housing issue, plus to ‘do as the Romans do’ in a society that values home ownership.”

      The complaints were filled with such richly detailed narratives, saying it was based on years of covert surveillance – including monitoring phones and e-mails, placing secret microphones in the alleged agents’ homes, and numerous surreptitious searches dating back years.

      Agents also tracked another set of suspected agents – who were based in Yonkers – on trips to an unidentified South American country, where officials said they were videotaped receiving bags of cash and passing messages written in “invisible” ink on blank pages to Russian handlers in a public park.

    • DXer said

      DXing refers to the two-way communication with a distant radio station using shortwave frequencies. Here is a video from Field Days 2010. I don’t see that Michael Zottoli in Arlington had a license to be using shortwave so he should be charged with that too for good measure.

      Now if only the FBI had success at identifying the spy at Ft. Detrick pointed out by a former KGB handler, who explained the husband-wife illegals were throughout US and Europe.

      Mole may have infiltrated Md. lab in ’80s.

      Publication: Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, MD)
      Publication Date: 30-JUL-06

      COPYRIGHT 2006 The Baltimore Sun

      Byline: Douglas Birch

      Jul. 30–It could be the plot of a Cold War thriller: A Soviet mole burrows into America’s top biodefense lab and steals strains of the deadly viruses that cause Rift Valley and Lassa fevers. He ships the killer microbes back to Moscow in the bags of Aeroflot pilots, who turn them over to a super-secret arm of the KGB that plots bioterror attacks. A chilling tale of fictional intrigue? Some biowarfare experts think it actually happened at Fort Detrick in the 1980s, and they say there is evidence to support their suspicions. Alexander Y. Kouzminov, a biophysicist who says he once worked for the KGB, first made the allegation last year in a book, Biological Espionage: Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West. Biowarfare experts dismissed the memoir at first, largely because Kouzminov also claimed that a series of contemporary disease outbreaks resulted from the release of germ weapons. But in recent weeks, another former Soviet scientist told The Sun that his lab routinely received dangerous pathogens and other materials from Western labs through a clandestine channel like the one Kouzminov described. Also, a U.S. arms control specialist says he has independent evidence of a Soviet spy at Fort Detrick. Although not definitive, their statements buttress Kouzminov’s allegations about the Frederick military installation. Experts worry that the United States’ huge $7-billion-a-year biological defense effort will increase the odds of bioterrorism – by generating dangerous new microbes and scientific knowledge that could be diverted or stolen. The FBI declined to comment on the possibility of Soviet spying at Fort Detrick in the 1980s. However, if an agent once penetrated America’s top biodefense lab, biowarfare experts say, the incident would show how difficult preventing such losses can be. The Detrick agent, Kouzminov wrote, clandestinely “gained information” on experiments with Rift Valley and Lassa fevers, hemorrhagic diseases that can drown a victim in his own body fluid, as well as the bacterium that causes tularemia, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and pneumonia. KGB officials also sought a sample of the U.S. smallpox vaccine, although Kouzminov does not say whether they obtained it. Soviet defectors have reported that in the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S.S.R. was trying to develop vaccine-resistant organisms capable of defeating U.S. biowarfare defenses. Serguei Popov, a scientist once based in a Soviet bioweapons lab in Obolensk, south of Moscow, said that by the early 1980s his colleagues had obtained at least two strains of anthrax commonly studied in Detrick and affiliated labs. They included the Ames strain, first identified at Detrick in the early 1980s. It became the standard used for testing U.S. military vaccines, and it was the strain contained in the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five people and infected 23 in the U.S. Popov, now at the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Disease at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said Obolensk researchers could easily obtain organisms mentioned in Western research papers. “If you wanted ‘special materials,’ you had to fill out a request,” he said. “And, essentially, those materials were provided. How and by whom, I can’t say.” One colleague, Popov said, used this “special materials” program to obtain a strain of Yersinia pestis, a plague bacterium being studied in a Western lab. But he didn’t know whether that particular germ came from Detrick. There has never been any doubt about Detrick’s key role in the history of U.S. biowarfare. Once a sleepy military airfield, the facility was turned into a center for top-secret research into biological weapons in the waning days of World War II. It remained so until 1969, when President Richard M. Nixon ended development of new U.S. bioweapons, and the military study of lethal organisms shifted to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID. That agency was founded at Fort Detrick in the late 1960s to conduct defensive biological research. Its scientists developed new vaccines and drugs to treat natural and manmade outbreaks. Given that change in mission, former Detrick scientists and arms control experts agree that there were no secret, offensive programs at Detrick in the 1980s. In fact, they say there wasn’t much secret work at all.But Kouzminov says the KGB still wanted specific items from Western labs – including Detrick – that were closely held or at least not widely available. Those included samples of specific disease strains, the growth media used to raise microbes, and vaccines the labs developed. The Soviets also wanted the aerosol powders U.S. scientists used to infect animals with bioagents during drug and vaccine tests. At least three KGB spies targeted U.S. biodefense efforts in the 1980s, Kouzminov said. But the biophysicist, who worked primarily in Western Europe, offers no details about what the other two did. He wrote that his superiors called “our man at Detrick” their key biological agent.

      Kouzminov and the biological moles worked in the KGB’s Department 12 of Directorate S, housed in a high-rise building in a forested patch of southern Moscow. The group’s mission, he said, was to develop germ weapons and poisons, to steal biodefense secrets and to plot biochemical terror attacks to be launched in the event of war. The description of Department 12 in Biological Espionage squares with those of other defectors, said Oleg D. Kalugin, a retired KGB major general now living in the U.S. Raymond Zilinskas, a bioweapons expert with the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and two colleagues wrote a scathing review of Biological Espionage in Nature, a British scientific journal.
      “It was clear there was somebody at Fort Detrick” who worked for Soviet intelligence, Zilinskas says. According to Kouzminov’s account, the KGB delivered biological materials to Moscow through what was called the VOLNA channel. Aeroflot pilots who were also KGB officers carried these sometimes-lethal microbes to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in their personal luggage. By the late 1980s, Department 12 was receiving about 20 parcels a year through VOLNA from agents in its American section, which included North, Central and South America. In an e-mail, Kouzminov said he didn’t know the identity of the Detrick spy or other details of the USAMRIID espionage. Such knowledge was closely guarded, even within the KGB. Careless comments by his bosses, though, suggested that the agent was a devout Catholic whose work frequently took him to Latin America. … But William C. Patrick III, a retired Detrick biologist and veteran bioweapons expert, said he has long suspected penetration by Soviet agents. His suspicions cropped up in the early 1990s, when he debriefed Ken Alibek, who as Kanatjan Alibekov served as the deputy chief of Biopreparat, the leading Soviet bioweapons research agency. Alibek emigrated to the U.S. less than a year after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

      As he and Alibek traded stories, Patrick said, both realized that the Soviet and American programs had moved in a curious lock step during the 1950s and ’60s. “Anything we discovered of any import, they would have discovered and would have in their program in six months,” Patrick said. He doesn’t doubt that the Soviets kept spying beyond the end of the U.S. offensive program. After his conversations with Alibek, he recalled, “For the next two weeks I tried to think, ‘Who the hell are the spies at Detrick?’”

      • DXer said

        Surveillance of the Russian illegals recently arrested dates to 2005 and even to 2000. (That is, they had the evidence to make an arrest 10 years ago).

        It’s enough to make an Ali, Tarek, Khaled and Magdy wonder whether the “closing” of Amerithrax is not just part of an intelligence operation.

  18. DXer said

    The writing of the text of the letter is also interesting in that the “As” and “Ts” are double-lined — to suggest ATTA, the lead hijacker.

    When the US Centers for Disease Control first identified that the Ames strain had been used in the mailng to Florida in October 2001, Dr. Paul Keim and his colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) had nearly finished a project to sequence Bacillus anthracis— specifically, the chromosome of an anthrax isolate from a laboratory in Porton Down, U.K. Ayman had a microbiologist attending Porton Down-sponsored conferences at which presentations were made about the sequencing of Ames. The letter writer appears to have even double-lined A’s and T’s in the letters possibly to simultaneously allude to Atta and the genomic sequence. The FBI explains what a codon is. Like Dr. Ivins, my family has a copy of that book the FBI relies on for its Ivins Theory. If I had known what startling stretches of analysis the DOJ/FBI was capable of, I would have tossed that baby in the trash long ago just like Dr. Ivins did. (They no doubt had questioned him on it; it was public record and much-discussed)

    As explained at the Porton Down conferences attended by Ayman’s operative Abdur Rauf, Keim’s research team eventually discovered 60 new ‘markers’ in the Bacillus anthracis genome—DNA sequences that may vary from one isolate to another. These include insertions or deletions of DNA, and short sequences that are repeated at different lengths in the genome known as VNTRs (variable-number tandem repeats). A decade earlier, it had been determined that one of three proteins comprising anthrax toxin, and the first nucleotide sequence to be reported from B. anthracis (by USAMRIID authors no less), had a consensus TATAAT sequence located at the putative -10 promoter site. It is all greek to me but apparently something with meaning to the person who drafted the letter. I would have guessed the letter writer meant to allude to Atta before I concluded it was code (as the surmised) for Pat. Indeed, it’s a wonder that the FBI did not advance “Atta” as what was being coded even under its Ivins Theory. If the DOJ were an acrobat in the Olympics, based on its reasoning in the code section it would have stumbled in the first 5 seconds as a result of all those contortions.

    This and the other coding together may have served to tell the world, for example, that Mohammed Atta and the others were going to fly to paradise on a green bird and that the anthrax was courtesy of Zawahiri’s Vanguards of Conquest. Ayman simultaneously framed the US Army and UK biodefense establishment while telling supporters who did it (and those supporters had just received a letter from the “School” in May 2001 from Ayman Zawahiri.

    Is DARPA framing EIJ or EIJ framing DARPA? It truly is quite the puzzle.

    Or is it just one big industrial-terror complex?

  19. DXer said website mirrored in New Brunswick explained meaning of “in the hearts of green birds” as martyrs would go to paradise.

    It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” The stamp used in the anthrax mailings was designed by artist Michael Doret. Mr. Doret advises me that the color of the eagle is a “teal” or greenish-blue.

    In the very interview in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh admitted to the Jenny code, the code for representing the date 9/11, and used the symbolism of the “Green Birds.” Osama Bin Laden later invoked the symbolism in his video “The 19 Martyrs”, describing a hijacker as “A man of worship who enjoined good and forbade evil. His body was on earth but his heart roamed with the green birds that perch beneath the Throne of the Most Merciful.”

    9-11 plotter Ramzi Binalshibh a few months earlielr in his interview with al-Jazeera, in a lengthy and articulate essay “The Nineteen Lions” published by Azzam Publications on December 2002, explained:

    “One of the explanations of the Quranic verse [3:169] in which Allah says that the shuhadaa (martyrs) are not dead, is that as well as their souls being inside the hearts of green birds, they are alive because the shaheed (martyr) gives life to those around him. Indeed evidence of this is apparent throughout the Ummah today.”

    Peter Finn of the Washington Post explains the symbolism:

    “Around 7 one evening during Ramadan in 1998, the believers filed down a long corridor leading to the prayer room of the Al Muhadjirin mosque here, placing their shoes on the dark brown shelves before stepping onto a carpet the color of turquoise, a mixture of green for Islam and blue for heaven. Among the worshipers was a small group of men who clustered around a severe, slight Egyptian named Mohamed Atta. ..

    In the [9/11/2002] interview with al-Jazeera, Binalshibh, said that Al-Shehhi, even before he learned of the operation, used to have beautiful visions that he flies in the sky with huge green birds and crashes into things.”

    A FAQ on Al Qaeda’s website, the Azzam Publications website, explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside: “The actual Arabic word used in the Hadith is not Qalb (heart) but it is Jowf which can mean any of interior, inside, or heart (as in center).” There was a video based on the hadith with the title “In The Hearts of Green Birds” about foreign mujahideen that had been martyred in Bosnia. The audiocasette was created in August 1996 and its 3rd edition was released in January 1997. The website selling the “In the Hearts of Green Birds” audiocassette was shut down after 9/11 because authorities thought it might contain codes and instructions to militants. posted an exclusive interview with Ayman al-Zawahiri and stressed the importance of cash donations and gas masks and chemical-resistant suits. Ibn Khattab, the Arab Chechnyan fighter who was Bin Laden’s good friend, had told his public that was highly recommended and that only the two charities identified by the website should be used to route donations — announcing in 2000 that Benevolence International Foundation was one of the charities that should be used. The other was the Islamic Assembly of North America (“IANA”). Ibu al-Khattab, the late Arab-Afghan commander of foreign mujahideen in Chechnya (who in March 2002 was killed by a poison letter), expressly endorsed Azzam Publications. had “no bricks and mortar address, but operates a post office box in London, and bill[ed] itself as “an independent media organisation providing authentic news and information about jihad and the Foreign Mujahideen everywhere.” One posting datelined from the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and was a message to Muslim youth from top terror suspect Bin Laden. A farewell message from Azzam Publications .. exhorts “Muslims all over the World (to) render as much financial, physical, medical, media and moral support to the Taliban as they can.” Azzam also urged those with computer expertise to mirror the website so as to keep it up after authorities took it down. One can access old websites as they existed on past dates through and its wonderful Wayback Machine.

    British and US intelligence sources suspected that some of’s jihad photos and graphics contain messages embedded with a technology known as steganography. The code instead perhaps was there separately for all to see on the stamps of the lethal missives being sent.

    Even Zarqawi invoked the imagery in a 60-minute audio message:

    “The martyrs rejoice in the bounty provided by God. Their souls are inside the bodies of green birds that fly in heaven.”

    In Fall 2004, the federal authorities indicted the fellow behind Azzam Publications selling “Green Birds,” Babar Ahmad, pointing, in part, to the “distribution of videotapes and compact discs depicting fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya and elsewhere, and the eulogizing of dead fighters, for the purpose of recruiting individuals and soliciting donations to support the mujahideen in Afghanistan and Chechnya.” Of Pakistani descent, Ahmad is a British computer specialist. He is associated with KSM, who had anthrax production documents on his laptop and admits to having headed the cell (after Atef’s death) planning to use weaponized anthrax against the United States. Ahmad is also the cousin of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, who was arrested mid-2004 in Pakistan. Khan’s computers carried detailed surveillance of five financial buildings in New York, Newark and Washington and once prompted the Department of Homeland Security to elevate the threat alert level to orange.

    In an affidavit, an FBI special agent and computer investigative specialist, alleged that a New Brunswick, NJ man, Mazen Mokhtar, assisted Babar in maintaining the continued operation of the Azzam sites, through the use of mirror sites, when the administrators of Azzam sites shut down the site down after 9/11. The mirror sites, and, allegedly routed people trying to access The affidavit alleges that Mr. Mokhtar is listed as the administrative contact for the mirror sites. He also operated A friend reports: “He said he used to run a hosting service four or five years ago that used to resell Web hosting services to people. He said he didn’t know those guys (mentioned in court papers) and he is not involved in anything like that.” An Egyptian-born imam and political activist, he is a supporter of Palestinian cause and frequent speaker before groups in Brooklyn and the Bronx. He is said to be nice and seems a man of peace.

    Of course, given that the symbolism used in this regard in the anthrax mailings had an origin in religious writing, there is no direct tie with the website — the tie could be with the hadith. The webmaster has said that the FBI allowed it to remain up (while it moved from server to server) for another year hoping to get leads on supporters.

    Bin Laden was using “Green Birds” in the same way he used the repeated phrase “Looming Tower” to hint of what was to come with the planes attack on the World Trade Center. He would say:

    “Wherever you are, death will find you, even in the looming tower.”

    On October 7, 2001 in a prerecorded tape aired October 7, Bin Laden said “The winds of faith have come.”

  20. DXer said


    “Greendale” School is the return address of the anthrax letters to Senators Daschle and Leahy — two Senators who played key roles in both appropriations to Israel and Arab regimes and the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders. In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The letter was found on Al Zawahiri’s computer. The letter was designed to look innocent. It was dated 3 May 2001 and signed “Dr. Nour, Chairman of the Company.” Nour was one of Zawahiri’s aliases. In this context, it was Egyptian Islamic Jihad, not Al Qaeda, of which he was Chairman.

    “We have been trying to go back to our main, previous activities. The most important step was the opening of the school. We have made it possible for the teachers to find openings for profitable trade.”

    The letter read:

    “To: Unknown From: Ayman al-Zawahiri Folder: Letters Date: May 3, 2001

    The following is a summary of our situation: We are trying to return to our previous main activity. The most important step was starting the school, the programs of which have been started. We also provided the teachers with means of conducting profitable trade as much as we could. Matters are all promising, except for the unfriendliness of two teachers, despite what we have provided for them. We are patient. [This apparently refers to an internal dispute with two senior London Egyptian islamists].

    As you know, the situation below in the village [Egypt] has become bad for traders [jihadis]. Our Upper Egyptian relatives have left the market, and we are suffering from international monopolies. Conflicts take place between us for trivial reasons, due to the scarcity of resources. We are also dispersed over various cities. However, God had mercy on us when the Omar Brothers Company [the Taliban] here opened the market for traders and provided them with an opportunity to reorganize, may God reward them. Among the benefits of residence here is that traders from all over gather in one place under one company, which increases familiarity and cooperation among them, particularly between us and the Abdullah Contracting Company [bin Laden and his associates]. The latest result of this cooperation is … the offer they gave. Following is a summary of the offer:

    Encourage commercial activities [jihad] in the village to face foreign investors; stimulate publicity; then agree on joint work to unify trade in our area. Close relations allowed for an open dialogue to solve our problems. Colleagues here believe that this is an excellent opportunity to encourage sales in general, and in the village in particular. They are keen on the success of the project. They are also hopeful that this may be a way out of the bottleneck to transfer our activities to the stage of multinationals and joint profit. We are negotiating the details with both sides.”

    The full message, decoded, is thought to say:

    “We have been trying to go back to our military activities. The most important step was the declaration of unity with al-Qaeda. We have made it possible for the mujahideen to find an opening for martyrdom. As you know, the situation down in Egypt has become bad for the mujahideen: our members in Upper Egypt have abandoned military action, and we are suffering from international harassment.”

    But Allah enlightened us with His mercy when Taliban came to power. It has opened doors of military action for our mujahideen and provided them with an opportunity to re-arrange their forces. One benefit of performing jihad here is the congregation in one place of all mujahideen who came from everywhere and began working with the Islamic Jihad Organization. Acquaintance and cooperation have grown, especially between us and al-Qaeda.”

    Dr. Jean Rosenfeld, a researcher associated with the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion, and an expert on the symbolism of religious extremist movements, wrote me: “Greendale’ to me signified a conscious choice to use the symbolic color of Islam.” She continued: “The franked eagle on the envelope of the anthrax letters was identical to the one I caught on a documentary that showed a one-second shot of the site where Sadat was assassinated — the huge eagle above the podium where he was when he died. That assassination was of great significance to Egyptian Jihad and produced the pamphlet by Faraj that justifies “fard ‘ayn”/individual duty as the basis of jihadist doctrine.” She explained that “AQ is rooted in Egypt and Salafism, not Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism. Al-Zawahiri, I believe, is intensely nostalgic for the Nile Valley.”

    The CIA factbook explains that the color green — such as used by anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat in naming his lab “Green Laboratory Medicine” , and by the mailer who used the return address “Greendale School” — is the traditional color of islam. Green symbolizes islam, Mohammed and the holy war. In its section on Saudi Arabia, and the “Flag Description:,” the CIA “Factbook” explains that the flag is “green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); green is the traditional color of Islam.”

    “Green is the color of the prophet Mohammed who himself declared it his favourite color and who’s cloak and turban were green. Even today only his direct successors – the Kaliphs – are allowed to wear a green turban. The Holy Banner – the most precious relic of Islam – is green with golden embroidery. Mohammed supposedly carried this very banner into the holy war which resulted in conquering Mecca. Green is also the predominating color in Paradise where it stands for flowery fields and eternal oases. Green is the color of the Arabic League and many Arabic countries have included green in their national flags as it symbolizes the unity of all arabic nations. Green is also the life-giving color of all desert peoples.”

    Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat and Zacarias Moussaoui used the name Green Laboratory Medicine as the name of the company that he used, for example, to buy 4 tons of ammonium nitrate, and that he used to cover his anthrax production program. In a Hadith the Messenger of Allah explains that the souls of the martyrs are in the hearts of green birds that fly wherever they please in Paradise.

    Green dale refers to green “river valley” — Egypt, Cairo, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and/or Egyptian Islamic Group. Put it all together and you have their new official name (though the American press does not use it) — Qaeda al Jihad. For what it is worth, at the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they would be washed.

    A similar type of coded talk was used around the same period between Atta and Binalshibh as they approached the zero hour of 11 September. Code phrases included:

    Faculty of Fine Arts/arts = Pentagon Faculty of Town Planning = World Trade Center Faculty of Law = The Capitol politics = White House White Meat = Americans Terminal = Indonesia Market = Malaysia Hotel = Philippines Village = Egypt

    Given that using the same address helps the second recipient receiving the letter to identify it and avoid opening it, the perp would have no reason to use the same address unless he was communicating something and wanted to draw attention to it.

    The coded e-mail Faris wrote back to KSM suggesting that the idea of removing bolts from the span of the Brooklyn Bridge was not a viable idea was but one of many examples of the simple codes used by Al Qaeda operatives. Sometimes it might be Iyman Faris’ reference to the weather or Ramzi Binalshibh’s “shirts” for Sally. Sometimes the code might be as simple as Adham Hassoun’s “stuff” for the local soccer team in places like Bosnia or his references to a young man who wanted to go out and get some “fresh air” [go join the jihad]. Sometimes it might be a reference to Greendale School or a marriage proposal to Jenny such as in the case of the anthrax mailings.

    But putting aside this question of nuptials, impending or annulled, the fact remains that the sender of the anthrax letters would have had no reason to use the same address on the second letter unless he was communicating something. That identical return address, in fact, helped authorities locate and intercept the letter to a Senator.

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