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

* is that the FBI’s entire case against Dr. Ivins? Only by charging a dead man and avoiding the need to prove their case in court could the FBI make their paper-thin allegation that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator … or even involved at all

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 20, 2010

Dr. Bruce Ivins

NPR interview of Dina Temple-Raston (2-19-10) …

NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston was tracking the story for us two years ago when Ivins first surfaced as the FBI’s main suspect, and she joins me now. Dina, the FBI says Ivins was their man a year and half ago. And now today they’re formerly closing the case. What exactly does it mean to close the case?

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, by formally closing the case, the FBI is no longer bound by grand jury secrecy requirements. So that means they can release a lot of the evidence that we didn’t get to see back in August of 2008 when the story broke.

SIEGEL: Well, does the new evidence that came out today, does it settle once and for all that Ivins did it?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, the fact that Ivins killed himself without a note before he was charged means that I think there will always be doubts in this case. But basically this is how the FBI lays out the case –

  • that the strain of anthrax that was used in the attacks was a strain that Ivins and only a handful of other people had access to.

NOTE: In the Amerithrax Investigative Summary, the FBI puts the number higher than even Ivins’ defenders.  They say over 350 had access.

  • And the FBI says that they’ve eliminated the other people as suspects.
  • Back during that timeframe in 2001, Ivins was spending a lot of long hours in the lab alone and there was no big project going on the lab in September 2001 that would’ve justified his time there.
  • And then Ivins explained the hours by saying he was having a difficult home life and was trying to get away from it.
  • But he kept changing his story, so it made the FBI sort of doubt that excuse.

SIEGEL: There were reports in 2008 of some disturbing emails that Ivins had sent.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Exactly. The last time they released some information about this,

  • the FBI released some emails that showed that he might have had some mental health issues,
  • talking about feeling like he was two people and not one.
  • He was stalking a co-worker. He was sending her presents and going to different cities to send them.
  • These were all things that worried the FBI because the anthrax mailings were actually mailed from various cities with fake addresses.

read the entire interview at … http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123898323

LMW COMMENT …

and here’s what the FBI is not telling us …

  • there is no physical evidence linking Dr. Ivins to the murders
  • there are no witnesses linking Dr. Ivins to the preparation or mailing of the attack anthrax
  • the timeline the FBI has proposed, for Ivins preparing the “weaponized” anthrax or going to Princeton to mail the letters, is impossible
  • the DNA science, at best, links Dr. Ivins to a beaker to which 350 other scientists may have had access

******

CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein is a novel which answers the question

why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?


* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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26 Responses to “* is that the FBI’s entire case against Dr. Ivins? Only by charging a dead man and avoiding the need to prove their case in court could the FBI make their paper-thin allegation that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator … or even involved at all”

  1. DXer said

    11/1/2007 Ivins 302

    Isn’t it FBI Director Mueller’s fault for compartmentalizing Amerithrax? Doesn’t the buck stop with Director Mueller only when no one would really blame him? But wasn’t the failure of Amerithrax in fact his fault due to the compartmentalization? Lambert explained in a memo that would prevent investigating agents to “connect the dots.” Ask any of the agents who dealt with Ivins what they knew about the Vanguards of Conquest and its threat to use mailed anthrax and I bet you’ll get a blank look.

    Is the CIA and FBI simply not up to the job of keeping America safe?

    The comments by the Special Agent reveal that the agent doesn’t understand that requirement of warning under the hadiths or the model of the Al Hayat letter bombs.

    The unsophisticated level of analysis in Amerithrax has been breathtaking.

    Everyone associated with Amerithrax should resign in my opinion — if not now, then after there is a mass attack using anthrax.

    Isn’t the White House also responsible for not declassifying the February 2001 PDB from the CIA that would reflect the threat by the Vanguards of Conquest to mail anthrax if the bail of VOC #2 Mahjoub was denied. Bail was denied on October 5. The anthrax mailer then rushed to mail the real deal.

    FBI Director Mueller should resign because he failed to successfully resolve Amerithrax. It never had a chance because of the compartmentalization of the two investigative squads.

  2. DXer said

    09/08/2004 Ivins 302

    IVINS says that Dugway made 7 batches of material but the 7th was dark brown in color, clumpy, non-refractile with a lot of debris and vegetative matter. IVINS does not recall seeing a non-Ba contaminant and noted that the same was just bad Ba. IVINS did not know why this shipment was bd and did not know why Dugway did not notice the quality of these spores prior to shipment. IVINS reviewed his notes and determined that this sample was autoclaved, although he does not recall if he was present when it was autoclaved.

    The difference in quality between this 7th batch and the other Dugway batches is reminiscent of the difference between the New York Post material and the material to the Senators.

    • DXer said

      09/08/2004 Ivins 302
      Despite the whited out record showing it was initially stored in Bldg. 1412, in 2004, Dr. Ivins claimed that

      “Only the amount required for an aerosol challenge was decanted and sent to 1412.”

      He discusses heat shocking. Spores that are used for intramuscular (IM) or aerosol challenges are heat shocked. All spores are heat shocked in building 1412. IVINS does not know if anyone has studied virulence with respect to heat shock. However, ___________ did some studies on heat shocked material versus non-heat shocked material.

      IVINS note that he told SSA ______ that USAMRIID used Tween to break up a thick spore suspensions. ________ who works for _______ has added anti-foam to spore suspensions.”

      He reports that just by searching “Ames” in his mailbox he retrieved 1200 emails. [Note: they have not been produced under FOIA as requested]

  3. DXer said

    From a 2008 Ivins 302, we see that in September and October 2001, the music sheets he provided in 2005 when asked about an alibi related to his playing piano and guitar. They matched (were from) the 2001 hymnal that by 2008 had been replaced. I guess the dates were Sunday. So for example when he provided them September 16, 2001, rather than evidence he attended a rehearsal, it is offered as evidence he performed the piece at church. Did the FBI question members of his church performing the musical selections? What did the FBI do to show to try to prove he was not in church on Sunday?

    The FBI and media wants to cast as “Crazy Bruce” (whose bouts relate to vodka and Ambien) in a alcohol-drug induced fog executed high-level microbiological procedures involving a dangerous pathogen. Instead, on Sunday morning, wasn’t he playing beautiful guitar and piano music for little old ladies? What do the little old ladies say about Bruce’s attendance record?

  4. DXer said

    09/08/2004

    Flask 1030 has a Silicon Signature. Flask 1029 does not. The attack anthrax does. Yet the attack anthrax has been determined genetically to trace to Flask 1029.

    IVINS described RMR 1030 as a “bunch of spores” grown by IVINS ______ in 1995 and 1996, Nearly all of RMR 1030 has been used. The only remaining RMR 1030 has been provided to the FBI. IVINS reviewed notebook #3655, page 72, dated 3/8/96. The notebook described the creation of RMR 1030 and noted that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) “UIB-BI-3″ was used to grow RMR 1030.

    Does the Silicon Signature result from SOP “UIB-BI-3″? With variability in the Si levels? Was the same method used to regrow virulent Ames taken from flask 1029 and then used in the attacks?

    It seems very important to determine the source of the Silicon Signature in Flask 1030, regardless what it is.

    • DXer said

      Ivins (09/08/2004 302) thinks the same protocol was used to grow that portion of Ames in Flask 1029 that came from USAMRIID.

      When did do his experimenting with Tween and for what purpose? Did his use of Tween then come to be the source of the Silicon Signature in Flask 1030?

  5. DXer said

    Below is Dr. Ivins description of the visit by Tarek Hamouda, a former Zawahiri associate, to USAMRIID to work with virulent Ames with Dr. Ivins.

    02/17/2005

    IVINS advised prior to May 1998 he was contacted by ______________________ from the University of Michigan Medical Center who was ______________ of a _________________________. IVINS advised _____ wished to collaborate with IVINS in order to test the effectiveness of a new anti-sporicidal material against anthrax spores. IVINS further advised _________ had numerous _______ had numerous visits to USAMRIID, however, “never accessed the B3 suite.”
    IVINS sent advised _______ sent _____________________________ both from the University of Michigan, to conduct experiments. IVINS advised ______________ underwent safety training and provided the required documentation of their shot records. IVINS advised when ___________ showed up at USAMRIID, USAMRIID personnel realized __________ was not a U.S. citizen. IVINS advised, during May 1999 time period, a email request for approval was all that was required for “green card holders” to visit USAMRIID. IVINS further advised _____________ provided approval for _________.
    ________ interjected and advised “the request for _______ to visit USAMRIID did not come from command it came from [IVINS].” _______ further advised “this is different from which I had previously told [the interviewing Postal Inspector and SA].”
    IVINS advised _______ had contacted IVINS and _______ and ___________ were to come to USAMRIID and conduct the research on the collaboration project.
    IVINS advised ___________________ worked with the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis (Ba) in the BL-3 laboratory” for three or four days in May 1998. IVINS further advised ________ and _________ were never left alone in the BL-3 laboratory and either IVINS or ____________ were with _______________________.
    IVINS advised he does not recall whether or not _____ and ________ had their own access into the B3 suite or whether someone had to let them in. IVINS further advised interviewing Postal Inspector and SA to check USAMRIID key card entries. [Note: records only existed August 2008 --->]
    IVINS advised that he was not impressed their scientific techniques. IVINS further advised _________________ were “at each others throats.” IVINS advised _________ was “a jerk” and had problem with everyone to include ________.
    IVINS advised he referred to _______ as _______ because IVINS observed a thick patch of hair on the small of _______ back while they were “showering out.”
    IVINS agreed to contact the interviewing the Postal Inspector and SA should he recall any additional pertinent information.”

    Dr. Hamouda and I have a common acquaintance — Dr. Hamouda’s lifelong friend from childhood and medical school, Tarek Hamid. I have tremendous admiration for Dr. Hamid. Dr. Hamid was recruited by Ayman Zawahiri into the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in a room set aside for the purpose. Dr. Hamid withdrew when they wanted him to participate in the burying of a security officer alive near the mosque and he got queasy. He tells me that he called Dr. Hamouda about patents before 9/11 and Dr. Hamouda said it was all in the marketing. He now advances a “can’t we all get along” message.

    Now it’s nice that the FBI is getting around to asking the relevant questions in February 2005. But why weren’t they asked in 2001?

    I asked Dr. Hamouda which of the 250 Vanguards of Conquest members prosecuted in Cairo in 1993-1994 as he was finishing up his PhD and he did not respond.

    He had lived in Cairo the preceding 10 years where his wife was on the dental faculty. He had graduated from medical school in December 2002 at the heyday of the aftermath of the Sadat assassination. Given that Ayman Zawahiri said he would use anthrax to mail to retaliate for the rendering of senior EIJ leaders, and the announcement at the same time as pharmacology professor Heba Zawahiri’s brother was rendered ( a key EIJ official), it is ridiculous that the FBI is only getting around to asking these questions in 2005. Our country is not safe if what we know about Amerithrax is any indication of the work the FBI and US DOJ is doing. The country needed intelligence analysts aware of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s highly compartmentalized anthrax planning, not criminal profilers who were pulling a “lone wolf” profile out of the cabinet.

  6. DXer said

    05/07/04 Ivins 302

    “When challenges were scheduled and required the 1997 Dugway Ames, the bottle of Ames spores was taken to either Room __ or __ of building 1412. Sometimes it was taken there a day or two prior to the scheduled spray. The aliquots of Ames were prepared in 1412 from the main bottle. The dilution tubes made from the Ames collected by the all-glass-impinger (AGI) were plated on tryptic soy agar plates. These dilution tubes of Ames were stored in the first floor cold room until the plates had been counted. Sometimes the tubes might stay in the cold room for 24 hours to several days following a spray. This cold room is a walk-in refrigerator on the first floor, not in the basement of 1412. Other than this Ames material temporarily stored in 1412, the larger quantities of Ames were kept in suite B3. The B3 material was not under lock and key, but was kept inside the hot suite.”

  7. DXer said

    5/07/04 Ivins 302
    “SSA ____ pointed out a [100 ml] mathematical error on the list to IVINS. He had not previously noticed the mistake and believes there should thus be more material than his balance shows.”

  8. DXer said

    4/13/2004 Ivins 302

    IVINS emphasized that he had no reason to suspect that anyone he worked with in Bacteriology was responsible for mailing the anthrax letters. He was very concerned about the possibility of the Dugway Ba being involved in the anthrax mailings. Building 1412 is a “black hole” for Ba, and IVINS and his coworkers believed that the Dugway spores were safe in the B3 and B4 suites. Consequently, they saw no need to guard their trash.

  9. DXer said

    On March 18, 2004, Ivins provided the following information relative to his whereabouts during September 17-18, 2001 and October 5-9, 2001:
    five hard copies of emails sent and received by IVINS on September 17 and 19, 2001 and October 5, 2001;
    copies of music lists for the church where he performed _______________ on September 16, 2001 and October 7, 2001;

    Did the FBI mention in its American Investigative Summary that Dr. Ivins sang at his church on September 16, 2001 and October 7, 2001? What time was that?

    Did the FBI provide these documents among the 2,700 it produced?

  10. DXer said

    2/12/2003 Ivins 302 Interview –

    Ivins was recently at Home depot and saw the many different grades of sandpaper that they sell which made him think about the use of sand in purifying B.a. A pasty block of spores can be shaken with sand of varying coarseness to achieve very pure or fine spores.

    Ivins said that the spore suspension looked like milk. The sprays are done in Building 1412.

    He made 7 requests in Fall 2001 for vehicle transportation, to include September 18, 2001 when he arrived at 7 a.m. for travel with another to Covance in Pennsylvania.

    Notebook 4240 shows him involved with the immunization of rabbits at Covance for antiserum on September 18.

  11. DXer said

    Export Control request (see emails re request and database for denial) – The docs produced seem to indicate it was ISRAEL.

  12. DXer said

    Reference flask 1030 had a Silicon Signature.

    This, then, is important to note:

    “Reference Material 1030″ is comprised of Ba Ames strain spores produced by IVINS ________________ on 13 different days: [in 1995-1996] Batches of spores produced on the aforementioned dates were made in Leighton and Doi medium and purified in Renografin-76 gradients. This was found in the B-3 cold room… These spores are the leftovers from aerosol challenges. The sample is stored in water and 1% phenol.”
    ***
    IVINS stored these 4 strains of Ba in the B3 walk-in cold _______ was described as a freezer room, which has a bench and 2 shelves along the walls. Samples are stored on the floor, the benches, and the shelves in the cold room. Anybody who has access to B3 or B4 has acces to _____ People who had access to ___ including but not limited to _________________________________________________________________”.

    • DXer said

      05/07/04 Ivins 302

      IVINS has never had to add antifoam or any other chemical to his production method for producing Ames spores. The shaking of the shaker flask in the broth production is not enough to create a need for antifoam or any similar product. He is not aware of any protocol used at USAMRIID which calls for the use of antifoam with Ames. The protocol for the aerosol challenges does not call for antifoam.

      • DXer said

        05/07/04 Ivins 302

        IVINS tested Tween 80 or Tween 20 at one time. Tween is an antifoam. If spores clumped, they tested the addition of Tween during the challenge. He does not use Tween in his routine spore production or challenges.

        During fermentation, as a culture gets older, there can be foaming on top. An electronic probe in the fermenter senses the foaming and injects antifoam. IVIS is not sure if antifoam is always used in fermentation. He thinks Sigma-Aldrich may be a source for antifoam, but he does not purchase it and does not know what kind would be used.

        • DXer said

          08/20/2004 Ivins 302
          “On August 4, 2004, BRUCE IVINS of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland, telephonically contacted Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) _____ of the [FBI] IVINS reported _______ also of USAMRIIF, had provided him with a scientific article abstract about Bacillus spore suspensions in which the addition of silica to the spore coat was discussed. IVINS offered to send the article abstract via facimile to SSA —- and subsequently sent the abstract to the FBI offsite in Frederick, Maryland.”

          What article was this?

  13. Snapple said

    Barry Kissin seems to have some connections with a person named Sheila Casey who spread KGB propaganda about AIDS science.
    http://www.rockcreekfreepress.com/index-old.html

    The KGB has admitted right in Izvestia that they spread the lie that the U.S. Army made AIDS to kill blacks.

    Barry Kissin is the co-author with AIDS propagandist Sheila Casey of an anthrax article titled:

    FBI Sweeps Anthrax Under the Rug
    Weaponized Anthrax Came from CIA/Battelle Program

  14. Snapple said

    A 92-page report…laid out the evidence against Dr. Ivins, including his equivocal answers when asked by a friend in a recorded conversation about whether he was the anthrax mailer.

    “If I found out I was involved in some way…” Dr. Ivins said, not finishing the sentence. “I do not have any recollection of ever doing anything like that,” he said, adding, “I can tell you, I am not a killer at heart.” But in a 2008 e-mail message to a former colleague, one of many that reflected distress, Dr. Ivins wrote, “I can hurt, kill, and terrorize.” He added: “Go down low, low, low as you can go, then dig forever, and you’ll find me, my psyche.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/us/20anthrax.html

  15. DXer said

    And as I recall, he sent one present from Gaithersburg – near Frederick, he used to live there.

    And another he mailed while at a meeting.

  16. Snapple said

    It appears that Ivins suggested he might have been “unconsciously” involved to another person who seems to have been wearing an FBI wire.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/02/amerithrax-case-closedivins-acted-alone.html

    According to the Washington Post:

    “Ivins [was] seeking to implicate colleagues while misleading investigators about his ability to make the deadly powder used in the attacks.

    In a new disclosure, Justice officials released a transcript of a secretly taped conversation in which Ivins suggests that he might have committed acts that he could no longer recall.

    ‘I, in my right mind, wouldn’t do it,’ Ivins is quoted as saying of the anthrax attacks in June 2008, weeks before his death. But he added, ‘It worries me when I wake up in the morning and I’ve got all my clothes and my shoes on, and my car keys are right beside there.’

    • DXer said

      Let’s pull that transcript. At one point when he says precisely that, he is talking about combining vodka with Ambien or whatever. He’d wake up drunk, not remembering the emails he had written etc. But the “Investigative Summary” does not include the reference to heavy drinking. It sounds like a Saturday morning for a lot of college freshmen. The suggestion that he did this while on a bender is silly. Patricia Fellows was Former College #2 and Mara Linscott was Former Colleague #1. PF researched on how to make a more virulent Ames (so as to permit a more effective vaccine). Her research was published by Pamala Coker as a chapter in her PhD thesis at LSU. On September 18, 2001, he arrived at 7:00 a.m. and traveled to Pennsylvania to go to Covance.

      • BugMaster said

        “At one point when he says precisely that, he is talking about combining vodka with Ambien or whatever. He’d wake up drunk, not remembering the emails he had written etc.”

        Exactly! Ambien and alcohol are a volatile combination.

        One would have had to wake up after three or months of “No Recollection” to wonder if they were responsible for the attacks, and just couldn’t remember.

  17. DXer said

    “and only a handful of other people had access to.”

    “and only a handful? The FBI puts the number at 350 or so. Don’t they? How is that only a handful? Especially given that any of those 350 can then give it to someone else. Indeed, they found 220 ml not reflected in his records and yet we’ve heard nothing about that portion.

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