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

* Amerithrax inventory control sheet … 3/17/98 to 10/4/01

Posted by DXer on February 25, 2010

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Amerithrax inventory control sheet … 3/17/98 to 10/4/01


38 Responses to “* Amerithrax inventory control sheet … 3/17/98 to 10/4/01”

  1. DXer said

    A withdrawal of virulent Ames from Flask 1029 “For DARPA mass spec project with JHU-APL” was dated August 28, 2000.

    So how does one interpret the designation “30 July 97 BASP” and “30 July 97 BSSP” on the “information Sheet” provided today?

    Does that mean that the FBI was told about a July 30 1997 experiment involving Ames and Sterne in which the Ames was gamma irradiated?

    If so, where is the explanation of the project done on August 28, 2000?

  2. DXer said

    The FBI’s anthrax expert JE received 40 ml. from RMR 1029 in August 2000 to make a dried powder — but his lab assistant did not submit a sample to the FBI repository at the time she collected samples from others, including Dr. Ivins. Indeed, she threw out the sample submitted by Dr. Ivins. In his filmed interview, Dr. Ezzell forthrightly explained that it was kept in his unlocked refrigerator. To his great credit and as a testament to his integrity, he answered all the questions I posed to him and a film and audio of the Q and A is available. JE didn’t have to show up but voluntarily undertook to do so — to his great credit.

    Those who did not realize Ames was also stored in Building 1412 were mistaken. Scientists such as Dr. Heine, Andrews and Adamovicz spoke to this issue — and pointed out this basic error on the FBI’s part. Some addressed the issue as early as September 2008. It was mistaken for several independent reasons. The mistake was reported in the major media at the time. Some have just continued parroting the FBI’s mistaken assertions on this issue now for five years.

  3. DXer said

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1995 published research that had been done for USAMRIID on the microencapsulation of vaccine for VEE and B. anthracis. (DAMD17-90-C 0113)

    TITLE: Biodegradable Vaccine Microcapsules for Systemic and …

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: University of Alabama at Birmingham ….. The microsphere product is a free-flowing powder of spherical … and 3) mucosal immunization with microencapsulated VEE vaccine in inducing protective responses. …. All animal challenge studies were performed at USAMRIID, Ft. Detrick, MD. …

    See also

    Cutaneous or Mucosal Delivery of Anthrax rPA Provides Protection …

    BD Advanced Drug Delivery. Cutaneous or Mucosal. Delivery of Anthrax rPA … Inhalational Anthrax. John A. Mikszta. December 18, 2003 … I. Introduce BD Advanced Vaccine Delivery Platforms. ➢ Cutaneous Delivery. ➢ Intranasal Delivery ……/Mikszta/Mikszta.pdf

    As I have oft-explained, delivery of vaccine by microencapsulated powder has continued to be the focus of DARPA-funded researchers for years ago come.

    I am not a scientist and so I don’t even know what the word “encapsulated” means in connection with the March 1998 entry (pp. 73-78) of Lab Notebook 4010.

    But given that the FBI does not know the who, what, where or why of the anthrax mailings, it should upload (pursuant to FOIA) a full copy of Lab Notebook 4010 (with any redactions required by the statutory exemptions).

    • DXer said

      A newspaper reporter should submit a FOIA for documents sufficient to identify the scientists who in 2006 or so recommended to the FBI that it was not worth pursuing the “Silicon Signature”. Absent transparency, it is not possible to consider potential conflicts of interest. Excerpts from that report were provided by the FBI to the NAS.

      • DXer said

        At the same time, the published article that Dr. Ivins helpfully provided the FBI — given to him by a colleague — about adding silicon to the spore coat should be obtained under FOIA.

  4. BugMaster said

    What was B00-003?

  5. DXer said

    I’m travelling. Could someone pull the references relating to “aerosolization” listed above? One is the 10/15/99 aerosolization study. In compiling this expanded list of intra-Detrick transfers, the FBI agent refers to FBI interviews. In connection with the 10/15/99 “aerosolization” study the agent references FD-302 sub #1472 dated 1/24/06 and #1456 dated 1/11/2006. Also the other “aerosolization” study is listed as 10/4/2001 EC sub #795. and sub main 6263. I vaguely recall research that was discontinued on or about 10/3/2001 with much of the description redacted. But I vaguely recall that discussion to be from a WFO summary memo. If you find the memos, you can either post or you can email them to me and I’ll post. Thanks.

  6. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins had a longstanding concern that he was missing samples but he was told to shut up about it — that everything was under control. The superior (?) told Bruce that if anything turned up missing, it would be explainable the withdrawal for purposes unknown to us. Who told him that.

    Who was Dr. Ivins writing to about the missing sample of Ames strain of anthrax?

    An email withheld for 2 years shows that Ivins recognized that some of his Ames was missing

    What will it take to fill in the blanks in this email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing?

  7. DXer said

    Joany Jackman, JE’s assistant who was doing the Johns-Hopkins research, left for Johns-Hopkins APL lab in June 2000.

    The FBI’s anthrax expert at USAMRIID, Dr. JE, made the dried powder using 40 ml of Ames withdrawn from Flask 1029 on 8/28/2000.

    Thus, it appears that John is saying that he gave the powder to Joany, his former assistant, at Johns-Hopkins for her DARPA-funded research. She was doing mass spec work involving the use of nanoaerosols.

    The former Zawahiri associate tested his decontamination agent involving nanoemulsions (microencapsulation) there. When was that testing at J-H done by the University of Michigan researchers?

    I asked Tarek’s colleague Michael, who had worked with Pat, Mara, Bruce and Tarek doing the research about the research at USAMRIID there in May 1998, but he said “You don’t want to know.”

    I do want to know.

  8. DXer said

    05/1/01 In regard to the mailing to Battelle, an exclamation point by the FBI investigator appears after “Form 11r indicates 50 ml o spores … were sent. Bugmaster asked why there would be an exclamation point. The reason for the exclamation point would be that they determined that 90 ml had been sent.. That is, there seems to be a discrepancy between what was actually withdrawn and what is recorded as having been sent.

    Similarly, on the June 15, 2001 shipment, there is an exclamation point after the “30 ml of spores… were sent!” Here the quantity deemed withdrawn was 50 ml. Again, there is a discrepancy. Thus it appears to be the reason for the exclamation point. Notice the “50 ml” and 30 ml” appear in boldface.

    • BugMaster said

      So Ivins recorded having withdrawn 50 mls and 30 mls for the two transfers, yet records at Battelle indicate 90 mls and 50 mls actually arrived?

      How was it determined that 90 mls and 50 mls was actually withdrawn? And why note the spore concentration, when the spore concentration of RMR-1029 was already known?

      • DXer said

        Ivins indicated on Form 11 the 50 ml and 30 ml.

        I don’t know the records relied upon by the investigator in determine that 90 ml and 50 ml was withdrawn. Was it perhaps instead a lab notebook entry?

        It seem ambiguous as to how to interpret it. As I recall them, Dr. Ivins’ emails refer only to breaking up the 90 ml — 50 ml and 40 ml.

      • Anonymous said

        I think there’s a simple explanation here.

        You withdraw 50ml (or 30ml) with a pipette, then you suck up another 40ml (or 20ml) of DI water to catch the spores stuck to the side of the pipette, then add that to the portion you send. It just ensures no spores are wasted.

        • BugMaster said

          If this was the case, somewhere the dilution and the new resulting spore concentration would have to have been noted.

          After all, RMR-1029 is a reference standard. Battelle needed challenge material for the rpa-102 project, a vaccine that was going through clinical trials.

          Therefore, any change in the concentration of reference challenge material would have to have been noted.

          P.S. Most of the material that remains in a disposable plastic pipette is in the tip. With older style reusable glass pipettes, one can get material stuck to the sides, particularly if the pipette is old, or wasn’t cleaned properly after its previous use.

        • BugMaster said

          I hardly think Ivins used old-style glass pipettes to dispense material from RMR-1029.

          Break a RMR-1029 contaminated glass pipette, and then have to deal with the broken glass?


  9. DXer said


    Samples submitted to the repository were negative for A1, A3, and D1. UNM’s Biosafety level (BSL) 3 suite was not ready for laboratory work at the time this sample was shipped. The Ba was placed in storage until ater the 2001 anthrax attacks.

    Comment: Why was virulent Ames shipped at least a full half year before the BL-3 was completed? (I think the BL-3 lab was first completed in December 2001). Anthrax in its wet form was a BL-2 pathogen in 2001. March 2001 was when Houston upgraded to BL-3 and TK’s assistant Melissa D. was inserting virulence plasmids.

    In the case of the UNM sample, did they test the duplicate in Dr. Keim’s repository as they did when the Spring 2002 submission sample tested negative? See April 24, 2002 from Ivins’ lab assistant to Dr. Ezzell asking for a copy of the protocols and the slants.

    In 2004, did they go to the actual UNM supply and test as they did in the case of Dr. Ivins’ supply?

    If not, is that valid scientific method? Why is the DOJ’s speculation about how Dr. Ivins’ lab must have sent a sample from the wrong supply any more likely? How does it suffice for a criminal prosecution where it serves as the premise for the assertion Dr. Ivins committed murder?

  10. DXer said

    re seventh batch from Dugway –

    “IVINS set it aside for autoclaving (i.e., steam sterilization which would destroy the spores). IVINS clarified that he does not actually remember placing the seventh batch in the autoclave. IVINS explained that his usual practice in autoclaving materials was to place the item or items in a dishpan and insert the dishapn into the autoclave and shut the door. If the autoclave was fully loaded with other items to be autoclaved, he would run the autoclave immiedatley. However, if the autoclave was not fully loaded after placing his items in it, the items would sit within the autoclave until enough items were added by other persons to fully load the autoclave. The person who added enough items to fill the autoclave would turn on the autoclave.”

    IVINS could not specifically recall whether he telephoned _____________ to advise ______ that the seventh batch of spores was bad. IVINS believes, however, that he did make such a call.

    Comment: There, in fact, is no record that the seventh batch was ever autoclaved. There is no documentary evidence showing that it was not merely in the refrigerator in the beginning of 2008.

  11. BugMaster said

    Look at the log. Ivins submitted an incorrect sample to the University of New Mexico 6 months BEFORE the anthrax attacks.

    Now that’s real evidence of guilt!

    Then again, maybe he just made a mistake.

    • DXer said

      In May 2007, he sought a number of documents as he was trying to figure out who submitted the samples. It was his thought that his assistant did. The documents (from the February-May timeframe) that he sought have not been provided.

  12. DXer said

    The FBI, without notice to anyone, quietly changed its February 2010 Amerithrax Summary from

    “Occasionally, only three of the four genetic mutations were detected, and at no time were less than three detected.”


    “In a few instances, fewer than three markers were detected. However, in none of the 30 attempts were no markers detected.”

    I don’t fault anyone for having to submit errata. It happens all the time. But this is Exhibit A proving that the decision-makers were making decisions based on incorrect information — to include basic facts relayed in both August press conferences. Moreover, it is a mistake that should have been caught BEFORE closing of the case.

    It turns out that the science briefing was as riddled with errors as US Attorney Taylor’s press conference was (for example, he overlooked that the genetically matching anthrax was also available to all those with access in Building 1412).

    Mind you: these were errors in a genetic analysis that only served to limit things from 1,000 known to have access to a number just somewhat smaller than that (up to 377 at USAMRIID alone).

    It’s as if the FBI scientists wanted to bring home a trophy by claiming something that justifies the 10 years spent on the science.

    It would have been far simpler if they had just produced the expert reports that exclude the USAMRIID photocopiers … which would flush the Amerithrax Summary (on this issue) down the toilet.

    • BugMaster said

      30 attempts?

      Wow! Clearly a proven reliable and robust procedure, with “validation” like that!

    • Roberto said

      The impression I get (from the reporting I’ve read) is that finding 4 mutations in a sample would be analogous to a DNA match or a fingerprint match. I.E., less than 15 minutuae on a fingerprint constellation match isn’t good enough. Is 3 mutations good enough? 2? 1? What does it mean that X/30 samples from the same flask only have 1 mutation in common?

      I imagine this marker inconsistency diminishes the level of scientific rigor in the overall anthrax analysis and mutation comparisons. Exactly how much less meaningful is it now, finding zero ‘genetic mutations’ in the April submission? (I assume it’s still true that Ivins’ second submission has zero markers.)

      Is it 10% less meaningful that a sample has zero mutations? .01% less meaningful? 80% less meaningful?

      PS – where did the Bacillus subtilis come from again? Shouldn’t they do some assays for that too & find it in someone’s lab, somewhere?

      • BugMaster said

        They also should have recoved the B. subtilis from the AMI building if their assumption that the letter to Florida was part of the same batch of material sent to New York.

  13. BugMaster said

    TO: Chairman Rush Holt, Patrick Eddington

    RE: Absence of renagraffin in attack material, as claimed by the FBI

    At this point, I can come to only one conclusion. In regards to the FBI’s claim:


  14. BugMaster said

    Form 11r indicates 50 mls of spores (3.0 x 10^10/ml) were sent!

    Form 11r indicates 30 mls of spores (3.0 x 10^10/ml) were sent!

    Please note: I didn’t add the explanation points here. They are on the original form, and the only explanation points on the original form (click on image above).

    Who added these explanation points?


    • BugMaster said



      • DXer said

        They were added by the FBI person who created an expanded inventory that detailed where the virulent Ames was sent.

        Note that we’ve now been told that the Battelle anthrax had 4 morphs but the Ivins flask (in February 2002) only had 3 morphs.

      • DXer said

        The “2” designation, I believe, refers to the science squad, originally headed by David Wilson who was under the tent with Dr. Ezzell at the June 2001 Annapolis anthrax conference — an annual conference which Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad had attended the previous two years. The band was playing loud — David and John could barely hear each other — and so Agent Wilson might not have heard the Zawahiri infiltrators whistling.

        • DXer said

          If only David had Abby’s instincts.

          NCIS – Abby Gets Angry

        • BugMaster said

          And who was associated with “Amerithrax-1”?

          The agents Kemp described in terms that would suggest that they were less than professional?

    • Anonymous said

      “He or she probably figured it indicated that Ivins had kept 60ml for himself.”

      What a load of garbage – why would a perp record he had taken 50 but only sent 30? As we have discessed before at length – water evaporating from the flask over time would easily allow a person to conceal discrepancies anyway. No need to make a record for what you conceal!!!

      Probaly the 50 ml was concentrated down to 30ml for easier shipping.

    • BugMaster said


      The orginal log shows a 50 ml shipment to Battelle on May 1 and a 40 ml shipment on June 15, for a total of 90 mls.

      The explanation points indicate extra interest in these shipments on the part of the individual preparing the form.

      A strange place for editorializing, in a official document like this.

  15. DXer said

    October 15, 2010

    Upon further review of the Amerithrax Investigative Summary, issued by the Department of Justice on February 19, 2010, the following errors were noted, and the corresponding changes were made in the text of this Investigative Summary:

    Page 24, third paragraph, should read: “Over the next five months, investigators endeavored to build a database of Ames samples for genetic comparison to the evidentiary material. The Grand Jury issued subpoenas to those 15 domestic and three foreign labs that investigators had determined possessed the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis. The subpoena requested samples of each batch of the Ames strain held in a lab. It set forth the protocol to be used in taking those representative samples in order to ensure uniformity among submissions to what would become known as the FBI Repository (“FBIR”). Consent searches were also conducted at both USAMRIID and Dugway Proving Ground in Utah (“Dugway”), and a search warrant was executed at a private company in the midwest in 2004, to ensure that samples were taken from each stock of Ames in those facilities. In addition, a detailed review of laboratory notebooks, the genealogy of the Ames strain, and transfers was conducted to capture any unreported transfers of RMR-1029. A total of 1,070 samples were ultimately submitted, which represents a sample from every Ames culture at every laboratory identified by the FBI as having the Ames strain.”

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