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

* DXer … if we knew what President Bush knew in February 2001, Amerithrax would be seen with entirely different eyes

Posted by DXer on March 2, 2010


The New York Times says the FBI’s anthrax case has “too many loose ends.” Find out where some of those looses ends might have originated in my novel CASE CLOSED. Sure it’s fiction, but many readers, including a highly respected member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, think my premise is actually “quite plausible.”

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *



DXer …

if we knew what President Bush knew in February 2001,

Amerithrax would be seen with entirely different eyes


Extracts from DXer’s comment to this post (see below) …

  • The threat to use mailed anthrax was described to President Bush by the CIA in a PDB in early February 2001 that is still classified. See 911 Commission Report.
  • In January 2001, a bail hearing was announced for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest #2. A threat to use anthrax was immediately sent to those responsible for the detention and threatened deportation to Cairo. Bail was denied on October 5 and then the mailer rushed to mail the good stuff.
  • The lawyer for the EIJ spiritual guide had announced in 1999 that Zawahiri intended to use anthrax to retaliate for the rendering and detention of senior EIJ leaders — and the plan was confirmed by the detained EIJ military leader (and another shura leader who was working for Egyptian intelligence services).
  • The late January threat was sent by the same people who sent letter bombs to the people symbolically responsible for the WTC 1993 plotters.
  • It was embarrassing to the Bush Administration because not only were they given express warning, but it is the former assistant of then White House Chief of Staff who the FBI suspects of accessing the biochemistry information relating to the concentration of anthrax using silica. See filing of defendant’s defense counsel.
  • The factual question of the day relates to the culture medium used by Ivins, and why the FBI did not allege that the recipe of the culture medium he used in the lab supported the searches they did.


33 Responses to “* DXer … if we knew what President Bush knew in February 2001, Amerithrax would be seen with entirely different eyes”

  1. DXer said

    “As coronavirus cases surge and states rollback re-openings, former Vice President Joe Biden opens up his biggest lead this year over President Donald Trump in the race for the White House. Registered voters back Biden over Trump 52 – 37 percent,”


    “Independents are a key factor behind Biden’s widening lead as they now back him 51 – 34 percent,”

    President Trump is killing the Republican brand. If he were to resign, there are so many bold choices — even outsiders such as Mark Cuban or Kevin Leary (from Shark Tank) — that could bring it home for Republicans, or at least save its reputation. Competence matters.

    With his 5 or 6 bankruptcies, Trump was a horrible choice to manage our country.

  2. DXer said

    Steve Chapman: No, Susan Rice did not support the Iraq War
    Her wise and independent judgment is apparent in her opposition


  3. DXer said

    Is UPenn going to rescind Donald Trump’s degree?

    Trump cheated on his SATs, niece Mary says in new book
    Updated 3:14 PM; Today 2:49 PM

    “UPenn has instituted a policy of revoking college degrees if a graduate is found to have falsified records or cheated on an exam.”

    What does Joe Shapiro (the person the book says Trump paid to take his SAT) say?

    What does Donald Trump say?

    Maryanne, Donald’s oldest sister (who went to Columbia undergrad) says she did his homework for him. But that the problem was regard to test-taking.

    So is she the source on the SAT claim? She was a former judge on the federal court of appeals.

    • DXer said

      Donald Trump DENIES cheated on his SATs and claims his father was ‘loving and not at all hard on him’ after niece’s explosive memoir calls him ‘a SOCIOPATH’

      PUBLISHED: 16:26 EDT, 7 July 2020 | UPDATED: 03:42 EDT, 8 July 2020

      Note: In the November 17, 1980 issue of NEW YORK magazine, Joe Shapiro is described as a “college buddy” of Trump.

      • DXer said

        Rather, he was described as a “college friend.” So perhaps he is the U of Pa grad who graduated in 1968, went to Harvard Law, served as General Counsel of Disney, and has long since passed away from cancer. But the issue needs fleshing out and the facts need to be corroborated.

  4. DXer said

    I don’t know much about Susan Rice beyond her resume on Wikipedia. But from the little I know I think she would make a superb choice for Vice-President.

    To have someone with such important experience at a time like this — when it will be so important to navigate the continuing perils and mend broken fences — is a remarkable opportunity.

    The fact that she is a black woman is just a happy coincidence. Her qualifications seem stellar.

    Any issue relating to Benghazi likely would only be an issue for Mr. Trump’s base supporters who won’t be voting for the Biden ticket anyway.

  5. DXer said

    New York appeals court clears the way for a publisher to distribute tell-all book by President Trump’s niece
    PUBLISHED WED, JUL 1 20209:41 PM EDT

    The book is out and available. 75,000 copies have already been shipped.

    For example, judging by the listing in WORLDCAT, a copy is publicly available at

    Bayside Library Service
    Bayside Library Service
    Brighton, AU-VI 3186 Australia

    Too much and never enough. How my family created the world’s most dangerous man.

    Author: Mary L Trump
    Publisher: London : Simon & Schuster Ltd. 2020.
    Edition/Format: Print book : English
    In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security and social fabric. 0 Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ Read more…

    • DXer said

      WorldCat now lists the book as being also at

      1. Garland County Library

      Hot Springs, AR 71901 United States


      Stillwater Public Library
      Stillwater Oklahoma Public Library

      Stillwater, OK 74074 United States

    • DXer said

      It is now also at Scott County Library Shakopee, MN 55379 United States

      Some reporters and book stores may feel bound by embargo rules.

      But librarians and citizens have greater freedom.

      Scott County Library
      Shakopee, MN 55379 United States

  6. DXer said

    The New York Times
    Trump Got Written Briefing in February on Possible Russian Bounties, Officials Say
    Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, Nicholas Fandos and Adam Goldman

  7. DXer said

    You can read the PDB’s from the Kennedy and Johnson era — CIA Director has promised the declassification of the Nixon and Ford briefs in the near future.

    CIA Releases Roughly 2,500 Declassified President’s Daily Briefs at Event Hosted by LBJ Presidential Library and University of Texas at Austin
    Collection Includes Reports Delivered During Kennedy, Johnson Administrations
    September 16, 2015

    The CIA should now release a redacted copy of the PDB above.

    see generally


    Declassified Documents Related to 9/11 Attacks
    For an official statement on this release, please see

    CIA Releases Declassified Documents Related to 9/11 Attacks
    June 12, 2015

    • DXer said

      The bank behind the trees behind my house was robbed again this week on Wednesday at 2 p.m..

      Onondaga County bank robbed

      The photo of the robber was very good — showing a very distinctive hairline. But better yet, the idiot is wearing the same distinctive striped black top on Facebook as he is while robbing the bank.

      The friend who was waiting for him in the car (we’ll call him the accomplice in the red Honda) is going to have some explaining to do. Kids, don’t do drugs. If you do, ask yourself: Am I robbing the bank in the clothes I am wearing in my featured Facebook picture?

      Was Amerithrax really so much more difficult to solve in light of what was revealed in this PDB — information apparently not known to the profilers in the basement of Quantico in early October 2001?

      Compartmentalization can be the death knell of sound analysis.

      Kudos to CIA Director Brennan for allowing history to rest on a sounder footing based on the release of these historically important contemporaneous documents.

      And kudos to local law enforcement — from all the agencies — for the successful solve.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US BIodefense

      • DXer said

        Compare this surveillance photo to his Facebook photo, and ask: How long would the right facial recognition software taken to have prompted his photo to pop out? (based on the hairline alone)

        Especially if limited to drug arrests relating to heroin or some similarly addictive drug.

        Would Lt. Joe Kenda even have had to get out of his pajamas to solve this one?

        When Joe arrests a perp (accompanied by back-up), he doesn’t shout. He speaks in low tones: If you move I’ll shoot you dead right now.

        Are cameras in public places such a bad thing?

      • DXer said

        So now the question is: Is the man in the red honda going to jail too? We’ll call him Mr. P’s accomplice.

        And who is he?

        The robbery was at 2 p.m. My friendly local undercover was at 15x Richfield Ave. at 3:15, knocking on the door, looking for “J.” Is that Mr. P’s accomplice?

        20 cars, not the 12 I first imagined, were there. Men with machine guns.

        “J.” drove up 40 minutes later on a motorcycle. What does “J” say? Is he Mr. P’s accomplice? Or just another usual suspect.

        The lesson learned: free Green Hills doughnuts for undercovers and men with machine guns. And keep those cameras coming.

  8. DXer said

    Mike Morell had begun giving the President his daily briefing the month before — on January, 8, 2001. See Morell, The Great War of Our Time, at p. 32 (April 12, 2015)

    • DXer said

      President H.W. Bush, aka “41”, would sometimes join the briefing on the Presidential Daily Brief, “which he did fifteen or so times during my year as briefer.” (The Great War of Our Time, p. 35).

    • DXer said

      Mike Morell writes:

      “On January 25 we wrote a piece for the new president outlining our preliminary assessment [ that AQ was responsible for USS Cole bombing ], that the plan had been directed from Afghanistan by the al Qa’ida leadership. …

      The second issue with regard to al-Qa’ida in the early months was bringing pieces to the president designed to educate him about the group. We provided the president with analytic pieces on the group’s training camps in Afghanistan, its fund-raising capabilities and networks, its complex relationship with the Taliban, and the Taliban’s multifaceted relationships with some of our allies. In short, I wanted to give the present as much as we could provide about what CIA believed was the leading national security threat facing the United States.

      In retrospect, I think it would have been helpful had the intelligence comunity produced a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for the new administration on the threat posed by al Qa’ida.


      I should add, however, that during the transition an during those first three months, there was little to no specific threat reporting on what al Qa’ida was plotting. That changed dramatically in the spring.” (The Great War of Our Time, p. 39)

      • DXer said

        “The piece produced by the analysts the next day, on April 19 [2001] — based on the same information that Tenet had orally presented the previous morning — was titled ‘Bin Laden Planning Multiple Operations.” The 9/11 Commission would later title one of the chapters of its report with a quote from Tenet about this period: “The system was blinking red.” (Morell, The Great War of Our Time, p. 39)

  9. DXer said

    The President’s brother is also withholding the information. Jeb/Florida should be asked under FOIA to provide the “Anthrax.threat.doc” document transmitted on February 8, 2001.

    From: Moore, Tim
    To: Governor Jeb Bush (E-mail)
    Date: 2/8/2001 6:38:00 PM
    Subject: FW: Anthrax Threats
    Attachments: Anthrax threat.doc


    > —–Original Message—-> From: Bieltz, Larry
    > Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 3:32 PM
    > To: Statewide Intelligence Team
    > Cc: Dawley, Joyce; Newman, Lance; Pellham, Mark
    > Subject: Anthrax Threats

    • DXer said

      In connection with the withheld February 8, 2001 “Anthrax threats.doc,” I believe:

      Tim Moore was the FDLE Regional Director in 2001 — and was a frequent correspondent with Jeb Bush updating him on events at AMI and bioterrorism generally;

      Joyce Dawley in 2001 was the FDLE Regional Director in Orlando; and

      Lance Newman in 2001 was the FDLE Regional Director in Tampa.

    • DXer said

      I believe the sender, Larry Bieltz, in 2001 was a FDLE Special Agent working out of Orlando. (He is now retired). Perhaps one of these individuals can share what the attachment described.

    • DXer said

      A NATION CHALLENGED: THE FIRST CASES; Jeb Bush Tries to Avert Panic; 2nd Anthrax Victim Is Healing
      Published: October 17, 2001


      One of the AMI employees affected was Ernesto Bianco. Although totally unrelated to Amerithrax, Ernest Bianco’s son-in-law separately wrote Jeb Bush about problems with his landlord. I think it is neat to have such transparency. The White House should try that 28 pages written by the Joint Inquiry that was supposed to provide transparency about 911. Florida should now release the attachment from February 2001 “Anthrax threat.doc.”

  10. DXer said

    Kurt Eichenwald in “500 Days” writes:

    “Could it be a coincidence?” “I’m a skeptic,” Cheney said. The only responsible thing to do, he added, was to proceed on the basis that the anthrax and September 11 attacks were related.

    The message coming from the administration in the American people was, at best, ambiguous.

    The president did not show any sense of uncertainty.

    The anthrax attack was the second terrorist strike in a matter of weeks. Both occurred on his watch. From his first intelligence briefing as the Republic nominee for president, he had been warned that jihadists were seeking biological and chemical weapons and were prepared to use them.” (p. 129)

    Comment: Romney received his first inteligence briefing as Republican nominee in September 2012. So if we credit this unsourced statement, the first briefing that Bush received at least several months prior to this February 2001 briefing.

    • DXer said

      Mr Eichenwald continues:

      “The assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had been searing for Bush. But it was the anthrax attack that shook him to his core. Years later, some of his aides would say that the delivery of those contaminated letters had a far greater impact on Bush than anyone outside the White House imagined. His resolved grew unshakable — he would do whatever it took to protect civilians from another anonymous attack.” (p. 129)

      Comment: None of these journalists on this point (and the point has been made by other authors) have realized what was especially disturbing to Mr. Bush and his Chief of Staff Andrew Card — the realization that “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-TImimi (his counsel’s term) had been the former assistant of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Each morning, it was Mr. Card who opened the door for Director Mueller when he came to report on the progress in the Amerithrax Investigation.

      • DXer said

        The White House had given Ali Al-TImimi a letter of commendation for his classified work for the Navy relating to bioinformatics.

  11. DXer said

    Comment: Leave it to mainstream media to seek interviews with the band Anthrax in Fall 2001 rather than Attorney Montasser Al-Zayat who had announced that Dr. Zawahiri — and an Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura member and its military commander — was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders.

    Thrash-masters Anthrax have been rocking their lethal moniker since the early ‘80s, but after the tragedy of 9/11 and the ensuing threats to public safety through acts of terrorism, their name was called into question by the mainstream media – the same major outlets who paid their then-last record no mind at the time.

    In a new interview with Blogra, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian reminisces about that moment in time where their name was the talk of the town eleven years ago, when letters containing spores of lethal anthrax were delivered to media outlets and public offices resulting in the death of five people and infecting many others. Members of the media were anxious to get quotes from Anthrax regarding the situation, even though the two had nothing more in common than a name. “We had no intention ever of changing our name or doing anything like that,” says Ian. “But the fact was that all this very, very mainstream media – I’m talking from CNN to the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times, the biggest mainstream media in the world – are suddenly calling our publicist trying to get interviews with us.”

    However, Ian wasn’t too keen on his band being used as a pawn for sensationalism. “My attitude right from the start was, ‘Well, these guys, they didn’t want anything to do with us when our record came out not that long ago,’ you know. And now they want to talk to us because they need to fill space because this is the story of the week–which is gonna disappear in the next two months. And of course it did.”

    Ian chalked the whole thing up as “ridiculous” and cites, “we just wouldn’t buy into it.”

  12. DXer said

    All eyes on Stockwell Day’s testimony in terrorism suspect case


    The Globe and Mail

    Published Monday, Sep. 03 2012, 9:59 PM EDT

    Former public safety minister Stockwell Day is set to testify in court this week, an appearance expected to offer a rare insight into how the government labels someone a terrorism suspect.


    Mr. Mahjoub came to Canada in 1995 with a bogus Saudi passport. He was granted refugee status, but caught the eye of Canada’s security establishment. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service watched him from at least 1998 and he is accused of being the number-two in the Vanguards of Conquest, an offshoot of Egyptian Islamic Jihad that eventually rejoined the militant group.

    Comment: I believe this early February PDB related to a January 2001 threat to use anthrax if Mahjoub’s bail was denied. (It was denied October 5.) The PDB should be declassified.

    But I don’t understand why this matter is still ongoing. With the change in the Egyptian government, he no longer is at risk of being mistreated. Indeed, they likely have will have a ticker tape parade for him.

    So why doesn’t he just ask for a plane ticket?

    • DXer said

      Stockwell Day’s memory hazy on Mahjoub case

      By Michele Mandel ,Toronto Sun
      First posted: Thursday, September 06, 2012

      The spy agency targeted Mahjoub after learning he’d been the deputy general manager of a farm project in Sudan run by Osama bin Laden and had met the terror mastermind on four occasions. Day said he learned Mahjoub was accused of coming into Canada on a bogus Saudi passport, being a member of the jihadist Vanguards of Conquest and involved in terrorist activity.

      “I was satisfied with everything that was before me that these restraints (on Mahjoub) in some way, shape or form needed to be maintained for the protection of Canadians.”

      Mahjoub spent more than seven years behind bars – some of them at Guantanamo North — and four more under strict house arrest. His restrictive bail conditions have now been loosened, but he must wear a GPS tracking anklet, can’t use the subway and needs federal permission to leave Toronto.

  13. DXer said

    Highlights of the CIA September 11 Document Collection Include:

    Bin Laden’s Attempts to Acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction
    • “Bin Ladin and his associates have experimented by crude means to make and deploy biological agents… Bin Ladin has sought to acquire military-grade biological agents or weapons.” 2001-02-14 –”Afghanistan: Bin Ladin’s Interest in Biological and Radiological Weapons,” Central Intelligence Agency Analytical Report [Chapter 11, Endnote 5. 9/11 Commission Report Page 342]

    CIA releases papers from 9/11 file

    Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 – The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations. The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report and present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.

    The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. …

    Similar to the 9/11 Commission Report, the document collection details repeated CIA warnings of the bin Laden terrorist threat prior to September 11. According to a January 2000 Top Secret briefing to the Director of Central Intelligence, disruption operations against the Millennium plot “bought time… weeks… months… but no more than one year” before al-Qaeda would strike. [2000-01-07] “A UBL attack against U.S. interests could occur at any time or any place. It is unlikely that the CIA will have prior warning about the time or place.” [1999-08-03] By September 2001, CIA counterterrorism officials knew a plot was developing but couldn’t provide policymakers with details. “As of Late August 2001, there were indications that an individual associated with al-Qa’ida was considering mounting terrorist operations in the United States, [Excised]. No further information is currently available in the timing of possible attacks or on the alleged targets in the United States.” [2001-08-24]

    Although the collection is part of a laudable effort by the CIA to provide documents on events related to September 11, many of these materials are heavily redacted, and still only represent one-quarter of the CIA materials cited in the 9/11 Commission Report. Hundreds of cited reports and cables remain classified, including all interrogation materials such as the 47 reports from CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from March 24, 2003 – June 15, 2004, which are referenced in detail in the 9/11 Report.

    Comment: GAO, you need to obtain an unredacted copy of the PDB — the CIA’s brief to the President from the prior week — on the same subject. Amerithrax would not be nearly the mystery it is if the pertinent documents were obtained.

  14. DXer said

    Laurie Garrett writes:

    “In that spirit of information sharing, Canadian military scientists today e-mailed colleagues at the CDC shortly after they learned of the anthrax case. The email describes a study that Canada’s defense department did, stimulating types of anthrax attacks. In one study they showed that anthrax spores cold readily leak out of even well-sealed envelopes. Sadly, nobody at the CDC opens the email.

    The vital study was done by the Defense Research and Development Canada located in Suffield. In February of this year a government office in Ottawa received a letter claiming to contain anthrax, according to Kent Harding, chief scientist at DRDC. Though the letter turned out to be a hoax, officials asked what would have have happened if an an envelope containing genuine anthrax spores were opened. Finding no relevant studies in the scientific literature, Harding’s team conducted their own test using [BG]i, a harmless bacterium that forms spores of similar consistency to Bacillus anthracis. The Canadians used a dried, powdery form of the [BG], which they discovered was easily prepared. Though some of the bacilli clumped together, most of the spores were singular, and therefore easily aerosolized.”

    Harding’s findings — sadly, not read by American public health authorities — are highly significant: “We found there was a rapid and immediate release of spores by just simply opening the envelope,” Harding said. “the spores did move about the room very quickly. We only ran the experiment for 10 minutes, and the spores moved across the room the full 18 feet. The individual did not move — the disturbance was purely because of air currents.”

    The spores in the Canadian experiment were not treated chemically, or electrostatically to give them special characteristics. The bacilli were simply narrow, dried spores.”

    Comment: In footnote 197, she cites only the DRES Technical Report in support.

    Note that the spores were not made by the Canadians. They were spraydried in Denmark by Niro, and then mixed with silica by a Wisconsin dairy processor and then sent to Dugway for further tweaking. Dugway provided the simulant to the Canadians. So although I do not have the DRES Technical Report in front of me right now, I do not recall it to address the means that the simulant was processed. I’ll steer clear of the issue because I think the important point is that in the Canadian study, the simulant was simply made and it immediately dispersed to the other side of the room.

    The CIA knows, but is not telling you, that the January 2001 threat to use anthrax related to the retention of the #2 of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Mahjoub. His bail hearing had just been announced by the Canadian immigration minister.

    The early February 2001 PDB addresses this. It should be declassified and then maybe there wouldn’t be such a dangerous fog over Amerithrax.

    The real deal was then sent when his bail was denied on October 5, 2001. The anthrax mailer then dropped what he was doing and rushed to mail the anthrax just as had been threatened.

    • DXer said

      In her book, Professor Guillemin notes that the DRES scientists came to Washington, D.C. “unnoticed” and gave a presentation on spore dispersal.

      The lead person at CDC, Bradley Perkins, first read the email reporting on the study on November 1, 2001.

  15. DXer said

    Al Qaeda And the U.S., Still Battling


    Published: January 17, 2011

    The sections of this book dealing with 9/11, the war in Iraq and the prosecution of the war on terror retrace a lot of ground covered by the important work of other journalists, most notably Thomas Ricks, author of the book “Fiasco”; Bob Woodward of The Washington Post; and Jane Mayer, Seymour M. Hersh and George Packer of The New Yorker. These chapters by Mr. Bergen provide an utterly devastating indictment of the Bush administration on all levels — from its failure to heed warnings about a terrorist threat, to its determination to conduct the war in Afghanistan on the cheap, to its costly, unnecessary and thoroughly misguided invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    Mr. Bergen gives us a sampling of the ominous threat reporting distributed to Bush officials in 2001 (not just the famous Aug. 6 brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”) and concludes that the problem “was not a lack of information about Al Qaeda’s intentions and capabilities, but the Bush administration’s inability to comprehend that an attack by Al Qaeda on the United States was a real possibility.” This failure, he says, came about partly because the thinking of the Bush White House was “frozen in a cold war mind-set” and partly because it saw Iraq as the No. 1 danger and “bin Laden and Al Qaeda were politically and ideologically inconvenient to square” with its worldview.

    Echoing other experts like the former C.I.A. analyst Michael Scheuer, Mr. Bergen argues that the Iraq war represented “the very type of imperial adventure that bin Laden had long predicted was the United States’ long-term goal in the region.” Moreover, he notes, it “deposed the secular socialist Saddam, whom bin Laden had long despised,” ignited “Sunni and Shia fundamentalist fervor in Iraq” and provoked “a ‘defensive’ jihad that galvanized jihadi-minded Muslims around the world.”

    For that matter, Mr. Bergen goes on, none of the war goals articulated by the Bush administration were achieved: “An alliance between Saddam and Al Qaeda wasn’t interrupted because there wasn’t one, according to any number of studies including one by the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Pentagon’s own internal think tank. There was no democratic domino effect around the Middle East; quite the opposite: the authoritarian regimes became more firmly entrenched.” And the war did not pay for itself as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz had predicted, but instead turned Iraq into “a giant money sink for the American economy.” …

    In the end, Mr. Bergen says, Al Qaeda has four “crippling strategic weaknesses” that will affect its long-term future: 1) its killing of many Muslims civilians — acts forbidden by the Koran; 2) its failure to offer any positive vision of the future (“Afghanistan under the Taliban is not an attractive model of the future for most Muslims”); 3) the inability of jihadist militants to turn themselves “into genuine mass political movements because their ideology prevents them from making the kind of real-world compromises that would allow them to engage in normal politics”; and 4) an ever growing list of enemies, including any Muslims who don’t “exactly share their ultra-fundamentalist worldview.”

    “By the end of the second Bush term,” Mr. Bergen writes near the end of this valuable book, “it was clear that Al Qaeda and allied groups were losing the ‘war of ideas’ in the Islamic world, not because America was winning that war — quite the contrary: most Muslims had a quite negative attitude toward the United States — but because Muslims themselves had largely turned against the ideology of bin Ladenism.”

  16. DXer said

    The threat to use mailed anthrax was described to President Bush by the CIA in a PDB in early February 2001 that is still classified. See 911 Commission Report.

    In January 2001, a bail hearing was announced for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest #2. A threat to use anthrax was immediately sent to those responsible for the detention and threatened deportation to Cairo. Bail was denied on October 5 and then the mailer rushed to mail the good stuff.

    The lawyer for the EIJ spiritual guide had announced in 1999 that Zawahiri intended to use anthrax to retaliate for the rendering and detention of senior EIJ leaders — and the plan was confirmed by the detained EIJ military leader (and another shura leader who was working for Egyptian intelligence services).

    It was particularly awkward because the Salafi-Jihadi who had infiltrated US biodefense had worked for and been commended by President Bush’s Chief of Staff (and then Al-Timimi was also referenced in the August 6, 2001 PDB about OBL’s plan to attack the US using planes). For all he has written about Dr. Alibek, George Smith today ignores the March 14, 2001 patent application using silica in the culture medium to concentrate anthrax. It was filed by the leading anthrax scientist in the world and the former deputy head of USAMRIID. See FoxNews report regarding what the FBI suspects. They came to be 15 feet away from the man working with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s sheik. That Salafi-Jihadi (Dr. Al-Timimi) had a high security clearance while working at SRA for the Navy in 1999. The method was not public until long after 9/11. For George Smith as Dick Destiny to write so extensively about Alibek while not noting that Al-Timimi was in the same suite is a major failure in analysis. There are ongoing classified proceedings at which these allegations regarding anthrax are the subject of briefing.

    Just as the former head of Amerithrax Michael Rolince and the DOJ was being criticized for not accessing Moussaoui laptop, the concern was that the FBI would be blamed for anthrax also. The DOJ suppressed the fact that Jdey had been detained at the same time as Moussaoui and then released. See recent Harvard report by former CIA official. According to the recent Harvard report (see timeline), Jdey was carrying bio books while Moussaoui had cropduster manuals.

    The FBI PDB regarding OBL’s plan to use anthrax to retaliate against the rendering of senior EIJ leaders is as plainly worded and as significant as the August 6, 2001 PDB describing his plan to hijack an airliner to free the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman, the spiritual guide for the EIJ. Obama needs to ask to see a copy of the February 2001 PDB about the plan to use anthrax and order it released.

    The late January threat was sent by the same people who sent letter bombs to the people symbolically responsible for the WTC 1993 plotters. Those letters were sent to newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic positions relating to the detention (for example, the “parole officer” at Leavenworth, a position that does not exist). (The Al Hayat letter bomb investigation is still open and there is a $5 million reward under the Reward for Justice program) The Al Hayat targeting was key to understanding the modus operandi of the Amerithrax mailings. CIA analysts in Fall 2001 would have known that either EIJ/VOC was responsible or someone with access to threat intel who wanted to make it look like EIJ/VOC. Cheney was briefed by the CIA in mid-December 2001 about documents seized in Afghanistan showing Ayman intended to use universities and charities as cover to weaponize anthrax (and his plan to recruit specialists already in the field). Fitzpatrick immediately came down like a ton of bricks on charities /leaders based 1 mile from the nanobiotechnology researchers from the University of Michigan working on anthrax for DARPA. Bruce Ivins had supplied the researchers with Ames.

    It was embarrassing to the Bush Administration because not only were they given express warning, but it is the former assistant of then White House Chief of Staff who the FBI suspects of accessing the biochemistry information relating to the concentration of anthrax using silica. See filing of defendant’s defense counsel.

    The US Attorney Jeff Taylor was Gonzalez’ national security counsel. The US Attorney before him, Ken Wainstein, was the White House national security person (and former head of the DOJ national security division and the former chief of staff for Mueller). But I’m sure they would have wanted justice done and would not be party to a cover-up just because of the serendipity of Al-Timimi having once been Andrew Card’s assistant. So the DOJ’s mischaracterization of the October 4, 2001 and October 5, 2001 emails — to take two examples — can only be attributed to incompetence and not bad faith. I believe Kenneth Kohl was the author but no one has associated their name to the report.

    Does 2 + 2 = 4 ? Sometimes 2 and 2 equals 6. The one thing you can count on in life is to be surprised. But for George Smith, who consulted on the defense of the fellow in London accused of making ricin, to rely on the lawyer’s characterization without reviewing the underlying documents is total abdication of the responsibility of someone in the field. Ed is forgiven because his job is catering to people’s sexual pecadillos — not analysis of the underlying documents in a true crime matter. That’s why you haven’t seen see him posting the October 5, 2001 email, for example. He is more comfortable reasserting his true belief– of which he remains 99% confident — that a First Grader wrote the letters.

    The bail for EIJ / VOC #2 was denied on October 5, 2001 and the mailer rushed to mail the “real deal.” To understand Amerithrax, all Obama need do is order the declassification of the PDB above from early February 2001.

    The people responsible for both the Al Hayat letter bombs and the anthrax mailings subscribe to the teaching under the koran that “innocents” should not be targeted. Women, children, the elderly are innocents. This is shown by their writings. A warning is expressly required under the hadiths. Given that cell members would have long lived in the US, they had no desire to use aerosolized anthrax in a more widespread manner. That would lead to the death of their family, friends and community members.

    The anthrax letters were a threat intended to communicate: “We have this anthrax.” The anthrax letters were intended to retaliate for the rendering and mistreatement of senior EIJ leaders, deter the invasion of Afghanistan, and retaliate for appropriations to Egypt, Israel and other countries.

    I think Ken D’s suggestion of Jdey mailer — which he first made almost a half decade ago — is an excellent one (but it had not occurred to me and not one I agree with). Jdey was part of 911 and had worked with KSM and Hambali. He pulled back but not due to cold feet. He went missing at the time of the mailings. And recently we learned that he was detained at the same time as Moussaoui with biology books but then released. (It is incredible that MSM has overlooked this about Jdey given the lull afforded by things such as the smoothing out of relations with Brangelina.)

    The factual question of the day relates to the culture medium used by Ivins, and why the FBI did not allege that the recipe of the culture medium he used in the lab supported the searches they did.

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