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

* 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

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9 Responses to “* 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).”

  1. DXer said

    By misstating the central facts of the Federal Eagle stamp in early August 2008, an Ivins Theory took flight. In fact, the stamp was sold throughout Virginia.

    “This verse or slight variations of it (Figure 6) were found in many pages and profiles associated with martyrdom. Even the name – green bird, as well as variations of it, were utilised as user names on Facebook. Although Anwar Awlaki has been killed (to extremists he is a worthy martyr), his work continues to be one of the most important and commonly endorsed by extremists, as well as, the most quoted, including his imagery of birds in which he contrasts the freedom of birds with the limitations of man.”

    Al-Jihad Fi Sabilillah: in the Heart of Green Birds (2012) (available online)
    Robyn Torok
    Edith Cowan University, rtorok@our.ecu.edu.au

  2. DXer said

    There are numerous new filings in Ali Ali-TImimi case. I am trying to avoid comment given that with the amount of classification of various filings, I don’t have a good sense of what is going on.

    But I’ll mention that paragraph about “The Green Birds” in an affidavit by FBI Agent Wade Ammerman that he submitted an affidavit in support of a search:

    “60. On February 4, 2003, an FBI WFO language specialized analyzed the books obtained from the apartment. Of particular interest was a book entitled “The Green Birds, Examples of Martyrs in Palestine.” According to a summary translation, the book was published in support of the Palestine Intifada and in commemoration of the Palestinian martyrs. Mentioned prominently throughout the book are the activities of the Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as Hamas. I note that, like al-Qaeda, Hamas is a designated foreign terrorist organization the support of which is banned … I further note that al-Qaeda sympathies are likely supportive of Hamas terrorist activities. I also know from my involvement in other counter-terrorism investigations that individuals and organizations in America today that provide material support to al-Qaeda would not shrink from doing the same for Hamas, because the two organizations espouse similar Islamist ideology.”

  3. DXer said

    If you don’t understand the importance of the symbolism of the “green birds” — taking the souls of the 911 martyrs to paradise — then you probably don’t realize that US Attorney Taylor was getting basic facts wrong in his press conference accusing Dr. Ivins.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  4. DXer said

    In his new book on famous unsolved crimes, Edward Jay Epstein writes about the print defect analysis. He explains:

    “The idea is that each time a manufacturer prints a new order of envelope for an area of the country, at some point in the printing process, error occurs. The stategy used was to compare the microscopic errors in the anthrax envelopes to a sample of envelopes collected from different areas of the county. [sic] From this analysis, the task force determined that those envelopes were likely received by the Dulles Stamp Distribution Office, which distributed to post offices inside the Capital Beltway and southern Maryland. This was undoubtedly great forensic work. The problem was that this area included the employees of a large number of bio-technology facilities that dealt with anthrax. It also covered areas where many employees of intelligence services, foreign embassies, and defense contractors reside. To tie the envelopes, the FBI sought to find them in search of Ivins’ homes, office, and past mailings, but came up with no matches. The envelopes could not even be definitely traced to his local post office in Frederick, Maryland, because the office had returned all its stamped envelopes when postal rates changed.”

  5. DXer said

    Does Babar Ahmad think that the stamp used in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings communicated that the anthrax contained in the Fall 2001 anthrax letters represented the soul of the hijackers and that they were going to paradise? Was code communicated in the choice of stamp? Or is it just coincidence that his website had a FAQ that month explaining the meaning of the green birds of paradise and that the word used referred to what was inside.

  6. DXer said

    The Amerithrax Investigative Summary explains that Federal Eagle envelopes were packaged in groups of 5 for sale at USPS retail stores. The designer of the Federal Eagle stamp was Michael Doret who has been wonderfully helpful. Contrary to the suggestion in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary, they were sold (like stamps) not only by the USPS but by those who sold stamps and envelopes such as Mail Boxes Etc. Mail Boxes Etc. were franchise operations. For example, I used both the USPS in Arlington, VA and the Mail Boxes Etc. in Arlington (Rosslyn). If I had wanted to buy a preprinted envelope, I would have bought it at the MBE around the corner not the USPS in Rosslyn. (There was no USPS retail store that I recall as being convenient to me).

    The US Attorney Taylor falsely suggested that the Federal Eagle envelope stamp was sold uniquely at Dr. Ivins’ post office when it in fact was sold throughout Maryland and Virginia. And instead of falsely claiming (with it then running as an AP article that it uniquely was sold in Dr. Ivins post office), the first place the FBI should have made inquiry was at the Mail Box Etc. frequented by the hijackers. Especially given that they were filmed at KINKOS using the copying machine and doing cutting down of paper. Moreover, in the investigative summary, AUSA Lieber should not have overlooked other retail locations selling postage supplies.

    GAO should obtain footage of all film of the hijackers making copies at KINKOS and all documents relating to the sale of the Federal Eagle stamp at other retail locations selling stamps and envelopes.

    In August and September 2001, the hijackers often frequented establishments in Laurel, College Park, Gaithersburg, Joppa, Greenbelt, Bowie, Mitchellville, Baltimore etc. And that’s just Maryland. They also were in places like Arlington and Alexandria, VA.

    For example, they rented mailboxes at Baltimore and Laurel, MD Mail Boxes Etc. locations.

    • DXer said

      Even before it had first been discovered that anthrax had been sent, it was known that when the hijackers were not making inquiries about cropdusters in Florida, they were frequenting a wide range of establishments in Maryland and Virginia. An FBI timeline done by late October 2001 indicates that there was footage of them making copies at KINKOS in Maryland and that they frequented Maryland Mail Box Etc. locations.

      By this September 27, 2001 article in the St. Petersburg paper, “The Trail of the Terrorists,” it was already demonstrates that they were widely travelled in Maryland in August and September 2001.

      The FBI could identify the exact stock of paper used to the GAO and it could confirm that it was not a stock paper EVER used by Bruce Ivins. (and the FBI had loads of paper exemplars from Dr. Ivins home and work place to analyze.).

      Aug. 2, 2001: Abdulaziz Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi go to a driver’s license office in Arlington, Va., to obtain state identity cards, along with Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhamzi and Majed Moqed.

      August 2001: Atta and others are seen in Belle Glade asking about crop dusters.

      August 2001: Refusing to provide an address, Hanjour takes a few spins with flight instructors over Freeway Airport in Bowie, Md. When he asks to go solo, the school declines to rent him a plane partly because of his poor flying skills.
      ***…

      Sept. 1, 2001: Suspected hijackers from Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon, start gathering in Laurel, Md. Al-Midhar, Salem Alhamzi, Majed Moqed, Nawaq Alhamzi and Hani Hanjour pay cash for motel rooms. Ziad Jarrahi of Flight 93 has earlier been in Laurel, looking around an adult book store, among other things.

      The hijackers eat a lot of pizza. Neighbors of Room 353 in the Valencia Motel get curious because the men never return greetings. They drive off every day with a lot of big stand-up wheelie bags and carry-on luggage, then come back and leave again with a lot of luggage. The hotels are just a few miles from the home of Moataz Al-Hallak, a well-known Syrian-born cleric.

      Sept. 2, 1991: Three hijackers – al-Midhar, Moqed and Hanjour – pay cash for one-week memberships at Gold’s Gym in Greenbelt, Md. They are joined a couple of times by Nawaq Alhamzi and Salem Alhamzi, who buy one-day passes.

      Sept. 5, 2001: Two men, believed to be Hanjour and Moqed, are captured on camera at an ATM in Maryland.

      Sept. 5, 2001: Al-Midhar and Moqed pick up their tickets, booked earlier using the same frequent flyer number, for American Flight 77 at Baltimore/Washington International Airport near Baltimore.

  7. DXer said

    It has previously been reported that shortly before 9/11, hijackers Nawaf Alhamzi and Khalid Almihdhar left a bag at a mosque in Laurel, Maryland, with a note attached to it saying, “Gift for the brothers.” The FBI’s timeline identifies this mosque as the Ayah Islamic Center. But the only contents mentioned in the bag were pilot log books, receipts, and other evidence documenting the brief flight training that Alhazmi and Almihdhar underwent in San Diego in early 2000. It is unclear why they would have kept the receipts, some mentioning their names, for over a year and then left them at a mosque to be found. After 9/11, a former high-level intelligence official told journalist Seymour Hersh that “Whatever trail was left [by the hijackers] was left deliberately—for the FBI to chase.”

    Hijackers also lived in VIrginia where the Federal Eagle stamp was sold. For example, hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi was mugged outside of his apartment in Alexandria, Virginia on May 1, 2001. He filed a police report about this and gave his correct name and address.

    The Federal Eagle stamps narrowed the field all right — to many millions.

    But only some of them belonged to a group that had announced its plans to attack US targets with anthrax.

  8. DXer said

    Homeland Security Chief Napolitano made someone’s Christmas card list. With the three bombs in Annapolis and DC, the stamps were Christmas stamps — I think I recognize Rudolph the Reindeer as one. Likely extremely common stamps. How expensive and time-consuming was the print defect analysis done with the Federal Eagle stamp? Perhaps it was postmarked in Maryland there is no need to bother and it will be assumed the perp is from Maryland.

    Has the NAS reviewed the Amerithrax science as to print defects?

    How could US Attorney have created the impression — which led to an AP headline that never was retracted — that the Federal Eagle stamp with the same stamp was uniquely sold in Dr. Ivins post office rather than throughout Maryland and Virginia?

    Why wouldn’t the NAS view the stamp as within something it should address? The analysis might be useful in connection with the ongoing letters.

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