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

Archive for March 21st, 2010

* Jim White … the silicon evidence raises serious doubts that Dr. Bruce Ivins could have worked alone as the FBI continues to assert

Posted by DXer on March 21, 2010

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fermenter at USAMRIID

Extracts from Jim White’s article MOST LIKELY SOUCES OF SILICON IN ANTHRAX ATTACK SPORES ARGUES AGAINST PRODUCTION BY IVINS (3/20/10)  …

  • If the silicon in the anthrax attack spores does indeed come from the material having been cultured in the presence of a silicone antifoam agent that also had silica present, then the FBI’s conclusion that Bruce Ivins acted alone in the attacks is called into serious doubt.
  • The alternative explanation to Ivins growing 36 two liter cultures is one fermenter run of approximately 70 liters or more. Note that the FBI investigative summary informs us that Dugway was engaged for the 1997 work precisely because Ivins did not have access to large scale culture equipment.
  • If Ivins had grown the spores in his shake flask equipment, he would have had no reason to include any sort of antifoam agent, much less one containing silica, because antifoam is just not used in shake flasks.
  • It also seems unlikely that Ivins would have changed his culture process to produce the attack material. If he did not introduce silicon in his early shake flask cultures (and we know he didn’t from the silicon analysis of the RMR-1029 material), it seems unlikely he would have done so with shake flasks for the attack material.
  • Note also from the Science report that the only other elevated (but not as high as the attack spores) silicon content spores analyzed came from Dugway, where we know that fermenters are available.
  • In conclusion, the finding of high silicon in the spores used in the anthrax attacks suggests that these spores were grown in a large fermenter that used an antifoam agent containing silica.
  • Since Bruce Ivins did not have access to a large fermenter, fermenter growth would suggest that he could not have acted alone in the attacks.

NOTE: I have extracted only the conclusions of Jim White’s article.

To read the entire analysis, go to  … http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/36259

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