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

* The head of intelligence for Egyptian Islamic Jihad had a document on his computer seized by the FBI that outlined principles of cell security that would be followed

Posted by DXer on March 22, 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 *



31 Responses to “* The head of intelligence for Egyptian Islamic Jihad had a document on his computer seized by the FBI that outlined principles of cell security that would be followed”

  1. DXer said

    Former CIA and NSA head Michael Hayden praises in a blurb, Michael J. Sulick’s 2013 “American Spies: Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present.”

    My favorite book store in the DC area in the 1980s where you needed to be buzzed in — and it sold only spy novels and nonfiction.

    At pages 287-289, the author explains:

    “The best way to neutralize terrorists’ espionage is to penetrate their ranks, just as the CIA and FBI have done over the years by recruiting their own spies in state-sponsored intelligence services. Terrorists spy before they terrorize. They case and observe their targets. They collect intelligence information about their enemy’s vulnerabilities from elicitation and from publicly available sources. They vet potential recruits with rigorously screening procedures.

    Like intelligence officers, terrorist also practice tradecraft. Materials discovered in al-Qaeda safe houses in Afghanistan and other countries include training manuals on espionage tradecraft, such as as identification of clandestine meeting sites and dead drop locations, techniques to recruit sources and tracking and reporting on targets and clandestine communications.

    Terrorists also prepare their operatives to live cover, the art of blending seamlessly into a target society with intensity that Soviet illegals would have envied. In an al-Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan, US forces found handwritten notes with guidance on how to operate under cover, including tips on travel in alias, documents to carry, even down to minute details about the proper underwear to don in a foreign land.

    For al-Qaeda terrorists, living one’s cover even has the sanction of Islamic doctrine. Some of the September 11, 2001, hijackers were believed to be adherents of Takfiri wal Hijra, an extremist offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood
    spawned in the 1960s, which claims that the Koran advocates integration into corrupt societies as a means of plotting attacks against them. According to Takfiri precepts, terrorists can play the infidel to gain access to the enemy’s targets and violate Islamic laws, provided the goal justifies the otherwise forbidden behavior. Some of the 9/11 hijackers wore expensive jewelry and sprayed themselves with cologne at US airports, believing that these Western habits would shield them from the scrutiny given orthodox Muslims. The immersion of all nineteen hijackers into American society tragically illustrated their gruesome effectiveness of living cover down to the smallest detail.

    Because terrorists operate like intelligence services do, they also infiltrate spies into their target societies. A manual seized in a raid of al-Qaeda disciples in Manchester includes an entire section with details on recruiting spies, clear evidence of the importance of espionage for jihad extremists. Some of these terrorist infiltrators have already been exposed. One al-Qaeda recruit, Iyman Faris, a naturalized American citizen, exploited his job as a truck driver to
    plan sabotage of bridges and derailment of trains across the United States.

    “Now, however, the United States perhaps confronts one of the greatest espionage challenges in its history. The information from a single terrorist spy could enable devastating terrorist attacks resulting in mass casualties.”
    Michael J. Sulick – 2013

  2. DXer said

    Health Of Abu Anas Al-Libi, Al Qaeda Suspect Captured In Libya, Deteriorated Aboard U.S. Ship
    Reuters | Posted: 10/15/2013

    Anas al-Libi to New York last weekend, where he was taken to a hospital for treatment. …

    Upon arrival in the United States, al-Libi became subject to the rules of the civilian American court system. That means he can no longer be interrogated without being advised of his constitutional right to avoid incriminating himself, the official said.

    Last week, U.S. officials said one of the principal reasons U.S. Delta Force commandos staged a risky raid to capture al-Libi at his Tripoli residence was so the United States could gather intelligence from the former senior operative of the core al Qaeda organization founded by Osama bin Laden. …

    At the time of his capture, U.S. officials said the plan was to keep al Libi on board the ship for weeks so the HIG, which can question detainees without advising them of their U.S. constitutional rights, could extract as much intelligence as possible regarding what he knew about current and past al Qaeda plans, personnel and operations.

    However, said the official, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, al-Libi, whose family has said he suffered from Hepatitis C, stopped eating and drinking regularly once on board the ship.


    In Pakistan, there was a fellow who had been at some anthrax planning meetings where KSM was present. He was secretly detained and then eventually returned to his family’s doorstep — dying not long after. He had Hepatitis C as I recall. Those urging that al-Libi should have been taken to Guantanamo need to factor in this health issue. It perhaps more important that the CIA surreptitiously obtained computers he had used in the past. If they can do a rendering they should have been able to do a black bag job on his home computer over the years.

    Will Ali Mohamed come out of federal witness protection — if that is where he is — to testify about the 1993 photo recon of the embassies?

  3. DXer said

    Toward the end – Dr. Vahid Majidi discussed Aldrich Ames, Hanssen and that fellow in Texas who was in touch with Awlaki. After the clueless things Dr. Majidi said about access to Ames, I have absolutely zero confidence that he was up to the job of counterintelligence analysis that the job of FBI WMD head required.

    FBI Director Mueller, according to investigators, was fixated on Dr. Hatfill and a Hatfill-type theory. He seems to have found the right man for the job and his predispositions when he recruited Vahid.

  4. DXer said

    Anas Al-Liby has been captured. He worked alongside Ali Mohamed. Ali Mohamed was the fellow who taught his Silicon Valley colleague, Dahab, a former Cairo Med student, how to mail lethal letters.

    Late 1993-Late 1994: Ali Mohamed and Anas Al-Liby Scout Targets in Africa
    In late 1993, bin Laden asks Ali Mohamed to scout out possible US, British, French, and Israeli targets in Nairobi, Kenya. Mohamed will later confess that in December 1993, “I took pictures, drew diagrams and wrote a report.” Then he travels to Sudan, where bin Laden and his top advisers review Mohamed’s work. In 1994, Mohamed claims that “bin Laden look[s] at a picture of the American Embassy and point[s] to where a truck could go as a suicide bomber.” A truck will follow bin Laden’s directions and crash into the embassy in 1998. Mohamed seems to spend considerable time in Nairobi working with the cell he set up there and conducting more surveillance. He also is sent to the East African nation of Djibouti to scout targets there, and is asked to scout targets in the West African nation of Senegal. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/21/2000; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/11/2001; LA WEEKLY, 5/24/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/16/2004] Much of his work seems to be done together with Anas al-Liby, a top al-Qaeda leader with a mysterious link to Western intelligence agencies similar to Mohamed’s. In 1996, British intelligence will pay al-Liby to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi (see1996), and then will let him live openly in Britain until 2000 (see Late 1995-May 2000). Al-Liby is said to be a “computer wizard” known for “working closely” with Mohamed. [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/13/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 4/5/2001] L’Houssaine Kherchtou, an al-Qaeda member who later turns witness for a US trial (see September 2000), was trained in surveillance techniques in Pakistan by Mohamed in 1992. Kherchtou will claim he later comes across Mohamed in 1994 in Nairobi. Mohamed, Anas al-Liby, and a relative of al-Liby’s use Kherchtou’s apartment for surveillance work. Kherchtou sees al-Liby with a camera about 500 meters from the US embassy. [WASHINGTON FILE, 2/22/2001] Mohamed returns to the US near the end of 1994 after an FBI agent phones him in Nairobi and asks to speak to him about an upcoming trial. [WASHINGTON FILE, 2/22/2001]
    Entity Tags: Ali Mohamed, L’Houssaine Kherchtou, Anas al-Liby, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Osama bin Laden
    Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

    • DXer said

      Both Anas Al-Liby and Ali Mohamed were connected to the man Mohammed Atef, to whom Ayman Zawahiri would report on his anthrax planning.

    • DXer said

      The former Zawahiri associate working alongside Bruce Ivins with virulent Ames and submitting patents about silicone and simethecone and I have a mutual friend who was recruited by Ayman Zawahiri into the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The two both attended Cairo Medical like EIJ lethal letters operative Dahab.

      Did FBI Director Mueller think that the idea of recruiting people without known terrorist ties, did not occur to Ayman Zawahiri, author of the book COVERT OPERATIONS? Dr. Ayman’s book was posted online in Arabic.

      Given the document titled “Cocktail” seized in 1998 by the FBI from the computer of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad intelligence chief Ali Mohammed, did the FBI majorly drop the ball in their counterintelligence analysis led by Jeffrey Taylor while at the Justice and the White House?

      Ali Mohammed, for example, recruited at Cairo Medical School in the early 1980s a medical student named Dahab, son of a prominent Alexandria doctor, to make lethal letters, precisely because of his lack of known terrorist ties.

      Ali Mohammed himself was later a US Army sergeant who taught troops about the Salafist-Jihadis and sent Ayman high-resolution maps of Afghanistan from Ft. Bragg. He briefly worked for the CIA and was an FBI informant (though he was actually a triple agent playing the FBI for a fool).

      Ali Mohammed and Dahab went to Afghanistan and told Bin Laden and Zawahiri that they had recruited 10 sleepers.

      Let me say that again because y’all don’t seem to be paying attention:

      Ali Mohammed and Dahab went to Afghanistan and told Bin Laden and Zawahiri that they had recruited 10 sleepers.

      Does FBI Director Mueller really think that Ali Mohammed chose to recruit people known to have terrorist ties?

      Does the fact that some guy at Ft. Detrick edited Wikipedia and thought the Yankees won too much — and had a crush on a young, attractive co-worker — change the probativeness of the information that the CIA and FBI has had since at least December 2001?

      Director Comey: The FBI provably withheld the documents showing what Ivins was doing in the lab those nights with the rabbits. If you are going to be the last to know that, that’s a problem. Despite your friendship with former Director Mueller, you have to get Amerithrax right.

      Has the federal government’s failure to timely share information (whether between agencies or under FOIA) — or even install a working FBI computer system over the course of the past decade — made itself irrelevant to both maintenance of our national parks and intelligence analysis?

      Absent the resolution of Amerithrax, Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s anthrax threat is as uncontrolled as the volcano under Yellowstone.

    • DXer said

      Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law Suleiman Abu Ghaith treated like royalty on flight to New York, says U.S. marshal
      Brian McHugh testified that Suleiman Abu Ghaith was regularly offered refreshments and allowed to take naps while an FBI agent interrogated him en route from Jordan to New York.


      Read more:

      Comment: The FBI should be sure to show Ali Mohammed’s buddy, Al-Libi, an in-flight movie of his choice on his flight to the US. Will Attorney Cohen, who has been allowed to represent Al Qaeda spokesman Abu Ghaith, represent Al-Libi and complain that some Agent didn’t help the defendant aim his pee? Mass murderers (and their conspirators) shouldn’t whine about not being able to pee straight. It’s unseemly.

    • DXer said

      Ali Mohammed’s right-hand man Dahab worked in Brooklyn for the Blind Sheik’s Services Center. Adnan El-Shukrijumah, who I have urged as the anthrax mailer, was the son of the Blind Sheik’s translator and later Mohammed Atta’s buddy.

      Ali Mohammed would come and train — to include men involved in the 1993 bombing.

      For 12 years, I have urged that Amerithrax was a tree that grew in Brooklyn.

      In 1993 Ali Mohamed then was in Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan.

      1993: Ali Mohamed Sets Up Nairobi Cell; Trains Somalis to Fight US Troops

      Bin Laden asks double agent Ali Mohamed to set up an al-Qaeda cell in Nairobi, Kenya, to support al-Qaeda operations against the US intervention in the neighboring country of Somalia that year. He does so, setting up a cell of a dozen operatives. He creates a car business, a fishing business, and sells scuba diving equipment, luxury automobiles, and diamonds to create income for the cell, and a charity organization to provide operatives with documents. The cell will later plan the 1998 embassy bombings in both Nairobi and nearby Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998). He also helps trains Somali clansmen in the months leading up to a battle that will kill 18 US soldiers (seeLate 1992-October 1993 and October 3-4, 1993). [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/21/2000; RALEIGH NEWS AND OBSERVER, 10/21/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/26/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/11/2001]

      Before October 1993: Al-Qaeda Leaders Travel to Somalia from Monitored Base in Sudan

      Al-Qaeda leaders travel from Khartoum, Sudan, to Mogadishu, Somalia, while US forces are present there. These forces will be attacked shortly afterwards in the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident (see October 3-4, 1993). This is only one of several trips to Somalia at this time (see Late 1992-October 1993).
      Details of Trip – The names of all five operatives who travel are not known, but one of them is Mohammed Atef (a.k.a. Abu Hafs), who will later become al-Qaeda’s military commander. According to Essam al Ridi, the pilot who flies them on the first leg of the journey to Nairobi, Kenya, they are dressed in Saudi, Western, and Yemeni outfits. The trip from Khartoum to Nairobi is arranged by an associate of Osama bin Laden’s named Wadih El-Hage, and the five men continue from Nairobi to Mogadishu in a different aircraft. [UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, 1/14/2001; UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, 5/8/2001] Al Ridi will later say that at some time after the flight he heard the men had gone to Somalia to stir up tribal leaders against American peacekeeping forces. [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/3/2002]
      Surveillance – Bin Laden and his associates are under surveillance in Sudan at this time, by the CIA and Egyptian intelligence (see February 1991- July 1992 and Early 1990s), and the plane used to make the trip to Nairobi is well-known at Khartoum airport and is associated with bin Laden (see (1994-1995)), so the CIA and Egyptians may learn of this trip. However, what action they take, if any, is not known. [UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, 1/14/2001;UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, 5/8/2001] In addition, Sudanese intelligence will later say that only a handful of al-Qaeda operatives travel to Somalia at this time, although it is not known when and how the Sudanese obtain this information. [WRIGHT, 2006, PP. 188]

      October 3-4, 1993: Al-Qaeda Trained Militants in Somalia Kill 18 US Soldiers

      Eighteen US soldiers are killed in Mogadishu, Somalia, in a spontaneous gun battle following an attempt by US Army Rangers and Delta Force to snatch two assistants of a local warlord; the event later becomes the subject of the movie Black Hawk Down. A 1998 US indictment will charge Osama bin Laden and his followers with training the attackers. [PBS FRONTLINE, 10/3/2002]

      Comment by Bin Laden – In a March 1997 interview, bin Laden will say of the Somalia attack, “With Allah’s grace, Muslims over there cooperated with some Arab mujaheddin who were in Afghanistan… against the American occupation troops and killed large numbers of them.” [CNN, 4/20/2001]

  5. DXer said

    In the early 1990s, a man named Nosair, who was the Blind Sheik’s bodyguard, murdered radical rabbi Kehane. According to Nosair, Mohammed Salameh had gone with him the night of the assassination.

    Nosair claims that on the night he shot Kahane dead, he was accompanied by two co-conspirators to the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan where Kahane was speaking – one of whom was also carrying a gun. One of them was Mohammed A. Salameh — the guy who rented the U-Haul truck to bomb WTC 1993 who was at the Yasin address regularly called by the subtilis expert in 1993.


    WTC 1993 participant and Nosair assassination conspirator Mohammed Salameh was there at the Calverton shooting range with Nosair and Ali Mohammed.

    Ali Mohammed is the US Army infiltrator who taught his protege Dahab how to make lethal letters.


    Recruits in Yemen took courses in Islamic law, the ideology of Islamic Jihad, the political history of militant Islamic movements, passport forgery and surveillance. Others said they were taught how to make letter bombs.

    The letter-bomb training was put to use, according to Egyptian investigators. In documents presented to the prosecutors, the investigators said Jihad members were responsible for sending letter bombs from Egypt to ”news organizations outside the country.”

    That apparently was a reference to a spate of letter bombs sent in 1997 from Alexandria, Egypt, to the London, New York and Washington offices of the newspaper Al Hayat. The paper, owned by Saudis, is the leading international Arabic-language newspaper. Two people were injured when one bomb went off in London.

    Ali Mohammed was chief of intelligence for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He recruited a man named Dahab from Cairo Medical in the early 1980s and taught him to send lethal letters.

    In 2002, Eleanor Hill, director of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating intelligence failures prior to the Attacks of September 11, 2001, reported that Osama Bin Laden helped pay for Nosair’s legal defense for his trial for the murder of Kahane.

    Bin Laden Bankrolled Kahane Killer Defense by Greg B. Smith, New York Daily News, October 9th 2002 (retrieved on October 1, 2008).

    Montasser Al-Zayat, the attorney for the Blind Sheik came from Cairo in 1991 to help defend another Egyptian, El Sayyid A. Nosair, who was accused of killing the militant Rabbi Meir Kahane.

    Montasser Al-Zayat was the attorney who announced that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the imprisonment of the blind sheik. He was joined by the Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura members Al-Najjar and Mabruk in explaining that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax.

    Dr. Ayman then did.

  6. DXer said

    Edward Jay Epstein writes in his new book on the annals of unsolved crimes, that the deputy assured the Defense Department executive that all the 150 and 200 scientists who were within the range of the postal district from where the letters were mailed were under surveillance.

    So there was nothing to worry about. The FBI would get their man….

    ….er…. unless Al Qaeda used a cell structure allocating different roles — as they did in all their operations.

    Amerithrax represents the greatest intelligence analysis failure in the history of the United States.

  7. DXer said

    Dr. Zawahiri was very big on cell security and compartmentalization in his planning.

  8. DXer said

    Laurie Garrett writes:

    “[S]ince 1995 the FBI, CIA and local police department counterinsurgency organizations have been separated by a Justice Department policy known as “the Wall.” The FBI didn’t share with the CIA, and vice versa; and nobody shared information with the NYPD or other local police forces. Indeed, the CIA knew prior to September 2001 that some 60 al-Qaeda oepratives had infiltrated the United States, but neither the FBI nor local police forces were told about the domestic movements of terrorist suspects. So threat assessments are made by each police and intelligence organization independently, sometimes with contradictory results.”

  9. DXer said

    Science writer Laurie Garrett explains in I HEARD THE SIRENS SCREAM (July 18, 2011)



    “Not wanting to be caught off guard again, Mueller has ordered the entire FBI to follow up swiftly on any possible links between flight training, pesticides, bioterrorism and al-Qaeda. So today agents are knocking on doors across the River from Ground Zero in Fort Lee, New Jersey near where some of the al-Qaeda operatives are known to have sat, binoculars in hand, looking out their windows just a week ago at the World Trade Center. obody answers the door at, an unassuming office inside a Main Street building, supposedly housing an internet company. The agents are following up on a tip. looking for Syed Athar “Arthur” Abbas, the owner of the company. The landlord and neighbors tell the FBI investigators that Abbas simply disappeared a month ago. Inside the empty business office the FBI finds no trace of what why are looking for: an industrial fine-food particulate mixer, which could be used to stir up a connection of dangerous substances. Specifically, the food processor had the capacity to turn a gooey mess into dry powder.

    Three months ago Pakistani national Abbas had turned up in Fort Lee and paid his rent in advance, in cash. Together with two other unidentified “Middle Eastern” men, as the landlord described them, 32-year Abbas ran a business that seemed to have no customers. Why a company involved in making “cards” would want a $100,000 industrial food mixer is not clear, which raised the FBI’s suspicions. In addition, there is evidence that the money to purchase the mixwer was illegally obtained through an elaborate check-kiting scheme involving banks in California and New Jersey.”

  10. DXer said


    “One potentially important exception to this FBI mindset was one of New York’s top FBI investigators, John O’Neill — a man with an extraordinary talent for connecting the dots. Tragically, although all none of the people who would have benefited from his storehouse of irreplaceable knowledge and instincts knows it yet, O’Neill perished this morning in the World Trade Center.

    Following the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi, suicide bombers answering to Osama bin Laden plowed an explosives-laden skiff into the side of the U.S.S. Cole, a Navy destroyer docked at the port of Aden, Yemen, killing 17 sailors. O’Neill saw the connections between those three events, the 1993 World Trade Center, and a larger st of plans unfolding from bin Laden’s mind. In his New York office, O’Neill created a network of Arabic-speaking agents and al-Qaeda experts, and he formed close ties with the City’s emergency operations office and the NYPD. He was the key player in the Joint Task Force, which pooled the intelligence gathered by the NYPD, local FBI office, and locally-based members of the Secret Service. Together, this remarkable cross-government team reached the conclusion that al-Qaeda had plans to attack New York again. The Joint Task Force possessed the only clear intelligence regarding bin Laden’s interest in biological weapons.”

  11. DXer said

    Case: 10-3916 Document: 74-1 Page: 150 05/10/2011 285923 154

    The government explained in the Aafia Siddiqui trial that her thumb drive referenced specific cells in the United States and attacks by certain cells.

    “Collateral information indicates that on Or about 07/17/08, Ms. Siddiqui was detained by the Afghan
    National Police in Ghazni, Afghanistan. She was accompanied. by a young boy, whom she originally
    described as a war orphan that she had taken care of for the preceding two years, but who ultimately
    turned out to be related to her (through DNA testing) and is thought to be her oldest son. Inher
    possession at the time she was detained, were various documents. chemicals and a computer thumb
    drive, Included in the documents were handwritten notes that referred to a mass casualty attack
    listing various locations in the United States. Other notes referred to construction of dirty bombs,
    chemical and biological weapons, and other explosives, and noted mortality rates associated with
    these. Electronic documents available on the thumb drive included correspondence that referred to
    specific cells and attacks by certain cells, referred to enemies including the United States and
    discussed recruitment and training.”

    The Amerithrax pooch was doomed the minute that the new head of the investigation made the rash and unsupported assumption that the mailer, processor and acquirer of Ames would be the same person. It predetermined the wrong conclusion — and closed the case when that unavoidable wrong conclusion led to the suicide of a man known by the prosecutor to be suicidal. AUSA Lieber specifically advised that Dr. Ivins would commit suicide if released — he therefore should have been arrested if they thought they had evidence against him and taken into protective custody and placed on suicide watch. Of course, as the recent sworn testimony demonstrates, there was no goo reason to think he was guilty of the crime and thus an arrest was not possible.

  12. DXer said

    Senator Graham went to Pakistan two weeks before 9/11 and met with the President of Pakistan and other leading officials.

    SEN. BOB GRAHAM: I was in Pakistan two weeks ago, met with the President and other leading officials of that nation. They are in a very difficult situation. The Taliban started in Pakistan. There are parts of the Pakistani population that feel a strong affinity for the Taliban. Pakistan has been the United States ally for most of the period of the Cold War and was a major staging ground for our support in Afghanistan when we were attempting to eject the Soviet Union. I am optimistic that Pakistan will give us the kind of support such as for air over flights and maybe basing for some of our operations if, in fact, Afghanistan becomes a major target. I think this raises the issue that what we’re facing now is a turning of the page of America. We are going to have a different relationship with the world than we have had in the past. We are going to have to approach terrorism with a greater degree of coordination, both domestically and internationally. We are going to have to make an investment in areas that have been allowed to degrade, particularly our human intelligence, our spies, our technology of eavesdropping, and our ability to analyze the tremendous amount of information that we collect. These are all going to be challenges that this new era will require.

    Bob Graham was in charge of Congressional oversight. What possible justification could there be for not disclosing the lab that Pakistan government scientist Rauf Ahmad visited on behalf of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri on his quest to acquire virulent Ames?

  13. DXer said

    Ali Mohammed would be a fascinating interview. In developing anthrax as a weapon, Dr. Ayman Zawahiri continued to use the same parallel cell structure recommend by Ali Mohammed.

  14. DXer said

  15. DXer said



  16. DXer said

    Anwar argues in the issue that in the normal case, the infiltrator can only keep 4/5 of the booty with 1/5 going to jihad.

    But here he says there are no formal authorities authorizing the infiltration and so the jihadist can keep all of the booty.
    Wall Street Warned About a New Kind of Jihad

    1 Feb 2011

    The cover story, written by Anwar Al-Awlaki, is titled “The Ruling on Dispossessing the Disbelievers wealth in Dar al-harb.” It is a long essay that not only justifies taking the wealth of non-Muslim Westerners, it celebrates taking wealth as better than earning it. What’s more it says that when a jihadist steals money from non-Muslim Westerners, he needed distribute the spoils to Muslim authorities in the way that most other booty captured by Muslims needs to be distributed.

    Typically, according to the article, wealth taken from non-Muslims would have to be distributed according to how it was taken. When wealth is taken by force, it is divided up so that 4/5ths of it goes to the Muslim soldier who took it and 1/5 goes to either funding more jihad, spending for the poor or funding scholars and judges. Wealth that is taken not by force—basically, taxes imposed on non-Muslims—however, goes entirely to “the Muslim treasury.”

    Money taken by theft or embezzlement is a special case. It is not the kind of highway man theft to which the 4/5ths rule usually applies. But it also isn’t taxation. So how does it get distributed?

    Al-Awlaki argues that this depends on the circumstances of the theft. If the thief is authorized and protected by a legitimate Muslim authority to infiltrate the west, then the 4/5th rule applies. However, according to Al-Awaki, in the modern day and age there are no such authorities. So the jihadist thief is always and everywhere basically on his own. In that case, there’s no 4/5th rule—which means the thief gets to keep his wealth. (I should note that Al-Awaki adds that a good jihadist would only keep his wealth to further finance jihad.)

  17. DXer said

    Jan. 29, 2011

    Cairo: Security Vacuum as Police Vanish

    Army Promises Non-Violence Against Anti-Gov’t Demonstrators, But Shootings Continue; Looting Rampant

    (CBS) Last Updated at 1:01 p.m. EST

    CAIRO – Egypt’s Army has made a statement on state television that they would not use violence against the demonstrators, as the unrest in Cairo and other major cities continued into its fifth day.

    Reporting by phone from Cairo (where Internet access is still down), CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer said that there are about 10,000 people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square this evening, and that the curfew is being completely ignored.

    She reports that the army has been driving around in the square with demonstrators hanging off their tanks, giving people rides.

    Demonstrators are chanting, “Down with Mubarak, Mubarak must go,” said Palmer. “They?re not happy with the political sops a new vice president, new prime minister. That’s inadequate for them – they still want an end to Mubarak.”

    Meanwhile, the police have vanished, says Palmer.

  18. DXer said

    Zawahiri’s efforts to develop cells in the United States extends back well over a decade — even two decades.

    For example, Ali Mohammed and Dahab, who he trained to make lethal letters, bragged to Bin Laden that they had recruited a number of indiviuals.

    Tue Jan 25 08:09:56 2011 Pacific Time
    Al-Qaeda Communications Provide Insights Into What Terrorists Want

    DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 25 (AScribe Newswire) — Without any formal direct contact with terrorist organizations, it is difficult for Western nations to answer two fundamental but important questions: What do terrorists want, and how do they plan to achieve it?

    New research examining communications among Al-Qaeda members provides some insights into the core values and beliefs of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization, and could help in designing strategies and policies aimed at preventing future terror attacks.

    Gregory Keeney, a student in the Master of Management Studies program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and Detlof von Winterfeldt, former director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, analyzed the writings and verbal statements of Al-Qaeda’s members and spiritual leaders, primarily from 1998 to 2008.

    Their findings are included in “Identifying and Structuring the Objectives of Terrorists,” published in the December 2010 issue of Risk Analysis, a journal from the Society for Risk Analysis. Their research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).

    Keeney and von Winterfeldt distinguish between several different types of objectives: means objectives (guiding short-term, day-to-day actions); fundamental objectives (guiding medium- to long-term actions); and strategic objectives (guiding all decisions leading to end goals).

    “We found only a few strategic objectives, several fundamental objectives and a large number of means objectives,” Keeney said. “For example, one of Al-Qaeda’s strategic objectives is to inspire and incite Muslims to attack the enemies of Islam. But this likely won’t be achieved without first maintaining support from the Muslim masses. Therefore, maintaining the support of Muslims is a fundamental objective because it contributes to the strategic objective of attacking Islam’s enemies.”

    Analysis of Al-Qaeda verbal statements and writings — including speeches and audio transcripts of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri — reveals five major strategic objectives: 1) Inspire and incite Islamic movements and the Muslim masses of the world to attack the enemies of Islam; 2) Expel Western powers from the Middle East; 3) Destroy Israel; 4) Establish Islamic religious authority in the Middle East; and 5) Extend Islamic authority and religion into new areas of the world.

    Among the fundamental objectives identified by Keeney and von Winterfeldt are Al-Qaeda’s desire to maintain its status as the dominant Islamic terrorist organization, creating homegrown terrorist cells in the U.S. and Europe, attacking U.S. targets, recruiting new followers, and causing economic losses in the U.S.

    Many of the means objectives emerging from Al-Qaeda communications relate to effectively utilizing media to recruit new insurgents, providing instruction on terrorist tactics, and portraying Western nations in a negative light.

    “Al-Qaeda leaders understand that winning the battle of the media requires using the media to achieve your own objectives better than your enemies use the media to achieve their objectives,” Keeney said. “Al-Qaeda produces and distributes its own communications via the Internet, but also tries to influence American media’s reporting on the war on terror.”

    The researchers also believe Al-Qaeda will continue its attempts to develop homegrown terror cells in the West and specifically in America, in keeping with the group’s stated intentions to expand fundamental Islam worldwide.

    “Al-Zawahiri — al-Qaeda’s top strategist — has said, ‘The day will come when we rule the United States — we will rule the whole world,” Keeney said. “Clearly, al-Qaeda sees its battles extending far beyond the Middle East.”

    Based on their research, Keeney and von Winterfeldt advise government and security officials to develop further intelligence on homegrown terror cells in the U.S., to engage more fully in the effort to win Muslim “hearts and minds,” and to create a coordinated media strategy to combat terrorist misinformation and propaganda.

    The complete research report is available at

  19. DXer said

    What was the evidence that Abu Khabab was in charge of Bin Laden’s biowar program rather than merely Project Zabadi insofar as it involved chemical weapons aspirations? Wasn’t Ayman Zawahiri the guy for all things anthrax, as illustrated by Ayman’s correspondence with Rauf Ahmad? I ask only because if Abu Khabab was involved in anthrax planning, then who did he know to recruit in US biodefense. What is biography?

    The Search for Osama’s ‘Sorcerer’: Americans Step Up Their Hunt for the Egyptian in Charge of Osama Bin Laden’s Bio-War Programme.
    Magazine article by Ed Blanche; The Middle East, February 2006

    by Ed Blanche

    According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “Rewards for Justice” website, the Americans have recently posted a $5m reward for information that leads to the capture of this phantom figure believed to be close to Ayman Al Zawahiri, the Egyptian who is Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man and the eminence grise of the militant Islamist organisation.

    The suspicion appears to be that Mursi is planning a bio-war operation, although US officials have not given any indication of what it might involve or where it might be unleashed. If that is correct, the release of people like Taha and Ammash, who played key roles in Saddam’s clandestine weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programmes and are being allowed to leave Iraq, seems to be highly questionable. Europe’s intelligence services have warned that the likelihood of chemical or biological attacks is growing as Islamist extremists extend their cell network across the continent.

    These services say they have thwarted several such attacks in the past, but the threat clearly remains, as was apparent in the 19 December round-up of a suspected Al Qaeda cell by Spanish security authorities. The alleged cell included a Bellarussian identified as Andrey Misura, 30, alias Amin Al Anari, considered an expert in chemical weapons who underwent military training in Chechnya. It is not yet clear whether the suspect was actively involved in preparing a CBW operation, but there have been persistent reports, some based on information gathered from captured extremists, that jihadist leaders like Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, who heads Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, are determined to unleash such attacks.

    Afghanistan was the centre of Al Qaeda’s CBW efforts until the US-led invasion in October 2001 forced the network to disperse, and now Iraq seems to be the focal point with other work being conducted in Chechnya and the Waziristan region of northwest Pakistan where Bin Laden is reputed to be hiding.

    Jordanian authorities claimed in April 2004 to have thwarted a major chemical attack in Amman by Zarqawi’s group and a US Central Intelligence Agency report, released in October 2004, said that another Iraqi group, Mohammed’s Army, largely made up of former military and intelligence personnel from the Saddam regime, hired two chemists to develop crude chemical or biological weapons. But in the seven months before the group, known as the Al Abud network, was uncovered in June 2004 it had failed to produce even a rudimentary weapon. On 25 November 2004, US Marines found a chemical weapons laboratory in the flashpoint city of Falluja that among other materials contained sodium cyanide and hydrochloric acid which if combined, could be used to produce hydrogen cyanide.

    US press reports in late 2004 claimed that US intelligence had intercepted offers by Iran to employ several Iraqi scientists who had worked on Saddam’s weapons programmes, underlining concern that extremist groups might seek the help of these scientists to develop weapons of mass destruction. There are persistent reports that Iraq-based groups continue to seek chemical or biological capabilities.

    Indeed, in September 2004 Zarqawi’s group demanded the release of Taba and Ammash in exchange for British and US hostages his men were holding. The interim Iraqi government refused to free them at that time. Security sources in Baghdad say that the US military had tried to release at least 13 of the high-value detainees, including the two women scientists, in 2004, arguing that since no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq there was little point holding onto them, but Iraqi provisional authorities blocked that because it could have antagonised the majority Shiites who suffered greatly under Saddam’s regime. Now, it seems, the Americans have got their way.

    The US presidential commission that investigated the failure of US intelligence services to prevent 9/11, reported in March 2005 that these agencies had badly under-estimated Al Qaeda’s efforts to develop chemical and biological weapons and still did not have a full understanding of the organisation’s capabilities. That could explain the new focus on Osama bin Laden’s chief chemist, Midhat Mursi Al Sayyid Umar.

    His role in Al Qaeda has never been clear and remains murky to this day, but he is known to be close to Zawahiri, who headed the Jihad group in Egypt that assassinated President Anwar Sadat in October 1981. Even before Mursi was tagged as a key figure in Al Qaeda’s quest for chemical weapons, he was wanted as a bombmaker and expert in poisons with Zawahiri’s Jihad organisation. When Zawahiri went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and eventually link up with Bin Laden, Mursi went along too. But, as far as can be determined, he never became a member of Al Qaeda. Indeed, there are vast gaps in the information known about him–to the extent that of the 14 identifying points listed on the FBI’s reward poster, such as height, complexion, colour of eyes and “characteristics”, 10 are marked “unknown”.

    Mursi is believed to have served with the Egyptian Army as an ordnance expert and before he became involved in Bin Laden’s Project Al Zabadi he ran a training camp at Al Qaeda’s Darunta complex in Afghanistan about 120km east of Kabul and specialised in training suicide bombers in bombmaking. Computer files on Project Al Zabadi uncovered in Afghanistan in 2002, showed that bin Laden gave Mursi a start-up budget of $4,000 in May 1999 to get the project off the ground. He had to account for the money, so he videotaped his experiments that included using what seemed to be hydrogen cyanide on dogs, and documented his work on developing what one report identified as Agent X, possibly anthrax.

    According to western CBW experts who examined Mursi’s operation he appeared to be experimenting rather than actually producing weapons-grade stocks, and the presumption is that he has continued his efforts elsewhere. But no one seems to know where. When Al Qaeda dispersed during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, he apparently went to the Pankisi Gorge region in Georgia with other Al Qaeda luminaries to find refuge with Chechen jihadis and began planning bioweapons attacks, employing largely North African personnel.

    Details are scant, but he has been linked to at least three CBW plots in Europe since 2001, involving either Zarqawi or Salafist cells from Algeria. It is not clear whether he was involved in the ambitious CBW plot in Jordan in 2004, but intelligence indicates that he has for some time been linked to the Kashmir-based Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba, increasingly seen as Al Qaeda’s main affiliate in Asia and which has been active in Australia. The prospect of an alliance between Mursi and the Iraqi scientists is a troubling one–unless, of course, the Iraqis are simply being used as bait to draw Mursi out of the shadows.

  20. DXer said

    In light of the memo “Cocktail” taken from the Egyptian Islamic Jihad’s chief of intelligence Ali Mohammed’s computer in 1998 in Silicon Valley, wasn’t the FBI’s approach misguided?

    DECLASSIFIED from 9/11 Commission

    Event: Joe Billy, Special Agent in Charge for Counterterrorism, New York Field Office
    Type of Event: Interview
    Date: January 20, 2004
    Special Access Issues: None
    Prepared by: Michael Jacobson
    Team number: 6
    Location: FBI, New York Field Office
    Participants Non-Commission: FBI Supervisory Special Agent Hank Allison
    Participants – Commission: Peter Rundlet and Michael Jacobson

    Role of HQ and White House in high profile investigations

    There is a lot of oversight on the high profile cases. Some of his cases get briefed
    to the White House and to the Hill. It does force the field to be more engaged, Billy
    noted, on the positive side of things. He doesn’t feel though that his investigations are
    being run out of Washington. He is very much in control of his own cases. If a plot is
    being discussed or if a weapon of mass destruction is potentially involved, then this will
    be high on Washington’s radar screen. The routine CT cases do not get a lot of second
    looks from Washington. In those cases, they rely on people in the field to run them. But a
    lot of cases, Billy noted, can make the daily threat matrix.
    WMD investigations, in particular anything concerning a plot using poisons,
    industrial chemicals, etc get the most attention. This will get the interest of the White
    House. He doesn’t feel though that people are looking over their shoulders.

    AI-Oa’ida’s!presence in the U.S.

    As the US makes it more difficult to get into the country, the belief is that these
    groups will be looking to use US persons to become more involved. These might include
    African American Muslims who are i1prison. Billy has wondered whether these might
    be the next wave of operatives. Or maybe the animal rights groups? The FBI has to be
    more focused than it has been on what’s going on in this country. They have to develop
    sources here as well.

    Bin Ladin has supporters and sympathizers in NY. But as to whether these people
    are actually willing to perpetrate a terrorist act? He’s not so sure. O’Neill was concerned
    about the people in the US who were supportive of Bin Ladin,

    Billy is in favor of a centralized approach to CT. 1 office can’t have all of the
    expertise. This is a national problem. They’ve heard from informants that the “heat” is
    on in NY, and terrorist group members and supporters have been told to go to other cities
    with less law enforcement attention.

    NY’s focus today is trying to identify people in the U.S. who could be facilitators
    for al-Qa’ida. They are doing the phone work and this type of investigation in an effort
    to identify them.

    Billy thinks that pre 9/11 they were focused on al-Qa’ida too narrowly. They
    were always looking narrowly at al-Qa’ida involvement, and not at other groups
    influenced by al-Qa’ida. WFO was focused “a little” on al-qa’ida pre 9/11.

    NY FBI focus on overseas pre 9/11

    Billy thinks that it’s a fair criticism that the New York FBI office was more
    focused overseas, and less on what was in their own backyard prior to 9/11. From 1993-
    2001, NY’s focus was overseas. Even in the Oklahoma City bombing, everyone thought
    that it was a Middle East terrorist group initially. There were only 6~7 JTTF squads pre
    9/11 and the personnel spent a lot oftirne overseas. If they are overseas, that means that
    they are not here developing contacts in the communities and building relationships at the
    The FBI’s focus as of9/11 was in being hit overseas. It’s interesting that even
    John O’Neill thought that 9/11 was an accident. It didn’t occur to him that the attack was
    al-Qa’ida, Initially, he thought that it was an accident, because everyone was so focused
    on an overseas attack. The potential to be attacked overseas was far greater. In NY, they
    looked at the threat pre 9/11 primarily as an overseas threat against US interests. It was a
    shadowy cast of people operating mainly outside of the U.S.
    Billy is trying to get D’ Amuro to send fewer NY agents overseas. They still have
    the expertise, but they can’t afford to deplete NY. They have to keep the NY agents in
    touch with the local communities.

    Billy’s big concern is a simultaneous al-Qa’ida attack in the US and overseas.

    • DXer said

      Declassified 911 Commission interview

      Date: December 4, 2003
      Participants Non-Commission: DOJ Assistant General Counsel Bob Sinton
      Participants – commission Caroline Barnes and Peter Rundlet

      [interview of CIA detailee to FBI with 24 years experience at CIA]


      Forty-seven percent of the analyst cadre (most are in the Field) do not have college degrees. Many are good, but are performing mostly tactical support, and with limited sources of information.

      Would Current Structure Have Prevented 9111? Probably not. There was a massive
      amount of reporting on the threat overseas, and the FBI only had two weeks to locate
      Hazmi and Midhar. Even if they had located them, there were 17 others involved. Was
      Moussaoui actually involved in the 9-11 plot? He isn’t sure. The 19 hijackers appeared
      to do nothing illegal, and they came in clean, committed and willing to die. He thinks the
      FBI would have a better chance now of stopping such an attack, but it would still be

      • DXer said

        Comment: Judging from the documents produced, the FBI was first faxed the 16 pages about the visit by the former Zawahiri associate to work with virulent Ames alongside Bruce Ivins on February 2005.

        Did the FBI learn anything from the 911 Commission or not?

        Did the US biodefense establishment?

        FBI Miami Field Office JTTF) Interview
        October 3, 2003

        Participant Non-commission: FBI Assistant General Counsel Robert S.Sinton
        ‘Participants Commission: Lance Cole and Christine Healy

        “Views on FBI’s Counterterrorism Activities. With regard to counterterrorism
        intelligence analysis’ _____thinks “FBI “doesn’t currently do analysis.” FBI analysts
        are frequently reassigned from one position to another and therefore lose continuity.
        Analysts in one FBI office don’t talk to analysts in other offices so there is insufficient
        information sharing. Moreover FBI analysts don’t communicate with analysts at other
        intelligence agencies. … FBI’s intelligence analysis capability also is
        hampered by a lack of concern … outside the geographical jurisdiction of a
        particular field office. He believes it would ‘”take years” for the FBI to develop satisfactory
        analytical and reporting capability. ______ emphasized that the FBI “must stop moving them
        [analysts] around all the time.” _____ critical because intelligence work it takes
        time to develop the necessary expertise in a particular area.”

  21. DXer said

    Here, Judy Miller describes her first meeting with Bill Patrick in 1997:

    “Then this seemingly cheerful father of two led us downstairs to his basement office, as he had legions of other students of the black bio-arts, to give us a PowerPoint tutorial on how germ weapons were made, stored, and distributed. He patiently answered our questions about how bacteria, viruses, and other deadly pathogens could be used as weapons of mass destruction. Near the end of our session, he pulled a garden sprayer out of a green duffel bag and vigorously pumped it several times, producing a large cloud of fine particles that hung in the air like fog. If this were anthrax, he told us, we would all soon be dead. Offering me a memento of our class, he put a vial of the simulated anthrax in my purse and scribbled his home number on the stationery of his one-man consulting firm, Biothreats Assessment. It was topped with an image of the Grim Reaper. A skull and crossbones were engraved on the business card he handed me. Call any time, he said merrily.”

    Given the willingness of FBI anthrax experts to share information on how to weaponize anthrax, should it be a surprise that infiltrators learned the tricks of processing anthrax given the total lack of biosecurity that existed in 2001?

    Even today, aren’t all these contractors and government workers just focused on their career and profit and oblivious to the task at hand?

    See for example Rauf Ahmad letter to Ayman Zawahiri explaining that he had learned the tricks of weaponizing anthrax from an attendee at one of the annual special pathogens conferences sponsored by Porton Down and attended by the FBI’s anthrax experts.

    Non-citizen Tarek taught by Ayman Zawahiri’s sister Heba just a few years earlier (getting his PhD from Cairo Medical in 1996) (and distraught over her brother Mohammed’s rendering) — was allowed to show up at Ft. Detrick — with Bruce not even knowing he was a non-citizen until he arrived. His purpose? To be supplied with virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins.

    Isn’t James Baker responsible for not communicating to Bruce Ivins that Tarek was a non-citizen and there would need to be formal vetting and approval? Was it the sort of thing that could be done on the fly by email? (No).

    What aerosol tricks did Former Colleague #2, Ivins’ chief accuser Patricia Fellows, teach Tarek Hamouda that she might be defensive about?

    Did the folks with no background on Ayman Zawahiri’s planning who have appeared at press conferences ever stand a chance against Ayman Zawahiri’s determined efforts to infiltrate US biodefense?

    While Jennifer A.L. Smith says she does not want to undermine the FBI by any public comments, doesn’t the botched result in Amerithrax sit squarely on HER doorstep?

    Did these folks ever stand a chance at detecting the infiltration when all indications are that they were first getting the key 16 pages faxed on February 2005?

    Isn’t that, without more, proof of investigative incompetence? (rebuttable only if documents not disclosed were obtained and followed-up earlier in late 2001 and early 2002).

    Especially given the FBI’s technical failure to maintain “transparent” wiretaps (which cannot be detected by the target), is it any surprise that all targets are hardened and unproductive?

    See especially the memo titled “Cocktail” found on the computer of his chief of intelligence that instructed on the principles of cell security that would be followed.

    Isn’t the intelligence failure ultimately one of the IC in Cairo who failed to obtain the evidence of membership in the Egyptian Islamic Group, for example, when it was lawful and dominant at the medical school?

    Relatedly, is Egyptian security part of the problem or part of the solution?

    Based on what my friend Magdy tells me, I think it is part of the problem.

    The USG has no idea what information is going to come out — the USG has no control over it whatsoever.

  22. DXer said

    Meanwhile on Tuesday, the police in Cyprus arrested the man known as Christopher R. Metsos, the last of the spying suspects to be detained, and American officials disclosed that they had moved to make arrests over the weekend because one of the people suspected of being Russian agents, who called himself Richard Murphy, was planning to fly out of the United States on Sunday night, possibly for good.

    After years of painstaking surveillance, the F.B.I. did not want any of its targets to escape, and “you can’t take down one without taking down all of them,” one law enforcement official said.

    Comment: This is why there has been such unprecedented secrecy regarding Al-Timimi matter (to even include the warrantless NSA wiretapping from which all but two US DOJ officials were kept in the dark).

    This is why they used the pretext of OPERATION IMMINENT HORIZON as a cover for what they needed to do regarding Amerithrax.

    This is why they compartmentalized the operation leaving even top scientists scratching dirt rather than digging up bones.

    The secrecy, though, in the end was the downfall and led to a failed investigation and a continued anthrax threat posed by the Vanguards of Conquest.

    The infiltration was so deep and successful that it succeeded in leading the investigation astray.

    This will be FBI Director Mueller’s legacy.

  23. DXer said

    There is a new item on ProMed.

  24. DXer said

    Obama Obstructs Oversight of FBI in Anthrax Case

    AIM Column | By Cliff Kincaid | March 24, 2010

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