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

* Ken Dillon asks … Who Was the Real Anthrax Mailer? … the key people in the anthrax mailings were not Bruce Ivins or Steven Hatfill … instead, they appear to have been Ali al-Timimi and Abderraouf Jdey.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 28, 2010

to learn more about Lew Weinstein and his novels,

go to … http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/

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al-Timini … Bailey … Alibek … Jdey

Ken Dillon asks … Who Was the Real Anthrax Mailer?

  • There’s a gaping hole in the FBI’s argument that U.S. Government scientist Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer.
  • In addition to the 100 scientists with access to virulent anthrax from Ivins’s flask whom the FBI claims to have ruled out, one unauthorized individual had a special kind of access-the kind you get when you steal something.
  • Hovering in proximity to an unlocked refrigerator with the anthrax at George Mason University was Islamic ideologue Ali al-Timimi, who in early 2001 was studying for a Ph.D in computational biology.
  • Al-Timimi has since been arrested and sentenced for inciting Muslims in Virginia to travel to Pakistan to fight against U.S. forces.
  • (Note: The GMU researchers used what is known as Delta Ames.)
  • Al-Timimi’s office was right around the corner from the offices of Charles Bailey and Ken Alibek, co-principal investigators on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded anthrax project.
  • Bailey was a former deputy commander of USAMRIID at Fort Detrick, Maryland, where he had been a boss of Bruce Ivins.
  • Alibek was the former deputy director of the Soviet biowarfare program. Bailey and Alibek had partnered on a patent application for a method of preparing anthrax that would closely resemble the sophisticated preparation in the letters mailed to Senators Daschle and Leahy.
  • As a computer expert, al-Timimi presumably knew how to access Bailey’s poorly secured computer to obtain this application.

All these details and more have been worked out by attorney Ross Getman, a leading researcher on the anthrax mailings case.

  • Getman found several other labs where al Qaeda may have gained access to the anthrax
  • Al-Timimi does not show up in FBI’s report on the case, which dismisses the possibility that any foreign entity was involved in the anthrax mailings.

Assuming that al-Timimi indeed stole the anthrax and the instructions, here is what then seems to have happened.

  • Al-Timimi provided the anthrax to a scientist who sympathized with al Qaeda and who had a lab somewhere along the Canadian border (according to the isotope ratios in the water used to prepare the anthrax).
  • When it was ready, al-Timimi gave it to Mohamed Atta. Atta and his group of intending hijackers in Florida unsuccessfully sought to obtain a cropduster, and they evidently handled the anthrax themselves, infecting themselves in the process.
  • As September 11 neared, Atta contacted Abderraouf Jdey in Montreal.
  • Jdey, a Canadian citizen of Tunisian origin who had trained in Afghanistan, had been designated first as an alternate hijacker, then as a part of the second wave of attacks.
  • He returned to Canada in the summer of 2001 and was detained by FBI and INS together with intending pilot Zacarias Moussaoui. Jdey was carrying biology textbooks.
  • Atta appears to have handed over the vials of anthrax to Jdey in Portland, Maine on September 10, which powerfully explains Atta’s otherwise anomalous trip to Portland on the day before the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Jdey, whose modus operandi involved travelling to sites in the northeastern U.S., wrote and mailed the anthrax letters in September and October. In November he left his apartment in Montreal, drove to New York, boarded American Airlines Flight #587 on November 12, and brought it down with a shoebomb.

The FBI seems to have learned of Jdey’s likely role as the anthrax mailer in 2004, when this writer contacted the Bureau about Jdey.

  • Investigating further, FBI appears to have found confirmatory evidence.
  • But then-because Jdey was a terrific embarrassment-it suppressed the information it had developed, removed the note in his online biography that he had studied biology, listed him as one of the terrorists it was still hunting for, and searched for a new anthrax mailings suspect.

Eventually, the FBI focused on capable, dedicated, patriotic, and psychologically vulnerable Bruce Ivins.

  • Under the pressure of FBI questioning and surveillance, Ivins became unhinged and committed suicide.
  • Then the FBI accused him of having perpetrated the anthrax mailings, produced a collection of circumstantial evidence, and closed the case on February 19, 2010.

FBI Director Robert Mueller told a 2008 Senate committee that he thought Ivins was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

  • Beyond a reasonable doubt? Given the weak evidence and the widespread skepticism among experts and the public, this is an extreme statement that lacks any credibility.
  • In fact, the key people in the anthrax mailings were not Bruce Ivins or Steven Hatfill, his predecessor as the FBI’s target.
  • Instead, they appear to have been Ali al-Timimi and Abderraouf Jdey.
  • And the key person in the investigation was FBI Director Robert Mueller himself.

Kenneth J. Dillon is a retired foreign service officer who writes books on science and teaches history as an adjunct at Marymount University.  A detailed discussion of the roles of al-Timimi, Jdey, and FBI in the anthrax mailings case can be found at scientiapress.com

read the entire article at … http://www.aim.org/aim-column/who-was-the-real-anthrax-mailer/

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78 Responses to “* Ken Dillon asks … Who Was the Real Anthrax Mailer? … the key people in the anthrax mailings were not Bruce Ivins or Steven Hatfill … instead, they appear to have been Ali al-Timimi and Abderraouf Jdey.”

  1. DXer said

    Russiagate Cover-Up Artist Robert Mueller

  2. DXer said

    Judge Rules Terrorist Records FOIA Exempt
    By KEVIN LESSMILLER
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/05/05/judge-rules-terrorist-records-foia-exempt.htm

    – The FBI rightfully withheld documents about two terror suspects because they were exempt from disclosure, a federal judge ruled Friday.
    Kenneth Dillon filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI in 2011, seeking records about the August 2011 detention and arrest of terrorism conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. Dillon later narrowed his request for records about Moussaoui referencing cropdusting or biological or chemical terrorism.
    He also sought records about the detention of al-Qaida operative Abderraouf Jdey, the ruling states.
    The FBI initially denied the request, except for public records, based on FOIA privacy exemptions. Dillon appealed and the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy, or OIP, instructed the FBI to search for responsive records.
    The bureau then released to Dillon 91 non-exempt pages about Moussaoui but decided that Jdey’s records were exempt from disclosure because they were part enforcement proceedings, according to Friday’s ruling. ***

    Comment: Note that we know that Adnan El-Shukrijumah is dead.

    The USG concedes that. Thus, the privacy exemption does not apply.

    The USG, however, disputes that there is sufficient evidence that Jdey is dead

  3. DXer said

    Someone in effect has asked: If Jdey was part of the “planes operation” (and connected to Hambali, KSM etc.) — and he was strongly motivated by the Blind Sheik’s detention — why couldn’t he have been the anthrax mailer rather than Adnan Shukrijumah? It is an especially interesting proposition because the top CIA person in the Harvard WMD report has said that Jdey was detained (I don’t know by who) at the same time as Moussaoui but then released.

    In other words, why should Shukrijumah coming to the US (according to the FBI) sometime after September 1, 2001, exclude Jdey as the mailer?
    (Indeed, might Jdey have met Atta in Portland?)

    That reasonable question is why I’m a big supporter of Ken Dillon’s efforts in a pending lawsuit under FOIA. I would be pleased as peach if it turns out that Jdey is the mailer. Note that the BOLO issued jointly for Shukrijumah and Jdey — they were acting in concert as part of the planes operation.

    With a $5 million BOLO on Jdey’s head — and with it said that it is feared he will return to North America for an attack — I don’t see how plaintiff’s counsel will get around the various (belatedly) invoked FOIA exemptions. But I haven’t studied the briefing. And his counsel is the national security FOIA expert.

    Given the great length of FBI FOIA head Dave Hardy’s affidavit, I try to be understanding of disappointing FOIA responses — and try to take into account the voluminous requests USG FOIA people have to address each week. Given limits in funding, at some point their job seems to be distributing levels of disappointment as reasonably as possible.

    The response to the motion for summary judgment has now been extended from yesterday to today.

    “MINUTE ORDER granting 32 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. In light of the defendant’s consent, and for good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that the plaintiff’s motion for an extension of time to file his opposition to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment is hereby GRANTED, and the plaintiff shall file his opposition on or before October 18, 2014. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on October 17, 2014. (lcrbw1) (Entered: 10/17/2014)”

    Note that I have not yet seen sufficient corroboration that Jdey has been in Somalia — rather than dead. But with El-Shukrijumah rumored to have come to the US in 2014 and the vague reports that Jdey’s arrival is feared, it will be interesting to see the developments this Fall.

    • DXer said

      As for the details of Ken’s analysis about the location of an anthrax lab, I think there is not good support for his theory as to the existence of a second lab. The anthrax lab is known to have been in Kandahar, Afghanistan. There is no indication that two anthrax labs were up and running simultaneously — with one in Afghanistan and one in the US.

      Let’s turn to scientific matter of Ehleringer’s isotope analysis and his map of isotope ranges in the water used to grow the anthrax. Let’s turn to the map and ask Agent Decker: why did the FBI find that it could not rely on Ehleringer’s analysis as to geographic location that the anthrax was grown? You rely on anthrax smelling dogs but not Ehleringer’s careful, peer reviewed work? Dr. Decker, in your blog, please explain how the scientific findings of isotope ratios associated with the water used to grow the anthrax help prove or are consistent with Dr. Ivins’ guilt — rather than contradict it.

      Although Agent Decker is the one in a better position to tell us, by way of background, the FBI scientists reportedly were able to distinguish between water isotopes ratios in the anthrax. Brian Williams reports that investigators have told NBC that the water used to make the spores came from the Northeastern United States. Researchers have been able to establish that anthrax grown in water in the Northeastern United States is distinguishable from anthrax grown in water from the Southeast and Pacific Northwest. In one published anthrax study, researchers grew Bacillus subtilis, a harmless bacteria that resembles Bacillus anthracis, using local water from five different U.S. cities. The scientists were able to distinguish those grown in various cities. The method can be used to narrow the number of possible origins of the water based on the number of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes. Interviewer Kestenbaum said: “Ehleringer is now creating a map showing how the isotope ratios of water vary anthrax was grown, it may rule some places out.” As defined by the Census Bureau, the Northeast region of the United States covers nine states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. A scientist explained the research in an NPR interview in 2004.

      I infer from the NBC report that from the isotope ratios, authorities believed either that the anthrax was grown in one of the yellow (or perhaps light green) areas on Dr. Ehleringer’s map, but not one of the dark green, blue or red areas. The yellow swath includes much of the Northeastern United States — places like Manhattan, and Syracuse, NY as well as places like Ann Arbor and Minneapolis. Islamabad and Baghdad can be excluded. What about Kandahar? (I will need to pull the map showing the ribbon like ranges). Pretty much all foreign locations apparently can be excluded (except for parts of Canada), along with places with comparable oxygen isotope ratios such as Central New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio. Outside of the United States, pretty much only the adjacent parts of Canada above Northeastern US (e.g., parts of Ontario and Quebec) match the yellow swath that the scientists found distinguishing. Note again that under Ehleringer’s analysis Maryland apparently can be EXCLUDED. (But he is the expert to address that). The authors of one of the key articles specifically noted that they couldn’t distinguish between North Carolina and Ohio — the dark green. Similarly, they can’t distinguish between Central New Jersey and North Carolina (again, the dark green). The key studies in the peer reviewed literature indicate that they were funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. Someone needs to pay the bills.

      Ehleringer and his colleagues published a March 2007 article titled “Stable isotope ratios of tap water in the contiguous United States” in “Water Resources Research.” The study was funded by the “federal government.” The raw data survey results have been embargoed by the federal government.” (The agency would usually be identified). In other water isotope ratio studies the funding agency was identified as the CIA or whatever agency it was — it varied. Perhaps this March 2007 study was funded by the Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Investigation and was done specifically for the purpose of laying the scientific groundwork of a prosecution in Amerithrax. But, GAO, is it that the results did not fit the FBI’s Ivins Theory and so they were discarded?

      Separately, a press release announced in September 2003 that University of Maryland researchers have developed a technique to help the FBI track the origins of deadly anthrax spores by identifying the medium used to grow it. The FBI asked Maryland professor Catherine Fenselau to turn her mass spectrometry lab to the forensic task of sleuthing how bacillus spores, such as anthrax, are prepared. While the Utah scientist in this study was looking at the tap water, Helen W. Kreuzer-Martin, the Maryland scientist in a study published in April 2007 titled “Stable Isotope Ratios and the Forensic Analysis of Microorganisms,” was looking at the nutrients in the culture. The DOJ/FBI likely hopes to put all the data together with the more familiar reasons to suspect someone (means, motive, modus operandi and opportunity), and put on a case that to a moral certainty proves it was committed by the perp(s). Here, based on this new science, the FBI hoped there would be a smoking petri dish. By all accounts, there wasn’t.

      As I recall, by looking at the oxygen, hydrogen and deuterium geospatial distribution, authorities can more precisely identify where the water came from. For example, the deuterium map might be relied upon to eliminate an ambiguity left by the range indicated by the oxygen and hydrogen maps.

      Selected Sources:

      Bowen, G. J., J. R. Ehleringer, L. Chesson, E. Stange, and C. E. Cerling. 2007. “Stable isotope ratios of tap water in the contiguous USA,” Water Resour. Res. 43:W03419.
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006WR005186/full

      Kreuzer-Martin, H. W., L. A. Chesson, M. J. Lott, J. V. Dorigan, and J. R. Ehleringer, “Stable isotope ratios as a tool in microbial forensics. 2. Isotopic variation among different growth media as a tool for sourcing origins of bacterial cells or spores,” J. Forensic Sci. 49:961-967 (2004).
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=retrieve&list_uids=15461095&dopt=AbstractPlus

      Kreuzer-Martin, H. W., L. A. Chesson, M. J. Lott, and J. R. Ehleringer, “Stable isotope ratios as a tool in microbial forensics. 3. Effect of culturing on agar-containing growth media,” J. Forensic Sci. 50:1372-1379 (2005).
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=retrieve&db=pubmed&list_uids=16382831&dopt=AbstractPlus

      Kreuzer-Martin, H. W., M. J. Lott, J. Dorigan, and J. R. Ehleringer, “Microbe forensics: oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope ratios in Bacillus subtilis cells and spores,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100:815-819 (2003).
      http://www.pnas.org/content/100/3/815.abstract?ijkey=fab4cbbab441ba7dff87548c7f41866771a131bb&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

      • DXer said

        At the same time, I prompted a recall of bottled water brands throughout the Northeast United States. I’ve had bottled water tested from around the US and around the world.

        While I could tell you which major soft drink company sold a well-known water imported from Mexico with higher than legal levels of arsenic, this ratio isotope analysis — the subject of Ehleringer and Kreuzer-Martin’s analysis — is not something I came to understand. Once I hit the phrase Bayesian analysis my interest faltered. I like my evidence black and white and actionable — or not.

        Syracuse lawyer spurs water recalls
        Friday, September 01, 2006
        By James T. Mulder
        A Syracuse lawyer trying to rid soft drink vending machines from schools is behind a growing recall of bottled water by Upstate grocery stores.

        The recalls began Aug. 11, when Wegmans Food Markets Inc. announced it was pulling its own brand of water from shelves because tests showed higher-than-acceptable levels of bromate, a chemical compound created during the disinfection process. Long-term exposure to bromate can increase consumers’ risk of cancer, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

        Since then, P&C and Kinney Drugs have recalled their store brands of bottled water for the same reason. …

        Syracuse lawyer Ross Getman triggered the recalls after independent tests he had conducted by a certified lab showed Wegmans water had elevated bromate levels. The FDA limit for bromate in bottled water is 10 parts per billion. Getman said his tests showed levels of 27 parts per billion and 28 parts per billion in the Wegmans water. He contacted Wegmans and Mayer Brothers.

        “His call started a series of tests done by Wegmans and its suppliers and ultimately it ended in our recall of our products,” said Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale.

        ***

        Getman said he expects other regional retailers whose water he tested to announce recalls because of high bromate levels in the next few days.

        “We just wanted the bottle water sellers to know their work is being checked and they have got to be up on their game in avoiding contaminants,” he said.

        He praised Wegmans for acting quickly to recall the product and Mayer Brothers for addressing the problem.

        ***
        Getman said regulation of bottled water is lax and there is a need for more testing.

      • DXer said

        Look at the yellow and light green swaths on the maps. Aren’t the yellow and light green swaths that characterize Northeastern United States also throughout much of Afghanistan — to include Kandahar in southern Afghanistan? Didn’t the same range exist there (as in the Northeastern United States) but NOT in Maryland?

        It will require experts such as Dr. Ehleringer to tell the GAO. The MSNBC report only focused on the United States.

        Agent Decker: Didn’t the isotope ratio analysis point away from Ft. Detrick (in Frederick, Maryland) and toward Yazid Sufaat’s lab in Kandahar, Afghanistan?

        http://wateriso.utah.edu/waterisotopes/pages/data_access/figure_pgs/asia.html

        http://wateriso.utah.edu/waterisotopes/pages/data_access/figures.html

  4. DXer said

    For full sized graphics done on these issues, see

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    For a 4-page overview containing thumbnail images, see

    Ayman Zawahiri, Anwar Awlaki, Anthrax, and Amerithrax: The Infiltration Of US Biodefense
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/ayman-zawahiri-anwar-awlaki-anthrax-and-amerithrax-the-infiltration-of-us-biodefense/

  5. DXer said

  6. DXer said

    I guess it is an unknowable empirical question as to how many people for this trial were motivated by holiday pay and yet upon an attack would be deterred by an anthrax aerosol.

    Fighting terrorists, via the mailbox

    By JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY
    Last update: August 5, 2010

    Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds — and nor will an anthrax attack.

    About 400 U.S. Postal Service employees, mostly mail carriers, have volunteered in Minneapolis and St. Paul to participate in a pilot project that could make carriers a first line of defense in any bioterrorism attack using the lethal anthrax bacteria.

    ***

    That’s where postal carriers come in. They would deliver a container with 20 antibiotic pills to every household, plus information on how to take the medication.

    “Using postal home delivery would take pressure off the mass dispensing clinics,” Ferguson said.

    Two years ago the Twin Cities area was chosen for a pilot project to see whether such a plan could work. About 400 postal employees volunteered, about 60 percent of the staffs at post offices that serve ZIP codes beginning with 551 and 554.

    They’ve been trained and have already received the masks, other protective equipment and antibiotics they would need in the event of an attack, said Pete Nowacki, a Postal Service spokesman.

    Sometime next year, he said, emergency planning officials hope to conduct a test of the postal option, probably on a Sunday or a holiday without mail service. The volunteer carriers would fan out across their assigned routes and drop empty pill containers into mailboxes — along with a note saying “this is a test.”

  7. DXer said

    They found a vial of dry powdered anthrax from South Africa. Was that the “national security sample” he had been asked to examine?

  8. Anonymous said

    http://ejdissectingroom.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/anthrax-dr-ivins-and-the-missing-autopsy/

    Anthrax, Dr. Ivins, and the Missing Autopsy
    By EJDissectingRoom

    On July 27, 2008, Dr. Bruce Ivins, the subject of intense investigation by the FBI in the anthrax poison case of 2001, was found unconscious in his Maryland home. Removed by ambulance to the hospital, he died there on July 29. Based on hospital blood tests and police reports, it was concluded that death was caused by an overdose of Tylenol® PM, and that the manner of death was suicide. No autopsy was performed, and the body was promptly cremated. Investigators insisted that evidence showed Dr. Ivins was the anthrax killer, that he acted alone, and that suicide implied guilt.

    The lack of autopsy shows a curious lack of curiosity on the part of authorities. Autopsies are performed not only to establish the mechanism and manner of death, but to explore the health, condition and circumstances of the deceased prior to the terminal event.

    Given Dr. Ivins’ history of bizarre behavior, the considered opinions of a forensic pathologist, a neuro-pathologist, and a forensic psychologist would have been appropriate. Was Tylenol® the only drug in the blood? Were disease processes present that might have accounted for his bizarre behavior? If this were truly a case of suicide, was the pressure of scrutiny-rather than guilt-the trigger? Was this a matter of ignoring Sherlock Holmes famous directive “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. .”

    On February 19, 2010, the US Department of Justice released a report which, it claimed, proved that Dr. Bruce Ivins, acting alone, committed the anthrax poisonings . The 92 page document (available at http://justice.gov/amerithrax/docs/amx-investigative-summary.pdf) ends emphatically: “Based on the evidence set forth above, the investigation into the anthrax letter attacks of 2001 has been concluded.”

    But the DOJ report is not evidence. It is a collection of statements and observations made by largely unidentified individuals, whose credibility is not established. Damning interpretations are placed on each of Dr. Ivins’ eccentric actions. Alternative possibilities are simply not considered.

    The absence of an autopsy report was not mentioned. The lack of forensic attention in a case of such historic importance inevitably raises reasonable doubt as to the FBI’s conclusion. Autopsies are routinely done even when the manner of death appears evident. Hospital investigations, orchestrated by personnel with no forensic training have a history of dangerous mistakes. The next post on this blog will delve into cases solved by autopsy.

    E. J. Wagner – as always – pursuing verity

  9. DXer said

    The lead investigator Montooth, told the Washington Post: “When you go to the true experts and ask them how many people can develop [anthrax spores] into something with this purity and this concentration, they shake their heads.” “Some will say there are perhaps six. Others will say maybe a dozen.” The Washington Post reports: “But drying the spores turned out to be no obstacle at all, FBI scientists said. It required only one more step, using a common laboratory machine known as a lyophilizer. Ivins had one in his lab.” In contrast, the head of the Air Force lab, expert at making anthrax simulants, advises me by email: “The Amerithrax spores were neither freeze dried nor milled. I have seen both and the Amerithrax had characteristics of neither.” Dr. Alibek, who once thought a spraydryer likely was used, told me that he later came to think a fluid bed dryer was used. In September 2008, Dr. Serge Popov of the GMU Center for Biodefense has explained a far simpler method based on his experience involving a tin container.

    In an October 16, 2008 letter to the academy, Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), a member of the House intelligence committee, asked the National Academies of Science to investigate whether the bureau’s scientific discoveries were “inconsistent with the FBI’s conclusions.” Jennifer Smith is a retired FBI agent and biochemist who also worked for the CIA and now leads BioForensic Consulting. Smith was involved in the agency’s DNA unit when the investigation began. She told the NAS panel in July 2009: “I want to say that I hope this committee is able to see information that was shared … even if that information might currently be housed within the classified files,” she said. Alice Gast, the committee chairwoman and president of Lehigh University, said the academy has the ability to pursue classified materials. The study will deepen as the group learns more and asks additional questions, she said. “Really it remains to be defined — the scope of all materials we’ll receive,” Gast reported.

    The anthrax used in the Fall 2001 was not the one used by the US Army in weaponizing anthrax in the 1950s. William Patrick’s process for weaponizing anthrax involved freeze drying and chemical processing whereas it was the process contemplated by Al Qaeda that involved spraydrying. “We made little freeze-dried pellets of anthrax,” Donald Schattenberg explained, “then we ground them down with a high-speed colloid mill.” The finding cast doubt on the hypothesis that the spores could have been stolen from a lab a long time ago.

    Commenting on the fine powder sent Senator Daschle and Leahy, “Only nations, probably, have figured out how to do this,” Professor Matthew Meselson at Harvard said at the time. But, he adds, this means “how to do it is in the minds of people,” including former employees of weapons programs in the Soviet Union. At a break from a briefing before a Congressional subcommittee in December 2001, Dr. Richard Spertzel and Dr. Ken Alibek discussed access to the Ames strain and the method of weaponization. They might just as well have been demonstrating how to palm a basketball — with Dr. Alibek agreeing with Dr. Spertzel on the likely general method but saying it is easier than Dr. Spertzel may think. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Scanning electron microscopy of the spores used in the Senate office attack showed that they range from individual particles to aggregates of 100 [microns] or more. Spores were uniform in size and appearance and the aggregates had a propensity to pulverize (i.e., disperse into smaller particles when disturbed).”

    The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack held a hearing in July 2005 on “Engineering Bio-Terror Agents: Lessons from the Offensive U.S. and Russian Biological Weapons Programs.” The hearing evaluated Al Qaeda’s ability to develop and use catastrophic biological weapons — such as weaponized anthrax. The hearing examined the known biological warfare capabilities developed by the U.S. and Russian offensive programs, and the potential of those capabilities being utilized in future terrorist attacks. One of the witnesses at the hearing ironically was the former colleague of Al-Timimi, Dr. Kenneth Alibek, Executive Director, Center for Biodefense, George Mason University Another witness, Dr. Michael V. Callahan, Director, Biodefense & Mass Casualty Care, CIMIT/Massachusetts General Hospital, explained:
    “It is also important to note that the people who participated in that exercise used all open source information, they used the U.S. Patent Office and they used out of print microbiology textbooks. It is a scary incredible thing, and it is not just theoretical, it has already been capitalized both in laboratory modeling and in actual experience.”

    Dr. John Ezzell, the scientist referenced in an email from Dr. Ivins to Pat Fellows reported by FoxNews, tells me the aerosolized Ames he made for DARPA in 1996 had been irradiated (and testing confirmed that the irradiation had rendered the anthrax inactive). Since 1996, he had been the anthrax specialist for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Resonse Unit.

    Dr. Meryl Nass, a long-time critic of the health consequences of anthrax vaccine, moderated and led a robust defense by interested scientists and others — asking that the FBI come forward with any evidence to support its accusation. Prominent defenders of Dr. Ivins pointing to the lack of evidence included former heads of the Bacteriology Division. Like experienced prosecutors Senators Leahy and Specter, they were stunned at the US Attorney Jeff Taylor’s conclusions. would be impossible to cover up these activities.” W. Russell Byrne, who preceded Andrews as the division’s director, said he “never believed Ivins’ could have produced the preparations used in the anthrax letters working in the bacteriology division area of Building 1425.”

    Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin, says Michael. The coat of the bacteria from Ivins’ RMR-1029 flask did not contain any of those four elements.

    In a March 31, 2003 public exchange sponsored by the Washington Post, in response to my written question submitted in advance, Ali Al-Timimi’s George Mason University colleague, Kenneth Alibek, said: “This anthrax wasn’t sophisticated, didn’t have coatings, had electric charge and many other things.” In other responses, he further explained: “There was no special need to add silica to this anthrax. Presence or absence of silica says nothing about whether it was state sponsored.” US bioweaponeer William Patrick took time out from advising GMU grad students and gave it a 7 out of 10 — calling it professionally done but not weapons grade. In an interview with CBS, William Patrick explained that he had been given a polygraph in June 2002 about the anthrax letters. He reports that “The FBI that they wanted me to become a part of their inner circle of–of experts, and that in order to become a part of that inner circle of technical experts, that I’d have to pass a polygraph test.”

    On April 11, 2003, Scott Shane reported that reverse engineering “carried out at the Army’s biodefense center at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, raises the disquieting possibility that al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups could create lethal bioweapons without scientific or financial help from a state.” Quoting one outside bioterrorism expert. “It shows you can have a fairly sophisticated product with fairly rudimentary methods.” At last report, the reverse engineering reportedly was not able to recreate the identical product with the same Silicon Signature.

    Lisa Bronson, deputy undersecretary of defense for technology security policy and proliferation, has said that commercially available equipment used to make powdered milk could be used to make powderized anthrax. A spray dryer is used in chemical and food processing to manufacture dried egg, powdered milk, animal feed, cake mixes, citrus juices, coffee, corn syrup, cream, creamers, dried eggs, potatoes, shortening, starch derivatives, tea, tomatoes, yeast, and — last but not least — yogurt. Washington State University also has an informative discussion on the web. Making dried milk is not rocket science and doesn’t require a PhD. But, if experience is any guide, Al Qaeda has PhDs and even rocket scientists who are sympathetic to its cause (indeed, even the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb).

    In a Q&A from a March 31, 2003 exchange with Kenneth Alibek, he explained in response to a question I posed to him.

    “Q. Could someone expert in making dried milk make the product used in the Daschle and Leahy letters?
    A. Let me answer in this way — yes, actually, it would be the same technique to make a powderized anthrax, but at the same time we shouldn’t overestimate the complexity of making it. My opinion is this — in order to make this powder there is no need to have sophisticated equipment. Such a small amount, keep in mind that the people who did could have very simple equipment and very simple procedures. There is no need for industrial equipment. It would be enough to have small equipment. But at the same time, when people talk about it being ‘weaponized’ — I can’t say it was that sophisticated. I saw the particles — they were the size of 40 microns. We can’t say anything about the quality of this powder because we saw it after it had gone through mailing sorting machines which create very powerful pressure. There was no coating. What I saw on micrograph was no coating. It was natural spores and for some people they mistakenly thought it wasn’t. Some experts said there was [no] charge because it was fluffy and made a cloud when put on scale. This is another mistake. It did have charge.”

    Dr. Ivins worked with Ames in a BL-3 lab on the dates preceding the mailings — and so why did the FBI rely on his recollections years later of how he spent his time rather than a contemporaneous transcript from 2001 detailing how he spent his time? (Surely he was asked as part of his polygraph). The standing instructions in an internal memorandum were that all logical follow-on investigation be “aggressively and immediately conducted and reported. Experienced, aggressive, creative Agents should be assigned this investigation in order to insure all logical investigation is conducted, and not just that requested as defined in a lead.”

  10. Ike Solem said

    White House Mail Machine Has Anthrax

    By Sandra Sobieraj
    Associated Press Writer
    Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2001; 8:11 p.m. EDT

    WASHINGTON –– President Bush said confidently Tuesday that “I don’t have anthrax” after biohazard testing at the White House and the discovery of anthrax on a mail-opening machine at a screening facility six miles away.

    All White House mail – more than 40,000 letters a week – is examined at military facilities across the Potomac River.

    “Let me put it this way,” Bush said. “I’m confident that when I come to work tomorrow, I’ll be safe.”

    Asked if he was tested for the germ that has killed three people already this month, or if he was taking precautionary antibiotics, Bush replied simply: “I don’t have anthrax.”

    At least some White House personnel were given Cipro six weeks ago. White House officials won’t discuss who might be receiving the anthrax-treating antibiotic now.

    Not to promote conspiracy theories, such as using an anthrax attack to link the 9/11 attacks to Saddam and hence gain support for an invasion… but that Cipro deal sure is weird, and has never been refuted.

    Secondly, there seems to have been some consternation about that first letter – the public media response was not as expected. Bob Steven’s case was thought at first to be all natural, due to something picked up on a weekend camping trip.

    As far as solving the crime, it might be worth reviewing the case of Ayaad Assaad:

    By Laura Rozen
    Salon.com Jan. 26, 2002

    After their meeting, Assad was thanked by the FBI agents, who have not contacted him since. The bureau says it cleared Assaad of the anonymous allegations against him.

    “We received an anonymous letter with certain allegations about Dr. Assaad,” Chris Murray, an FBI spokesman, told Salon Thursday. “Our investigation has determined those allegations are unfounded. Our investigation is complete. Period.”

    But Assaad believes there is a possible link between the person who sent the unsigned letter to the FBI and the terrorist who sent anthrax to Democratic politicians and prominent members of the media. Whoever it was seemed to display eerie foreknowledge of the biological attacks, since the letter was sent to the FBI well before any anthrax terror attacks were known to the public.

    Here’s another interesting quote from that article:

    “As soon as it came out” about the anthrax letters, “the first thing that came to my mind was Fort Detrick,” said the scientist, who requested anonymity and is now employed in academia. “I don’t know how many labs are utilizing anthrax from Detrick. Detrick represents a repository of many organisms, and they would send it out to various other labs. A lot of people who were working on anthrax in this country got their anthrax from Fort Detrick.”

    This of course was true – but only if they had a legitimate reason, and the only legitimate reason to get the Ames strain from Detrick was to test the anthrax vaccine in animal tests. Issues related to the use of Ames in the DIA/CIA biological threat assessment programs await further disclosure of all the classified details of those programs, which in turn is only likely under a Congressional inquiry, and likely not even then, right, if the White House Orszag-Jones group, the DHS, the DHHS, and the DOE are all opposed, as they likely are.

    Regardless, there are very good reasons that biological weapons development should be harshly curtailed – the 9/18 and 10/9 anthrax mailings being good examples of that – and if some overgrown adolescents don’t understand why that’s so… well. That IS a problem, isn’t it?

  11. Ike Solem said

    As far as the mentality of the criminals responsible?

    In Tennessee three years ago, six volunteer firefighters were arrested for setting an abandoned home ablaze, accidentally killing another volunteer fireman. But he didn’t die fighting the fire; he died spreading gasoline in the attic, when the home burst into flames…

    In most cases, the firefighters were volunteers. But then, close to 75 percent of the firefighters in the country are volunteers.

    “The damage they do in one fire can be enormous. I mean it can be a calamity, just one crime,” says author Joseph Wambaugh. In his latest book, “Fire Lover: A True Story,” Wambaugh profiles John Orr, a walking worst-case scenario for any fire department.

    Orr headed a large California arson squad, and had a reputation for uncanny instincts about how an arson fire had started. It turned out that in many cases, it wasn’t instinct at all. It was inside knowledge. Orr had set the fires. Investigators suspect he may have set as many as 2000 fires, killing four people in the process and earning a life sentence in prison.

    I think the original FBI notion – that it was someone linked to a private contractor for the biowarfare establishment, out to drum up more business from the federal government (or raise the specter of Al Qaeda – Saddam bioweapons) – was the correct one. That contractor and the national security establishment then cooperated to crush the story, almost from the first days of the investigation. The initial FBI team was, however, less than cooperative and was so run out on bogus charges, paving the way for a new team.

    By the way…

    Battelle is a non-profit company, which could make its management technique similar to the UC’s. Twenty percent of the net income Battelle recieves goes to the communities where it works, and the rest of the profits go to expenses, facilities, staff and equipment, Delaney said. Battelle’s leadership has a strong scientific background. Carl Kohrt, Battelle’s CEO, has a doctorate in physical chemistry, and the laboratory director, Bill Madia, is a nuclear chemist who has managed the Oakridge and Pacific Northwest national labs. – Battelle PR

    Bill Madia is certainly a person of interest here, as well – in fact this entire Battelle team should be subpoened and asked about the CIA/DIA biowarfare programs they ran under the biological threat assessment program – and it was more than just Clear Vision and Jefferson, right?

    Wasn’t there also a CIA program investigating the possible threat of anthrax letters? Who was the contractor on that one?

  12. Ike Solem said

    Typo! That’s Richard Lambert, not Richard Preston. Lambert was the guy assigned to the anthrax case after Van Harp and Eberhardt, the initial FBI leads on the Amerithrax case, were drummed out of the FBI on baseless charges in summer 2002 (bad expense accounts from what, 1997?). This is most likely due to their aggressive pursuit of the real culprits, see this Feb 2002 press report from Cox News Services:

    .”The investigation continues aggressively on several fronts,” said one federal law enforcement official. “It’s going in many directions.”

    Van A. Harp, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington office, confirmed in a statement that the “FBI has recently delivered subpoenas for samples of the Ames strain of anthrax spores from laboratories across the U.S.”

    The FBI has spent the last several months planning how to transfer the anthrax from the nation’s leading laboratories to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md.

    One year later, they were gone, and a new theory of the lo-tech lone-wolf was being boosted:

    “WASHINGTON — Disclosure of what the FBI knows about the deadly 2001 anthrax (search) attacks could enable terrorists to engineer biological weapons to escape detection, the FBI (search) says in documents filed in response to a lawsuit by a scientist labeled a “person of interest” in the case.

    Citing the criminal investigation and national security concerns, the Justice Department is trying to persuade a federal judge to delay the lawsuit filed by Dr. Stephen J. Hatfill (search), who contends the government invaded his privacy and ruined his reputation by leaking information to the media implicating him in the attacks.

    Hatfill has denied any role in the attacks and his lawsuit seeks to clear his name and recover unspecified monetary damages.

    Richard L. Lambert, the FBI inspector in charge of what is being called the “Amerithrax” investigation, says in a court document that Hatfill’s lawsuit could jeopardize the probe and expose national secrets related to U.S. bioweapons defense measures.

    After he was replaced by the THIRD FBI team on the Amerithrax case, the fresh faces who were apparently fed a line of bull about Bruce Ivins, Lambert was assigned to, guess! Oak Ridge Tennessee, where it’s likely his chief responsibility is working with UT-Battelle issues at the Oak Ridge facility:

    Aug 25 2006
    Washington D.C.
    FBI National Press Office
    (202) 324-3691

    RICHARD LAMBERT JR. SELECTED TO REPORT AS SAC IN KNOXVILLE

    Washington , D.C . – Richard Lambert Jr., an 18-year veteran of the FBI, has recently been named the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Knoxville Office by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. T he Knoxville Division covers the Eastern District of Tennessee, comprising 42% of the counties in the state.

    Mueller has some explaining to do here.

    (Richard Preston wrote The Demon in the Freezer, and has been a long-time reporter on biological threat issues, see for example “The Hot Zone”, about the importation of Marburg virus into the U.S. via the monkey trade for animal test labs, and the military response that ensued, and none of the specific descriptions of the anthrax powder in the Demon in the Freezer has ever been refuted, to my knowledge)

  13. Ike Solem said

    DXer, you haven’t responded to the “steam coming out of the teapot” issue, namely that the anthrax spore powder dispersed into individual spores, something that only the most advanced bioweapons do.

    Notice also that there are at least TWO crimes involved here – first, the actual attacks themselves, likely the work of a very small group (but I doubt a Lone Wolf) – but also, the deliberate coverup and footd-dragging by the FBI, which allowed the real culprits to go free – in fact, they were never thoroughly investigated or pestered by the FBI – instead, Richard Preston – after running with the Hatfill story for a while – then started harassing all the USMARIID researchers who knew the whole story. These people are still under gag orders.

    The harrassment and stalking and framing of Hatfill and Ivins by the FBI could be construed as a third crime, but in reality it’s just part of the coverup.

    If you honestly think that the FBI and other NSC types are deliberately covering up the fact that Al Qaeda launched anthrax attacks – well, that’s not even plausible, is it? Any plausible hint of Al-Qaeda involvement (or Saddam involvement) would have been broadcast far and wide by the Bush Administration – or the Obama Administration. It’s not even plausible.

    However, if Battelle sent all the generals and admirals it has on its board (as well as the other government contractors that they subcontract from – Bioport, Emergent Biosolutions and and Vaxgen all relied on Battelle for testing their vaccines against the Ames strain, right?

    Protecting a lucrative contracting business tied directly to biological warfare initiatives (and avoiding international embarrassment for making bioweapons illegally) – that’s a far more plausible motive for a cover-up, isn’t it?

    This later group – the cover-up and misdirection group – is a genuine “legal conspiracy” involving many people – from elements of Congress, the White House, the DOE, DHS, and DHHS as well as numerous private contractors and their military brass pals – they all want this to go away.

    However, it’s bioterrorism, and it’s not going to go away. What if this person still has the stuff? What if they decide to blanket some major city with it? What if they’re still making this stuff at Battelle or Dugway, as we speak?

    Complete disclosure is needed, starting with a public airing of everything the biological threat assessment program did in the 1990s and 2000-2001.

    • DXer said

      There’s a reason the Mayor recessed the meeting on you last year, Ike. You don’t process information cited to you.

      • DXer said

        You are a guy who opposed a pilot desalinization project on the grounds of your opposition to the Iraq war and what you understand to be war profiteering by the company.

        In contrast, as a progressive advocate, I would have mastered the facts relating to the merits of desalinization and left the Iraq war out of it.

        • DXer said

          You think in terms of “cover-up.”

          I think in terms of a record that shows the 20+ pages of documents about the former Zawahiri associates work with virulent Ames not being obtained until 2005 –4 years after the mailings.

          You speculate as to motives that fit your political beliefs when I rely on the documentary evidence relating to the expressed intent to use anthrax to retaliate for the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders.

          You speculate about the modus operandi of people you can’t even name and I rely on the signature of lethal letters to the NYC and DC newspapers and people in symbolic positions.

          You are a political activist who has no business muddying analysis in a true crime matter and hasn’t even bothered to read the record, let alone posts made to you in response to your political rants.

        • Ike Solem said

          When logic fails, the personal attacks start up.

          Kind of like Dick Cheney & Karl Rove going after Valerie Plame, the CIA spy tracking nuclear proliferation issues, all because her husband said the Niger Uranium Ore story was bull, technically speaking.

          However, this only means the technical aspects are more likely to be correct. I’ve transcribed the NAS committee hearings – who else has bothered to do that? You’ve ignored the details spelled out by Michael as well as the technical flaws in their work – and that’s the only work that even slightly backs the FBI low-tech claim.

          If I’m a political activist, it’s only because I’ve seen – from within the academic research system – I’m a wet bench microbial person, with working knowledge of protein biochemistry and DNA sequencing. I also have a NSF Graduate Student Fellowship in the area of microbiology, and I didn’t get that through political activism, rather through a bunch of hard work in science and math.

          Like Ed Lake, you’re scientifically ignorant and so are completely unqualified to judge the forensic issues on their merits – neither the genetics nor the physical structure of the powder. So tell me this – why do you insist on filling this blog with long-winded cut-n-pastes, while persistently ignoring the issues I’ve raised?

          Go take some classes in microbial genetics, infectious disease, protein biochemisty and materials science, before embarrassing yourself further, okay?

      • Ike Solem said

        Let’s run this down again, DXer:

        1) Spores behaving like steam coming out of a teapot.

        Answer the question, please.

        Now, the issue of harassment by government officials linked to the national security complex… that’s an interesting topic. Hatfill’s case – well, he’s going to write a book about it. Some people, you try to intimidate them, they just feed off that energy and blow up in your face. They would have preferred a quiet suicide for Hatfill, right? Now, they have to deal with the blowback from their poorly considered actions.

        Funny thing about the Mayor – he’s been boosting a desalination plant with an engineering firm called Camp Dresser Mckee, a large international with about 4 divisions. Totally off-topic, of course, but since you bring it up – there IS a connection.

        Of course, Camp Dresser Mckee’s Federal Programs division is not directly connected to the city water engineering division, but what’s interesting here is that Camp Dresser Mckee was the lead contracting agency on the Hart Office Building Cleanup:

        CDM mobilized a team that numbered as many as 40 professionals—trained in Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements—to assist in this landmark effort to assess and eliminate the anthrax contamination. In the absence of any proven validation method, CDM worked closely with EPA and other technical experts to develop a first-of-its-kind method to prepare, place, collect, track, and test bacteriologically infused media as surrogates for anthrax spores. This precedent-setting approach—later adopted as an EPA protocol—validated the efficacy of chlorine dioxide and ethylene oxide in eradicating the deadly anthrax bacteria.

        Where was this team based? At Oak Ridge National Laboratories, a DOE facility in Tennessee which like many other DOE facilities is managed by Battelle, in association with the University of Tennessee. Overall, the facility does a lot of good scientific work – but there are these shady corners associated with bioweapons, okay, and they all seem linked to Battelle via a network of subcontractor/contractor relationships.

        Now, I love good engineering, don’t get me wrong – but that’s product engineering – batteries, electronic devices, solar PV cells, wind turbines, energy conversion devices, biofuel processing systems, high-pressure chemistry – I even like good safe robust nuclear engineering. However, shuffling contracts from the fed and taking a percentage off the top aint engineering, especially when the proposed project is just another Afghani-style white elephant.

        What definitely isn’t okay, however, is when idiot engineers from the nanotechnology sector start applying their expertise to the coating of anthrax spores with silca compounds, and while the managers and investors go on a threat inflation PR campaign.

        It’s clear that these private contractors are the #1 suspects in the anthrax attacks. And yes, they employ thugs to go after whistleblowers:

        http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/06/07/national/main700064.shtml

        (AP) A Los Alamos lab whistleblower scheduled to testify before Congress was lured to a bar and then badly beaten in an attack his wife and lawyer believe was designed to keep him quiet.

        Poor guy – he was just some elderly old guy concerned with fraud and waste at the nations leading nuclear weapons lab. That’s what you’re dealing with here. However, as with cockroaches, they can’t stand the light of day. So, we’re going to crack open the roof and let some sunlight in.

        Run, roaches, run!

    • DXer said

      On the “steam of teapot” you describe — regarding the Daschle product — I referred you to Ivins’ written analysis of the product which you haven’t read. He graded it a “B”.

      • DXer said

        And I’ve asked you numerous times to name one single expert who agrees with your opinion that the WMD Chief’s suggestion that the silica could have been in the culture medium is ridiculous — and you haven’t.

        (And anyone you name will be quoted in the press shortly disagreeing with you).

        In short, you aren’t about the facts or science. You are just a political activist.

        And politics has no role in true crime analysis.

    • DXer said

      “DXer, you haven’t responded to the “steam coming out of the teapot” issue, namely that the anthrax spore powder dispersed into individual spores, something that only the most advanced bioweapons do.”

      But I have many times and in many ways. it is you who doesn’t address the facts. I interviewed this week again the FBI anthrax expert who reports he made dried powdered anthrax (gamma irradiated in the slurry) from Flask 1029 and gave it to DARPA researchers at John Hopkins and then have explained that a former Zawahiri associate was head of a DARPA project that tested his decontamination agent at John Hopkins. I have also cited his description of the powdered anthrax as consistent with your “steam coming out of teapot” issue — suggesting to me that the corona pulse discharge that the DARPA researchers say they were using to examine the effects on Ames spores was not used at USAMRIID but elsewhere.

      “Notice also that there are at least TWO crimes involved here – first, the actual attacks themselves, likely the work of a very small group (but I doubt a Lone Wolf) – but also, the deliberate coverup and footd-dragging by the FBI, which allowed the real culprits to go free”

      What you call a deliberate cover-up could also be viewed simply as a confidential investigation. They had no obligation to disclose that dry powdered anthrax was made at Ft. Detrick and given that it was made by the FBI’s anthrax expert that was a little awkward given that Commander Eitzen had reported to General Parker that they did not make dry powdered there. Most failure to comprehend is not due to cover-up but just a observer’s failure to digest information while that individual is pursuing some political or personal agenda.

      Ike writes:

      ” – in fact, they were never thoroughly investigated or pestered by the FBI – instead, Richard Preston – after running with the Hatfill story for a while – then started harassing all the USMARIID researchers who knew the whole story. These people are still under gag orders.”

      Well, it took them 4 years to request the documents showing the research by the former Zawahiri associate working alongside Bruce Ivins. For that proposition, I cite the record. What do you cite as support for the claim they did not investigate Dugway and Battelle? The many dozens of polygraphs they conducted? The intensive investigation Perry Mikesell? etc.

      “The harrassment and stalking and framing of Hatfill and Ivins by the FBI could be construed as a third crime, but in reality it’s just part of the coverup.”

      Well, the lead prosector pled the Fifth Amendment regarding the leaks. Those leaks were by that individual, not “by the FBI.” He was not with the FBI.

      “If you honestly think that the FBI and other NSC types are deliberately covering up the fact that Al Qaeda launched anthrax attacks – well, that’s not even plausible, is it? ”

      Do I think Andrew Card, for example, didn’t want it to be known that his assistant had access to cutting DARPA-funded technology? Yes. Then they would have to point to his former assistant, whose dad worked at the Iraqi embassy in Washington, rather than Saddam. There are numerous conflicts of interests that in the past — and now — have warranted recusal.

      “Any plausible hint of Al-Qaeda involvement (or Saddam involvement) would have been broadcast far and wide by the Bush Administration – or the Obama Administration. It’s not even plausible.”

      We just disagree. IMO the Bush Administration would not have won a second term if it was known that they had issued a letter of commendation to the salafist-jihadist coordinating with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s sheik.

      “However, if Battelle sent all the generals and admirals it has on its board (as well as the other government contractors that they subcontract from – Bioport, Emergent Biosolutions and and Vaxgen all relied on Battelle for testing their vaccines against the Ames strain, right?”

      “Protecting a lucrative contracting business tied directly to biological warfare initiatives (and avoiding international embarrassment for making bioweapons illegally) – that’s a far more plausible motive for a cover-up, isn’t it?”

      Yes, for example, the small DC venture firm that invested $50 million in the small company of the former Zawahiri associate was headed by the person now in charge of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

      “This later group – the cover-up and misdirection group – is a genuine “legal conspiracy” involving many people – from elements of Congress, the White House, the DOE, DHS, and DHHS as well as numerous private contractors and their military brass pals – they all want this to go away.”

      As an advocate the way to encourage something to come to light is to encourage everyone to work together to figure out the solution of who took the envelope and put it the mailbox.

      “However, it’s bioterrorism, and it’s not going to go away. What if this person still has the stuff? What if they decide to blanket some major city with it? What if they’re still making this stuff at Battelle or Dugway, as we speak?”

      You seem to have a mistaken interpretation of what is permitted under treaties. In arguing that something is illegal, you should cite the language of the law and how the facts violate it.
      I don’t disagree with your politics. But politics has no place in true crime analysis.

      For example, it has caused you to overlook DARPA and its work with virulent Ames all because it was not in the 2002 news articles based on some initial FOIA requests.

      The FBI’s expanded detailing of distribution from Flask 1029 should be the source of your analysis — not the previous news articles.

      Complete disclosure is needed, starting with a public airing of everything the biological threat assessment program did in the 1990s and 2000-2001.

  14. DXer said

    http://foia.fbi.gov/amerithrax/847418.PDF

    A December 10, 2004 302 interview statement explained:

    __________ advised that inserting plasmids into DNA to cause virulence was not too difficult. ____ believed any Principal Investigator in USAMRIID’s Bacteriology section could accomplish this. However, it was more likely that someone would take material in which the correct plasmids already existed instead of taking material which required extra work.

    • DXer said

      Note that one of the plasmids in the attack anthrax was inverted. See 2002 Science article.

      • Ike Solem said

        Wow, that’s real scientific garble, that means absolutely nothing! “The plasmid was inverted”? Relative to the Ames strain? You’re taking a few words out of context and misunderstanding the meaning, I’m afraid.

        • DXer said

          As for the cited reference:

          Read, T. D., S. L. Salzberg, M. Pop, M. Shumway, L. Umayam, L. Jiang, E. Holtzapple, J. D. Busch, K. L. Smith, J. M. Schupp, D. Solomon, P. Keim, and C. M. Fraser. 2002. Comparative genome sequencing for discovery of novel polymorphisms in Bacillus anthracis. Science 296:2028-2033.

          “In addition to the SNPs and VNTRs detected in this analysis, we identified two large inversions in pXO1 of the Florida isolate in relation to the previously sequenced Sterne strain. The largest (44.8 kbp) occurs between coordinates 117,178 and 162,008 (using the Sterne strain coordinates). It is flanked by inverted copies of an IS1627 sequence and is centered on the pXO1 “pathogenicity island” (11), which includes the genes for the tripartite lethal factor toxin (18). Inversion of the pathogenicity island has been described (19); our sequence coverage data and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification across the junctions show that the Florida isolate contains a mixture of both orientations.

          The second pXO1 inversion event occurs between coordinates 43,233 and 48,988 (using the Sterne strain coordinates). This 5755-bp region, flanked by two perfect 929-bp inverted repeats of degeneratetransposase genes, contains genes pXO1-35 through pXO1-40 (8), all of which encode proteins of unknown function. PCR reactions across the junctions of this region indicate that the Florida isolate also contains plasmids with both orientations of this region. The inversions detected in this comparative analysis provide another marker for genotyping anthrax strains. In both cases, inversions appear to have been the result of recombination between nearly identical, more than 900-bp inverted segments of transposase genes.”

          The expert opinions of RHE and Dr. Kiel from years ago can await your lay opinion.

  15. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins’ assistant, Mara Linscott, who he regarded very highly, appears to have been first interviewed on November 2, 2004. She explained that she “has never worked with foreign visiting scientists [but] knew of two non-USMAMRIID employees who worked in _______ but did not know if they were from another country or another lab within the United States.”

    She explained that:

    “Only people with the proper vaccinations and training have access to the hot suites. Anyone with such access could easily steal a select agent. The vials storing the select agents are small enough to sneak out of the hot suite and out of USAMRIID without notice. The only way for security to detect such thefts would be to conduct a strip search.”

    In numerous patents relating to nanoemulsion incorporated media, Dr. Tarek Hamouda thanked Mara Linscott and Patricia Fellows for providing technical assistance and thanked Dr. Bruce Ivins for supplying virulent Ames. Dr. Ivins reports he did not know Dr. Hamouda was not a US citizen before he arrived at Ft. Detrick. He corrected a statement to the FBI he had made previously about the visit having been pursuant to an order from above — represented by counsel in 2005, he explained that he had arranged the visit.

    Given Dr. Hamouda’s former proximity to Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, who had announced an intention to use charities and universities in developing anthrax as a weapon for use against US targets — to retaliate against the rendering and mistreatment of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders — it was remiss for the FBI not to interview Dr. Linscott until November 2004. It should have been done in December 2001.

    In October 2001, LSU and University of Michigan were subpoenaed. A DARPA Program Manager at the time, right or wrong, privately told a friend of mine that they knew where the attack Ames came from and even the machine used to make it. LSU and University of Michigan were subpoenaed out of the gate. According to Richard Hidalgo, assistant to the dean of the school of veterinary medicine at LSU, the DOJ asked the school to provide by Oct. 23 a log of all visitors and employees at the Hugh-Jones Special Pathogens Lab since Jan. 1, 2000, including their Social Security numbers and dates of birth. The subpoena also asked for information on shipments of pathogens to and from the lab. “Besides Dr. Hugh-Jones and his lab director, only three others have been in the lab” during the time in question, Hidalgo said. “I’ve never been there myself.” Why did the FBI limit the October 2001 subpoena of LSU Special Pathogens Lab to visitors after January 1, 2000? Wasn’t the DARPA research involving virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins prior to that? Dr. Tarek Hamouda and lab tech Michael Hayes had worked with virulent Ames with Bruce Ivins in May 1998.

    Newsday reported:

    “A subpoena also was delivered to the University of Michigan, according to a source who asked not to be identified. “All research institutions are being contacted by the FBI and asked for information,” the source said. “They were seeking personnel records for those who may be working with select agents.” …”LSU’s Hidalgo said the FBI appears to be looking for any breach in the strict handling procedures for anthrax and other select agents. It could not be determined yesterday how many institutions have received subpoenas. In some cases, the FBI has made investigative inquiries without court orders.”

    The DOJ also has provided a December 5, 1997 letter from a University of Michigan Medical Center scientist to Bruce Ivins. It states:

    “Dear Dr. Ivins:

    It was a pleasure speaking with you the other day. I much appreciate your willingness to work with us concerning our new anti-sporicidal material. We are looking forward to doing it in vitro evaluating or not whether this material against anthrax spores given its efficacy against other species of bacillus spores. These studies would involve mixing the material with the spores for varying lengths of time and then either separating the spores or culturing them directly to determine the viability. We might also do fixation of the spore preparations to determine if there are any ultrastructural changes in the spores that can be oberved with electron microscopy.

    My technicians are fully trained in the contagious pathogen handling and have experience with level 3 biosafety requirements. They, as I, are willing to undergo the anthrax and plague immunizations, although I was hoping that they might be able to administer the vaccines at the University of Michigan. This might allow us to only make one trip to USAMRID before we begin the studies. If we could either purchase the vaccine from you or from a commercial distributor, we would be happy to administer it and document titers in any way you feel appropriate.

    I look forward to the initiation of this work. I believe it could be a very interesting collaboration that could eventually lead to animal studies. On December 19, commensurate with the filing of patents on this material, I will send you additional data on the formulations and our studies concerning the ability of these materials to inactivate spores both in vitro and in vivo.

    Sincerely,

    ____________
    _____ Division of Allergy

    The FBI did not ask for documents from Bruce Ivins relating to the correspondence with the University of Michigan researchers until 2005 — four years after the mailings. At that time, he forwarded, for example, evidence that Dr. Hamouda and lab tech Michael Hayes had received anthrax and plague vaccinations in advance of coming to work alongside Dr. ivins in the BL-3 laboratory using virulent Ames.

    The University of Michigan Medical Center letter dated May 10 [1998] to Bruce Ivin
    “My colleagues and I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to both you and Dr. Ivins for the opportunity to work at USAMRIID. Dr. Ivins _______________________ were very helpful and cooperative in facilitating our studies as well as providing excellent technical assistance. Their efforts made our stay at USAMRIID both pleasant and highly productive. In particular, our discussions with Dr. Ivins provided valuable insights which will enable to better define and develop our technology.

    The data generated in these studies serves to clarify and validate the results which we have seen in our model systems (see attachments). We were able to block growth of both strains of B. anthracis with emulsion incorporated media (Table 1). We also were successful in reducing both Vollum and Ames spore counts by 95% (as assessed by CFU of viable organisms). These reductions were observed at spore concentrations of up to 1 X 10 6/ ml (Figure 1) and were seen even in conditions which limited germination (room temperature incubation). Decreased numbers of spores also were identified microscopically in the media after treatment. In contrast, no reduction in counts was noted with an initial spore innoculation of 1 X 10 8 / ml (Figure 2). These conditions probably overwhelm the emulsion given the concentration of spores in approaching the concentration of lipid vesicles. However, extremely high spore concentrations may alter the effect of the lipid in other ways and we are designing experiments with inhibitors of germination used at lower spore densities to clarify this result

    We were pleased with this outcome and the personal interaction that produced them. Given the non-toxic nature of these emulsions, we feel that they may have a role in the decontamination and treatment of agents such as anthrax and alphavirus. We look forward to future collaborative efforts with Dr. Ivins and his laboratory staff. With the diverse nature of our respective programs, we believe that a cooperative approach will serve to accelerate the development of these compounds.”

    In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some filed before 9/11, the inventors thank Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with virulent Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). Dr. Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project. A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:

    “The release of such agents as biological weapons could be catastrophic in light of the fact that such diseases will readily spread the air.
    In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes increasingly clear that cheap, fast and effective methods of killing bacterial spores are needed for decontaminating purposes. The inventive compounds have great potential as environmental decontamination agents and for treatments of casualties in both military and terrorist attacks. The inactivation of a broad range of pathogens … and bacterial spores (Hamouda et al., 1999), combined with low toxicity in experimental animals, make them (i.e., the inventive compounds) particularly well suited for use as general decontamination agents before a specific pathogen is identified.”

    In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product them to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, is funded by DARPA. NanoBio received a $3,150,000 defense contract in 2003. Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio.

    The University of Michigan researchers presented in part at various listed meetings and conferences in 1998 and 1999. The December 1999 article titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in the Journal for Infectious Diseases states: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1B strains, were supplied by Bruce Ivins (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD) and were prepared as described elsewhere. Four other strains of B. anthracis were provided by Martin Hugh-Jones (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge).” Dr. Baker reports the work NanoBio’s research with virulent Ames was “done at USAMRIID by a microbiologist under Dr. Ivins’ direct supervision and at LSU under the direction of Dr. Hugh Jones.”

    In the acknowledgements section, the University of Michigan authors thank:

    Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support.
    Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Arthur Friedlander, and the staff of USAMRIID for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.
    Martin-Hugh-Jones, Kimothy Smith, and Pamela Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).
    Robin Kunkel (Department of Pathology, University of Michigan) for her help with electron microscopy and a couple of others for technical assistance and manuscript preparation.
    The researchers found that their nanoemulsion incorporated into the growth medium completely inhibited the growth of the spores. Transmission electron microscope was used to examine the spores.

    If the FBI did not interview Mara Linscott until November 2004, I can only wonder when the FBI interviewed Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander or Lawrence DuBois what vetting was done in light of Zawahiri’s announced intention to use anthrax. The person they put in charge of the DARPA project had lifelong friend (a personal hero of mine “Tawfiq” Hamid) who had been recruited by Ayman Zawahiri into the Egyptian Islamic Jihad while the two friends had been schoolmates at Cairo Medical at the time of Sadat’s assassination.

    Did DARPA have a form inquiring whether the proposed project leader knew “Dr. Ayman” (as the CairoMedical Students knew him) personally?

    Dr. Hamouda 10 years later went back to get his PhD in microbiology working in the department with Dr. Ayman’s sister, Heba, a respected pharmacology professor who like her brother Ayman was distraught over the rendition of her brother Muhammad — at the time the intention to use anthrax had been announced. The Zawahiri family was represented by the operative, an attorney named Mamdouh Ismail, in charge of being Zawahiri’s conduit to jihadis in Yemen, Iraq and Egypt.

    Dr. Hamouda’s patent involving emulsion incorporated media explained that “The nanoemulsions can be rapidly produced in large quantities and are stable for many months *** Undiluted, they have the texture of a semisolid cream and can be applied topically by hand or mixed with water. Diluted, they have a consistency and appearance similar to skim milk and can be sprayed to decontaminate surfaces or potentially interact with aerosolized spores before inhalation.”

    A March 18, 1998 press release had provided some background to the novel DARPA-funded work. It was titled “Novavax Microbicides Undergoing Testing at University of Michigan Against Biological Warfare Agents; Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare.” The release stated that “The Novavax Biologics Division has designed several potent microbicides and is supplying these materials to the University of Michigan for testing under a subcontract. Various formulations are being tested as topical creams or sprays for nasal and environmental usage. The biocidal agent’s detergent degrades and then explodes the interior of the spore. Funding, the press release explains, was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense.

    In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998, Michael Hayes, a research associate in the U-Michigan Medical School, presented experimental evidence of BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. “In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish.” Its website explains that the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is the “[p]remier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology.”

    When I called Michael most recently, he very politely explained that he didn’t want to speak to me and I didn’t want to speak to him. But he was mistaken. I did. I’ve read the record and know that the Amerithrax Investigative Summary mischaracterizes the record and makes unfounded accusations against Dr. Ivins contradicted by the documentary evidence and the science.

    In the patents, Dr. Hamouda also thanked the FBI’s genetics expert in 2002, LSU researcher Dr.Kimothy Smith who brought Paul Keim’s lab’s first samples of anthrax (by bringing the LSU collection).

    An University of Michigan Medical school, Medicine at Michigan, (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1999) explained:

    “In studies with rats and mice in the U-M Medical School under the direction of James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology, the mixture, known as BCTP, attacked anthrax spores and healed wounds caused by a closely related species of bacteria, Bacillus cereus. (The letters BCTP stand for Bi-Component, Triton X-100 n-tributyl Phosphate.)

    Baker describes the process as follows: “The tiny lipid droplets in BCTP fuse with anthrax spores, causing the spores to revert to their active bacterial state. During this process, which takes 4-5 hours, the spore’s tough outer membrane changes, allowing BCTP’s solvent to strip away the exterior membrane. The detergent then degrades the spores’ interior contents. In scanning electron microscope images, the spores appear to explode.” The rapid inactivation of anthrax bacteria and spores combined with BCTP’s low toxicity thus make the emulsion a promising candidate for use as a broad-spectrum, post-exposure decontamination agent.
    ***

    The research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense.”

    Dr. Baker, by email, advises me that Ivins did the studies involving Ames for them at USAMRIID. He reports: “We never had Ames and could not have it at our UM facilities.” Before September 2001, it’s office was described as in the basement of a downtown bank which seems to describe 912 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, just west of the University of Michigan campus.

    An article in the Summer of 2000 in Medicine at Michigan explains:

    “Victory Site: Last December [December 1999] Tarek Hamouda, Amy Shih and Jim Baker traveled to a remote military station in the Utah desert. There they demonstrated for the U.S. Army Research and Development Command the amazing ability of non-toxic nanoemulsions (petite droplets of fat mixed with water and detergent) developed at Michigan to wipe out deadly anthrax-like bacterial spores. The square vertical surfaces shown here were covered with bacterial spores; Michigan’s innocuous nanoemulsion was most effective in killing the spores even when compared to highly toxic chemicals.”

    An EPA report explains:

    “In December 1999, the U.S. Army tested a broad spectrum nanoemulsion and nine other biodecontamination technologies in Dugway, Utah, against an anthrax surrogate, Bacillus globigii. Nanoemulsion was one of four technologies that proved effective and was the only nontoxic formulation available. Other tests against the vaccine strain of B. anthracis (Sterne strain) were conducted by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.”

    As Fortune magazine explained in November 2001 about NanoBio: “Then bioterror struck…. It moved to a bland corporate park where its office has no name on the door. It yanked its street address off its Website, whose hit rate jumped from 350 a month to 1,000 a day.” NanoBio was part of the solution: “in the back of NanoBio’s office sit two dozen empty white 55-gallon barrels. A few days before, DARPA had asked Annis and Baker if they could make enough decontaminant to clean several anthrax-tainted offices in the Senate. NanoBio’s small lab mixers will have to run day and night to fill the barrels. ‘This is not the way we want to do this,’ sighs [its key investor], shaking his head. ‘This is all a duct-tape solution.’ ” James Baker, founder of Ann Arbor’s NanoBio’s likes to quote a Chinese proverb: “When there are no lions and tigers in the jungle, the monkeys rule.”

    It’s naive to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. US Army Al Qaeda operative Sgt. Ali Mohammed accompanied Zawahiri in his travels in the US. (Ali Mohamed had been a major in the same unit of the Egyptian Army that produced Sadat’s assassin, Khaled Islambouli). Ali Al-Timimi was working in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) and had access to the facilities at both the Center for Biodefense and the adjacent American Type Culture Collection. For example, Michael Ray Stubbs was an HVAC system technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab with a high-level security clearance permitting access; that was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998. Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it.

    Among the documents found in Afghanistan in 2001 were letters and notes written in English to Ayman Zawahiri by a scientist about his attempts to obtain an anthrax sample. One handwritten letter was on the letterhead of the Society for Applied Microbiology, the UK’s oldest microbiological society. The Society for Applied Microbiology of Bedford, UK, recognizes that “the development and exploitation of Applied Microbiology requires the maintenance and improvement of the microbiological resources in the UK, such as culture collections and other specialized facilities.” Thus, Zawahiri’s access to the Ames strain is still yet to be proved, but there was no shortage of possibilities or recruitment attempts by Ayman. One colleague of his estimates that he made 15 recruitment attempts over a many year period. Dr. Keim observes: “Whoever perpetrated the first crime must realize that we have the capability to identify material and to track the material back to its source. Whoever did this is presumably aware of what’s going on, and if the person is a scientist, they can read the study. Hopefully, the person is out there thinking: When am I going to get caught?”

    In June 2001, in addition to the conference at Annapolis organized by Bruce Ivins, a conference was held at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood) for small businesses that might contribute to the biodefense effort. It showcased APG’s world class facillities that had the full range of relevant equipment, as well as the range of activities and research featured by presenters at such conferences. It was called “Team APG Showcase 2001.″ Edgewood maintains a database of simulant properties. The information and equipment, including spraydrying equipment, is available to participants in the SBIR — promoting small business innovation. Might the anthrax attack have required the learning of a state? Well, to get that, all you needed to do was go to the program that shares such research for the purpose of innovation in the area of biodefense. APG built a Biolevel-3 facility and, according to a Baltimore Sun report, by October 2002 had 19 virulent strains of anthrax, including Ames. A 1996 report on a study done at Edgewood involving irradiated virulent Ames provided by John Ezzell that was used in a soil suspension. Another article discusses Delta Ames supplied to Edgewood by the Battelle-managed Dugway, subtilis, and use of sheep blood agar. Did Battelle have virulent Ames across I-95? Edgewood tested nanoemulsion biocidal agents during this time period, according to a national nanobiotechnology initiative report issued June 2002.

    For the US Attorney Jeff Taylor to make it seem, however, that only Ivins had control over anthrax that was genetically identical was truly specious. He was just the guy who was going to be in a lot of trouble if stuff turned up missing. The more commonsensical point would be that Ivins would have no reason to use anthrax so directly traceable to him by reason of being a distinctive mix of Ames strains. I understand that the investigators did not want to be faulted for Dr. Ivins death. In their defense, it was their predecessors who appear to have not even obtained the relevant documents or interviewed key people for the first four years of the investigation.

    • DXer said

      When my personal hero, “Tawfik” Hamid, the fellow recruited by Ayman Zawahiri at medical school, called his lifelong friend in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda, to ask him about patents prior to 911, he said it was all in the marketing.

      • DXer said

        A Washington Field Memo dated September 26, 2006 explains on the subject “Ames Samples”:

        “Two -70 [degree] freezers were located in the hallways of Suites ____. Any researcher with access to the suites had access to the freezers and their contents.”

        • DXer said

          The same memo under the heading “Genealogy” states:

          “______ maintained a copy of the Reference Material Receipt (RMR) 1029 after receipt of a couple of millilters of Ba Ames from Ivins and because __ had earlier observed _________________ maintain a similar document in ____ notebook. _______indicated that Ivins did not record the Ba Ames transferred to him.”

    • DXer said

      Interface Science

      What Makes Silicones Special?

      Silicones are the only organic/inorganic hybrid polymers that have been extensively commercialized. This is true for several important reasons.

      The organic portion in poly(dimethylsiloxane) or PDMS – by far the most common silicone polymer – is the methyl group. The surface energy of any substance is a direct manifestation of the intermolecular forces between molecules. …

      The inorganic siloxane backbone is the most flexible polymer backbone available. This allows the methyl groups to be arranged and presented to their best effect. Consequently, PDMS provides one of the lowest-energy surfaces known. This results in a low-surface-energy polymer that can be bettered only by more expensive fluorocarbon polymers. It is this unique surface behavior that accounts for many silicone applications.

      Adhesives, Emulsions, Antifoams, and Surfactants
      ***
      Silicone polymers are widely used in water-based processes and applications. Most silicone polymers are not water-soluble. For aqueous delivery, they are usually formulated as an emulsion – a dispersion of small droplets of silicone oil within an aqueous surfactant solution. ***

      Silicones may be formulated as opaque emulsions or as clear microemulsions.

      The reduction or elimination of foam is critical for many industrial processes and some domestic ones, such as laundering clothes. Silicone is an ideal antifoam. It is liquid within a wide range of viscosities, has a low surface energy, and is clean. This means it is easily formulated, will penetrate aqueous films, and is suited to domestic use.

      Although most silicone polymers are not water-soluble, an important class of water-soluble silicone surfactants does exist. Surfactants are typically polymer molecules with two distinctive regions or “ends” – a hydrophobic (water-fearing) oil-soluble end and a hydrophilic (water-loving) water-soluble end. Such a molecule is very effective at stabilizing an oil-water interface. In the case of silicone surfactants, the silicone is the hydrophobic end, with the hydrophilic end often poly(ethylene) oxide.
      ***

      Find out what an interface is and why it is important.

  16. Ike Solem said

    The effort at compartmentalizing and hiding information in this case, unfortunately, goes almost back to the first days of the anthrax panic – see The Demon in the Freezer, Preston. It’s not at all clear who was responsible, but it does seem that initially, the FBI was really out to find the culprits, not tar and feather innocent suspects. Let’s set the stage, though:

    At ten o’clock on a warm autumn morning in Washington, D.C., a woman – her name has not been made public – was opening mail in the Hart Senate Office Building, on Delaware Avenue. She worked in the office of Senator Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader, and she was catching up with mail that had come in on the previous Friday. The woman slit open a hand-lettered envelope that had the return address of the fourth-grade class at the Greendale School in Franklin Park, New Jersey. It had been tightly sealed with clear adhesive tape. She removed a sheet of paper, and powder fell out, the color bleached bone, and landed on the carpet. A puff of dust came off the paper. It formed tendrils, like the smoke rising from a snuffed-out candle, and then the tendrils vanished. – Richard Preston, The Demon in the Freezer

    Huh? All wrong? That’s the steam-from-the-teapot effect, and the bleached bone color indicates spore coating, since anthrax spores are dark brown in the native state. That’s what USAMRIID concluded – but then…

    While General Parker was telling the Senate that the anthrax was pure and the HHS people were asking for money for a smallpox vaccine stockpile, the FBI decided, sensibly, to get a second opinion on the Daschle anthrax. The HMRU dispatched a Huey to Fort Detrick…The Huey touched down on a helipad across the street from USAMRIID. An agent went into the building and collected a cylindrical biohazard container called a hatbox. Inside the hatbox, inside multiple containers, was a small test tube of live, unsterilized Dachle anthrax.

    The helicopter took off with the sample and thupped westward over Maryland. It touched down in West Jefferson, Ohio, near Columbus, at the Hazardous Materials Research Center of the Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit scientific research and consulting organization. Battelle scientists took the hatbox into a lab. They heat the anthrax powder in an autoclave to sterilize it, and they began looking at it under microscopes. The spores were stuck together in clumps…

    Now, go check the Michael report from Sandia:

    “Okay, here’s the New York Post – these are the only two samples that we had powders of that we could do the thin prep of, I think they ran out of Daschle material, or didn’t want to share it with us, and you can see again the same thing, calcium, in the spore body itself, silicon and oxygen co-located with the, ah, spore coat.”

    So, the only samples of Daschle that Sandia got were the pre-mounted spore slides?

    “Daschle only came to us as pre-prepped ultramicrotomed fixed and stained sections. So they always came with the uranium, the osmium, the lead, the tungsten…” – Michael

    Check. Michael also says this:

    …there’s that point – the silicon and oxygen layer does not seem to prevent the New York Post powder from clumping, okay.

    Not when it’s been exposed to humidity for some time… or to the innards of an autoclave. No vanishing into steam, apparently.

    That Battelle incident set the stage for more misdirection – it’s plausibly describable as an effort to interfere with the investigation, actually.

    1) As DX notes below, Dr. Alibek reports that shortly after the mailings, he wrote FBI Director Mueller and offered his services but was advised that they already had assembled a large group.

    Alibek was later shown photographs of the anthrax powder that looked, he said, like fused lumps of spores. However, he noted that he did not know where the photos had been taken. He likely was NOT ever shown the Detrick pictures, but rather the Battelle pictures.

    2) Similar issues arise with the history of the New York Post sample:

    One of the many samples [to be analyzed at USAMRIID] was a little bit of anthrax from the letter that had arrived at the New York Post. The Post anthrax was almost pure spores, like the Daschle letter, but the spores had somehow gotten glued together into glassy chunks. It looked like a glued-together version of the Daschle anthrax.

    Odd, isn’t it? Who processed that sample prior to handing it over to Detrick?

    These facts certainly seem to rule out any kind of basement lab preparation of this material – the “tendrils of smoke vanishing into thin air” is some trick – and that leaves only the biological threat assessment program as the ultimate source… although the culprit doesn’t seem to have realized that the domestic source would quickly be revealed via the genetic work.

    Some blowhard with no knowledge of modern genetics is behind this, I’d guess – an admirer of Edward Teller & Dr. Strangelove, no doubt. I’d guess, however, that the BTA program was so poorly controlled that even records of the personnel involved are sketchy or non-existent.

    Plenty of room there for whatever plot you like, actually – but it’s clear, at least, who didn’t do it: Hatfill or Ivins.

    Here’s a final quote from the first FBI team for you to consider:

    “Until we have someone under arrest and charged with a crime, we literally can’t rule anything out,” he said to me. The Amerithrax case held many dimensions of crime, but at the bottom it was murder. “I don’t give a rat’s tail for what they thought they were doing when they mailed the letters. People died,” Wilson said. “Damaged facilities can be repaired or replaced. The Brentwood building can be fixed. But the deaths can’t be fixed.” David Wilson, FBI Amerithrax squad superviser.

    * The initial FBI team was run by Arthur Eberhardt at the FBI, who assigned John “Jack” Hess and David Wilson, in charge of traditional detective work and the forensic science, respectively.

    Well, at least we all agree the case should be reopened, correct?

  17. Ike Solem said

    Understanding the mentality of the biowarfare complex is important to understanding one of their true believers might have felt justified in conducting a bioterrorist attack against U.S. citizens:

    BARDA is ‘hamstrung’

    The industry is stuck in “the valley of death … because no one is going to take it from early development to approval because there is no customer other than the government, and that is not guaranteed,” Wright said.

    “The government did not fund BARDA well enough to do the job from the very beginning,” he said. “But here you have a group of people of at BARDA who are very capable and are working unbelievably hard. But they are hamstrung.”

    A recent “report card” issued by the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, or the Graham Report, gave the nation an “F” in preparedness for a biological attack. Another report from Purdue University drew similar conclusions.

    Wright calls PharmAthene’s SparVax “very much a modern vaccine using modern technology,” compared with BioThrax. SparVax requires only three injections over 60 days, while BioThrax requires five injections over 18 months.

    PharmAthene also is working on a monoclonal antibody that would provide instant immunity for first-responders.

    The funding problem has been one of perception, Wright said.

    “Unfortunately, biodefense is looked at as a health issue,” he said. “The problem is that it is really a defense issue. If you wanted to spend $3 billion on a B1 bomber or two, the country doesn’t think anything about it because that’s defense and we need national security.”

    Biodefense is in fact a public health issue, and that’s because the correct response is not a military response (at least, not initially) but rather the same one you take during a natural epidemic – you use your public health forces to wipe it out. Sanitation and treatment are the immediate concerns – vaccination is not of much immediate use.

    What you have here is a bunch of biowarfare experts running around thinking they’re no different from tank manufacturers – truly psychotic. That kind of psychosis could easily convince itself that the only way to get funding for “national security” is to launch bioterror attacks – to prove that defensive efforts are needed.

    BARDA, by the way, is operated by Battelle on behalf of the government.

    • DXer said

      One can speculate about motives — or one can rely on documentary evidence relating to the specific intent and planning to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate against the rendering of senior leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

      If one knows nothing about the public announcement that anthrax was going to be used, one can come up with a “profile” about a disgruntled loner or bioevangelist.

      One approach is sound and based on speculation.

      The other is an evidence-based approach.

  18. Ike Solem said

    Here’s the original tip that the FBI was focusing in on Battelle – before the entire FBI team was canned, and Steven Hatfill’s name was leaked to the press, and the low-tech “lone wolf” theory started being promoted:

    Official: CIA uses anthrax, but no link to letters
    December 16, 2001 Posted: 4:43 PM EST (2143 GMT)

    From David Ensor
    CNN Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — The CIA uses anthrax in its bio-warfare program but the bacteria did not make it into tainted letters sent to two U.S. senators and several news organizations, an agency official said Sunday.

    Confirmation that the CIA was using the Ames strain as part of the Clear Vision effort to replicate the Soviet anthrax bomblet?

    The confirmation that the CIA has anthrax comes less than a week after the U.S. Army admitted it has produced small amounts of the potentially deadly bacteria for years. But, just as Army officials denied any connection to the anthrax letters, a CIA official said the anthrax detected in letters sent earlier this fall “absolutely did not” come from CIA labs.

    The CIA doesn’t have any labs – it uses the labs of contractors on agency projects, apparently. Didn’t Nixon ban this whole deal back in 1969?

    The Washington Post reported Sunday that the FBI is focusing its anthrax investigation on a contractor who worked with the CIA. The newspaper said the contractor may be the source of the “Ames strain” of anthrax found in letters sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, NBC News’ anchor Tom Brokaw and several other news organizations. But the CIA official, while confirming the agency has small amounts of the Ames strain for testing purposes, told CNN “we did not grow, create or produce” the anthrax in the letters, and “we are not the source of this material.”

    Well, what else would they say? The contractor that the FBI was focusing was Battelle, by all indications – but then what happened?

    • DXer said

      You keep making unsupported statements such as this:

      “Here’s the original tip that the FBI was focusing in on Battelle – before the entire FBI team was canned,”

      When asked for support, you provide none. (And once again, you are mistaken. For example, as an example, Special Agent Jennifer Gant wrote the memo in December 2001 objecting to the database of POIs and then was there front and center for the Hatfill search.) You falsely suggested Van Harp was canned when he faced mandatory retirement. You just repeatedly make the same incorrect factual assertions without citing any support when corrected.

      You rely on a news item that demonstrates only that the Amerithrax Task Force was pursuing a wide variety of theories and large number of POIs as they worked through an ever-changing list. Yet, you are blind to the fact that while you point to Battelle, the Battelle consultants working on the matter were in the same floor and then suite as Al-Timimi. So all of your points about the sophistication you imagine of the anthrax (and the Leahy product did behave like a gas) merely points to Battelle consultant Dr. Alibek and the sophistication of a Hadron. Even Ivins graded the Post a “C” and Daschle a “B”. That is consistent with Bill Patrick’s a grade of 7 out of 10. But if Battelle is what you want, it is the suite with the Battelle consultants and the Salafist-Jihadi supporter that you’ve got. They are the one who are expert a silica in the culture medium and it was the founder of Aerosol Techniques (in 1955) who was the applicant for the international patent in an aerosol pharma application.

      You say “Didn’t Nixon ban this whole deal back in 1969.” ML, the expert you rely upon below, reasons that small amounts do not violate the treaty. The problem is that there was totally naive and lax security. The millions to be made dulls the vigilance of scientists. Dr. Alibek, of course, having perpetrated the massive deception relating to the false legend for the Soviet bioweapons program, had no excuse for being naive.

      I’ve asked you for a single expert who supports your theory that Dr. Majidi’s suggestion that the silica could have been in the culture medium — and you don’t name a single one. I’ve ventured that anyone you could name will be in the press shortly agreeing with the suggestion.

      Dr. Al-Timimi had a high security clearance while at SRA with Dr. Bailey. Dr. Al-Timimi did work for the Navy while at SRA. But you don’t know about the Navy aerosol tests in the Spring of 2001 because CIA, DIA, DARPA, Navy… there’s no difference to you.

      And you mistakenly argue (once again) that in 2002 the FBI turned away from Battelle when in fact they turned to do 200 polygraphs at biodefense facilities (i.e., Dugway and Battelle) and still had 47 at Battelle that they were working to eliminate in 2007.

      • Ike Solem said

        “The Washington Post reported Sunday that the FBI is focusing its anthrax investigation on a contractor who worked with the CIA.”

        Okay, assuming it was a reliable source, and not whoever it was that started leaking Hatfill’s name to the press in 2002, there’s your answer.

        Here, roughly, is the first FBI team, who seems to have done pretty good work, even if Battelle was already trying to play down the anthrax powder’s high-tech nature by autoclaving the samples the FBI gave them:

        Van A. Harp – assistant director of the FBI in charge of the Washington field office.

        Arthur Eberhardt – Special Agent in Charge at the Washington FBI field office under Harp. Previously had been section chief at Quantico overseeing the HMRU.

        James F. Jarboe – head of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit.

        John “Jack” Hess – FBI agent in charge of the “Amerithrax 1” case, the classic detective work portion of the Amerithrax investigation.

        David Lee Wilson – FBI agent in charge of the “Amerithrax 2” case, the scientific investigation.

        Look up the details yourself – but here is Van Harp in Feb 2002:

        The Justice Department is demanding anthrax samples from at least a dozen scientific laboratories to compare them to the deadly bacteria found inside anthrax-laden letters mailed last fall….

        Van A. Harp, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington office, confirmed in a statement that the “FBI has recently delivered subpoenas for samples of the Ames strain of anthrax spores from laboratories across the U.S.”

        Cox News Service
        February 27, 2002 Wednesday
        BYLINE: REBECCA CARR

        Now, these guys were forced out:

        Fine concluded that Harp should have been disciplined for improperly editing notes and other conduct in a Ruby Ridge probe he helped lead. Fine also found that Harp, while head of the Cleveland field office in 1997, claimed in travel documents that he had attended a board meeting that did not exist on the weekend of the Potts dinner.
        Harp said yesterday that disparities in the disciplinary system frequently work against FBI executives and complained that he has no recourse to object to Fine’s report. “In 33 years, I have never been disciplined,” Harp said. “But in this case, I have no opportunity to appeal the factual inaccuracies” in the report.

        This was as staged a firing as you can imagine – and why?

        A report by the department’s Office of Inspector General, scheduled for release this morning, said five senior FBI executives, including Assistant Director Van A. Harp, who now heads the bureau’s Washington field office, attended the dinner and made false statements on documents they submitted for travel reimbursements. More than 140 people went to the Oct. 9, 1997, dinner, while only five showed up the next morning for the “Integrity in Law Enforcement” conference – which lasted about 90 minutes, including lunch. – The Washington Times 15-NOV-02

        Let’s be clear: after hitting a lot of hot leads in 2001-2002 and gearing up for a major investigation of all the labs that received Ames from Detrick, suddenly the lead FBI guys are railroaded into retirement on meaningless charges, and replaced by the FBI’s Richard Lambert, who immediately halts all investigation of such labs, and then turns all attention to going after Hatfill while simultaneously promoting a “low-tech” theory of the anthrax attacks (see Douglas Beecher, FBI lab scientist, for the first unsubstantiated claim in that area c. 2005).

        After stalling and misdirecting for three-four years, Richard Lambert is replaced and a new team – consisting of FBI agents who know nothing about science and rely heavily on the “experts” provided by the National Labs complex (Battelle is among the biggest DOE (sub)contractors, as well as DHS & DHHS). Here we have people like Vahid Majidi, the assistant director responsible for the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, and Chris Hassell, FBI Laboratory Director.

        Now, these latter folks are smart enough and experienced enough to KNOW they are selling a line of horsey dung to the public – there’s no excuse for their behavior.

        • DXer said

          You say he was he was forced out in February 2002 when to the contrary, as I previously pointed out (and provided the article) he faced mandatory retirement and yet he was granted a year extension and did not retire until over a year later.

          Article: Washington Chief To Retire From FBI
          The Washington Post
          April 18, 2003
          Author:
          Allan Lengel

          Van Harp, who took over the FBI’s Washington field office in July 2001 and has been at the forefront of the nation’s battle against terrorism and anthrax, said yesterday that he is retiring next month.

          Harp, who turns 58 next month, was scheduled to step aside last year when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 57. But FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III gave him a one-year extension to head the office of 700 agents.

          “It’s been an extraordinary time,” said Harp, whose last day is May 5. His replacement has not be named.

          The Washington field office, the second largest in the country, has been one of the key FBI offices involved in the fight against terrorism since …

        • DXer said

          Now, as for who was leaking, it was Daniel Seikaly who pled the 5th Amendment to those leaks. He was born in Haifa in 1948 and his sister-in-law and brother publicly advocated that terrorism should not be attributed to Bin Laden.

          He moved over from the CIA in late September 2001.

          His daughter came to represent “anthrax weapons suspect” (defense counsel’s term) Al-Timimi pro bono.

          The lawyer for Rabih Haddad, the Ann Arbor head of Global Relief Foundation, arranged for the pro bono representation of the Virginia Paintball defendants. Source: ABA Journal.

    • DXer said

      It’s as if Ike is new to the matter and has never heard of Battelle’s Perry Mikesell even though the example was pointed out the last time he posted the same points.

  19. DXer said

    Ali Al-Timimi worked at George Mason University’s Discovery Hall throughout 2000 and 2002 period. The Mason Gazette in “Mason to Pursue Advanced Biodefense Research” on November 17, 2000 had announced: “The School of Computational Sciences (SCS) and Advanced Biosystems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hadron, Inc., of Alexandria, are pursuing a collaborative program at the Prince William Campus to enhance research and educational objectives in biodefense research. The article noted that the program was funded primarily by a grant awarded to Advanced Biosystems from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). A 2007 GMU PhD thesis explains that the “An Assessment of Exploitable Weaknesses in Universities” by Corinne M. Verzoni offices and research located in Discovery Hall, making this an attractive building on the Prince William Campus to target for information and technology.” The 2007 PhD student biodefense student explained: “Discovery Hall currently has BSL 1, 2 and 2+ labs in which students work with attenuated and vaccine strains of Fracella tularemia, anthrax and HIV. GMU will eventually have new biological labs featuring a BSL-3 lab which will have anthrax and tularemia.”

    Instead of starting a center from scratch, GMU chose to join forces with Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey’s existing research firm, Hadron Advanced Biosystems Inc. Hadron was already working under contract for the federal government, having received funding from DARPA. Dr. Alibek told the Washington Post that he and Bailey had spent their careers studying an issue that only recently grabbed the country’s attention, after the anthrax mailings the previous fall. Dr. Bailey and Alibek met in 1991, when a delegation of Soviet scientists visited the USAMRIID at Ft. Detrick. Dr. Bailey explained that the purpose of the tour was to show the Soviets that the US was not developing offensive biological weapons. Bailey said he tried to engage Alibek in conversation but Alibek remained aloof. Alibek, for his part, explains that he was suspicious of this American smiling so broadly at him. A year later, Alibek would defect to the US and reveal an illegal biological program in the Soviet Union of a staggering scope. Alibek says that one reason he defected was that he realized that the Soviet intelligence
    was wrong — that the US research was in fact only defensive.

    Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames researcher Bailey coinvented, with Ken Alibek, the process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide so as to permit greater concentration upon drying. He was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. The patent application was filed March 14, 2001. Rm 154A was Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to the newly constructed Bull Run Hall). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface.

    One ATCC former employee felt so strongly about lax security there the scientist called me out of the blue and said that the public was overlooking the patent repository as a possible source of the Ames strain. ATCC would not deny they had virulent Ames in their patent repository pre 9/11 (as distinguished from their online catalog). The spokesperson emailed me: “As a matter of policy, ATCC does not disclose information on the contents of its patent depository.” Previously, though, the ATCC head publicly explained that it did not have virulent Ames and its collection scientist came to head the FBI’s investigation and oversees the DOJ’s failure to disclose the relevant documents.

    George Mason University, Department Listings, accessed August 17, 2003, shows that the National Center For Biodefense and Center for Biomedical Genomics had the same mail stop (MS 4ES). The most famed bioweaponeer in the world was not far from this sheik urging violent
    jihad in an apocalyptic struggle between religions. Dr. Alibek’s office was Rm. 156D in Prince William 2. The groups both shared the same department fax of 993-4288. Dr. Alibek advises me he had seen him several times in the corridors of GMU and was told that he was a religious muslim hard-liner but knew nothing of his activities. At one point, Timimi’s mail drop was MSN 4D7.

    Charles Bailey at 3-4271 was the former head of USAMRIID and joined the Center in April 2001. He continued to do research with Ames after 9/11. Dr. Alibek reports that shortly after the mailings, he wrote FBI Director Mueller and offered his services but was advised that they already had assembled a large group. A 2004 report describes research done by Dr. Alibek and his colleagues using Delta Ames obtained from NIH for a research project done for USAMRIID. There were two grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2001. One $3.6 million grant dated to July 2001 and the other was previous to that.

    Ali Al-Timimi had the same telephone number that Dr. Victor Morozov of the Center for Biodefense would later have when he joined the faculty and occupied the newly constructed Bull Run Building, which opened in late 2004 (Rm. #362). Dr. Morozov focuses on the development of new bioassay methods for express analysis, high-throughput screening and proteomics. He has recently developed a new electrospray-based technology for mass fabrication of protein microarrays. Dr. Morozov is currently supervising a DOE -funded research project directed at the development of ultra-sensitive express methods
    for detection of pathogens in which slow diffusion of analytes is replaced by their active transport controlled and powered by external forces (electric, magnetic, gravitational or hydrodynamic). His homepage explains that: “A variety of projects are available for students to participate in “*** 7. Develop software to analyze motion of beads. 8. Develop software to analyze patterns in drying droplets. 9. Develop an electrostatic collector for airborne particles.”

    Al-Timimi obtained a doctorate from George Mason University in 2004 in the field of computational biology — a field related to cancer research involving genome sequencing. He successfully defended his thesis 5 weeks after his indictment. Curt Jamison, Timimi’s thesis advisor, coauthor and loyal friend, was in Prince William II (Discovery Hall) Rm. 181A. The staff of Advanced Biosystems was in Rm. 160, 162, 177, 254E and several others. Computational sciences offices were intermixed among the Hadron personnel on the first floor of Prince William II to include 159, 161, 166A, 167, 181 B and 181C. Rm. 156B was Charles Bailey, former commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who was head of the Center for Biodefense. Defense contractor
    Hadron had announced the appointment of Dr. Bailey as Vice-President of Advanced Biosystems in early April 2001. “Over 13 years, Dr. Bailey had served as a Research Scientist, Deputy Commander for Research, Deputy Commander and Commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute. As a USAMRIID scientist, he designed and supervised the construction of BL-3 containment facilities. His hands-on experience with a wide variety of pathogens is chronicled in 70 published articles. During his 4 years with the Defense Intelligence Agency, he published numerous articles assessing foreign capabilities regarding biological weapons.” When I asked Dr. Bailey to confirm Al-Timimi’s room number relative to his own, his only response was to refer me to University counsel. Counsel then never substantively responded to my inquiry regarding their respective room numbers citing student privacy. Ali’s friend and thesis advisor, Dr. Jamison never responded to an emailed query either. GMU perhaps understandably was very nervous about losing the $25 million grant for a new BL-3 regional facility to be located very near our country’s capitol.

    The reports on the study on the effectiveness of the mailed anthrax in the Canadian experiment was reported in private briefings in Spring and Summer of 2001. An insider thus was not dependent on the published report later that Fall. (The date on the formal report is September 10, 2001).

    Dr. Charles Bailey for DIA wrote extensively on the the biothreat posed by other countries (and presumably terrorists). He shared a fax number with Al-Timimi. What came over that fax line in Spring and Summer of 2001? At some point, Dr. Al-Timimi, Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey also shared the same maildrop. It certainly would not be surprising that the two directors who headed the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense — and had received the biggest defense award in history for work with Delta Ames under a contract with USAMRIID — would have been briefed on the threat of mailed anthrax. The 1999 short report by William Patrick to Hatfill at SAIC on the general subject was far less important given that it did not relate to actual experimental findings.

    Plus, it is common sense that while someone might use as a model something they had surreptitiously learned of — they would not use as a model something in a memo that they had commissioned. Thus, it was rather misdirected to focus on the 1999 SAIC report commissioned by Dr. Hatfill rather than the 2001 Canadian report. The Canadian report related to the anthrax threat sent regarding the detention of Vanguards of Conquest #2 Mahjoub in Canada. Mahjoub had worked with al-Hawsawi in Sudan (the fellow with anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop). The anthrax threat in late January prompted the still-classified Presidential Daily Brief (“PDB”) in early February 2001 by the CIA to President Bush on the subject.

    In Fall 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”) had detected silicon dioxide (silica) in the attack anthrax — with a characteristic big spike for the silicon. No silica was observable on the SEMs images that Dr. Alibek and Dr. Matthew Meselson saw. The Leahy product was “pure spores.” Was silicon dioxide used as part of a microdroplet cell culture process used prior to drying to permit greater concentration? As explained in a later related patent, the silica could be removed from the surface of the spore through repeated centrifugaton or an air chamber.

    Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had filed a patent application in mid-March 2001 involving a microdroplet cell culture technique that used silicon dioxide in a method for concentrating growth of cells. The patent was granted and the application first publicly disclosed in the Spring of 2002. Weren’t the SEMS images and AFIP EDX finding both consistent with use of this process in growing the culture? It’s been suggested informally to me that perhaps the silicon analytical peak was due to silanol from hydrolysis of a silane, used in siliconizing glassware. But didn’t the AFIP in fact also detect oxygen in ratios characteristic of silicon dioxide? Wasn’t the scientist, now deceased, who performed the EDX highly experienced and expert in detecting silica? Hasn’t the AFIP always stood by its report. In its report, AFIP explained: “AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica.” Perhaps the nuance that was lost — or just never publicly explained for very sound reasons — was that silica was used in the cell culture process and then removed from the spores through a process such as centrifugation. The applicants in March
    2001 for an international patent relating to vaccines were a leading aerosol expert, Herman R. Shepherd, and a lonstanding anthrax biodefense expert, Philip Russell.

    Dr. Morozov is co-inventor along with Dr. Bailey for a patent “Cell Culture” that explains how the silicon dioxide can be removed from the surface. Perhaps it is precisely this AFIP finding of silicon dioxide (without silica on the SEMs) that is why the FBI came to suspect Al-Timimi in 2003 (rightly or wrongly, we don’t know)

    An example from October 2006 of equipment that went missing from GMU’s Discovery Hall was a rotissery hybridization oven belonging to the Center for Biomedical Genomics. Corinne Verzoni explained in her PhD 2007 thesis. “Upon hearing about instances or missing equipment in Discovery Hall, the author contacted campus security who was unaware of instances of missing equipment. Missing equipment should be reported to the equipment liaison. Missing equipment may not be reported to campus security because labs tend to share equipment. Equipment also goes missing because it is not inventoried if it is under $2,000.”

    She gave another example:

    “A DI system is a de-ionized water system, which removes the ions that are found in normal tap water. The assistant director for operations noticed the DI system in Discovery Hall was using the entire 100 gallons in two days, which is an enormous amount of water for the four DI taps in the whole building. According to the assistant director for operations, it is difficult to calculate the reason for that much water since no leak was found. A large amount of water used over a short period of time for unknown reasons could indicate that the research is being conducted covertly.”

    “A student with legitimate access to Discovery Hall,” she explained, “has easy accessibility to equipment. A student with access to the loading dock could steal equipment on the weekend when campus security is not present in Discovery Hall. A student could also walk out of the entrance with equipment on the weekend without security
    present.” She concluded: “The events at GMU demonstrate opportunity to create a clandestine lab, the ability to sell items illegally, or the ability to exploit school equipment.” In a late September 2001 interview on NPR on the anthrax threat, Dr. Alibek said: “When we talk and deal with, for example, nuclear weapons, it’s not really difficult to count how much of one or another substance we’ve got in the hands. When you talk about biological agents, in this case it’s absolutely impossible to say whether or not something has been stolen.”

    Presently, Al-Timimi’s prosecution is on remand while the defense is given an opportunity to discover any documents that existed prior to 9/11 about al-Timimi and to address an issue relating to NSA intercepts after 9/11. Ali’s defense counsel explained to the federal district court, upon a remand by the appeals court, that Mr. Timimi was interviewed by an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent as early as February 1994 in connection with the first World Trade Center attack. The agents left their business cards which the family kept. Defense counsel Johnathan Turley further explained that “We have people that were contacted by the FBI and told soon after 9/11 that they believed that Dr. Al-Timimi was either connected to 9/11 or certainly had information about Al Qaeda.”

    Al-Timimi worked for SRA in 1999 where he had a high security clearance for work for the Navy. At a conference on countering biological terrorism in 1999 sponsored by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Alibek was introduced by a former colleague of Dr. Bailey:

    “Dr. Llewellyn: This is rather strange because I just met Dr. Alibek today. He was introduced to me by Dr. Charlie Bailey, who now works for SRA. But Charlie and I were associated with the Army Medical Research and Development Command Defense Program for over 20 years.”

    When I emailed Dr. Bailey in December 2007 to confirm Ali had the room right near his at Discovery Hall and whether he had worked with Al-Timimi at SRA he politely referred me to counsel and took no questions. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov have told me that Ali is not known to have worked on any biodefense project. Dr. Popova told me I should direct any such questions to Dr. Bailey. Dr. Bailey told me I should direct any questions to University counsel. University counsel declined to answer any questions.

    • DXer said

      Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali” and “was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:

      “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden.”

      Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assirat also. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage. Wadih al Hage was Ali Mohammed’s friend and served as Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.”

      Kamal Habib had been a founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and had spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the late 1970s, the cell run by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. In Egypt he formed the Islah (“Reform”) party with Gamal Sultan. While contributing to Al Manar al Jadeed, the Ann Arbor-based IANA’s quarterly journal, the pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999. They were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group. They were just hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless, at the same he withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group.

      In early April 2001, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rented an apartment in Falls Church, Virginia, for about a month, with the assistance of a man they met at the mosque. Nawaf Al-Hazmi had been at the January 2000 meeting at Yazid Sufaat’s Malaysian condominium in January 2000. Hijackers Nawaf and Hani Hanjour, a fellow pilot who was his friend from Saudi Arabia, attended sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Al-Timimi was located until he established the nearby center. The FBI reports that at an imam named Awlawki who had recently also moved from San Diego had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. Police later found the phone number of the Falls Church mosque when they searched the apartment of 9/11 planner Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. In his 2007 book, Center of the Storm, George Tenet noted that Ramzi bin al-Shibh had a CBRN role.

      Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:

      “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.

      Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.

      Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

      A man named Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque Sept. 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God. “He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America.” Kwon said Al-Timimi told the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen —preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.

      After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September 16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group and gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch with two of the group on September 19, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting.

      Al-Timimi’s lawyer explains that Al-Timimi was in telephone contact with Al-Hawali on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001:
      “The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.”

      Al-Timimi was urging the young men go defend the Taliban against the imminent US invasion. A recent open letter to Ayman Zawahiri from a senior Libyan jihadist, Bin-Uthman, now living in London, confirms that Ayman Zawahiri and Atef, at a several day meeting in Kandahar in the Summer of 2000, viewed WMD as a deterrent to the invasion of Afghanistan.

      Kwon, who had just become a U.S. citizen in August 2001, went to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001. Kwon practiced with a semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher, but he was not able to join the Taliban. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training. His trainers suggested that he instead go back to the United States and gather information for the holy warriors. Kwon told jurors at al-Timimi’s trial how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago and then found that Al-Timimi lectured locally near his home in Northern Virginia. “Russian Hell” — a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war — was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed. “They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration,” Kwon told the jurors.

      In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League.

      Al Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:

      “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

      In addition to the October 6, 2002 letter, drafted by Al-Timimi, Hawali had sent a lengthy October 15, 2001 “Open Letter” to President Bush in which he had rejoiced in the 9/11 attacks. One Al-Hawali lecture, sought to be introduced in the prosecution of the IANA webmaster, applauded the killing of Jews and called for more killing, praised suicide bombings, and said of Israel that it’s time to “fight and expel this hated country that consists of those unclean, defiled, the cursed.”

      Bin Laden referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 Declaration of War on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik al-Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime.

      Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:

      “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

      As Ali later explained to NBC, “To have a space shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there’s a divine hand behind it.”

      • DXer said

        In March 2002, fellow Falls Church iman Anwar Aulaqi — known as the “911 imam” — suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). Upon a return visit in Fall 2002, “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” After 18 months in prison in Yemen in 2006 and 2007, he was released over US objections, where he says he was subject to interrogation by the FBI. Now he is publicly advocating — from hiding — that jihad by US citizens against fellow Americans is as American as apple pie.

        Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008: “]911 imam] Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy. The 9-11 Report indicates that Special Agent Ammerman interviewed Al-Aulaqi just before or shortly after his October 2002 visit to Dr. Al-Timimi’s home to discuss the attacks and his efforts to reach out to the U.S. government.”

        Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi), who met with hijacker Nawaf, reportedly was picked up in Yemen by Yemen security forces at the request of the CIA in the summer of 2006. British and US intelligence had him and others under surveillance. Al-Timimi would speak alongside fellow Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi) at conferences such as the August 2001 London JIMAS and the August 2002 London JIMAS conference. They would speak on subjects such as signs before the day of judgment and the like. Dozens of their lectures are available online. Unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post in 2008 that “they have come to believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaida networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia.” One official said: “There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies.” “Some believe that Aulaqi was the first person since the summit meeting in Malaysia with whom al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi shared their terrorist intentions and plans,” former Senate Intelligence committee chairman Bob Graham wrote in his 2004 book “Intelligence Matters.”

        Awlaqi was hired in early 2001 in an attempt by the mosque’s leaders to appeal to younger worshipers. Born in New Mexico and raised in Yemen, he had the total package. He was young, personable, fluent in English, eloquent and knowledgeable about Middle East politics. Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Al Hazmi worshiped at Aulaqi’s mosque for several weeks in spring 2001. The 9/11 commission noted that the two men apparently showed up because Nawaf Hazmi had developed a close relationship with Aulaqi in San Diego. In 2001, Awlaqi came to Falls Church from San Diego shortly before Nawaf did. Awlaqi told the FBI that he did not recall what Nawaf and he had discussed in San Diego and denied having contact with him in Falls Church.

        The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was Aulaqi’s roommate. Smith tells me that he was very extreme in his views when speaking privately and not like his smooth public persona. “Aulaqi is deep into hardcore militant Islam. He is not a cleric who just says prayers and counsels people as some of his supporters have suggested.” Sami al-Hussayen uncle checked into the same Herndon, VA hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn, on the same night — September 10, 2001 as Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and another hijacker. Hussayen had a seizure during an FBI interview and although doctors found nothing wrong with him was allowed to return home. During his trip to the US, al-Hussayen had visited both “911 imam” Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi.

        The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states

        “Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmi’s personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.”

        The Washington Post explains that “After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. His CD “The Hereafter” takes listeners on a tour of Paradise that describes “the mansions of Paradise,” “the women of Paradise,” and “the greatest of the pleasures of Paradise.” In London, after leaving the United States, he spoke at JIMAS and argued that in light of the rewards offered to martyrs in Jennah, or Paradise, Muslims should be eager to give his life in fighting the unbelievers. “Don’t think that the tones that die in the sake of Allah are dead — they are alive, and Allah is providing for them. So the shaheed is alive in the sense that his soul is in Jennah, and his soul is alive in Jennah.” He moved to Yemen, his family’s ancestral home, in 2004.” Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in San’a run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.

        Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: “Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi’s charity as its Yemeni partner. A Washington Post article explained: “The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.”

        He now has been released and came to be at the center of a controversy concerning what the FBI should have known and shared about Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. The next month he was alleged to have been involved with the planned bombing of a airliner flying into Detroit. What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? The Washington Post reports that in a taped interview posted on December 31, 2007 on a British Web site, “Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers.” “I don’t know if I was held because of that or because of the other issues they presented,” Aulaqi said. Aulaqi once said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so “until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.”

        Now that he does not pull his punches in his rhetoric or in his recruiting of jihadists, the US has made his capture a top priority.

  20. DXer said

    In 2000, IANA radio ran an item “CIA to Monitor Foreign Students.” The item as published on the IANA website read: “American anti-terrorism policies are ‘seriously deficient according to the US National Commission on Terrorism, a body created by Congress after the bombing of 2 US embassies in East Africa.'”

    In November 2007, FBI Director Mueller gave a speech in which he warned against the need to guard against spies at universities, who for example, may have access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information.

    “Al Qaeda is tremendously patient and thinks nothing about taking years to infiltrate persons in and finding the right personnel and opportunity to undertake an attack. And we cannot become complacent, because you look around the world, and whether it’s London or Madrid or Bali or recently Casablanca or Algiers, attacks are taking place.”

    Infiltrator Ali Mohamed was the “Teflon terrorist.” Ali Mohammed, an EIJ member who was associated with the unit that killed Sadat, had an alibi for the Sadat assassination. He was at an officer exchange program studying at the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina., Green Beret and Delta Force officers trained there. After he was forced out of the Egyptian Army for his radical beliefs, he went to work at Egyptair. As a security advisor, where he learned how to hijack airliners. He then joined the CIA and the US Army. He was a supply sergeant at the US Army’s Fort Bragg. He lectured Green Beret and Delta Forces on the middle east. He stole high resolution maps from the map shack and brought them to Zawahirii in Afghanistan. In 1989, Ali Mohamed traveled from Fort Bragg to train men that would later commit WTC 1993. When Ali Mohammed traveled to Brooklyn, he stayed with Islamic Group and Abdel-Rahman’s bodyguard Nosair, the man who would assassinate Rabbi Kahane in 1990.

    WTC 1993 prosecutor Andrew McCarthy concludes that “in small compass, [Ali Mohammed] is the story of American intelligence and radical islam in the eighties and nineties: the left hand oblivious not only to the right but to its own fingers … while jihadists played the system from within, with impunity, scheming to kill us all.” He emphasizes: “There is no way to sugar coat it: Ali Mohamed is a window on breathtaking government incompetence.” He writes: ”I raised holy hell … that I strongly suspected Mohamed was a terrorist, that the FBI should be investigating him rather than allowing him to infiltrate as a source … Because, you know what they say “IMAGINE THE LIABILITY.”

    In 1991, when Bin Laden wanted to move from Afghanistan to Sudan, Ali Mohammed served as his head of security and trained his bodyguards. Along with a former medical student, Khalid Dahab, Ali Mohamed recruited ten Americans for “sleeper cells.” After the 1998 embassy bombings, when FBI agents secretly swarmed his California residence, they found a document “Cocktail” detailing how cell members should operate. Even Al Qaeda central would not know the identity of members and different cells would not know each other’s identity. It was Ali Mohamed who was the source for the December 4, 1998 PDB to President Clinton explaining that the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Islambouli, was planning attacks on the US. In November 2001, did the Quantico profilers know of this egregious history of infiltration and harm flowing from treating the Nosair case as a “lone wolf” rather than an international conspiracy? One man’s “lone wolf” experiencing howling loneliness is another man’s Salafist operating under strict principles of cell security and “need-to-know.”

    A former FBI agent in the New York office who asked not to be identified, told author Peter Lance: “Understand what this means. You have an Al Qaeda spy who’s now a U.S. citizen, on active duty in the U.S. Army, and he brings along a video paid for by the U.S. government to train Green Beret officers and he’s using it to help train Islamic terrorists so they can turn their guns on us. By now the Afghan war is over.”

    Steve Emerson once said of the former US Army Sergeant who was Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence: “Ali Mohamed is one of the most frightening examples of the infiltration of terrorists into the infrastructure of the United States. Like a [character in a] John Le Carre thriller, he played the role of a triple agent and nearly got away with it.” Those officials who sought to minimize the security breach would have to explain away the classified maps of Afghanistan he stole from the map shack, and the classified cables and manuals found in such places as the home of Nosair, the assassin of Rabbi Kehane.

    Not even Ali Mohammed, however, could boast the letter of commendation from the White House once given Ali Al-Timimi, previous work for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, or a high security clearance. Ali Mohammed did not even have a security clearance but was merely a supply sergeant at the base where Special Operations was located. ‘Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s Support Committee’ in an email to supporters dated April 5, 2005 explained: “This is a summary of the court proceedings that took place yesterday April 4th 2005. We will send a summary everyday inshallah. *** “In his opening statement, Defense attorney Edward B. MacMahon Jr. said that Al-Timimi was born and raised in Washington DC. He has a degree in Biology and he is also a computer scientist, and a mathematician. He worked for Andrew Card, who’s now the White House chief of staff, at the Transportation Department in the early 1990s.”

    There was an elephant in the rooom no one talked about. A colleague of famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander Charles Bailey, a prolific Ames strain researcher, has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years in prison. He worked in a program co-sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection and had access to ATCC facilities, as well as facilities of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense at George Mason University then run by Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. The bionformatics grad student once had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy.

    Many commentators have long held strong and divergent opinions of what has been published in the media about Amerithrax, what they knew and their political views. But it turns out that they apparently have just been seeing the elephant in the living room from a different angle. Actually, they’ve just been in a position to see the elephant’s rump from outside the living room door. One US law professor, Francis Boyle, who has represented islamists abroad, first publicized the theory that a US biodefense insider was responsible. He has served as legal advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Separately the theory was adopted by professor Barbara Rosenberg. But Professor Boyle and Rosenberg were not so far from the truth — just incorrect as to motive. The documentary shows that Zawahiri’s plan was to infiltrate the US and UK biodefense establishment, and the evidence shows that is exactly what he did.

    In a June 2005 interview in a Swiss (German language) weekly news magazine, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Ken Alibek addresses the anthrax mailings:
    A. “What if I told you Swiss scientists are paid by Al Qaeda? You could believe it or not. It has become somewhat fashionable to disparage Russian scientists. Americans, Iraqis, or whoever could just as well be involved with Al Qaeda. Why doesn’t anyone speculate about that?”
    Q. “But could one of your students build a biological weapon in the garage?”
    A. “Let me reply philosophically: Two hundred years ago, it was unthinkable to believe that people would be using mobile telephones, wasn’t it? Everything changes. Our knowledge grows, and technology develops incredibly quickly. … I am not saying that a student is in a position to build a biological weapon all by himself. But the knowledge needed to do it is certainly there.”

    No one who responded to my inquiries ever knew Al-Timimi to ever have been involved in any biodefense project. For example, former Russian bioweaponeer Sergei Popov did not know of any such work by Al-Timimi. Anna Popova had only seen him in the hall on a very rare occasion. Dr. Alibek thought of him as a “numbers guy” rather than a hands-on type. Given that the FBI knows what Al-Timimi had for dinner on September 16, 2001 and lunch on September 17, it is very likely that the past years have involved a continued search for the mailer and/or processor. His attorney emphasizes that while they searched for materials related to a planned biological attack when they searched his townhouse in late February 2003, they came up empty.

    DOD official Peter Leitner, who also taught at GMU, supervised a 2007 PhD thesis by a graduate student that explores biosecurity issues at GMU. The PhD biodefense thesis on the vulnerability of the program to infiltration explains:

    “As a student in the biodefense program, the author is aware that students without background checks are permitted to work on grants, specifically Department of Defense, that has been awarded to NCBD under the Department of Molecular and Microbiology at GMU. Students are also permitted to do research separately from work in the lab for their studies. Work and studies are separate, but related by the lab. Thus, student access, research and activities go unchecked and unmonitored. Students have access to critical information and technology.”
    The author explains:

    “A principal investigator (PI) may hire a student based on a one on one interview, post doctoral or masters interest, technical abilities, publications, previous work and lab experience, whether student qualifications match the principal interrogators current research, whether there is a space, and if the timing is right. There is no formal screening process or background check that the author is aware of for teaching or research assistantships.”
    Other students took a “red cell” approach that have corroborated the findings of the thesis. Proliferation leads to great risk of infiltration.

    LSU researcher Martin Hugh-Jones explained: “There were no more than ten labs in the nation working with the organism, and now it’s about 310—and they all want virulent strains. In the old days virtually everyone was paid by Department of Defense to do their research because that’s the only place where money came from because the organism wasn’t thought to be of economic importance. Now that it’s a bioterrorist threat and money’s available for research, experts have come out of the walls. The whole damn thing is bizarre.”A 2004 Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services report: “Serious weaknesses compromised the security of select agents at the universities under review. Physical security of select agents at all 11 universities left select agents vulnerable to theft or loss, thus elevating the risk of public exposure.”

    Dr. Leitner in a letter to the Fairfax County Police Department wrote:

    “Now we see that Sergeant Rasool was the subject of a several-year long investigation – in fact, he was under investigation at the time he lodged his complaints against us — and was recently convicted of a very serious security breach involving misusing FBI databases to assist another person under FBI investigation for Federal terrorism charges.” Rasool has sought to stop the training work being done by Dr. Leitner, who taught biosecurity work at George Mason University’s Center for Biodefense.

    • DXer said

      The Washington Post, in an article “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” dated September 3, 2006 summarized events relating to George Mason University computational biology graduate student Ali Al-Timimi:

      “In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.
      Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

      The agents reached an alarming conclusion:

      ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.

      On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.”

      Al-Timimi had rock star status in Salafist circles and lectured in July 2001 (in Toronto) and August 2001 (in London) on the coming “end of times” and signs of the coming day of judgment. He spoke alongside officials of a charity, Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) promoting the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. Another speaker was Ali’s mentor, Bilal Philips, one of the 173 listed as unindicted WTC 1993 conspirators. Bilal Philips worked in the early 1990s to recruit US servicemen according to testimony in that trial and interviews in which Dr. Philips explained the Saudi-funded program. According to Al-Timimi’s attorney, Ali “was referenced in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”) as one of seventy individuals regarding whom the FBI is conducting full field investigations on a national basis.” The NSA was intercepting communications by Fall 2001 without a warrant.

      At the same time the FBI was searching the townhouse of PhD candidate Ali Timimi, searches and arrests moved forward elsewhere.
      In Moscow, Idaho, FBI agents interviewed Nabil Albaloushi. (The FBI apparently searched his apartment at the same time they searched the apartment of IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen, who they had woken from bed at 4:00 a.m.) Albaloushi was a PhD candidate expert in drying foodstuffs. His thesis in 2003 was 350 pages filled with charts of drying coefficients. Interceptions showed a very close link between IANA’s Sami al-Hussayen and Sheikh al-Hawali, to include the setting up of websites, the providing of vehicles for extended communication, and telephone contact with intermediaries of Sheikh al-Hawali. Al-Hussayen had al-Hawali’s phone number upon the search of his belongings upon his arrest. Former Washington State University animal geneticist and nutrition researcher Ismail Diab, who had moved to Syracuse to work for an IANA-spin-off, also was charged in Syracuse and released as a material witness to a financial investigation of the IANA affiliate “Help The Needy.” After the government failed to ask Dr. Diab any questions for nearly 3 months, the magistrate bail restrictions and removed the electronic monitoring and curfew requirements.

      In Moscow, Idaho, the activities by IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen that drew scrutiny involved these same two radical sheiks. U.S. officials say the two sheiks influenced al Qaeda’s belief that Muslims should wage holy war against the U.S. until it ceases to support Israel and withdraws from the Middle East. Sami Hussayen, who was acquitted, made numerous calls and wrote many e-mails to the two clerics, sometimes giving advice to them about running Arabic-language websites on which they espoused their anti-Western views.

      According to witness testimony in the prosecution of the Virginia Paintball Defendants, after September 11, 2001, “Al-Timimi stated that the attacks may not be Islamically permissible, but that they were not a tragedy, because they were brought on by American foreign policy.” The FBI first contacted Timimi shortly after 9/11. He met with FBI agents 7 or 8 times in the months leading up to his arrest. Al-Timimi is a US citizen born in Washington DC. His house was searched, his passport taken and his telephone monitored. Ali Al Timimi defended his PhD thesis in computational biology shortly after his indictment for recruiting young men to fight the US in defending against an invasion of Afghanistan.

      Communications between Al-Timimi with dissident Saudi sheik Safar al-Hawali, one of the two fundamentalist sheikhs who were friends and mentors of Bin Laden, were intercepted. The two radical sheiks had been imprisoned from September 1994 to June 1999. Al-Hawali’s detention was expressly the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War against the United States and the claim of responsibility for the 1998 embassy bombings. He had been Al-Timimi’s religious mentor at University.

      ABC reported in July 2004 that FBI Director Mueller had imposed an October 1, 2004 deadline for a case that would stand up in court. The date passed with no anthrax indictment. Al-Timimi was not indicted for anthrax. He was indicted for sedition. Upon his indictment, on September 23, 2004, al-Timimi explained he had been offered a plea bargain of 14 years, but he declined. He quoted Sayyid Qutb. He said he remembered “reading his books and loving his teaching” as a child, and that Qutb’s teaching was prevented from signing something that was false by “the finger that bears witness.” He noted that he and his lawyers asked that authorities hold off the indictment until he had received his PhD, but said that unfortunately they did not wait. On October 6, 2004, the webmaster of the azzam.com website Babar Ahmad was indicted. In 2007, the North Brunswick, NJ imam who mirrored the azzam.com website was indicted (on the grounds of income tax evasion).

      The indictment against the paintball defendants alleged that at an Alexandria, Virginia residence, in the presence of a representative of Benevolence International Foundation (”BIF”), the defendants watched videos depicting Mujahadeen engaged in Jihad and discussed a training camp in Bosnia. His defense lawyer says that the FBI searched the townhouse of “to connect him to the 9/11 attacks or to schemes to unleash a biological or nuclear attack.” Famed head of the former Russian bioweaponeering program Ken Alibek told me that he would occasionally see Al-Timimi in the hallways at George Mason, where they both were in the microbiology department, and was vaguely aware that he was an islamic hardliner. When what his defense counsel claims was an FBI attempt to link Al-Timimi to a planned biological attack failed, defense counsel says that investigators focused on his connections to the men who attended his lectures at the local Falls Church, Va. In the end, he was indicted for inciting them to go to Afghanistan to defend the Taliban against the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan. During deliberations, he reportedly was very calm, reading Genome Technology and other scientific journals. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 70 years.

      • DXer said

        Milton Viorst, who knew Ali as a teenager, wrote a fascinating and sympathetic yet balanced portrait in “The Education of Ali Al-Timimi” that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, June 2006. In Saudi Arabia, Al-Timimi had been mentored by a Saudi-trained Canadian imam Bilal Philips. Philips was Al-Timimi’s Islamic Studies teacher at Manaret Riyadh High School in the early 1980s. Al-Timimi adopted Philips’ view that “The clash of civilizations is a reality,” and “Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam.” Between 1991 and 1993, Philips relocated to the Mindinao, Philippines, where he taught at an islamic school. In 1993, according to an interview he gave in a London-based Arabic-language magazine interview, Philips ran a program to convert US soldiers to Islam stationed in Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War. Philips was made a proselytization official by the Saudi Air Force. Philips followed up in the US, with telephone calls and visits intended to recruit the veterans as potential members of Bin Laden’s network. He enlisted assistance from others based in the U.S. and members of Islamic centers all over the US. These conversion specialists financed pilgrimages for US veterans and would later send Muslim clerics in the United States to their homes. Bilal Philips encouraged some converts from this program to fight in Bosnia in the 1990s. Bilal Philips explained these recruitment efforts to a London newspaper in Arabic (translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service) in an article titled “Jamaican-Born Canadian Interviewed on Islamic Missionary Work Among US Troops”:

        “[redacted] used to coordinate with US intelligence. And, when Croatia closed its borders to Arab volunteers, there were a group of black Americans who completed their training and knew Islam through me. [Redacted] contacted Shaykh Umar Abd-al-Rahman and offered to use this group for sabotage acts inside the United States. The offer was made on the telephone, which apparently was tapped by US intelligence. Shaykh Umar replied by saying: ‘”Avoid civilian targets.’”

        After completing his religious education in Saudi Arabia in Medina, Ali Al Timimi returned to the United States and received a second bachelor’s degree — this time in computer science at the University of Maryland, while also studying software programming at George Washington University. Timimi spoke at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1994. A senior al Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman Dosari, also spoke at three IANA conferences in the early 1990s. In December 1993, Al-Dosari (a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke on ‘Jihad & Revival” and exhorted young men to fight for their faithjust  as Al-Timimi would later be accused of doing privately with young men in Virginia.

        At the first annual IANA conference in 1993,  scheduled speakers included Bilal Philips, Mohammed Abdul-Rahman from Afghanistan, Mohammad Qutb from Cairo,  Gamal Sultan from Cairo, and Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ (Bosnia).

        Mohammad Abdul-Rahman was the blind sheik’s son. The blind sheik  soon was sentenced for terrorism relating to WTC 1993 and the “Day of Terror” plot directed at NYC landmarks. In 2000, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was sitting alongside Bin Laden and Zawahiri and was videotaped encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

        Mohammad Qutb was Sayyid Qutb’s brother. Egyptian Mohammad Qutb, a renown scholar and activist, taught Bin Laden at university in Saudi Arabia, having emigrated to Saudi Arabia. In the 1970s, bin Laden was taught by Sayyid Qutb’s brother, Dr. Mohammad Qutb, and a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood member, Dr. Abdullah Azzam. Azzam’s ideas of non-compromise, violent means, and organizing and fighting on a global scale were central to Al Qaeda methods. Qutb, as al-Hawali’s teacher, also strongly influenced al-Hawali. Al-Hawali was sent to prison in 1994.

        Gamal Sultan was a former EIJ member who would seek to start a political party in 1999 with the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. They sought to chart a nonviolent course (given the practical reality that the movement had been so infiltrated by the security forces). The blind sheik declined to endorse the venture. In 2000, on a trip to Pittsburgh, Gamal Sultan and his colleagues thought Pittsburgh reminded them of Kandahar given its rolling hills.

        Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’was a well-known holy warrior and fundraiser from Saudi Arabia. In 1994, Abdel Aziz glorified jihad and praised the Pittsburgh magazine Assirat for its interest in holy war. He asked Assirat readers and in a 1995 update, to donate money for holy war. He lauded Dr. Abdullah Azzam, the founder of al-Qaeda. He explained jihad will continue till the day of judgment.” In 1996, he was detained as the primary suspect in the attack on the Dhahran barracks, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed. Expert Evan Kohlmann explains: Barbaros was “one of the key individuals responsible for LeT’s formation and development.” He “was a Saudi Al-Qaida member.” Kohlmann writes “In the fall of 1992, a former Al-Qaida lieutenant-turned-government informant attended secret meetings in Croatia chaired by Abu Abdel Aziz (“Barbaros.”). During those meetings, Abu Abdel Aziz talked about his directives from Usama Bin Laden and indicated that Al-Qaida was seeking to use regional jihads such as those in Bosnia and Kashmir as “a base for operations… against al Qaeda’s true enemy, the United States.”

        In 1995 Ali Al Timimi headed an IANA delegation to China together with IANA President Bassem Khafagi and Syracuse oncologist and IANA Vice Chairman Rhafil Dhafir. The IANA condemned the UN women’s rights conference as “an attack on Islam.” They urged Imams worldwide to tell Muslims about “the hidden agenda of this UN Conference, and how to foil the libertine and Westernization movements in the Islamic world.”

        Salafist commentator Umar Lee has explained that in the early 1990s “the most dynamic part of the salafi movement in the DC-area were the students Sheikh Ali al-Timimi who in the 1990’s co-founded a very small group with a small office for an organization called the Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah. In early July 1994, cooperation with Al-Timimi’s Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah, Washington, D.C., IANA held its first annual summer camp in English in Frederick, MD (where the ponds were drained in the Amerthrax investigation). The theme of the camp was “Living the Shahadah in America.” This is what Sheikh Ali was teaching kids at the 1st Annual IANA Summer Camp at a Frederick, MD park:
        “Reflections on the Meaning of Our Testimony of Faith: ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” by Ali Al-Timimi.
        ***
        “6 Wage Jihad in the Path of Allah
        ***
        “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and practice not the true religion (Islam), being of those who have been given the Scripture (the Jews and the Christians) — until they pay tribute readily and have been brought low. (The Qur’an 9:29)
        The Prophet has said:
        I am commanded to fight mankind till they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayers and pay the charity. When they do that they will keep their lives and their property.”

        Author Milton Viorst, the father of a boy who knew Al-Timimi as a young teen, wrote: “Dozens of his talks are available on the Internet in text and in audio format. They contain little about Arab concerns with the Arab-Israeli wars, the rivalries between the Arab states, the problems faced by Muslims living in the West, or even the war in Iraq. Rather, they reveal a man who reflects deeply on the Islamic vision of Judgment day, prophecy, the nature of the divine, and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) — subjects with which he grappled in Medina and in his private reading.” Al Timimi’s lectures (in English after Arabic opening) include “The Negative Portrayal Of Islam In the Media,” “Signs Before the Day of Judgement,” “Advice to the UK Salafis” and “Crusade Complex: Western Perceptions of Islam.” In one of his taped talks available online, al-Timimi warned Muslims not to become too friendly with non-Muslim “disbelievers” or even work for them if other jobs were available. “A Muslim should never allow the disbeliever to have the upper hand.”

        According to the webpage of his first defense committee (which disbanded when they felt under pressure due to their support), at some point years earlier had worked for Andrew Card for 2 months.

        Al-Timimi’s increasing computer skills got him a job at SRA International where Ali worked as a “bioinformatics software architect” providing information technology to the government. Some of his jobs required that Ali obtain a high-level security clearance. One job resulted in a letter of recommendation from the White House. He then enrolled in a PhD program in computational biology at George Mason University. In 1999, Battelle consultant and former USAMRIID Charles Bailey also worked at SRA By 2000, Ali Al-Timimi was already taking advanced courses at Mason in computational sciences. Dr. Bailey became co-Director of the DARPA-funded Center of Biodefense there in the Spring of 2001.

        Timimi once explained his research: “I am currently a research scientist at the Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics, George Mason University. I am involved in the analysis of the microarray data generated by the CTRF Cancer Genomics Project. Likewise, I am developing new computational approaches and technologies in support of this project.” The webpage for Timimi’s program at the time explained: “Faculty members and graduate students in the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology participate in numerous collaborative efforts including but not limited to the following Laboratories and Research Centers: Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics (GMU) , Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Biocomplexity (GMU) and Center for Biodefense (GMU). Beginning the Spring of 2002, GMU hired Ali to develop a computer program that coordinated the research at several universities, letting him go only after he came under suspicion by the FBI. In Spring 2002, according to salary information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, GMU hired him for $70,000 a year. In 2002, the employment was through the School of Computational Sciences and in 2003, it was through Life Sciences Grants & Contracts.

        The School of Computational Sciences at George Mason is a joint venture between the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”) and George Mason. The joint venture is an effort to maximize research efforts by combining the academic and applied approaches to research. The School’s first activity was to teach an ATCC course in DNA techniques adapted for George Mason students. The ATCC is an internationally renown non-profit organization that houses the world’s largest and most diverse archive of biological materials. The Prince William Campus shares half of Discovery Hall with ATCC. ATCC moved to its current state-of-the-art laboratory at Discovery Hall (Prince William II) in 1998.

        ATCC’s 106,000-square-foot facility has nearly 35,000 square feet of laboratory space with a specialized air handling system and Biosafety Level 2 and 3 containment stations. The ATCC bioinformatics (BIF) program carries out research in various areas of biological information management relevant to its mission. BIF scientists interact with laboratory scientists in microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology at ATCC and other laboratories throughout the world. ATCC has strong collaborations with a large number of academic institutions, including computational sciences at George Mason University. Through these partnerships, the George Mason Prince William Campus offers George Mason microbiology students an opportunity for students to be involved in current research and gain access to facilities and employment opportunities at ATCC and other partner companies.

        While I’ve not yet found any reference directly confirming Timimi’s room number, the person who inherited his old telephone number (3-4294) is Victor Morozov in the Center for Biodefense. Dr. Morozov, upon joining the faculty and inheriting the phone number was in Rm. 154A, very near Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B. One faculty member who consulted with Al-Timimi suggested to me that Ali instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite. GMU Information Services helpfully looked up the listings from 2001 directory. As of October 2001 (when the directory is published according to GMU Information Services), judging from the directory, Al-Timimi was still just a graduate student.

        • DXer said

          Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames strain anthrax researcher Charles Bailey, in Rm 156B, was given a Gateway desktop computer in mid-March 2001 (upon his arrival) — serial number 0227315480. It was like the one Dr. Alibek would get the next year in 156D. One way to think of proximity analysis — a form of true crime analysis — is the number of feet or inches between 154B and 156B/156D. Another way is to think of it is in terms of the number of feet or inches to the hard drives. You can judge the distance for yourself from a First Floor plan that is available online, clicking upon 154-156 area to enlarge.

          The December 2007 biodefense PhD thesis explains:

          “Although computers are password protected, anyone can access the computers located throughout the labs. Research results can be recorded on lab computers. Someone wanting to access research results would first have to understand what the numbers meant. Research results are also kept in a lab notebook that is kept in the lab or office. This enables other students to repeat what was already done or to see results.”

          In April 2007, at a talk at Princeton University, Dr. Alibek noted that he felt that

          “[u]nfortunately, the likelihood is very high” of a follow-up to the anthrax mailings of 2001. “And the agent very likely is still anthrax.” “The biggest part of my life now is devoted to cancer and cardiovascular (research). If you work in the biodefense community, good luck to you. I hope you succeed.” Dr. Alibek explained that he had been scrutinized and consulted, and given a polygraph after the anthrax mailings. He said that anthrax likely would be the pathogen favored by terrorists because it is relatively easy to grow and transport. Dr. Alibek suspects it it was “a person who knew from some source how the U.S. manufactured anthrax years and years ago.” He said, “It’s not rocket science.”

          In a separate appeal, the conviction of Al-Timimi’s assistant Chandia affirmed but the 15 year sentence was vacated and remanded for resentencing because of failure to making findings warranting terrorism enhancement. The conviction was reaffirmed by the District Court. He was alleged to have helped a Pakistan group buy components of a UAV.

        • DXer said

          While Al-Timimi was recruiting for the Taliban, he was also connected to one of the principals on Al Qaeda’s WMD Committee, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman. The CIA and FBI apparently have known this for years but have kept it secret as part of their ongoing confidential national security and criminal investigation. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke at the first conference of the Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) in 1993 and was noted to be from Afghanistan. Mohammed Abdelrahman spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi again, for example, in 1996 in Toronto and again that December in Chicago at the annual conference. The December conference was held after blind sheik Abdel-Rahman was indicted. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was closely involved in the financing and promotion of IANA activities. Al-Buthi of Al-Haramain was in contact with Bin Laden’s sheiks and also his brother-in-law Khalifa who had funded the KSM-led Bojinka operation. Global Relief Foundation participated in and sponsored a number of annual conferences. GRF sent money to IANA to offset the conferences’ costs. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was close to bin Laden and was engaged in planning key operations. OBL considered him like a son. Mohammed was on the three member WMD committee with Midhat Mursi. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman ran a training camp that was part of the larger complex of several camps. He was an explosives trainer.

          The “Superseding Indictment” in United States of postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar and others explains that on February 12, 1997, with Mohammed Abdelrahman back in Afghanistan, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “The Islamic Group declares all American interests legitimate targets to its legitimate jihad until the release of all prisoners, on top of whom” is Abdel Rahman. Three months later, on May 5, 1997, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “If any harm comes to the [S]heikh [,] al-Gama al-IsIalamiy[y]a will target [] all of those Americans who participated in subjecting his life to danger.” The statement also said that “A1-Gamaa al-Islamiyya considers every American official, starting with the American president to the despicable jailer [] partners endangering the Sheikh’s life,” and that the Islamic Group would do “everything in its power” to free Abdel Rahman.

          Al Qaeda continued to seek religious approval from blind sheik Abdel-Rahman for its attacks. The US indictment of the Post Office worker in contact with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman alleged: “On or about June 19, 2000, one of Abdel Rahman’s sons, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, spoke by telephone with SATTAR and asked SATTAR to convey to Abdel Rahman the fierceness of the debate within the Islamic Group about the initiative, and said that “even if the other side is right,” SATTAR should tell Abdel Rahman to calm the situation by supporting “the general line of the Group.” The indictment of the US Post Office worker Sattar further alleges: “On or about June 20, 2000, SATTAR spoke by telephone with Mohammed Abdel Rahman and advised him that a conference call had taken place that morning between Abdel Pahman and some of his attorneys and that Abdel Rahman had issued a new statement. The press release issued in Abdel-Rahman’s name containing additional points which made clear, among other things, that Abdel Rahman was not unilaterally ending the initiative, but rather, was withdrawing his support for it and “stating that it was up” to the “brothers” in the Islamic Group now to reconsider the issue.

          The indictment of the US Post Office employee Sattar further alleges: “On or about September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised a meeting of Usama Bin Laden (leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization), Ayman al Zawahiri (former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and one of Bin Laden’s top lieutenants), and Taha. Sitting under a banner which read, “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman,” the three terrorist leaders pledged “to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. During the meeting, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was heard encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

          Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was arrested in mid-February 2003 and Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse was searched two week later. A spraydrying expert was arrested and held as a material witness. A drying expert whose thesis had 350 pages of drying coefficients was searched. At Al-Timimi’s home, the FBI found the personal papers of IANA head, Egyptian Bassem Khafagi was Ann Arbor, Michigan.

          Judging from the record disclosed, the FBI would not obtain the 20 pages of correspondence relating to Bassem’s friend’s work with Bruce Ivins with virulent Ames until 2 years later.

  21. DXer said

    On March 14, 2001, former USAMRIID deputy commander Ames researcher Charles L. Bailey and famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek filed a patent application for a process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide so as to permit greater concentration upon drying. Dr. Bailey was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. Ali Al-Timimi, an associate of radical Saudi sheik al-Hawali, considered to be Bin Laden’s spiritual mentor, was a graduate student who worked in the same building. Ali Al-Timimi was the most celebrated speaker of the charity Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”). The IANA website had published the fatwa “Provision of Suicide Operations,” dated June 19, 2001, that stated: “The mujahid [or warrior] must kill himself if he knows this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies or demolishing a center vital to the enemy or its military forces. In this new era, this can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses.” On August 26, 2001, IANA’s website http://www.islamway.com published a propaganda statement that encouraged individuals to join arms against the West titled “An Invitation to Jihad,” stating that “[t]he mujahid brothers will accept you with open arms and within a period of two weeks you will be given commando training and will be sent to the frontline.”

    Beginning December 2001, Ali Al-Timimi was on GMU staff and paid $70,000 a year. Officials learned of communications between Al-Timimi and Bin Laden’s spiritual adviser, radical Saudi sheik al-Hawali. Al-Timimi’s attorney, for example, says that Al-Timimi and Al-Hawali spoke on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001. They later spoke in coordinating a letter to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax letters to the Senators and helping Moussaoui with his defense. Although the DOJ did not disclose it, Jdey was detained at the same time as Moussaoui, but unlike Moussaoui, he was released.

    In March 2002, a crude biological weapons site was found in Afghanistan. U.S. forces discovered a site near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar that appeared to be an Al Qaeda biological weapons lab under construction. Zawahiri’s plan, evidenced in the documents found previous in the Fall, was to move the location of the lab every 3 months.

    As he described to ABCNEWS, Dr. Alibek and other scientists in March 2002 took lie detector tests. He had to answer questions including “Did you do it?” and “Do you know who did it?” Alibek reports that he passed the test. Although Dr. Alibek offered his services to the FBI Director in a letter, the response was that they already had a large group working on it. In late June 2002, quoting unnamed law enforcement officials, the Associated Press reported that up to 200 polygraph tests had been given to current and former employees of the Battelle Institute and of Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, where scientists have developed a powdered form of anthrax for testing biological defense systems. It was Dugway that provided the simulant used in testing after the 2001 threat letter relating to the detention of Mahjoub, the former manager of Bin Laden’s farm in Sudan. (It was made at a dairy processor in Wisconsin near Ed).

    In 2001, if a researcher wanted to test a biodefense project, if it was inside, it could be done at either West Jefferson, Ohio facilty or at the Dugway facility managed by Battelle in Utah.

    Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey both worked for Battelle as consultants. So whatever evil Ike finds in the pork-fueled, revolving door US biodefense efforts, there is a bigger problem. A supporter of the Salafist-Jihadis coordinating with the 911 imam had put his foot in the door and was squeezing in.

    Ike makes an argument that might have been appropriate based on what was known in the spring of 2002.

    It is not consistent with what is known now.

    http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUOvQm3wQZPEZGY3bW44czRfMGZma2pmd2hu&hl=enc

    • DXer said

      Ike insists a spraydryer was used. Yet somehow Al Qaeda’s spraydrying instructions doesn’t cut it.

      On March 23, 2003, the Washington Post reported on documents allegedly discovered at the Abdul Qadoos Khan residence — on a seized laptop — relating to biochemical weapons. The documents indicated that Al Qaeda leaders may already have manufactured some of them. The documents at the Qadoos home reveal that Al Qaeda had a feasible production plan for anthrax. Confronted with scanned handwritten notes on the computer, Mohammed reportedly began to talk about Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program. KSM, however, denies that it was his computer. He says it was the computer of Mustafa Hawsawi, who was captured at the home the same day. In 2001, before departing for the UAE, Al-Hawsawi had worked in the Al Qaeda media center Al Sahab (Clouds) in Kandahar. The letter containing the first anthrax went to the American Media in Florida had blue and pink clouds on it.

      Hawsawi worked under KSM who in turn worked for Zawahiri. Al-Hawsawi was a facilitator for the 9/11 attacks and its paymaster, working from the United Arab Emirates. He sent thousands to Bin Al-Shibh in the summer of 2001. After 9/11, he returned to Afghanistan where he met separately with Bin Laden, Zawahiri and spokesman Abu Ghaith. KSM worked closely with al-Hawsawi. The fact that the anthrax spray drying documents were on that computer, however, and that Al-Hawsawi had worked for Al Sahab in Kandahar in 2000, serves to suggest that the undated documents predated 9/11, particularly given that extremely virulent anthrax was later found in Kandahar. At the same time, it suggests that Al-Hawsawi has personal knowledge relevant to anthrax. Al-Hawawi in turn worked with Aafia Siddiqui’s husband-to-be, KSM’s nephew Al-Baluchi, in the UAE in the summer of 2001. The two provided logistical support for the hijackers.

      Hawsawi worked as a financial manager for Bin Laden when he was in Sudan. He was associated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura leader Mahjoub, who was Bin Laden’s farm manager in Sudan. Mahjoub was the subject of the anthrax threat in January 2001 in Canada, upon announcement of his bail hearing. The day after Mahjoub’s bail was denied on October 5, 2001, the potent stuff was sent to US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Egyptian visitor — who Dr. Ivins had not been told was not a US citizen — as a child would visit Cairo from Khartoum where his mother was an accounting professor.

      The Washington Post explained that “What the documents and debriefings show, the first official said, is that “KSM was involved in anthrax production, and [knew] quite a bit about it.” Barton Gellman in the Post explained that Al Qaeda had recruited competent scientists, including a Pakistani microbiologist who the officials declined to name. “The documents describe specific timelines for producing biochemical weapons and include a bar graph depicting the parallel processes that must take place between Days 1 and 31 of manufacture. Included are inventories of equipment and indications of readiness to grow seed stocks of pathogen in nutrient baths and then dry the resulting liquid slurry into a form suitable for aerosol dispersal.” The documents are undated and unsigned and cryptic about essential details.

      In addition to establishing him as paymaster for the hijackers, Al-Hawsawi’s computer disks reportedly also included lists of contributors worldwide, to include bank account numbers and names of organizations that have helped finance terror attacks. In press accounts, one unnamed government official confirmed that the information has yielded the identities of about a dozen suspected terrorists in the US. In his substituted testimony in the Moussaoui case, Al-Hawsawi says he became part of Al Qaeda’s media committee in Afghanistan in about July 2000. Hawsawi lived at the media office. For about 4-5 months in 2000, Hawsawi worked as a secretary on al Qaeda’s media committee. Hawsawi’s role “was to copy compact discs and reprint articles for the brothers at the guesthouse in Qandahar. After 2000, Hawsawi worked at the direction of Sheikh Mohammed, transferring funds, and procuring goods.” KSM joined the committee in February 2001.

      The first time that Hawsawi was asked to become involved in operational activities was about March 2001, when he took his second trip to the UAE. Although Sheikh Mohammed did not use the word “operation,” Sheikh Mohammed told Hawsawi that he would be purchasing items, receiving and possibly sending money, and possibly meeting individuals whom Hawsawi would contact or who would contact him. Earlier today I linked Al-Hawsawi’s phone records that show rather than unsupported lone wolves, there was an extensive network of operatives who although following principles of compartmentalized cell operations, were receiving extensive logistical support.

      Sheik Mohammed told Hawsawi that he would be in contact with individuals called ‘Abd Al-Rahman (Muhammad Atta) and the “Doctor” (Nawaf al-Hazmi). Atta called Hawsawi four times while in the US. Hawsawi says he was never in contact with Hani or Nawaf while in the US. On September 9, Ramzi bin Shibh told him the date of the planned operation and urged that he return to Pakistan. He flew out on 9/11 and after a night in Karachi, flew on to Quetta. Hawsawi stated repeatedly that he never conducted any activity of any type with or on behalf of Moussaoui and had no knowledge of who made Moussaoui’s travel arrangements. Documents, however, reportedly show that al-Hawsawi worked with the Dublin cell to finance Moussaoui’s international travel. Hamid Aich was an EIJ operative there who once had lived with Ressam, the so-called millennium bomber, in Canada. The indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui named al-Hawsawi as an unindicted co-conspirator. Moussaoui unsuccessfully tried to call KSM and Hawsawi as witnessses. Microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi had spoken with Bin Laden’s sheik about helping with Moussaoui’s defense. Jdey was detained at the same time as Moussaoui but the DOJ kept this from the public for the next decade.

      At Moussaoui’s trial, the government pointed to FAA intelligence reports from the late 1990s and 2000 that noted that a hijacked airliner could be flown into a building or national landmark in the U.S. Such an attack was viewed “as an option of last resort” given the motive of the attack was to free blind sheik Abdel Rahman. Flying a plane into a building would afford little time to negotiate.

      Zacarias Moussaou was in Karachi with anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat on February 3, 2001 when they bought air tickets through a local travel agency for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They left on a flight for KL on February 8, 2001. Moussaoui began at the Norman, Oklahoma flight school on February 26, 2001. KSM says that Moussaoui’s inquiries about cropdusters may have related to Hambali and Sufaat’s work with anthrax.

      This is not a time to consider why some Japanese cult used Sterne. This is a time to read the documentary evidence relating to Ayman Zawahiri’s infiltration of US biodefense.

      http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUOvQm3wQZPEZGY3bW44czRfMGZma2pmd2hu&hl=enc

      • DXer said

        Hambali, Sufaat’s superior, was arrested in mid-August 2003 in Thailand. Hambali had fled Malaysia with his wife, Lee, not long after 9/11. His wife and her sister had studied at the school of Bashir, JI’s religious leader. He told his mother they were moving to Thailand. Hambali worked and his wife studied Arabic. Over the next two years, he also spent time in Cambodia and Myanmar. Soft-spoken and polite, the neighbors said he kept to himself in the apartment building.

        His wife, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian who converted to Islam, was also detained. After being shipped to Jordan, where he was harshly interrogated, Hambali eventually began providing information about Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program. He told interrogators that the terror network had what author Ron Suskind describes as an “extremely virulent” strain of anthrax before the September 11 attacks. In the autumn of 2003, Suskind claims, U.S. forces in Afghanistan found a sample of the virulent anthrax at a house in Kandahar. Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind writes: “One disclosure was particularly alarming: al Qaeda had, in fact produced high-grade anthrax. Hambali, during interrogation, revealed its whereabouts in Afghanistan. The CIA soon descended on a house in Kandahar and discovered a small, extremely potent sample of the biological agent.”

        Suskind wrote:

        “Ever since the tense anthrax meeting with Cheney and Rice in December 2001, CIA and FBI had been focused on determining whether al Qaeda was involved in the anthrax letter attacks in 2001 and whether they could produce a lethal version that could be weaponized. The answer to the first was no; to the second, ‘probably not.’ Though the CIA had found remnants of a biological weapons facility — and blueprints for attempted production of anthrax — isolating a strain of virulent anthrax and reproducing it was viewed as beyond al Qaeda’s capabilities.”

        Suskind continued:

        “No more. The anthrax found in Kandahar was extremely virulent. What’s more, it was produced, according to the intelligence, in the months before 9/11. And it could be easily reproduced to create a quantity that could be readily weaponized.”

        “Alarm bells rang in Washington. Al Qaeda, indeed, had the capabilities to produce a weapon of massive destructiveness, a weapon that would create widespread fear.

        Based on the additional information being provided in 2003, authorities also captured two mid to low level technicians — an Egyptian and a Sudanese. President Bush has explained that these mid-to low level technicians were part of a Southeastern Asian based cell that was developing an anthrax attack on the United States.

        In Fall of 2006, President Bush explained:

        “KSM also provided vital information on al Qaeda’s efforts to obtain biological weapons. During questioning, KSM admitted that he had met three individuals involved in al Qaeda’s efforts to produce anthrax, a deadly biological agent — and he identified one of the individuals as Yazid. KSM apparently believed we already had this information, because Yazid had been captured and taken into foreign custody before KSM’s arrest. In fact we did not know about Yazid’s role in al Qaeda’s anthrax program. Information from Yazid then helped lead to the capture of his two principal assistants in the anthrax program.”

        Ike doesn’t credit Suskind and instead invokes the example of a Japanese cult in 1995 that was using the Sterne strain, which is nonpathogenic to humans.

        Ike doesn’t explain why he doesn’t credit Mr. Suskind’s report.

        • DXer said

          George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says: “Al-Qa’ida spared no effort in its attempt to obtain biological weapons. In 1999, al-Zawahiri recruited Pakistani national Rauf Ahmad, to set up a small lab in Khandahar, Afghanistan, to house the biological weapons effort. In December 2001, a sharp WMD analyst at CIA found the initial lead on which we would pull and, ultimately, unravel the al-Qa’ida anthrax networks. We were able to identify Rauf Ahmad from letters he had written to Ayman al-Zawahiri. … We located Rauf Ahmad’s lab in Afghanistan. We identified the building in Khandahar where Sufaat claimed he isolated anthrax. We mounted operations that resulted in the arrests and detentions of anthrax operatives in several countries.”

          Delivering the James Smart Lecture, entitled “Global Terrorism: are we meeting the challenge?” at the headquarters of the City of London Police, Ms. Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, said: “Western security services have uncovered networks of individuals, sympathetic to the aims of al-Qa’ida, that blend into society, individuals who live normal, routine lives until called upon for specific tasks by another part of the network.” She concluded: “The threats of chemical, biological and radiological and suicide attacks require new responses and the Government alone will not achieve all of it; industry and even the public must take greater responsibility for their own security.”

          In 1999, a scientist from Porton Down had reported to sfam members on a conference in Taos, New Mexico in August that included a talk by Tim Read, (TIGR, Rockville, USA) and concerned the whole genome sequencing of the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The Ames strain may have been a mystery to many after the Fall 2001 mailings, but not to motivated Society for Applied Microbiology (“SFAM”) members, one of whom was part of Ayman Zawahiri’s “Project Zabadi.”

          As described by Dr. Peter Turnbull’s Conference report for SFAM on “the First European Dangerous Pathogens Conference” (held in Winchester), at the September 1999 conference, the lecture theater only averaged about 75 at peak times by his head count. There had been a problem of defining “dangerous pathogen” and a “disappointing representation from important institutions in the world of hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms.” Papers included a summary of plague in Madagascar and another on the outbreak management of hemorrhagic fevers.

          Dr Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University presented a paper on multilocus VNTR typing, for example, of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. There were more than the usual no-show presenters and fill-in speakers. In his report, Dr. Turnbull looked forward to a second, fully international conference in 2000 focused on the ever increasing problems surrounding hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms and aimed at international agreement on the related issues.

          The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved even more difficult than the International Conference on anthrax also held at the University of Plymouth, in September 1998. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.”

          Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

          Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.”

          Bioinformatics was the field that Ali Al-Timimi, who had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, would enter by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia. Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins had started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

          According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. His only connection with SFAM was a member of the society — he was not an employee. The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

          I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. He explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded a handwritten copy of earlier correspondence from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

          The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

          In earlier cases, such as the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Amer Aziz who treated Bin Laden in the Fall of 2001, the Pakistani government angered the Pakistani public when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. In the case of Amer Aziz, hundreds of doctors, engineers and lawyers took to the streets to demand his release. In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. By then, I had noticed the reporting of his arrest in a press article about the raid of a compound of doctors named Khawaja and published it on my website. According to Pakistani officials, there was not enough evidence showing that he actually succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful. Since then, the Post reports, Rauf has been allowed to return to his normal life. Attempts by the Post to contact Rauf in Lahore were unsuccessful. Initially the government agency had said an interview would be possible but then backpedaled.

          “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” Pakistan’s information minister told the Post. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.” Yazid Sufaat got the job handling things at the lab instead of Rauf Ahmad. More importantly, Zawahiri, if keeping with his past experience, would have kept things strictly compartmentalized — leaving the Amerithrax Task Force much to do.

        • DXer said

                      
          An article in George Mason University Gazette, in “CAS Holds Terrorism Briefing on Capitol Hill,” dated October 16, 2001 stated:
          “On Friday, October 12, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) hosted a legislative briefing on terrorism, bioterrorism, and extremist movements on Capitol Hill. The briefing provided legislators and their staffs with comprehensive background information on Islam, al-Qaeda and the Taliban, bioterrorism, and information security.

          Ken Alibek, affiliate faculty member at George Mason and president of Advanced Biosytems Inc., addressed chemical and biological warfare issues. Alibek served as first deputy chief of defense of the civilian branch of the Soviet Union’s offensive biological weapons program.”

          Ali Al-Timimi was knowledgeable about Islam, the Taliban and information security.  Indeed, he was actively recruiting for the Taliban and was communicating with Bin Laden’s sheik and the so-called fellow Falls Church “911 imam” — Anwar Aulaqi — at the time. Anwar is the fellow who this month was arguing that jihad against Americans is as American as apple pie.  

  22. Ike Solem said

    By the way, Obama’s National Security Advisor, retired General Jason Jones, is a colleague of Battelle Vice President, retired General Charles Widhelm, who runs the homeland security division of the company.

    During his military career, he [Jones] served as Commander, United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM) and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) from 2003 to 2006 and as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps from July 1999 to January 2003. Jones retired from the Marine Corps on February 1, 2007, after 40 years of service.

    And Battelle’s VP?

    General Charles E. Wilhelm (born August 26, 1941) is a retired United States Marine Corps general who served two combat tours of duty in Vietnam. He later served as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division; as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense; and as the Commander, U.S. Southern Command (1997–2000). General Wilhelm retired from the Marine Corps in 2000, after 37 years of service

    On the other hand, it could be Battelle director, retired General Lester Lyles, who has the President’s ear:

    General Lester L. Lyles is a former United States Air Force general, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. After retirement from the Air Force in 2003, he became a company director for General Dynamics, DPL Inc., KBR Incorporated, Precision Castparts Corp., MTC Technologies, Battelle Memorial Institute and USAA

    A big booster of ballistic missile defense, is General Lyles – and Project Bioshield? Well, same deal.

    The thing to do here is to rewrite military rules such that military officers who retire with their pensions are banned from working for the private sector after retirement – just ignore the howls. Since when is a military career a route to personal wealth?

    These entrenched relationships between the civilian advisers, the military brass and the private contractors, by the way, probably goes a long way towards explaining the Obama-Orszag veto threat over a reopening of the anthrax investigation…. as well as the decision to leave missile defense (a bad joke, technically speaking) in the nuclear arms reduction pact.

    Our domestic nuclear-biological WMD complex really has its heels dug in, doesn’t it?

    • DXer said

      Closing the revolving door is an excellent idea. Policy and politics, however, has no role in true crime analysis.

      • Ike Solem said

        How does “true crime” differ from bioterrorism?

        Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States (or its territories) without foreign direction, committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

        Clearly, if the culprit was only able to carry out this attack because of the biological threat assessment program, then the managers of that very same BTA program would work overtime to protect their program from the resulting inquiry, wouldn’t they?

        You also have to consider likely motives, such as:

        1) Causus belli for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam – so he can’t attack us with bioweapons again?

        2) Justification for expanded domestic biowarfare research that would directly benefit the BTA programs and the relevant private contractors.

        Yes, that would mean it was more of a conspiracy, less of a “lone wolf” – probably a very small conspiracy, but “lone wolf” seems to be by far the least plausible explanation – unless you can just walk into Battelle or Dugway and take the stuff off the shelf with ease.

        • DXer said

          “Clearly, if the culprit was only able to carry out this attack because of the biological threat assessment program, then the managers of that very same BTA program would work overtime to protect their program from the resulting inquiry, wouldn’t they?”

          Absolutely.

          “You also have to consider likely motives, such as:

          1) Causus belli for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam – so he can’t attack us with bioweapons again?”

          Absolutely. Al-Timimi had been Andrew Card’s former assistant. If it came out that rather than Saddam having access to the know-how, the Salafist-Jihadi who had been Card’s former assistant did, then the Bush Administration never would have won a second term.

          2) Justification for expanded domestic biowarfare research that would directly benefit the BTA programs and the relevant private contractors.”

          Absolutely. The former Zawahiri associate who was supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins co-founded a small company that then garnered $80 million in investment (without a marketed product nearly 10 years later), had its decontamination agent tested at the Capitol, and had $50 million in investment from the DC venture firm that had been headed by the man now in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Department of State. We’re on the same page you just are singing out of tune. You are standing in the way of my attempt to expose exactly what you are talking about.

  23. Ike Solem said

    Unfortunately, this notion of the crime runs smack into the same scientific issues that eliminate Ivins and Hatfill as plausible culprits.

    1) Access to the specific strain of Ames that resided in the RMR flasks at Fort Detrick. Recall, Ames was chosen as the new anthrax vaccine challenge strain for purposes of standardization and reliability in 1980 or so. It was also the most virulent strain USAMRIID possessed, so it was the perfect candidate to test against a vaccine in lab animals. Hence, Ames was sent to labs involved in anthrax vaccine testing. Whether the biological threat assessment program run by CIA/DIA/Battelle obtained Ames directly from Detrick or from the anthrax vaccine testing program is unknown.

    2) The only known testing subcontractor on the anthrax vaccine (working under contract with Bioport/Emergent Biosolutions/Vaxgen) was Battelle. Perhaps both the West Jefferson, Ohio and Dugway, Utah facilities were regularly using this strain to test batches of vaccine in aerosolized spore challenge tests.

    3) All the work done by Paul Keim’s group at Northern Arizona University was critical in establishing the genetic test
    that separated Ames from non-Ames – but the genetic tests used by the FBI to separate “RMR flask Ames” from all other Ames strains has not been subjected to peer review or public vetting, and the National Academy of Sciences is still mum on the issue, despite having accepted the FBI contract.

    4) Access to Ames was more widespread than access to the advanced technology employed in process the spores into a dynamic bioweapon – a tablespoon’s worth being enough to contaminate the mail sorting facility as well as the entire Senate office building. It’s not as difficult as processing uranium ore into bomb-making material, but no Aum Shinrikyo-type organization could accomplish it. Even Saddam, with his secret Al-Hakum bioweapons plant run by a British-trained bioweapons expert, was only able to make an inferior product.

    The US Army War College has a few publications on the Aum Shinrikyo and Al Qaeda anthrax efforts:

    The third section surveys the evolution of the efforts by nonstate actors (terrorist groups) to obtain, develop, and use biological agents. The survey covers the entire 20th century, and up to the present day, focusing on the last 25 years. The efforts by the two groups which involved the most serious attempts to produce biological agents, the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo group between 1990-94 and the al-Qaida organization in Afghanistan between 1997-98 and December 2001, are reviewed in detail. Using information provided by declassified documents, as well as information from other sources, this section provides as detailed an examination as is available of the BW efforts of the al-Qaida organization.

    Findings?

    The Japanese Aum group did not succeed in obtaining virulent strains of pathogens, nor was it apparently capable of working successfully with the strains that it did have. The al-Qaida group also appears not to have been able to obtain pathogens, nor to have reached the stage of laboratory work by the time U.S. military forces occupied Afghanistan.

    So, on this issue, Aum was more advanced than Al Qaeda – and Aum didn’t get past the fermentation stage into spore formation, apparently. Just having the blueprints doesn’t mean you can make the weapon in your basement, after all – assuming the blueprints were there. Furthermore, computational biology is a useless skill when it comes to making bioweapons.

    Hence, Al Qaeda claims are not supported – not that they, like Aum, wouldn’t like to have them.

    The fourth section reviews the public portrayal of the BW threat by U.S. officials. It includes a review of official and unofficial exercise scenarios that have been carried out in the past half-dozen years, as well as recommended planning scenarios proposed by U.S. Government agencies. It includes a very detailed examination of several of these scenarios. Many of the exercises are predicated on the repeated use of the aerosolized pathogens which produce plague and smallpox. These pathogens are not easy to obtain, and they are relatively difficult to work with. Producing aerosolized formulations of them is far beyond the current or near-term capabilities of any identified international terrorist group.

    Assessing the Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Threat, by Milton Leitenberg

    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/people.cfm?authorID=604

    • DXer said

      Ike Solem said
      March 28, 2010 at 6:01 pm

      “Unfortunately, this notion of the crime runs smack into the same scientific issues that eliminate Ivins and Hatfill as plausible culprits.
      1) Access to the specific strain of Ames that resided in the RMR flasks at Fort Detrick.”

      And are you saying, for example, that the former Zawahiri associate who worked alongside Bruce Ivins did not have access to Flask 1029? On what basis? See 20 pages in record and posted in full or part on CaseClosed. Or are you saying he wasn’t a former Zawahiri associate? On what basis?

      Are you suggesting that Ali Al-Timimi did not have access to the same computers with the lab results of the Hadron/Center for Biodefense researchers? See PhD thesis on risk of infiltration of GMU/DARPA’s Center for Biodefense. Are you suggesting that NIH did not obtain the Ames from Bruce Ivins? Are you suggesting that ATCC did not win the bid for the Critical Reagent Program?

      “4) Access to Ames was more widespread than access to the advanced technology employed in process the spores into a dynamic bioweapon – a tablespoon’s worth being enough to contaminate the mail sorting facility as well as the entire Senate office building.”

      You have said that WMD Chief Majidi’s suggestion that the silica was in the culture medium and twice now I’ve expressly asked you to cite the expert or experts you rely upon. (I named a number that I rely upon including one who did controlled experiments with and without a silanizing solution in the slurry). Failing to name a qualified expert, your reassertion of your personal opinion is not entitled to any weight.

      You discuss, for example, the Japanese Aum group rather than the online correspondence between Rauf Ahmad and Ayman Zawahiri. You thus do not address the pertinent evidence. The Japanese group used Sterne which was nonpathogenic to humans.

      You say Al Qaeda was not able to obtain virulent Ames when the Congressional and other Commissions all found otherwise.

      I’ve corresponded with Milton, who you cite, extensively. He reversed the order Rauf Ahmad typed and handwritten letters.

      Ivins graded the Post material a “C”. He graded Daschle a “B.” A trillion spore concentration — pure spores — is not difficult on a small scale basis, even though you can’t do it. It is just “pure spores.” See RHE. It is not done on an industrial basis.

      • Ike Solem said

        Have you read Demon in the Freezer, DXer?

        He somehow managed to get some of the particles to stick to the tape. He hurried the sample into the scope room, put it under a scanning scope, and zoomed in. What he saw shocked him.

        The spores were stuck together into chunks that looked like moon rocks. They reminded him of grinning jack-o’-lanterns, skeletons, hip sockets and Halloween goblin faces. The anthrax particles had an eroded, pitted look, like meteorites fallen to earth. Most chunks were very tiny, sometimes just one or two spores, but there were also boulders. One boulder looked to him like a human skull, with eye sockets and a jaw hanging open and screaming. It was an anthrax skull.

        The skulls were falling apart. He could see them crumbling into tiny clumps and individual spores, smaller and smaller as he watched. This was anthrax designed to fall apart in the air, to self-crumble, maybe when it encountered humidity or other conditions. He had a national security clearance, and he knew something about anthrax, but he could not imagine how this weapon had been made. It looked extremely sinister. He started feeling shaky.

        That’s the initial examination of the Daschle letter by the USAMRIID team. Here’s another description:

        Geisbert turned a knob and zoomed in. An anthrax spore is five times larger than a smallpox particle. He was looking for bricks of pox, so he was looking for little objects, searing spore by spore. The task of finding a few particles of smallpox mixed into a million anthrax spores was like walking over a mile of stony gravel looking for a few diamonds in the rough. He saw no bricks of pox. But he noticed some sort of goop clinging to the spores. It made the spores look like fried eggs – the spores were the yolks, and the goop was the white. It was a kind of splatty stuff.

        Geisbert twisted the knob and turned up the power of the beam to get a more crisp image. As he did, he saw the goop begin to spread out of the spores. Those spores were sweating something.

        The scope had a Polaroid camera, and Geisbert began snapping pictures. He suddenly realized his boss was leaning over his shoulder. “Pete, there’s something going on with these spores.” He stood up.
        Jahrling sat down and looked.
        “Watch,” Geisbert said. He turned the power knob, and there was a hum.
        The spores began to ooze.

        Whoa,” Jahrling muttered, hunched over the eyepieces. Something was boiling off the spores. “This is clearly bad stuff,” he said. This was not your mother’s anthrax. The spores had something in them, and additive, perhaps.

        This high-tech powder explains the widespread contamination caused by one small envelope, as well.

  24. DXer said

    The DOJ failed to disclose that Jdey had been detained at the same time as Moussaoui but then released. See recent Harvard report in timeline section.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey were working at the George Mason University Center for Biodefense (and Hadron) under a contract using the nonpathogenic Delta Ames that they had obtained from NIH. There were two multi-million dollar DARPA grants funding the USAMRIID contract. A $3.6 million grant MDA972-01-C-0084 was awarded July 2001 by DARPA. There was also an earlier grant DAMD17-01-C-0033 awarded by the Department of the Army. Ken was Principal Investigator for “Novel Therapeutic and Prophylatic Modalities to Protect U.S. Armed Forces Against Major Biological Threat Agents” and would report on the contract with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. In 2008. Ken told me that the interpretation that the FoxNews report referred to the Center for Biodefense was mistaken. He reported in 2008 that he hadn’t seen an FBI agent in 6 years, was never asked for his handwriting etc. and so the FoxNews report, he reports, does not fit him or his former colleagues. He says he no longer works in the biodefense area but is involved in cardiac and cancer research. I don’t recall speaking to Ken since but he is very responsive to inquiries.

  25. DXer said

    My views are represented by the linked powerpoints rather than the characterization above by Ken. But let’s discuss this question of access to Ames.

    Claire Fraser-Liggett, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences and an adviser to the FBI on Amerithrax, asked, “What would have happened in this investigation had Dr. Hatfill not been so forceful in his response to being named a person of interest. What if he, instead of fighting back, had committed suicide because of the pressure? Would that have been the end of the investigation?” It was Fraser-Liggett’s genetic analysis of the anthrax spores in the letters led to Ivins’ flask, and the other 7 isolates with the same genetic profile. “The part that seems still hotly debated is whether there was sufficient evidence to name Dr. Ivins as the perpetrator,” Fraser-Liggett says. “I have complete confidence in the accuracy of our data,” Fraser-Liggett says, but she says it does not indicate Ivins is guilty.

    Preliminary research was first reported in 2002 in Science. The analysis is directed to showing the similarity between various samples of Ames. The institutions known to have fully virulent B. anthracis Ames include USAMRIID, Naval Medical Research Center, Dugway in Utah, CDC, CAMR-Porton [in Great Britain], Battelle in Ohio, University of Northern Arizona (Keim), University of New Mexico, Louisiana State University (Hugh-Jones), and University of Scranton (DelVecchio). Alibek says Russia had Ames. Porton Down reportedly provided it to four unnamed researchers. (That, for example, is where Martin Hugh-Jones at LSU got it in the late 1990s).

    American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”), located on the GMU campus, wrote me to say that as a matter of policy, they will not address whether their patent repository (as distinguished from their online catalog) had virulent Ames prior to 9/11. The lead FBI scientist in Amerithrax was a collections scientist for the Bacteriology Division there. Although ATCC did not take the opportunity to deny it, one can infer from the FBI’s affidavit in connection the search of Ivins’ residence that no lab in Virginia is known by the FBI to have had virulent Ames. Thus, FBI, in its “Ivins Theory,” was working on the understanding that ATCC did not have Ames in its patent repository.

    Delta Ames, used by the DARPA-funded researchers at GMU at some point, has one or both key plasmids removed. To be rendered virulent, the plasmid(s) would have to be reinserted (which Ivins, see 302 interview statement, says is not difficult). Although in the attack anthrax, a plasmid was inverted, nothing has been released indicating that it was concluded to be due to reinsertion of a missing plasmid.

    Ari Fleischer explained: “What you have to keep in mind is the difference between knowledge about what type of information you have to have to produce it, and who could have sent it. They are totally separate topics that could involve totally separate people. It could be the same person or people. It could be totally different people. The information does not apply to who sent it.” Ken Alibek, the former head of the Soviet bio-weapons program suggests that ‘If I were a terrorist, I would certainly not use a strain known to be from my country.’” To the same effect, Bruce Ivins would not have used the strain — a special mixture of the US Army strain — for which he was the “go-to” person.

    The Washington Post explained in a late October 2008 article:

    “Back at the bureau’s Washington field office, agents were reconstructing the history of RMR-1029. A giant flow chart, covering most of a wall, recorded each discovery about the origins of the spores and what Ivins did with them. But the agents wondered: Could others, besides Ivins, have gotten access to the flask of spores?” The Post article continues: “The question drives much of the skepticism about the FBI’s case. At a news conference in August, bureau officials estimated that as many as 100 people potentially had access to the biocontainment lab where Ivins kept his collections. Investigators have maintained that other possible suspects were ruled out, but they have never explained how. It is one of the gaps that independent experts and lawmakers have raised since Ivins’s death.” Journalist Joby Warrick writes: “In interviews, FBI officials said the list of 100 names included USAMRIID scientists as well as anyone with even a tenuous connection to Ivins’s lab, such as visitors or janitors. Each person was investigated, though most could not have gotten to the spores under any reasonable scenario the investigators could construct.” “Still, dozens of people were cleared at various times to enter USAMRIID’s Building 1425, where Ivins worked and kept his spore collection. Each had to be investigated, even those who lacked the basic knowledge to handle highly lethal bacteria.”

    Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reports that “In late October 2001, lab technician Terry Abshire placed a tray of anthrax cells under a microscope and spotted something so peculiar she had to look twice.” “Abshire focused her lens on a moldlike clump. Anthrax bacteria were growing here, but some of the cells were odd: strange shapes, strange textures, strange colors. These were mutants, or ‘morphs,’ genetic deviants scattered among the ordinary anthrax cells like chocolate chips in a cookie batter.” Although it would take years to develop the science, this discovery led to proving that the origin of the anthrax was originally Ivins reference flask.

    There was no requirement to document transfers prior to 1997. One former USAMRIID-sponsored vaccine researcher at UMass, Dr. Curtis Thorne reports that samples used to be sent by ordinary mail. In 2001, his research on virulence of genetically altered anthrax strains was being built upon at the University of Texas (Houston) by Theresa Koehler under a grant from the CIA to study the persistence of anthrax in soil, the National Institutes of Health and others. The Ames strain, along with other strains, would be distributed not for nefarious purposes, but for veterinary and other research, to include use in challenging vaccines in development.

    “We just don’t know how many hands it went through before it got to the ultimate user,” explained Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and once a consultant to the government’s investigation. One expert, Dr. C.J. Peters, summarizes: “Knowing that this strain was originally isolated in the U.S. has absolutely nothing to do with where the weapon may have been prepared because, as I tried to make the point, these strains move around. A post doc in somebody’s laboratory could have taken this strain to another lab and it could have been taken overseas and it could have ended up absolutely anywhere. Tiny quantities of anthrax that you couldn’t see, that you couldn’t detect in an inventory can be used to propagate as much as you want. So that’s just not, in fact, very helpful.” The FBI estimates that, at a minimum, 100 had access to the flask in Bruce Ivins’ lab. Ft. Detrick scientists point out that it used to be stored in a different lab in 1997, bringing the number to 200-300 people. The New York Post reports that “multiple facilities outside of Fort Detrick were sent RMR-1029 for their own research, including government laboratories, the Battelle lab and academic institutions like the University of New Mexico.” The Post explains: “In April 2007, the FBI sent Ivins a letter saying he was “not a target of the investigation” and said it was investigating 42 people who had access to RMR-1029 at the Battelle labs in Ohio, [Ivins attorney] Kemp said.” Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, commented in February 2009: “The recent inventory issues at USAMRIID highlight the difficulties confronted by the FBI in their efforts to trace the evidentiary material back to its source at USAMRIID, and reinforce our conclusion that samples of anthrax could easily have been removed from the facility undetected.”

    “Another lab might take a couple of milliliters of that spore preparation and create a daughter preparation,” Gerry Andrews, Ivins former boss and now a Professor at the University of Wyoming, says. “How many [samples] Ivins gave out I have no idea, but he did it through official channels, and there is a chain of custody records that indicates which labs got RMR-1029 and how much of the material they got.”

    In a March 6, 2009 Press Release, the FBI explained:

    “Only eight of the anthrax samples collected during the course of the investigation matched the genetic profile in the letter material and all were linked back to RMR-1029. This conclusion was the most significant and relevant scientific finding in the case.

    By analogy, if one were to grow a corn stalk from a specific corn seed, the trace chemical fingerprint of the stalk might differ from that of the seed due to different compositions—for example iron—in the respective fertilizers used to grow each; however, the genetic profile of the seed and the stalk would be identical.”

    The strain referenced in documents on Khalid Mohammed’s computer seized in March 2003 was not Ames and perhaps not even virulent. It is reasonable to assume that the anthrax purchased from the North Korea supplier was not Ames (if that report of an early acquisition is credited). Thus, the question relevant to an Al Qaeda theory is what access to the US Army strain might have been accomplished by someone with 1) an organization supported by funds diverted from charities backing his play, and 2) a lot of educated and technically-trained Salafists who believe in his Islamist cause. A former KGB spy master says that the Russians had a spy at Ft. Detrick who provided samples of all specimens by diplomatic pouch. But it seems more likely that Al Qaeda got it directly from a western laboratory.

    For example, Ayman had a trusted scientist attending conferences sponsored by Porton Down scheduling 10-day lab visit as early as 1999. I’ve uploaded his correspondence with Ayman Zawahiri where he explains he has learned tricks of processing from a contact he made at the Porton Down conference. What lab did Rauf Ahmad visit on his second visit — the one reported in the typed letter? If one doesn’t know that, how can one say anything informed about Amerithrax and the FBI’s conclusions?

    In the US, Zawahiri had the support of other scientists (such as GMU’s Al-Timimi) who did advanced research alongside researchers working with the Ames strain under a contract with USAMRIID for DARPA.

    There was even a Cairo Medical alum, Tarek Hamouda, showering out with Bruce Ivins after using virulent Ames. He and I have a common acquaintance. The scientist’s lifelong friend, “Tawfiq” Hamid, had been recruited by Ayman Zawahiri when the two were medical students when Ayman Zawahiri would come to the school to recruit in a room set aside for the purpose. When Dr. Hamouda was finishing up his PhD at Cairo Medical in 1993-1994, 250 Vanguards of Conquest members were prosecuted. That was the group that announced that Ayman was going to use aerosolized anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering and mistreatment of Egyptian Islamic Jihad/VOC leaders. Dr. Hamouda did not respond to my inquiry regarding which of them he knew well (NEXIS has many of the names). Three years later he was made head of a DARPA anti-infective project.

    Once AUSAs Rachel and Ken learned of the semen stained panties, I doubt that they asked either given that the FBI did not even obtain the correspondence relating to his visit until 2005! See record providing the 20+ pages.

    In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some filed before 9/11, the inventors thank Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). Dr. Tarek Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project. A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:

    “The release of such agents as biological weapons could be catastrophic in light of the fact that such diseases will readily spread the air.

    In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes increasingly clear that cheap, fast and effective methods of killing bacterial spores are needed for decontaminating purposes. The inventive compounds have great potential as environmental decontamination agents and for treatments of casualties in both military and terrorist attacks. The inactivation of a broad range of pathogens … and bacterial spores (Hamouda et al., 1999), combined with low toxicity in experimental animals, make them (i.e., the inventive compounds) particularly well suited for use as general decontamination agents before a specific pathogen is identified.”

    In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product them to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, is funded by DARPA. NanoBio received a $3,150,000 defense contract in 2003. Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio.

    The University of Michigan researchers presented in part at various listed meetings and conferences in 1998 and 1999. The December 1999 article titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in the Journal for Infectious Diseases states:

    “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1B strains, were supplied by Bruce Ivins (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD) and were prepared as described elsewhere. Four other strains of B. anthracis were provided by Martin Hugh-Jones (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.”

    In the acknowledgements section, the University of Michigan authors thank:

    Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support.
    Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Arthur Friedlander, and the staff of USAMRIID for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.
    Martin-Hugh-Jones, Kimothy Smith, and Pamela Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).
    Robin Kunkel (Department of Pathology, University of Michigan) for her help with electron microscopy and a couple of others for technical assistance and manuscript preparation.
    The researchers found that their nanoemulsion incorporated into the growth medium completely inhibited the growth of the spores. Transmission electron microscope was used to examine the spores.
    The authors explained that “The nanoemulsions can be rapidly produced in large quantities and are stable for many months *** Undiluted, they have the texture of a semisolid cream and can be applied topically by hand or mixed with water. Diluted, they have a consistency and appearance similar to skim milk and can be sprayed to decontaminate surfaces or potentially interact with aerosolized spores before inhalation.”

    An article in the Summer of 2000 in Medicine at Michigan explains:

    “Victory Site: Last December [December 1999] Tarek Hamouda, Amy Shih and Jim Baker traveled to a remote military station in the Utah desert. There they demonstrated for the U.S. Army Research and Development Command the amazing ability of non-toxic nanoemulsions (petite droplets of fat mixed with water and detergent) developed at Michigan to wipe out deadly anthrax-like bacterial spores. The square vertical surfaces shown here were covered with bacterial spores; Michigan’s innocuous nanoemulsion was most effective in killing the spores even when compared to highly toxic chemicals.”

    As Fortune magazine explained in November 2001 about NanoBio: “Then bioterror struck…. It moved to a bland corporate park where its office has no name on the door. It yanked its street address off its Website, whose hit rate jumped from 350 a month to 1,000 a day.” NanoBio was part of the solution: “in the back of NanoBio’s office sit two dozen empty white 55-gallon barrels. A few days before, DARPA had asked Annis and Baker if they could make enough decontaminant to clean several anthrax-tainted offices in the Senate. NanoBio’s small lab mixers will have to run day and night to fill the barrels. ‘This is not the way we want to do this,’ sighs [its key investor], shaking his head. ‘This is all a duct-tape solution.’ ” James Baker, founder of Ann Arbor’s NanoBio’s likes to quote a Chinese proverb: “When there are no lions and tigers in the jungle, the monkeys rule.”

    It’s naive to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. US Army Al Qaeda operative Sgt. Ali Mohammed accompanied Zawahiri in his travels in the US. (Ali Mohamed had been a major in the same unit of the Egyptian Army that produced Sadat’s assassin, Khaled Islambouli). Ali Al-Timimi was working in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) and had access to the facilities at both the Center for Biodefense and the adjacent American Type Culture Collection. Michael Ray Stubbs was an HVAC system technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab with a high-level security clearance permitting access. That was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998. Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it. What was NanoBio’s old street address? Why is Aafia Siddiqui associated with an address at 1915 Woodbury Drive in Ann Arbor? An Assistant United States Attorney has claimed in open court (in the opening argument in United States v. Paracha) that Aafia was willing to participate in an anthrax attack if asked.

    Among the documents found in Afghanistan in 2001 were letters and notes written in English to Ayman Zawahiri by a scientist about his attempts to obtain an anthrax sample. One handwritten letter was on the letterhead of the Society for Applied Microbiology, the UK’s oldest microbiological society. The Society for Applied Microbiology of Bedford, UK, recognizes that “the development and exploitation of Applied Microbiology requires the maintenance and improvement of the microbiological resources in the UK, such as culture collections and other specialized facilities.” Thus, Zawahiri’s access to the Ames strain is still yet to be proved or disclosed, but there was no shortage of possibilities or recruitment attempts by Ayman. One colleague of his estimates that he made 15 recruitment attempts over a many year period.

    In an April 2001 report describing testing of decontamination agents at Dugway, the best performing decontamination nanoemulsions were University of Michigan, Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

    In June 2001, in addition to the conference at Annapolis organized by Bruce Ivins, a conference was held at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood) for small businesses that might contribute to the biodefense effort. It it showcased APG’s world class facillities that had the full range of relevant equipment, as well as the range of activities and research featured by presenters at such conferences. It was called “Team APG Showcase 2001.″ Edgewood maintains a database of simulant properties. The info and equipment, including spraydrying equipment, is available to participants in the SBIR — promoting small business innovation. So might the anthrax attack have required the learning of a state? Well, to get that, all you needed to do was go to the program that shares such research for the purpose of innovation in the area of biodefense. APG built a Biolevel-3 facility and, according to a Baltimore Sun report, by October 2002 had 19 virulent strains of anthrax, including Ames. Aa 1996 report on a study done at Edgewood involving irradiated virulent Ames provided by John Ezzell that was used in a soil suspension. Another article discusses Delta Ames supplied to Edgewood by the Battelle-managed Dugway, subtilis, and use of sheep blood agar. Did Battelle have virulent Ames across I-95? Edgewood tested nanoemulsion biocidal agents during this time period, according to a national nanobiotechnology initiative report issued June 2002.

    Dr. Ezzell, the FBI’s anthrax expert, confirmed to me that he had been dry powdered anthrax for DARPA.

  26. DXer said

    The Globe and Mail (Canada)

    April 1, 2006 Saturday

    Al-Qaeda plotters sought Canadian as pilot, court told

    BYLINE: TU THANH HA AND COLIN FREEZE

    SECTION: NATIONAL NEWS; Pg. A1

    LENGTH: 804 words

    A Montreal resident was picked by al-Qaeda plotters to be a pilot in a second wave of suicide hijackings to follow the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because he was a Canadian citizen, a deposition filed at the U.S. trial of terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui alleges.

    Abderraouf Jdey, a Montrealer of Tunisian origin who is now a fugitive, obtained his Canadian citizenship in 1995. He was selected along with Mr. Moussaoui, a French citizen, because they had passports from Western countries, since al-Qaeda planners expected tighter security after Sept. 11, the court document says.

    “Al Qaeda wanted the second wave operatives to carry French, Canadian, Malaysian, or Indonesian passports instead of Middle Eastern passports,” the document says.

    The 58-page document is the first detailed account of what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot, told U.S. interrogators after his capture in 2003.

    The document says that Mr. Mohammed used only operatives from the Middle East for the first wave of attacks so as not to draw attention to the possibility of later hijacks by people using passports from other countries.

    The deposition was filed at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., for the death-penalty trial of Mr. Moussaoui.

    Mr. Jdey, whose name is also transliterated as al-Jiddi, is a shadowy figure who gained notoriety after the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified him as a terror suspect in 2002. A $5-million (U.S.) reward was offered for his capture.

    The U.S. commission probing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks first identified Mr. Jdey as a candidate for the 9/11 strikes or “for a later attack,” but did not elaborate.

    The deposition explains for the first time that Mr. Jdey was picked because he had obtained Canadian citizenship, citing Mr. Mohammed, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his top military lieutenant until 2001, Mohammad Atef, also known as Abu Hafs al-Masri.

    “Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Hafs and bin Laden agreed that finding non-Arab passport holders was a priority because it would be difficult for Middle Eastern passport holders to operate in the U.S. after 9/11,” the document says.

    It also gives specifics about the allegations against Mr. Jdey, who is identified by one of his pseudonyms, Faruq Al-Tunisi:

    * Mr. Jdey and Mr. Moussaoui were among three candidates to be pilots in the second wave of hijackings, which “entailed the same steps as the Sept. 11 hijackers: getting flight lessons, purchasing knives, etc.”

    (Contradicting the deposition, which portrays him as an unreliable, problematic operative, Mr. Moussaoui claimed in court this week that he was supposed to hijack a plane on Sept. 11 and crash it into the White House.)

    * The second wave’s targets were to be in the western United States, such as an unidentified bridge in San Francisco, but the Sears Tower in Chicago was also mentioned.

    “While the 9/11 operation evolved into an East Coast attack, bin Laden himself advised that a second wave attack should focus on the West, believing that security might be more lax there.”

    * A few months before Sept. 11, Mr. Jdey withdrew from the plot. “Faruq Al-Tunisi contacted Sheikh Mohammed from Canada during the summer of 2001 to back out,” the filing says with no further explanation.

    In any event, the second wave never took place.

    “Sheikh Mohammed had no idea that the damage of the first attack would be as catastrophic as it was, and he did not plan on the U.S. responding to the attacks as fiercely as they did, which led to the next phase being postponed,” the deposition says.

    While the document does not elaborate on how the second wave attackers would have trained, it offers fresh details on the preparation of the Sept. 11 operatives.

    It says, for example, that the “muscle hijackers,” who were to take over the planes, butchered sheep and a camel with Swiss knives “to prepare them for using their knives during the hijackings.”

    They were not immediately told of their targets and were also taught how to blow up buildings, trains and trucks “to muddy somewhat the real purpose of their training in case they were caught while in transit to the U.S.”

    Mr. Jdey first came to the FBI’s attention after he was among five men whose wills and martyrdom videotapes were found in the Kabul home of Mr. Atef, who was killed during the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan in late 2001.

    Mr. Jdey came to Canada as an independent immigrant, on a visa issued in Rabat, Morocco. He landed at Montreal’s Mirabel International Airport in April of 1991. According to the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice program, Mr. Jdey studied biology while in Montreal.

    Mr. Jdey lived in a modest apartment building in Montreal’s east-end Rosemont district and is believed to have left Canada in November of 2001.

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