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

* Armed Forces Institute of Pathology … the mailed anthrax was not genetically manipulated; but wasn’t it microencapsulated?

Posted by DXer on April 15, 2010

The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline. So what really happened? And why? The “fictional” scenario in my novel CASE CLOSED has been judged by many readers, including a highly respected official in the U.S. Intelligence Community, as “quite plausible.”

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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19 Responses to “* Armed Forces Institute of Pathology … the mailed anthrax was not genetically manipulated; but wasn’t it microencapsulated?”

  1. DXer said

    Jeb Bush has published an October 4, 2001 email explaining that airborne anthrax attack is likely to occur at night due to UV sensitivity ; the silica in the mailed anthrax protected against UV sensitivity.

    http://jebbushemails.com/email/results/20011005/3

    • DXer said

      See, e.g., “The Silicon Layer Supports Acid Resistance of Bacillus cereus Spores – Hirota et al. 192 (1): 111 – The Journal of Bacteriology”. Jb.asm.org. doi:10.1128/JB.00954-09.
      http://jb.asm.org/content/192/1/111.abstract

      See also

      2014 Straits Times report : Into what weapons did Yazid Sufaat attempt to load anthrax?
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 23, 2014
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/2014-straits-times-report-into-what-weapons-did-yazid-sufaat-attempt-to-load-anthrax/

      Militant Claims Work on Anthrax Bomb in Afghanistan
      March 16, 2010
      http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/militant-claims-work-on-anthrax-bomb-in-afghanistan/

      A suspected Taliban operative in Afghanistan claimed recently that the group was working on a bomb that would disperse anthrax, the London Daily Express reported Sunday (see GSN, Jan. 26).

      “We use anthrax so when a bomb explodes it produces a toxic cloud,” Mullah Doud, a regional commander, said when interviewed last week by a British television news team inside an explosives production site at Tora Bora.

      Extremist groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda have not yet demonstrated the capability to weaponize biological agents such as anthrax or smallpox. However, one expert said the threat must be taken seriously.

      “Anthrax is an effective weapon and producing it needs only basic levels of biology and chemistry,” said Paul Wilkinson, a professor at the Center for Terrorism Studies at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

      “There are certainly extreme elements within the Taliban, those loyal to al-Qaeda, who would not think twice about this method. However, there is a wide chasm between producing anthrax and using it effectively in homemade bombs,” Wilkinson asserted.

      Comment:

      Did Yazid Sufaat envision silicon dioxide protecting anthrax from being destroyed in an explosion? That is what Dr. Alibek has said would be a purpose of using silica.

      A Japanese study, however, has been published discussing how it served to protect the anthrax from being killed by sunlight. These points were made by Gerry Andrews in his deposition. In military experiments, the silica in the slurry caused it to be incorporated. The FBI scientists ignored the finding of the research done by the Air Force lab. The silica also protects the spores from being destroyed by enzymes before reaching the lung.

      People like my good and long-time learned friend “Anonymous” and Barry may have been misled in their analysis because they were not aware that Yazid Sufaat reports that he had been a member of a secret (long since abandoned) weapons program while in the Malaysian military. The use of silica is not uniquely American.

      Know-how travels in the mind of the individual.

  2. DXer said

    Bruce addresses microencapulation.

    https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch59/20041117_batch59(Redacted).pdf

    From:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID

    Microencapsulated multiagent bacterial vaccine Thursday, December 02, 2004 12:19:00 PM

    Dear ,

    Perhaps you recall that in anthrax vaccine studies over a decade ago at the United States Army Military Institute of Infectious Diseases, and I demonstrated that Bacillus anthracis protective antigen, which had been microencapsulated at SRI in Birmingham, was efficacious in guinea pigs against a challenge with virulent anthrax spores. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, we were not able to pursue microcapsules as a carrier in an anthrax vaccine. I recently became interested again in the possibility of using microencapsulated antigens in a multiagent bacterial vaccine. Such a vaccine may also contain an adjuvant such as MPL or CpG-motif deoxyoligonucleotides. One of the reasons I have become especially interested in the possibility of a microencapsulated multiagent vaccine is that by including microcapsules with various release kinetics, we may be able to eliminate the need for booster injections that normally take place a few weeks following the initial injection.

    I would be interested in speaking to you about feasibility, costs, relevant publications that could be cited in a proposal, etc. If you could contact me at your convenience, I would be most appreciative.

    Sincerely,

    Bruce Ivins

  3. DXer said

    In his highly political book, Graeme McQueen writes in “2001 Anthrax Deception”:

    “In a later summation of their research they said:

    The process of spore microencapsulation requires special expertise, specific documented chemicals, and sophisticated facilities. The known clues point to Dugway or Battelle, not USAMRIID, as the site where the attack spores were prepared. Crucial evidence that would prove or disprove these points either has not been pursued or has not been released by the FBI.90
    The cumulative effect of this research has been to further weaken the already weak case against Bruce Ivins. These weaponized spores would, presumably, have been accessible to deep insiders in U.S. intelligence and military structures, but they would certainly not have been accessible to Ivins.”

    I do agree the the forensics indicate microencapsulation. Indeed, I spun the idea to Barry who passed on the idea to author Graeme. This author Graeme, whose field is religious studies, offers no support whatsoever that it requires sophisticated facilities and I certainly never ventured that to his researcher Barry. Graeme’s conclusion that “The known clues point to Dugway or Battelle” simply has no factual or scientific basis.

    Indeed, USAMRIID contemplated a dried aerosol project — about which Graeme and his consultants Meryl and Barry appear to know nothing.

    I instead shared the results of experiments showing that it was a simple matter to add silica to the slurry in a fluidized bed process for creating the product. See experiments done by Kiel’s Air Force lab in Texas.

    AUSA Rachel Lieber would have been destroyed at trial. She thinks she could have gotten the evidence of silica excluded at trial. She’s wrong.

    And, yes, Rachel, there are no secrets. I know everything. So STFU.

    I don’t agree, however, with the conclusion that Bruce Ivins would be ignorant of microencapsulation. That’s an unsupported assumption.

    Microencapsulation is as simple as adding silica to the slurry, according to my military expert who makes anthrax simulants or anthrax for biodefense purposes for a living.

    Moreover, then there is the issue of the silica in Flask 1030. This is all apparently over Graeme’s head because he first started reading about the anthrax mailings in 2010 — and Meryl and Barry and Frances are busy professionals too busy to read the documents necessary to the correct true crime analysis.

    Indeed, where have Graeme and his advisors Barry and Meryl ever addressed Yazid Sufaat’s claim that he was a member of a secret biological weapons program?

    Are these folks truth-seekers? Or are they just propagandists who hate America? (I honestly don’t know; I do know though that Frances has represented Hamas which is not a good sign ; and the fellow from the UN was the featured speaker at a fundraiser for the local doctor who spoke alongside the 911 imam and Anwar Awlaki and “anthrax weapons suspect ” Ali Al-Timimi.

    So when I read this sort of book, I think of it as someone being used unknowingly by the enemy that killed 3,000 on 9/11.

    As for anyone who would help those who killed 3,000 on 9/11 — or deny that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 — I say “fuck you.”

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  4. DXer said

    The regulated synthesis of a Bacillus anthracis spore coat protein that affects spore surface properties
    A Aronson, B Goodman, Z Smith – Journal of applied …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library
    2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jam.12452/abstract;jsessionid=2B4ACE3FD2A1969E05D9D655E8A7E516.f01t02?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

    Abstract
    Aims
    Examine the regulation of a spore coat protein and the effects on spore properties.

    Methods and Results
    A c. 23 kDa band in coat/exosporial extracts of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores varied in amount depending upon the conditions of sporulation. It was identified by MALDI as a likely orthologue of ExsB of Bacillus cereus. Little if any was present in an exosporial preparation with a location to the inner coat/cortex region established by spore fractionation and immunogold labelling of electron micrograph sections. Because of its predominant location in the inner coat, it has been renamed Cotγ. It was relatively deficient in spores produced at 37°C and when acidic fermentation products were produced a difference attributable to transcriptional regulation. The deficiency or absence of Cotγ resulted in a less robust exosporium positioned more closely to the coat. These spores were less hydrophobic and germinated somewhat more rapidly. Hydrophobicity and appearance were rescued in the deletion strain by introduction of the cotγ gene.

    Conclusions
    The deficiency or lack of a protein largely found in the inner coat altered spore hydrophobicity and surface appearance.

    Significance and Impact of the Study
    The regulated synthesis of Cotγ may be a paradigm for other spore coat proteins with unknown functions that modulate spore properties in response to environmental conditions.

  5. DXer said

    From: To: Cc: Bcc:
    Subject: Date:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Microencapsulated multiagent bacterial vaccine Thursday, December 02, 2004 12:19:00 PM
    (b)(6)
    (b)(6)
    (b)(6)
    Dear , Perhaps you recall that in anthrax vaccine studies over a decade ago at the United States Army Military Institute of Infectious Diseases, and I demonstrated that Bacillus anthracis protective antigen, which had been microencapsulated at SRI in Birmingham, was efficacious in guinea pigs against a challenge with virulent anthrax spores. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, we were not able to pursue microcapsules as a carrier in an anthrax vaccine. I recently became interested again in the possibility of using microencapsulated antigens in a multiagent bacterial vaccine. Such a vaccine may also contain an adjuvant such as MPL or CpG-motif deoxyoligonucleotides. One of the reasons I have become especially interested in the possibility of a microencapsulated multiagent vaccine is that by including microcapsules with various release kinetics, we may be able to eliminate the need for booster injections that normally take place a few weeks following the initial injection.

    I would be interested in speaking to you about feasibility, costs, relevant publications that could be cited in a proposal, etc. If you could contact me at your convenience, I would be most appreciative.

    Sincerely, Bruce Ivins

  6. DXer said

    Two distinguished scientists — I believe they were co-founders of PRO-MED — answer “yes.”

    Scientific data points to government-made anthrax – The Frederick …
    http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/…/article_ba94ae84-4b8f-589e-af97-f2...
    2 days ago – In the case of biological weapons like anthrax, microencapsulation could be used to … Barbara Rosenberg and Martin Hugh-Jones are biological scientists with a special

  7. DXer said

    From the recent article by Martin Hugh-Jones, the ProMed anthrax moderator and his co-authors:

    “Microencapsulation helps protect biological agents from damage during atmospheric exposure and from the body’s defenses during infection, and would defeat some detection methods. “

    • DXer said

      Here is some background to the point the authors make on microencapsulation:

      Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Encyclopedia of Worldwide Policy, … – Volume 2 – Page 185 – Google Books Result
      books.google.com/books?isbn=1851094903
      Eric Croddy, James J. Wirtz – 2005 – History

      For both chemical and biological agents, microencapsulation technology could also help defeat some detection schemes,particularly those that rely on direct …

  8. DXer said

    As a layperson, I’ve sought to understand what microencapsulation refers to when used in connection with the aerosol delivery of a fine powder containing a pathogen.

    Now I am beginning to notice it in connection with delivery of vaccines.

    Here is a USAMRIID / Southern Research Institute studying involving a microencapsulated vaccine.

    Was Dr. Ivins familiar with microencapsulation of vaccines? Might the forensics point to microencapsulation or a nanoemulsion?

    Did Dr. Ivins ever do any research with microencapsulated protective antigen?

    I know in other contexts — like delivering medicine to cattle in feedstuffs — that micronecapsulation protects the medicine from being destroyed by enzymes before it reaches the target organ.

    Induction of protective immune responses against Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus aerosol challenge with microencapsulated VEE virus vaccine
    Terrence E. Greenway*, John H. Eldridge*, †, George LudwigDagger;, Jay K. Staas§, Jonathan F. SmithDagger;, Richard M. Gilley§ and Suzanne M. Michalek*, ,
    * Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA

    Dagger; United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA

    § Pharmaceutical Formulation Department, Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, AL 35255, USA

    Received 21 September 1997; revised 5 January 1998; accepted 5 January 1998. ; Available online 27 August 1998.
    Author Keywords: oral immunization; intratracheal immunization; IgA antibodies; microspheres

    Immunological Aspects of Polymer Microsphere Vaccine Delivery Systems

    January 2003, Vol. 11, No. 8-10 , Pages 509-514 (doi:10.1080/10611860410001670017)
    J.E. Eylesa, Z.C. Carpentera, H.O. Alparb and E.D. Williamsona
    Biomedical Sciences, Dstl, Porton Down, SPJQ, 4 0, Salisbury, UK

    London School of Pharmacy, WC1N 1AX, London, UK

    Address for correspondence: J.E., Eyles, Biomedical Sciences, Dstl, Porton Down, SPJQ, 4 0, Salisbury, UK, +44-1980-613528, +44-1980-614307jeeyles@dstl.gov.uk

    In vitro studies using dendritic cells have identified that microencapsulated antigens are taken up and processed differently as compared with soluble proteins, and these findings have been reviewed. Similarly, in vivo, it is evident that microencapsulated materials have different properties in terms of uptake and trafficking. Intranasal (IN) instillation of encapsulated protective antigen resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of activated CD4+ and B-cells in the spleens of immunised mice, whereas IN instillation of soluble antigen failed to do so. This corroborates earlier findings concerning the uptake and trafficking of microparticles following bronchopulmonary administration. These data support the tenet that microencapsulation serves to modify the uptake, trafficking and processing of antigens.

    Keywords

    Polymer microsphere vaccine, Dendritic cells, Antigen presenting cells, Biodegradable microparticles

  9. DXer said

    Who was someone proposing to Dr. Ivins speak on microencapsulated PA ?

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Cc:
    Subject: RE: Session 6
    Date: Thursday, March 08, 2001 10:15:40 AM
    Hi,
    Here are the three talks I think could be given during session six in addition to the talks by you,
    1) Neutralizing Anti-PA antibody as a correlate of protective immunity conferred by anthrax
    vaccine. Reuveny et al.
    2) Essential contribution of spore antigens to anthrax vaccine efficacy. Brossier et al.
    3) Engineering antibody therapeutics which neutralize anthrax toxin. Maynard et al.
    I would also recommend that the following be deleted as unacceptable:
    1) Implementing anthrax vaccination for U.S.military personnel. Grabenstein et al. (The
    presentation is little more than a commercial.)
    – if you have any suggestions for session 6 speakers, please present them. I am definitely in
    favor of #1 and #2. I like #3, but I am certainly open to other opinions.
    – Bruce

    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 12:32 PM
    To: Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL
    Subject: RE: Session 6
    Hi Bruce
    Can I suggests the following list of abstracts, in no particular order, from which to select three
    talks of 10 mins to fill the rest of session 6.
    Essential contribution of spore antigens to anthrax vaccine efficacy
    Neutralizing Anti-PA Antibody Titer as a Correlate of Protective Immunity Conferred by Anthrax
    Vaccine
    In Vitro Selection and Characterization of High-Level Fluoroquinolone Resistance in Bacillus
    anthracis
    Immunisation with microencapsulated PA
    Let me know what your list is and perhaps we can finalise some thing on friday.
    Regards

    • DXer said

      The scientist with whom Dr. Ivins is planning “Session 6” apparently works with the woman working on microencapsulated PA (protective antigen). He was offered the opportunity to summarize the research himself.

      > —–Original Message—–
      > > From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      > > Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2001 2:51 PM
      > > To:
      > > Subject: Session Six
      > >
      > > Hi,
      I talked, and this is our idea for session 6:
      > >
      > > 1) 45 Minutes – presents a summary of USAMRIID
      > > research.
      > > 2) 45 Minutes – if you want to have
      > > present her microencapsulation work during this 45-minute segment, you can
      > > do so, or you can summarize it yourself if you would rather do that.
      > > 3) 15 Minute Break
      > > 4) 45 Minutes – if she wishes to have
      > > present some of the spore vaccination work in this 45-minute segment, she
      > > may do so.
      > > 5) 15 Minutes – presents his correlate of protective
      > > immunity work.
      > > 6) 15 Minutes – presents her work on engineering anitbody
      > > therapeutics.
      > >
      > > This gives you, some flexibility.
      > >
      > > What do you think?
      > >
      > > – Bruce

      • DXer said

        Dr. Ivins forwards this paper on microencapsulation – the use of polymeric microspheres — in March 2002.

        Was this the subject of presentation at the Porton Down conference in 2000 attended by Rauf Ahmad (who was attending at the request of Ayman Zawahiri)?

        Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 7:30 AM
        To: Bruce Ivins (E-mail);
        Subject: New anthax paper from Dstl, Porton Down
        From Infection and Immunity
        1 April 2002; Vol. 70, No. 4
        Mucosal or Parenteral Administration of Microsphere-Associated Bacillus
        anthracis Protective Antigen Protects against Anthrax Infection in Mice
        Helen C. Flick-Smith, Jim E. Eyles, Richard Hebdon, Emma L. Waters,
        Richard J. Beedham, Tony J. Stagg, Julie Miller, H. Oya Alpar, Les W.
        J. Baillie, and E. Diane Williamson
        Infect. Immun. 2002;70 2022-2028
        http://iai.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/4/2022
        Existing licensed anthrax vaccines are administered parenterally and require
        multiple doses to induce protective immunity. This requires trained
        personnel and is not the optimum route for stimulating a mucosal immune
        response. Microencapsulation of vaccine antigens offers a number of
        advantages over traditional vaccine formulations, including stability
        without refrigeration and the potential for utilizing less invasive routes
        of administration. Recombinant protective antigen (rPA), the dominant
        antigen for protection against anthrax infection, was encapsulated in
        poly-L-lactide 100-kDa microspheres. Alternatively, rPA was loosely attached
        to the surfaces of microspheres by lyophilization. All of the microspheric
        formulations were administered to A/J mice with a two-dose schedule by
        either the intramuscular route, the intranasal route, or a combination of
        these two routes, and immunogenicity and protective efficacy were assessed.
        An intramuscular priming immunization followed by either an intramuscular or
        intranasal boost gave optimum anti-rPA immunoglobulin G titers. Despite
        differences in rPA-specific antibody titers, all immunized mice survived an
        injected challenge consisting of 103 median lethal doses of Bacillus
        anthracis STI spores. Immunization with microencapsulated and
        microsphere-associated formulations of rPA also protected against aerosol
        challenge with 30 median lethal doses of STI spores. These results show that
        rPA can be encapsulated and surface bound to polymeric microspheres without
        impairing its immunogenicity and also that mucosal or parenteral
        administration of microspheric formulations of rPA efficiently protects mice
        against both injected and aerosol challenges with B. anthracis spores.
        Microspheric formulations of rPA could represent the next generation of
        anthrax vaccines, which could require fewer doses because they are more
        potent, are less reactogenic than currently available human anthrax
        vaccines, and could be self-administered without injection.

  10. DXer said

    AFIP Materials Related to USAMRIID Specimens – October 2001
    http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUOvQm3wQZPEZGY3bW44czRfODdoY252OXFoag&hl=en

  11. DXer said

    For a copy of the AFIP materials, try

    http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUOvQm3wQZPEZGY3bW44czRfODdoY252OXFoag&hl=en

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