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

* “There were two slants of Ames sent from Texas and Ivins only had one.”

Posted by DXer on July 8, 2010


20 Responses to “* “There were two slants of Ames sent from Texas and Ivins only had one.””

  1. DXer said

    The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments

    Today, it’s a cutting-edge lab. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was the center of the U.S. government’s darkest experiments.

    By STEPHEN KINZER September 15, 2019


    In Amerithrax, scientist Gregory Knudson receive the Ames anthrax from Texas and then went to work for the NMRC and CIA. He took one of the two slants with him. (Bruce Ivins was left with the other; he later committed suicide). See also Table of Contents in memo by Richard Lambert to Robert Mueller (the public will never see the material about the CIA’s and DARPA’s work with powderized Ames anthrax because it is classified).

    Yet, ironically, Ali Al-Timimi, later convicted of sedition, shared a suite with Russian defector Ken Alibek. Go figure.

    Ah, the mysteries of the beltway where secrecy is used to prevent the public from stopping behavior or lax security taxpayers do not want to fund.

    Federal courts should more aggressively enforce FOIA so as to permit democracy to work.

    It shouldn’t take over a half century for the history to be written — only after the relevant documents are misplaced (by institutional incompetence), hidden or destroyed.

    For example, why didn’t FOIA head David Hardy have the CART examination of Ivins computer produced? That examination contains Ivins’ emails. Attorney Hardy knows the documents relating to the CART review were not produced.

  2. DXer said

    Decker explains:

    “Ivins also had suspicions about Gregory Knudson, the scientist that had requested the original isolate of Ames in 1981. Ivins had once been to Knudson’s house. Knudson had many firearms and seemed to be “obsessed with bioterrorism.” he had even wrote a paper once in which he advocated the United States abandon the biological weapons convention (treaty) and reinstate its defunct offensive bioweapons program. The USAMRIID command staff told Knudson to tear it up and “forget he ever wrote it.” Ivins provided the agents with the location of Knduson’s current workplace, the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute where he performed radiation experiments. AFRRI had been teetering on the verge of closing until the recent attacks. Now the institution had additional research funding.”

    • DXer said

      Decker says Hatfill was ahead of Farchaus on the Person of Interest list:

      “As the year pressed on, the AMX-1 agents and postal inspectors worked down the Persons of Interest list. Ten names stood out, including Farchaus and Knudson… [And I’ve mentioned Decker’s earlier discussion of Bioport]. But Steven Jay Hatill remained at the top.”

      Decker notes a discrepancy between what Hatfill said about taking antibiotics and the pharmacy records. Decker says he had taken them early in the year but, Decker reports, that the record dated to September 2001.

      Note, I don’t find any of these broad theories unreasonable. Indeed, my friend — an eminent anthrax scientist — told told me today that he told by an FBI Agent that he was on Persons of Interest list. The FBI Agent who knew him best laughed at the thought — given the grad student in charge of the B3 only allowed him in with permission, thinking she didn’t want him bumping into anything.

      I don’t envy these FBI scientists engaged in investigative work. I may poke fun at their conclusions when they are uninformed by real world intelligence or facts — and express outrage when I see conflicts of interest and bias — but I wouldn’t want to do it in their stead. (And conflicts of interest were sort of inevitable given the small size of the community at the time).

      And I’m still not convinced that anyone could do better in real time. Most of us probably think polonium is a strip club where Stormy Daniels performed last month. These PhD that apply to the FBI are all right in my book.

      I just think they were faced with a very difficult challenge. Annan El-Shukrijumah was in the wind. Yazid Sufaat was not cooperating (and being held by the Malaysians). The ISI was protecting Rauf Ahmad in a safe house. Al-Barq, Sufaat’s assistant, was being tortured in Jordan. His college was dead, as was Atef, the big Kahuna on the project (from a bomb in Fall 2001).

      What’s an FBI agent inside the beltway to do other than run over Hatfill’s foot. and chase after scientists with the adorable Lucy and Tinkerbelle.

  3. DXer said

    According to Decker, it was Ivins who located the mailing label from when it was shipped from TVMDL in Texas. Decker reports that Ivins led Darin Steele to the shipping information. I got my copy of the shipping label and correspondence from a scientist at Ames, Iowa, who had been studying the irradiation of mailed anthrax.

  4. DXer said

    Former FBI Agent Scott Decker, in his recent book, explained that “As with Joseph Farchaus (see Chapter 8 endnotes) following investigation, no evidence was found to link Gregory Knudson to any of the anthrax letters.” (p. 231 n. 17). Gregory Farchaus was the guy who retired to the Princeton area. Gregory Knudson who receive the Ames anthrax from Texas and then went to work for the NMRC and CIA. He received the second slant and is believed to have taken it with him. See also Table of Contents in memo by Richard Lambert to Robert Mueller.

  5. DXer said

    The other fellow, Greg K., who had the “Ames strain” slant sent from Texas then went to work for the CIA, and worked at NMRC which held the FBI’s anthrax repository. So it is unfortunate that Matt Dehart just seems a hugely inept wannabe Russian spy looking for a paycheck in all the wrong places. If there was any merit to Matt’s claims about the significance of the document, he would simply have the Amerithrax document uploaded.

    NMRC is where former Porton Down scientist Les worked. Les had hosted Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad at the Porton Down conferences in 1999 and 2000.

  6. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins addresses the issue of 2 slants again in 2007.

    Did GK take it with him to the DTRA/Navy and/or to the CIA?

    He was the original recipient.

    From: To: Subject: Date:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Ames information Thursday, January 11, 2007 11:00:41 AM
    (b) (6)
    (b) (6)
    (b) (6)
    I have some information from on the “Ames” strain (b) got in 1981. Would you like a copy of it, (6)
    or what? They sent 2 slants and tissue from the animal. The tissue samples – which were frozen in and one of the slants disappeared, and the FBI took control of the only remaining material, the last slant. I don’t know how many passages were involved between cow and slant, but if we still had the tissue (which came from the dead cow), it would really be interesting to compare the in vivo Ames with the Ames from the slant.
    -bruce Bruce Ivins

  7. DXer said

    JAG should provide a copy of the attachment to Dr. Ivins’ January 29, 2006 email confirming that TWO slants were sent.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: Original Ames Culture samples Sunday, January 29, 2006 4:51:22 PM
    (b) (6)
    (6) When we started getting material (Ames) ready for the FBI repository, I thought that there had been more than just one slant that had received of the “Ames” strain back in the early 1980s. I was recently going through some in(f6o)rmation that he had sent us in early 2002, and I found the sheet that I scanned (enclosed). Although we could only account for 1 slant during our inventory, apparently there were TWO slants sent, as well as tissue material. I remember seeing both the tissue material (in the -70 freezer in ) and the second slant, and to my knowledge, they weren’t disposed of. Do you have any idea abo)ut what may have happened to the rest of the “Original Ames” culture material? I’m somewhat concern(e2d) about the discrepancy in what we got originally from Texas (2 slants + tissue) versus what we gave to the FBI (only 1 slant)? Do you know if either the other slant or tissue material was transferred to another lab?
    Thanks for the information.
    Bruce Ivins

  8. DXer said

    The email above is from 2006. Here is a 2005 discussion:

    “..when [GK] got the Ames strain in 1981, I remember that there were 2 slants and some tissue material. All that was left to give the FBI was one slant of original material. Do you have any idea what happened to the second slant or tissue material?”

    Did Dr. GK take the second slant with him to the CIA or to NMRC? What happened to it? It’s more than a little relevant to a genetic analysis of the distribution of Ames from the cow in 1981.

    Click to access 20050503_batch62(Redacted).pdf

    From: Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:16 PM To:
    FW: Can you check if this is in your inventory or the repository? ________________________________
    (b)(6)Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:14 PM To: Cc: ‘(b)(6) Subject:

    Hi For an FBI project we are working on we need BA Ames l981 wildtype from RIID. Can you point me to the person who can help? Thanks

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Date: Monday, May 23, 2005 9:05:00 AM

    Hey… …when got the Ames strain in 1981, I remember that there were 2 slants and some tissue material. All that was left to give the FBI was one slant of original material. Do you have any idea what happened to the second slant or tissue material?
    Bruce Ivins

  9. DXer said

    The fellow who had the other slant went to work for the CIA, according to Dr. Ivins’ email.

    Where did Project Coast get its virulent Ames?

    • DXer said

      A landmark article on the subject was written by Joby Warrick and John Mintz of the Washington Post.

      Source: Washington Post, April 20, 2003
      Lethal Legacy: Bioweapons for Sale

      U.S. Declined South African Scientist’s Offer on Man-Made Pathogens

      By Joby Warrick and John Mintz, Washington Post Staff Writers

      First of two articles. Click here for second article.

      PRETORIA, South Africa — Daan Goosen’s calling card to the FBI was a vial of bacteria he had freeze-dried and hidden inside a toothpaste tube for secret passage to the United States.

      From among hundreds of flasks in his Pretoria lab, the South African scientist picked a man-made strain that was sure to impress: a microbial Frankenstein that fused the genes of a common intestinal bug with DNA from the pathogen that causes the deadly illness gas gangrene.

      “This will show the Americans what we are capable of,” Goosen said at the time.

      On May 6, 2002, Goosen slipped the parcel into the hands of a retired CIA officer who couriered the microbes 8,000 miles for a drop-off with the FBI. If U.S. officials liked what they saw, Goosen said he was prepared to offer much more: an entire collection of pathogens developed by a secret South African bioweapons research program Goosen once headed.

      Goosen’s extraordinary offer to the FBI, outlined in documents obtained by The Washington Post and interviews with key participants, promised scores of additional vials containing the bacteria that cause anthrax, plague, salmonella and botulism, as well as antidotes for many of the diseases. Several strains, like the bacterial hybrid in the toothpaste tube, had been genetically altered, a technique used by weapons scientists to make diseases harder to detect and defeat. All were to be delivered to the U.S. government for safekeeping and to help strengthen U.S. defenses against future terrorism attacks.

      U.S. officials considered the offer but balked at the asking price — $5 million and immigration permits for Goosen and up to 19 associates and family members to come to the United States. The deal collapsed in confusion last year after skeptical FBI agents turned the matter over to South African authorities, who twice investigated Goosen but never charged him.

      Participants in the failed deal differ on what happened and why. But they agree that the bacterial strains remain in private hands in South Africa, where they have continued to attract attention from individuals interested in acquiring them.


      Others, including Goosen, have acknowledged they were approached by recruiters claiming to represent foreign governments or extremist groups.

      Novel Weapons

      The failed deal with the South African scientist is documented in hundreds of pages of memos, contracts and reports. Many of the documents were provided by Don Mayes, a former CIA operative who acted as go-between in the deal, and helped arrange for the bacterial sample to be brought to the United States for testing. Mayes, Goosen, and several other South African participants were also interviewed at length for this article.

      The FBI and CIA, which were jointly involved in the encounter with Goosen, declined to speak about it on the record. However, U.S. government officials, who asked not to be identified by name, have provided details of the negotiations. They say the agencies were troubled by Goosen’s claims but suspected the scientist and his partners were more interested in cashing in than helping out.


      Project Coast’s notorious military commander, Wouter Basson, used the lab to create novel weapons for use against anti-apartheid activists and the black communities that supported them, according to documents and testimony in a murder and fraud case that ended last year in Basson’s acquittal.

      After the U.S. anthrax attack in October 2001, at the urging of American friends, Goosen approached the U.S. Department of Defense with an offer of “open cooperation” in sharing Project Coast’s extensive research in anthrax vaccines and novel antidotes known as antiserums. The Pentagon was sufficiently interested to arrange a meeting in January 2002 between Goosen and Bioport Corp., the Michigan company that produces anthrax vaccines for the military. But interest from the U.S. side evaporated quickly, to Goosen’s amazement.

      “At that time there was a massive amount of good will toward the United States, and a feeling that we could contribute,” Goosen said. “My thinking was: If George Bush had contracted anthrax, our technology could have cured him.”

      Clandestine Deals

      The two men who finally brought Goosen to the FBI’s attention knew little of germ warfare but were old hands in the shadowy world of arms trading and secret deals. Goosen had met neither until May 4, 2002, just two days before the toothpaste tube filled with genetically-altered bacteria began the journey across the Atlantic.

      One of the men, retired South African Maj. Gen. Tai Minnaar, was a former military intelligence officer who had worked undercover for the CIA in Cuba in the 1970s, according to his resume. After Goosen’s unsuccessful meeting with Bioport, Minnaar phoned Goosen, offering to put him in touch with U.S. officials who would appreciate the value of his work. And, Minnaar said, the Americans might be willing to pay money — perhaps tens of millions of dollars, Goosen recalled.

      Minnaar’s first call was to Mayes, the former CIA operative, whom he had met and befriended during Mayes’ frequent business trips to South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. On March 4, Minnaar wrote to Mayes warning that dangerous biological material from Project Coast still existed in South Africa and posed unacceptable risks.

      At 5 p.m. on May 9, 2002, Robert Zlockie, the retired CIA officer who had couriered the toothpaste tube across the Atlantic, delivered the package to an agent at the FBI’s office in Key West, Fla. In return, he was given a hand-written receipt on FBI letterhead. “One toothpaste tube containing one ampul of E. coli genetically coded with epsilon toxin,” it read.

      Within days, the bacteria arrived at the Army’s top biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md. for scientific analysis. Government biodefense scientists were consulted about the findings, and helped the FBI in assessing the implications. By May 15, the FBI arrived at several conclusions, according to officials who participated in the discussion.

      The FBI also was not convinced that buying Goosen’s vials would make Americans safer, the official said. Deadly anthrax and c. perfringens can be found in nature, the official noted. And, while Project Coast’s experiments in genetic engineering were state-of-the-art at the time, technology had advanced so rapidly that similar kinds of genetic alterations are now performed by microbiology students “at the graduate or even undergraduate level,” the official said.

      Other biological weapons experts have criticized the FBI’s decision, saying the agency missed the point. While genetic engineering has become increasingly common, there are few known instances where scientists have deliberately tried to adapt organisms for germ warfare. Soviet bioweapons scientists were beginning to produce genetically altered prototypes when their program was shut down in 1992, according Ken Alibek, a former Soviet scientist who defected to the United States.

      Back in Pretoria, Goosen heard not a word from the United States after sending his toothpaste tube. But he assumed the deal was off when local authorities obtained a warrant to search his laboratory. Nothing was confiscated, said Goosen, who has never been charged with a crime.

      The experience left Goosen embittered and disillusioned, but otherwise little has changed in his circumstances — except that more people are aware of his bacteria collection and are inquiring about it. In the past nine months, the scientist has been offered money by a German treasure-hunter and a man claiming to be an Arab sheik. Goosen says he turned the offers down, but worries about future bioterrorism.

      “A small container of pathogens could kill a million people,” he said. “It’s hard enough to secure fissile materials, which are large and easy to detect. How do you begin to control a substance that looks like nothing more than sugar?”

      Bale, the Monterey Institute researcher, believes U.S. officials should have jumped at the opportunity to secure the South African strains. “Here was a guy who had worked in a former chemical and biological program and was willing to provide information and assistance to the United States,” Bale said. “That’s worth following up on. If a person like Goosen decides to collaborate with a foreign party, it’s far better that he collaborates with us and not with rogue elements in other parts of the world.”

  10. DXer said

    From: To:
    Subject: Date:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    RE: Message on Ames Strain Tuesday, January 29, 2002 9:09:52 AM

    I just spoke on the phone with [Gregory Knudsen] at AFRRI. He is going to FAX me whatever information he has on the Ames strain. He told me that the strain was definitely sent to him from the NVSL in Ames, Iowa. He also said that it is possible that the actual case (dead cow) may have been in Texas, and that the strain may have then gone from Texas to Ames, Iowa, and then to If that is the case, then USAMRIID is third in line as far the origin of the “Ames strain,” and we(h6a)ve no idea as to where the Texas lab or the NVSL in Ames sent the strain. I will keep everyone informed on this as soon as I get more information from
    – Bruce

  11. DXer said

    Ten years on from anthrax scare, analysis lags behind sequencing

    Amber Dance
    Nature Medicine 17, 1158–1159 (2011) doi:10.1038/nm1011-1158b
    Published online 11 October 2011
    A decade ago this month, a microbiologist at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, took a special delivery from the US government. Federal investigators wanted the scientist, Paul Keim, to identify the anthrax that appeared in letters mailed to news organizations and US lawmakers. Overnight, he used PCR to determine that the anthrax sent was the Ames strain, commonly used in research—but that was just the beginning of a scientific investigation that would catapult the still wet-behind-the-ears science of microbial forensics to the forefront of the criminal inquiry.

    Ten years on, Keim’s PCR-based technique seems downright quaint in comparison with modern, speedy DNA sequencing. “In a lot of ways we’ve matured,” says Bruce Budowle of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. But there are challenges ahead, adds Budowle, who retired in 2009 from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was involved in the anthrax studies as a senior scientist in the laboratory division: “In a lot of ways, we’ve got a long way to go… We haven’t grown in the interpretation of the results and what they might mean.”

  12. DXer said

    Module 11 on Cross Contamination seems a bit scant given that the testing of the human remains of the hijacker — perhaps the one with the leg lesion among the Flight 93 hijackers — was dismissed due to assumed cross-contamination.

    For example: if that was a false positive due to cross contamination, what other lab results from that lab were false positives?

    Did NMRC have virulent Ames, genetically matching, even before 9/11 as part of classified research?

    Where did the other slant from Texas go?

  13. DXer said

    5/07/2004 302 IVINS Interview Statement

    – The Ames strain IVINS has was originally obtained from _________________ (GK later NMRC/CIA). IVINS does not know what happened to the second slant and infected tissue sample from the original shipment, and he never saw them. To IVINS knowledge, no one at USAMRIID has found those two parts of the original shipment of Ames to USAMRIID.

    • DXer said

      AMERITHRAX Sample Status and Benefit Analysis for 09/03/02:

      “Pat Worsham (USAMRIID) and Les Baille (__________) will be working in parallel on the two colony morphologies observed in the evidentiary samples. They will be analyzing the 1981 Ames standard, evidentiary material, Drs. Knudson and Ivins samples.”

      Dr. Knudson was the researcher, who later went to work for the CIA, who received the Ames originally from Texas.

  14. DXer said

    Bruce wrote an email stating that the actual label on the strain that was from the dead cow in Texas was Ames 2554414B.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: RE: Message on Ames Strain
    Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 7:33:39 AM
    More information – The actual label on the strain is “Ames 255414B.” Again, we have a copy of the
    mailing label from the USDA. A few days ago I went back to the USAMRIID library and USAMRIID
    Library archives and looked through everyone of notebooks. Unfortunately, he never
    mentions writing for the strain or receiving it in any notebook. The first mention of the strain is in
    September, 1981, when he also says he looks at the Sterne, Vollum (probably Vollum 1B), Colorado,
    Ames and Texas strains. Hope this helps.
    – Bruce
    > —–Original Message—–
    >From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    >Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 7:23 AM

    > —–Original Message—–
    >From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    >Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 7:23 AM
    >Subject: RE: Message on Ames Strain
    >Importance: High
    > We most certainly DID get the “Ames strain” from the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection
    Services, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, P.O. Box 844, Ames, Iowa 50010. We have a Xerox
    copy of the original mailing label from them. Also, to our good fortune, we ( actually)
    We can supply you with the actual strain
    number (put on it by the NVSL labs) if desired. I have tried repeatedly, without success, to talk to
    about this. He is at AFRRI and has failed to return my calls. He can be reached at
    >Again, if you would like the specific number on the strain that is on the slant, please let me know. I
    remember it coming from Iowa, however. About the same time that we received the Ames strain, we
    received the “Texas” strain from at Texas A&M.
    >Let me know if there’s more info that we can provide.
    – Bruce

  15. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: Ames information
    Date: Thursday, January 11, 2007 11:00:41 AM

    I have some information from on the “Ames” strain got in 1981. Would you like a copy of it,
    or what? They sent 2 slants and tissue from the animal. The tissue samples – which were frozen in
    and one of the slants disappeared, and the FBI took control of the only remaining material, the last
    slant. I don’t know how many passages were involved between cow and slant, but if we still had the
    tissue (which came from the dead cow), it would really be interesting to compare the in vivo Ames with
    the Ames from the slant.
    Bruce Ivins

  16. DXer said

    Wired on chem issue reflected in Wikileaks docs (also Aafia):

    “Most of the reports catalog counterinsurgency’s basics — weapons caches found, gun battles fought, village elders chatted up. But buried in the tens of thousands of U.S. military logs dropped Sunday night by WikiLeaks are incidents that are anything but routine: a suspected chemical-weapon attack by the Taliban; rumors of Al Qaeda poisoning the U.S. military food supply; a tip about Osama Bin Laden’s status.

    WikiLeaks’ massive trove of field reports from Afghanistan documents many things. One is that the fog of war can lead troops down some awfully strange paths. Especially when RUMINT (mil-speak for “rumor intelligence”) becomes the guide.


    The commandos found a second improvised explosive, destroyed it, and continued north. They discovered a third bomb. And when they set it off, “a yellow cloud was emitted and personnel began feeling nauseous. FF [friendly forces] collected dust samples and returned to base. Currently conducting SSE [sensitive site exploitation] of clothing and equipment while awaiting decon [decontamination] teams to confirm or deny chemical attack. A total of 7x US MIL, 1x Interpreter and 1x K-9 dog reporting symptoms,” read the report from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force. “Will inform if chemical attack is confirmed.”

    Six hours later came a second report. “CJSOTF unit has returned to base for treatment and analysis. Initial Medical assessment is that none of the personnel are currently experiencing symptoms…. CJSOTF surgeon assessed no need to MEDEVAC [medical evacuate] any personnel. The individuals have been placed on 24 hour stand down. SSE Team from KAF [Kandahar Air Field] will fly to FB Cobra on 15FEB09 to conduct testing for any residual chemicals or materials on personnel and equipment. The results of this testing will confirm or deny this event as a CBRN [chemical biological radiological nuclear] attack.”

    There are no indications in the WikiLeaks database that this was confirmed as a chemical attack; I suspect it wasn’t. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen accounts fearing that al-Qaida or the Taliban experimented with chemical weapons.

    In May, Strategy Page claimed that “poison gas has been added to the Taliban arsenal” after a suspected poisoning incident at a Kabul school for girls. That led to some online speculation that the Taliban were planning chemical attacks on U.S. troops.

    Gas-powered Taliban are something of a recurring fear: the Times of India quoted a Pakistani police chief in the Northwest Frontier Province testifying to a new extremist facility with deadly gas and even toxic biological agents. If such a thing ever manifested itself, however, it would hark back to a longtime al-Qaida pursuit.

    An operative known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, killed in 2008 drone attack, was responsible for al-Qaida’s attempts at harnessing poison gas and lethal plagues, as with the famous videotape of al-Qaida gassing three dogs. A former senior U.S. intelligence official, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, compiled a timeline of al-Qaida’s pursuit of WMDs last month for Foreign Policy.

    In June 2007, U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan passed along a tip that Al Qaeda and the Taliban planned to poison coalition forces. The scheme, according to the report in the WikiLeaks database, is to “commandeer the food supply trucks of coalition forces. The trucks carry supplies to include water and dry goods. The plan is to inject the bottles or the packages of food with unidentified chemicals, or recreate the same type of packages with contaminated versions of the same product.” The source “supplied no further information,” the report added.

    In July 2008, another report notes, Afghan National Police colonel Ghani Khan was leaving his office in Ghazni province. He and his security detail noticed a woman and a teenage boy loitering after dark by the governor’s compound. When the officers approached her, she “began to react abnormally and scream ‘Allah Akhbar.’”

    As she was being restrained, papers from her purse fell on the ground some of which containing the word bomb. The woman was taken in for questioning at the ANP HQ in Ghazni City. A search of her personal items revealed a purse containing numerous documents on how to build explosives, chemical weapon use, targeting US military assets, excerpts from the Anarchists Arsenal and a 1GB thumb drive with additional related material. The woman also had unknown chemical materials sealed in containers in her purse. A great deal of the evidence is in English. According to documents found on the thumb drive the woman may be western educated (12 years in the US), an MIT graduate with a bachelors in Biology and a masters/PHD in Neuroscience. The woman is currently being held by ANP in Ghazni City and has not been questioned by US forces as of yet. The evidence has been collected and cataloged by 1-506 S2. The Governor of Ghazni has personally questioned at which point the suspect admitted to being there with the intent to kill him and Americans. The Governor intends to hold a press conference in the morning. President Karzi has been notified by the Ghazni Governor.

    This account is followed by an update. “While being questioned, the female got a hold of a weapon, pointed the weapon at the investigators. [An] investigator shot the female in self protection. Female will be medevaced [and] escorted by 4 x Red Currahee scouts and 2 x FBI agents.”

    The woman in question appears to be Aafia Siddiqui, who was, for a time, one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorist fugitives. But, as Wikipedia notes, “the charges against her stemmed solely from the shooting, and Siddiqui has not to date been charged with or prosecuted for any terrorism-related offenses.”

    13 months before, according to one of the WikiLeaks logs, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security got a tip about the man at the very top of the most wanted list: Osama Bin Laden himself. The informant said that Bin Laden “had been transported to Peshawar hospital in Pakistan for treatment, where he has died.”

    “NDS stressed that this was a single source report and had not been verified,” the log added. No other document in the WikiLeaks trove appears to corroborate this. So it looks like just another piece of RUMINT in a war full of it.

    We’ll have additional reports on the Wikileaks document dump, as will our sister blog, Threat Level. In the meantime, tell us what you find in the WikiLeaks trove, either by leaving a note in the comments, or by dropping us a line. Either way, include the document number so we can keep track of it all.

    Read More

    • DXer said

      Here is the Strategy article that the Wired article hyperlinked (along with a comment following it).

      Gassing Girls For Defying God

      May 10, 2010: Recently, 17 students at a Kabul, Afghanistan, girls high school fell ill and had to be hospitalized, along with several teachers. Doctors at the hospital agreed that it was some kind of poison, but have not been able to identify it yet. All the victims smelled something odd when they got to school, then fell ill, with some of the students losing consciousness. This is the second such incident at this school, and there was a similar attack at a girls high school further north. The Taliban have been known to attack girls schools, including injuring or killing students with gunfire, explosives and, in at least one case, acid thrown into the faces of students. Now it appears that poison gas has been added to the Taliban arsenal.

      The Taliban do not believe in education for girls (which they believe is forbidden by Islam), but do believe in chemical weapons (which they do not believe is forbidden by Islam). When the Taliban ran Afghanistan in the late 1990s, they hosted al Qaeda, and al Qaeda set up a chemical warfare research facility. If the Taliban are using some kind of poisonous chemical for these attacks, they could have gotten them from their better educated friends in al Qaeda. American military personnel collected air and soil samples from the schools, but have not announced any results yet.

      Make A Comment View Comments (1)
      WarNerd 5/10/2010 1:09:43 PM

      “The poison being used may be new but the tactic is not. A couple of years ago the Taliban was using poison gas on girls schools created by putting a quantity of insecticide on top of a hot plate so it would vaporize.

      Of course, it could be completely the same, just a new batch of reporters that have not seen it before.”

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