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

* Bugmaster reports … Dina Temple-Raston swallows the FBI’s anthrax story without any apparent concern about the facts … Dr. Ivins deserves better from a serious reporter

Posted by DXer on October 27, 2010

 

NPR's Dina Temple-Raston

 

Bugmaster reports …

  • I attended Dina Temple-Raston’s lecture last week. Very little was about the anthrax case.
  • When asked to respond to the recent news that the GAO was getting involved, she was rather dismissive of the new development.
  • She feels very strongly that Ivins was guilty, and one reason she believes so was that “Ivins and Hatfill were co-workers for a period of time, and it was really Ivins who was responsible for all the FBI attention given to Hatfill”.
    • Actually, it was media hype that played the main role in Hatfill’s vilification.
    • Perhaps Temple-Raston and others in her profession are taking a page from the FBI’s playbook: Blame It On The Dead Guy!
  • Also, from Ms. Temple-Raston: “All his co-workers think Ivins did it”.
    • Really! What about Dr. Adamovicz, Dr. Heine, and Dr. Bryne?
  • “Ivins had the skills to do it”. Not exactly.
    • The skills to produce the raw material he certainly had, but to convert the wet spores into the deadly form sent to Senator Leahy (without contaminating the area where the material was being processed and killing the cat) would have required the knowledge of a protein chemist, not a microbiologist.
  • Temple-Raston does not have near the technical knowledge to be able to speculate how this crime was committed. And if she believes Ivins was guilty, fine, but as a NPR reporter, I still think she has an obligation to state actual facts, not exaggerations or FBI bullshit.

LMW COMMENT …

Not such a good week for NPR. Too many reporters simply accept what the FBI has said, without probing through the paper-thin veneer to disclose that their case (or at least the case they’ve told the world about) is totally bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline, science that proves innocence instead of guilt.

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 perhaps more plausible than the FBI’s unproven assertions.

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

25 Responses to “* Bugmaster reports … Dina Temple-Raston swallows the FBI’s anthrax story without any apparent concern about the facts … Dr. Ivins deserves better from a serious reporter”

  1. BugMaster said

    According to Paul Kemp, Ivins from the very beginning insisted that Dr. Hatfill had nothing to do with the attacks.

    Yet Ms. Temple-Raston insisted that Ivins was the one responsible for the FBI’s investigation of Hatfill, that they worked together for a short time, and “its all in the documents released by the FBI, review the documents”.

    Clearly, she is far from a serious journalist.

    But it may not be fair to characterize her as a progandist.

    I think the real explanation is that she just isn’t very bright!

  2. DXer said

    Comment on Ms. Temple-Raston’s dialogue using a “red team” approach of understanding the enemy:

    In 1993, Saif Adel, the fellow thought responsible for the recent mailbombs who had been detained until recently in Iran, went to Somalia as leader of the GREEN TEAM. He was given the assignment by Atef, to whom Ayman Zawahiri later reported on anthrax planning. Yazid Sufaat, the anthrax lab tech, was head of GREEN LABORATORIES. The email he gave Zacarias Moussaoui was GREENLAB@USA.COM Ayman Zawahiri in correspondence in June 2001 used “SCHOOL” as code for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Thus, when the anthrax letters used the sender of “GREENDALE SCHOOL” — and the sender had no reason to use the same address for both unless he was communicating something — that pointed to Ayman Zawahiri or someone with access to intel information who knew of the use of “school” as code and green to refer to their projects. Bruce Ivins did not have such access to intel — it was not part of his work or interests.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131089174

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: Al-Qaida adapted by shifting a lot of its attack planning and execution to its affiliates, groups like al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen or al-Shabaab in Somalia. They are among almost a dozen terrorist groups now shouldering new responsibilities. Its affiliates operate independently. They have their own membership, financing and they plan their own operations.

    Al-Qaida’s Yemen branch has been a particular problem. The face of the group is an American-born cleric named Anwar al-Awlaki. He’s called on his followers to make the same transition that he did: from American Muslim to terrorist fighter.

    Mr. ANWAR AL-AWLAKI (American Cleric): I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other able Muslim.

    TEMPLE-RASTON: His message, easily found on the Internet, has inspired individuals to act, individuals including the young Nigerian who carried explosives in his underwear onto a U.S. airplane last Christmas. That plot had all the hallmarks of the new terrorist threat, a relatively simple attack executed by an individual. Advantage: al-Qaida.

    GJELTEN: Smaller, simpler attacks do less damage but are more difficult to detect. Individuals operating alone are harder to discover than conspiracies, like the one behind 9/11. With diverse threats emerging on a smaller scale, U.S. intelligence officials had to work harder to connect seemingly unrelated pieces of information.

    That became especially clear when the Christmas Day bomber slipped through the cracks. A new, more finely focused approach was necessary. The director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter, told a Senate committee he had created so-called pursuit teams to track down each and every terrorism lead.

    Mr. MICHAEL LEITER (Director, National Counterterrorism Center): We have done a better job since Christmas Day of identifying new cases, domestically and overseas, and enhancing our understanding of individuals who may pose a threat to the United States.

    GJELTEN: Individuals – that’s what counterterrorism work has come down to: finding those lone wolf terrorists one-by-one.

    TEMPLE-RASTON: To make that search harder, al-Qaida started recruiting Westerners, people with no arrest records and clean passports from countries that don’t raise red flags. As a result, the plots come from all directions. Earlier this year, one al-Qaida affiliate trained Germans to launch commando-type attacks against Europe. Al-Qaida’s North African arm had designs on France.

    Terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman says this is part of a broader pattern.

    Mr. BRUCE HOFFMAN (Terrorism Expert): We see a threat that’s morphing, that’s transforming, that’s assuming new and one has to say more pernicious forms as our adversaries are constantly searching to identify and then exploit the gaps in our security.

    TEMPLE-RASTON: Gaps like the security on cargo jets bound for the United States.

    GJELTEN: Air cargo is hard to secure because there’s so much of it. Screening all of it effectively would require an enormous effort. Yet again there’s a new security challenge. Philip Mudd, a CIA veteran and former head of the FBI’s national security branch, says intelligence and law enforcement agencies just have to get smarter in the way they look for things, like suspicious packages.

    Mr. PHILIP MUDD (CIA Veteran): There are countries that are centers for militant activity. There are the kinds of packages that might come out of those countries, that might contain a small device. Instead of just looking at the global activity, are there countries and attributes of packages we might look at that make this problem more manageable?

    GJELTEN: The big thing now is creativity. To fight al-Qaida, you have to be able to think like al-Qaida. You have to imagine what they might do next and prepare for that.

    TEMPLE-RASTON: Which is the reason why investigators are looking into whether last week’s package bombs may not have been a plot as much as a test. For nearly a week now, al-Qaida’s watched the United States react – and they’ve learned from it.

    I’m Dina Temple-Raston.

    GJELTEN: And I’m Tom Gjelten, NPR News.

    “Be part of the solution”
    http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_by_the_fbi

    • DXer said

      ECONOMIST:

      A history of parcel bombs

      Going postal
      Sending explosives through the post has a long and murky history

      Nov 4th 2010
      ***

      Letters containing anthrax spores were sent to American senators and news outfits in autumn 2001, killing five and infecting seventeen. The main suspect, Bruce Ivins, died in an apparent suicide in 2008, his motive unknown.

  3. DXer said

    Professor Leonard Cole in the concluding pages of the last chapter in a reference book out on anthrax in December 2010 (Bacillus anthracis and Anthrax (Hardcover) by Nicholas H. Bergman) explains:

    “The FBI formally closed the case in February 2010, before the National Academy experts had completed their assessment. The bureau’s action was deemed premature by many observers and fueled further criticism. Still, unless some relevant information surfaces beyond that already provided by the FBI, Ivins’s guilt will be debated far into the future. Moreover, the anthrax attacks in 2001 showed how disruptive and potentially destructive a bioattack could be. The incident reinforced the understanding that anthrax spores can be very effective agents of terror.

    Coincidentally, the revelations about Bruce Ivins appeared in the midst of deliberations by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. This bipartisan body had been appointed in May 2008 by the leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Its creation was an outgrowth of the 9/11 Commission’s warning in 2004 that “the greatest danger of another catastrophic attack in the United States will materialize if the world’s most dangerous terrorists acquire the world’s most dangerous weapons.” The new congressional commission was tasked with providing a report in 6 months. After meetings and interviews with some 250 government officials and nongovernmental experts, in December 2008, the commission issued its report, titled World at Risk.

    The report begins with a declaration that unless the world community acts urgently, a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) will probably be used somewhere in the world in the next 5 years. The succeeding passage is more specific: “The Commission further believes that terrorists are more likely to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon. The Commission believes that the U.S. government needs to move more aggressively to limit the proliferation of biological weapons and reduce the prospect of a bioterror attack” (World at Risk, 2008)

    In elaborating on these assertions, World at Risk reviews the efforts of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to obtain biological and chemical weapons. To highlight the effects of a bioattack, the report recounts a scenario developed by the Homeland Security Council of how “terrorists could launch an anthrax attack in the United States — and the horrific chain of events that would follow. (World at Risk , 2008, 5). The attack begins with the spraying of an aerosol of anthrax spores from a truck driving through a densely populated urban area. An assumed exposure of some 300,000 people would, in the following days, result in 13,000-odd fatalities. The massive disruption to services and other normal activities would be incalculable.

    When interviewed about the report’s findings, the commission’s chairman, former Senator Bob Graham, noted that the nine commission members were unanimous in their conclusions. (Graham is a Democrat and the commission’s vice-chairman, former Senator Jim Talent, a Republican.) Graham emphasized his concern about the ability to create novel pathogens through genetic engineering. He cited as well the significance of naturally occurring agents, and specifically anthrax, which, he noted, could be obtained from dead cattle that had contracted the disease. (Isikoff and Hosenball, 2008).

    Comment: Ayman Zawahiri in a memo to Egyptian Atef, the AQ military commander, explained that he only began focusing on anthrax because the US officials kept saying how easy it was. In correspondence I’ve uploaded, he said his plan was to use the cover of charities and universities as cover in developing anthrax as a weapon. The blind sheik’s son was on a three-member WMD Committee and was involved in recruiting scientists. He spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi at a key IANA conference the year the blind sheik was arrested and charged. Zawahiri’s plan announced in Spring 1999 — announced by Egyptian Islamic Jihad (“EIJ”) shura members Al-Najjar and Mabruk and also the blind sheik’s lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat — was to use anthrax to retaliate against the rendering of senior EIJ leaders such as the blind sheik. A friend of mine knows both Zawahiri and Al-Zayat very well. The problem is that whatever debate existed in 2001 about the tactics that could be used under the koran, Zawahiri at the end of the day is a murderous fanatic and filled with rage. Just as Awlaki is argued by his supporters to have undergone a political transformation, the problem is that Zawahiri has also dating back to the humiliation he suffered at the hands of interrogators in the early 1980s. Tarek Hamouda was supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins in connection with DARPA-funded research that included aerosol experiments at Dugway and Johns Hopkins. The public should at least have the benefit of the scientific documents provided the NAS. If Dr. H refuses to discuss his relationship with the Zawahiri family — Ayman Zawahiri would come to the medical school on Fridays to recruit and his sisters taught there, to include microbiology — and the NAS refuses to comply with FACA by timely producing the documents — then the NAS members hopefully will at least have had available the tome “Bacillus anthracis and Anthrax” as a citable reference.

    • DXer said

      Some chapters include:

      Adam and Driks and Michael Mallozzi, “Outer Structures of the Bacillus anthracis spore.”

      Nathan Fisher, Katherine A. Carr, Jonathan D. Giebel and Philip C. Hanna, “Anthrax Spore Germination.”

      Timothy D. Read, “The Bacillus anthracis Genome.”

      Gleb Pischany and Eric P. Skaar, “Iron Acquisition by Bacillus Anthracis.”

      Jason M. Rall and Theresa M. Koehler, “Bacillis anthracis Virulence Gene Regulation”

  4. BugMaster said

    Ms. Temple-Raston needs to maintain a rather cozy relationship with the FBI to get many of the leads and information she needs.

    Perhaps that is why last week, while responding to questions regarding the anthrax case, she came across as being more of a propagandist than a serious journalist.

    • DXer said

      Ms. Temple-Raston provides solid reporting and performs a valuable role in providing balanced coverage as a DOJ correspondent. She is a news reporter, not an investigative reporter or commentator. As you suggest, investigative reporting critical of a source requires the luxury of a budget and time to more narrowly focus — and the luxury of being able to burn bridges. Unfortunately, there seems to be no media outlet that has the budget that affords reporters such time. Here, when you consider the wide range of important matters that reporters such as Scott Shane cover, they do very excellent work. Indeed, that’s why they have the job. They have to prove the quality of their work day in and day out.

      Professor Meselson’s wife is coming out with a book on USAMRIID that goes to press in November which is another reason it is disappointing that the documents have been delayed. Given Professor M’s expertise in microbiology, it would have been fascinating to have that book have the benefit of the NAS documents. It will also be fascinating to see if Mr. Willman’s book offers a competing narrative.

      • Anonymous said

        What the legendary D A Henderson (of smallpox erradication fame) has to say about the FBI’s case against Ivins:

        August 13, 2008
        Nagging questions in anthrax case, by Laura Fitzpatrick. TIME.
        Dr. Henderson calls for the FBI to release to the science community the scientific evidence used to close the case on the anthrax attacks of 2001: “You have less confidence in how much [the FBI is] really sharing and how accurate this might be.”

        August 8, 2008
        Anthrax case leaves three questions unanswered, by Greg Gordon. McClatchy Newspapers (formerly Knight Ridder).
        Dr. Henderson remarks that based on what has been released, the FBI’s case against Ivins “just doesn’t add up.”

  5. BugMaster said

    If NPR is really concerned about reporting (recent developments regarding the GAO being one issue) then they should have their reporters interview Dr. Adamovicz, Dr. Heine, Dr. Bryne, and either Representative Rush Holt or his senior policy advisor Patrick Eddington.

    And they can also interview Good Ol’ Ed if they feel the need for some “editorial balance”!

    • DXer said

      “Also, from Ms. Temple-Raston: “All his co-workers think Ivins did it”.

      To whom is she referring? I quoted dozens of Dr. Ivins co-workers (to include Andrews, Hedlund and many more) in the past month or two and NONE of those quoted think he did it. Perhaps Ms. Temple -Ralston could quote those who do. I believe she is referring to Former Colleague #1 and Former Colleague #2, Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott, the two who were thanked for providing technical assistance by Tarek Hamouda, the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. Dina did not allow a transcript to be made and so we don’t know that was her precise phrasing. But she would be correct that Former Colleague #1 and Former Colleague #2 were central to the FBI’s Ivins Theory. I don’t believe she has interviewed either Patricia or Mara and is instead relying on the characterizations in the documents released by the FBI. Clearly, she should interview given she is so well-positioned to develop wonderful information and insights about this and other terrorism prosecutions. Her fascinating job gives her a birds-eye view and an opportunity to hear first-hand from prosecutors and investigators. She will be an important possible source of new revelations. Her reporting has been solid although of course she has many many matters to cover.

      • DXer said

        http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1443811

        http://www.newanthraxandalqaeda.com

        • DXer said

          How many of these reporters — Scott Shane, David Willman, Dina Temple-Ralston — have interviewed the former Zawahiri associate, Tarek Hamouda, who repeatedly thanked the late Bruce Ivins for supplying virulent Ames?

          How many have interviewed Former Colleague #1 (Mara Linscott) and Former Colleague #2 (Patricia Fellows). If they haven’t at least attempted, shouldn’t they take up knitting instead?

        • DXer said

          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 thanked 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 reportedly had pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, was initially funded by DARPA.

          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 Department of Justice provided a copy of December 1999 article titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in its disclosure under FOIA. The article 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 advises me by email that 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 thanked:

          (1) Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support;

          (2) Bruce Ivins for supplying virulent Ames;

          (3)Patricia Fellows (who is identified as Ivins’ Former Colleague #2 in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary);

          (4) Mara Linscott (who is identifed as Ivins’ “Former Colleague #1); and

          (5) Arthur Friedlander, the Army’s top anthrax expert.

          He thanked Drs. Fellows, Linscott and Friedlander for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.

          (7) Martin-Hugh-Jones at LSU,

          (8) Kimothy Smith, who moved from LSU to Northern Arizona University, where he was a key genetics expert for the FBI typing submitted samples in 2002; and

          (9) Pamela Coker, Kimothy’s close associate who served as the LSU biolevel 3 lab head.

          Dr. Hamouda thanked Hugh-Jones, Smith and Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).

          The University of Michigan 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 patent 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.”

          The release “Michigan Against Biological Warfare Agents; Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare” 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.”

          In 1999, LSU researcher Dr.Kimothy Smith, who was thanked for providing BL-3 space for the research by the University of Michigan researchers, moved to the Arizona lab, bringing with him the lab’s first samples of anthrax.”

          A University of Michigan Medical school publication, 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 advises me by email that 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 decontamination 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 Johns 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 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. Aafia Siddiqui’s defense counsel reports she spent 6 months researching anthrax as a bioweapon.

          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 the course of a decade. 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?”

          The FBI has not yet identified the location of the 8 isolates downstram from Ivins’ flask known to be an identical match — or the 100+ people it says had access. For the US Attorney Jeff Taylor to make it seem, however, that only Ivins had control over anthrax that was genetically identical was specious. Flask 1029 was kept in unlocked refrigerators to which hundreds had access.

        • DXer said

          Dr. “Tawfik” Hamid consults with US intelligence agencies and has written a lucid book INSIDE JIHAD. I called him some years back to ask him about the Ann Arbor scientist supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins.

          One of Dr. Hamid’s medical schoolmates and childhood friends was Tarek Hamouda, who Bruce Ivins supplied virulent Ames for a DARPA project on nanoemulsions. Dr. Hamouda was in the same class as Dr. Hamid’s older brother, and they graduated in December 1982. When I called him, Dr. Hamid explained to me that Dr. Hamouda as a child would go with both Hamid brothers to the comic store when he visited from Khartoum, Sudan, where his mother was an accounting professor. The older brother, an MD in St. Louis will now not talk with his brother “Tawfik” given his consultation with US government intelligence agencies.

          When Dr. “Tawfik” Hamid called Dr. Hamouda once from abroad to ask him about patents (before 911), Dr. Hamouda said it was all in the marketing. The first name “Tawfik” is an alias used for security reasons — but this man has the courage to state the truth and urge nonviolence.

          The older Hamid brother is a distinguished MD in St. Louis and has a religion column in the St. Louis paper. He is very public about his anti-Israel views and articulately makes his points on a blog. He held a conference urging that it was against the Hippocratic Oath for a doctor to engage in terrorism. He has said publicly that he can’t tell the FBI about a sleeper cell if he doesn’t know about it.

          The younger Hamid brother, “Tawfiq”, first met Zawahiri at an afternoon prayer session. He was one of the fiercest speakers he had ever heard. Ayman fervently condemned the West for the freedom of its women. Ayman, Dr. Hamid explains, was exceptionally bright, one of the top postgraduate students in the medical school. When they met him, Zawahiri greeted him warmly through his coke bottle glasses.

          At Cairo Medical School, as a postgraduate, Ayman spoke fervently to members of Egyptian Islamic Group, which operated openly within the school and had great influence among the students. A former student there, Tawfiq Hamid, explains that Jamaah Islamiyah, then approved by both the Egyptian government and the university, was not classified as a terrorist organization until a few years later. The group “built a small prayer room in our medical school that later developed into a mosque with an associated library.” He reports that “The mosque was behind the physiology and biochemistry departments, and members of Jamaah came there daily before science classes to lecture us on Islam. They warned us about the punishments awaiting us after death if we did not follow Islam strictly and were effective in advancing Islamism among many of the students, including me. He continued: “Our fear of being punished after death was exacerbated by our work in the cadaver room, where we dissected dead bodies. Seeing death regularly during anatomy and physiology courses made us feel that the life of this world was meaningless compared to ‘real’ life after death.”

          Dr. Hamid explains that one of Ayman’s achievements was to personalize jihad—that is, to have transformed it from a responsibility of the Umma, the Islamic collective, to an individual duty of Muslims. Within several months of meeting Dr. Ayman, he was invited to travel to Afghanistan to join other young Muslims in training for jihad. It was fairly common, he said, to be recruited after the end of Friday prayers. Dr. Hamid explains: “We viewed both the Soviets and the Americans as enemies.”

          “The Soviets were considered infidels because they did not believe in the existence of God, while the Americans did not follow Islam. Although we planned to fight the Soviets first, our ultimate objective was to destroy the United States—the greatest symbol of the infidel’s freedom. ” Prophet Mohammed served as their role model. The harshest edicts of the koranic verses were to be followed and criticism of those verses was punishable by death. Dr. Hamid explains: “I passed through three psychological stages to reach this level of comfort with death: hatred of non-Muslims or dissenting Muslims, suppression of my conscience, and acceptance of violence in the service of Allah.”

          Three hundred al-Jihad activists were arrested after Sadat’s assassination. Almost all of those arrested were between the ages of 20 and 28. Most were medical, law or pharmacy students at either the Universities of Asyut or al-Minya. Of those prosecuted for Sadat’s assassination, five were sentenced to life, twelve were given long prison terms and two were acquitted, including the blind sheik, who had purported to authorize the assassination on the basis of Islamic doctrine. According to Professor Fawwaz Gerges, who conducted extensive interviews with Mr. Habib, Kamal Habib, later writing for the Ann Arbor-based IANA, had played a key operational role in the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

          Zawahiri was imprisoned for a few years after Sadat’s assassination in 1981 and allegedly tortured. Attorney Al-Zayat maintains that after his arrest in connection with the murder of President Sadat, Al-Zawahiri was tortured by the Egyptian police, and disclosed where his close friend and ally Al-Qamari was hiding. Zawahiri understandably has burned with bitterness over the torture of him and his colleagues ever since. In the long run, torture merely tends to lead to more terrorism. “They don’t seem to understand the cult of pain they’re creating,” Salafist defense counsel al-Zayat has said. Ayman Zawahiri and his sisters, who taught at Cairo Medical, were understandably especially upset about the mistreatment of their brother Muhammad who was rendered in April 1999. It was in response to that and other renderings that Zawahiri moved forward in earnest with his anthrax planning that the documentary evidence shows involved the recruitment of people of people like Aafia Siddiqui and Ali Al-Timimi working under the cover of charities and universities.

          Dr. Hamouda, supplied virulent Ames by the late Bruce Ivins, received his PhD from Cairo Medical in 1996 where Ayman Zawahiri’s sister taught microbiology.

          I have emailed him but have been unsuccessful in obtaining an interview. Numerous documents, however, were provided by the FBI about his work with Bruce Ivins at USAMRIID. None of those documents have been reported in the press.

          http://www.newanthraxandalqaeda.com
          http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1443811

        • DXer said

          10/27 column on Aulaqi

          http://www.examiner.com/foreign-policy-in-national/anwar-al-awlaki-a-most-ungrateful-pentagon-dinner-guest

          “After the 9/11 attacks, he was the go-to person to explain Islam to Americans. At the time, he condemned the attacks and essentially, made love to the cameras.

          He apparently was invited to luncheons at the Pentagon more than once. Was the food that awful? One of the points raised in a nymag article was that Awlaki was interviewed by the FBI three times after 9/11 regarding his ties to the hijackers. The luncheon invitations came after the interviews. We need to give a new name to our intelligence network.”

          Comment: In the news today, a Congressman wants Aulaqi videos taken off YouTube. In 1999, an Aulaqi video that contains in parts all of his sermon about how muslims should not cooperate in reporting terrorism committed by muslims. And thus if the FBI had been able to watch YouTube, they could see that he was actively urging that there not be any cooperation in terrorism investigations.

          Aulaqi was actively coordinating with Ali Al-Timimi, who shared a suite with DARPA-funded bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and Ames researcher and former deputy USAMRIID Commander Charles Bailey. Yet no outlet has reported it.

        • DXer said

          Who was the “procurement agent”?

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/AR2010102106265.html

          Muslim cleric Aulaqi had lunch at Pentagon

          By Associated Press
          Friday, October 22, 2010

          The 9/11 Commission reported that Aulaqi was interviewed at least four times in two weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks about his dealings with three of the hijackers aboard the plane that hit the Pentagon. But it said it didn’t know enough about his relationship with the hijackers to say whether he was aware of the plot.

          The report said the FBI had investigated him in 1999 and 2000 for having been “contacted by a possible procurement agent for [Osama] bin Laden” and for connections to extremist fundraising groups. None of the investigations led to criminal charges against him.

        • DXer said

          For example, the DOJ uploaded 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 apparently did not obtain the documents from Bruce Ivins relating to the correspondence with the University of Michigan researchers until 2005 — four years after the mailings. At that time, someone using Arthur Friedlander’s telephone number forwarded 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 sender noted that the 20 pages being forwarded had been provided the sender by Bruce Ivins.

          The University of Michigan Medical Center letter dated May 10 [1998] to Bruce Ivins

          “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.”

        • DXer said

          For example, the DOJ uploaded 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 apparently did not obtain the documents from Bruce Ivins relating to the correspondence with the University of Michigan researchers until 2005 — four years after the mailings. At that time, someone using Arthur Friedlander’s telephone number forwarded 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 sender noted that the 20 pages being forwarded had been provided the sender by Bruce Ivins.

          The University of Michigan Medical Center letter dated May 10 [1998] to Bruce Ivins

          “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.”

      • DXer said

        Elizabeth Ferrari, who has followed the anthrax investigation, noted earlier this week.

        http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×4588055

        EFerrari (1000+ posts) Mon Oct-25-10 03:42 PM
        Response to Reply #22
        26. The FBIs “case” against Bruce Ivins is embarassingly stupid.

        I’ve yet to find a expert in the field that agrees with them who isn’t on their payroll.

        Comment: Let’s put that to the test. Is there expert in the field agrees with them on their ultimate conclusion who isn’t on their payroll? The only person I can think of who agrees with them is lay person Ed, who mistakenly understood that the genetics pointed to Ivins, rather than up to 300. He says it is 99% certain that Dr. Ivins was working with a First Grader.

        I don’t even see Jennifer, who worked on Amerithrax at FBI and then was chief analyst at the CIA, agrees with them. She reports privately, however, that she does not want to undermine the FBI.

        Where are the Collen Rowley and Harry Samits of the world?

        On September 10, 2001, Catherine Kiser wrote FBI agent Harry Samit about Zacarias Moussaoui and the threat that an aircraft would be flown into the World Trade Center:

        From: Catherine Kiser
        To: Harry Samit
        Date: 09/10/01, 3:45PM
        Subject: Re: Request Emergency FISA Search Warrant

        Harry,

        Thanks for the update. Very sorry this matter was handled the way it was, but you fought the good fight. God Help us all if the next terrorist incident involves the same type of plane.
        take care,

        Cathy

        • DXer said

          Similarly, the former FBI’s head of counterterrorism to tell me that Amerithrax was a real mess.

        • DXer said

          Ali Al-Timimi’s defense counsel has described Anwar Aulaqi’s visit with Al-Timimi in Fall 2002.

          Here is some additional background:

          http://www.sperryfiles.com/excerpts.shtml

          “On October 10, 2002, Anwar Nasser Aulaqi arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 35. He gave an address of 3159 Row Street, Falls Church, Virginia—the Dar al-Hijrah mosque. An immigration inspector processing his paperwork noticed he was a match on the terrorist lookout list, according to the results of the primary inspection, a copy of which I obtained [click on DOCUMENTS link]. The inspector immediately referred Aulaqi to secondary for questioning. “REASON FOR REFERRAL: ANTI-TERRORIST PASSENGER,” states the secondary inspection report. The lanky Aulaqi—described as 6 feet 1 inch, 160 pounds, with black hair and black eyes‹was hustled off to the customs inspections area where his bags were searched.

          Next, agents escorted Aulaqi and his family to the customs detention area, according to the classified incident log I obtained [click on DOCUMENTS link]. A supervisor was called in as agents realized they had a big fish in their net. Then, a flurry of calls was made to Washington to notify officials there that they had the subject of multiple counterterrorism investigations in custody.

          One of the first calls went out to Kane, the special agent at Customs, who informed the authorities at JFK that he would consult with headquarters and also “reach out” to FBI special agent Wade Ammerman, who previously had followed Aulaqi out of the bureau’s Washington field office. About an hour later, Kane called back the supervisor at the airport with some disappointing news—they would have to release the imam from custody for diplomatic reasons. “RECEIVED A CALL FROM S/A KANE NOTIFYING US THE WARRANT ISSUED BY THE STATE DEPT. HAD BEEN PULLED BACK,” the incident log says. FBI special agent Nick Pindulic called from the Washington field office to confirm that “THE WARRANT HAD BEEN REMOVED ON 10/9.”

          So there was a U.S. warrant outstanding for the imam’s arrest. Yet it was withdrawn on October 9—the day before he arrived.”

          Wade Ammerman was the Special Agent who was pursuing the access Ali Al-Timimi had to the biggest microbiological repository in the world and who shared a suite with leading anthrax bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former deputy Commander and current active Ames researcher Charles Bailey. Their company had received millions from DARPA and subcontracted with Southern Research Institute (“SRI”) to do the virulent work with Ames. SRI’s BL-3 came to be led by Bruce Ivins’ former colleague, Patricia Fellows, who is Former Colleague #2 in the FBI documents.

        • DXer said

          tps://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=130543554

          Here is DINA TEMPLE-RASTON’s take on Anwar Al-Awlaki:

          “Al-Awlaki didn’t start with a radical message. He used to sell popular CDs on the stories of the prophets. It wasn’t until he was imprisoned in Yemen in 2004 that his message turned violent, and in the last year it has had real consequences.

          He inspired the man accused in the Fort Hood shooting, Major Nidal Hasan. He also allegedly helped train the young Nigerian who tried to detonate a bomb on a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day. Now counterterrorism officials have to contend with Awlaki and his YouTube audience. His message has given al-Qaida an amazing reach. The group and its affiliates don’t have to go in search of recruits anymore. The recruits, inspired by Awlaki, find them.

          WERTHEIMER: Dina Temple-Raston joins us now from New York City. Let me ask you. These two Americans both worked on al-Qaida’s media strategy. Do you think they bring some uniquely American thing to what they do for al-Qaida?

          TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, clearly one of the advantages they bring to the table is this deep understanding of the American audience, ’cause they actually lived here. Now, Awlaki’s gone a step further. This is a guy who is using the democratization of YouTube to get his message out. He has a Facebook page. I mean, this is not the kind of thing that your run-of-the-mill recruit from Yemen can provide.

          Another example: Samir Khan, the North Carolina man behind al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine, which just published its second issue this week, his online magazine is like Cosmo for jihadis. It has how-to articles and tips. It’s incredibly American.

          WERTHEIMER: Now, all of the Americans you’ve profiled this week seem to have taken American qualities and adapted them.

          TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, you know, as I was traveling from place to place to report this series, I was struck by the American-ness of these people we focused on. Adnan Shukrijumah, who’s thought to be one of the leaders of al-Qaida’s overseas terrorist attack unit, I mean apparently when he was in the States he was a real go-getter. And when he got to al-Qaida, he was initially, you know, shunted aside. He had asthma, they didn’t think he could be of much use. But he really hustled the position for him. You know, the hustle that’s so American, this idea that if you work hard you’ll succeed.

          And Samir Khan, this editor I was talking about earlier, he actually started a prototype of the magazine in North Carolina, and he hired a lawyer to tell him how far he could go without breaking the law by First Amendment protections, and that’s not something that would have happened anywhere but here in the U.S.

          WERTHEIMER: Do you think their American-ness makes them more dangerous to the United States?

          TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, I think it cuts both ways. In one way, yes, because you have people in key positions who are – they’ve lived in New York and they know the city and they know how things work and how to blend in and that could make, you know, wherever they lived a little bit more vulnerable to attack. But there’s a good side to this too.

          WERTHEIMER: How so?

          TEMPLE-RASTON: It’s possible that this very American-ness could end up acting as almost a safety valve. Let me give you an example. Remember Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American who wanted to blow up a car in Times Square back in May? I’ve always found it incredibly interesting that he had stashed a getaway car. He had no intention of being a suicide bomber. And I think this gets to this American-ness idea, a sense of life being too important to waste.

          We’ve only seen one American suicide bomber in all this violence over the last couple of years, and he was a Somali-American from Minneapolis and he killed himself in Somalia. And I think there’s something about growing up here that makes it hard to go as far as a suicide bombing, or at least that’s been the case that we’ve seen across the board so far.”

        • DXer said

          By way of further background on Anwar Aulaqi, 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. By 2010, when the United States announced that there was authorization to attempt to kill Anwar Aulaqi, he had long since gone into hiding after acknowledging his role in the Ft. Hood shooting and attempt to bring down an airliner flying into Detroit.

          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.”

        • DXer said

          I read Ms. Temple-Raston’s book “The Jihad Next Door” and found the reporting solid although not of an investigative nature. By the nature of the broad beat, she is walking previously plowed fields — going over the fields the DOJ contacts harvested.

          From Booklist

          The Lackawanna Six, Yemeni American friends living in straitened circumstances outside Buffalo, New York, accepted Kamel Derwish as their mentor in the hope of becoming better Muslims, unaware of his involvement in the attack on the USS Cole and his role as an al-Qaeda recruiter. Temple-Raston, National Public Radio’s FBI correspondent and a superbly gifted author, describes with a journalist’s urgency and a novelist’s sensibility Lackawanna’s close-knit Yemeni community; the fateful journey of the six friends to Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; their frightening experiences at an al-Qaeda training camp; and the political frenzy surrounding their high-profile prosecution. As she sensitively portrays each of the five men currently behind bars, she reveals their dire naïveté and profound regrets, which stand in stark contrast to her revelations regarding the Bush administration’s use of the Lackawanna case to bolster the Patriot Act and to justify the assassination of Derwish, an American citizen. Compelling and clarifying, Temple-Raston’s invaluable exposé will stand as one illuminated chapter in a dark saga of governmental crimes and cover-ups. Seaman, Donna
          Review

          “A well-written detective story.” — Washington Post, January 30, 2008

          “[A] well-wrought investigative report about six young Arab-Americans from western New York who stumbled into terrorism. NPR correspondent Temple-Raston… delves deeply into the lives of these residents of Lackawanna… An elegant examination of how the rules of justice have changed since 9/11.” — Kirkus, August 1, 2007

          Product Description

          The acclaimed author of A Death In Texas tells the riveting, morally complex story of a group of young Yemeni-American men from an upstate New York steel town who may, or may not, have been America’s first “sleeper cell.”
          They called themselves the Arabian Knights. They were six Yemeni-American friends, a gang of high-school soccer stars, a band of brothers on the grim side streets of Lackawanna’s First Ward, just a stone’s throw from Buffalo.

          Later, people would argue about why they left western New York in the spring of 2001 to attend an al-Qaeda camp. Some said they traveled to Afghanistan to become America’s first sleeper cell–terrorists slumbering while they awaited orders from on high. Others said that their ill-fated trip was a lark, an adventurous extension of their youthful wrestling with what it meant to be Muslim in America.

          Dina Temple-Raston returns to Lackawanna to tell the story of a group of young men–born and brought up in small town America–who left otherwise unremarkable lives to attend an al-Qaeda camp. Though they sought to quietly slip back into their roles as middle class Americans, the 9/11 attacks made that impossible.

          The Jihad Next Door is the story of pre-emptive justice in the age of terror. It follows a handful of ordinary men through an extraordinary time when Muslims in America are often instantly suspect, their actions often viewed through the most sinister lens.

          About the Author

          Dina Temple-Raston is the FBI correspondent for National Public Radio and the award-winning author of several books, including A Death in Texas, Justice in the Grass and In Defense of Our America. She lives in New York City.

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