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

* Ross Getman’s slide presentation at the Nov 29 anthrax letters seminar

Posted by DXer on December 5, 2010


Dr. John Ezzell, Lew Weinstein, Ross Getman, Dr. Meryl Nass, Paul Kemp and Dr. James Van de Velde at the November 29 anthrax seminar sponsored by the University of California Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation and the UC Washington Center


Ross Getman’s slide presentation

at the Nov 29 anthrax letters seminar

click … seminarpresentation (2)

31 Responses to “* Ross Getman’s slide presentation at the Nov 29 anthrax letters seminar”

  1. DXer said

    It was very sad to learn of John Ezzell’s passing in 2015. His integrity and classiness really was on display that day when he came forward and spoke at the conference organized by Ken that was moderated by Lew. He answered every question that I thought to pose to him on camera. The conference was organized by a group at UCLA, as I recall.

    I apologize if my arguments on this blog relating to the difficult Amerithrax whodunnit ever seem disparaging. Archibald Cox used to say that if the issue were clear people wouldn’t have the difference of opinion. Thus, stridency is best avoided.

    I realize that the investigators like Dr. Decker have a lot emotionally vested in not thinking that they drove a fragile man to commit suicide.

  2. DXer said

    Secret Keepers and Secret Spillers: Spooks and the Press in Post-9/11 America
    by Stuart Stevens Jun 13, 2013 4:45 AM EDT
    In 2003, two New York Times reporters caught the scent of the story that would come to define the surveillance state and the press’s response to it. Stuart Stevens tells the story behind that story.

    One thing is clear: if the Post and the Guardian had refused to publish Snowden’s stolen materials—if every publication on the planet had refused to publish them, for that matter—all Snowden needed to do was post them on the web himself. Every computer is a potential Wiki-Leaks platform, without editorial board superversion. Technology has no ideology or morals. It will spy on all of us just as it will expose those who spy.

  3. DXer said

    I’ve been pointing to El-Shukrijumah and the importance that he be killed or captured for many years.

    Anthrax and the Vanguards of Conquest – 3/13/2005

    By Ross E. Getman, Esq.

    This past month, Interpol, the NYPD and FBI have warned of a possible anthrax attack. These warnings have become very familiar. In early June 2003, a Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) report publicly disclosed that the reason for Mohammed Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. An early September 2003 Newsweek article included a rumor by a Taliban source that at a meeting in April 2003 Bin Laden was planning an “unbelievable” biological attack, the plans for which had suffered a setback upon the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (“KSM”). He had been captured the previous month in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In November 2003, a report by a UN Panel of experts concluded that Al Qaeda is determined to use chemical and biological weapons and is restrained only by technical difficulties.

    In a statement issued June 16, 2004, the 9/11 Commission Staff concluded that “Al Qaeda had an ambitious biological weapons program and was making advances in its ability to produce anthrax prior to September 11. According to Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, al Qaeda’s ability to conduct an anthrax attack is one of the most immediate threats the United States is likely to face.” On August 9, 2004, it was announced that in the Spring of 2001, a man named El-Shukrijumah, also known as Jafar the Pilot, who was part of a “second wave,” had been casing New York City helicopters. Photographs from a seized computer disc included the controls and the locks on the door between the passengers and pilot. In a bulletin, the FBI noted that the surveillance might relate to a plot to disperse a chemical or biological weapon.

    The CIA reportedly has been quietly building a case that the anthrax mailings were an international plot. This is old news. It’s just no longer bureaucratically impolite to openly contest the FBI’s (former) theory about a lone, American scientist. Many people have argued that a US-based Al Qaeda operative is behind the earlier Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in the US, and that the mailings served as a threat and warning. Princeton islamist scholar Bernard Lewis has explained that while islamists may disagree about whether killing innocents is sanctioned by the laws of jihad, extremists like Zawahiri agree that notice must be given before biochemical weapons are used. “The Prophet’s guidance,” says Michael Scheuer, an al-Qaeda analyst who recently retired from the CIA and once headed its Bin Laden unit, “was always, Before you attack someone, warn them very clearly…” The anthrax mailings followed the pattern of letters they sent in January 1997 to newspaper branches in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as symbolic targets. The letter bombs were sent in connection with the detention of the blind sheik Abdel Rahman and those responsible for the earlier World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

    Handwritten notes and files on a laptop seized upon the capture of KSM, Al Qaeda’s #3, included a feasible anthrax production plan using a spray dryer and addressed the recruitment of necessary expertise. What your morning paper did not tell you, however, was that the CIA seized a similar disc from Ayman Zawahiri’s right-hand, Ahmed Salama Mabruk, 5 years earlier. The computer disk was confiscated from him during his arrest by the CIA in Azerbaijan and handed over to the Egyptian authorities. Mabruk, at the time, was the head of Jihad’s military operations. There is a risk that observers underestimate the time that Al Qaeda has had to make progress in such recruitment and research and development.

    Some may still think that even in the final stages of the 9/11 plot, Zacarias Moussaoui was going to fly a 5th plane into the Capitol or White House. Others argue that he was to be part of a second wave of airliners directed to targets on the West Coast. There is an e-mail by Moussaoui, however, dated July 31, 2001 indicating that he sought to take a crop dusting course that was to last up to 6 months. In March 2003, Mohammed reportedly said that Moussaoui was not going to be part of 9/11 but was to be part of a “second wave.” Although Ramzi Binalshibh provided him $14,000 in July, accused September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui told his trial judge that he had an al Qaeda mission that would have come after the terrorist attacks. KSM explained that Moussaoui’s inquiries about crop dusters may have been related to the anthrax work being done by US-trained biochemist and Al Qaeda operative, Malaysian Yazid Sufaat. Zacarias Moussaoui, never the sharpest tool in the shed and thought by his superiors to be unreliable, has told the judge at his trial in a filing that he wants “anthrax for Jew sympathizer only.” Al Qaeda’s regional operative, Hambali, who was at a key January 2000 meeting and supervised Sufaat, has been captured. Hambali reportedly is cooperating to some degree. KSM and Hambali sent al-Hindi (al-Britani), along with Jafar the Pilot, to case NYC targets for a second wave. It was as part of that surveillance in early 2001 that Jafar the Pilot studied tourist helicopters in the NYC area. …

  4. DXer said

    Senator Graham’s next novel is on bioweapons given he thinks Dr. Ayman’s next attack will involve anthrax. The lead person from the Commission was at the November 29, 2010 conference and said on film that the Commission was closely following the conference.

    The Kennedy School publication about Dr. Ayman’s justification for killing millions also expressly simultaneously justifies killing millions using anthrax.

    New al-Qaeda Chief Zawahiri Has Strong Nuclear Intent

    Click to access Islam_and_the_Bomb-Final.pdf

    Forbes (blog) – Rahim Kanani – ‎Jun 29, 2011‎ (“I believe al-Qaeda is laying the groundwork for a large scale attack on the United States, possibly in the next year or two,” continues Mowatt-Larssen in the opening of the report issued earlier this year by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. “The attack may or may not involve the use of WMD, but there are signs that al-Qaeda is working on an event on a larger scale than the 9/11 attack.”)

    Former Sen. Bob Graham puts inside knowledge to use in new novel ‘Keys to the Kingdom’

    By Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor
    In Print: Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Governor of Florida for two terms and a U.S. senator for three terms, Graham retired from politics in 2005. Since then he has stayed busy teaching at Harvard, founding two centers in Florida to train future political leaders, and serving as chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism …

    Now Graham, 74, has added “novelist” to his resume. Keys to the Kingdom is a spy thriller that draws from Graham’s decade on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which he chaired before and after the 9/11 attacks.

    Graham has published three nonfiction books, but this is his first foray into fiction. He talked about the book by phone just before it was published on June 7.

    Why write a novel?

    The impetus here was not a good motive, but anger. I knew that what came out of the 9/11 investigation was a lot of unanswered questions. There were answers, but because of a very effective, very systematic coverup, those answers did not become public.

    The final report from the commission was heavily redacted, including a full chapter about the Saudis’ involvement that was redacted.

    While I was at the Kennedy School (at Harvard), I knew Joseph Nye, who had been an assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton administration. He was interested in writing a nonfiction book about his experiences, but he realized the censorship would be so strict he wouldn’t be able to say what he wanted to say. So he wrote a novel, The Power Game.

    So that made me think that maybe I could tell the story I wanted to tell in novel form.

    How much of Keys to the Kingdom is factual, how much fictional?

    It does start from two factual situations. One is the unanswered questions about 9/11 and the coverup. And also, there’s the situation involving BAE (an international defense contractor) and the Saudi princes. (In the mid 2000s, the British government investigated a multimillion-dollar “slush fund” BAE was alleged to maintain for bribing powerful Saudis.)

    I fictionally merge them. In the novel, the BAE money is used not to pay off the Saudi princes but to fund a Saudi nuclear program.

    Did the Central Intelligence Agency vet the book for classified material?

    Yes. Throughout the process, as I would finish a draft, I would send it to the CIA review board. I’m a member of the CIA’s external advisory board, and as such I have a very high security clearance, but I also have the obligation to allow them to read the material.

    Did they ask you to remove anything?



    You create one character, a retired senator named John Billington, who shares much of your resume and your personal life. Why did you kill him off early in the book?

    Clearly Billington shares a lot of similarities with me. His death becomes, next to that nuclear bomb in Mumbai (which detonates in the prologue), the impetus for the plot. They spend the rest of the book trying to figure out who killed Billington.

    How did you develop your protagonist, Tony Ramos? In some ways, he’s a typical thriller hero — ex-Special Ops turned State Department research analyst — while in others … he’s not. Is he based on anyone you know?


    Are you planning to write more novels?

    If you’ve read the last chapter of Keys to the Kingdom, you know it contains a tease for the next book. But I told my publisher that before I start investing my time in writing another one, I want to see how well this one goes.

    I started writing this while I was at the Kennedy School, and I was very focused on the threat of nuclear weapons. I now believe we’re more likely to have to deal with a biological weapon of mass destruction than a nuclear one, so the next book would be about that.

    How do you feel now that Keys to the Kingdom has been published?

    Obviously I’ve never been through the experience of birthing a child, but I think this must be somewhat similar. You want the baby to be happy and healthy and have 10 fingers and 10 toes, but you’re anxious. You want people to enjoy the book. I hope they’ll be entertained, I hope they’ll be educated.

    I also hope that it will promote some better understanding of how the intelligence community does its work and the importance of intelligence to our national security.

    This will sound immodest, and it is, but there is only a handful of people who could have written this book. I had a front-row seat during the 9/11 investigation, and I hope to give the people a front-row seat, too.

  5. DXer said
    Science falls short in anthrax investigation – February 15, 2011

    Posted on behalf of Gwyneth Zakaib

    When four letters containing anthrax killed five people and sickened 17 others in the United States in 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched a massive effort to pinpoint the origin of the deadly spores.

    Nine years on, there is not enough scientific evidence to provide a convincing answer, according to a National Research Council (NRC) committee report released today. The committee had reviewed the FBI’s scientific approaches and conclusions in the ‘Amerithrax’ case, as requested by the bureau in 2008 (see this Nature editorial on the need for a scientific review).


    But others are disturbed that it’s proved so difficult to determine where the anthrax came from. “From a National Security perspective, we have a serious problem here,” says Randall Larsen, director of the Institute for Homeland Security. The report shows that potential terrorists “can reasonably assume that it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to figure out who launched the attack.”

    Comment: Randall Larsen was head of the WMD Commission. On the film of the November 29, 2010 conference tape, he is heard from the audience saying that the WMD Commission was taking a keen interest in the conference presentations.

  6. DXer said

    Use of Code

    In planning 9/11, Atta used code in instructing Ramzi Binalshibh to send “the skirts” to “Sally”. The 9/11 Commission Staff explained that the coded reference to “Sally” referred to sending money to Zacarias Moussaoui. (Ramzi then sent Zacarias $14,000). Former CIA Director Tenet in his 2007 book Center of the Storm included Ramzi Binalshibh along with KSM and Hambali as among al-Qa’ida’s leadership “linked to the group’s highly compartmentalized chemical, biological, and nuclear networks.”

    Atta and Ramzi Binalshibh used coded phrases as they approached 9/11 to include:

    Faculty of Fine Arts/arts = Pentagon
    Faculty of Town Planning/architecture = World Trade Center
    Faculty of Law / law = The Capitol
    politics = White House
    White Meat = Americans
    Terminal = Indonesia
    Market = Malaysia
    Hotel = Philippines
    Village = Egypt

    The CSIS has explained that EIJ operative Jaballah used code in discussing operational or sensitive matters. For example, in a discussion with a Pakistan-based contact, with whom he was discussing acquiring false documents, he requested help in acquiring a “green outfit.” In describing Mabruk’s detention in Dagestan, and seeking funds to get him out, he told Florida cell member in Alberta, Canada, that the “medicine” needed was expensive and that it would cost $15,000. Daher commented that when the “patients” were Arab it seemed a lucrative trade. Similarly, US supporters of Abdel-Rahman in the 1990s used “Food and Beverage Industry” to refer to the FBI. It is worth considering, then, whether code was used in the anthrax letters. In the conversations that the
    blind sheikh’s spokesman, Sattar, had with people like the blind sheik’s successor Taha, EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest al-Sirri, and the blind sheikh’s son, they used the same language found in emails between Zawahiri and the Yemeni cell in email. If a brother was in the hospital, it meant he was in prison. If he had an accident, it meant perhaps that Egyptian security services had killed him.

    KSM and Clouds (As Sahab)

    Many people think that the letter sending the first anthrax reportedly had clouds pictured on it. The flagship of American Media, Inc., National Enquirer, described the letter sent AMI as follows:

    “Bobby Bender came around the corner with this letter in the upturned palms of his hands,” said photo assistant Roz Suss, a 13-year Sun staffer. “It was a business-size sheet of stationery decorated with pink and blue clouds around the edges. It was folded into three sections, and in the middle was a pile of what looked like pink-tinged talcum powder.”
    In admitting that he had taken over supervising the development of anthrax for use against the US upon Atef’s death (in November 2001), KSM separately noted that “I was the Media Operations Director for As-Sahab or ‘The Clouds,’ under Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri

    Jennifer Lopez Letter and Atta’s “Jenny” Code

    The letter sent to AMI in Florida sought to dissuade Jennifer Lopez from a planned marriage. A wedding or marriage is well-known Al Qaeda code for an attack. The sender said how much he loved her and asked her to marry him. Stevens noted at the time it was especially off the wall given that the Sun did not deal with celebrities, which was the subject of the sister-paper Globe. Stevens’ fellow photo editor Roz Suss was looking over his shoulder: “With that Bob says to me,” Hey, I think there’s something gold in here. It looks like a Jewish star sticking out of the powder.” I walked up behind him and reached over his shoulder. I pulled this little star out of what looked like a mound of powder in this letter. I remember it as a fine white powder.” “It looked like something from a Cracker Jacks box,” she says. She picked it out of the powder and tossed it in her wastebasket. Stevens’ colleague Bobby Bender has a different recollection. He says he opened a letter to Jennifer Lopez, recalls handling a large envelope to Jennifer Lopez, care of the Sun. In it was a cigar tube containing a cigar, a small Star of David charm, and something that seemed like soap powder. Hambali and two al-Qaeda minions considered attacking an Israeli restaurant, with a Star of David above it, in the Khao San Rd. backpacker area in Bangkok.

    A December 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton explained: “An alleged Bin Ladin supporter late last month remarked to his mother that he planned to work in ‘commerce’ from abroad and said his impending ‘marriage,’ which would take place soon, would be a ’surprise.’” The December 1998 PDB continued: “‘Commerce’ and ‘marriage’ often are code words for attacks.” Of course, sometimes, a young man just wants to tell his mom he’s got a job or warn her that she may not approve of the woman he intends to marry. Similarly, sometimes folks who write to tabloids are merely commenting on JLo’s impending nuptials.

    Jennifer Lopez’s fame had withstood a number of under performing movies, to include the movie “The Cell” in the year 2000. In the movie, following a trail of bodies, an FBI agent tracks down and captures a disturbed serial killer. Before the killer can reveal the whereabouts of his next victim (a woman trapped in a cell on the verge of drowning), he falls into a coma. Enter beautiful FBI psychologist Lopez, who uses a radical link to the killer’s brain that could destroy her own sanity. “Her mission: Find the cell’s location before time runs out, and avoid getting trapped inside the killer’s head.” According to an early National Enquirer, Stevens held it up to his face and then put it down on the keyboard (where traces of anthrax were found). The publisher’s wife was the real estate broker who rented to two of the hijackers.

    The heaviest concentration was in the mailroom on the first floor, with positive findings in many cubicles throughout the first floor. The second floor had positive traces mainly in the hallways. The third floor had the fewest positive traces. The FBI has a theory that the spores were distributed on copy paper, perhaps having fallen onto an open ream of paper in the mailroom where it was stored. Perhaps instead spores could have been spread by a vacuum cleaner and collected at copier machines because of the electrostatic charge and the fans
    on the machines.

    Mrs. Stevens recently explained: “They get strange letters sometimes, and the consensus seems to be that if Robert wasn’t wearing his glasses and if it was something funny, he would hold the letters up to his face. They think perhaps that’s how he got it. Just bad luck.” The key expert evidence on this issue of the Jennifer Lopez letter thus far is the New England Journal of Medicine in which Stevens’ doctor concludes that the letter, opened 9/19 and resulting in symptoms appearing 9/30, evidenced an incubation period consistent with inhalational anthrax.

    A recent CDC report discusses a second letter of possible interest thought to have been opened on September 25 by a different woman who was exposed. The jury will have to remain out unless and until there is more information on the letter(s) that transmitted the anthrax to AMI. The FBI went back to AMI in August 2002. A February 2003 article in Esquire says the “cops and the doctors” have concluded that there were two letters, following two different paths, with one having been mailed to an old address of the National Enquirer before being forwarded. If there were two different letters, were they to two different AMI publications? That would make sense — with one directed to the Sun and one directed to the National Enquirer.

    What does the J.Lo letter tell us about the sender, or senders? J.Lo is what they used to call a “sex bomb” — and the biggest one at the time. She had international fame. The vehicle had a “weird” love letter, a Star of David, maybe a cigar. Who had “issues” and weird obsessions
    with women, sex (with a cigar being a crude symbol) and Jewish symbolism? Atta, for example, had strict instructions in his will about what women would be allowed to do at his funeral. Follow the anomalies.

    Two of the hijackers had subscriptions to AMI publications, as did Al Qaeda operative al-Marabh. Boston cab driver Al-Marabh had been in contact with the hijackers, to include Alghamdi who rented an apartment from the wife of the AMI publisher. Atta was seen at the apartment of Al-Marabh and his uncle (the co-founder with Jaballah of an islamic school in Toronto in the Spring of 2001. After coming to Canada in 1996, Jaballah spoke with Ayman regularly on Ayman’s satellite phone.

    ”In The Hearts Of Green Birds” (Inside Green Birds)

    It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” The stamp’s image of a green-blue colored bird was designed by artist Michael Doret. Mr. Doret provided me “a file made directly from the original art [he] created, so the color is an accurate representation of the printed envelope.” Michael advises me that the color of the eagle is a “teal” or greenish-blue.

    In the very interview with Al-Jazeera in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh admitted to the Jenny code, the code for representing the date 9/11, and used the symbolism of the “Green Birds.” Osama Bin Laden later invoked the symbolism in his video “The 19 Martyrs”, describing a hijacker as “A man of worship who enjoined good and forbade evil. His body was on earth but his heart roamed with the green birds that perch beneath the Throne of the Most Merciful.”

    A FAQ on Al Qaeda’s website, the Azzam Publications website, explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside. The actual Arabic word used in the Hadith is not Qalb (heart) but it is Jowf which can mean any of interior, inside, or heart (as in center). There was a video based on the hadith with the title “In The Hearts of Green Birds” about foreign mujahideen who had been martyred in Bosnia. The audiocassette was created in August 1996 and its 3rd edition was released in January 1997. The website selling the “In the Hearts of Green Birds” audiocassette was shut down after 9/11 because authorities thought it might contain codes and instructions to militants. British and US intelligence sources reportedly suspected that some of’s jihad photos and graphics contain messages embedded with a technology known as steganography. The code instead perhaps was there for all to see on the stamps of the lethal missives being sent.

    In early Fall 2001, the website was mirrored by someone who lived 6 miles from the mailbox where the anthrax was mailed. He was indicted in Spring 2007 for income tax invasion. To the left of the advertisement for the “Green Birds” video, you’ll see the description of al-Hawali’s imprisonment. The imprisonment of al-Hawali and certain other
    scholars was the “Cover Theme” (which includes a related article on the torture of prisoners in Saudi prisons). GMU computational biology grad al-Timimi drafted a letter for al-Hawali and had it hand-delivered to every member of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailings.

    Of course, given that the symbolism used in this regard in the anthrax mailings had an origin in religious writing, there is no direct tie with the website — the tie could be with the hadith. The London webmaster once said that the FBI allowed it to remain up (while it moved from server to server) for another year hoping to get leads on supporters.

    Even Zarqawi invoked the imagery in a 60-minute audio message:

    “The martyrs rejoice in the bounty provided by God. Their souls are inside the bodies of green birds that fly in heaven.”

    Bin Laden was using “Green Birds” in the same way he used the repeated phrase “Looming Tower” to hint of what was to come with the planes attack on the World Trade Center. He would say

    “Wherever you are, death will find you
    even in the looming tower.”

    In a prerecorded tape aired October 7, 2001, at the time of the anthrax mailing to the Senators, Bin Laden said “The winds of faith have come.”

    An advertisement for “In The Hearts of Green Birds” sold by Al Qaeda’s website read: “In the Summer of 1996, Azzam Recordings released the first audio tape of its kind to be produced in English. The name of this tape was: ‘In the Hearts of Green Birds.’ It outlined some of
    the stories of these men. This tape was so successful, that it spread, by the Will of Allah, throughout many Muslim homes in the UK, North America and Australia. Due to popular demand, in the Summer of 1997, Azzam Recordings produced the sequel to this tape: ‘Under the Shades of Swords.’ The Virginia Paintball defendants really liked videos like “In the Hearts of Green Birds” and found them inspirational.

    “Greendale School”

    ”Greendale School” is the return address of the anthrax letters to Senators Daschle and Leahy. In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The letter was found on Al Zawahiri’s computer. The letter was designed to look innocent. It was dated 3 May 2001 and signed “Dr. Nour, Chairman of the Company.” Nour is one of Zawahiri’s aliases. In this context, it was Egyptian Islamic Jihad, not Al Qaeda, of which he was Chairman.

    “We have been trying to go back to our main, previous activities. The most important step was the opening of the school. We have made it possible for the teachers to find openings for profitable trade.”
    The letter read

    “To: Unknown
    From: Ayman al-Zawahir
    Folder: Letters
    Date: May 3, 2001

    The following is a summary of our situation: We are trying to return to our previous main activity. The most important step was starting the school, the programs of which have been started. We also provided the teachers with means of conducting profitable trade as much as we could. Matters are all promising, except for the unfriendliness of two teachers, despite what we have provided for them. We are patient. (This refers to an internal dispute with two senior London Egyptian islamists).

    As you know, the situation below in the village [Egypt] has become bad for traders [jihadis]. Our Upper Egyptian relatives have left the market, and we are suffering from international monopolies. Conflicts take place between us for trivial reasons, due to the scarcity of resources. We are also dispersed over various cities. However, God had mercy on us when the Omar Brothers Company [the Taliban] here opened the market for traders and provided them with an opportunity to reorganize, may God reward them. Among the benefits of residence here is that traders from all over gather in one place under one company, which increases familiarity and cooperation among them, particularly between us and the Abdullah Contracting Company [bin Laden and his associates]. The latest result of this cooperation is the offer they gave. Following is a summary of the offer: Encourage commercial activities [jihad] in the village to face foreign investors; stimulate publicity; then agree on joint work to unify trade in our area. Close relations allowed for an open dialogue to solve our problems. Colleagues here believe that this is an excellent opportunity to encourage sales in general, and in the village in particular. They are keen on the success of the project. They are also hopeful that this may be a way out of the bottleneck to transfer our activities to the stage of multinationals and joint profit. We are negotiating the details with both sides.”

    The full message, decoded, is thought to say:

    “We have been trying to go back to our military activities. The most important step was the declaration of unity with al-Qaeda. We have made it possible for the mujahideen to find an opening for martyrdom. As you know, the situation down in Egypt has become bad for the mujahideen: our members in Upper Egypt have abandoned military action, and we are suffering from international harassment.”

    “But Allah enlightened us with His mercy when Taliban came to power. It has opened doors of military action for our mujahideen and provided them with an opportunity to rearrange their forces. One benefit of performing jihad here is the congregation in one place of all mujahideen who came from everywhere and began working with the Islamic Jihad Organization. Acquaintance and cooperation have grown, especially between us and al-Qaeda.”

    In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for “Al Qaeda.”

    Dr. Jean Rosenfeld, a researcher associated with the UCLA Center for the Study
    of Religion, and an expert on the symbolism of religious extremist movements, wrote me: “Greendale’ to me signified a conscious choice to use the symbolic color of Islam.” She continued: “The franked eagle on the envelope of the anthrax letters was identical to the one I caught on a documentary that showed a one-second shot of the site where Sadat was assassinated –- the huge eagle above the podium where he was when he died. That assassination was of great significance to Egyptian Jihad and produced the pamphlet by Faraj that justifies “fard ‘ayn”/individual duty as the basis of jihadist doctrine.” She explained that Al Qaeda “is rooted in Egypt and Salafism, not Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism. Al-Zawahiri, I believe, is intensely nostalgic for the Nile Valley.”

    The CIA factbook explains that the color green — such as used by anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat in naming his lab “Green Laboratory Medicine,” and by the mailer who used the return address “Greendale School” – is the traditional color of islam. Green symbolizes islam, Mohammed and the holy war. In its section on Saudi Arabia, and the “Flag Description,” the CIA “Factbook” explains that the flag is “green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber … ; green is the traditional color of Islam.”

    An intelligence document first released in 2007 involves an operation by EIJ members headed by Atef and including Saif Adel in which the group headed to Somalia to work at developing a new base of operations. The group
    draw attention to it.

    Adham Hassoun and Kassem Daher used “school” as code. Canadian businessman Daher is an associate of EIJ member Jaballah, who was detained in Canada and had maintained regular contact with Ayman by satellite telephone after coming to Canada in 1996. “Is there a school over there to teach football?” Hassoun asked, using what the FBI says is code for jihad.

    The Amerithrax Task Force explanation of Greendale is as follows:

    “The investigation into the fictitious return address on envelopes used for the second round of anthrax mailings, “4th GRADE,” “GREENDALE SCHOOL,” has established a possible link to the American Family Association (AFA) headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi. In October 1999, AFA, a Christian organization, published an article entitled “AFA takes Wisconsin to court.” The article describes a lawsuit filed in federal court, by the AFA Center for law and Policy (CLP), on behalf of the parents of the students at Greendale Baptist Academy. The articles focuses on an incident that occurred on December 16, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy. The article focuses on an incident that occurred on December 1, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy in order to interview a fourth grade student. The case workers, acting on an anonymous tip that Greendale Baptist Academy administered corporal punishment as part of its discipline
    United States, worshipped at a Broward County mosque, Masjid Al-Iman, in Fort Lauderdale. That mosque was across the street from Franklin Park. It’s address was 2542 Franklin Park Drive. Padilla was a former gang member who converted to islam while in South Florida and became an extremist while in Egypt beginning in 1998. He attended al Azhar University in Egypt and started a family there after leaving his American wife. In 1999, Padilla left for Pakistan. Authorities detained him May 8, 2002 when he got off a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The FBI has found no ties between Padilla and the September 11 hijackers, even though several of them had lived in Broward County.

    While in Pakistan, Padilla had reported to KSM, the al Qaeda’s No. 3 leader who had anthrax production documents on his laptop when he was arrested. It appears that in April 2002, Khalid Mohammed dispatched Padilla to the United States, with several thousand dollars for a mission to disperse a radiological device that was still in the thinking stage. He was placed in a military brig in North Carolina and was held incommunicado for years, forbidden from contacting his family or attorney.

    A Padilla acquaintance, Adham Hassoun, was detained in June 2002 in Sunrise by federal agents. His home had been searched in November 2001 but authorities laid back, not arresting him and hoping surveillance would lead to insights. Hassoun once served as distributor of a magazine published in Australia advocating Muslim holy war and was associated with one or more charities accused by the Bush
    of Mohammed Atta and is thought to have been associated with Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained biologist. Aafia Siddiqui reportedly also has a yet-undisclosed connection to Adham Hassoun. Mohammed Atta lived 11 miles away from this mosque across from Franklin Park, where these members of the Egyptian Islamic Group worshipped. Holy Cross hospital –where Dr. Tsonas treated Flight 93 hijacker Ahmad al-Haznawi for a suspicious leg lesion that he and other experts think was due to cutaneous anthrax — is only 7 miles from the mosque. Is it all a coincidence? Possibly.

    Remember: Given that using the same address helps the second recipient receiving the letter to identify it and avoid opening it, the mailer would have no reason to use the same address unless he was communicating something and wanted to draw attention to it.

    There was a detailed description at a June 1, 2004 press conference of Padilla’s plot and his relationship with Jafar the Pilot by a senior DOJ official. The official also described Padilla’s relationship with Atef, Zubaydah, KSM, and Ramzi Binalshibh. He emphasized that there is an urgent need to find Adnan (Jafar). Ali Al-Timimi’s mentor, Bilal Philips, was a good friend of Jafar the Pilot’s father.

    Allusion to Both Atta and Genomic Sequencing of Ames Strain

    The writing of the text of the letter is also interesting in that the “As” and “Ts” are double-lined — to suggest ATTA, the lead hijacker.

    When the US Centers for Disease Control first identified that the Ames strain had been used in the mailing to Florida in October 2001, Keim and his colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) had nearly finished a project to sequence Bacillus anthracis— specifically, the chromosome of an anthrax isolate from a laboratory in Porton Down, U.K.Ayman had a microbiologist attending Porton Down-sponsored conferences at which presentations were made about the sequencing of Ames. The letter writer appears to have even double-lined A’s and T’s in the letters accompanying the anthrax possibly to simultaneously allude to Atta and the genomic sequence.

    As explained at the Porton Down conferences attended by Ayman’s operative Rauf Ahmad, Keim’s research team eventually discovered 60 new ‘markers’ in the Bacillus anthracis genome—DNA sequences that may vary from one isolate to another. These include insertions or deletions of DNA, and short sequences that are repeated at different lengths in the genome known as VNTRs (variable-number tandem repeats). A decade earlier, it had been determined that one of three proteins comprising anthrax toxin, and the first nucleotide sequence to be reported from B. anthracis (by USAMRIID authors no less), had a consensus TATAAT sequence located at the putative -10 promoter site. It is greek to us but apparently something with meaning to the person who drafted the letter. Perhaps the sender was saying that the bacteria was pathogenic unlike what had been sent to the Canadian immigration minister six months earlier.

    When authorities determined that the anthrax had not been genetically modified so as to be resistant to antibiotics, Condi Rice told the President: “That’s the best news you’ve had as president.” Years later, at trial for sedition, GMU microbiology grad student Ali Al-Timimi read “Genome Technology.”

    The coded e-mail Faris wrote back to KSM suggesting that the idea of removing bolts from the span of the Brooklyn Bridge was not a viable idea was but one of many examples of the simple codes used by Al Qaeda operatives. Sometimes the code might be as simple as Adham Hassoun’s “stuff” for the local soccer team in places like Bosnia or his references to a young man who wanted to go out and get some “fresh air” [go join the jihad]. Sometimes it might be Iyman Faris’ reference to the weather or Ramzi Binalshibh’s “shirts” for Sally. Sometimes it might be a reference to Greendale School or a marriage proposal to Jenny such apparently in the case of the anthrax mailings. The CIA reports that wedding is Al-Qaeda-speak for an event. That, according to New York Times journalists, is why the CIA got so anxious to have the Buffalo boys arrested. Apart from an email about a “big feast,” the young men from Buffalo had started talking about a planned wedding. Interpreting such code is not without risk. The CIA kicked down the door in Bahrain and dragged him away from the altar to the horror of his bride-to-be.

    But putting aside this question of nuptials, impending or annulled, the fact remains that the sender of the anthrax letters would have had no reason to use the same address on the second letter unless he was communicating something. That identical return address, in fact, helped authorities locate and intercept the letter to a Senator. All of the coding together may have served to tell the world, for example, that Mohammed Atta and the others were going to fly to paradise in a green bird and that the anthrax was courtesy of the Vanguards of Conquest. If you mistreat our prisoners or continue appropriations to Israel and Egyptian regimes, we may attack Washington, D.C. and New York City with aerosolized anthrax. You act at your peril. Zawahiri simultaneously framed the US Army by using the “Ames strain” while telling them who did it. Now that 911 imam Anwar Aulaqi has formally urged that it would be islamically permissible to kill a million civilians, this is not the time to be distracted by a bag of stained panties found in the basement of the residence of some USAMRIID scientist.

    In contrast, not even the expert the FBI consulted as to its theory of the code thought that its theory passed the “giggle test.”

  7. DXer said

    Compare reporting from the past couple days… – ‎14 hours ago‎
    Jihadi groups may be close to producing “workable and efficient” biological and chemical weapons, according to classified American cables obtained by …

    to reporting years ago.

    Al Qaeda Near Biological, Chemical Arms Production

    By Barton Gellman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, March 23, 2003

    Al Qaeda leaders, long known to covet biological and chemical weapons, have reached at least the threshold of production and may already have manufactured some of them, according to a newly obtained cache of documentary evidence and interrogations recently conducted by the U.S. government.

    Three people with access to written reports said the emerging picture depicts the al Qaeda biochemical weapons program as considerably more advanced than U.S. analysts knew. The picture continues to sharpen daily, one official said, because translation and analysis of the documents continues, and because the operative captured with them began divulging meaningful information about production plans only this week. Authorized government spokesmen declined to discuss the subject, saying it is classified.

  8. DXer said

    Here is a 15 minute excerpt from Rutgers Professor Leonard Cole’s “15 Lessons” presentation at the November 29 conference. Professor Cole is the author of THE ANTHRAX LETTERS.

  9. DXer said

    A lengthy August 10, 2007 email chronicles an exchange with Bruce Ivins and one of the two undercover agents from the cruise he went on with his brother Charles. Charles tells me that the women were very nice and one was expecting.

    Here the undercover special agent is writing Bruce, pretending to be his friend, asking questions:

    “Do you ever work with cold remedies or flu like stuff???? *********** I’m really interested in health matters,”

    He writes:

    “Work has been a drag for about 10 years! The vaccine work went down the drain, and the company that was supposed to pick up on it (the vaccine) made a mess of it. The scientists here can’t talk to them about what they did wrong, because that would be a conflict of interest and a definite ethics violation, so I’m just basically putting in time here until I retire. It’s a terrible attitude, and I sorry I have it, but I’m just so beaten down.”

    “Good boss?” the FBI undercover agent pretending to be his friend asks? He writes:

    “My current immediate supervisor is very good – very energetic and ambitious – and the division chief doesn’t micromanage us. Also the administration above us (above the division level) is good.”

    The FBI undercover agent pretending to be his friend writes:

    “Sad that your co worker left?” (The agent is referring to Former Colleague #2, Patricia Fellows).

    “Very, VERY much! from technician to world-respected investigator. I was incredibly proud of [Patricia Fellows] honestly a lot smarter than I am and a lot more technically capable than I’ll ever be. and we still keep in touch by email and phone, and
    sometimes meet for coffee in the mornings a neat person. Of all the people I ever worked with, the best, and one I miss most.

    I tend to get really, really close to people and then they disappear from my life and I am sad. I promise I am a faithful friend and will always be loyal!!! I think you seem to be the same”

    She probes the origin of the Badger screen name.

    The agent writes: “Plus you are so funny!!!! And know so much! I was really interested in that trivia you were telling me (the game you won on the ship!!) I really really wish I was there for that and could have been on your team and been a BADGER too!!!! Can you make me an honorary one??? ; ) ”

    He replies:

    “You can CERTAINLY be a badger! It was one of our division chiefs that gave me that name (not the micromanager). It was a guy named be. He came into the office one day in the 1990s and said, “I need to talk to King Badger!” That was very funny, and he just wanted to ask a question about the anthrax vaccine, but the name kind of stuck in our lab. When we
    got home, I had to pick a name, so I picked the name.”

    She continues:

    “So what else? Tell me everything! ”

    He replies:

    ” The two things that have worn me down the most are the work here and the anthrax letters investigation. As I said, things had started to look up about 2000 or early 2001, then the fall of 2001 brought tragedy, sadness, war. Extremely, EXTREMELY depressing.
    Hope all is well and you are relaxed from your trip. ********************* I’m slowly recovering at work, but the cruise and people like you an I miss so much. Thanks for the pictures, I love little animals and babies.”

    Well, she got a cruise out of it. Even won at the slot machines. And she didn’t do anything wrong. That’s the job we ask FBI agents to do.

    But just as in the case of the November 2007 search of his home, the agent learned nothing of probative value indicating Ivins guilt . The betrayal merely contributed to the severe depression he felt in late 2007 and then 2008. By an email I’ve uploaded in November 2007, his friends were told not to speak to him — and wherever he sought to garner emotional support, he was torn apart by betrayal of trust. Betrayed by friends, falsely accused … what’s the point of carrying on? Wouldn’t you feel rage?

    The FBI might instead have not waited until February 2005 before obtaining the 16 pages regarding the visit by former Zawahiri’s associate. The FBI and CIA might have done its job better. Commentators and journalists might have read the record rather than swallowed whole all the wild misstatements made the US Attorney and the cotton candy conjecture and mountain of innuendo of the AUSA’s Amerithrax Summary.

    The FBI must not be allowed to paper over its feelings of guilt over its royal fuck-ups with Bruce Ivins’ obituary. Everyone can appreciate that hindsight is 20/20 and that agents are asked to leave no stone unturned. All we ask is that the FBI and NAS now comply with the rule of law — and under the rule of law the FBI documents provided the NAS need to be made public (except to the extent classified).

    The NAS needs to be sued for its violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act due to its failure to produce the FBI documents at a time when comments by outside scientists would have been meaningful.

    The arrogance of the NAS scientists who seek to increase their worth and advance their careers by monopolizing data — in violation of both FOIA and FACA — is inexcusable.

    • DXer said

      For those who don’t have a copy of the program — and the investigation, in Professor Intrilligator’s view is still actually open — the former Zawahiri associate thanked Patricia Fellows for providing technical assistance (along with Mara).

      Those two proved Bruce’s accusers — known as Former Colleague #1 and Former Colleague #2.

    • BugMaster said

      “Do you ever work with cold remedies or flu like stuff???? *********** I’m really interested in health matters,”

      I wonder what she was fishing for? And what was present in the actual email instead of ***********?

      And no, I don’t think she was interesting in finding out if Ivins ever took Tylenol for Colds!

  10. DXer said

    From: To: Subject: Date:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    picture Tuesday, March 28, 2000 1:05:37 PM
    Do you know what the URL is for that picture of the squirrel? – Thanks
    – Bruce

  11. DXer said

    In August 2007, Bruce forwarded the two undercover agents from the cruise with his brother Charles the following joke:

    “What’s the problem, Eve?”
    “Lord, I know you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals and
    that hilarious comedic snake, but I’m just not happy.”
    “Why is that, Eve?” came the reply from above.
    “Lord, I am lonely, and I’m sick to death of apples.”
    “Well Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you.”
    “What’s a man, Lord?”
    “This man will be a flawed creature, with many bad traits. He’ll lie, cheat, and be vainglorious; all in all,
    he’ll give you a hard time. but, he’ll be bigger, faster, and will like to hunt and kill things. He will look
    silly when he’s aroused, but since you’ve been complaining, I’ll create him in such a way that he will
    satisfy your physical needs. He will be witless and will revel in childish things like fighting and kicking a
    ball about. He won’t be too smart, so he’ll also need your advice to think properly.”
    “Sounds great.” says Eve, with an ironically raised eyebrow. “What’s the catch, Lord?”
    “Well, you can have him on one condition.”
    “What’s that, Lord?”
    “As I said, he’ll be proud, arrogant, and self-admiring. So you’ll have to let him believe that I made him
    first. Just remember, it’s our little secret; you know, woman to woman.”

  12. Old Atlantic said

    “It’s like centrifuging away the guesses and misconceptions to get to the pure information. ” Ed Lake blog.

    This is a brilliant and witty phrase, and thus must be paraphrased without delay.

    It’s like centrifuging away the evidence and facts to get to the pure FBI news conference.

    It’s like centrifuging away the St. Petersburg Letters and al Qaeda links to anthrax to get to the consecrated FBI myth of the disgruntled lone mailer.

    It’s like centrifuging away every part of Ivins’ life to portray him as someone about to lose his job in 2001.

    It’s like centrifuging away the lab notebook records of what Ivins actually did on the days in question to say that there was no explanation of why he was in the lab.

    It’s like centrifuging away the times and work required for the lab steps to grow, sporulate, centrifuge, and dry anthrax from Sep 14 2001 to Sep 16 2001 and say you would do it by going in 2 and a half hours each night at the same time each night.

    It’s like centrifuging away the time slots the FBI said he had to drive to Princeton to get to the unlikely overnight Monday Sep 17/18 theory.

    It’s like centrifuging away Perry Mikesell and Steven Hatfill and Dr. Kenneth Berry to get to Ivins as the designated lone mailer.

  13. DXer said

    There is now a second edition of the key treastise in the field. Microbial Forensics, by Bruce Budowle, Steven E. Schutzer, Roger G. Breeze, and Paul S. Keim (2d ed. Sep 30, 2010)

    • DXer said

      The Foreword is by Professor Rita R. Colwell, of the University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins University. The Ames dried powder made using anthrax from Ivins’ Flask 1029 was made for the DARPA researchers. The research was done at University of Maryland and at Johns-Hopkins. What can Joany Jackman, Dr. Ezzell’s assistant, who did much of the DARPA-funded research at Johns-Hopkins, tell us about the details of the work? Did Dr. Jackman take some of the dried powder made from Dr. Ivins flask to Johns Hopkins when she left USAMRIID? I emailed to her ask her in 2009 but she did not respond. If it was left behind, who had custody of it and what was done with it? When Dr. Ezzell discarded the sample submitted by Ivins from Flask 1029, was it pursuant to any written lab protocol relating to the handling of evidence in an FBI biocrimes investigation? When precisely was it discarded?

    • Anonymous said

      Great find !

      Amazing. They finally admit the silicon in the Amerithrax spores is too high and it must have been made under special conditions (page 513).

      After all these years they have finally acknowledged that the weight % is important. But they still downplay the amount in the Daschle spores to “about 1%”. It is in reality higher than that. And the NYP is 30% silicon according to the AFIP data.

      But they acknowledge that they have absolutely no clue how the attack powders were made.

      This is a big story !!!!!

      • Anonymous said

        Quote from book:

        “Thus if the estimates silicon concentrations in the Amerithrax spores are correct, they are not consistent with our current understanding of silica deposition or those materials must have indeed been produced under an unusual set of conditions. If the latter were true, the silica evidence might provide a significant bound on the credible growth and production scenarios that would be consistent with the prosecution narrative in this case”

      • BugMaster said

        From Ed’s website:

        “Spores grown up on agar are dirtier than broth grown. IVINS does not know if this is because the spores pick up debris from the agar or if there are media components on the surface of the spore.”

        So here, it seems Ivins is being helpful here, not deceitful.

        I expect Ed’s perception here is that of self-admission (providing helpful information) as evidence of guilt, as opposed to his old stand-bye perception of deceit as evidence of guilt.

        The FBI doesn’t disclose every little detail regarding a crime scene investigation, and for good reason.

        I am going to speculate that they know exactly what caused the discoloration in the spores. And I am going to guess (especially in the case of the Senate material) it had nothing to do with agar!

        • BugMaster said

          “the spores in the DASCHLE letter were of fermentation quality. The spores were very clean compared to Bacillus anthracis produced on agar which would contain messy residue.”

          That seems quite consistent with the physical properties of the Senate material, except:

          Why weren’t they white!

        • BugMaster said

          “Daschle powder looked like it was fermentor grown. That was probably an attempt to mislead.”

          With the exception of yourself, Ed, does anyone believe the Senate material was grown on agar?

        • Anonymous said

          Agar is discussed in detail in the latest Microbial Forensics book.

          You can read it if you sign into Amazon with an id (it’s free) and then go to search and enter “513” taking you to page 513.

        • BugMaster said

          Ivins would have never known pure spores are white!?

          “When wet, they are darker than when dry.”

          Uh, Mr. Ed, where did you come up with this truth?

          The “white band” that Ezzel refers to is the pure spores on top on the pellet that one obtains after centrifugation.

          As in wet spores, Ed!

          You sure as hell would’nt dry the whole damn pellet! The idea is to purify the material, remember!

      • DXer said

        “Ezzell says he believes the spores were removed from wet anthrax samples in a centrifuge while being dried with a speed vacuum. ”

        Although I believe the above is imprecise phrasing by the local AP reporter, I believe the US Army-funded MICROBIAL VAC, for which a prototype existed in 2001, does that. Simultaneously centrifuges and sequentially filters the anthrax samples. The inventor, Dr. Bradley, told me it could be used to weaponize anthrax in small quantities. It concentrates by a factor of 10. It is used by food researchers in sampling meat carcasses. It was pitched unsuccessfully for use in sampling the Capitol but the small company never was able to reach the decision-makers in the rush of events. The supervisor of the PhD animal geneticist, food researcher PhD arrested the moment Ali-Al Timimi’s townhouse was searched consulted on it. Jim D. at ISU tells me that he had one prototype at ISU in the microbiology department.

    • DXer said

      On the issue of spoliation of evidence, in the Second edition (September 2010) see the chapter titled “Collection and Preservation of Microbial Forensic Samples”, by Jennifer A.L Smith (former CIA, former FBI Task Force member; NAS presenter). Dr. Smith was the one who so eloquently urged that the FBI not withhold documents from the NAS.

      Compare Dr. Smith’s chapter to Dr. Ezzell’s chapter in the 2005 edition “Forensic Handling of Biological Threat Samples in the Lab.” Chapter 11.

    • DXer said

      “The second edition of Microbial Forensics provides a comprehensive overview of this emerging field, highlighting how epidemiological investigations must be conducted to provide evidence that can be used in legal proceedings where attribution is key. The book provides valuable insights into investigations of prior attempts to spread disease intentionally and needed guidance for investigating future incidents. This book will be of great value to microbiologists and epidemiologists as well as to law enforcement officials for bringing emerging molecular methodologies into investigations of disease outbreaks, especially those that are intentional criminal and terrorist acts.”– Dr. Ronald M. Atlas, University of Louisville, KY, USA

  14. DXer said

    The next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins’ emails to be uploaded today, like all the thousands of pages previously uploaded, have nothing in any way inculpatory of Dr. Ivins.

  15. DXer said

    The draft NAS report addresses the following scientific issues. (Under FACA, the NAS will be obligated to provide copies of draft reports.)

    1. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Light Microscopy (LM), and High Resolution SEM/Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Microanalysis (EDX) to identify spore size, spore shape, spore quality, and the spacial profile of elements within the spore;

    2. Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) to provide information regarding the elemental composition of the anthrax spore powders from the letters;

    3. Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) to characterize the anthrax spore powders with regard to the presence of agar (a growth medium);

    4. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry to identify the relative age of the material using C 12 / C 14 isotope rations; and

    5. Stable Istotope Ratio Analysis to provide information potentially probative of geographic attribution.

    The NAS failed to address the science related to photocopy toner even though it was central to the science underlying the Amerithrax investigation. It similarly failed to address the issue of the postage stamp. Both of those issues were more probative than the genetics analysis — which only narrowed things from 1000 to up to 377.

    • DXer said

      The GAO, pursuant to its charge, should reach the photocopy toner and postage stamp issues.

      • DXer said

        The NAS has nowhere addressed the spoliation of evidence by the FBI anthrax scientist who made a dried powdered Ames aerosol out of Flask 1029. The Government Accountability Office should also reach that issue — using its subpoena power if necessary.

        GAO to review FBI’s Ivins investigation
        Originally published September 17, 2010

        In the corporate world, that would involve consideration of whether the destruction of evidence comported with the document retention policy (cynically referred to the lawyers who draft them as the “document destruction” policy). Such a written protocol permits destruction after a certain period of time or under certain circumstances.

        It was JE’s lab that threw out or lost Dr. Ivins sample. (It was intentionally discarded or lost depending on the version reported).

        The loss of that sample was, incredibly, the underpinning of the FBI reasoning behind the claim that Dr. Ivins was guilty — even though there was no acknowledgement ever from any of the gathered officials or scientists that the scientist responsible for discarding the sample had made a dried powered aerosol out of the very material from Flask 1029 supplied by Bruce Ivins. (See August 2000 withdrawal).

        Instead, all of the gathered officials let stand General John Parker’s official broad denial that dried powdered Ames had ever been made at USAMRIID.

        Notwithstanding his good faith, JE had a conflict of interest that made the adherence to the applicable protocol all the more critical. What did that protocol regarding preservation of evidence gathered in the criminal investigation provide?

        The documentary evidence shows that the protocol for the submission of slants was first communicated on May 24, 2002 — and not February as the FBI scientists claimed in the formal briefing and as suggested in the February 2010 Amerithrax Summary.

        The GAO should address the issues omitted by the National Academy of Sciences that underpin the soundness of its scientific conclusions. It is a lot more important than whether the genetics can narrow those with known access to up to 377 people. (Those with access to both Building 1412 and 1425 should be excluded from that number). The same up to 377 people who had access to Flask 1029 had access to other variations as well.

        This spoliation of evidence goes to the heart of the FBI’s science case. Approximately 50 percent of its science briefing relating to this issue of submission of samples in Spring 2002.

        Spoliation is highly relevant and material to the validity of the science even when done in good faith — and it is presumed to have been done in good faith.

        Under the approach outlined in the learned treatise MICROBIAL FORENSICS, for example, the NAS consideration should have first addressed what lab protocols provided relating to the preservation of evidence.

        It was the distinguished Dr. Ezzell himself who wrote a chapter in MICROBIAL FORENSICS on this issue of preservation of evidence. Consideration of the internal lab protocols regarding the preservation of evidence is a familiar exercise and one that the NAS should have done in its draft report.

        What do the written lab protocols say regarding the preservation of evidence in that situation?

    • anonymous said

      Where are you getting the NAS information from?

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