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

* who benefitted from the FBI failure to solve the 2001 anthrax mailings case? … first to benefit … the Bush/Cheney plan to invade Iraq

Posted by DXer on December 11, 2010

Secretary of State Colin Powell waving a vial of "anthrax" at the UN on Feb 5, 2003


on February 5, 2003, Secretary of State  Colin Powell

addressed the United Nations Security Council …

  • One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq’s biological weapons is the existence of mobile production facilities used to make biological agents.
    • In a matter of months, they can produce a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War.
    • “…  a fourth source, an Iraqi major, who defected, confirmed that Iraq has mobile biological research laboratories, in addition to the production facilities I mentioned earlier.
  • “Ladies and gentlemen, these are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax.
    • In fact, they can produce enough dry biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people. And dry agent of this type is the most lethal form for human beings.
  • “The Iraqi regime has also developed ways to disburse lethal biological agents, widely and discriminately into the water supply, into the air in ways that can cause massive death and destruction.
  • “Let me talk now about the systems Iraq is developing to deliver weapons of mass destruction, in particular Iraq’s ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.
  • “There is ample evidence that Iraq has dedicated much effort to developing and testing spray devices that could be adapted for UAVs.

“… Leaving Saddam Hussein

in possession of weapons of mass destruction

for a few more months or years is not an option,

not in a post-September 11th world.”

NOTE: 6 weeks later, Iraq was invaded



  • This was perhaps Colin Powell’s worst moment in an otherwise distinguished career. Virtually none of what he said at the UN turned out to be true. Saddam had no anthrax, no means to make anthrax, and no means to deliver anthrax to the US.
  • But making us afraid that he did was one of the important false props in the Bush/Cheney false case for invading Iraq.
  • If the FBI had by  then (which was 15 months after the anthrax attacks) solved the case, and it wasn’t Saddam, at least one of these false props would have disappeared, and perhaps we would never have invaded Iraq.

The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline, science that proves innocence instead of guilt.

So what really happened? And why doesn’t the FBI offer America a credible story?

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons … THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

It is this third scenario that leads me to try to show

who might have benefitted from not solving the case.

I am making no accusations,

but it is surely appropriate in an unsolved case

to look at those who might want to keep it unsolved.


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 regarding Dr. Ivins.

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *


3 Responses to “* who benefitted from the FBI failure to solve the 2001 anthrax mailings case? … first to benefit … the Bush/Cheney plan to invade Iraq”

  1. DXer said

    If the truth had come out about “anthrax weapons suspect,” President Bush would have had to explain that Saddam did not have access to the largest microbiological repository in the world — Ali Al-Timimi, the assistant to the former White House Chief of Staff, did. Ali received a letter of commendation from the White House for classified research for the Navy while at SRA in 1999. The White House ordered warrantless NSA wiretapping and excluded the DOJ from knowing what was learned in the taps.

    By its withholding of documents, hasn’t NAS been part of the problem rather than part of the solution? For its spokesman to think he could not characterize the documents missed the point. Under the statute and controlling District of Columbia precedent, he and the NAS are required to PRODUCE them.

    Let’s review some background relating to the distribution of Ames by Bruce Ivins from Flask 1029:

    1. In January 2010, a patent described the research in which Dr. Bruce Ivins assisted involving virulent Ames that was genetically identifical to the strain used in the Fall 2001 mailings. The research was the subject of numerous redacted documents provided by the FBI. The patent was filed in June 2002 by a former Zawahiri associate. The Ames was “kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995).” I have sought to interview Dr. H about his research with Dr. Ivins but he did not reply. I called his associate who worked in the lab during that visit to USAMRIID with Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows (“Former Colleague #2”) and Mara Linscott (“Former Colleague #1”). But he said politely “you don’t want to know.” But that’s just it. I do want to know.

    The University of Michigan researchers, funded by Richard Holbrooke’s Perseus (a DC venture fund) took millions in taxpayer dollars (funded by DARPA) to do research with virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins that it is genetically identical to the attack. One of the lead researcher’s lifelong friends and medical colleagues tell me that they were openly recruited by Ayman Zawahiri and another is virulent anti-Israel in his public writings. He is CAIR-St. Louis.

    Dr. Hamouda, the scientist supplied virulent Ames by Dr. Ivins, was taught by Ayman’s sister Heba who along with her brother Ayman was understandably distraught by the rendering of her brother Mohammad. Such rendition and mistreatment of prisoners was announced to be the motive for using anthrax against US targets. There is an obligation under FOIA to provide documents related to that research. University of Michigan responded that there were no responsive documents. Given that the research provably was done, that can only mean that the University of Michigan allowed those documents not to be preserved. That constitutes spoliation. The Government Accountability Office should subpoena them from DARPA.

    3. By not complying with FACA, the NAS prevented meaningful participation in the proceeding before it — prevented comments by outside experts who had actually made an aerosol, prevented comments informed by the documents.

    GAO therefore should find a way to receive comments from those scientists who unlike the NAS panel members actually have aerosol experience… once those scientists can be informed by any documents eventually produced in response to FOIA litigation.

    United States Patent Application 20100003330

    Inventors: Hamouda, Tarek et al.

    Example 11

    Further Evidence of the Sporicidal Activity of the Nanoemulsion Against Bacillus Species

    Read more:

    4. Key card records relating to Dr. Hamouda’s work with Dr. Ivins do not exist. In the first non-BEI document provided by the FBI, it was noted that a keycard access records search from 1998 through 2002 were done for visiting scientist [Tarek Hamouda] and visiting scientist [Michael Hayes] both from the [University of Michigan] who have previously been identified as visiting USAMRIID circa May 1998.

    All available records were searched for names containing____________ or __________ or ______ all queries met with negative results.

    As previously reported, Bruce Ivins was the USAMRIID point of contact for ____ and ______. A query of all available records for “Ivins” met with positive results. Records indicated Bruce E. Ivins showed keycard activity during a date range of August 01, 1998 through June 02, 2002.”

    What the memo did not note for the record is that the key card access records only went back as far as that summer of 1998 and did not extend to May 1998.

    The search was not done until February 24, 2005.

    It should have been done in November 2001.

    5. Now in February 2010 the document above about the keycard search relating to Dr. Hamouda’s research with Bruce Ivins was the first non-BEI document produced by the FBI. The second related to the only published article that was the subject of production. It was authored by former Zawahiri associate Tarek Hamouda, supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. It states:

    “On February 18, 2005, an Internet author query on website: for [University of Michigan] scientists, [Tarek Hamouda] and [Michael Hayes] met with positive results.

    _____________________________________ the following publication: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________’”A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity Against Bacillus Species,” (The Journal of Infectious Dieases 1999; 180: 1939: 1939-1949. ”

    While I have filled in the redactions where the names would appear, I do not know the additional material redacted.

    The report was dated February 25, 2005. The search and the report should have been done in November 2001.

    6. Now as for the only article provided by the FBI, authored by the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins that was genetically identical to that used in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, I posted the same article in late 2008 as I recall after Dr. Ivins suicide. At the time, I would have noted the fn. 1 which stated:

    “Presented in part: 98th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Atlanta, May 1998 (poster A49); 38th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, San Diego, September 1998 (late-breaker slide session II, LB-9); 99th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Chicago, May 1999 (poster A300).

    Financial support: Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (contract MDA 972-1-007 of the Unconventional Pathogens Countermeasures Program).”

    7. DARPA is the program that funded the FBI’s anthrax expert JE to make a dried powdered anthrax out of Flask 1029 (aka the murder weapon) and use a corona plasma discharge to impart a unipolar charge. So there was a speed bump on the way to the former Zawahiri associate right through the leading FBI anthrax expert who examined the mailed anthrax and whose assistant selected the 4 morphs. A lack of forthright dealing with the issue — even denying that dried powdered ever was made at USAMRIID — derailed the investigation for the entire decade.

    The next document produced was a 2005 interview of a lab tech who states:

    “The only place ____ recalled seeing Ba in an odd location was in Room ____ of Building ______. This is a lab where _______________ and _____________ were working on a John Hopkins project involving the use of aerosol samples of Ba in a study of ____________________________________________________. [A published journal article indicates that the study involved the effect of a sonicator and corona plasma discharge on Ames spores]. The label tubes of Ba samples were stored in a refrigerator which had a sliding door where ___ had intended to place ___________.”

    Now this research was funded by DARPA and involved Ames that was supplied by Bruce Ivins to the FBI expert John Ezzell. Using a slurry that Dr. Ezzell assures me in a telephone conversation and emails and blog post was irradiated, he created an aerosol at DARPA’s request.

    The former Zawahiri associate was also funded by DARPA. Aerosol work was done on Dr. Hamouda’s decontamination was not only done at Dugway and Edgewood, but also apparently at Johns Hopkins. Early research was done in a BL-3 lab at LSU supplied by none other than the scientist testing the FBI’s genetic samples in Dr. Keim’s lab at NAU.

    9. On February 22, 2005, Dr. Bruce Ivins is interviewed about his work with the former Zawahiri associate he supplied with virulent Ames.

    “IVINS advised the printout of the electronic USAMRIID foreign visiting scientist which listed ____________ as a Point of Contact (POC) was errant. IVINS further advised he was the USAMRIID POC for an Egyptian male, ___________ from the University of Michigan circa ____________. IVINS advised the electronic USAMRIID foreign visiting scientist record had misspelled ______ as __________.

    IVINS advised prior to May 1998 he was contacted by ________________________ [James Baker] from the University of Michigan Medical Center who was _______________ of ________________________________. IVINS advised ______ wished to collaborate with IVINS in order to test the effectiveness of a new anti-sporicidal material against anthrax spores. IVINS further advised _________ [Baker?] had numerous visits to USAMRIID, however, “never accessed the B3 suite.”

    IVINS advised _____ sent ________________________ [Tarek Hamouda and Michael Hayes] both from the University of Michigan, to conduct experiments. IVINS advised ____________ [Tarek and Michael] underwent safety training and provided the required documentation of their shot records. IVINS advised when _______[ Tarek and Michael] showed up at USAMRIID, USAMRIID personnel realized [Tarek Hamouda] was not a U.S. citizen. IVINS advised, during the May 1999 (sic: 1998) time period, a email request for approval was all that was required for “green card holders” to visit USAMRIID. IVINS further advised __________ provided approval for ________.”

    10. Now we see that the former Zawahiri associate gained access to Bruce Ivins’ BL-3 lab, even though not a citizen, by an email request that was approved by ____________. Who was ________________? That is the individual who might, under a cynical view, be highly motivated to keep these facts from coming out. The fact that Dr. Hamouda was taught antimicrobials by the sister of the man who had vowed to attack the United States with anthrax upon the rendering of their brother might have been discerned by anyone looking at his university transcript. His academic record would have shown that he also had attended medical school years earlier at a time when his close friends were being openly recruited by Ayman Zawahiri to jihad in a room set aside for that purpose. Certainly, it could have been discerned by James Baker at University of Michigan in an employment interview. This is something the GAO should consider in addressing how good our governmental agencies at supervising access to BL-3 labs and pathogens. These are the agencies whose focus instead is on spending millions of taxpayer money.The problem is that scientists take no interest in counterintelligence analysis or biosecurity because it is arcane technical studies and monopolization of documents that under FOIA and FACA should have been produced that bring in the big bucks.

    11. The interview continues:

    IVINS advised _____________ [Tarek and Michael] worked with the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis (Ba) in the “BL-3 laboratory” for three or four days in May 1998. IVINS further advised ______ and _________ were never left alone in the BL-3 laboratory and either IVINS or __________ were with ____________.

    IVINS advised he does not recall whether or not _______ [Tarek] and [Michael] had their own access into the B3 suite or whether or not someone let them in. IVINS further advised the interviewing Postal Inspector and SA to check USAMRIID key card entries.

    IVINS advised he was not impressed with their scientific techniques. IVINS further advised _________________ were “at each others throats.” IVINS advised ________ was “a jerk” and had problems with everyone to include _________.

    IVINS advised he referred to ____ as __________________ because IVINS observed a thick patch of hair on the small of _________ back while they were “showering out.”

    Now, Dr. Ivins is still dead and neither Patricia Fellows [Former Colleague 2], Mara Linscott [Former Colleague 1], Michael Hayes or Tarek Hamouda will discuss the research. Arthur Friedlander faxed numerous documents (16 pages, as I recall offhand) evidencing correspondence between the University of Michigan researchers and USAMRIID, none of which was reported in the media.

    The interviews should have been conducted and documents should have been obtained by the FBI in November 2001 — not in 2005.

    12. Conclusion: Amerithrax represents the greatest failure of intelligence in American history. As for finding fault, let’s start with the prosecutor and investigator who present at the NAS in January.

    13. “Hasn’t the entire NAS review merely served to delay production of key documents for 2 years?

    Is there anything under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that exempts the documents produced to the NAS by the FBI from production? No.

    So hasn’t NAS been part of the problem, rather than part of the solution?

  2. Old Atlantic said

    If al Qaeda was the mailer and that had been exposed, then all the reasons cited by Powell would have weighed for staying in Afghanistan as the main focus.

    If al Qaeda had attacked us with a WMD in the form of anthrax already, inside our own country, then the case for finishing the job in Afghanistan/Pakistan would not just have doubled but increased with the joint product of the attacks and dangers.

    This is especially so, since they had declared war on us.

    The anthrax case if cracked also might have shed light on the role of foreign countries in 9/11. That would have most likely been Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. That also would have taken away from Iraq as needing an immediate invasion.

    By invading Iraq, they also helped shift attention away from the anthrax attack and the investigation into whether foreign countries were involved in 9/11 or the anthrax attack, again Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia being at the top of the list for both.

    There was Daniel Pearl investigating this. There was the Senate Intelligence Committee and its report with the redacted blank pages in the public report. That redaction was over Saudi Arabia and likely Pakistan and possibly UAE.

    Invading Iraq also took attention away from the incompetence of allowing 9/11 to happen. That was an ongoing Bush Cheney operation through the 2004 election and beyond.

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