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

Archive for January, 2011

* Where is the missing anthrax made by Dr. Ivins’ lab assistants?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 31, 2011

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CASE CLOSED is a novel

about the FBI’s failed investigation

of the 2001 anthrax attacks

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read the opening scene of CASE CLOSED …

* the DIA re-investigates the FBI’s failed case

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* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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* July 2010 letter to NAS panel reviewing FBI’s anthrax science from Drs. Hugh-Jones, Rosenberg & Jacobsen: There is no sound evidence that the spore products found in the letters were produced at USAMRIID

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 27, 2011

 

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* Bruce Ivins and the “Joy of juggling,” The Post (Frederick, MD), dated March 1, 1982

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 26, 2011

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* NAS meeting with FBI … very sketchy information posted at NAS site (note NAS attendees, but not FBI)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 22, 2011

are FBI and NAS fighting or colluding?

from the NAS website …

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Meeting

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the meeting:

      • Alice Gast
      • David Relman
      • Arturo Casadevall
      • Nancy Connell
      • Thomas Inglesby
      • Murray Johnston
      • Karen Kafadar
      • Richard Lenski
      • Richard Losick
      • Alice Mignerey
      • David Popham
      • Jed Rakoff
      • Robert Shaler
      • Elizabeth Thompson
      • David Walt

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions: The committee discussed the drafting of its report.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions: The committee reviewed documents made available to it.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary: January 20, 2011

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* The FBI lab director Hassell has claimed there is not enough sample to determine quantitatively how much of the element silicon was present in the New York Post powder … a paper from Pacific Northwest Labs suggests that FBI claim is not accurate

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2011

see previous post …

* responses to Congressman Nadler’s questions of the FBI regarding the % of weight of the silicon in the powder used in the 2001 anthrax attacks

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from Anonymous …

  • The FBI are set to try to persuade the NAS anthrax committee to modify their initial findings in their draft report of the FBI’s science used to accuse Bruce Ivins of the attacks.
  • This was to have taken place in a secret, closed-door session in Washington DC on Friday January 14.
  • One glaringly obvious science error the FBI have made is their claim that there was not enough sample in the New York Post powder to determine the amount of silicon present.
  • Indeed the FBI had contracted Pacific Northwest Labs (part of Battelle) for the Amerithrax investigation. Although the FBI labs never publicly revealed exactly what role they played.
  • However, Pacific Northwest Labs demonstrated in 2005 that accurate quantitative Elemental Analysis can be performed on bacillus spores with samples as small as one nanogram (one nanogram is one thousandth of one millionth of a gram).
  • The Pacific Northwest paper on this technique can be seen here: Differentiation of Spores of Bacillus subtilis Grown in Different Media by Elemental Characterization Using Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, John B. Cliff, Kristin H. Jarman, Nancy B. Valentine, Steven L. Golledge, Daniel J. Gaspar, David S. Wunschel, and Karen L. Wahl, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, November 2005, p. 6524-6530, Vol. 71, No. 11 … see … http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/71/11/6524?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=subtilis&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=630&resourcetype=HWFIG

It is therefore ludicrous

for Dr Chris Hassell to claim

there was not enough sample to measure the silicon

in the New York Post powder.

We would like to see FULL DISCLOSURE

of ALL THE DATA collected by the FBI.

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LMW COMMENT …

The FBI’s publicly presented 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?

As regular readers of this blog well know, 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

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 *

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* responses to Congressman Nadler’s questions of the FBI regarding the % of weight of the silicon in the powder used in the 2001 anthrax attacks

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2011

Congressman Nadler & FBI Director Mueller

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* Was There A Connection Between Pearl Kidnapping and Anthrax Planners?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2011

Daniel Pearl

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from DXer…

A new report on the Pearl Kidnapping points to the point role of Egyptian Saif al-Adel in encouraging KSM to make it an Al Qaeda operation.
It has previously been reported that a Karachi businessman Saud Memon owned the nursery where Pearl had been held captive and allegedly had been in the room for discussion relating to anthrax planning.
Was there a connection between Pearl kidnapping and anthrax planners?   Was Saif Adel involved in Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning along with Ayman Zawahiri, Mohammed Atef, and KSM?
Suspect in Pearl’s killing dies after interrogation: report

(AFP) – Nov 11, 2007

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A Pakistani businessman suspected of playing a role in the brutal 2002 killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl died earlier this year, shortly after being interrogated by US and Pakistani intelligence, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Pearl, a Karachi-based correspondent for the Journal, was kidnapped on January 23, 2002, and killed execution-style shortly after.

The newspaper said Karachi businessman Saud Memon became a key suspect in the case because he owned a nursery where Pearl had been held captive.

Citing an unnamed senior US law enforcement official, the report said Memon was interrogated by both US and Pakistani intelligence services.

The interrogation produced information that Memon was helping Al-Qaeda develop anthrax strains, the newspaper said.

He was “in a lot of the rooms where important things were being discussed,” the paper quotes the US official as saying. “He knew senior Al-Qaeda people, and was moving equipment and supplies.”

But Memon’s family members and human rights groups said that in April, the businessman was left in front of his Karachi home badly injured and emaciated, weighing just 80 pounds (36 kilograms), according to the report.

About a month later, he died from what was described as complications from meningitis and tuberculosis, the Journal said.

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* Review of the Scientific Approaches used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings – Updated List Of Documents on File With the NAS

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2011

are FBI and NAS fighting or colluding?

Sent 1/19/2010

Review of the Scientific Approaches used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings

Pin# BLSX-K-08-10-A

1. 7/2/2009
email from Joseph Baltar, affiliation unknown
title: FBI WATCH [BLSX-K-08-10-A] – Review of the Scientific Approaches used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings

2. 7/3/2009
email from E. Barry Skolnick, affiliation unknown
title: shall the environmental monitoring science of the FBI’s “Amerithrax” investigation be within the scope of the NAS/NRC “…Anthrax mailings”

3. 7/6/2009
email from E. Barry Skolnick, affiliation unknown
title: Shall the environmental monitoring science of the FBI’s “Amerithrax” investigations be within the scope of the NAS/NRC “…Anthrax Mailings” Project’s inquiries?
attachment: Testimony of Robert G. Hamilton, Ph.D. Subcommittee of National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, May 19, 2003

4. 7/1/2009
email from Marcia Ann Chambers, affiliation unknown
title: Your appointment to the NAS on anthrax inquiry.

5. 7/9/2009
email from E. Barry Skolnick, affiliation uknown
title: Vetting the FBI’s “environmental monitoring” science [BLSX-K-08-10-A] – Review of the Scientific Approaches used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings

6. 7/24/09
submitted by Steven E. Schutzer, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
PDF article: Building Microbial Forensics as a Response to Bioterrorism
Bruce Budowle, Steven E. Schutzer, Anja Einseln, Lynda C. Kelley, Anne C.Walsh, Jenifer A. L. Smith, Babetta L. Marrone, James Robertson, Joseph Campos. 26 SEPTEMBER 2003 VOL 301 SCIENCE

7. 7/31/09
submitted by E. Barry Skolnick, affiliation unknown
public comments addressed to committee during public comment session of meeting 1
TXT file and hard copy document

8A. 7/30/09
submitted by Chris Hassell, Federal Bureau of Investigation
PDF of Powerpoint presentation delivered to Committee during meeting 1 day 1 (with page numbers)

8B. 7/30/09
submitted by Chris Hassell, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Powerpoint presentation delivered to Committee during meeting 1 day 1 (without page numbers)

9. 8/3/09
submitted by Chris Hassell, Federal Bureau of Investigation
PDF file of comments to accompany Powerpoint presentation item #8A

10. 7/31/09
submitted by Bruce Budowle, University of North Texas Health Science Center
Powerpoint of presentation given during meeting 1 day 2

11. 7/31/09
submitted by Claire Fraser-Liggett, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Powerpoint of presentation given during meeting 1 day 2

12. 7/31/09
submitted by E. Barry Skolnick, affiliation unknown
emailed list of citations committee may wish to reference (txt format)
Attachment: PDF file of Powerpoint by Douglas Beecher on sampling techniques

13. 8/11/2009
submitted by Chris Hassell, Federal Bureau of Investigation
PDF of AMX press conference transcript – science version

14. 8/11/2009
submitted by Chris Hassell, Federal Bureau of Investigation
PDF of AMX press conference transcript – general version

15. 9/3/2009
submitted by FBI
PDF file, list of peer reviewed articles relating to anthrax investigation

16. 9/18/2009
submitted by Chris Hassell, FBI
email message
attachment: Word document copy of a Washington Post article “Trail of Odd Anthrax Cells Led FBI to Army Scientist”

17. 9/18/2009
submitted by Stuart Jacobsen
email entitled “information on reverse engineering of anthrax”

18. 10/5/09
submitted by Rita Colwell
PDF file of presentation from committee meeting 2
Title – Overview of the Scientific Investigation

19. 10/5/09
submitted by Patricia Worsham
PDF file of presentation from committee meeting 2
Title – Identification and Characterization of Bacillus anthracis variants in FBI Evidentiary Material

20. 10/5/09
submitted by Joseph Michael
PDF file of presentation from committee meeting 2
Title – Elemental Microanalysis of Bacillus Anthracis Spores from the Amerithrax Case

21. 10/5/09
submitted by Peter Weber
PDF file of presenationa from committee meeting 2
Title – Nanometer-scale secondary ion mass spectroscopy for microbial characterization: Presented to the National Research Council

22. 10/13/09
submitted by Paul Keim
PDF file of presentation from committee meeting 2
Title – The Ames Strain: Frequency, Distribution and Forensic Analysis

23. 10/14/09
email from E. Barry Skolnick
title: Changes to provisional membership [BLSX-K-08-10-A] – Review of the Scientific Approaches used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis Mailings

24. 11/10/09
PDF file of email from Barry Kissin
title: Fort anthrax Rush Holt FNP Editorial.doc; Fort anthrax Rush Holt 10-09.doc

25. 2/16/10
Word document from Morris Goldings
title: A Philatelist Tries To Find The Anthrax Killer

26. 3/2/10
PDF of email from Ross Getman
subject: Amerithrax book

27. 3/2/10
PDF of email from E. Barry Skolnick
title: Scope and significance of “environmental sampling” practices in the Amerithrax case [“Justice Department and FBI Announce Formal Conclusion of Investigation into 2001 Anthrax Attacks” [Addendum Welcome to the United States Department of Justice]]

28. 3/2/10
PDF of email from Ross Getman
title: amendment passed- US House Seeks Further Review Of Anthrax Attack

29. 3/29/10
PDF of email from E. Barry Skolnick
title: “The Four Faces of Microbial Forensics” [Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. – Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science – 7(4):389]

30. 3/29/10
PDF of email from E. Barry Skolnick
title: New branch of “microbial forensics”? “Bacterial trail may be next forensic clue” [Fwd: ASM Weekly Newsdigest #525]

31. 3/29/10
PDF of email from Milton Leitenberg, University of Maryland
title: material for submission to the members of the NAS panel

32. 5/30/10
PDF of email from XXXXXXX (name redacted by request of sender)
title: Amerithrax NAS

33. 5/13/10
PDF of email from Jacques Ravel, University of Maryland
subject: Sequencing B. anthracis

34. 7/7/10
PDF of email from Gary Matsumoto, ProPublica
title: Silicon Levels in B. Anthracis Spores Mailed in 2001

35. 7/22/10
PDF of email from Martin Hugh-Jones with attached Word document cover letter from Martin Hugh-Jones, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, and Stuart Jacobsen and attached Word document titled: Three Markers in the Attack Anthrax as Indicators of its Source: A Compilation of Documented Data

36. 10/5/10
PDF of email from Barry Kissin with attached Word document titled: Fort anthrax memo Rush Holt 5-10.doc

37. 12/6/10
PDF of email from Ross Getman
subject: Dr. John Ezzell’s responses to technical questions

38. 12/8/10
PDF of email from Ross Getman
subject: video of FBI anthrax expert discussing science

39. 12/8/10
PDF of email from Ross Getman
subject: Dr. Ezzell’s additional comments on science

40. 12/8/10
PDF of email from ragrugs@ligtel.com (sender identity unknown)
subject: theft of anthrax spores

 

 

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* Terrorism Task Force investigating fiery packages … what, if anything, can be gleaned from handwriting analysis?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 18, 2011

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DXer reports … An FBI task force has taken over the investigation of fiery packages that were sent last week to federal and Maryland government officials.

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/local/terrorism-task-force-investigating-fiery-packages-011011

The Maryland Joint Terrorism Task Force is now leading the probe.

What, if anything, can be gleaned from handwriting analysis about the recent incendiary letters sent to the Maryland Governor, Maryland Department of Transportation Secretrary, and United States Homeland Secretary Napolitano?

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Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments »

* for the FBI, the anthrax investigation was a tough job from the beginning … almost a decade later, the case is still unresolved

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 17, 2011

 

FBI Director Robert Mueller

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Laura Rozen wrote almost 9 years ago in The American Prospect (5/20/02) …

  • the FBI faces a difficult test.
  • Suppose the attacks were an inside job–by, say, one of the U.S. Army’s own biowarfare scientists. What scientific authorities could the FBI turn to if it’s effectively investigating the very labs that do its testing?
  • “There are really only a few places weapons-grade anthrax could have come from, including Dugway [Army Proving Grounds in Utah], Fort Detrick, and other labs contracted by the military,” said David Fidler, a University of Indiana law professor who has written about the legal implications of biological terrorism.
  • In fact, the FBI has hired some 20 expert consultants to assist with the anthrax investigation, and most of them belong to the government bio-defense establishment.
  • even as some FBI investigators set up shop at USAMRIID, working side by side with scientists to trace the source of the anthrax, another FBI team descended on Fort Detrick in February to question lab employees about suspicious activity they might have seen–and to administer polygraph tests to those with access to suites where anthrax and other deadly germs are handled.
  • But here the FBI has hit a particularly baffling roadblock.
  • The bureau’s investigators are not confident that other government agencies, such as the CIA and the Department of Defense, have let them in on the full range of bio-defense work they have commissioned.
  • FBI investigators may not have the top-level security clearances that would allow CIA or Pentagon officials to disclose all they know.

The result is an almost comical impasse

of mutual distrust and bureaucratic red tape.

If the FBI can’t investigate the U.S. bio-defense establishment, who can?

thanks to DXer for forwarding this 2002 article

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LMW COMMENT …

  • This 2002 analysis by Laura Rozen emphasizes the likelihood, now nine years later, that the reason the FBI has charged Dr. Bruce Ivins as the sole perpetrator without presenting the evidence to actually prove the case is the result of a coverup of the true perpetrators, perhaps by the FBI, perhaps by others in our government.
  • The FBI may or may not know who the real perpetrators are.
  • It’s for sure that the American people don’t know.

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CASE CLOSED is my novel about the anthrax attacks

and the subsequent investigation.

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED …

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/case-closed-reader-comments/

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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