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

* 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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209 Responses to “* Where is the missing anthrax made by Dr. Ivins’ lab assistants?”

  1. DXer said

    Didn’t Mara Linscott say she would be making spores for military experiments that were not for publication?

    Dr. Mara Linscott told the FBI that she needed to see her lab notebooks to refresh her recollection of details, but that checking on the animals would take approximately two hours and was usually a one-person job; the FBI provided the one publication on which she worked involving the former Zawahiri associate but she notes that USAMRIID was a military institution and thus not all of the projects would be published.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 27, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/dr-mara-linscott-told-the-fbi-that-she-needed-to-see-her-lab-notebooks-to-refresh-her-recollection-of-details-but-that-checking-on-the-animals-would-take-approximately-two-hours-and-was-usually-a/

    DXer … It’s naive and uninformed to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. … The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 29, 2013
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/dxer-its-naive-and-uninformed-to-think-that-al-qaeda-could-not-have-obtained-ames-just-because-it-tended-to-be-in-labs-associated-with-or-funded-by-the-us-military-the-realit/

    TOP SECRET – 02/14/2001 – Bin Laden and his associates have experimented by crude means to make and deploy biological agents. Bin Laden has sought to acquire military-grade biological agents or weapons.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 27, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/top-secret-02142001-bin-laden-and-his-associates-have-experimented-by-crude-means-to-make-and-deploy-biological-agents-bin-laden-has-sought-to-acquire-military-grade-biological-agents-or-wea/

    Did they use Renocal in purifying the additional Ames? Or did they use heat shocking.

    Heat shocking was done in lieu of using Renocal for aerosol experiments in Building 1412, according to Ivins. Is that what Joany Jackman did in her wet aerosol experiments in 1412 involving obtaining mass spec data from the breaths of animals challenged by aerosol spray?

    Ivins was told during the Persian Gulf era that it was how it was done — using heat shocking in lieu of Renocal.

    The FBI Should Produce To GAO All Of The Research, Unpublished Or Not, By Dr. Bannan And His Colleagues On Heat Shocking As A Substitute For Use Of Renografin In Purification, To Include Whether Heat Shocking Was Used In Connection With The Fall 2001 Mailings, Whether It Was Used For Intramuscular And Aerosol Challenges Done In USAMRIID Building 1412, And Whether Heat Shocking Was Studied In Connection With Virulence Studies.
    Posted on April 23, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/the-fbi-should-produce-to-gao-all-of-the-research-unpublished-or-not-by-dr-bannan-and-his-colleagues-on-heat-shocking-as-a-substitute-for-use-of-renografin-in-purification-to-include-whether-hea/

    Was someone trying to make it look like Iraq was behind the mailings by not using Renocal and heat shocking instead? Is that why FBI scientist JB did his experiment on heat shocking (that then wasn’t published).

    Why did John Ezzell tell Ivins that the powdered vial he gave Ivins from the JHU-APL project was from Iraq? (Ivins says that is what he was told by the person who gave him the vial).

    Was it because the DARPA project had made the anthrax such as Iraq had contemplated making anthrax — in those Persian Gulf era days? see papers taken from the chicken farm.

    • DXer said

      In a 2012 chapter titled, DARPA-funded researcher Joany Jackman describes “heat shocking” and its usefulness in using PCR to identify powderized bacillus anthracis.

      In “The Microbe: The Basics of Structure, Morphology, and Physiology as They Relate to Microbial Characterization and Attribution” (2012), which is available online, Dr. Jackman explains:

      “When adding vegetative bacteria directly in the PCR reaction, amplication is likely enhanced by the release of internal DNA by the process of heating and cooling in a typical PCR cycle. Heat shock is used to kill off by lysis vegetative cells in microbial preparations …”

      She notes: “This property of vegetative cells can be easily exploited by the PCR process to liberate intracellular DNA targets for amplification. “Appropriate controls should be used always to verify that contaminants present in the sample do not inhibit the PCR reaction.”

      All the documents relating to Dr. Jackman’s research under the JHU-APL MOA, under which virulent Ames was supplied by Bruce Ivins, should be provided to GAO.

      In 2004, USAMRIID Advised The FBI That It Could Not Locate The Documents, Laboratory Notes Or Other Papers Of A USAMRIID Laboratory Technician Who Participated In the “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study”. Who Was The Laboratory Technician? What Research Involving The Efficacy Of A Decontamination Agent Was Done?
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 5, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/in-2004-usamriid-advised-the-fbi-that-it-could-not-locate-the-documents-laboratory-notes-or-other-papers-of-a-usamriid-laboratory-technician-who-participated-in-the-biological-warfare-decontamin/

  2. DXer said

    Where is the Ames made by Dr. Ivins’ assistants that is missing?

  3. http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/appendix5.html

    The following is a list of the 552 witnesses whose testimony has been presented to the Commission. Witnesses who appeared before members of the Commission have a “C” following their names; those questioned during depositions by members of the Commission’s legal staff are indicated by a “D”; and those who supplied affidavits and statements are similarly identified with “A” and “S”. The brief descriptions of the witnesses pertain either to the time of their testimony or to the time of the events concerning which they testified.

    Witness Description Testimony
    Ables, Don R. D Jail Clerk, Dallas Police Department Vol. VII, p. 239
    Abt, John J. D New York City attorney Vol. X, p. 116
    Adamcik, John P. D Member, Dallas Police Department Vol. VII, p. 202
    Adams, R. L. AD Placement interviewer, Texas Employment Commission Vol. X, p. 136; Vol. XI, p. 480
    Adams, Victoria Elizabeth D Employee, Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) Vol. VI, p. 386
    Akin, Gene Coleman D Doctor, Parkland Hospital Vol. VI, p. 63
    Alba, Adrian Thomas D Acquaintance of Oswald in New Orleans Vol. X, p. 219
    Allen, Mrs. J. U. A Secretary, Chamberlin-Hunt Academy Vol. XI, p. 472
    Altgens, James W. D Witness at assassination scene Vol. VII, p. 515
    Anderson, Eugene D. D Marine Corps marksmanship expert Vol. XI, p. 301
    Andrews, Dean Adams, Jr. D New Orleans attorney Vol. XI, p. 325

    Notice they list the actual name, what their link is, and the volume and page number of their testimony. Compare that to Amerithrax.

  4. DOJ is paying millions of dollars to settle another lawsuit because it can’t take the chance the judge would order depositions of these witnesses? This is because the DOJ already knows what they will say?

    Were their depositions made available in the FBI materials? By name?

    People who trash the Warren Commission might want to consider if this is what the WC did. Did the WC conceal a lot of witness testimony? Or did it publish a massive set of volumes within a year or two in an age of typewriters and manually set printing presses?

    • When people ask what happened to slapstick, the answer is it is at the DOJ.

      • DXer said

        I think something different is happening.

        I think Rachel was forbidden from visiting Ali Al-Timimi in jail by superiors.

        I think (to her great credit) she went anyway but then was reprimanded for her troubles.

        I think that is partly because a deal had been cut with Ali to include cooperation against Anwar.

        I think unfortunately that led to a botching of analysis in a complex difficult case and did not in fact resolve the anthrax threat — which I have zero confidence the DOJ ever understood.

        The case involving Dr. Ayman’s successful operation with the suicide bombing of the CIA compound is an example where USG may sometimes not be up to the challenge.

        But in short, I don’t think the FBI believe the lyophilized theory or believe that he-grew-it-on-those-nights theory.

        Of course, given that Ali, for example, had been Andrew Card’s former assistant is but one of many reasons that the GAO should probe the gross conflicts of interest that riddled the investigation.

        For example, the sister-in-law of the lead prosecutor — who pled the Fifth Amendment in connection with derailing the investigation — was receiving secret payments from a Saudi foundation for her educational work. She only initially denied it.

        I think this is truly a situation where the people fooling the public are kidding themselves that they have not put the country at grave peril.

        The movie Pearl Harbor was on tonight. Let these people take their unviable theories about lyophilizes and the like and see if they are in a position to tell their grandchildren some day that they did the right thing not complying with FOIA.

      • DXer said

        It’s certainly easier for us to criticize than for them to do the job and successfully get to the bottom of mysteries. They have to prove themselves right — critics don’t.
        But the idea that we’ll never know because there won’t be a trial is not well-founded. Trials are not particularly well-suited to divining truth. It is easier without trials so long as questions get asked and answered — and all non-exempt, relevant documents get produced under FOIA. Law enforcement has heard the Keystone Kops reference before:

        Head of popular Mich. Arab-American center arrested, confused with man wanted in terror case

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/head-of-popular-mich-arab-american-center-arrested-confused-with-man-wanted-in-terror-case/2011/11/12/gIQATUxjFN_story.html

        DETROIT — Police in suburban Detroit mistakenly arrested the head of a popular Arab-American cultural center and held him overnight in jail, believing he was a man charged in a conspiracy to funnel money to Hezbollah from the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods.
        Dearborn police claiming to be investigating a break-in asked Ali Hammoud for identification and arrested him outside his home Friday night, attorney Majed Moughni said.
        “They said they had a warrant for his arrest. He was coming back from a dinner, a family gathering,” Moughni said.
        But police had the wrong Hammoud.

    • DXer said

      A judge does not order depositions — parties notice them. The time for civil discovery has passed. But as usual, you raise a very important and thoughtful question that had escaped my focus. Was Dr. Fellows deposed? If so, why is it sealed? What is the basis for any protective order sealing the deposition? And why wouldn’t she be deposed given Dr. Andrews explained in his deposition that she would know what was involved in the animal experiments such as the experiment with the 52 rabbits. Her documentation of the rabbit experiment — still being withheld — demolishes the FBI’s “Ivins Theory.”

      Dr. Fellows was doing research on making a more virulent Ames by inserting duplicate virulence plasmids (x101 and x102). It was published in the PhD thesis in 2003 or so by LSU grad Pamala Coker. Dr. Coker was thanked by the former Zawahiri associate TH in connection with the BL-3 at LSU (along with Martin Hugh-Jones and FBI genetics expert Kimothy Smith) in connection with research that at LSU involved four characterized strains provided by LSU. The research involved Ames at USAMRIID and Dugway. Was the decontamination agent invented by the former Zawahiri associate ever tested against enhanced Ames with duplicates of the virulence plasmids inserted? I’ve written him but he never responded and I took things as far as I could with others at the University of Michigan.

      Dr. Coker was quoted in the New York Times explaining that it although it was useful for vaccine research, it also served to make a better bioweapon. She now runs a cat clinic and tells she has no interest in addressing these issues. What was the supply of Ames for Dr. Fellows’ work? Was it the flask that contained the silicon signature? Was it the missing Ames that she made? As I mentioned, a reporter might have better luck with Dr. Coker but she wasn’t interested in addressing it with me.

      Judge Hurley, hearing the Stevens case, is a highly experienced jurist with insights on this very issue of unnecessary sealing of court records. I hope he and his clerk do all that they can to unseal anything not prohibited from disclosure by express statute. They may have to research the issue independent of the parties who have no incentive favoring disclosure.

    • judge orders deposition About 152,000 results (0.08 seconds). Your mileage may vary.

      In the Rocket Docket, depositions might be noticed and held prior to rulings. But in the Molasses Docket, a motion to dismiss might be overtaken by a settlement all prior to a witness being deposed.

      • DXer said

        Counting google hits is a silly way to understand an issue. A deposition is a civil discovery device that does not occur until a litigant chooses to depose a witness. We saw that sometimes there is motion practice, such as in the case of Dr. Saathoff, where USG sought to avoid his deposition. So the question is whether Dr. Fellows was noticed to be deposed and on what grounds the deposition was sealed. If she was deposed and it was filed then I cannot think of any grounds for it to be withheld. She would have the constitutional right to plead the Fifth Amendment at civil deposition just as the head of the Amerithrax prosecution did in his civil deposition in the Hatfill matter.

        • DXer said

          Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 30. Deposition by Oral Examination

          (a) When a Deposition May Be Taken.

          (1) Without Leave. A party may, by oral questions, depose any person, including a party, without leave of court except as provided in Rule 30(a)(2). The deponent’s attendance may be compelled by subpoena under Rule 45.

          (2) With Leave. A party must obtain leave of court, and the court must grant leave to the extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(2):

          (A) if the parties have not stipulated to the deposition and:

          (i) the deposition would result in more than 10 depositions being taken under this rule or Rule 31 by the plaintiffs, or by the defendants, or by the third-party defendants;

          (ii) the deponent has already been deposed in the case; or

          (iii) the party seeks to take the deposition before the time specified in Rule 26(d), unless the party certifies in the notice, with supporting facts, that the deponent is expected to leave the United States and be unavailable for examination in this country after that time; or

          (B) if the deponent is confined in prison.

          (b) Notice of the Deposition; Other Formal Requirements.

          (1) Notice in General.

          A party who wants to depose a person by oral questions must give reasonable written notice to every other party. The notice must state the time and place of the deposition and, if known, the deponent’s name and address. If the name is unknown, the notice must provide a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs.

          (2) Producing Documents.

          If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the deponent, the materials designated for production, as set out in the subpoena, must be listed in the notice or in an attachment. The notice to a party deponent may be accompanied by a request under Rule 34 to produce documents and tangible things at the deposition.

          ***

  5. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins wrote an email on Saturday, October 13, 2001, at 9:29 P.M. describing the distribution of Ames (the labs to which it had been sent) (e.g., Battelle, UNM etc.)

    “Good little serf that I am, I send to you all, late on Saturday, the following requested information …”

    Any suggestion that Dr. Ivins was working secretly at night late at his lab is crock and contradicted by the documentary evidence. There were computers in the biocontainment lab.

    Where is the missing apple lap top? Would Dr. Ivins have been fired if he was editing Wikipedia from the computer in the biocontainment suite? What times did he make posts to Wikipedia?

  6. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins’ expressed to a superior that he was missing Ames — only to be told to shut up.

    It is incredible that all these people choosing to comment on Amerithrax neither bother to address the missing Ames or the fact that Dr. Ivins was ORDERED BY A SUPERIOR not to talk about it.

    The Plaintiff in the Stevens case has totally missed the boat and its counsel seems not to have yet mastered the documents about the Ames known to have gone missing — the same amount, by the way, as used in the anthrax, especially when you add the additional 100 ml that just dropped out of sign on the main inventory (assumed by some to be a mathematical error).

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/from-dxer-infiltration-of-u-s-biodefense-bruce-ivins-concern-that-he-was-missing-samples/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/bruce-ivins-we-cant-make-any-assurances-that-we-have-exactly-what-were-supposed-to-have/

  7. DXer said

    Ed simply has nothing to say about Ali Al-Timimi who shared a suite with the leading Ames researchers who were Battelle consultants.

    To breathe his name and his coordinating with Anwar Awlaki causes Ed’s entire ad hominem schtick to melt into a pool of documentary evidence involving work in a B3 at Southern Research Institute with virulent Ames by the DARPA researchers.

    To include work involving a dried powder made from RMR 1029 by the FBI’s anthrax expert.

    … leading to the question (and he is very uncomfortable with unanswered questions) …

    What happened to the missing anthrax made by Dr. Ivins’ assistants? i.e., Dr. Ivins’ senior lab tech (who won’t give interviews) came to head the B3 at Southern Research Institute.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/floor-plan-of-suite-at-gmus-discovery-hall-in-2001-with-ali-al-timimi-and-leading-anthrax-scientists/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/while-us-government-focuses-on-anwar-al-aulaqi-the-media-continues-to-overlook-aulaqis-connection-to-fellow-falls-church-imam-anthrax-weapons-suspect-ali-al-timimi/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/who-does-former-prosecutor-daniel-seikaly-and-his-daughter-ali-al-timimis-former-defense-counsel-think-is-responsible-for-the-anthrax-mailings-of-fall-2001/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/catherine-herridges-next-wave-anwar-awlaki-ali-al-timimi-and-why-fbi-agent-wade-ammerman-wanted-to-allow-anwar-awlaki-to-meet-with-ali-al-timimi-in-october-2002/

  8. DXer said

    Did Anwar know Dr. Ayman before 9-11?

    Under my analysis, Dr. Zawahiri accomplished the attack on the US “structure” he intended. The one Amerithrax squad developed a plausible theory about the guy who stole books from sororities 15 years, posted on Wikipedia, used screen names, and had an imaginative sex life. But I think given what is at stake it doesn’t cut it to close Amerithrax, making as many as central mistakes as US Attorney did in his August 6 press conference. That should have been a really big red flag that the FBI and DOJ was highly motivated to close Amerithrax for reasons independent on the quality of the evidence.

    With the planes, IMO, Al Qaeda intended to strike the US trade dominance (World Trade Center) and its military might (Pentagon). With the anthrax, some US-based supporter(s) of the goals of Zawahiri rounded out the field that they imagine provides support to Israel — the legislative branch and media. Analogous letter bombs were sent in connection with the earlier attack on the World Trade Center and the imprisonment of the Blind Sheikh and militant islamists responsible for that attack and a related plot. Thus, relying on the postal service to send its deadly missives in connection with an earlier attack of the World Trade Center is not only Al Qaeda’s modus operandi, it is its signature.

    The two FBI investigative squads were compartmentalized and not even aware what the other investigative squad was doing, how was there seamless cooperation between the CIA and FBI? How can the investigators on the one squad judge the quality of their analysis? How can the scientists on the third forensics squad know how they are being used in putting out the spin? In light of politicization of the US DOJ, how can one say that the compartmentalization has not been used to serve political or personal or financial interests — rather than a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

    Ayman’s plan established by the documentary evidence seized in Afghanistan was to use the cover of charities and universities. That’s exactly what, under my analysis, with a lot of help from my friends, he did.

    In the Washington, D.C. area, Taliban supporter Ali Al-Timimi worked in the same building as famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey, who had co-invented a process using silanized hydrophobic silica to lead to greater concentration of a biological agent. Dr. Bailey has been a prolific Ames anthrax strain researcher. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had multimillion dollar grants from DARPA funding a contract with USAMRIID with Delta Ames supplied by NIH. NSA intercepts showed that Ali Al-Timimi was working with Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali, who had been the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War and his 1998 claim of responsibility for the embassy bombings. Timimi has been sentenced to life plus 70 years before his conviction was reversed and remanded. Bilal Philips had been Ali’s mentor and the father of Jafar the Pilot had been Bilal Philips’ mentor. Ali Al-Timimi shared a fax machine with famed Russian anthrax bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID deputy commander Charles Bailey, who is listed as an author on various articles reporting biodefense research using virulent Ames strain of anthrax. Dr. Bailey had worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency (”DIA”) for years on threat assessment of biological weapons. Both he and Dr. Alibek had consulted for Battelle, world renown for its expertise on anthrax aerosols. They had co-authored the patent filed in mid-March 2001 on concentrating biological agents using silica in the growth medium that was still confidential as of Fall 2001. Both Dr. Bailey and Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance while working at SRA in 1999. Al-Timimi was doing work on a Navy contract.

    CIA Director Tenet, in a May 2007 book, notes that the CIA was startled to learn that the anthrax planning had been done in parallel with the 9/11 planning. Indeed, it was the laptop of Hawsawi, who was KSM’s assistant who sent and received money from the hijackers, that had the anthrax spraydrying documents on it. In June 2003, a UN report explained that Al-Qaeda “WMD Committee” — Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was one of its three members — “is known to have approached a number of Muslim scientists to assist the terrorist network with the creation and procurement of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.” Al-Timimi was one such scientist but there were others.

    But there still is an unanswered question. Where is the anthrax made by Dr. Ivins’ assistants that the FBI says is missing?

    • DXer said

      Greendale School

      One of the first things the CIA should have done is to follow the documentary evidence relating to Dr. Ayman’s use of “school” to refer to Egyptian Islamic Jihad in an early summer letter to followers and the use of “Green Team” as a group led by Saif Adel.

      from DXer … Ayman’s use of “school” in May 2001 in explaining merger with Al Qaeda
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/from-dxer-aymans-use-of-school-in-may-2001-in-explaining-merger-with-al-qaeda/

      [PDF]
      PDF Click here for a PDF – Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

      http://www.ctc.usma.edu/…/Al-Qaidas-MisAdventures-in-the-Horn-of-Africa.pdf
      File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
      The United States will continue to lead an expansive international effort in …… Mohammad Saddiq Odeh, Muhammed Atef, and Saif al-Adel. …… In Nairobi, the Green Team wrote a plan to train supported guerrilla platoons. ….

      The second thing the CIA should have done is to identify the 10 sleepers that Ali Mohammed and Dahab, the Cairo Medical dropout from the early 1980s, bragged to OBL of recruiting.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/the-head-of-intelligence-for-egyptian-islamic-jihad-had-a-document-on-his-computer-seized-by-the-fbi-that-outlined-principles-of-cell-security-that-would-be-followed/

      Now it might have been a little awkward for the FBI — given that it would point to its failure to read and translate the materials in the possession of Nosair (with whom Ali Mohammed would stay in the NYC area). See PETER LANCE’S TRIPLE X.

      It would have pointed to Jdey, who was detained as the same time as Moussaoui but then released (along with his biology textbooks). SEE ROWF’S (CIA/Harvard report).

      It would have pointed to Ali Mohammed, who did recon for the 1998 embassy bombings while serving in the 1990s as a Army sergeant, an FBI informant, and short-time CIA employee. See PETER LANCE’S TRIPLE X.

      But the CIA and FBi needed to overcome considerations of CYA that dominate inside the beltway.

      Instead, the investigators in a compartmentalized investigation found an elementary school in a newsletter received at Dr. Ivins home and developed a theory that Dr. Ivins had some psychological reason to use it.

      The sender would only have reason to use code in the letters if he was privately communicating a message to someone. (Using the same address on both letters to the Senators is what made the second letter easier to intercept).

      • DXer said

        Did Ali Al-Timimi agree to cooperate against Anwar? Is that what is going on?… for example, why I can’t find his docket any longer on PACER? Ed cannot even bring himself to mention Ali’s name, thus has never addressed issues central to the upcoming GAO report. He has made himself irrelevant.

        In March 2002, fellow Falls Church iman Anwar Aulaqi — known as the “911 imam” — suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). Upon a return visit in Fall 2002, “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” After 18 months in prison in Yemen in 2006 and 2007, he was released over US objections, where he says he was subject to interrogation by the FBI. By 2010, when the United States announced that there was authorization to attempt to kill Anwar Aulaqi, he had long since gone into hiding after acknowledging his role in the Ft. Hood shooting and attempt to bring down an airliner flying into Detroit.

        Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008: “]911 imam] Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy. The 9-11 Report indicates that Special Agent Ammerman interviewed Al-Aulaqi just before or shortly after his October 2002 visit to Dr. Al-Timimi’s home to discuss the attacks and his efforts to reach out to the U.S. government.”

        Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi), who met with hijacker Nawaf, reportedly was picked up in Yemen by Yemen security forces at the request of the CIA in the summer of 2006. British and US intelligence had him and others under surveillance. Al-Timimi would speak alongside fellow Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi) at conferences such as the August 2001 London JIMAS and the August 2002 London JIMAS conference. They would speak on subjects such as signs before the day of judgment and the like. Dozens of their lectures are available online. Unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post in 2008 that “they have come to believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaida networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia.” One official said: “There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies.” “Some believe that Aulaqi was the first person since the summit meeting in Malaysia with whom al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi shared their terrorist intentions and plans,” former Senate Intelligence committee chairman Bob Graham wrote in his 2004 book “Intelligence Matters.”

  9. DXer said

    One’s view of Amerithrax cannot be informed if you don’t know the lab that Rauf Ahmad visited — the lab that prompted the opening line of his letter to read “I successfully achieved the targets during my visit [redacted].”

    The purpose of his visit had been to acquire virulent Ames.

    Now I’ve seen Milton L. discuss the letters while failing to quote the key line. I’ve seen the New York Times take the letters I gave them and become confused of the order of the undated letters, not realizing that the typed letter related to a visit to a second lab, made necessary by the fact that the first lab did not have virulent strains. I’ve seen the Washington Post, in an important exclusive by Joby W., suffer a setback when the Pakistan government (ISI) reversed its position on whether Rauf was going to be allowed to be interviewed by the Post correspondent.

    But now it is 10 years later and the lab has still not been identified.

    Those were USAMRIID personnel he was attending the Porton Down conferences with. At those conferences, he told Dr. Ayman that he had learned processing tricks.

    I identified Rauf Ahmad based on local news reports that appeared in the FBIS system. Classified or not, 10 years is far too long for the lab he visited to remain unidentified. No one will dispute me when I tell you it was a lab with virulent Ames.

    George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says: “In 1999, al-Zawahiri recruited Pakistani national Rauf Ahmad, to set up a small lab in Khandahar, Afghanistan, to house the biological weapons effort. In December 2001, a sharp WMD analyst at CIA found the initial lead on which we would pull and, ultimately, unravel the al-Qa’ida anthrax networks. We were able to identify Rauf Ahmad from letters he had written to Ayman al-Zawahiri. … We located Rauf Ahmad’s lab in Afghanistan. We identified the building in Khandahar where Sufaat claimed he isolated anthrax. We mounted operations that resulted in the arrests and detentions of anthrax operatives in several countries.”

    Delivering the James Smart Lecture, entitled “Global Terrorism: are we meeting the challenge?” at the headquarters of the City of London Police, Ms. Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, said: “Western security services have uncovered networks of individuals, sympathetic to the aims of al-Qa’ida, that blend into society, individuals who live normal, routine lives until called upon for specific tasks by another part of the network.” She concluded: “The threats of chemical, biological and radiological and suicide attacks require new responses and the Government alone will not achieve all of it; industry and even the public must take greater responsibility for their own security.”

    In 1999, a scientist from Porton Down had reported to sfam members on a conference in Taos, New Mexico in August that included a talk by Tim Read, (TIGR, Rockville, USA) and concerned the whole genome sequencing of the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The Ames strain may have been a mystery to many after the Fall 2001 mailings, but not to motivated Society for Applied Microbiology (“SFAM”) members, one of whom was part of Ayman Zawahiri’s “Project Zabadi.”

    As described by Dr. Peter Turnbull’s Conference report for SFAM on “the First European Dangerous Pathogens Conference” (held in Winchester), at the September 1999 conference, the lecture theater only averaged about 75 at peak times by his head count. There had been a problem of defining “dangerous pathogen” and a “disappointing representation from important institutions in the world of hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms.” Papers included a summary of plague in Madagascar and another on the outbreak management of hemorrhagic fevers.

    Dr Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University presented a paper on multilocus VNTR typing, for example, of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. There were more than the usual no-show presenters and fill-in speakers.

    The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved difficult. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.”

    Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

    Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.”

    Bioinformatics was the field that Ali Al-Timimi, who had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, entered by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia.

    Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

    According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. His only connection with SFAM was a member of the society. He was not an employee. The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

    I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. He explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded an earlier handwritten letter from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

    The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

    In earlier cases, such as the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Amer Aziz who treated Bin Laden in the Fall of 2001, the Pakistani government angered the Pakistani public when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. In the case of Amer Aziz, hundreds of doctors, engineers and lawyers took to the streets to demand his release. In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. By then, I had noticed the reporting of his arrest in a local Pakistan news article about the raid of a compound of doctors named Khawaja and published it on my website. According to Pakistani officials, there was not enough evidence showing that he actually succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful. Since then, the Post reports, Rauf has been allowed to return to his normal life. Attempts by the Post to contact Rauf in Lahore were unsuccessful. Initially the government agency had said an interview would be possible but then backpedaled.

    “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” Pakistan’s information minister told the Post. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.” Yazid Sufaat got the job handling things at the lab instead of Rauf Ahmad. More importantly, Zawahiri, if keeping with his past experience, would have kept things strictly compartmentalized — leaving the Amerithrax Task Force much to do.

    Oooh. There’s a problem. After being released, Yazid Sufaat fled to Pakistan and has gone whereabouts unknown.

    • DXer said

      Similarly, one cannot have an informed understanding of Amerithrax without interviewing those who were supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins such as the various DARPA-funded researchers.

      The DOJ also has provided a December 5, 1997 letter from a University of Michigan Medical Center scientist to Bruce Ivins. It states

      “Dear Dr. Ivins:

      It was a pleasure speaking with you the other day. I much appreciate your willingness to work with us concerning our new anti-sporicidal material. We are looking forward to doing it in vitro evaluating or not whether this material against anthrax spores given its efficacy against other species of bacillus spores. These studies would involve mixing the material with the spores for varying lengths of time and then either separating the spores or culturing them directly to determine the viability. We might also do fixation of the spore preparations to determine if there are any ultrastructural changes in the spores that can be oberved with electron microscopy.”

      “My technicians are fully trained in the contagious pathogen handling and have experience with level 3 biosafety requirements. They, as I, are willing to undergo the anthrax and plague immunizations, although I was hoping that they might be able to administer the vaccines at the University of Michigan. This might allow us to only make one trip to USAMRID before we begin the studies. If we could either purchase the vaccine from you or from a commercial distributor, we would be happy to administer it and document titers in any way you feel appropriate.

      I look forward to the initiation of this work. I believe it could be a very interesting collaboration that could eventually lead to animal studies. On December 19, commensurate with the filing of patents on this material, I will send you additional data on the formulations and our studies concerning the ability of these materials to inactivate spores both in vitro and in vivo.

      Sincerely,

      ____________
      _____ Division of Allergy”

      The FBI apparently did not obtain the documents from Bruce Ivins relating to the correspondence with the University of Michigan researchers until 2005 — four years after the mailings. At that time, someone using Arthur Friedlander’s telephone number forwarded evidence that Dr. Hamouda and lab tech Michael Hayes had received anthrax and plague vaccinations in advance of coming to work alongside Dr. Ivins in the BL-3 laboratory using virulent Ames. The sender noted that the 20 pages being forwarded had been provided the sender by Bruce Ivins.

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

      “My colleagues and I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to both you and Dr. Ivins for the opportunity to work at USAMRIID. Dr. Ivins _______________________ were very helpful and cooperative in facilitating our studies as well as providing excellent technical assistance. Their efforts made our stay at USAMRIID both pleasant and highly productive. In particular, our discussions with Dr. Ivins provided valuable insights which will enable to better define and develop our technology.”

      “The data generated in these studies serves to clarify and validate the results which we have seen in our model systems (see attachments). We were able to block growth of both strains of B. anthracis with emulsion incorporated media (Table 1). We also were successful in reducing both Vollum and Ames spore counts by 95% (as assessed by CFU of viable organisms). These reductions were observed at spore concentrations of up to 1 X 10 6/ ml (Figure 1) and were seen even in conditions which limited germination (room temperature incubation). Decreased numbers of spores also were identified microscopically in the media after treatment. In contrast, no reduction in counts was noted with an initial spore innoculation of 1 X 10 8 / ml (Figure 2). …”

      “We were pleased with this outcome and the personal interaction that produced them. Given the non-toxic nature of these emulsions, we feel that they may have a role in the decontamination and treatment of agents such as anthrax and alphavirus. We look forward to future collaborative efforts with Dr. Ivins and his laboratory staff. With the diverse nature of our respective programs, we believe that a cooperative approach will serve to accelerate the development of these compounds.”

      In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some filed before 9/11, the inventors thanked Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with virulent Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). Dr. Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project.

      A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:

      “The release of such agents as biological weapons could be catastrophic in light of the fact that such diseases will readily spread the air.

      In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes increasingly clear that cheap, fast and effective methods of killing bacterial spores are needed for decontaminating purposes. The inventive compounds have great potential as environmental decontamination agents and for treatments of casualties in both military and terrorist attacks. The inactivation of a broad range of pathogens … and bacterial spores (Hamouda et al., 1999), combined with low toxicity in experimental animals, make them (i.e., the inventive compounds) particularly well suited for use as general decontamination agents before a specific pathogen is identified.”

      In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product them to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company reportedly had pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, was initially funded by DARPA.

      Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio.

      The University of Michigan researchers presented in part at various listed meetings and conferences in 1998 and 1999. The Department of Justice provided a copy of December 1999 article titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in its disclosure under FOIA. The article in the Journal for Infectious Diseases states: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1B strains, were supplied by Bruce Ivins (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD) and were prepared as described elsewhere. Four other strains of B. anthracis were provided by Martin Hugh-Jones (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge).” Dr. Baker advises me by email that NanoBio’s research with virulent Ames was “done at USAMRIID by a microbiologist under Dr. Ivins’ direct supervision and at LSU under the direction of Dr. Hugh Jones.”

      In the acknowledgements section, the University of Michigan authors thanked:

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

      (2) Bruce Ivins for supplying virulent Ames;

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

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

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

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

      (7) Martin-Hugh-Jones at LSU,

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

      (9) Pamala Coker, Kimothy’s close associate

      who served as the LSU biolevel 3 lab head.

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

      The University of Michigan researchers found that their nanoemulsion incorporated into the growth medium completely inhibited the growth of the spores. Transmission electron microscope was used to examine the spores.

      The patent explained that “The nanoemulsions can be rapidly produced in large quantities and are stable for many months *** Undiluted, they have the texture of a semisolid cream and can be applied topically by hand or mixed with water. Diluted, they have a consistency and appearance similar to skim milk and can be sprayed to decontaminate surfaces or potentially interact with aerosolized spores before inhalation.”

      A March 18, 1998 press release had provided some background to the novel DARPA-funded work. It was titled “Novavax Microbicides Undergoing Testing at University of Michigan Against Biological Warfare Agents; Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare.” The release stated that “The Novavax Biologics Division has designed several potent microbicides and is supplying these materials to the University of Michigan for testing under a subcontract. Various formulations are being tested as topical creams or sprays for nasal and environmental usage. The biocidal agent’s detergent degrades and then explodes the interior of the spore. Funding, the press release explains, was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense.

      In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998, Michael Hayes, a research associate in the U-Michigan Medical School, presented experimental evidence of BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. “In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish.” Its website explains that the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is the “[p]remier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology.”

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

      A University of Michigan Medical school publication, Medicine at Michigan, (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1999) explained: “In studies with rats and mice in the U-M Medical School under the direction of James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., professor of internal medicine and
      director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology, the mixture, known as BCTP, attacked anthrax spores and healed wounds caused by a closely related species of bacteria, Bacillus cereus. (The letters BCTP stand for Bi-Component, Triton X-100 n-tributyl Phosphate.)

      Baker describes the process as follows: “The tiny lipid droplets in BCTP fuse with anthrax spores, causing the spores to revert to their active bacterial state. During this process, which takes 4-5 hours, the spore’s tough outer membrane changes, allowing BCTP’s solvent to strip away the exterior membrane. The detergent then degrades the spores’ interior contents. In scanning electron microscope images, the spores appear to explode.” The rapid inactivation of anthrax bacteria and spores combined with BCTP’s low toxicity thus make the emulsion a promising candidate for use as a broad-spectrum, post-exposure decontamination agent.
      ***
      The research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense.”

      Dr. Baker, by email, advises me that Ivins did the studies involving Ames for them at USAMRIID. He reports: “We never had Ames and could not have it at our UM facilities.” Before September 2001, it’s office was described as in the basement of a downtown bank which seems to describe 912 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, just west of the University of Michigan campus.

      An article in the Summer of 2000 in Medicine at Michigan explains:

      “Victory Site: Last December [December 1999] Tarek Hamouda, Amy Shih and Jim Baker traveled to a remote military station in the Utah desert. There they demonstrated for the U.S. Army Research and Development Command the amazing ability of non-toxic nanoemulsions (petite droplets of fat mixed with water and detergent) developed at Michigan to wipe out deadly anthrax-like bacterial spores. The square vertical surfaces shown here were covered with bacterial spores; Michigan’s innocuous nanoemulsion was most effective in killing the spores even when compared to highly toxic chemicals.”

      An EPA report explains: “In December 1999, the U.S. Army tested a broad spectrum nanoemulsion and nine other decontamination technologies in Dugway, Utah, against an anthrax surrogate, Bacillus globigii. Nanoemulsion was one of four technologies that proved effective and was the only nontoxic formulation available. Other tests against the vaccine strain of B. anthracis (Sterne strain) were conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.”

      As Fortune magazine explained in November 2001 about NanoBio: “Then bioterror struck…. It moved to a bland corporate park where its office has no name on the door. It yanked its street address off its Website, whose hit rate jumped from 350 a month to 1,000 a day.” NanoBio was part of the solution: “in the back of NanoBio’s office sit two dozen empty white 55-gallon barrels. A few days before, DARPA had asked Annis and Baker if they could make enough decontaminant to clean several anthrax-tainted offices in the Senate. NanoBio’s small lab mixers will have to run day and night to fill the barrels. ‘This is not the way we want to do this,’ sighs [its key investor], shaking his head. ‘This is all a duct-tape solution.’ ” James Baker, founder of Ann Arbor’s NanoBio’s likes to quote a Chinese proverb: “When there are no lions and tigers in the jungle, the monkeys rule.”

      It’s naive to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. US Army Al Qaeda operative Sgt. Ali Mohammed accompanied Zawahiri in his travels in the US. (Ali Mohamed had been a major in the same unit of the Egyptian Army that produced Sadat’s assassin, Khaled Islambouli). Ali Al-Timimi was working in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the DARPA and had access to the facilities at both the Center for Biodefense and the adjacent American Type Culture Collection. For example, Michael Ray Stubbs was an HVAC system technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab with a high-level security clearance permitting access; that was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998. Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it.

      In June 2001, in addition to the conference at Annapolis organized by Bruce Ivins, a conference was held at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Edgewood) for small businesses that might contribute to the biodefense effort. It showcased APG’s world class facillities that had the full range of relevant equipment, as well as the range of activities and research featured by presenters at such conferences. It was called “Team APG Showcase 2001.″ Edgewood maintains a database of simulant properties. The information and equipment, including spraydrying equipment, is available to participants in the SBIR — promoting small business innovation. Might the anthrax attack have required the learning of a state? Well, to get that, all you needed to do was go to the program that shares such research for the purpose of innovation in the area of biodefense. APG built a Biolevel-3 facility and, according to a Baltimore Sun report, by October 2002 had 19 virulent strains of anthrax, including Ames. A 1996 report on a study done at Edgewood involving irradiated virulent Ames provided by John Ezzell that was used in a soil suspension. Another article discusses Delta Ames supplied to Edgewood by the Battelle-managed Dugway, subtilis, and use of sheep blood agar. Did Battelle have virulent Ames across I-95? Edgewood tested nanoemulsion biocidal agents during this time period, according to a national nanobiotechnology initiative report issued June 2002.

      • DXer said

        The Post and Brokaw letters contain low levels of a bacterial contaminant identified as a strain of Bacillus subtilis. The Bacillus subtilis contaminant has not been detected in the anthrax spore powders recovered from the envelopes mailed to either Senator Leahy or Senator Daschle. Bacillus subtillis is a non-pathogenic bacterium found ubiquitously in the environment. However, genomic DNA sequencing of the specific isolate of Bacillus subtilus discovered within the Post and Brokaw powders reveals that it is genetically distinct from other known isolates of Bacillus subtilis.

        This subtilis contaminant may be highly probative if a match had been found.

        Subtilis expert Walied Samarrai lived 20 miles from the Princeton mailbox in 2001. Calls were made from his dorm room in 1993 throughout the month leading up to WTC 1993 to the apartment listed by Ramzi Yousef, the WTC 1993 mastermind, as his residence. Why was Professor Samarrai calling?

        https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/the-addressphone-number-associated-with-the-wtc-1993-bomber-ramzi-yousef-was-frequently-called-by-subtilis-expert-walied-samarrai-in-february-1993-up-to-the-time-and-hour-of-the-first-arrests/

        Was the call from W. Samarrai’s dormitory room after the WTC 1993 bombing made to the Saudi Red Crescent where Dr. Ayman and KSM were waiting to hear a report? Dr. Ayman had used the Saudi Red Crescent as cover to go to Afghanistan.

        What does Professor Samarrai say? He did not respond to my emailed query or a telephone message. Who does he think is responsible for the anthrax mailings?

        • DXer said

          The Amerithrax Summary states that the FBI could exclude a “foreign-born scientist with particular expertise working with a Bacillus anthracis simulant known as Bacillus subtilis, and against whom there were allegations that s/he had connections with several individuals affiliated with the al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam terrorist networks”? Who was that? This fellow who reportedly lived 20 miles from the mailbox in 2001?

          Was that WS? If so, was he excluded on the grounds of a lack of access to Ames?

          Does WS confirm that he was the NYC scientist from whose dorm room calls allegedly were made after WTC 1993 to a Pakistan charity by a WTC 1993 bomber (there is a suspicion that the call was to Dr. Ayman / KSM), reporting on WTC 1993.

          The alleged call apparently was made not by the student (later biodefense/aerosol/ subtilis expert) but by the WTC 1993 participant. This is not classified information — or at least it has long been in the public domain.

          Laurie M’s suggestion that there was a connection between the WTC 1993 plotters and Saddam IMO was always misconceived. (As I recall, a former head of the CIA shared the theory; I can appreciate the concern but it sells Dr. Ayman’s announced intentions short.). Dr. Ayman was motivated to retaliate for the rendering and alleged mistreatment of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders, to include Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman. (See Zubaydah’s Detainee Assessment to see the importance of Shaikh Abdel-Rahman’s detention to him also). Abdul Yassin, who shared the address listed by Ramzi Youssef, was arrested by Saddam when he fled to Baghdad via Jordan.

          Ansar Al-Islam was founded by four members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad sent by EIJ leadership. It was formed out of an amalgamation of local groups. Dr. Ayman was always the master strategist involved in infiltrating US biodefense. The fact that Saddam in turn allegedly had penetrated that Ansar Al-Islam group with his own spy can at the same be true but beside the point — anthrax was always a Dr. Ayman / Atef / Green Team (led by Saif Adel) production.

          So who does Dr. Samarrai think is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings? Even if the FBI is able to confidently exclude him, his insights might be very valuable. Does he agree Dr. Ivins was responsible based on the psychological profiling of the psychiatrists and postal inspectors who relied on the counselor who tells us she was granted her psychic powers by a space alien? Did Walied know Najmut Tariq, who according to a Detainee Assessment was a suspected anthrax operative?

          The WTC 1993 connection was relevant in that it led to Dr. Ayman and KSM who as it turns out were key to Al Qaea’s anthrax 8 years later. And so if the reporting call after WTC 1993 was in fact made from that dorm room owned by the NYC biodefense / subtilis expert, and the phone bill has been published, it certainly is a lead that we can be glad that the postal inspector and his consulting profilers — who were so moved by Dr. Ivins’ semen stained panties — were able to exclude. God forbid that they screw this lead up as badly as Greg S. did in connection with his reliance on the first counselor.

          There is some cause for concern when you hear about the rotation of FBI agents. It is not possible for people to be expert in all things. An FBI agent newly assigned to cyber terrorism cannot suddenly be expected to be operating at the level of NCIS’s Magee (on the TV show). Similarly, a medical school professor faced with a question of intelligence analysis — who spends his time interviewing gang members in prison — may have had his training in a field that is not particularly suited to the task –especially when important information has been withheld from him in a highly compartmentalized investigation.

          Who knew who …was always the more important question in the intelligence analysis.

          The question presented, given Dr. Ayman’s plan to infiltrate US biodefense using the cover of universities and charities was always: Who did Dr. Ayman and his colleagues know to recruit?

          Because remember, Dr. Ayman literally has written the book on covert operations.

          Mark A. Gabriel, PhD, once taught at Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote a very lucid book Journey Into The Mind Of An Islamist Terrorist. He discusses a booklet Zawahiri wrote titled COVERT OPERATIONS which is available online in Arabic.

          If you want to know how Zawahiri views deceit on such issues as battle plans and spying, read his own words online.

          Gabriel explains:

          “Ayman al-Zawahiri leads a busy terrorist organization, and he must solve practical problems. For example, he may want some Al-Qaeda members to blend in and live in the United States. If these men wore full beards and went to ultraconservative mosques to pray, they they would arouse suspicion and get put on a watch list. Instead, al-Zawahiri would want these operatives to go undercover and blend into society. However, these devout Muslims will not go undercover unless they believe they have permission to do so from the teachings of Islam.

          As a result, al-Zawahiri wrote a booklet titled COVERT OPERATIONS, which goes deep into Islamic teaching and history to describe how deceit can be a tool in Muslim life.”

          The entire book by al-Zawahiri is posted in the Arabic language website for al-Tawheed Jihad (The Pulpit of Monotheism and Jihad). Zawahiri concluded that “hiding one’s faith and being secretive was allowed especially in time of fear from prosecution of the infidels.” Indeed, his student group in Cairo in the 1970s was known as the “shaven beards.” The founder of one of the cells merged with Ayman’s to form the Egyptian Islamic Jihad then wrote for Al-Timimi’s charity IANA.

          Al-Zawahiri discussed two specific ways Muhammad used deceit in battle: (1) keeping battle plans secret, and (2) spying. The author writes: “Al-Zawahiri specifically gave radicals permission not to pray in the mosque or attend Friday sermons if it would compromise their position.” He noted that Al-Zawahiri sealed his argument with a very important quote from Ibn Taymiyyah (who was quoted by Al-Timimi upon his his indictment). Ever the practical man, Muhammad approved lying in three circumstances (1) during war, (2) to reconcile between two feuding parties, and (3) to a spouse in order to please her.

          Ali Al-Timimi’s former fellow Falls Church imam Anwar al-Aulaqi in “44 Ways To Support Jihad” similarly urges that a lot of jihad work by its nature is secret and clandestine in nature. He advises that everything should be on a need-to-know basis (in other words, don’t tell your wife). Secrecy and cell compartmentalization was a key organizing principle of how the anthrax mailings were accomplished.

          “Protecting the mujahideen and preserving their secrets

          We need to guard our tongues. Sometimes you could end up endangering your brothers unwillingly by your words. A Muslim should develop the habit of being able to keep secrets. We have an incident from seerah where a sahabi refused to tell his own wife about a secret mentioned to him by the Messenger of Allah. Sometimes you want to protect the secrets from the closest people to you: your wife, parents, children and brothers, because they might be the most vulnerable. A Muslim should learn to not say more than what needs to be said, to work on a ‘need to know basis’.” “A lot of Jihad work is secret and clandestine by nature. Therefore, brothers and sisters should be very careful with their words. A lot of harm was inflicted on Jihad work because of otherwise good and sincere brothers who had loose tongues.” “The enemies of Allah will try to recruit Muslims to infiltrate Islamic work. They will tell them that we are doing this to protect the Muslims. They may carry along with them scholars who would approve that.”

          The Slate blogger, Mr. Greenwald, is just incredibly naive to not get his head around the idea that Dr. Ayman and Anwar Awlaki believed in covert operations — even dating to 2001 in Anwar’s case.

          Maybe these postal inspectors were as inexperienced as Mr. Greenwald on the subject. As naive as Dave Willman appears to be. Certainly the fellow who concocted that code by falsely claiming a letter that was double-lined when it wasn’t … maybe was trying too hard to close the case on the depressed, fragile guy.

          Maybe the buck should, in fact, stop with FBI Director Mueller who failed to open the case even as the claims made by US Jeffrey Taylor at the August 2008 press conference turned quickly to mud.

  10. DXer said

    Ed doesn’t know what happened to the large amount of spores made by Dr. Ivins’ assistants Pat and Mara that is missing.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/where-is-the-missing-anthrax-made-by-dr-ivins-lab-assistants/

    By way of background, the expanded inventory of Ames/1029 showed that the Ames for the DARPA research used to make a dried powder was from RMR 1029. A lyophilizer was used to make that dried powder out of the Ames.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/newly-released-ivins-emails-show-that-no-record-was-kept-of-transfers-to-former-zawahiri-associate-because-it-was-done-at-usamriid/

    But investigators cannot track this large amount of spores that is missing that was intended to replenish RMR 1029.

    Was it used for the DARPA research?

    Ali Al-Timimi shared a suite at GMU’s Center for Biodefense with the leading DARPA-funded Ames researchers and had unrestricted access to the largest microbiological repository in the world (ATCC).

    His counsel says he was an “anthrax weapons suspect.”

    The work for DARPA with virulent Ames was done in Frederick, MD at Southern Research Institute.

    Ali’s suitemates invented a method used to concentrate anthrax using silicates in the growth medium. Use of silicates in the medium is indicated by the forensics.

    Ali was represented by the daughter of the lead prosecutor in Amerithrax — the one who leaked the hyped Hatfill Theory and then pled the Fifth Amendment.

    Ed has no answer to the question: where is the large amount of Ames made by Dr. Ivins assistants that is missing? He simply is not acquainted with the most basic facts of the case such as this large amount of missing virulent Ames.

  11. DXer said

    Was this missing anthrax used in aerobiological experiments — as part of the dry aerosol studies at USAMRIID?

  12. DXer said

    ____________ does not recall there being a cease and desist order, however the project died on its own when the word came down that there would be no dried biological agents used. _________ admitted that __________________________________due to the applicability and relevance that this project had with actual threat dynamics.

    ___________ knew of some Bacillus globigii (Bg) that was on site for use with the Ultra Violet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer, which is a component of the bio-detectors used throughout Washington, D.C. This particle sizer used UV light fluoresce to detect biological agents. This machine was tested with both live aerosolized Bg as well as Bg that had been killed using formaldehyde. __________

    ***

    _________ believes _____ took issue or offense to the investigation, mainly due to its ability to tarnish ____ reputation, but also due to ____ belief that ____ was above those involved in the investigation. ___________ expressed that ____ would be “shocked” if ____ had any involvement in the anthrax mailings.”

    Source: 279A-WF-222936-USAMRIID, dated 1/16/2007

  13. DXer said

    As for the FBI’s bizarre code theory not supported by ANY expert:

    “When they lifted out just the bolded letters, investigators got TTT AAT TAT – an apparent hidden message within the letters themselves.

    41 This e-mail was notable not because of any particular meaning ascribed to those specific nucleic acids, but rather because it demonstrated Dr. Ivins’s familiarity with DNA, specifically As, Ts, Cs, and Gs.
    59
    TTT = Phenylalanine (single-letter designator F)
    AAT = Asparagine (single-letter designator N)
    TAT = Tyrosine (single-letter designator Y)

    From this analysis, two possibile hidden meanings emerged: (1) “FNY” – a verbal assault on New York, and (2) PAT – the nickname of Former Colleague #2. First with respect to “FNY,” according to numerous witnesses who knew him well, including Former Colleague #1,

    With respect to “PAT,” as noted in more detail, supra, as with Former Colleague #1, Former Colleague #2 was both a close friend, in fact one of his only friends, and also the object of excessive affection and attention by Dr. Ivins. ”

    Now, Ed, do you know who came up with this explanation? Was it an aerobiology expert Pat thanked for her technical assistance by the former Zawahiri associate who made lots of virulent Ames that the FBI cannot find? Which was stored in Building 1412, where she worked. 7738 was also known as Flask 1030, and it contained a Silicon Signal. I would get out the scrabble board and start trying to come up with a theory too, if I were Pat.

    The fact that Rachel and Ken describe Pat as one of his only friends shows how little they had mastered the facts of Dr. Ivins’ life.

    • DXer said

      Gödel, Escher, Bach author Douglas Hofstadter is one expert who has spoken to the question.

      http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/02/gödel-escher-bach-author-downplays-fbi-anthrax-case-link/

      He reports:

      “I was contacted by the FBI a couple of years ago about this case, and a couple of FBI people in fact came to my house and spent a few hours talking with me. … I don’t think that they ever really found any link either. So I think it’s basically a red herring, although for me it was interesting to meet the FBI people and to get a tiny glimpse into their way of investigating a complex and important case.

      Ed, did the FBI provide a copy of the 302 interview of the author of the book who pooh-pooh’s the theory? If not, why not?

      The GAO should obtain a copy of the 302 and consider why it was not provided by the FBI (if it wasn’t).

      • DXer said

        Ed, what do you make of the one 302 from an expert that was provided? The one that said there was no sound basis for the theory.

        I believe there are 60 possible permutations of CAGT.

        I believe there are 20 amino acids identified by a single letter.

        Any scrabble player would be able to come up with any number of possible alleged messages especially given the inexactness of the underlining pointed out by the expert.

        The messages don’t even make sense. For example, Ed understands “Pat” to express “caring admiration.” Ha!

        Puhleeeeeeeeeze.*

        *No code intended.

        Did you figure out yet who came up with and first suggested the code?

        • DXer said

          So, once again, now that we’ve seen that the author of the book and this scientist does not credit the theory, can you tell us:

          1) can you name one PhD knowledgeable about codons who adheres to the theory?

          2) can you identify who originated the theory given that many three-letter words could have been formed.

        • DXer said

          And would you agree that the interpretion involves science and that the NAS should reach it?

        • DXer said

          When you make points about handwriting analysis, what authoritative treatise are you relying on? Do you know of any learned treatise on handwriting analysis that are admissible?

      • DXer said

        The twenty amino acids (that make up proteins) each have assigned to them both three-letter (can be upper or lower case) and one-letter codes (upper case). This makes it quicker and easier for notation purposes and are worth learning.

        * alanine – ala – A
        * arginine – arg – R
        * asparagine – asn – N
        * aspartic acid – asp – D
        * cysteine – cys – C
        * glutamine – gln – Q
        * glutamic acid – glu – E
        * glycine – gly – G
        * histidine – his – H
        * isoleucine – ile – I
        * leucine – leu – L
        * lysine – lys – K
        * methionine – met – M
        * phenylalanine – phe – F
        * proline – pro – P
        * serine – ser – S
        * threonine – thr – T
        * tryptophan – trp – W
        * tyrosine – tyr – Y
        * valine – val – V

        Sometimes it is not possible two differentiate two closely related amino acids, therefore we have the special cases:

        * asparagine/aspartic acid – asx – B
        * glutamine/glutamic acid – glx – Z

        • DXer said

          Doesn’t Paul Keim think the FBI’s code theory is nonsense?

        • DXer said

          And if it did decode to “Pat” and “FNY” why doesn’t such reasoning apply equal to a message more realistically actually conveyed by the letters, such as “Pat(trick Leahy)” FNY. As you know, the other anthrax weapons suspect’s field was codons. Computational biology. He read Genome Technology at his trial for his sedition. Al-Timimi shared a suite with the leading Ames researchers, including the Russian defector and former deputy USAMRIID Commander who did the BL-3 work for the DARPA contract at SRI, where the BL-3 was headed by “Pat,” Former Colleague #2. Dr. Ivins would have been as interested as anyone in decoding the letters, if a meaning were to be attributed.

  14. DXer said

    Sources

  15. Old Atlantic said

    In a circumstantial evidence case, relevant evidence includes that tending towards an alternative explanation different than the defendant did it.

    How many people had access to the flask?

    If some of them had ties to al Qaeda?

    Who had skills to make powder compared to Ivins and had access to RMR-1029?

    What installations had RMR-1029?

    Did Ivins have the skills, equipment and time to make dried powder anthrax without detection?

    What were the numerical properties of the Senate, AMI, NY Post, etc. powders?

    The St. Petersburg letters.

    All evidence relating to the other FBI suspects.

  16. DXer said

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93423750

    When did he go from being someone who was helping in the investigation to being the target of the investigation? When was he aware of that?

    Well those are two different questions. In the FBI’s mind, or, it’s not just the FBI, it’s the postal inspectors and others, but in law enforcement’s mind, and this is repeated yesterday, they say what keys them to him is their ascertainment with this breakthrough science that the anthrax at least came from RMR-1029. Whether it was removed from it and made from that or removed from another set of anthrax, they don’t know, but that is [what] was parented from that beaker. That’s in March of 2005. He is brought before the grand jury and goes down there willingly without a lawyer and testifies in May of 2007, and I wasn’t there.

    And I could not have gone into the grand jury even if I were there because lawyers, no one’s permitted into the grand jury. But he testified, he didn’t take immunity, he didn’t even invoke the Fifth Amendment, as he had done dozens of times beforehand, [he] answered every question they had.

    Now they’re saying, even though they have had their suspicions about him and attach all of this cosmic significance to the fact that it comes from RMR-1029, they’ve known that for two years and two months. He nevertheless goes there and answers all of their questions. And I think it’s fair to say by then they had fully focused on him as a suspect.

    When did he learn that he was the target?
    To this date, a target letter has never been issued.

  17. Lew Weinstein said

    ROBERTO SAID …

    “Courts establish facts during a trial. The FBI does not get to establish facts by fiat – at least not in my opinion.”

    Which is why the FBI had to be ecstatic when they had a dead man to charge who couldn’t defend himself. How unbelievably convenient! Their case, as all of us but Ed know, would blow away like tissue paper in a hurricane.

    LEW

    • anonymous said

      Lake, you should have stayed awake after it was announced Ivins was the bad guy.

      He wasn’t singly railroaded BEFORE he died. The FBI were attempting to pin it on a NUMBER or people then (at least 3).

      They only railroaded Ivins AFTER he was dead. That is screamingly obvious to anyone with half a brain – as the media and legal professionals here laughingly point out:

      • DXer said

        Catherine Herridge is holding the email Anonymous and I transcribed upon enlarging. It pointed to Bruce hearing at a party from a key expert who examined the anthrax that the attack anthrax was closest to what was made by the FBI anthrax John E. Having spoken to John on these issues, I think he has forthrightly (even courageously) addressed these issues. He says of course Al Qaeda could have been responsible. See film. The FBI anthrax expert has not reached a conclusion as to who did it — whether Bruce was guilty. He is reserving judgment. (If I am any judge of character and integrity, I think there is no chance JE is complicitous — and I think he would answer any questions people have. For example, the first question not yet asked and answered is where the other aerosol tests were conducted, who he shared the know-how with etc.)

      • anonymous said

        It’s important to realize one thing. The FBI seem to be claiming that Ivins tried to blame colleagues for the attacks in the email that she waves on the screen.

        That is actually not true. All Ivins does in the email is relate a story of what OTHERS said in a bar with multiple witnesses present. Ivins does not give any of his own opinions in the email.

        Of course, he could have completely made up what others purportedly said in the bar. But what would be the point of that since the multiple witnesses would easily have confirmed or denied what was said by OTHERS (not Ivins).

      • DXer said

        This is how a trial would go.

        It would come out for the first time that it was the FBI’s anthrax expert who was the only person known to have made aerosol out of Flask 1029 at USAMRIID — and the FBI hid the fact while allowing a US General deny that dried powder anthrax was made at USAMRIID.

        It would come out that the scientist’s lab is the lab that threw out Dr. Ivins sample. And that the business with the samples figured centrally in the FBI’s theory.

        Then the federal district court judge would grow very quiet and think very hard about what serious action to take.

      • DXer said

        Ed argues that the defense could not bring up the fact that the FBI’s anthrax expert collecting the samples had made a dried aerosol out of Flask 1029.

        Ed, you are seriously mistaken.

        The fact that a dried aerosol had been made out of Flask 1029 is highly relevant.

      • DXer said

        It is especially relevant given that the US Attorney claimed a lyophilizer likely was used such as was used in the DARPA-funded research in which Dr. Ezzell’s lab participated.

        You may disagree with the US Attorney but he was the official spokesman for the government.

      • anonymous said

        This is how a trial would go:

        “Defense Attorney”: So any of the samples sent to Battelle, Dugway or the University of New Mexico could have been secretly sequestered in a tiny amount and used to subsequently re-grow the spores used in the attack, and that would have been indistinguishable genetically from a sample taken directly from the flask in Detrick and used to regorw, is that correct?”

        “FBI scientist” : Er, yes.

        “Defense attorney”: And any of the 13 original fermenter runs at Dugway which were used to create RMR-1029 could have had a tiny amount sequestered at Dugway, and these could also has been used as the attack spores seed stock and these too would have been indistinguishable, is that correct?”

        “FBI scientist” : Er, yes.

        “Defense attorney”: And you failed to reproduce the silicon signature in the attack spores after trying for 8 years, is that correct?

        “FBI scientist”: Er, yes.

        “Defense attorney”: And you failed to perform aersolization studies on powders that you made in order to compare to the attack powders, demonstrating that you cannot adequately explain how Dr Ivins managed to create a powder with the equipment viable to him, is that correct?”

        “FBI scientist”: Er, yes.

        “Defense attorney”: And you failed to match any of the elemental signatures including tin and other elements to any spores ever grown at Detrick by any method whatsoever, is that correct?”

        “FBI scientist”: Er, yes.

        Judge: “CASE DISMISSED”

      • DXer said

        “Defense attorney”: How many had access to the genetically identical strain at USAMRIID?

        “FBI scientist”: “Up to 377.”

        “Defense attorney”: In connection with the examination of the photocopy toner, could the photocopiers be excluded?

        “FBI scientist”: Yes.

        “Defense attorney”: “Is there any evidence that any lyophilizer or speed vac available to Dr. Ivins was used to make the anthrax?”

        “FBI scientist”: No.

        “Defense attorney”: Who at USAMRIID had ever made an aerosol powder out of Flask 1029?

        “FBI scientist”: Our anthrax expert who was collecting the samples from Dr. Ivins.

        “Defense attorney”: Did the FBI examine the samples submitted by Dr. Ivins’ lab?

        “FBI scientist”: Yes, except for the one our expert’s lab threw out.

        “Defense attorney” “Did Dr. Ivins express a desire to swab the Special Pathogens lab where an aerosol was made out of Flask 1029?”

        “FBI scientist”: “Yes, we wouldn’t let him.”

        “Defense attorney:” “Did you ever disclose that your expert had made a dried aerosol out of Flask 1029?”

        “FBI scientist”: “No, we suppressed the fact.”

        “Defense attorney”: “When does this email introduced as Exhibit 34 show that the instructions on submission of samples and the slants were provided to Dr. Ivins’ lab?”

        “FBI scientist”: April 24, 2002.

        “Defense attorney”: “Is there any evidence that a First Grader wrote the letters?”

        “FBI scientist”: “No.”

        “Defense attorney”: “Is there any evidence that Dr. Ivins wrote the letters?”

        “FBI scientist”: “No.”

      • anonymous said

        “Defense attorney”: When you searched Dr Ivins’ house, car, personal possessions did you find any spores?

        “FBI scientist”: “No”

        “Defense attorney”: Did you remove pairs of ladies underwear from Dr Ivins house?

        “FBI scientist”: Yes.

        “Defense attorney”: Why?

        “FBI scientist”: As evidence

        “Defense attorney”: Evidence of what?

        “FBI scientist”: He could have used these thongs to grow spores, according to our expert’s internet searches of the literature, especially Ed lake’s website.

        “Defense attorney”: And what did you find when you analyzed the intimate apparel?

        “FBI scientist”: We found fluids matching the suspect.

        “Defense attorney”: was this evidence he was the anthrax mailer?

        “FBI scientist”: No. Our intention was simply to put him under pressure, cause him humiliation, great psychological damage, and possibly create suicidal thoughts in his head.

        “Defense attorney”: Are you the same FBI scientist who thought a Wal-Mart storage box found in a lake was a bioweapons glove box?

        “FBI scientist”: Er, yes that was me.

      • DXer said

        “Defense counsel”: “When did you first learn he was suicidal?”

        “FBI investigator”: April 2007. We learned that from emails he sent our FBI anthrax expert, the one who made the dried powder out of Flask 1029.”

      • DXer said

        “Defense counsel”: “In training on how to conduct a lawful investigation, were you ever tested?”

        “FBI investigator”: “Yes.”

        “Defense counsel”: “Did you know the answers from studying?”

        “FBI investigator”: “No, a lawyer assigned to our office texted me the answers during the exam.”

        “Defense counsel”: “Did the head of the Amerithrax investigation resign over the same issue?”

        “FBI investigator”: “He was allowed to retire, yes.”

      • DXer said


        Ed Lake said
        February 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm

        I said.

        “The fact that a dried aerosol had been made out of Flask 1029 is highly relevant.”

        Ed said.

        “False. It is not relevant.”

        Ed, I would be glad to exchange legal controlling precedent if you ever cite any. You can just google and cut-and-paste and you’ll find plenty on such a basic principle. You won’t find any precedent that supports your understanding of legal relevance under the federal rules. I recommend you pull up the annotations to the federal rule, available online, and educate yourself. Instead of pontificating on some subject beyond your ken, you should consult and cite the legal authority.

      • BugMaster said

        Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!

    • DXer said

      Having spoken to Mr. Kemp on this issue while sitting 5 inches from him, he told me and Lew that he did not know of any grand jury hearing testimony. Lew had asked about the grand jury.

      In addition to the quoted statement above, he said there was one major instance of deception.

      He didn’t specify what the deception entailed. Separately, Dr. Heine says that they lied to Bruce about what he said.

      But you are right, he also said the FBI agents acted professionally and that Rachel even called him up to tell him they understood Dr. Ivins to be suicidal.

      Attorney Kemp was more reserved about a postal inspector and although the videotape is the best guide, I believe he said he thought the early August leaks were coming from the postal inspector.

    • DXer said

      Attorney Kemp said that the only grand jury appearance of which he was aware involving witnesses was in April 2007 and Bruce was not represented by counsel — having been advised that he was not a target of the investigation.

    • DXer said

      Ed, given your disinclination to do research, I will be glad to pull you up the exact quotes when I have nothing better to do — but having sat near him while he explained the chronology, let me pass on what he said on film. (The way it works is counsel is outside the room, representing the client; Paul Kemp was not involved at all in the grand jury appearance.) The firm considered it an unimportant matter because Dr. Ivins was not a target of the investigation.

    • DXer said

      Let’s compare what Paul Kemp said on film to the contemporaneous emails.

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      To:
      Subject: Subpoena of laboratory notebooks (UNCLASSIFIED)
      Date: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:36:46 AM
      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
      Caveats: FOUO//LETTER TO ATTORNEY
      *
      This morning I was informed that over 130 notebooks from USAMRIID investigators were
      being subpoenaed by the grand jury. Before I turned all of the notebooks over I asked for a copy of the
      subpoena for my attorney. I was referred to at the Staff Judge Advocate at
      . When I called informed me that would need to talk to you, rather than me,
      with respect to obtaining a copy of the subpoena.
      * Thank you very much for your help in this matter.
      **
      Bruce Ivins,

    • Old Atlantic said

      DOJ US Attorney to judge.

      DOJ: Your honor, are you aware of the things we can do now to American citizens inside the US?

      Judge: Yes.

      DOJ: Are you aware we have something called extraordinary rendition?

      Judge: Yes.

      DOJ: Do you think people get confirmed to high level office with pristine FBI checks?

      Judge: Not really.

      DOJ: Do you have any idea what is actually in their files?

      Judge: Not really.

      DOJ: Do you want to rule these questions can’t be asked?

      Judge: yes.

      DOJ: Do you want to reinstate the case?

      Judge: Yes.

      DOJ: Do you want to say the evidence can’t be turned over in FOIA or even to Congress?

      Judge: Yes.

      DOJ: Do you want to take out parts of the NAS report and put in insertions of what they should have said?

      Judge: Yes.

    • Old Atlantic said

      This trial would be in opera buffo style.

      Obviously, there would have to be a chorus of True Believers.

    • Old Atlantic said

      I’ll never throw spores in a juryman’s eyes
      (Said I to myself — said I),
      Or hoodwink a judge who is not bio-wise
      (Said I to myself — said I),

  18. Roberto said

    excerpt from

    SECRECY NEWS
    from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
    Volume 2011, Issue No. 12
    February 3, 2011

    JASON PROPOSES A “LIBRARY OF CONGRESS” FOR PATHOGENS

    In order to help determine the origins of microbial threats in terrorist incidents or epidemics, it would be useful to have a deep archive of various strains of lethal bacteria, the JASON defense advisory panel told the National Counterproliferation Center in a newly released 2009 report.
    (http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/forensics.pdf).

    Because of the natural variation in the microbes of interest, “we believe that a ‘Library of Congress’ for microbial pathogens is needed,” the JASONs said.

    “This library would consist of strains collected worldwide by methods that preserve sample properties, and capture all relevant data (e.g. geolocation, local environmental conditions). It should include laboratory isolates, natural isolates, and DNA sequence data.”

    Actually, it seems that the nucleus of such a library already exists.

    “We were impressed with the efforts of the National Bioforensic Reference Collection along these lines. The NBRC was initiated in October 2005 to receive and store reference materials for forensic analyses. It currently has more than 30,000 samples of bacteria, viruses, and toxins, from both select and non-select agents, and is authorized to handle classified materials,” the JASONs said.

    The JASON report assesses the current state of “microbial forensics,” which refers to the characterization of microbe samples in terrorism or law enforcement cases to establish their origins.

    For reasons explained in the report, the forensic task is not a simple one. In fact, “it is never possible to definitively link a sample to an attack based on genetic evidence alone.”

    A copy of the JASON report was obtained by the Federation of American Scientists under the Freedom of Information Act. See “Microbial Forensics,” JASON report JSR-08-512, May 2009.

  19. DXer said

    Ed, do you agree that the record evidence shows that the lyophilizer was kept in Building 1412? And not Building 1425?

    • DXer said

      Do you agree that the lyophilizer was in a non-containment area?

      • DXer said

        Now that Ed has obliged us by admitting that Dr. Ivins would not have used the photocopiers, maybe he’ll oblige us further by confirming he would not use the lyophilizer in Building 1412, rather than Building 1425, and which was in a non-containment area.

        • DXer said

          Ed, was the lyophilizer in Building 1425 in the hallway? If so, what is the evidence that was used? Or is it just going to be assumed to have been used like in the case of some photocopier somewhere.

        • DXer said

          http://www.military.com/news/article/scientists-slam-fbi-anthrax-probe.html?col=1186032310810

          The lyophilizer, located in a hallway surrounded by four labs, did not have a protective hood. A hood is necessary to circulate and filter air and make it possible to use the lyophilizer to work with harmful bacteria without the bacteria becoming airborne. Co-workers say the hoodless lyophilizer would have spewed poisonous aerosols, infecting co-workers. But no colleagues of Ivins experienced any symptoms.

          Co-workers also point out that the machine would have to be fully decontaminated after use – a 24-hour process called paraformaldehyde decontamination that involves locking down the lab.

          Without a full decontamination, the machine would have contaminated other bacteria or liquids used on the machine at a later date. And if it had not been decontaminated, the FBI should have been able to find traces of the dry anthrax on the machine. Yet they swabbed Ivins’ machinery numerous times and were unable to find traces of dry anthrax spores in his lab, Kemp said.

          2) Records show that Ivins logged an average of only two hours of overtime in the weeks leading up to the attacks – and even at those times, he could not have gone undetected.

          Even if Ivins did have access to a freeze-drying machine and a protective hood, sources who worked closely with Ivins estimate it would take a minimum of 40 days of continuous work without detection to create the volume of spores used in the attacks.

          “If he was working eight hours a day on spore prep every day, it would be noticed,” said Gerry Andrews, Ivins’ supervisor between 2000 and 2003. “It’s ridiculous.”

          Ivins’ lab – just 200 square feet – was in “highly trafficked areas, and Bruce had colleagues that worked with him every day,” Andrews said.

          Meanwhile, in September and October of 2001, Ivins was involved in 19 research projects, including working on the Department of Defense-funded anthrax vaccine that is now in clinical trials, anthrax vaccine testing on rabbits and monkeys, and an outside project with a government-contracted lab, the Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio.

        • DXer said

          According to former co-worker of Ivins’ and former USAMRIID microbacteriologist Henry Heine, the science doesn’t seem to support Ivins’ guilt (italics mine):

          Heine told the panel that the most common way of growing bacteria at USAMRIID is in flasks. Based on the number of envelopes mailed out (eight to 10), the concentration of spores in the powder (10 to the 12th power spores per gram) and the number of grams of anthrax per envelope (1 to 2 grams), he calculated there were at least 10 to the 13th power anthrax spores in the attacks. Under ideal conditions, growing anthrax in a flask could produce only 10 to the 11th power spores — one hundredth of the total needed.
          …The committee also asked Heine how the anthrax could have been dried into a powder. He replied that the FBI had asked him the same question in October 2001, and he said then and still thinks a lyophilizer would be the simplest way to dry large quantities of spores.
          But “the idea of lyophilizing this actually scares the hell out of me, this material is so fine.” It would have contaminated the whole room when the air and moisture was vacuumed out, he said.

          He said the lyophilizer at USAMRIID was not in the containment area, and if it had been used to prepare anthrax there would have been a trail of dead animals and people leading investigators to it.

          USAMRIID had a speed-vac that someone could have used, but that would dry only 30 to 40 milliliters at a time.

          Heine told the FBI the only other way he could think to dry the anthrax would be to use acetone, which would pull out the water.

          “I have no idea what that would do to the spores and whether they’d still be viable,” he said, adding there would likely be evidence that acetone was used.

          Add to that some investigatory bungling:

          He said the whole investigation was filled with lies. Officials told different USAMRIID researchers their co-workers accused them of committing the attacks, just to see their reaction. They searched his vacation house and car without warrants.
          They misled him about the questions they would ask him in front of a grand jury. And they tried to get him to seek a restraining order against Ivins, only days before he committed suicide, by saying Ivins had threatened to kill Heine during a group therapy session….

          “At least among my closest colleagues, nobody believes Bruce did this,” he said. He thinks the FBI went after Ivins because “personality-wise, he was the weakest link.”

      • DXer said

        Okay.

        Now we’re going with gas.

        Ed agrees that Dr. Ivins did NOT use a lyophilizer at USAMRIID to dry the anthrax mailed in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. Moreover, Ed agrees that Dr. Ivins did NOT use the photocopier to copy letters mailed in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

        Ed, I think you are right about a lyophilizer not being used. Certainly, there is ZERO evidence that it was.

      • Old Atlantic said

        What is the error, mis-state, false state, lie rate when a person talks to the police or FBI?

        How does it compare to the FBI statements or DOJ statements?

        What is the minimum human lie rate? 1 statement per 100? Is that normal or unusual human perfection?

        How many statements did Ivins make to the FBI? Seems like it was thousands.

        What about victims and witnesses? What is there error, mis-state, false state, lie rate?

        Not pretend victims, but actual ones?

      • DXer said

        US Attorney Jeffrey Taylor’s position, in contrast on August 8, 2008 was:

        “The affidavits allege that, not only did Dr. Ivins create and maintain the spore batch used in the mailings, but he also had access to and experience using a lyophilizer. A lyophilizer is a sophisticated machine that is used to dry pathogens, and can be used to dry anthrax. We know others in Dr. Ivins’ lab consulted him when they needed to use this machine.”

        Ed wrote “As far as I know, there is no evidence that any lyophilizer was used to make the attack anthrax.”

        Anonymous, we should draw Ed out on the evidence more often.

      • DXer said

        It continued to be Dr. Ivins’ position that he would have no idea how to make anthrax for use as a weapon. See what you call his non-denial denial. He is distinguishing between use of the lyophilizer for the purpose it is used in vaccine research (such as he did in 1996) and making an aerosolizable fine powder out of anthrax.

        Now on this issue of lyophilizer, which you agree was not used, was it in Building 1412 or was it in Building 1425? Where is B5 of your reference?

      • DXer said

        Of course, US Attorney Taylor forgot to mention that the FBI knew a lyophilizer could be used to make aerosolizable anthrax because their expert made a dried powder while working with the head of the FBI squad in charge of the science investigation, David Wilson. The FBI’s science narrative would never survive a GAO subpoena of the emails between Wilson, Ezzell and Burans. The lack of candor on this issue has hopelessly tainted the credibility of the FBI’s scientific approach.

      • DXer said

        “Old Atlantic said
        February 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

        What is the error, mis-state, false state, lie rate when a person talks to the police or FBI?”

        And what is the error, mis-state, false state, lie rate” when a married man is talking to an attractive woman at work? Pornography? Sexual fetishes?

        He actually did not make a misstatement. He did not deny he knew how to operate a lyophilizer. He always denied knowing how to weaponize anthrax.

      • DXer said

        How many major mistatements did US Attorney make at his August 8, 2008 press conference? For example, consider the central issue of the Federal Eagle stamp.

        How many cemtral mistakes in its Amerithrax Summary did the FBI wait until October 2010 to correct?

      • DXer said

        On August 18, 2008, the FBI’s lead scientist, in contrast to US Attorney Taylor, said:

        “DR. MAJIDI: You know we really — we really don’t have the — we don’t really have any answers for what process was used to grow additional spores or what methodology was used to dry them.”

  20. DXer said

    I explained in March:

    DXer said
    March 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Instead of the horse-hockey innuendo and false allegation suggested by the AUSA in suggesting he used the work office machine to copy the anthrax letters (the originals weren’t sent), the FBI’s conclusion that it was not the photocopier used should be released. It was based on a longstanding expertise in the FBI’s Document Unit.

    For example, here is analyst EL James’ report “The Classification of Office Copy Machines from Physical Characteristics.”

    Now I realize that the Inspector General’s report has faulted the work of some FBI analysts supporting the Washington Field Office. But is the proper response to those findings quashing an Inspector General’s investigation of the prosecutor’s failure to disclose an analyst’s findings THAT CONTRADICT THE GOVERNMENT’S ALLEGATIONS IN A CRIME OF GRAVE SERIOUSNESS AND CENTRAL TO THE AL QAEDA-ANTHRAX THREAT FACING THIS COUNTRY?

    The Classification of Office Copy Machines from Physical Characteristics
    James, EL
    Document analyst (research), Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory, DC

    (Received 7 October 1986; accepted 26 November 1986)

    Abstract

    The identification of office copier machines has been simplified by the computerization of their class characteristics. The class characteristics examined are paper type, type of toner, reduction/enlargement capabilities, paper supply, presence of identifying marks, fusion method, and color capabilities. These known class characteristics are then compared against the established data base to limit the search to the possible manufacturers.

    Keywords:
    questioned documents, photocopiers, classifications, fusion method, photocopy

    Paper ID: JFS11180J
    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11180J

  21. DXer said

    I have addressed the issue and literature on the photocopy toner that was done. Ed does not address the issue because unlike a book taken from a sorority prior to 1985, it is actually relevant evidence. The issue is one many of example of an issue that shows an Ivins Theory to be cotton tissue conjecture.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/the-case-of-the-copier-that-wasnt-used-by-dr-bruce-ivins/

    The mere fact that the FBI withheld hundreds of pages of documents — and is still withholding them — is telling. Compare what they produced to the abstracted index of the paralegal. There needs to be a Congressional hearing focused on this simple issue of the FBI scientists’ witholding of documents from the NAS. They had until December 15, 2010 to produce them.

  22. DXer said

    Ed,

    Do you agree that the FBI used the examination of photocopy toner in Amerithrax investigation?

    Do you agree from the literature that a high degress of confidence can be achieved in such an examination in excluding copiers?

    Do you agree the NAS should reach the question of the science relating to photocopy toner?

    Do you agree the FBI should produce the documents relating to use of that science in Amerithrax?

    Do you agree that exclusion of the photocopiers in the USAMRIID library tends to show Dr. Ivins’ innocence?

    Do you agree the AUSA implied that the photocopier was used — given the words stated in the footnote?

    Do you agree that it would be natural for a judge and jury to want to know the result of testing?

    Do you agree that testimony and documents relating to that testing would be relevant and admissible?

    These are all “Yes” or “No” questions.

    • DXer said

      Ed writes:

      “1. We don’t know that the photocopier examined by the FBI was the same photocopier that was there in September and October of 2010.”

      The way one would test the photocopy toner is to compare the documents copied during the Fall 2001 to the anthrax letters.

      Ed, have you read the literature relating to photocopy toner exmaination?

      Ed writes:

      “2. We don’t know that cleaning or replacing parts of the photocopier couldn’t have made the photocopier different from the way it was September and October of 2001.”

      Ed apparently as not read the literature.

      “3. Ivins could have used some other photocopier. The one at AMI wasn’t the only photocopier in the entire world, nor the only photocopier within a hundred miles. Therefore, Ivins could have used another photocopier.”

      Ah, yes, the acknowledgement that there is no evidence he used the photocopier — instead just the unsupported assertion he did. See also lyophilizer and a dozen other issues where the same approach is used.

      Ed writes:

      “The fact that it couldn’t be proven that Ivins used the photocopier at Ft. Detrick proves absolutely nothing in the Ivins case.”

      Ah, but it does. You agreed we would consider the evidence against Dr. Ivins and on the photocopy issue, you agree that there is none to support the claim he is photocopied the letters.

      You write:

      From page 13 of the FBI Summary Report:

      “Three “trash marks,” or copy imperfections, of forensic value were found on the letters to Senators Daschle and Leahy, but not on the letters to the New York Post and Brokaw. These trash markings were compared to letters maintained in the FBI Anonymous Threat Letter File and to 1,014 photocopier exemplar sets collected from copy machines located inside or near the vicinity of every known biological laboratory that possessed virulent Ames anthrax in 2001. No matches were found.”

      Ed continues:

      “So, the photocopier in the library at Ft. Detrick was just one of 1,014 photocopiers tested. None matched the senate letters.”

      Ed, not having read the literature, is grossly confusing two separate issues — one has to do with “trash marks” and one has to do with photocopy toner. One is specific to a machine – one is specific to the range of machines of a particular brand and model.

      Ed writes:

      “Do you agree the AUSA implied that the photocopier was used — given the words stated in the footnote?”

      No, I do not agree. Here is the sentence that had the connection to the footnote:

      <b"In the 69-hour window in which the second mailings could have been made, Dr. Ivins could account for only a few hours that weekend. He had no alibi for the remaining time. 19"

      The footnote merely says that the time Ivins spent in the library during those 69 hours does not establish any kind of alibi for the time of the mailings."

      So Ed argues — and we can agree — that not even Rachel or Ken think Dr. Ivins used the letter at USAMRIID. I mean, why would they, given Dr. Bartick's test does not support the claim.

      Ed continues:

      "But, that may explain why it was necessary to mention that the photocopier in the library could not be shown to be the photocopier used for the senate letters."

      Ed is confused again. The FBI has not stated that. They have nowhere addressed this key of photocopy toner. The marks are entirely different.

      "Ivins was in the library during that critical 69 hours, so jurors would want to know if the photocopier had been tested to see if it matched the senate letters. Yes, it had been tested. It didn’t match."

      VOILA! See how easy that was! The FBI knows the perp used a photocopier model of a certain range of brands and can exclude the photocopiers at USAMRIID! The FBI should say that.

      Ed assumes:

      "So, Ivins either used a different photocopier, or the photocopier in the library had been fixed or repaired making it worthless for match testing."

      Ed has not read the literature and has no basis for this suggestion. As I mentioned, testing is done using other exemplars from the Fall 2001 period.

      "And we now know what the photocopier was mentioned. It would have been mentioned in court that Ivins time in the library didn’t provide an alibi. The photocopier was in the library. It was one of 1,014 tested. It didn’t match the senate letters. Ivins evidently used a different photocopier."

      Ed confuses "evidence" with all the issues he needs to use the word "evidently" in reporting his assumptions made necessary due to the lack of evidence.

      To summarize: There is relevant admissible evidence and that evidence, being withheld by the FBI, shows that there i no basis for the DOJ's innuendo that the USAMRIID photocopiers were used. There has been a travesty at justice.

      Ken and Rachel should address this issue before a Congressional panel or at least a GAO investigator.

      • DXer said

        Ed, I don’t see that you answered many of the questions. Please do so.

        Do you agree from the literature that a high degress of confidence can be achieved in such an examination in excluding copiers?

        Do you agree the NAS should reach the question of the science relating to photocopy toner?

        Do you agree the FBI should produce the documents relating to use of that science in Amerithrax?

        Do you agree that it would be natural for a judge and jury to want to know the result of testing?

        Do you agree that testimony and documents relating to that testing would be relevant and admissible?

      • DXer said

        I have previously linked a 2001 Washington Field Office regarding the testing of photocopiers. It was online at a testing organization. Only an abstract was provided for free.

      • DXer said

        Ed,

        The source of your confusion is that there are two aspects to testing of photocopiers in Amerithrax.

        One relates to “tracks” — or how the paper grips the paper. This effect can be ephemeral and if exemplars are not taken for a while, there can be changes.

        The other relates to mass spec examination of the constituents of the toner.

        Your failure to understand the issue explains why you do not realize its importance.

        In the case of the USAMRIID photocopiers, exemplars were run from the machines using a chain-of-custody evidence protocol in 2001.

        Your failure to address the issue and press for the FBI to produce the documents to the NAS as part of its review is understandable. You would rather rely on your assumption that Dr. Ivins is guilty rather than get to the evidence and relevant science.

        The fact that those photocopiers can be excluded tends to support Dr. Ivins’ innocence.

  23. DXer said

    This is an example of documentary evidence establishing the use of the code “school” in the letters.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/from-dxer-aymans-use-of-school-in-may-2001-in-explaining-merger-with-al-qaeda/

  24. DXer said

    Soon once the policymakers are educated as to what is going on, the real hunters will come out of the woods and Amerithrax will be shown to have been a giant snipe hunt.

  25. Old Atlantic said

    Page 27 of pdf

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA426293&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

    The upper left chart is the number of spores with diameters of a given size. They are clustered around 1 micron.

    However, most of the mass is in larger spores. The cumulative mass chart next to it is how much of the mass of the sample is in spores of the diameter on the x-axis or smaller.

    Spores of 1 micron or smaller are less than 5 percent of the mass. The larger spores/clusters though fewer have the mass.

    Page 17 of 40. Particles larger than 5 microns do not remain in the air for long.

    Back to page 27. About 40 percent of the mass is in spores of 5 microns or less diameter.

  26. Old Atlantic said

    Same pdf page 12.

    “NSM plates one liter averaging 15 to 18 100 x 150 mm plates.”

    This works out to .27 square meters.

    .27 m² = 2.90625 ft²

    So it is 3 square feet.

    Hard to put 18 plates in a trash bag.

    Are these plates in the trash bag covered and sealed air tight?

    Or are they uncovered?

    3 square feet of plate in a trash bag is not going to be inconspicuous or seem normal.

    What if someone kicks it, moves it or opens it? They are going to see
    3 square feet of plates in it.

  27. Old Atlantic said

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA426293&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

    Page 11 of pdf. They grew BG simulant. To measure aerosolization they use a device. “TSI Model 333 Small-Scale Powder Disperser (SSPD) was used to
    aerosolize and disperse BG preparations.”

    So they don’t do that on their own when you don’t do any special treatment.

  28. Old Atlantic said

    If the first 5 letters had one gram total when sent, the DOJ/FBI would be pushing that. We have gone through that the source on this estimate had a confusion on terminology and so came up with a factor of 10 error on the grams of anthrax in the NY Post letter.

  29. Lew Weinstein said

    TO WHOM IT CONCERNS … This argument is edging closer to the kind of personal insults that I will not allow on this blog. Please moderate your comments so I don’t have to. Try to disagree without being disagreeable … LEW

  30. DXer said

    Did Anwar know Dr. Ayman before 9-11?

    Under my analysis, Dr. Zawahiri accomplished the attack on the US “structure” he intended. The one Amerithrax squad developed a plausible theory about the guy who stole books from sororities 15 years, posted on Wikipedia, used screen names, and had an imaginative sex life. But I think given what is at stake it doesn’t cut it to close Amerithrax, making as many as central mistakes as US Attorney did in his August 8 press conference. That should have been a really big red flag that the FBI and DOJ was highly motivated to close Amerithrax for reasons independent on the quality of the evidence.

    With the planes, IMO, Al Qaeda intended to strike the US trade dominance (World Trade Center) and its military might (Pentagon). With the anthrax, some US-based supporter(s) of the goals of Zawahiri rounded out the field that they imagine provides support to Israel — the legislative branch and media. Analogous letter bombs were sent in connection with the earlier attack on the World Trade Center and the imprisonment of the Blind Sheikh and militant islamists responsible for that attack and a related plot. Thus, relying on the postal service to send its deadly missives in connection with an earlier attack of the World Trade Center is not only Al Qaeda’s modus operandi, it is its signature.

    The two FBI investigative squads were compartmentalized and not even aware what the other investigative squad was doing, how was there seamless cooperation between the CIA and FBI? How can the investigators on the one squad judge the quality of their analysis? How can the scientists on the third forensics squad know how they are being used in putting out the spin? In light of politicization of the US DOJ, how can one say that the compartmentalization has not been used to serve political or personal or financial interests — rather than a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

    Ayman’s plan established by the documentary evidence seized in Afghanistan was to use the cover of charities and universities. That’s exactly what, under my analysis, with a lot of help from my friends, he did.

    In the Washington, D.C. area, Taliban supporter Ali Al-Timimi worked in the same building as famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey, who had co-invented a process using silanized hydrophobic silica to lead to greater concentration of a biological agent. Dr. Bailey has been a prolific Ames anthrax strain researcher. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had multimillion dollar grants from DARPA funding a contract with USAMRIID with Delta Ames supplied by NIH. NSA intercepts showed that Ali Al-Timimi was working with Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali, who had been the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War and his 1998 claim of responsibility for the embassy bombings. Timimi has been sentenced to life plus 70 years before his conviction was reversed and remanded. Bilal Philips had been Ali’s mentor and the father of Jafar the Pilot had been Bilal Philips’ mentor. Ali Al-Timimi shared a fax machine with famed Russian anthrax bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID deputy commander Charles Bailey, who is listed as an author on various articles reporting biodefense research using virulent Ames strain of anthrax. Dr. Bailey had worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency (”DIA”) for years on threat assessment of biological weapons. Both he and Dr. Alibek had consulted for Battelle, world renown for its expertise on anthrax aerosols. They had co-authored the patent filed in mid-March 2001 on concentrating biological agents using silica in the growth medium that was still confidential as of Fall 2001. Both Dr. Bailey and Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance while working at SRA in 1999. Al-Timimi was doing work on a Navy contract.

    CIA Director Tenet, in a May 2007 book, notes that the CIA was startled to learn that the anthrax planning had been done in parallel with the 9/11 planning. Indeed, it was the laptop of Hawsawi, who was KSM’s assistant who sent and received money from the hijackers, that had the anthrax spraydrying documents on it. In June 2003, a UN report explained that Al-Qaeda “WMD Committee” — Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was one of its three members — “is known to have approached a number of Muslim scientists to assist the terrorist network with the creation and procurement of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.” Al-Timimi was one such scientist but there were others.

    But there still is an unanswered question. Where is the anthrax made by Dr. Ivins’ assistants that the FBI says is missing?

  31. DXer said

    So Mubarak is being toppled and financial institutions are being threatened with anthrax — and at the same time the FBI says that they can’t determine what happened to the anthrax made by Ivins’ assistants. The FBI, however, says it assumes it was not used in the anthrax mailings, relying on assertions that from reading the record I don’t see corroborated by contemporaneous documentary evidence. I have a lot of confidence in the FBI. I have read many hundreds, even thousands of pages, of their work product of their attorneys, scientists and investigators. It evidences a consistently high quality of workmanship and smarts. I recommend that they bear down on this question of that anthrax and find out what happened to it. The top professionals, such as FBI Director Mueller, are always open to reevaluating conclusions based on further study. Or at least reopening past closed investigative matters while they study the question.

    Wall Street terror alert

    By TIM PERONE

    Last Updated: 3:29 AM, February 1, 2011

    Posted: 2:40 AM, February 1, 2011
    Comments: 0
    More Print

    Terrorists are reportedly planning attacks against top executives at major Wall Street banks.

    Officials from the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force have been briefing the financial heavyweights and their companies’ security chiefs on the various threats, WNBC/Channel 4 reported last might.

    Some of the banks alerted include Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays.

    The threats, which come from al Qaeda in Yemen, are general and there is “no indication of a targeted assassination plot,” the network said.

    Some of the information came from the terrorist magazine Inspire, which also mentioned using anthrax in an attack.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/wall_street_terror_alert_d4jjCkUQ7hC2Pe7VkJK8hI#ixzz1ChG2Lxa0

  32. BugMaster said

    What you are suggesting (plates grown in bags) is certainly possible, Ed, but I question if it would be an efficient enough process to have allowed Ivins to have processed the material in the amount of time he was alleged to have done so.

    Seems like a rather difficult way to go about things. If it was Ivins, I think he would have chosen an easier approach.

    • DXer said

      Speculation about what is possible and whether a theory is viable possibility is radically different than proof to a moral certainty.

    • DXer said

      I’m familiar with your schtick and conclusory assertions.

      I’ve posted the 302 interview statements that serve as the evidence. You on the other hand are speculating based on hearsay relating to events 15-30 years ago. Then with respect to that hearsay, when I ask you to correct misstatements (that commonly arise when relying on things like newspaper reports for example) you don’t make the corrections. By all means, Ed, cite the record evidence. You developed an entire theory based on aerosol leftovers without even knowing that they were left for autoclaving in Building 1412.

    • DXer said

      d Lake said
      February 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      “By all means, Ed, cite the record evidence.”

      The FBI has laid out the evidence in their Summary Report, which can be found HERE. You can read it any time you like.”

      But they don’t cite any evidence, Ed. That’s the problem. They make assertions without any citation to the record evidence.

    • DXer said

      Ed concludes:

      “The fact that Ivins burglarized three different KKG sorority houses is not proof that he committed the anthrax murders”

      Thus, it is not admissible. There are entire rules devoted to the admissibility of prior bad acts.

    • DXer said

      Now in thinking of laying out the case in terms of evidence, think of what exhibits you would list on your exhibit list submitted pretrial — and which witnesses you would have testify.

      For example, in support of your claim that it is 99% certain that Dr. Ivins did not write the letters and that someone who had just been taught to write English did, what exhibits will you rely upon and what witnesses would you call?

    • DXer said

      Now let’s consider the evidence relating to the photocopier that was used. What exhibits would you rely upon? What witnesses would have called? The DOJ, for its part, says key cards show that two others were in the library with Dr. Ivins on such-and-such date. I would use that to show he was in the library with two others and not irregularly cutting down the letters for mailing to the senators. I would further introduce Dr. Bartick’s photocopy toner examination report that excludes those photocopiers as having been used. So his presence in the library would serve as both alibi evidence and prove the photocopiers were not used.

    • anonymous said

      “Starting on page 58 they explain the “hidden message” in the media letters and how Ivins was observed throwing away the “code books.””

      You mean starting on page 58 they write a total fantasy about an imaginary code supposedly connected to Douglas Hofstaders’s classic “Goedel Esher and Bach” Hofsstader himself dismissed the FBI’s ludicrous fairytale as total nonsense.

      The FBI’s fairytale connecting a Wal-Mart plastic box found in a pond to Steven Hatfill is more convincing. Except to fanatical true believers like yourself, of course.

    • BugMaster said

      “The copier was examined. It provided no evidence of any kind, for or against. End of story. It wouldn’t even be mentioned in a trial.”

      Then why the hell did the FBI mention it in their summary report!

      Perhaps they felt they needed more “fluff”?

    • DXer said

      “Ed Lake said
      February 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      “But they don’t cite any evidence, Ed. That’s the problem. They make assertions without any citation to the record evidence.”

      If you believe that, then you do not understand evidence. Let’s take a major example from the many examples. Starting on page 58 they explain the “hidden message” in the media letters and how Ivins was observed throwing away the “code books.”

      Comment: No, Ed. I’m the one who was trained by the preeminent authority Charles Nesson on evidence. I don’t know your training or if you went to college before joining the Army. But you clearly know nothing about the evidence that is admissible or probative at trial.

      The incident you mention would be admissible evidence and the agent who observed it could testify. For example, I also take more care ever since you falsely accused me of being a terrorist. Even unjustly accused people look to improve their chances. Do I throw out UNABOMBER’S manifesto? Anarchist Cookbook? Do I travel at the last minute to a seminar in New Brunswick? Because of your stupid accusations, I regularly (on a daily basis) send out zoo photos to avoid a repeat of your lack of critical reasoning ability. And I don’t dare go to your webpage and look at the pictures of naked celebrities you post lest the FBI try to spin it as evidence of guilt. If I were Dr. Ivins, I would have thrown out the book too. I shred my documents, Ed. Are you going to assert it as evidence of guilt or as a responsible business practice.

      Ed writes:
      “Evidence: There was a “hidden message” in the media letters.”

      And who are you going to have testify, Ed? The only expert whose opinion was provided opined that the suggestion there was a code was mistaken and that the reasonable interpretation was to the contrary. This is an example where you confuse assertion with evidence. The DOJ’s assertion is contradicted by the record evidence — that, as I mentioned, it doesn’t cite.

      “Evidence: Ivins had copies of the code books (GEB and the magazine).”

      Copies of the code books? Are we talking about the bestselling book with the same code that I also have in the loft? The only expert opinion submitted was that the interpretation spun about the code was not a reasonable conclusion. I also have lots of code books, Ed in addition to the one that Dr. Ivins threw out. (It is an extremely famous text). Do I throw them out? I have 10 books on handwriting analysis borrowed from the library. Do I throw them out because you lack critical reasoning ability and call up the FBI when someone sends threatening letters? (Do I stop saying “please” just because you consider it a threat)?

      “Evidence: Ivins had the capability to code and decode the “hidden message.””

      Comment:

      You confuse “capability” with evidence. The only evidence submitted is the expert opinion that there was no code.

      Ed writes:

      “Evidence: Ivins had a fascination with codes, demonstrated by his fixation on KKG’s secret rituals and codes.”

      Comment: Ivins had no more interest than codes than we all do. For example, Dr. Ivins’ emails show almost no interest in codes (aside from a passing mention in one or two). In contrast, I have devoted months of my life to decoding puzzles and treasure hunt and have sent thousands of emails on the subject. Codes are fascinating. For example, I’ve posted about Michael Stadther’s wonderful child book treasure hunt and the We Lost Our Gold treasure hunt. Should I concern myself that you are going to accuse me of murder because you spin me as having a “fascination of codes.” When I asked you to “please” correct the mistakes on your webpage, you published that I had made a menacing threat toward you because I would use the word “please.” You just lack good sense. I was just asking you to correct your webpage and I was being pleasant and polite. But please correct the mistakes on your webpage. Pretty please with sugar sprinkled on top.

      Ed writes:

      “Evidence: Ivins threw away the code books in the middle of the night and looked around to see if he was being watched.”

      As I recall, it was late in the evening but before midnight. That’s not in the middle of the night. Get your facts right. I post in the middle of the night. Again, not evidence of a crime. It’s evidence of throwing out a book so it could not be used to spin some false theory. For example, you told the FBI that I deleted messages from the internet and that was evidence of conciousness of guilt. Actually, it was evidence that I deleted messages from the internet.

      “Remember, this is just one small piece of the total circumstantial case against Ivins. And the jury would look at ALL THE EVIDENCE, not just a single piece.

      Ed”

      Yes, the jury would look at the evidence — including the evidence not cited by the DOJ. That evidence explained that the imagined code that the agents were asking about was not a reasonable interpretation.

      That’s the pertinent evidence on the question.

      But if you must know, I shred all documents relating to OPERATION ED.

    • DXer said

      Ed Lake said
      February 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm
      Ed writes:

      “For example, in support of your claim that it is 99% certain that Dr. Ivins did not write the letters”

      You are demonstrating again that you do not understand evidence. The DOJ used nothing about the handwriting in their case against Ivins. It was all inconclusive. What I have found is not part of the FBI’s case. What I found isn’t evidence, it’s a hypothesis based upon facts but in need of investigation and confirmation. If confirmed, then it would become evidence.

      Ed”

      Ed misses the point. If there were a basis for his conclusion that Dr. Ivins did not write the letters and that it was 99% certain that someone who just was taught to write in English did, then Dr. Ivins would walk. And so if Ed were qualified to give the opinion, defense counsel would call him in establishing that it is 99% that Dr. Ivins did not write the letters and that someone who just was taught to write in English did.

      Ed is correct that the DOJ has no evidence indicating that Dr. Ivins wrote the letters and that his handwriting is not a match, there was no forensic connection drawn as to any of the hundreds of pieces of paper taken from his home or office or workplace, there no connection to the hair taken from the envelope, there was no connection to the photocopy toner etc.

      On this issue, that is the pertinent evidence. A comparison of the letters he wrote in 2001 that were taken from his home and workplace that show that there was no match to his handwriting, photocopy toner, paper etc. So the only evidence on the issue favors the defense because as Ed says, the DOJ offers no evidence that Dr. Ivins wrote the letters and Ed thinks it is 99% certain that he didn’t!

    • anonymous said

      Lake writes “So, the FBI provided the answer before the question is asked: Yes, it was checked. Nothing conclusive was found.”

      This is, of course, another of Lake’s blatantly false statements.

      The FBI included the statement that Ivins had access to a photocopier to pretend that meant he must have used it to copy the letters.

      Whoever wrote this sloppy fairytale forgot that they had already CONCLUSIVELY ruled out that photocopier.

    • DXer said

      Ed writes that on Page 58 of the FBI’s Summary Report says:

      “The Task Force’s investigation found a distinct connection between this hidden code and Dr. Ivins’s own fascination with certain codes.”

      Yes, Ed. That’s the problem. That’s what the Task Force says it concluded and yet neither the DOJ nor you can cite anyone who supports the theory — who was not thanked by the former Zawahiri associate for providing technical assistance. All the experts who have weighed in on the issue think it is rubbish.

      If I were defense counsel, to poke fun, I would point to the interview statement where the FBI continued grasping for a theory – to include the one they they sought to develop after Dr. Ivins’ suicide about the musical notation. Do you recall the date of the 302 interview on the musicial notation, Ed?

    • DXer said

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/from-dxer-what-the-fbis-expert-says-about-the-doj-theory-of-code-in-the-anthrax-letters/

    • DXer said

      You keep referring to the Report without getting down to the evidence you insist is relied upon in the support.

      Name an expert who is available to support the “code” theory used as part of an Ivins Theory. Name the person. The only one interview thought — in the record evidence the FBI provided — thought the theory was bunk.

      I understand that the prosecutors are urging it. But what witness do they have to put on the stand?

  33. BugMaster said

    Ed:

    I have a few comments on what we discussed, and will post a response sometime later this evening.

    • BugMaster said

      I think you are under the impression, Ed, that once the FBI developed
      the DNA techniques that identified RMR-1029 as the parent material used in the attacks,
      they were able to continue to develop DNA techniques that pointed exclusively to Ivins
      as the mailer.

      This simply cannot be done. If some technique could show how far a given material was from the original (daughter and grand-daughters, as you call them, although the technical term is “subculture”)then how does that prove it was Ivins, and exclusively Ivins?

      If there was “DNA proof” that the attack material was x generations removed from RMR-1029, how does that indicate it was Ivins? In theory (from a DNA point of view, anyway) any of the portions of RMR-1029 that Ivins sent out could be the source. If the conclusion is that the material had to come directly from RMR-1029, it also could have come directly from material that was transferred out of RMR-1029, placed into another container, and transferred to another location.

      The FBI claims that it has ruled this out as a possibility (quite a claim!) but THE ARGUMENT HERE is how a DNA ANALYTICAL PROCEDURE can prove that Ivins, and only Ivins was responsible.

      There is no such procedure available, of course. The genetics identified the flask that was the source of the material, but not the individual who diverted material originally contained in the flask or derived from material originally in the flask to nefarious ends.

    • BugMaster said

      BTW, Ed, if you could try to explain what type of DNA analysis could specifically point to Ivins, I’m all ears!

    • DXer said

      The number that the FBI gives regarding access at Battelle is 42.

      The FBI reports Dugway did not have Ames from Flask 1029.

      The FBI distinguishes the UNM sample on the grounds that it likely did not come from Flask 1029 after all.

      At USAMRIID, the FBI uses the phrasing “up to 377” (allowing for duplication for those with access to both Building 1412 and 1425.

      The FBI told Attorney Kemp at the time the number was estimated to be 200.

      I have no idea why US Taylor narrowed it to 100 mistakenly.

      And once 1 of the 200 or “up to 377” plus 42 have access, anyone who they give it to then has it.

    • BugMaster said

      O.K., I’ll rephrase it:

      “There is NO DNA analysis technique that can rule out THE RMR-1029 ALIQUOTS THAT THE OTHER 8 SAMPLES WERE DERIVED FROM AS THE SOURCE!

      NONE!”

      Understand now?

      Really, I’m starting to feel like the kid in the parable that yells “The Emperor Has No Clothes!”

    • anonymous said

      Bugmaster, I wouldn’t waste my time arguing with Lake. Your statement is not convoluted at all – Lake just attempts to twist it to be.

      Everyone else here perfectly understands that no DNA test can distinguish between samples taken directly from RMR-1029 to grow the attack spores and samples taken of RMR-1029 aliquots AFTER they’d been shipped to Batelle, Dugway , etc, then used to grow the attack spores.

      The same holds true for samples taken from the original Dugway fermentor runs before they were shipped to Detrick.

    • BugMaster said

      Who cares if, for example, the sample from Battelle was a re-growth, Ed!

      When Ivins transferred 90 mls to Battelle in 2001, it was directly from RMR-1029, NOT YET A REGROWTH!

      You claim a DNA test can prove that no one at Battelle could have diverted a portion of the original RMR-1029 material back then, after it arrived and before it was “regrown”?

      Really, Ed, stop and think for a minute!

    • BugMaster said

      “And it assumes that Ivins didn’t make the re-growths and ship them.”

      ???????

      The 90 mls of material transferred to Battelle was not a regrowth. There was no “regrowth” before Ivins shipped the material out. It was purified spore material directly from RMR-1029.

      “That still makes assumptions, but it is a possibility.

      O.K., so you do understand. And there is no DNA BASED ANALYTICAL PROCEDURE than can rule out that possiblity, which is the exact point I have been argueing.

    • BugMaster said

      O.K., Ed, I’m going to try one more time:

      There is no DNA based evidence that points to Dr. Ivins SPECIFICALLY as the mailer.

      As in excludes all others, all other possiblities.

      As in DNA-BASED EVIDENCE!

      Ed, you are at times quite stubborn, some may say even a bit cranky. So what? There are a lot of individuals like yourself, in a way, its part of your charm.

      But quite frankly, Mr. Lake, you are starting to disappoint me!

    • DXer said

      There is no evidence pointing to Dr. Ivins. A judge would not even find the theft of an unrelated book from sorority prior to 1985 admissible, let alone relevant. Same for semen stained panties and most of what you try to focus on in the absence of any real evidence. As an example of how stupid an Ivins Theory is, you argue that there was no pattern of working alone late at night after December. Well, that is to be expected given implementation of the two-person rule. An Ivins Theory is all smoke and mirrors premised on factual misstatement — for example, US Attorney Taylor’s total omission of the fact that the genetically matching Ames was also stored in Building 1412.

    • Roberto said

      I’m not trying to pile on or cause trouble… but it seems to me this whole line of argument, whichever point of view you have, is moot. It’s been pretty well proven the RMR1029 is where the stuff came from originally, one way or another. It’s also pretty clear, one way or another, SOMEBODY stole some of it. There’s no proof that I’m aware of that the thief was Ivins. There’s no proof that I’m aware of that it was someone else either. While Ivins was closest to the largest amount of the stuff and had what you might call a *different* personality, this is no evidence of guilt. Stranger things have happened; it’s also possible he did do it.

      If ‘reasonable doubt’ is the standard, you might reach a different conclusion based on the publicly available evidence than if ‘preponderance of the evidence’ is your standard.

      As I put in my notes while reading thru the FBI AMX summary… Evidence: testimony or facts tending to prove or disprove any conclusion —> facts that prove AND disprove a conclusion simultaneously are not evidence.

    • Roberto said

      Ed:
      What kind of facts “prove and disprove a conclusion simultaneously?”

      Me: Ambiguous facts. The anthrax in the mailings coming from RMR1029 is an ambiguous fact.

      Courts establish facts during a trial. The FBI does not get to establish facts by fiat – at least not in my opinion.

    • DXer said

      Ed writes:

      “The defense has no facts proving the defendant’s innocence, because if there were such facts there wouldn’t be a trial.”

      Ed’s bizarre notion reminds me of Edwin Meese’s assertion that a criminal wouldn’t be suspected if he wasn’t guilty or words to that effect.

      Ed on another occasion wrote:

      Ed wrote:

      “I was saying I DID NOT LIKE smeared excrement and I DO NOT FEAR
      smeared excrement. I said nothing about OPPOSING smeared excrement.
      I’m not even sure what that would mean in any context. ”

      That’s a lot of crap.

      Ed lacks real world experience. If he had it, he would know that prosecutors put on their panties one leg at a time.

    • DXer said

      Henry Heine said that the FBI would falsely claim that one person was claiming the other did it. He says the FBI falsely claimed to Bruce that Henry said he did it. Bruce flew into rage — and at the same time they also tried to humiliate him by testing the semen on the panties.

      He made threats that made him subject to criminal prosecution.

      He commits suicide.

      To avoid being sued, the prosecutors and investigators close the case.

      Soon the statute of limitation will pass and so their gambit will have worked. There was no trial because there no indictment.

      There wasn’t even a grand jury hearing testimony.

      The only person they fooled was Ed.

      Prosecutor Ken got nailed with a historic opinion on prosecutorial misconduct his very next time at bat, in the Blackwater case. And it was Tom Connolly, Hatfill’s former attorney, on the other side.

      When the US is attacked with anthrax, it will all be Director Mueller’s fault because like he said, the buck stops with him. And he didn’t reopen the case like he said he would. That’s a fine legacy you’ll have left, Director Mueller.

  34. DXer said

    This won’t be the first time that the United States counterintelligence has been challenged on the issue of infiltration.

    Raymond Zilinskas, who was researching a history of the Soviet bioweapons program, told The Baltimore Sun a couple years ago that “his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.” The Sun quoted him saying: “It was clear there was somebody at Fort Detrick” who worked for Soviet intelligence. Alexander Kouzminov, a biophysicist who says he once worked for the KGB, had first made the claim in a book, Biological Espionage: Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West. Initially, Dr. Zilinskas had dismissed the memoir because the Russian had made separate fanciful inferences about the US program being offensive and some specific claims unrelated to infiltration of the US program.

    The Sun article explained that then “another former Soviet scientist told the Sun that his lab routinely received dangerous pathogens and other materials from Western labs through a clandestine channel like the one Kouzminov described.” A second unnamed “U.S. arms control specialist” told the Sun he had independent evidence of a Soviet spy at Fort Detrick.”

    The Baltimore Sun, in the 2006 article, also relied on Serguei Popov, who was “a scientist once based in a Soviet bioweapons lab in Obolensk, south of Moscow.” Dr. Popov “said that by the early 1980s his colleagues had obtained at least two strains of anthrax commonly studied in Detrick and affiliated labs. They included the Ames strain, first identified at Detrick in the early 1980s.” Ames was used for testing U.S. military vaccines and was the strain used in the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five people and infected 23 in the U.S. Dr. Popov is now at George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Disease in Fairfax, Va.

    “If you wanted ’special materials,’ you had to fill out a request,” he said. “And, essentially, those materials were provided. How and by whom, I can’t say.” One colleague, Popov told the Sun, used this “special materials” program to obtain a strain of Yersinia pestis, a plague bacterium being studied in a Western lab. But he didn’t know whether that particular germ came from Ft. Detrick. Former KGB operative and author Kouzminov says the KGB wanted specific items from Western labs — including Detrick — that were closely held and were willing to pay for the privilege. The Soviets also wanted the aerosol powders U.S. scientists developed for testing during vaccine tests.

    Raymond Zilinskas, the bioweapons expert with the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and two colleagues had written a scathing review of Biological Espionage in Nature, a British scientific journal, but he later told The Sun “that his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.”

    Expert William C. Patrick III, a retired Ft Detrick bioweapons expert, and famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek agree. Patrick’s suspicions arose when he debriefed defector Alibek in the early 1990s. Alibek emigrated to the U.S. upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Patrick and Alibek both recognized that the Soviet and American programs had moved in a curious lock step during the 1950s and ’60s. “Anything we discovered of any import, they would have discovered and would have in their program in six months,” Patrick told the Sun. After his talks with Alibek ended: “For the next two weeks I tried to think, ‘Who the hell are the spies at Detrick?’”

    Both former Russian bioweaponeers Ken Alibek and Serge Popov worked with Ali Al-Timimi at George Mason University. Dr. Al-Timimi has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years. Popov and Alibek worked at the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”). At one point, Al-Timimi worked not much more than 15 feet (as I look at the floor plans) from both Dr. Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander Charles Bailey, who has been a prolific author and listed on a number of publications involving the virulent Ames strain.

    Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov tell me that they never knew Ali to ever have worked on a biodefense project. He had a high security clearance for some work for the government, involving mathematical support work for the Navy, but no one seems able or willing to say what it involved. In the Fall of 2006, the Washington Post reported that when they raided his townhouse in late February 2003, two weeks after the capture of the son of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman, they suspected Al-Timimi of being somehow involved in the anthrax mailings. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was on Al Qaeda’s 3-man WMD committee and had spoken alongside Ali Al-Timimi at conferences of the Islamic Assembly of North America in 1993 and 1996. Al-Timimi in July 2001 and August 2001 spoke alongside Anwar Aulaqi in Toronto and London — Aulaqi now publicly urges that it is islamically permissible to kill 1 million civilians.

    • DXer said

      Given that the documentary evidence establishes Ayman Zawahiri’s central and key role in anthrax planning, the individuals with the closest connection to him are the strongest candidates for co-conspirators in the anthrax mailing. Analysis of who Ayman Zawahiri might have recruited can start with these known associates that Zawahiri had known for a quarter century. Through the 1990s, there was an ongoing debate among these associates over tactics.

      As a general matter, Ayman commanded the loyalty of members of the Vanguards of Conquest, which was an offshoot of Egyptian Islamic Jihad once led by Agiza. Agiza, one of the main EIJ intellectuals, was extradited from Sweden after 9/11. He broke away from Zawahiri due to disagreements in 1993 but Bin Laden helped the Egyptian islamists reconcile their differences in the mid-1990s. Al Zayat argued in his book that the Vanguards of Conquest was not a separate group, and that Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Vanguards of Conquest were “two names for the same group led by Zawahiri.” Attorney Al Zayat says in his book: “This was clear from the fact that the four accused in the Vanguards of Conquest cases that were tried by a military court were shouting their allegiance to Zawahiri from behind bars.”

      The August 6, 2001 PDB to President Bush explained: “Al-Qaida members — including some who are US citizens — have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa’ida members found guilty in the plot to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.” (The reference was to Ali Mohamed with no mention that he trained US Special Forces on matters relating to jihad at Ft. Bragg and had been Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence).

      In a study of 400 terrorists, University of Pennsylvania professor Marc Sageman concluded that 70 percent of terrorists were recruited outside their native country, having traveled abroad in the hope of improving their livelihood through jobs or education. Separation from their families and a feeling of alienation from their host countries prompted many to seek companionship at mosques. Friendship constituted 70 percent of recruitment, kinship 20 percent and discipleship only 10 percent. Social networking continues to be relied upon by the Muslim Brotherhood as a means of recruitment. Who did Ali Mohammed and Ayman Zawahiri meet in their travels? Just as interesting as the question who Ayman Zawahiri knew is who Ali Mohammed, Ayman’s head of intelligence and cell recruitment, knew. He recruited Dahab from Cairo Medical in the early 1980s.

      Zawahiri traveled to Malaysia, Singapore, Yemen, Iraq, Russia, Great Britain and United States. In March 1995, Zawahiri reportedly met with Taha (who at the time was based in Peshawar, Pakistan), Egyptian Islamic Group leader Mustafa Hamza (who at the time was based in Sudan), and Sudanese leader Turabi. Zawahiri traveled to Sudan and Ethiopia in mid-June. According to his former friend and EIJ’s spiritual advisor, Al-Sharif, Zawahiri was paid $100,000 by Sudanese intelligence to attempt to kill the Egyptian prime minister on a visit he made to Ethiopia. Al-Sharif writes that Zawahiri promised Sudanese intelligence to carry out 10 operations against Egypt.

      Zawahiri went to Russia in 1996 where he was imprisoned for 6 months. (Zawahiri was arrested in Dagestan after he tried to enter Chechnya; the Russians apparently never learned his real identity.) Two men joined the local islamists in urging the release of the three. One was Shehata, who would later serve briefly as head of al Jihad. Shehata was in charge of “special operations” and was in regular contact with Jaballah in Canada.

      As in life, it’s who you know that is important. What mosques did Zawahiri visit when he came to the United States in 1995? Who did he know from his days recruiting students to jihad at Cairo Medical in the early 1980s?

      In an article that reconstructed his travels of his travels between April 1995 until December 1996, Andrew Higgins and Alan Cullison of the Wall Street Journal described some of the contents of his computer: “visa application for Taiwan; details of a bank account in Guangdong, China; a receipt for a computer modem bought in Dubai; a copy of a Malaysian company’s registration that listed Dr. Zawahiri, under an alias, as a director; and details of an account in a bank in St. Louis, Mo.” The St. Louis bank account related to reimbursement of expenses of the satellite phone used in planning the 1998 embassy attacks. Purchase was made by a charity worker in Columbia, Missouri. (The Saudi dissident in London who was a friend of Bin Laden and the Egyptian London cell members were complicitous in the purchase). The father of Al-Timimi’s friend Royer rented a room to Khalil Ziyad in his St. Louis-area home in 2000.

      “I first discussed my activities in the ceasefire initiatives with Zawahiri on a trip to London in March 1997 that I took with the purpose of delivering some lectures on human rights in Islam in a number of Islamic centers. I was received at the airport by [al-Bari], head of the Magreezy Center for Historical Studies (the Americans are currently attempting to extradite him to be tried for his connections with Osama bin Laden).. As soon as I arrived at Adel [al-Bari’s] house, Zawahiri called me. After he congratulated me on arriving in London safely, he asked me, “Why are you making your brothers angry?” He reproached me mildly for my role in promoting [an earlier] call for ceasefire in 1996 and told me that it had angered many brothers.”

      In 1997, back in Afghanistan, after his imprisonment in Russia, al-Zawahiri and Bin Laden plotted their strategy as to the United States. Bin Laden was able to convince Al-Zawahiri to discontinue the military operations inside Egypt and, instead, focus on the common enemies America and Israel. They had concluded that it was United States’ appropriations that propped up the regimes of Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt that had prevented the islamists from toppling those regimes. In 1996, Bin Laden announced war against America to the extent of its presence in the Middle East region. By the end of 1997, Bin Laden had determined to openly declare war against America and urge that Americans be killed everywhere.

      Bin Laden issued a fatwa on February 23, 1998 announcing the creation of “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and the Crusaders [Christians].” Along with Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, it was signed by Taha, the man in charge of the Advisory Council of the Islamic Movement in Egypt. Taha was the blind sheik’s successor in the Egyptian Islamic Group. At the end of July 1998, Taha signed a statement saying he had never signed the fatwa. Al-Zayat, who had remained in touch with Taha until he was detained while transiting Syria, reports that Taha said that he was asked on the phone whether he would sign a statement to support the Iraqi people who were under American air strikes and he agreed. Taha explained that he had agreed to join in the 1998 “Crusaders” statement because he was told it was in opposition to the bombing strikes in Iraq. “He was surprised to discover later that the statement referred to the establishment of a new front, and that it included a very serious fatwa that all Muslims would be required to follow.” Taha emphasized that this all happened without “any clear approval” from the Egyptian Islamic Group “regarding participation in the Front. [The group] found itself a member of a front that they knew nothing about.”

      Attorney al-Zayat notes that when Mabruk, a long-time confidante of Zawahiri and the head of military operations, was captured in Albania in 1998, “[i]n his possession, the authorities found a laptop that had many names of the members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. This led to the arrest of more than a hundred members, who were tried in one case.” As a general rule, however, organizational security was very strict. “Any arrest of members is an opportunity for information to be extracted through torture. This is why each member knows only his role. When the members pledge their obedience and loyalty to the leader of the group, they are aware that they are not supposed to ask any questions about things that are not directly related to their role.” For example, Ramzi Binalshibh and Zubaydah knew only the limited operation they were engaged in. Such adherence to cell security makes piercing a conspiracy and proving it beyond a reasonable doubt very difficult.

      Islamic Group military commander Mustafa Hamza, who reportedly supported a cease-fire, and Islamic Group leader Taha, who supported a return to violence, apparently had a falling out after the Luxor debacle. In 1998, following Taha’s resignation as Islamic Group’s head, Hamza took over as its head. But after Taha was rendered to Egypt while in transit through Syria in 2001, Islamic Group leader Taha’s wife and children lived with Hamza’s family in Mashhad, Iran. Thus, the alleged falling out perhaps had not caused too great a rift. They both remained in contact with the blind sheik and his paralegal Sattar in 1999 at a time there was talk of a need for a second Luxor.

      Zawahiri kept in touch with Mahmoud Jaballah, who had emigrated to Canada in 1996, by satellite phone. EIJ shura member Mahmoud Mahjoub was also in Canada. Mahmoud Mahjoub was second in command of the Vanguards of Conquest, after Agiza (who later was succeeded by Zawahiri) In seeking refugee status in Canada, Mahjoub claimed that the persecution in Egypt was the result of a brief association with a suspected member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mahjoub said that he was arrested several times while in Egypt and claimed to have experienced torture at the hands of the civilian authorities.

      In June 2000, Zawahiri visited Hambali in Indonesia with al-Qaeda military chief Mohammed Atef. Hambali the next year would attempt to reestablish Sufaat’s anthrax lab in Southeast Asia.

      Another friend and colleague of Ayman, Kamal Habib, was playing a prominent role in Egyptian politics. Kamal Habib had graduated from Cairo University in 1979 in political science. Twenty years later, he wrote for the Islamic Assembly of North America (“IANA”) quarterly magazine. The Cairo-based publication Al-Manar Al-Jadeed was sponsored by the Ann Arbor-based charity, Islamic Assembly of North America. The 1999 website announced:
      “IANA has signed a cooperative agreement with the Cairo based publisher and distributor Dar Al-Manar Al-Jadeed. Jointly they will publish in Cairo and distribute around the world the quarterly Al-Manar Al-Jadeed magazine. The magazine is devoted to addressing the religious, social, and civil matters. Six issues of the magazine have already been published. The editor in chief is the well-known writer, Jamal Sultan. We wish the magazine a very prosperous future.”

      Habib was a key founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and spent 1981-1991 in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. Like Abdel-Bari, al-Zayat and Taha, he was critical of Ayman’s tactics, though not his goals. In the late 1970s, the cell ran by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. The blind sheik was their spiritual adviser. In a 2002 New Yorker article, Lawrence Wright wrote in “The Man Behind Bin Laden: How an Egyptian doctor became a master of terror,” that “[l]ike Zawahiri, Habib, who had graduated in 1979 from Cairo University’s Faculty for Economics and Political Science, was the kind of driven intellectual who might have been expected to become a leader of the country but turned violently against the status quo.”

      The editor-in-chief of the IANA quarterly journal Al Manar Jadeed was Gamal Sultan, who had also been a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. When Mr. Sultan traveled to Pittsburgh in 2000, Mr. Sultan recalls other islamists remarking it was the Kandahar of the US, given its rolling hills. Kamal Habib and Jamal (Gamal) Sultan also wrote for Assirat Al-Mustaqeem, an Arabic-language magazine embracing radical, anti-U.S. views that was published in Pittsburgh from 1991 to 2000. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud did also. Unlike Zawahiri, Kamal Habib and Gamal Sultan believe in achieving shariah law through democracy. Computational biologist Al-Timimi was on the Assirat Advisory Board.

      Al-Timimi was sentenced to life plus 70 years for exhorting young men to jihad. A prominent IANA speaker, he shared a fax in the summer of 2001 with former Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head and Ames researcher Charles Bailey. Al Timimi met government agents regularly for more than a year before his indictment. The indictment against the paintball defendants alleged that that at an Alexandria, Virginia residence, in the presence of a representative of BIF, the defendants watched videos depicting Mujahadeen engaged in Jihad and discussed a training camp in Bosnia. Al-Timimi had asked the FBI to hold off on the indictment until he received his degree. His defense lawyer says that the FBI searched Al-Timimi’s townhouse “to connect him to the 9/11 attacks or to schemes to unleash a biological or nuclear attack.” Former Russian bioweaponeering program head Ken Alibek told me that he would occasionally see Al-Timimi in the hallways at George Mason, where they both were in the microbiology department. Dr. Alibek was vaguely aware that he was an islamic hardliner but considered him “a numbers guy.” When what his defense counsel claims was an FBI attempt to link him to a planned biological attack failed, defense counsel says that investigators focused on his connections to the men who attended his lectures at the local Falls Church, Va.

      The IANA webmaster Al-Hussayen from Moscow, Idaho complained in a Sept. 8, 2002, phone conversation that “we have to have control over our projects,” saying operators of the Islamway Web site, the Al-Manar magazine and the Alasr Web site were doing whatever they wanted, then sending IANA the bills. At the IANA publication Alasr, he complained, “Khalid Hassan puts in it what he wants, with some of the articles being sensitive causing us some problems at the present time. .. They don’t think, for example, what you might face being here.” Four fatwas justifying suicide attacks — including flying a plane into a tall building — that were posted on the Alasr’s Web site were central to the allegations against Sami Al-Hussayen.

      Al Qaeda military commander and former Egyptian police sergeant commander Atef, a key anthrax planner, was killed in November 2001. Taha was rendered transiting Syria in 2001. Canadian Khadr was killed. In 2005, Iran reportedly turned Mustafa Hamza over, where he was tried and convicted for assassination and attempted assassination of various high Egyptian government officials. In 2006, Zawahiri’s chief aide al-Hadi was captured. Cairo attorney Mamdouh Ismail, al-Zayat’s co-founder of the Islamic party, was arrested in late March 2007. He allegedly was serving as a conduit with jihadis in Egypt, Yemen and Iraq. In short, it’s not been a good decade for Friends of Ayman. Any compartmentalized cell in which Ayman operated in his anthrax program was tight indeed. Based on the isotope ratios of the anthrax culture, the roots of the Amerithrax likely grew in the United States rather than a faraway place like Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia or Malaysia. Although the seeds were planted in Cairo, the tree took root not only in Brooklyn and in many places in the US.

      • DXer said

        The FBI wrote a letter to the membership of the American Society for Microbiology. It read:

        TO: Membership of the American Society for Microbiology
        FROM: Van Harp, Assistant Director, Washington Field Office
        Federal Bureau of Investigation
        ***
        I would like to appeal to the talented men and women of the American Society for Microbiology to assist the FBI in identifying the person who mailed these letters. It is very likely that one or more of you know this individual. A review of the information-to-date in this matter leads investigators to believe that a single person is most likely responsible for these mailings. This person is experienced working in a laboratory. Based on his or her selection of the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis one would expect that this individual has or had legitimate access to select biological agents at some time. This person has the technical knowledge and/or expertise to produce a highly refined and deadly product. This person has exhibited a clear, rational thought process and appears to be very organized in the production and mailing of these letters. The perpetrator might be described as “stand-offish” and likely prefers to work in isolation as opposed to a group/team setting. It is possible this person used off-hours in a laboratory or may have even established an improvised or concealed facility comprised of sufficient equipment to produce the anthrax.
        It is important to ensure that all relevant information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is brought to the attention of the investigators in this case. …

        There is also a $2.5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible in this case.

        In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998, Michael Hayes, a research associate in the U-Michigan Medical School, presented experimental evidence relating to work done by USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins establishing BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. “In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish.” Its website explains that the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is the “[p]remier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology.” Tarek Hamouda made a similar presentation to the American Society of Microbiologists presentation in Atlanta, Georgia. Neither has responded to emails or provided a copy of their respective presentations.

  35. DXer said

    USAMRIID released some emails by Bruce Ivins discussing the difficulties of planning the Fourth International Conference on Anthrax in Annapolis. The first of the emails was from September 1998, upon his return from the conference at Plymouth. In June 2001, the good ship anthrax sailed in Annapolis, Maryland, the “sailing capital of the world.” The 4th International Conference on Anthrax was held at St. John’s College in historic Annapolis, Maryland, June 10 – 13, 2001. The conference was organized by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The 74-foot classic wooden schooner was named WOODWIND. Martin Hugh-Jones had convened the conference along with Peter Turnbull, the Porton Down scientist who had led the UK conferences attended by Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist, Rauf Ahmad. Reports of livestock and national park outbreaks were followed by a summary by Dr. Turnbull. Other anthrax notables who spoke included senior USAMRIID scientist Dr. Ezzell, who had one of the first looks at the Daschle product, and Dr. Paul Keim, who would play a key role in the genetic investigation.

    Theresa Koehler from the Houston Medica School gave a talk titled “The Expanding B. anthracis Toolbox” while Timothy Read from The Institute of Genome Research summarized research on The B. Anthracis Genome. Houston Medical School, the UK’s biodefense facility Porton Down, and Pasteur Institute each fielded three presenters. UK scientists presented on the characteristics of the exosporium of “the highly virulent Ames strain.” Researchers from Columbus, Ohio and Biological Defense Research Directorate (BDRD) of the Navy Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, assisted by Porton Down scientists from the UK, demonstrated that inoculated mice survived a challenge with b.anthracis spores. Researchers used b.anthracis containing a plasmid with a mutated lethal factor.” Dr. Phil Hanna from University of Michigan presented, as he did at the conference attending with Rauf Ahmad.

    A Kazakhstan Ministry of Health scientist presented on the re-emergence of anthrax in Kazakhstan. Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union the first job offer Ken Alibek fielded was the position of Minister of Health in Kazakhstan. He protested when he realized that his new employer just wanted to do what the Soviets had been secretly doing in an illegal and massive bioweapons program he had supervised as its First Deputy. After the KGB asked to meet with him, he asked to schedule the meeting in two weeks, so that he might visit his parents, and then found a secret expedited way of coming to the United States.

    Pakistan Rauf Ahmad had been the predator looking for the Ames strain and consulting on weaponization techniques at the UK conference. Did the Amerithrax perp attend this conference or work on any of the research presented? Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. Why? When? What did his work involve? In January 2002, FBI Assistant Director Van Harp told the 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology that it was “very likely that one or more of you know this individual.” They very likely did.

  36. DXer said

    Dr. Fran Sharples
    Director
    Board on Life Sciences

    Dr. Anne-Marie Mazza
    Director
    Science, Technology and Law Policy and Global Affairs Division

    National Academy of Sciences
    500 5th Street, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20001

    Dear Drs. Sharples and Mazza,

    I am pleased that the National Research Council may be looking at the technological issues surrounding the anthrax attack investigation. In the September 15, 2008 letter sent to you by Dr. Vahid Majidi, the Assistant Director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dr. Majidi said that the Bureau was requesting that the Academy conduct “an independent review of the scientific approach used during the investigation of the 2001 Bacillus anthracis mailings.” I am concerned that the questions posed by Dr. Majidi are narrowly focused and do not truly test the FBI’s conclusions in the case. In order to give the public the greatest possible confidence in the conclusion, I hope that your panel will look at the full range of scientific evidence and the methods the FBI used to reach its scientific conclusions in this case.

    Accordingly, in my capacity as Chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel of the House Committee on Appropriations, and as a Representative whose constituents were directly affected by the anthrax attacks, I am requesting that the Academy also answer the following questions should it elect to undertake an independent review of the Bureau’s scientific methods and conclusions in the Amerithrax case:

    Are any of the FBI’s scientific findings inconsistent with the FBI’s conclusions?

    Are there any scientific tests that the FBI has not done that might refute their conclusions?

    Did the FBI follow all accepted evidence-gathering, chain of possession, and scientific analytical methods? Is it possible that any failure to do so could have affected the FBI’s conclusions?

    Is it scientifically possible to exclude multiple actors or accessories?

    How likely is it that a single scientist working alone could complete the postulated actions? What would be the required time and equipment needed?

    Regarding the FBI’s question #2, is it scientifically possible to determine the stability of the combination of mutations in the RMR-1029 strain? Is it scientifically possible to determine how long this combination was in the flask in Dr. Ivins’ custody? Is it scientifically possible to distinguish a sample taken from Dr. Ivins’ flask from one taken from one of its daughter flasks in another lab? How many passages or how long is this mutation combination likely to remain?

    Is it scientifically possible to rule out the possibility that there are other stocks (including daughters of Dr. Ivins’ flask) that share the RMR-1029’s mutation combination for which the FBI has not accounted?

    Regarding the FBI’s question #5, what are the FBI’s explanations for the presence of silicon in the spores recovered from the mailed letters?

    If the spores for the attacks were grown in Dr. Ivins’ lab as the FBI has postulated, are there scientifically credible reasons for the FBI’s inability to produce spores with the identical signatures of those used in the attacks if they used the same stocks, media, and conditions that were present in Dr. Ivins’ lab?

    Given the revelations of the extreme ease of environmental contamination noted by the FBI’s Dr. Douglas Beecher in his August 2006 article in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, how likely is it that no environmental contamination would be found in the vehicle, house, or personal effects of the accused?

    In summary, has the FBI taken every opportunity to invalidate components of their hypothesis rather than pursuing reasoning and collection of evidence intended to confirm their hypothesis?

    If not, what challenges have been made to the FBI investigation’s reasoning? Could any of those challenges be undertaken still, or has the passage of time or loss of evidence made that impossible? It would be most useful if any panel you convene were to answer scientific or technical questions that may refute the FBI’s conclusions.

    I look forward to seeing the results of the Academy’s work on this critical project.

    Sincerely,

    RUSH HOLT
    Chairman
    House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel

    • anonymous said

      “Regarding the FBI’s question #5, what are the FBI’s explanations for the presence of silicon in the spores recovered from the mailed letters?”

      It’s hilarious that Lake truly believes the NAS won’t even mention the word silicon in their report.

  37. Old Atlantic said

    What is the effective yield of plates in plastic bags of trash?

    It takes many square feet of plates to grow gram quantities of anthrax.

    Plates in plastic bags are going to have slow growth, low yield, and losses when the plates are disturbed.

    How many square feet of plate can be put in a plastic trash bag?

    As a practical method to grow grams of anthrax spores, plates in trash bags are not going to work.

  38. Old Atlantic said

    “IF there were sufficient plates in the autoclave room for his purposes. The plates accumulated there for WEEKS. However, Ivins COULD ALSO HAVE added additional plates to what was in the autoclave room if he felt it was necessary.”

    Growing anthrax on plates in the autoclave room would surely be noticed in time.

    Plates growing anthrax in gram quantities in the autoclave room would be a serious departure of any type of standards.

    • Old Atlantic said

      Ivins assistants would surely have noticed this.

      It is like saying you could grown plants on your secretary’s desk and she would not notice, even though it went on for months and years.

      Surely, the autoclave room was the responsibility of junior people to handle. They tend to notice things like grams of anthrax growing on plates for weeks at a time.

      Remember, a gram doesn’t grow in a day.

    • DXer said

      It’s precisely that the material could be stolen from the bags placed into metal garbage cans in the basement — as Dr. Ivins noted over a half decade ago — that he was upset to think that someone could have stolen the trash. And that’s why the figure of those who had access is up to 377 (eliminating some duplication who had access to both Building 1425 and Building 1412). A “stolen from trash” theory does not point to Dr. Ivins — it demonstrates that the “sole custody of Flask 1029 argument is misconceived. Not only did he not have custody and control of the Flask in the unlocked refrigerator shared by 200+, but he did not have custody and control of the garbage cans.

      • DXer said

        Ed’s suggestion that the NAS is not going to reach the Silicon Signature issue is incredibly clueless. The NAS in its draft report does in fact reach and it was always beyond doubt that they would.

      • DXer said

        I have not seen a single comment filed at the NAS that agrees with Ed on anything.

      • DXer said

        Date: Dec. 9, 2010

        Statement by E. William Colglazier, Executive Officer, National Academy of Sciences, and Chief Operating Officer, National Research Council, Regarding Status of Review of the Scientific Approaches Used by the FBI During Its Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Mailings

        On Sept. 15, 2008, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) received a letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation requesting that NAS conduct an independent review of the scientific approaches used by the FBI in its investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings. In response, the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of NAS and the National Academy of Engineering, convened the Committee on the Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus anthracis Mailings to carry out this task under the terms of an April 24, 2009 contract. The committee’s project scope, as agreed to by the National Research Council and FBI, was limited to an assessment of the scientific approaches, methodologies, and analytical techniques used by the FBI in its investigation.

        The committee completed its assessment earlier this fall after satisfying the rigorous report review process of the National Research Council, and a report was delivered to the FBI on Oct. 27 for a security review pursuant to the contract. Since that time, the FBI has informed us it has additional materials relevant to the committee’s charge, materials that had not been provided previously to the committee. On Dec. 3, the FBI delivered a summary of additional materials and certain documents for the committee’s consideration, and in an accompanying letter asked for the opportunity for an additional presentation to the committee by forensic experts, investigators, and federal prosecutors who worked on the investigation. We have determined that some of this material is the type of information previously requested by the committee during the course of its review and that some of this information is relevant to the committee’s report. To consider this information, the committee will reconvene for one last meeting. We have requested that any additional information the FBI wishes to turn over to the committee be provided by Dec. 15. The committee expects to complete its work by February 2011, with the goal of producing the most thorough and accurate analysis possible.

  39. Old Atlantic said

    Ed Lake has argued that the source of the anthrax could be regrowth in the autoclave that was saved. That requires adding growth media, it doesn’t happen by itself. Ed’s theory is Ivins put in plates to grow it on in the autoclave and that these were not noticed.

    The DOJ/FBI admits it was not directly from RMR-1029 but was regrown.

    If it was from discarded spores, but not ones regrown in the autoclave, then Ivins did not get it. All the experiments Ivins had access to used spores directly from RMR-1029.

    So if the letter spores came from discards of official experiments (but without regrowth in the autoclave), then Ivins did not do it.

    We know that Battelle did regrowths of RMR-1029. So if it was obtained from discards of official experiments, Battelle would be a place to look.

    Or it could be some other site or a unit inside Ft. Detrick still not known about that did regrowth experiments.

    The other alternatives are it was taken from official sites and grown elsewhere or grown at an official site without it being known, or the DOJ/FBI know about it but excluded it for some reason like it doesn’t fit the lone mailer.

    • Old Atlantic said

      One scenario is another site decided to grow with silicon additives. Then they got the New York post powder itself. They didn’t like that. So they threw it out, the entire growth. But someone got that and used it or provided it to al Qaeda.

      So this lot could have been completely gone by the time the FBI investigation started. The FBI would exclude it as not being by a lone mailer to the extent they knew of it or thought about it.

      The entire mailing could be a discard lot from someone who decided they didn’t like the part of it that was like NY Post. The Senate letters and AMI might have been some additional processing or the lot might have been a mixture. The additional processing might even have been done officially, but then the whole lot was discarded including that part.

      • Old Atlantic said

        In this scenario, this discarded lot is the letter anthrax. So part of it was not just like NY Post, it was NY Post.

    • DXer said

      “All the experiments Ivins had access to used spores directly from RMR-1029.”

      Didn’t some of the experiments he used come from Flask 1030, which consisted of leftover aerosols containing a silicon signature?

      • DXer said

        DXer said
        January 29, 2011 at 4:42 am

        “IVINS also had samples labeled 7736 and 7738, however the entire sample has been exhausted. Therefore, he did not provide the FBIR a sample of 7736 and 7738. Sample 7738 was a dilution of 7737.”

        If 7737 (the registration number at Building 412 was Flask 1029), what was 7738? Was it Flask 1030? Did the anthrax made by the assistants get put into 7738 and then used up? As I recall, it was sent to Dugway.

        • DXer said

          4/14/2004 Ivins interview 302

          One of the 22 samples submitted in April 2004 from former and present USAMIRIID researchers was from 7738. Note earlier that it had been thought exhausted. What was found were leftover from aerosol changes.

          “Registration ___ Ba Ames strain, investigator: BRUCE IVINS, location Room ___, Bldg 1412, date registered: 7/16/02, facility registration #7738, 5 ml left in a 50 ml vial; leftovers used in aerosol challenges. ______________ was looking for this sample and actually found it in the 1st floor coldroom.”

        • DXer said

          For what would leftover aerosols be a reference standard?

        • DXer said

          As I recall, an Air Force lab sent the FBI as a courtesy last summer a new study about the use of heat to render virulence plasmid x101 inactive. (The head of the air force lab there, reports that the Percoll as the density gradient hypothesis seems viable).

          Heat resistance is a big issue in the use of anthrax as a bioweapon. See Ayman Zawahiri’s reading on the subject of microencapsulation and resistance to heat and sunlight in the book by Dr. Osterholm and NYT journalist in 2000. Does silica serve to make anthrax heat resistant like that book published in 2000 reported?

          What did the studies using Flask 1030 as a reference standard entail?

          Henry Heine, I believe, may know. He questions whether the investigation is actually over and suggests the FBI will not allow him to speak to the question. Yet a witness can always disclose his own testimony, can’t he?

          What were the experiments that he and a colleague were doing with antifoam? Who was the colleague? Was it the aerosol expert there, Patricia?

          Patricia came to head the BL-3 lab at Southern Research Institute, which had a subcontract with the GMU Center for Biodefense on the DARPA contract. Thomas Voss refuses to say when SRI first started using virulent Ames.

          Was the reference standard used for decontamination experiments using virulent aerosols? And was it shipped to Dugway? Was it also or alternatively used at SRI?

          Note there is no contemporaneous documentation indicating whether the spores made by the junior and senior lab tech were made by the single colony pick method. Weren’t the spores they made put in 7738? And didn’t that have a Silicon Signature?

      • Old Atlantic said

        Good point on the RMR-1030. I should reformulate, that the flasks like RMR-1030 or others that don’t match the 4 morph signature are not claimed by the DOJ/FBI to be used in any of the letters.

    • anonymous said

      “and I have been advised by scientists that spores grown under “natural conditions” take in more silicon than spores grown in the “unnatural” conditions of an incubator.”

      More un-named sources. You clearly haven’t read Velsko’s paper. He clearly states that even at the saturation level of SiO2 in water, even if every atom of silicon is taken up by the spores – there still wouldn’t be enough to reach the levels found in the attack spores. Deliberate addition of a silicon containing species that is not accidental SiO2 is the only way to explain it – as the NAS are about to conclude within the next 4 weeks.

    • Old Atlantic said

      All the experiments Ivins had access to that were RMR-1029 or its descendants were to RMR-1029 directly.

      Now all the other points I made apply in full.

      If the letter anthrax were direct discards of official experiments, then Ivins was not the source of the letter.

      Happy with that formulation?

  40. DXer said

    In October 2010, the Department of Justice explained:

    “Aside from Dr. Ivins, determining who else had access to RMR-1029 was complicated by the fact that there were a handful of times that small portions of RMR-1029 (aliquots) were sent over to Building 1412 the night prior to a scheduled aerosol challenge, leaving open the possibility, however remote, that some researcher in 1412 skimmed a small sample. The same argument could be made regarding two other institutions where other samples of RMR-1029 were stored prior to the mailings. However, the investigation and analysis undertaken by the Task Force, as discussed below, ruled out these other individuals

    ***

    A commercial laboratory in the midwest: In May and June 2001, Dr. Ivins sent some RMR-1029 spores to a commercial laboratory located in the midwest. However, a careful review of access records at that institution showed that only 42 people physically accessed the lab where RMR-1029 was stored from the time the first shipment arrived on May 9, 2001, until after the second anthrax mailing had occurred. This list was quickly culled to fewer than 20 individuals who had the scientific and technical ability to manipulate Ba – the rest were administrators, animal handlers, maintenance workers, and quality assurance workers. There are a number of other factors that militated strongly against the notion that anthrax coming from this institution was the source of the attacks. It would be nearly impossible for someone to be able to manipulate the spores or take any of the many steps required to produce the highly concentrated, pure anthrax used in the mailings because this is a commercial lab, where every minute spent in the lab was accounted for and billed to some contract. During standard lab hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), researchers were working side-by-side in the lab, and no researcher was ever alone in the lab. There was only one occasion on which employees were in the lab after normal business hours: a consecutive four-night period from June 13 through 16, 2001. During that time, there were always two employees in the suite where RMR-1029 was stored, and each night it was a different set of employees who worked late. Background investigations were conducted on all 42 people with access to RMR-1029 at this facility, including those who lacked the technical ability to do the mailings. The results were unremarkable. These factors, together with the fact that, as discussed infra, the envelopes came from somewhere in the Maryland/Virginia area, and the great distance between the location of this lab and Princeton, New Jersey, preclude any reasonable possibility that the mailings came from there.24

    A university in the southwest: Dr. Ivins sent a sample of what may have been RMR1029 to a microbiologist at a university in the southwest in March 2001. He added that transfer to his Reference Material Receipt record more than three years after he actually sent the spores, based on information on a shipment request form dated March 2, 2001. The microbiologist opened it up, plated it out, and confirmed that it was viable (known as “checking CFUs”). This sample did not have the mutations that appear in the material used in the attacks. There are two possible explanations for this apparent discrepancy: (1) The anthrax that Dr. Ivins sent was not RMR-1029 at all, but rather some other Ba preparation, of which Dr. Ivins had perhaps a half-dozen in his collection. This explanation is supported by the fact that the concentration on the shipment request form did not match RMR-1029. In addition, on the day the material was sent out of his lab to this other facility, Dr. Ivins did not access B3 at all, making it possible that one of his lab technicians, who was in B3 that day, prepared the material to be sent to this facility, and drew it from another source at Dr. Ivins’s request. (2) The RMR-1029 that was sent to this facility was so diluted that the morphs fell below the level of detection of the current assays – which means that, while they may be there, they cannot be seen. When asked about this discrepancy in a later interview, Dr. Ivins claimed that he diluted RMR-1029 prior to shipping it to this facility.

    24/ An in-depth review of lab records revealed that, of these 42 people who accessed the lab where RMR-1029 was stored, 37 worked a full eight-hour shift on both September 17 and September 18, 2001 – making the 16-hour round-trip drive from that facility to Princeton an impossibility. Of the remaining five individuals, one was on administrative leave and the others were animal handlers without the requisite skills to be the mailer. Similarly, during the background checks on these 42 individuals, commercial flight records were checked and none of them flew east from that area on those days. “

  41. DXer said

    3/31/2005 – “He is devastated to learn that someone may have used his Ames material to commit a crime and that people are dead because of it.”

  42. DXer said

    3/31/2005-

    Destruction/Discard of Anthrax in Suites B3 and B4 of USAMRIID

    IVINS advised that sometime after the anthrax attacks, he cleaned out and destroyed a lot of anthrax stocks from from suites ___ and ___ because they were no longer to be used at USAMRIID. IVINS noted, however that he saved isolates or stocks in use which he thought the FBI might be interested in.

  43. DXer said

    3/31/2005-

    IVINS stated he never noticed any material missing from the RMR 1029 flask, explaining that if 100 milliliters is actually missing from the RMR flask, he does not know what happened to it. IVINS noted that the putative missing 100 millilters of 1029 “now gives me pause,” in light of the information conveyed to him today by the FBI concerning the genetic similarities between RMR 1029 and the anthrax used in the attacks.

  44. DXer said

    4/13/2004 –

    IVINS emphasized that he had no reason to suspect that anyone he worked with in Bacteriology was responsible for mailing the anthrax letters. He was very concerned about the possibility of the Dugway Ba being involved in the anthrax mailings. Building 1412 is a “black hole” for Ba, and IVINS and his coworkers believed that the Dugway spores were safe in the B3 and B4 suites. Consequently, they saw no need to guard their trash.”

    Comment: Given that the FBI knew full well about the issue, why did US Attorney seem not to know that virulent Ames that was genetically matching was in BUILDING 1412? In fact, that was where the Ames with the Silicon Signature was located. Was it because that would make the issue dicey given that was where the FBI’s own anthrax scientist had made a dried powder out Ames from Flask 1029?

    One word, US Attorney Jeffrey Taylor. Veritas. Take it to heart.

  45. DXer said

    12/12/2003 Ivins Interview statement:

    Dr. Ivins, among other things, provided 2 Ba strain lists of Perry Mikesell’s Ba collection and emails regarding request to find out if USAMRIID made dried, powdered anthrax Ba spores.

    Note that the FBI did not admit that its anthrax expert at USAMRIID, the one collecting the sample from Bruce and Patricia, had made dried, powdered anthrax Ba spores from Flask 1029.

    The reason for transparency in such an instance is to avoid conflict of interest.

    That scientist wrote an email early on telling Dr. Ivins not to get his panties in a bind. Who was intimidating who and threatening the other with disclosure of embarrassing secrets?

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/dxer-wasnt-the-july-testing-of-semen-on-panties-taken-from-an-april-21-2008-trash-cover-what-drove-dr-ivins-to-the-rage-and-suicide/

  46. DXer said

    12/12/2003 302 Ivins Interview statement:

    “The samples that _______________ brought home in a paint can and then returned to USAMRIID are kept in the cold room, _______”

  47. DXer said

    12/12/03 302 IVINS Interview:

    IVINS provided the four samples of Ba Ames strain (labeled Reference Material 1030, 7729 a, b, c) to the FBI repository in October 2003. 7739 a, b, c) to the FBI repository in October 2003. IVINS provided Agents with a typewritten description of the 4 samples (The description summary will be submitted to the 1A section of the subfile). IVINS provided the following labels and descriptions for each of the four samples:

    “2) 7739a was produced by ____________ – The spores porduced were made in Leighton and Doi media. IVINS revised ____________ notebook for a description of how 7739a was made. __________ wrote in the notebook that she obtained the inoculum used to grow 7739a from a freezer tube in the freezer. No other details were listed.

    3). 7739b was produced by _____________ on 12/8/1999. The spores porduced were made in Leighton and Doi media. No details are known about the inoculum and methods used.

    4) 7739c was produced by _______________________ on 3/28/2001. The spores were made in Leighton and Doi media. No details are known about the inoculum and methods used.”

    ___________________________________ would be able to provide more information regarding inoculum and production method used to make _________________________.

  48. DXer said

    12/12/2003

    In response to the subpoena issued by the FBI in 2002, ________________ searched the freezer in B3. IVINS believes ______ prepared the four samples of Bacillus anthracis (Ba) Ames strain that were found during the freezer search and submitted the samples to the FBI Repository (FBIR) in April 2002. IVINS believes ____________ provided the following labels and descriptions for each of the four samples:

    1) “Original slant Ames spores – 1981” – This is the original sample sent from Texas, which was Ba Ames strain isolated from a cow.

    2) “7800a – Primary subculture from original slant – 1985 – Bruce Ivins” – This is a subculture that IVINS made in 1985 from the original 1981 slant.

    3) “7800b – __________ Ames strain from 1985 – Multiple Passages” – This is from _____________ collection. IVINS is unsure how this sample was made.

    4) “7737” – Dugway Ames spores – 1997″ – This is Ba Ames spores sent from DUGWAY PROVING GROUNDS for use in aerosol challenges. This material was used as the reference lot. Originally ______________ purified spores were sent. The spores were stored in two 500 mL flasks. IVINS has approximately 100 mL left of this sample.

    • DXer said

      “IVINS also had samples labeled 7736 and 7738, however the entire sample has been exhausted. Therefore, he did not provide the FBIR a sample of 7736 and 7738. Sample 7738 was a dilution of 7737.”

      Note that if X ml of 7738 is substituted for 7737 (Flask 1029), the latter becomes diluted and 7738 is exhausted and not submitted to the FBI Repository.

      • DXer said

        12/12/2003 302 Ivins Interview statement:

        “__________________ (writer believes to be ________________ may have worked with __________ as part of his research project looking at antibiotic resistance in different strains of Ba.”

      • DXer said

        4/14/2004 Ivins interview 302

        One of the 22 samples submitted in April 2004 from former and present USAMIRIID researchers was from 7738. Note earlier that it had been thought exhausted. What was found were leftover from aerosol changes.

        “Registration ___ Ba Ames strain, investigator: BRUCE IVINS, location Room ___, Bldg 1412, date registered: 7/16/02, facility registration #7738, 5 ml left in a 50 ml vial; leftovers used in aerosol challenges. ______________ was looking for this sample and actually found it in the 1st floor coldroom.

        Comment:

        Was #7738 genetically identical to #7737, the Dugway spores?

        Did it contain a Silicon Signature like Flask 1030 being leftover from aerosol experiments?

        It was kept, forgotten, in the cold room in Bldg 1412 and located by the lab technician there sent looking for it.

        When were the dates of all aerosol experiments using #7738 conducted?

    • DXer said

      On 12/12/2003, Special Agent and Bruce took a tour of the refrigerator and IVINS showed SA samples of 1030, 7739a, 7739b, 7739c, and 462. And “From a walk-in cold room (Room ___ IVINS disclosed a one (1) liter flask containing approximately 50 mL of USAMRIID Sample #7737.

  49. DXer said

    3/3/2003
    There was not a glovebox in B3 in Building 1425.

  50. DXer said

    10/2/2003:

    IVINS listed his Ames samples as follows. He explained that his lab technican submitted the samples in April 2002 to the Repository.

    1) Original 1981 slant from Texas, 255414B
    2) 7800a
    3) 7800b
    4) 7737
    5) 1030 Reference Material
    6) 7739a
    7( 7739b
    8 7739c

    The last four samples listed above are spore preparations which were produced by various individuals at USAMRIID. Reference Material 1030 is a multiple batch lot of spores produced by IVINS ______________ from 11/20/1995 to 11/18/1996. _________________ produced lot 7739a on 7/25/1997. ___________________ produced lots 7739b and 7739c on 12/08/1999 and 3/28/2001 respectively. IVINS will save the above four preparations for future submission to the Repository. IVINS also had two additional preparations of Ames BA spores, lots 7736 and 7738, but the spores were used and are no longer available.

    The first four samples of Ames listed above were submitted to the Repository by ________ during April, 2002. The 7800a and b samples are from IVINS ___________________ respectively. 7800a is a sample of IVINS’ Ames stock and was prepared from a single colony of the original Ames slant by IVINS in 1985. 7800b is a sample from the BA collection of PERRY MIKESELL, dated July, 1991, and labeled ___________. IVINS believes that the MIKESELL sample was derived from __________ stock culture around 1985. The sample labeled ______________ and submitted to the Repository in April, 2002 may be from MIKESELL’s collection and not directly from __________ stocks of BA. ____________ submitted IVINS’ samples to the Repository and would be able to provide information on the origin of the ___________ sample in the Repository. ______ is now employed by ____________________________________________________________

  51. DXer said

    4/17/2003 Ivins interview

    After his telephonice conversation with SA ____ on 04/15/2003, IVINS feels sick over the fact that the material used in the anthrax mailings could have come from a stock made from the B.a. areosol challenge trash.

  52. DXer said

    2/12/2003 302 interview statement:

    ” iVINS was recently at Home Depot and saw the many different grades of sandpaper that they sell which made him think about the use of sand in purifiying B.a. A pasty block of spores can be shaken with sand of varying coarseness to achieve very pure or fine spores.”

    See generally Percoll density gradient hypothesis; Ezzell filmed QandA..

  53. DXer said

    January 29, 2002 Ivins statement:

    “Regarding visiting scientists, Ivins recalls [about 6 lines redacted]

    Ivins did not believe this was effective research.

    Ivins related information regarding ________________ Ivins regarded

    [about 25 lines redacted]

    ___________ never talked to Ivins specifically about weaponizing B. anthracis nor did ____ mention belonging to any organized hate groups. However, Ivins felt that

    [about 70 lines redacted]

  54. DXer said

    In a January 29, 2002 302 Ivins interview statement:

    “He stated that the commander of the institution must approve any transfer of B. anthracis or other Select Agents.”

  55. DXer said

    A January 29, 2002 302 interview statement explains:

    “The method of propagation of the Ames strain of B. anthracis differed between ______________ and Bruce Ivins. Ivins used single colony dilutions to propagate the Ames culture. _________ used mass swipes of culture to propagate his collection. As a result, mutations became evidence in ______________ collection of the strain that were not present in Ivins’ strain collection.”

  56. DXer said

    Friday, January 28, 2011
    Summit County man charged with unlawful possession
    FBI discovered deadly biological agent in suspect’s former residence

    News Director
    M.L. Schultze

    A Summit County man has been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a biological agent after the FBI discovered deadly ricin in the Coventry Township house he once owned.

    Federal authorities charged Jeffrey Levenderis today. He’s 54 and owned the South Main Street two-story house that fell into foreclosure. A new family had moved into the house, but authorities are not saying if they’re the ones who tipped off authorities earlier this week.

    Authorities are not saying how much ricin they found, nor in what form. They say they’re still investigating how Levenderis allegedly made it and why.

    Ricin comes from castor beans and is deadly in even small quantities.

    Authorities say Levenderis surrendered peacefully.

  57. Old Atlantic said

    Missing anthrax is not evidence according to the FBI? This is like the St. Petersburg letters. Those are not evidence. Silicon isn’t evidence. Subtilis isn’t evidence. The time it takes to grow anthrax is not evidence.

    What you need to do to go from a centrifuged pellet to the Senate office building quality dry powder is not evidence. Same with the AMI copy machines pulling anthrax from the air. Not evidence.

    The J-Lo letter and all the people who watched him open it is not evidence.

    The time to develop anthrax from exposure is not evidence.

    The lab notebooks are not evidence. In fact, they help the FBI with real evidence, that Ivins could not explain why he was in the lab. This is the kernel of how to distinguish what lay people think is evidence and what FBI experts know is evidence.

  58. DXer said

    AMERICAN ANTHRAX will be out in August. As you can imagine, the topic covers a lot of time and ambiguity. It is by a Boston sociology professor known for her work in the area of anthrax and epidemiology. She is known to hang out with an internationally recognized expert in the field. There will be a website with lots of cool photos.

  59. BugMaster said

    So, Ed, is it your understanding that there was no known subculturing of material from RMR-1029?

    In otherwords, it wasn’t used as a source of inoculant to produce more material at Fort Detrick, at least “officially”?

    This is my conclusion, based on your comment, do you agree?

    • BugMaster said

      ” I have to presume it involved the DNA along with standard detective work.”

      Not possible, Ed, but we’ve been through this before.

      You are clearly going to believe what you are going to believe.

      And no, there won’t be any new information revealed in the NAS report to support your erroneous conclusion!

    • BugMaster said

      Ed:

      There is NO DNA analysis technique that can rule out any of the other 8 aliquots as the source.

      NONE!

    • BugMaster said

      Ed:

      There is NO DNA analysis technique that can rule out any of the other 8 aliquots as the source.

      NONE!

      And you constantly belittle us for being true believers!

    • DXer said

      The FBI scientists and officials have repeatedly explained that, at best, the genetics inquiry was only narrow things to the 8 known samples — with for example, the up to 377 with access at Ft. Detrick and 42 with access at Battelle. That is what the NAS reviewing.

    • BugMaster said

      They were not “aliquots.” They were “daughters of RMR-1029,” which would mean they were re-growths.

      So what!

      SO WAS THE ATTACK MATERIAL!

      It was a regrowth, from 2001!

      There is no genetic test available that points specifically to RMR-1029 as the source of the “Attack Regrowth” as opposed to the other material used to obtain the “daughter regrowths” (DUH!)

      There is NO DNA analysis technique that can rule out any of the other souce material from RMR-1029 that the 8 “regrowths” were obtained from, as opposed to a direct withdrawal from RMR-1029 in Ivins lab as the source.

      NONE!

      And you constantly belittle us for being true believers.

      And I conclude this based on just beliefs?

      No Ed, not at all.

      You are a layperson, at times don’t seem to be able to or willing to understand fundamental biological concepts.

      I am a microbiologist with decades of experience in the field (and a degree in microbiology!).

    • DXer said

      Ed similarly is egregiously wrong when he explains concepts like hearsay and relevance. He instead should be quoting qualified source instead of making such extreme misstatements. It would take him all of a 5 seconds to google and cut-and-paste the correct principles.

    • BugMaster said

      “I assume you are now going to declare that I am too stupid to understand any explanation, and that’s why you don’t provide one. Well, I’m not the only one reading this blog, so why not provide it for others – or are they all too stupid, too?”

      Ed, let me have a little time to give this some thought so I can try to explain it in laymen’s terms.

  60. Old Atlantic said

    How do you know that these spores were not added to some spores from RMR-1029?

    Maybe one of these people floating through the lab picked up some of these spores and some of the spores in these test tubes and that this gave the signature.

    A mixture of RMR-1029 and other spores will give the 4 morphs.

    • DXer said

      The attack anthrax was known to be a mixture of two samples. See Keim, et al, Science (2002).

    • DXer said

      Dr. Read, a scientist helping with the Amerithrax investigation in the DNA sequencing, long ago published the news that anthrax was a 50/50% mixture of genotype mixture of genotype 62 (Ames) and genotype 62 with an inversion on the plasmid.

    • DXer said

      The Former FBI scientist Randall Murch, who played a key role in Amerithrax in 2002, gives a great powerpoint presentation titled “History, Strategy & Future of Microbial Forensics”* that I recommend to anyone interested in the subject. On Slide 17, he explains:

      Microbial forensics has yet to be rigorously challenged in an adversarial setting (i.e., via Daubert)! Whether it will “survive” in total or part (or not) is unknown!

      He explained: “Until this happens (more than once) we really have no idea (or at least can’t be too confident ) how good and defensible our science and applied capabilities are!”

      A conflict prevented him from appearing on November 29 but he can any questions you have.

      *Microbial Forensics: The Nexus between Law Enforcement and Public Health An AAAS-NAS Workshop, January 24, 2008.

  61. DXer said

    The March 2005 interview account has a section “Ames Anthrax Spore Production at USAMRIID”:

    IVINS characterized the quality of anthrax spores produced by he and his colleagues as follows: BRUCE IVINS AND ___________________ made “good spores.” ___________ made “very, very good spores” and, according to IVINS, was a “master spore maker. __________ produced “okay” spores. IVINS advised that he and ______ made anthrax spores at USAMRIID until ________ arrived at USAMRIID, at which time IVINS stopped making spores. Thereafter, spores were produced by _________________. when ________ left USAMRIID, IVINS began making spores again. IVINS related that most spore production runs at USAMRIID produced spores in concentrations ranging from 5 x 10 (8) cfu/ml to 5 x 10 (10) cfu/ml. Spore production runs were not always documented by the Bacteriology Division personnel.

    IVINS explained that if spores from a particular production run “looked bad,” the spores “got pitched” (i.e., autoclaved), however, no logs or records were kept of what or how much anthrax spore material was autoclaved. When asked how often bad spore production runs occurred, IVINS responded that it depended on the strain and who produced the spores. IVINS estimated that on average somewhere between every fifth and every tenth batch of spores had to be discarded due to inadequate quality. IVINS said that each person producing spores was authorized to unilaterally decide whether to keep or destroy a particular spore production lot. It was not necessary to get authorization to destroy a bad batch of spores. Spores were destroyed by autoclaving.

    IVINS advised that prior to the fall 2001 anthrax attacks, suite B3 contained an extensive number of tubes and flasks containing liquid anthrax spores. When asked how many such containers were stored in the room, he advised there were “hundreds of containers of all sizes, but probably not thousands.” There was no common labeling scheme or protocol for these containers — there were labeled by the individual researchers to whom they belonged. Each researcher had the discretion to label the containers as he/she saw fit. Many of the containers which held Ames anthrax spores were labeled “Ames.” As an example, IVINS noted that the flask containing RMR 1029 was labeled as “Ames.” There was no inventory of the flask and tubes.”

    An March 2005 interview account states:

    “IVINS does not understand how the samples of RMR 1029 he sent to Battelle Memorial Institute and University of New Mexico could possibly not genetically match the RMR 1029 sample in possession of the FBI. He is very confused by that, and it just not make sense scientifically.”

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