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

* U.S. Intel Officials Warn Wall Street Execs of Al Qaeda Plot … including potential anthrax attack

Posted by DXer on February 1, 2011

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NBC News reports (2-1-11) …

  • NBC just reported news about planned terrorist attacks on Wall Street execs that have been identified by the FBI.
  • Al Qaeda in Yemen is said to have mentioned Wall Street figures in discovered documents. The FBI warns they may be planning bomb or anthrax attacks.
  • The Feds are working with Wall Street mailrooms and the NYPD to prevent the attack.

http://www.businessinsider.com/al-qaeda-may-be-targeting-attack-at-wall-street-execs-fbi-warns-2011-2#ixzz1CiFxvKEf

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FoxNews reports (2/1/11) …

  • U.S. intelligence officials reportedly have warned executives at major Wall Street banks that they may be targeted in a terror plot by Al Qaeda militants based in Yemen.
  • Large financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, and others have been briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and New York Police Department about the nature of the threats, WNBC-TV reported late Monday.
  • There was “no indication of a targeted assassination plot,” an unnamed official told the station, explaining the threats were general in nature. However, there are still fears that the names of certain Wall Street executives have been discussed by terrorists based overseas, the report said.
  • Intelligence analysts said they were concerned Yemen-based militants may try to send package bombs or biological or chemical agents to bankers in the mail, a threat that has led authorities to urge the companies to increase security in and around their mailrooms.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/02/01/report-bank-execs-warned-al-qaeda-plot/#ixzz1Ch5CLw9u

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CASE CLOSED is Lew Weinstein’s novel

about the FBI’s failed investigation

of the 2001 anthrax attacks

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read the opening scene of CASE CLOSED …

* CASE CLOSED – opening scene … the DIA re-investigates the FBI’s failed case

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* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

 

116 Responses to “* U.S. Intel Officials Warn Wall Street Execs of Al Qaeda Plot … including potential anthrax attack”

  1. DXer said

    In today’s news:

    An IT person at Lehman was scoping things out for “the Doctor” for a possible attack on Wall Street. (I don’t know, and the FBI has not disclosed, the identity of “the Doctor” ; I make no assumptions.)

    The Lehman fellow got 15 years for giving money to “the doctor.”

    So I guess if you vote for my daughter’s entry in this emergency preparedness video contest, I should promise not to ask her give the IPAD to Al Qaeda anthrax scientist Rauf Ahmad to get him to open up. Instead, we should ask the Washington Post correspondent there to try again to get him to answer questions about what Yazid Sufaat did with the anthrax Rauf Ahmad had harvested in April 2001 (or any other anthrax for that matter). Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The ISI over a half decade ago had agreed to make him available to the Washington Post correspondent but then backpedaled.

    Now, seriously, go vote as if the world depends on it.

    http://www.redcross.org/ny/syracuse/3dayok/video

    NYSE Terror Plotter Sentenced to 15 Years for Helping al-Qaeda
    Businessweek‎ – 3 hours ago
    A Brooklyn man who admitted to helping al-Qaeda scout the New York Stock Exchange for a possible terrorist attack was sentenced to 15 years …

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2015-01-20/al-qaeda-supporter-is-sentenced-to-15-years-in-prison

    A former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. employee who admitted to helping al-Qaeda scout the New York Stock Exchange for a possible terrorist attack was sentenced to 15 years in prison, amid growing concerns of sleeper terror cells in Europe and the U.S.

    Wesam El-Hanafi’s effort to fight for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Somalia was rejected by the group’s leadership in Yemen, which instead sent him and his co-defendant Sabirhan Hasanoff back to New York, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cronan said today in Manhattan federal court.

    The two were ordered to carry out covert missions, including a possible attack on the New York Stock Exchange and another on a “large American dam,” Cronan said.

    ***

    El-Hanafi, a former information technology specialist at Lehman Brothers, traveled to Yemen in February 2008. There he met with two members of al-Qaeda and swore an oath of allegiance to the terrorist group, according to prosecutors. While living in Brooklyn, El-Hanafi had sent at much as $67,000 to al-Qaeda, hoping to establish his credentials with the group, the government said.

    He was important to al-Qaeda because as a U.S. citizen, he could travel freely in America, work secretly for the terrorist group and evade suspicion, prosecutors said. Much of the evidence which the government collected against the pair hasn’t been declassified, according to the U.S.

    His belief in an extremist ideology began in 2003 and continued until 2009, a period during which he met an al-Qaeda leader known as the doctor, who dispatched fighters to locations around the world, Cronan said.

    ***

    “The doctor stated that he had contemplated an attack on the New York Stock Exchange, but that he had very little information about the site, including its location, size and security,” Cronan said in a memo to the court.

    El-Hanafi admitted he provided the terrorist group with encryption software that allowed secure communications, camera equipment to record attacks and radio-controlled toy cars which could be modified to conduct remote-controlled bombings of U.S. and coalition forces, prosecutors said.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      “The Doctor” reported to Dr. Ayman Zawahiri. Egyptian, he had also been with Egyptian Islamic Jihad in Sudan.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/nyregion/statements-by-detained-egyptian-terrorism-suspect-are-focus-of-sentencing.html?_r=0

      Statements by Detained Terror Suspect Are Focus of Sentencing, and of Debate
      By BENJAMIN WEISER
      Published: June 3, 2013

      He was known as “the Doctor,” an Egyptian terrorism suspect who was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a foreign country where he had been held since his arrest. From the start, he made utterly clear his hatred for the United States, describing how he had even recruited a Brooklyn man to conduct surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange for a possible attack.

      Now, four years after that interrogation, the detainee’s statements are at the center of a dispute in federal court in Manhattan, where the Brooklyn man, Sabirhan Hasanoff, 37, who was later arrested and pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism, faces sentencing this month.

      Prosecutors want to use the detainee’s claims about Mr. Hasanoff’s assistance to Al Qaeda as part of an argument that he should receive a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Mr. Hasanoff’s lawyers contend the statements are unreliable, in part because the detainee was quite likely tortured while in foreign custody before he met with the F.B.I.

      ***

      The F.B.I. summaries also quote the witness as saying that in the mid-1990s, he swore an oath of allegiance to an Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader whose description fits that of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later became deputy to Osama bin Laden, and his successor. The witness also spent time with Bin Laden in Sudan.

      ***

      The 2009 interrogation of the witness, as recounted in highly redacted F.B.I. summaries, show that the agents said they were not seeking to charge him, but rather wanted to learn about a group of American terrorism suspects, including Mr. Hasanoff, and others. (A co-defendant of Mr. Hasanoff’s, Wesam El-Hanafi, has also pleaded guilty in the case.)

      They worked to build a rapport with him: he was given water, juice and food, and regular prayer breaks. One day, he was treated to a traditional dinner at a “safe house” that was attended by investigators from both countries, the summaries say.

      By the time the agents finished their first of five interviews with the witness, he had eaten a Kit Kat bar and was hugging and kissing them on the cheek.

      He was open about his views, the summaries note. “As a seasoned jihadi,” the F.B.I. wrote, “the subject had long hoped for an opportunity to create an attack on U.S. soil.”

      “The subject is very clear in his desire to attack the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests anywhere and feels completely justified in his hatred of the U.S. and its policies,” the summary added.

      During the interviews, the witness was shown photographs of senior Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad members, and explained how he used Internet cafes to search the news on the Web because he did not have access to the Internet at home. He also explained that he wanted to have “Americans travel to America to conduct terrorist operations.” And he talked about making the New York Stock Exchange a target, the summaries show.

      “The subject had very little idea about the stock exchange, i.e. its location, security measures, size, etc.,” the F.B.I. wrote, “but advised that his motivation to do an attack there was because it represented to him the world’s economy, so it was a highly desirable target.”

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ayman Zawahiri recruited medical students at Cairo Medical — and an alum worked alongside Bruce Ivins in the B3 and was provided virulent Ames. Yes, from Flask 1029. (The entire point was to use the same stuff for all DARPA experiments.) Thus, for 14 years — while trying to figure out the whodunnit, I’ve had a bit of a bug up my ass about doctors and the “First Do No Harm” proscription. Dr. Hamouda, supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins, had lived in Sudan before studying in Cairo Medical. His mother taught at the University there. (My friend’s mother had gone to French school as a child with his mother. My friend, recruited to jihad by Ayman Zawahiri while at Cairo Medical, sometimes consults with the CIA and other agencies. My friend’s name is “Tawfiq” Hamid. The book of his I read is immensely readable, I highly recommend it. My friend “Tawfiq” got squeamish and withdrew when they wanted him to kill and bury a security officer near the mosque.

      In seeking to identify “The Doctor,” let’s start with some background about Dr. Ayman’s recruiting at Cairo Medical. (Medical school in Egypt is undergraduate. Go figure).

      Let’s consider Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s recruitment at Cairo] Medical School during the years 1979-1982.

      The following is a lengthy excerpt from Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam (2007) by Dr. “Tawfik” Hamid. Dr. Hamid, again, was the childhood friend and medical school classmate of the scientist from Egypt and Sudan supplied virulent Ames by USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins:

      “[Born in 1961], I entered the medical school at Cairo University when I was 17 (Egypt didn’t have the same concept of ‘undergraduate’ typical of the West). Naturally I continued to pursue my recently acquired fervor for Islam. At the time, an Islamic organization called Jamaa Islamiya had been gaining a foothold at the school. Although it was later classified as a terrorist group, Jamaa’s activities were perfectly legal then. They began by receiving permission to build a small prayer room inside the medical school, which quickly developed into a small mosque. Shortly thereafter, a library was added to the “mosque” where Jamaa members promoted Salafist books.

      Clearly, Egypt’s “Revival of Islam” had made its way to the medical school. Jamaa members would not only preach in their ‘mosque’. As its influence spread, the group started a tradition of meeting in the morning lecture hall 45 minutes before the teacher arrived, where they would lecture on Islamic topics from the podium. Most muslim students thought it a good thing, but more secular ones found it annoying, and Christian students were wholly intimidated into silence. ***

      As its influence grew, Jamaa Islamiya began to intervene with the secular traditions of the medical school. They insisted on separate seating in the lecture halls for men and women, and sometimes forcibly separate students who did not comply. Occasionally, they would use violence to stop students from playing music or singing, activities the members considered “un-Islamic.”

      One naturally asks, “Why medical students?” Westerns are often astonished to observe highly accomplished Muslim doctors in the terrorist ranks. These include Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri (surgeon) second in command of Al-Qaeda *** Doctors almost universally agree to the Hippocratic Oath and swear by another of Hippocrates’ maxims: “First, do no harm.” How then could a group like Jamaaa Islamiya gain traction in a medical school?

      It is actually not a surprise to me that I became radicalized there. Our medical schools at that time were a vanguard of fundamentalism in most Egyptian universities.

      ***

      Eventually in my first year I was approached by a promising member of Jamaa named Muchtar. He was in his fourth year and known in the group as amir, or “prince.” The title was short for “Prince of the Believers,” a term taken from early writings about the Islamic caliphate. Determination to serve Allah overcame my hesitancy that remained from witnessing the incident with Dr. Edward, and I agreed to join in what I thought would be a commonplace gathering for prayer. En route to the mosque, Muchtar impressed upon me a concept that he called al-fikr kufr — that one becomes an infidel (kufr) by thinking critically (fikr). One’s brain is similar to a donkey, he elaborated — you can ride it to the palace of Allah, but you must leave it outside when you enter.

      ***

      Doctor “Ayman”

      It happened one afternoon that a guest Imam came to deliver a sermon. His topic didn’t concern itself with dry details of prayer and fasting. He was fiery and charismatic; his passion was holy war. His topic didn’t concern itself with dry details of prayer and fasting. He was fiery and charismatic; his passion was holy war. It was to be fought on all fronts, against all non-believers, without compromise, until all people either converted, submitted to Sharia, or were slain. He made us feel that we could make the glorious days of the Islamic conquest return. After the sermon, a fellow member, Tariq Abdul-Muhsin, asked me if I knew the Imam. When I answered I didn’t, he told me that the speaker was Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Because I was a new member, Tariq offered to introduce me to him.

      In person, Al-Zawahiri was very polite and decent with the members of Jamaa. It was hard to reconcile his fiery sermons with the quiet man before me.***

      ***

      I remember feeling very proud when Zawahiri told me: “Young Muslims like you are the hope for the future return of Khalifa [Caliphate or Islamic global dominance].” He made me want to fight for him, to show him my courage and loyalty. Zawahiri himself came from a wealthy, well-known and well-educated family and was a top post-graduate student at the medical school. He was active in a number of Islamist groups so he did not devote all of his time to Jamaa. We used to call him “Dr. Ayman.”

      ***

      He was a master of at attracting new recruits and inciting them to jihad. It is worthwhile studying his use of Islamic texts in terms of the phrases and tactics we have mentioned, particularly hatred, superiority and war.

      ***

      Islamic Jihad … was extremely violent. They would concentrate on the assassination of important political leaders. Their violence was not diffuse, but highly targeted.

      ***

      There remains, at last, Jamaa Islamiya (literally, “Islamic Group”). It concentrated on recruiting from society’s “best and brightest” by entrenching itself in universities and medical schools. Having done so, Jamaa prepare the theoretical foundation for jihad and propagated them to promising students who could best absorb them. Like the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaa didn’t participate directly in terror — it would have been counterproductive to provoke a crackdown from school administrations. Jamaa was more of a ‘gateway’ groups, which, having indoctrinated recruits and equipped them with jihadist knowledge, encouraged them to assume leadership positions in Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood, or to practice jihad in other countries.

      Intellectually, Al-Zawahiri was much affected by the teaching of a Muslim Brotherhood leader named Sayyid Qutb. He used to praise Sayyid by saying ‘Rahimahu Allah’ whenever he mentioned his name. The expression means, ‘May Allah show him mercy and kindness’. ***

      ***

      Second Thoughts

      My entire relationship with Jamaa Islamiya lasted for approximate two to three years (from 1979-1982). It took about six months to become sufficiently indoctrinated Over the next year, I became increasingly active in the movement. Eventually, my involvement reached the point where I thought myself prepared to train with jihadi groups in Afghanistan, to fight and kill in the name of Allah. It was at this time that my conscience began to awaken. ***

      One episode in particular gave me second thoughts. It transpired that I overheard a conversation between Ahmed Omar and other members of the group. A fourth-year medical student, Ahmed was an “amir” of Jamaa. He was planning to to kidnap a police officer and bury him alive”. His exact word was netaweeh, which meant in Egyptian slang, ‘to dig a grave for someone and bury him alive”. The issue concerned a party that was planned that day at the medical school. Music and women singers were to be featured, and the view of Jamaa was, of course, that such an event was unIslamic. Members of the Jamaa gathered that day in thousands to protest the party and disrupt it by force. The police intervened and the medical school came under martial law.

      ***

      By the late 1970s, Islamists had penetrated into every aspect of Egyptian life. *** In 1981, not long before I graduated, President Sadat was assassinated by a military lieutenant named Khaled Islambouli — a member of the Islamic Jihad. The Iranians were delighted at the assassination and named a street after him. Zawahiri was also a member of Islamic Jihad, and was indicted for the assassination, but his connection to it was never proven. He was released from prison in 1984. Today, “Dr. Ayman” is the second-in-command of Al Qaeda, and possibly its foremost leader.

      ***

      The “Blind Sheikh”, Omar Abdel-Rahman was a spiritual leader ***. Americans will recognize his name — he resides now in the US, in solitary confinement, for conspiring to blow up the United Nations building, New York City FBI branch, and for attempting to destroy the World Trade Centers in 1993 — a job finished by al-Qaeda in 2001. Though estimates vary, it is thought that 75% of Al-Qaeda’s top leadership is Egyptian.”

    • DXer said

      Now in seeking to identify “The Doctor” in today’s news, who sought to attack the New York Stock Exchange, we can probably assume he knew the Cairo MD Vanguards of Conquest #1, Dr. Agiza.

      Ahmed Agiza was born in 1956. A summary provided by the American Civil Liberties Union.

      In November 1998, Mahmoud Jaballah spoke to a colleague and was informed that a man matching Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub’s description had moved to Toronto. Jaballah said that he was a shrewd and manipulative man who had worked directly under Abdel Hamid — thought to be a reference to this Ahmed Agiza. CSIS maintains would make Mahjoub the second-in-command of the militant organisation Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest. Ahmed Agiza’s rendition from Sweden in mid-December is one of the most oft-cited examples of a CIA rendition.

      Forty-five year-old Ahmed Agiza was secretly apprehended in Sweden on December 18, 2001, by Swedish Security Police. Agiza was then handed over to agents of the CIA. The ACLU reports rendition agents ” stripped him, dressed him in overalls and chained and shackled him before transporting him in a Gulfstream V aircraft to Egypt, where he was severely tortured.” In 1982, the ACLU alleges, Agiza had been arrested and tortured by Egyptian security police because they suspected that his cousin had been involved in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Agiza filed a lawsuit against the Egyptian government in 1991 for his torture and then left Egypt with his family to various countries in the Middle East, before finally settling in Iran.

      Agzia was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 25 years in the 1999 trial of the Albanian returnees.

      The ACLU biography explains:

      “In early in 2000, concerned that improving relations between Egypt and Iran might result in his expulsion back to Egypt, Agiza decided to flee Iran with his family and seek asylum in the United Kingdom. Because he could not secure visas to travel to the U.K., he purchased tickets to Canada instead. On September 23, 2001, during a transit stop through Stockholm, Agiza and his family decided to seek asylum in Sweden, instead.

      On December 18, 2001, while their joint application for asylum was pending before the Swedish immigration authorities, Agiza was secretly apprehended by Swedish Security Police and taken by them to Bromma airport on the outskirts of Stockholm where he was handed over to agents of the CIA. They stripped him, inserted suppositories into his rectum, dressed him in a diaper and overalls, blindfolded him and placed a hood over his head. Agiza was then handcuffed, shackled and dragged into an awaiting Gulfstream V aircraft, registered number N379P. Flight records obtained in the course of investigations in Europe into CIA activities in Europe show that this aircraft departed Johnson County Airport, North Carolina on December 18, 2001 and proceeded to Cairo, Egypt. These records show also that the same aircraft then left Cairo for Bromma airport in Sweden and arrived there at 7:43 p.m. The plane departed Bromma for Cairo at 8:48 p.m., arriving on December 19, 2001. On December 20, 2001, the aircraft departed Cairo at 6:56 and arrived back in Washington, D.C. at 7:18 p.m.

      ***

      Agiza was held in solitary confinement in a squalid prison cell measuring little more than two square meters, without windows, heat or light. He was kept shackled and blindfolded for extended periods, and was interrogated, beaten, and tortured repeatedly.”

      On April 27, 2004, after a six-hour military trial, Agiza was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for membership in an Islamic organization banned under Egyptian law. In June 2004, Agiza’s prison sentence was reduced to 15 years and he was transferred to the minimum security prison at Tora. In September 2008, Agiza was awarded $ 527,000 in damages in a settlement with the Swedish ministry of justice.

      Given that the anthrax was sent the day after the denial of Mahjoub’s bail — just as had been threatened in late January 2001 — the facts relating to Agiza and who he knew are important to keep in mind.

    • DXer said

      In seeking to identify “The Doctor” in today’s news, who sought to attack the New York Stock Exchange, we might also reasonably infer that he knew the Cairo MD Vanguards of Conquest #1, Former Cairo MD Vanguards of Conquest #1 Al-Sharif. He too was from both Egypt and Sudan.

      Al-Sayyid Imam Abd-al-Qadir Imam al-Sharif was the ideological theoretician and spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad throughout much of the 1990s in Afghanistan. He was born in Egypt in 1950. Like Zawahiri, he was introverted and memorized the Quran at a young age. He learned life’s lessons by rote from an old book. Like Zawahiri, his academic success led him to the Cairo University Medical School. He graduated in 1974, the same year as Zawahiri, and like Zawahiri got his masters there in 1978. He worked as an intern in the surgery department of Qasr al-Ayni Medical College, which was the school’s teaching hospital. Al-Shairf, known as Dr. Faldl in Islamist circles, was active in the student cells that formed the first core of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He knew Kamal Habib, EIJ’s founder, and Ayman Zawahiri well. After the Sadat assassination and its aftermath, he fled in 1982 and settled for a short while in the United Arab Emirates. He then left it for the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, He was joined by Ayman al-Zawahiri in 1986 and taught Ayman some of the practical surgery skills that had eluded him

      They both then left for the city of Peshawar on the Pakistani-Afghan borders where Al-Sharif managed the Kuwaiti Crescent Hospital. Al-Sharif was the spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization from 1987 until 1993. He completed there his first book “The Fundamentals of Preparedness for Holy War” which provided key guidance for the jihadists along with his book “The Complete Guide to Seekers of Holy Science.” After going to Sudan in 1993, he had a falling out with Al-Zawahiri there. Al-Sharif’s chief strategic disagreement with Zawahiri was that he believed that violent attacks were futile, and instead advocated slow and steady infiltration into the structure of the state. Before he left Sudan, Al-Sharif gave a copy of his finished manuscript to Zawahiri, saying that it could be used to raise money. But then Zawahiri omitted key criticisms from the manuscript and the radical changes infuriated Al-Sharif. Al-Sharif then left Sudan to Yemin in the middle of 1994 where he worked as a doctor. He worked at a hospital at a mountain town outside of Sanaa, Yemen and called himself Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Sharif.

      In 1999, like Dr. Agiza, he was sentenced was 25-years in absentia in the “Returnees from Albania” trial. He worked in Yemen until 2004 when the government handed him over to the Egyptians in February 2004. In 2007, he issued his initiative for stopping the violence “A Document for Rationalization of Jihad in Egypt and the World.”

      In it, he emphasized that “all the jihadist movements in the world should rationalize their operations according to the Shariah rules, especially after the appearance of updated versions of killing in the name of jihad which involved breaches of the Shariah.” His son reports that at Tora Prison, his “cell” is a private room with a bath and a small kitchen, refrigerator, and a television.

      Al-Sharif writes: “Oh, you young people, do not be deceived by the heroes of the Internet, the leaders of the microphones, who are launching statements inciting the youth while living under the protection of intelligence services, or of a tribe, or in a distant cave or under political asylum in an infidel country. They have thrown many others before you into the infernos, graves, and prisons.” Muhammad Salah, the Cairo bureau chief of Al Hayat, was allowed into Tora Prison to interview Fadl, and published a . a six-part series, where Fadl defended the work as his own and “left no doubt of his personal grudge against Zawahiri.” Fadl labels 9/11 “a catastrophe for Muslims,” because Al Qaeda’s actions “caused the death of tens of thousands of Muslims—Arabs, Afghans, Pakistanis and others.”

      Former EIJ spiritual guide, Cairo Medical School trained Al-Sharif, has continued his catfight with Zawahiri. Cairo-based writer for the Ann Arbor charity IANA, Kamal Habib, says that the criticism of Zawahiri is making Imam (Al-Sharif) look bad.

      As with both Zawahiri and Agiza, given that the anthrax was sent the day after the denial of Mahjoub’s bail — just as had been threatened in late January 2001 — the facts relating to al-Sharif and who he knew are important to keep in mind.

    • DXer said

      While “The Doctor” is reportedly an alias used by Dr. Ayman Zawahiri (see 1998 embassy bombing indictment), others also have been known to use the alias. So what else do we know about “The Doctor” who reportedly wanted to attack the New York Stock Exchange?

      Well, we know it definitely was not Zawahiri, he historically reported to Zawahiri. He was in Yemen in February 2008. And I believe he was detained by January 2009, and was questioned by the FBI the first week of March 2009.

      http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB436/docs/EBB-062.pdf

      From a 2013 sentencing memo:

      “Hasanoff understood that Suffian and the Doctor were affiliated with al Qaeda in Yemen, with the Doctor holding a senior position within the group and responsible for arranging travel for persons seeking to receive military
      style training and to join the mujahidin fighting in such locations as Afghanistan

      After a period of time when Hasanoff, El Hanafi, and the CW sent money to Suffian and the Doctor, Suffian facilitated an in- person meeting for El-Hanafi with the Doctor in Yemen in February 2008. The Doctor, a self
      -proclaimed career jihadist, received an oath of allegiance, called bay-at, from El -Hanafi; received money and various other items from Hasanoff, El-Hanafi, and the CW that had been solicited for the purposes of supporting
      terrorist causes; and professed to be able to arrange travel for Hasanoff, El- Hanafi, and the CW to a place where they could receive military-style training and fight inarmed combat.”

      So we know that the “The Doctor” was in Yemen in February 2008 and then detained in some foreign country in early 2009 — he was interviewed over five successive days the first week in March 2009.

      Before being instructed by El-Hanafi, he apparently did not know how to use encryption in his internet communications. It was the “The Doctor,” however, who advised El-Hanafi how to act covertly in the United States. His advice seems straight out of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s booklet on covert operations. “For example, the Doctor advised El-Hanafi that the group could more fluidly blend into Western culture by not attending mosques, not growing beards, and not wearing their pants short.”

      “The Doctor” advised El-Hanafi to research remote cars with specific frequencies of radio signals. Al Qaeda desired these remote-control cars because they could be modified into components for explosives for use against U.S. and Coalition forces. After researching these items, Hasanoff and El-Hanafi were supposed to purchase and ship them to Al Qaeda in Yemen.”

      The Doctor also sought Visa gift cards and a video camera. El-Hanafi stayed at the doctor’s house for 2-3 days.

      [Go to this video and vote for this local emergency preparedness video — the third one, with the little old lady and cute kid — and I promise the gift card or IPAD/ camera won’t be sent to Al Qaeda]

      http://www.redcross.org/ny/syracuse/3dayok/video

      There came a time when El-Hanafi thought “The Doctor” was ripping them off (and it seems that he was) — taking all the goodies and distributing them to his needy friends. (This reminds me of the Yemen cell years earlier where the head of the cell was in a dispute with Dr. Ayman Zawahiri about his having bought a new fax, with Dr. Ayman arguing that the old fax had been perfectly good. Dr. Ayman and the Yemen cell leader used the same code to refer to incarceration as “hospitalization.” (That cell was planning a bombing in Egypt).

      As for “The Doctor’s” point of view:

      “The Doctor characterized himself as a seasoned jihadist who had sworn bay at to an Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader, who later became al Qaeda’s second-in-command. The Doctor also readily acknowledged that he long had hoped to conduct an attack on U.S. soil, noting his hatred of the United States and its policies.”

      “The Doctor reported that he gave some of the $12,000 that El-Hanafi delivered to families in need — appearing to refer to families of purported “martyrs” and others who had died in fighting jihad —and that he also bought two cars with the remainder of the money. The Doctor intended to resell those cars for profit, so he would be able to send additional money to those families.”

      ***

      “Specifically, the Doctor stated that he had contemplated an attack on the New York Stock Exchange, but that he had very little information about the site, including its location, size and security.

      Accordingly, the Doctor asked that Hasanoff perform surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange, which information the Doctor hoped would be beneficial for purposes of planning an attack in the United States. In the Doctor’s eyes, Hasanoff, El-Hanafi, and the CW were ideal for these plans, and he believed that the three Americans would be better put to use for attacks on U.S. soil rather than traveling to fight in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, or another front. The Doctor also recalled that, around May or June of 2008, El-Hanafi advised him (through Suffian) that Hasanoff would be traveling from the UAE to the United States. The Doctor also reported that he received information concerning the New York Stock Exchange from Hasanoff following that trip.”

  2. DXer said

    Professor Les Baillie, who advised Amerithrax while at the University of Maryland, and was Chairman of the Dangerous Pathogens 200 Conference at which Al Qaeda anthrax scientist explained his research involving killing mice with anthrax, has warned about the large scale consequences of an anthrax attack.

    http://image.slidesharecdn.com/professorlesbailliecompatibilitymode-141013083740-conversion-gate02/95/professor-les-baillie-5-638.jpg?cb=1413207506

  3. DXer said

    Why the Bioterrorism Skeptics are Wrong
    Jeffrey D. Simon*
    Political Risk Assessment Co Inc (PRAC), Santa Monica, California 90406, USA
    Corresponding Author : Jeffrey D. Simon
    Political Risk Assessment Co Inc., (PRAC), Santa Monica
    California 90406, USA

    Received August 20, 2011; Accepted October 18, 2011; Published October 20, 2011

    Citation: Simon JD (2011) Why the Bioterrorism Skeptics are Wrong. J Bioterr Biodef S2:001. doi: 10.4172/2157-2526.S2-001

    Copyright: © 2011 Simon JD. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    When I first began writing on bioterrorism in the late 1980s [1], there were two main criticisms leveled at anybody who was dealing with this subject. The first was that you might be giving new ideas to terrorists, who were busy at the time setting off car bombs, hijacking planes, kidnapping individuals, and doing other types of conventional terrorist attacks throughout the world. The assumption then was that terrorists did not know much about biological weapons, so the less said or written about the subject, the better. The days of bioterrorism being a taboo topic, however, are long gone. Today, there are countless numbers of books, articles, Internet websites, television commentaries, and government reports devoted to this threat.

    The second criticism was that terrorists did not have the motivations or capabilities to effectively acquire and use biological weapons, and therefore any publications that warned about the threat would needlessly alarm the public. That criticism can still be heard today. However, since the consequences of a major terrorist attack with a biological weapon could be catastrophic in terms of lives lost and the medical, political, and social crisis it would produce, it is important to answer the skeptics so there can be little doubt of the need to prepare for the day when terrorists might unleash these weapons upon a civilian population.

    First, it is important to explain how devastating a major bioterrorist attack could be. A U.S. Congressional report published many years ago estimated that the dispersal of 100 kilograms of anthrax from an airplane flying over Washington, D.C. could kill between 1 and 3 million people [2]. In addition to unprecedented casualty totals, a major bioterrorist attack could also lead to widespread panic among the public as hospitals and clinics may have to close their doors due to a lack of space, medicine, and other resources. There is also the potential for adverse psychological reactions among survivors, emergency workers, and the public in the aftermath of a bioterrorist attack. Terrorism is a form of psychological warfare with terrorists oftentimes perpetrating their violence to cause fear among the public. The psychological dimension of terrorism will be even more pronounced in the case of biological terrorism. Some of the expected reactions to a biological terrorist attack, for example, would be widespread fear, anxiety, and depression among the general public, emergency service personnel and others, including both those people who are infected and those who are not. For those who are infected, there will be the understandable fear of a mysterious and invisible biological agent slowly working its way through one’s body. People not infected may nevertheless believe that they are infected, and in the process interfere with the emergency medical response by seeking unnecessary treatment at already overcrowded hospitals and clinics. And while the emergency services and medical community will hopefully save many lives, it may be too late in some cases, depending upon the biological agent used or how long it took to diagnose the illness. Therefore, there could be a sense of hopelessness among the public and emergency services personnel as large numbers of people may die despite medical attention [3].

    The medical, psychological, and political repercussions of a major bioterrorist attack demands that we not underestimate this threat. Yet those observers who question whether bioterrorism will ever occur raise several important points that need to be addressed. The first is the fact that throughout the long history of terrorism, there has not been a single, successful major attack with a biological weapon. (The 2001 anthrax letter attacks are not considered by most observers to constitute a “major” bioterrorist attack since the casualty total was relatively low with 5 people being killed). The thinking, therefore, is that if we haven’t yet experienced one, why should we assume that we would now? There are trends in terrorism, however, that indicate that terrorists will likely use these weapons in the near future. The most important trend is the emergence of smarter and more creative terrorists that are taking advantage of the information and technological revolution that affects all aspects of life in the twenty-first century. Terrorists today would have a much easier time than in previous periods to learn about biological weapons. The Internet provides terrorists an easy way to catch up to speed on all types of knowledge about biological weapons, including which agents are best suited for use as a terrorist weapon, how to acquire the agents, how to use them, etc. They would also be able to recruit or hire somebody with that knowledge given the large number of microbiologists and other experts who worked on bioweapons programs in the former Soviet Union, Iraq, and other countries and who today may be out of work.

    Another trend indicating that the use of biological weapons by terrorists is the growing is the threat of lone wolf terrorism. Lone wolves are individual terrorists who work alone or with the minimal assistance of one or two other people. Unlike some terrorist groups, lone wolves would not worry about possible backlashes from their supporters if they were to use biological weapons, or fear a government crackdown on their group following a bioterrorist attack. Since they work alone, there is no group decisionmaking process that might stifle their creativity in designing a terrorist operation. Lone wolves are therefore free to think up any scenario they want and then act upon it since they are accountable only to themselves. A lone wolf was responsible for the innovative anthrax letter attacks in the United States in 2001.

    A second major point that the bioterrorism skeptics raise is that even if terrorists acquired biological weapons, they would not know how to effectively use them. Biological agents need to be dispersed properly if they are to achieve maximum killing capacity. Sunlight, wind, temperature and other environmental factors can affect the dispersal of anthrax spores and other biological agents from the air, while filters, airflow-diversion technology, and neutralizing equipment may make it hard for terrorists to release ricin or other agents inside buildings [4]. One example that is often cited is the failure of the Japanese cult, Aum Shinryko, to launch a successful attack with a weapon of mass destruction despite a multi-year research effort to acquire and use such weapons and virtually unlimited funds and personnel to support that effort [5]. Their 1995 Sarin nerve gas attack in the Tokyo subway did not cause maximum casualties (12 people died), mainly because the cult did not manufacture a potent enough batch of the nerve agent. Even if they had, they still chose a poor delivery method to disperse the Sarin; they simply left several punctured containers of the chemical agent on the floors of the five subway trains that they attacked. Aum also failed in its efforts to produce lethal biological agents. They were working on anthrax and botulinum toxin. On one occasion, the cult sprayed a liquid suspension of Bacillus anthracis spores from their headquarters building in Kameido, Japan which is near Tokyo. The spores, however, turned out to be from the non-lethal Sterne vaccine strain that is used in Japan for animal prophylaxis against anthrax [6]. On another occasion, Aum was suspected of attempting to kill an attorney by mixing what they thought was botulinum toxin into his drink. However, the attempt failed because the cult had not acquired the necessary strain of Clostridium botulinum from which botulinum toxin is derived [7]. A botulinum toxin attack against the food supply chain could result in a large numbers of casualties [8,9].

    The thinking, therefore, among the skeptics is that if Aum with all its resources and personnel failed to launch a major bioterrorist attack, why then should we believe that any other terrorist group or cult would be able to do so. However, one could argue that it was Aum’s large size, approximately 50,000 members, that may have actually worked against the cult’s efforts to launch a major, successful chemical or biological terrorist attack. Bureaucratic politics, factions, divisions in the group, lack of focus and coordination, etc., all could add to the problems that large groups sometimes face in planning and implementing a terrorist operation. Aum’s members were constantly striving to please their leader and guru, Shoko Ashara and were basically on a “fishing expedition” to find the most effective weapon, including conventional weapons, for an attack [10]. The ineptitude of the cult’s delivery system for the Sarin (just leaving it on the floors of the subway trains) indicates that the group had not researched enough or correctly understood how to effectively disperse chemical and biological agents, but simply decided upon Sarin to use in its attack [11]. As noted above, the information and technological revolutionary age that we are now living in will aid terrorists interested in using biological weapons, including learning how to effectively disperse these agents. As analysts at Sandia National Laboratories state, “The ever increasing technological sophistication of society continually lowers the barriers, resulting in a low but increasing probability of a high consequence bioterrorism event [12]. It should also be noted that crude extracts of ricin or crude preparations of anthrax spores, which do not require a lot of technological ability or equipment, could still inflict panic, fear, and casualties among the public.

    The third major point raised by those who do not believe terrorists will use biological agents is that terrorists are achieving their objectives with conventional attacks and therefore have no need to escalate to biological weapons. However, the history of terrorism teaches us that terrorists escalate their violence when they perceive that the public and governments have become desensitized to the “normal” flow of terrorism. By perpetrating a violent act that causes more casualties than previous incidents, or by introducing a new tactic or weapon, terrorists are guaranteed widespread publicity for their cause and reaction from various parties. With numerous conventional terrorist attacks occurring throughout the world, such as car bombings, suicide attacks, shootings, etc., there will be some terrorists who will be tempted to do something significantly different than what is currently being done. Biological weapons provide them with that opportunity. Furthermore, the September 11, 2001 hijacking-suicide attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people, have set a difficult threshold for terrorists to surpass with conventional weapons. Those groups or individuals that want to “top” 9/11, will have to turn to weapons of mass destruction if they want to kill many more people than were killed on that tragic day.

    Finally, the bioterrorism skeptics also question the need for the billions of dollars that are being spent to deal with this threat. As one observer argued, “Fears of bioterrorism are overblown. We should be spending much more money, time, effort, and print (including e-print) on naturally occurring outbreaks, epidemics, and human behavioral risk factors [13]”. However, preparing for bioterrorism can have important payoffs should a major incident occur. There will be more opportunity for saving lives in the aftermath of a biological terrorist attack than in the response to a conventional terrorist attack. Whereas most of the fatalities in a conventional terrorist bombing occur immediately or shortly after the explosion, in bioterrorism the incubation period for the virus, bacterium, or toxin could be several days. Accurate diagnosis and speedy treatment could save many lives [3].

    However, in a 2010 report by a bipartisan Congressionally appointed commission, it was found that the U.S. is lacking in its preparations for bioterrorism. The commission gave the U.S. government an “F” grade in the category of bioterrorism response. The commission wrote that there was a “lack of U.S. capability to rapidly recognize, respond, and recover from a biological attack.” The report also stated that there was “no national plan to coordinate federal, state, and local efforts following a bioterror attack” and that “virtually all links [in the biodefense chain] are weak.” These weak links were: rapid detection and diagnosis capabilities; providing actionable information to federal, state, and local leaders and the general public; having adequate supplies of appropriated medical countermeasures; quickly distributing those countermeasures; treating and isolating the sick in medical facilities; protecting the well through vaccines and prophylactic medications; and in certain cases, such as anthrax, environmental cleanup [14].

    The commission did not address, however, one of the most serious problems in bioterrorism preparedness, namely, the failure to include the public in contingency planning. Since terrorists who use biological agents will likely be attracted to the mass killing potential of these weapons, individuals living in metropolitan areas will be the ones at most risk. Yet there have not been any bioterrorism civil defense programs for the public. Most people will not know what to do or where to go in the aftermath of a major bioterrorism attack. There is a thus a need for pre-incident education for the public about biological agents. The objective of the public education programs should be to inform people about biological warfare agents without raising their fear level. Many people do not know, for example, that even after being infected with biological agents, their lives can still be saved with speedy treatment. The more knowledge and education there is about biological terrorism, the more prepared the public might be when an actual incident occurs.

    One can hope that the bioterrorism skeptics are correct and that we will not see the day when terrorists launch a major, successful attack with biological weapons. A positive sign is that progress is being made in many aspects of combating bioterrorism, including biodetection, diagnosis, prophylaxis, and treatments [15,16]. These efforts, which hopefully may also serve as a deterrent to would-be bioterrorists, need to continue. I am reminded, though, of the Irish Republican Army’s chilling statement following a failed attempt to assassinate British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984. The IRA warned, “Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always [17]”. Unfortunately, we can’t expect to always be lucky against terrorism. What separates terrorism from all other types of conflict is the ability of a single incident to throw an entire nation into a crisis and have repercussions far beyond the original event. It is therefore crucial that in the battle against terrorism we be prepared for all types of contingencies, including bioterrorism.

    References
    Simon JD (1989) Terrorists and the Potential Use of Biological Weapons: A Discussion of Possibilities. R-3771-AFMIC, Santa Monica, CA, The Rand Corporation, December.

    US Congress (1993) Office of Technology Assessment, Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing the Risks, OTA-ISC-559. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, August, 54.

    Simon JD (1997) Biological Terrorism: Preparing to Meet the Threat. JAMA 278: 428-430.

    Fiorill J (2004) Agencies Seek to ‘Immunize’ Buildings Against Terror Attacks. Government Executive Magazine, March 4, (accessed August 17, 2011).

    Leitenberg M (2004) The Problem of Biological Weapons. Stockholm, Sweden: The Swedish National Defense College 27-29.

    Keim P, Smith KL, Keys C, Takahashi H, Kurata T, et al. (2001) Molecular Investigation of the Aum Shinrikyo Anthrax Release in Kameido, Japan. J Clin Microbiol 39: 4566-4567.

    Ballard T, Pate J, Ackerman G, McCauley D, Lawson S (2001) Chronology of Aum Shinryko’s CBW Activities. CNS Reports, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute for International Studies, March 15, (accessed October 4, 2011).

    Wein LM, Liu Y (2005) Analyzing a Bioterror Attack on the Food Supply: The Case of Botulinum Toxin in Milk. PNAS 102: 9984-9989;

    Liu Y, Wein LM (2008) Mathematically Assessing the Consequences of Food Terrorism Scenarios. J Food Sci 73: M346-M353.

    Kaplan D, Marshall A (1997) The Cult at the End of the World: The Incredible Story of Aum. London: Arrow Books.

    Simon JD (2011) Technological and Lone Operator Terrorism: Prospects for a Fifth Wave of Global Terrorism, in Rosenfeld JE., ed., Terrorism, Identity, and Legitimacy: The Four Waves Theory and Political Violence. London: Routledge 58.

    Frerichs RL, Salerno RM, Vogel KM, Barnett NB, Gaudioso J, et al. (2004) Historical Precedence and Technical Requirements of Biological Weapons Use: A Threat Assessment. Sandia National Laboratories, SAND2004-1854, May.

    Pendergrast M (2010) Is Bioterrorism the Most Terrifying Public Health Problem? The Science Blogs Book Club, July 8, (accessed August 17, 2011).

    Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (2010) Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism Report Card, Washington, DC, January.

    Pelat T, Hust M, Hale M, Lefranc MP, Dubel S, et al. (2009) Isololation of a Human-like Antibody Fragment (scFV) That Neutralizes Ricin Biological Activity. BMC Biotechnol 9: 60.

    Froude JW, Stiles B, Pelat T, Thullier P (2011) Antibodies for biodefense. mAbs 3: 1-11

    Simon JD (2001) The Terrorist Trap: America’s Experience with Terrorism. Second Edition. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. 216.

  4. DXer said

    Recipes From the Islamic State’s Laptop of Doom
    Foreign Policy‎ – 5 days ago
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/09/09/recipes_from_the_islamic_states_laptop_of_doom_ricin_semtex_exclusive

    ANTAKYA, Turkey — The black Dell laptop found in an Islamic State safe … Syria not only contains instructions for how to weaponize the bubonic plague, … The Complex: Is the ISIS laptop of doom an operational threat?

    The files from the laptop show that, once committed to jihad, Muhammed left Celine Dion behind and became more focused on how to poison people. One 21-minute clip, featuring former American Nazi Party member Kurt Saxon, offers instructions for how to obtain the deadly toxin ricin from castor beans. Saxon provides a detailed description of the process, producing the ricin on camera. “Now you really have some lethal stuff here!” he exclaims, once he is finished. “Now this is fan-tas-tic stuff!”

    Muhammed also got his hands on two obscure English-language jihadi publications, The Mujahideen Explosives Handbook and The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook.

    Abdel Aziz warns his audience to be cautious while preparing deadly toxins. “It is much, much more dangerous than preparing explosives!” he writes. “I know several [jihadists] whose bodies are finished due to poor protection etc. On the positive side, you can be confident that the poisons have actually been tried and tested (successfully, he he!).”

    Muhammed appears to have been a voracious consumer of speeches by jihadi ideologues. Most popular is Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American religious leader linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in September 2011. There are also speeches by al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, current al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and former al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

    Muhammed also compiled speeches by 112 other jihadi leaders. They include Juhayman al-Otaybi, who led the attack on the Kaaba in Mecca in 1979; Sayyid Qutb, an important ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood; Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden’s mentor and one of the main ideologues of al Qaeda; and Abdullah al-Nafisi, a Kuwaiti professor notable for calling for massive anthrax attacks within the United States and saying on Al Jazeera Arabic that he hopes American white supremacists succeed in attacking a nuclear power plant. “May Allah grant success to one of the militia leaders,” he said.

    On 9/11 anniversary, terrorism expert warns about ISIS
    Group poses significant threat, Mellott says
    http://www.10news.com/news/on-911-anniversary-terrorism-expert-warns-about-isis

    Katie Leone

    It’s common knowledge the fundamentalist group ISIS was formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq. . It renamed and rebranded, as any smart corporation would. What’s less-widely known, according to Mellott, is the reason it was kicked out: Members will kill anybody, including fellow Muslims.

    ISIS is willing to look back at the time before Saladin, before the Islamic armies were united and began to fight Christian armies during the Crusades, back to when Arab tribes were fighting each other and killing each other, and they justify it in that way, he said.

    “They’ve got a history of killing each other off- they don’t care about killing Sunnis,” Mellott said. “How long is the fight? As long as it needs to be.”

    This is where the differences between ISIS and Al-Qaeda become critical for Western countries, Mellott said. Because ISIS will kill anyone, it could use a chemical or biological weapon anywhere, on any day, without warning. With Al-Qaeda, according to Mellott, they would likely try to avoid killing faithful Muslims — so if it was going to release a weapon in a stadium, it would be on a Muslim holy day, when no good faithful would be present.

    For ISIS, because members will kill anyone, they could use a chemical weapon on any day.

    But the real threat, according to Mellott, is that of a biological weapon.

    “A chemical weapon released at ground zero kills 100 percent at the site. As you move farther away from the location, the impact is diluted. With a biological weapon, the effect is the opposite. You infect one person, who spreads contamination to 50 more people, who each spread contamination to even more people. Since you can’t control it, Al-Qaeda would never use it,” Mellott said. “ISIS would use it, because they don’t care.”

    Comment:

    It seems that people are forgetting that KSM cut journalist Daniel Pearl’s throat on camera. And the owner of the property was there for discussions about the anthrax planning. I suspect that using a biological weapon in a muslim country would be a no-no for Al-Qaeda in Iraq (aka ISIS) just as it is for AQ. Similarly, I suspect that using plague (or ebola) would similarly be problematic for the practical reason that it could come back and kill you.

    That much ballyhooed laptop reported of late did not impress me relative to the documentary evidence relating to the Al Qaeda anthrax labs that were established.

    Indeed, the fellow himself notes how dangerous the work with the pathogens is — the fact that the practical concern of killing yourself is an ample limitation notwithstanding ideology.

    Moreover, in any event, he seems to be taking ideological guidance from the usual suspects.

  5. DXer said

    Escape from New York: City Dwellers Prep for Doomsday
    By Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | August 25, 2014 08:36am ET

    But a small group of folks in the city are gearing up for the next doomsday scenario by prepping survival gear, planning escape routes, and training to get out of New York City — even by inflatable kayak if necessary.

    Urban survivalists also worry less about government conspiracies and end-of-days scenarios, and instead plan for threats, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters, that have already materialized, Bounds said.

    Many have seen firsthand, in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, how long it can take for local and federal government agencies to restore order, she said.

    http://www.livescience.com/47515-how-to-escape-new-york.html?google_editors_picks=tru

    Comment:

    The advice is the article discussing “preppers” is all standard advice given by authorities — in New York, they were giving out a free backpack of emergency supplies. It contained a lot of very useful stuff and was a well-conceived and executed program..

    The hope was to have 100,000 trained in NY by the end of the year.

    Emergency preparedness is what learning ham radio is all about.

    http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/02/post_701.html

    You can get an inflatable kayak for $39 at Aldis — $29 when on sale. They are easy to blow up with a <$ pump and work really well. In some areas prone to flooding, it would be a good thing to have in your closet. Unopened, it keeps neatly in the box. I’ve gone through four or five — never paying more than $89 for an equally wonderful used raft. I used to transport rocks in the one raft — so you can actually escape with a couple of family members. With just the kayak, you’ll have to leave the teenager behind to feed the cats.

  6. DXer said

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-raj-persaud/psychology-of-ebola-crisis_b_5667133.html

    Psychology of Ebola Crisis Reveals Biological Weapon Potential
    Posted: 11/08/2014 15:24 BST Updated: 11/08/2014

    “One grave psychological problem and key lesson from outbreaks such as Kikwit, the authors of the Kikwit study from the University of South Florida, report, is that it is common for clinicians, who have previously agreed to work with the infected, to later question this decision and commitment during life-threatening viral epidemics.

    Kyle Olson argues that understanding and managing cultural, psychological and other factors (including social media) are as significant in fighting the spread of the disease, as having modern hospitals and effective hygiene.

    He also contends that some members of the medical community may become victims of their own hubris if they assume they understand everything about managing Ebola. He notes that a key concern in almost every major city around the world is that most clinical personnel have never seen Ebola, and are, at best, only theoretically familiar with the symptoms. Kyle Olson reports that emergency room medical personnel in Washington and New York City have received new training on recognizing Ebola over the past several weeks.

    He concludes: take nothing for granted.

    It’s this wider psychological impact which means that even now there are probably those who are thinking of deploying Ebola as a biological weapon, who are paying close attention to the current spread of the virus, and the contagion of fear.”

    Comment:

    From a tactical standpoint, using any biological weapon that can’t be controlled violates the hadiths and is impractical for that reason. For example, ebola (or plague) could then spread to Saudi Arabia during had.

    Indeed, any biological weapon that kills the elderly, children or women violates the hadiths.

    Black Death ‘kills al-Qaeda operatives in Algeria’
    The Black Death has reportedly killed at least 40 al-Qaeda operatives in North Africa.
    6:45AM GMT 19 Jan 2009
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/algeria/4287469/Black-Death-kills-al-Qaeda-operatives-in-Algeria.html

    Al Qaeda bungles arms experiment
    By Eli Lake – The Washington Times – Monday, January 19, 2009
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/19/al-qaeda-bungles-arms-experiment/

    • DXer said

      http://www.wired.com/2009/04/redirect-al-qae/

      Redirect Al Qaeda to Your Favorite Website
      • BY NICHOLAS THOMPSON
      • 04.10.09

      ***

      Shut down jihadist sites generally just go blank, as happened today with toorabora.com. But is “Page Load Error” the best solution? Yesterday, I asked this question of Aaron Weisburd, an anti-terrorist hacktivist and he responded:

      A very simple solution would be for US Treasury to call the domain names the Taliban use “assets” and then seize those assets. For extra credit points they could then redirect the domains to http://www.fbi.gov, and send an unmistakable signal to AQ and their friends.

      Good point! But there must be better places to redirect traffic than FBI.gov. … maybe visitors should be redirected to sites about Al Qaeda’s alleged bubonic plague outbreak.

    • DXer said

      If not plague, what caused the deaths of these Al Qaeda members?

      “A high-level U.S. intelligence official last month also rejected the plague report, but told the Washington Times that the extremists had apparently suffered exposure to some sort of biological or chemical agent (Agence France-Presse/Google News, Feb. 4).”

      http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/algeria-who-deny-reports-of-al-qaeda-plague-mishap/

      Algeria, WHO Deny Reports of Al-Qaeda Plague Mishap

      Feb. 4, 2009
      Algeria and the World Health Organization have separately rejected reports that a bubonic plague mishap killed dozens of al-Qaeda operatives at a base in the African state, Agence France-Presse reported today (see GSN, Jan. 21).

      “No case of plague of any type has been recorded in any region of Algeria since 2003 in Oran,” Algerian Health Ministry spokesman Slim Belkessam said yesterday.

      The World Health Organization verified that the 2003 incident was the most recent Algerian case to be reported.

      U.S. and British newspapers reported that a failed attempt to weaponize plague bacteria killed roughly 40 members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb at a site about 60 miles east of Algiers.

      Al-Qaeda dismissed the report in a statement on an extremist Web site.

      A high-level U.S. intelligence official last month also rejected the plague report, but told the Washington Times that the extremists had apparently suffered exposure to some sort of biological or chemical agent (Agence France-Presse/Google News, Feb. 4).

    • DXer said

      Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 6 Issue: 4February 6, 2009 Age: 6 yrs

      IS AL-QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB TESTING BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS?
      http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Bswords%5D=8fd5893941d69d0be3f378576261ae3e&tx_ttnews%5Bany_of_the_words%5D=bubonic%20plague&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34504&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=37972e1cfa#.U_HiOs3M6m0

      “IS AL-QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB TESTING BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS?

      Rumors of a plague outbreak among al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) members in the caves of Algeria’s eastern Tizi Ouzou province first appeared in Algiers’ Arabic language Ech Chorouk el-Youmi newspaper on January 6. The story gathered little attention until a new version was published by London tabloid The Sun on January 19, 2009, under the sensational heading: “Anti-Terror bosses last night hailed their latest ally in the war on terror – the BLACK DEATH.” The article went on to describe how “At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages.” The AQIM unit, based in caves of the coastal Tizi Ouzou province, “was forced to turn its shelters in the Yakouren forest into mass graves and flee,” with AQIM leaders fearing the survivors would surrender to “escape a horrible death” (The Sun [London], January 19).

      Various news agencies quickly found “experts” who were willing to speculate on AQIM’s alleged experimentation with biological weapons. Asian News International (ANI) quoted “a leading expert on chemical warfare” who suggested that, instead of bombs, terrorists could send people with infectious diseases walking through cities (ANI, January 20).

      A Washington Times story cited an anonymous “senior U.S. intelligence official” who claimed a mishap during the development of biological weapons forced AQIM to close their Tizi Ouzou base, based on an intercepted (but undisclosed) message sent from Algeria to al-Qaeda leadership in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region (Washington Times, January 19). The story then went on to use then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s long-discredited testimony before the United Nations as “proof” of al-Qaeda’s development of biological and chemical weapons. Other anonymous sources were cited as saying that al-Qaeda was worried the plague could spread to their personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan (UPI, January 19). A new twist on the story suggested the outbreak may have occurred after Algerian security forces used a biological weapon against AQIM’s Tizi Ouzou base (al-Arabiya, January 26).

      Dr. Saada Chougrani, an expert on infectious diseases with the University of Oran, stated that the rumors of plague in Tizi Ouzou were not taken seriously by Algerian health professionals, including the Laboratory for the Plague of the Pasteur Institute in Oran and the medical bacteriology laboratory in Algiers (ProMED [International Society for Infectious Diseases], January 21). Anis Rahmani, an Algerian security expert, noted that AQIM had trouble making explosives from fertilizer – the complicated and expensive process of weaponizing plague bacteria was far beyond the capability of the cave-dwelling insurgents (al-Arabiya, January 26).

      Last week, AQIM issued a denial of all reports of plague sweeping through their ranks, blaming their appearance on the Algerian intelligence services:

      “On January 6, 2009, several journalists wrote reports, based upon information they had received from their bosses in the Algerian intelligence bureaus, about dozens of mujahideen who died from contracting the plague. According to their claims, this disease was spread throughout the ranks of al-Qaeda organization and that it will soon cause the collapse of this organization! (…) We wanted to announce that there was no truth to these rumors… We don’t know anything about this so-called plague, because it never happened – other than perhaps in the minds and hearts of those collaborators who falsely carry the title of ‘journalists'” (Tout sur l’Algerie, January 26; NEFA Foundation, January 28).

      A 2003 outbreak of bubonic plague in the Algerian port city of Oran led to 11 confirmed and seven suspected cases of the disease. It was the first confirmed case of plague in Algeria since 1950. A study of the 2003 outbreak notes reports of plague in Algerian records dating back to the 14th century, though the disease has gradually disappeared in the last century for unknown reasons. Nearly all outbreaks occurred in port cities rather than the interior (Bertherat E, Bekhoucha S, Chougrani S, Razik F, Duchemin JB, Houti L, et al., “Plague reappearance in Algeria after 50 years, 2003,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, Oct 2007).

      It is not impossible for AQIM to have experienced an outbreak of plague or another infectious disease in their rural camps (where conditions are similar to those experienced by the victims of the 2003 plague outbreak near Oran), but the very fact that no legitimate case has been reported suggests that this reported outbreak is unlikely. AQIM, like any militant group, does not exist in complete isolation – there are contacts with local farmers to obtain food, messengers to communicate with other AQIM sections, etc. Despite this, the epidemic does not seem to have spread (if indeed it ever existed). What can certainly be discounted is the possibility of AQIM conducting experiments in weaponizing the plague or other infectious diseases in their remote mountain hideouts.”

  7. DXer said

    ELIZABETH PALERMOLIVESCIENCE.COMAugust 11, 2014, 2:02 PM
    Could Ebola be turned into a bio-weapon? Possible, but not so easy

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/could-ebola-be-turned-into-a-bio-weapon-possible-but-not-so-easy/

  8. DXer said

    Terrorists could use Ebola to create dirty bomb to kill large numbers in the UK, says Cambridge University disease expert
    • Dr Peter Walsh says group such as Al Qaeda could use virus to create bomb
    • Biological anthropologist says risk of Ebola reaching UK is small
    • ‘Bigger risk’ is that terrorists manage to harness virus, says expert
    • Bomb could cause ‘large number’ of horrific deaths
    By LUCY CROSSLEY

    PUBLISHED: 12:40 EST, 3 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:43 EST, 3 August 2014

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2714832/Terrorists-use-Ebola-create-dirty-bomb-kill-large-numbers-UK-says-Cambridge-University-disease-expert.html

    Comment: Our motto on the island here is: “Nature always wins.”

    But also: “Whoever has the stones controls the island.”

    I immediately volunteered to be the seawall guy.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US BIodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  9. DXer said

    EXCLUSIVE: City will participate in massive drill Friday to prepare against possible anthrax attack

    The emergency response drill will be the largest one the city has every attempted. It will involve 1,500 staffers from a dozen city agencies. Preparing for the possibility of a biological attack, the workers will respond to calls starting at 5:30 a.m. and scramble to set up 30 sites around the five boroughs, handing out drugs to combat the deadly agent.

    BY ERIN DURKIN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU Friday, August 1, 2014,

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/anthrax-attack-drill-disaster-city-article-1.1888068

    A massive anthrax attack will hit the city Friday — or at least that’s what 1,500 staffers from a dozen city agencies will hear first thing in the morning, setting off the biggest surprise emergency response drill the city has ever attempted.

    Preparing for the possibility of a biological attack, the workers — aware they’re participating in a drill — will respond to calls starting at 5:30 a.m. and scramble to set up 30 sites around the five boroughs, handing out drugs to combat the deadly agent.

    ***

    Officials will set up distribution points at 30 different spots, mostly public school buildings, staffed by multi-lingual workers who will urge visitors to pick up free medications for themselves and at least five other people.

    Comment:

    Given what is at stake, it is unacceptable for an investigator or scientist — even if he or she has retired — to be comfortable with an “Ivins theory” without personally having turned to read the documents relating to the reason Dr. Ivins had to be in the lab those nights and weekends.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/dxer-summarizes-the-documentary-evidence-which-demolishes-the-fbis-ivins-theory/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/the-scientist-who-made-the-large-amount-of-virulent-ames-that-is-missing-who-was-thanked-by-the-former-zawahiri-associate-for-providing-technical-assistance-re-the-ames-is-the-person-who-could-exp/

    For example, it relatedly is wrong to base a conclusion on hours spent in Building 1425 without understanding the effect of the two-person rule in January 2002 — which put an end to Dr. Ivins late hours that had continued into November and December 2001.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/the-doj-civil-division-notes-that-it-is-not-in-genuine-dispute-that-after-2001-a-short-lived-two-person-rule-implemented-early-2002-prevented-the-same-pattern-of-hours-that-ausa-rachel-lieber-mist/

    Anyone who has based their analysis on hours without having bothered to obtain and review the pattern of hours in Building 1412 seems not to realize the importance of getting the analysis of the available evidence right. The key card entry information for Building 1412 was one of the enclosures provided by the USAMRIID to the FBI in February 2002.

    For all those with friends and family you love in New York City and Washington DC — or money invested in the stock market intended for your retirement — it’s time that you step up your game.

    • DXer said

      Massive emergency drill in New York City

      Posted: Aug 01, 2014 7:04 AM EDT
      Updated: Aug 01, 2014 7:59 AM EDT
      By LUKE FUNK,

      The majority of participants were given no notice to better test and simulate a real emergency and response. …

      The city warned that supply trucks would be escorted by NYPD and other law enforcement vehicles across the city.

      Called RAMPEx, which stands for Rapid Activation for Mass Prophylaxis Exercise, the drill’s estimated cost was $1.4 million. The city says it will not share the results of the test due to security concerns.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Today, NYC Agencies Conducting Huge “No-Notice” Anthrax Emergency Drill
      http://gothamist.com/2014/08/01/today_nyc_agencies_conduct_huge_no-.php

      More than a dozen NYC agencies are participating this morning in what the Health Department calls “the largest no-notice emergency response exercise in New York City history.” The drill will “test our ability to respond to the release of a biological agent.” In other words, this is what we’re in for the next time the white flag is a bomb.

      • DXer said

        City truck stuck in traffic arrives late for anthrax attack drill
        $1.4M drill tested about 1,500 city workers from 13 agencies on their response to an anthrax disaster
        BY JENNA O’DONNELL , CORINNE LESTCH NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, August 1, 201

        Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/truck-arrives-late-anthrax-attack-drill-article-1.1888880#ixzz39HND03WJ

        The official says that in an actual emergy, the truck would get through a traffic jam behind a police escort with sirens and lights.

      • DXer said

        Ebola, solar flares and drought, oh my!

        How New York City Simulates an Anthrax Attack

        “The truth of the matter is that an anthrax attack, or any other kind of public health emergency, can happen. And it has! Just after September 11, five people were killed after receiving anthrax-laced mail, and many others fell sick. And around that same time, anthrax was discovered around New York City, with Tom Brokaw, a couple of U.S. senators, and the offices of the New York Post being targets. There are also naturally-occuring disease scares to be aware of, like H1N1 or West Nile or, more currently, Ebola. Point being, this is a good and necessary exercise.”

        http://gizmodo.com/how-new-york-city-simulates-an-anthrax-attack-1614539966

        Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
        http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  10. DXer said

    White flags mysteriously replace American flags on top of Brooklyn …
    Fox News-1 hour ago

    New York City police Tuesday were investigating how the two American flags that historically sit on top of the Brooklyn Bridge’s 273-foot towers …
    Police Investigating Mysterious White Flags On Brooklyn Bridge
    CBS Local-3 minutes ago

    White Flags Mysteriously Appear Atop the Brooklyn Bridge
    New York Times-1 hour ago

    Mysterious White Flags Replace American Flags Atop Brooklyn Bridge
    Blog-Wall Street Journal (blog)-1 hour ago

    Comment:

    Although the FBI may not be impressed, I recently solved the mystery of how the pumpkin got on the Cornell bell tower and I have the T-shirt and a confession to prove it. (I fortuitously sat down next to a frat brother in the know.) It didn’t involve special engineering — just experienced rock climbers who had put tape over the bell tower door and returned that night.

    Then last month, I designed one for the Brooklyn neighborhood, Sheepshead Bay, picturing an iconic mute swan. The particular banner could be printed and then used to swarm the capitol if the Governor insists on letting the NYS DEC kill my pet swan Ernie and his gal pal. (I didn’t want to be out-of-pocket for the felt for thousands of banners; our mailing list used in advocacy in 26,000 mute swan supporters).

    Brooklyn Flag Design Challenge – Uncommon Goods
    http://www.uncommongoods.com/designs/brooklyn-flag

    WHAT IS THE BROOKLYN FLAG PROJECT? The Brooklyn Flag Project is a call for entries for flag designs that represent the Brooklyn neighborhood that you …

    As for whether NYC will be attacked by terrorists, we don’t know what we don’t know. But a “culture of complacency” is not anything that should be accepted. Not at the CDC — and not at the FBI.

    That would be akin to surrender. And that’s not how we New Yorkers roll. Any former NYC FBI squad supervisor should know and embrace that.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Who raised white flags on Brooklyn Bridge — and why?
      Michael Winter, USA TODAY
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/22/brooklyn-bridge-white-flag/13005381/

      Construction workers reported the swap at 5:30 a.m., NYPD anti-terrorism chief John Miller said at an afternoon news briefing. That was about 2½ hours after security video spotted five individuals crossing the bridge. Police are trying to identify the group.

      The culprits climbed a locked gate and scaled a bridge cable to reach the top of the stone pillars.

      Bridge video showed that at 3:30 a.m., lights atop the Brooklyn tower went out, followed 12 minutes later by lighting on its Manhattan twin. Police said the group used rectangular aluminum cooking pans fastened with zip ties to cover the lights.

      The group replaced the 12-foot-by-18-foot American flags with two 11-by-20 Old Glories that had been bleached out, though the stars and the stripes could still be seen.

      “There’s no particular nexus to terrorism or politics,” Miller said. “It might be some kind of art project or statement. But we are not sure what that statement is.”

    • DXer said

      NYPD Pursuing “Insider Angle” To Brooklyn Bridge White Flag Probe
      http://gothamist.com/2014/07/22/brooklyn_bridge_white_flags.php

      “The light covers were just the right size.”
      http://gothamist.com/2014/07/22/brooklyn_bridge_white_flags.php

      Miller said the perpetrators brought aluminum pans to cover up the lights, and that they knew the right size of pan they’d need to cover them up.

      The flags themselves are, Miller said, “heavy and thick,” 20 feet by 11 feet, and bleached white. As it happens, there’s an Instagram user who identified the flags as bleached earlier today and insinuated that he was responsible for the stunt. In a since-deleted series of comments, “Last Suspect” said the flags were bleached, and said “NYPD can’t stop shit.” He also posted this photo of the underside of the Manhattan Bridge.

      Miller said there had been no “credible” claim of responsibility yet, adding that the investigation is pursuing an “insider angle” because of the perceived level of advanced preparation involved in the incident.

      If apprehended, suspects could face charges of criminal trespass, malicious mischief, reckless endangerment.

    • DXer said

      “This may be somebody’s art project or an attempt to make some sort of statement, but at this time it’s not clear what that statement is,” Miller told a packed news briefing at police headquarters.

      Surveillance video shows a group of at least four or five people crossing the bridge around 3:10 a.m., Miller said. They are of interest to police because shortly afterward the lights illuminating the flags flickered and went out. Police later discovered the beacons had been covered with aluminum pans.

      At least some of perpetrators had experience with climbing for construction or other work, Miller said.” …

      Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police officer, said in a statement that he plans to offer a reward for information related to the arrest of suspects.

    • DXer said

      White Flags on Brooklyn Bridge–Here’s What They Mean
      by 2Paragraphs on July 22, 2014
      http://2paragraphs.com/2014/07/white-flags-on-brooklyn-bridge-heres-what-they-mean/

      Brooklyn Flag Design Challenge – Uncommon Goods
      http://www.uncommongoods.com/designs/brooklyn-flag
      WHAT IS THE BROOKLYN FLAG PROJECT? The Brooklyn Flag Project is a call for entries for flag designs that represent the Brooklyn neighborhood that you ..

      My Brooklyn Flag Art Project
      http://photos.syracuse.com/yourphotos/2014/07/brooklyn_flag_art_project.html

    • DXer said

      ” Police are looking across social media to see if anyone is trying to claim responsibility, and are asking for the public’s help in their investigation. ”

      A former NYC FBI squad supervisor, Dr. Murch, who played a key role in the Amerithrax investigation, wrote me this week to say that he didn’t find Yazid Sufaat’s claim of responsibility compelling. (I had explained that Yazid Sufaat, the Al Qaeda anthrax lab director, in correspondence with me, did not deny responsibility but instead pled the Fifth).

      Yet, the FBI incredibly twisted Bruce Ivins’ claim that he would never do such a thing as a “non-denial denial.” (Pat Fellows, herself under pressure, wore a wire at a coffee shop, adding to his sense of betrayal leading up to his suicide).

      Well, okay, on this Brooklyn Flag Art Project, I am expressly saying I did it — but that my flag came out yellow and has a mute swan on it. (See link above)

      Matt Doscher may have better facts supporting his more specific and pertinent claim of responsibility but that’s mainly because I’m the yellow one.

      Also, I am saying that Ayman Zawahiri is behind the anthrax mailings.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/ayman-zawahiri-anwar-awlaki-anthrax-and-amerithrax-the-infiltration-of-us-biodefense/

      Adnan El-Shukrijumah apparently was the mailer.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/dxer-adnan-el-shukrijumah-is-the-anthrax-mailer-on-9132001-he-phoned-from-ksms-house-to-tell-his-mom-he-was-coming-to-the-us/

      Yazid Sufaat apparently was the processor, and that Al Qaeda had a number of avenues for access to the genetically matching virulent Ames.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

      The documents finally produced (over the course of a few years of FOIA production) show that Bruce Ivns DID have reason to be in the lab.

      DXer summarizes the documentary evidence relating to Dr. Ivins work with rabbits (nowhere mentioned by the DOJ) which demolishes the FBI’s claim that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 3, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/dxer-summarizes-the-documentary-evidence-which-demolishes-the-fbis-ivins-theory/

      Thus, given what is at stake, NYPD Intelligence should take the precaution of disregarding the FBI’s closing of the case.

      Some retired postal inspector from Tennessee who is “comfortable” with an “Ivins Theory” is not in charge of keeping NYC safe — NYPD Intelligence is.

      • DXer said

        There seem to be two competing profiles. One article I read referred to the 5 or so men on a video as in their late teens and early 20s
        — with one carrying a skateboard. That would make sense. In that event, perhaps the $5,000 reward and the best possible photo will lead to a quick resolution. But then there is this report with a competing theory — which also makes sense — that they likely are skilled workers, union card holders rather than hipsters. (Of course, it could be a mix.)

        In the case of the pumpkin on top of the bell tower at Cornell, the rock climbers (who were hipsters) had taped the lock on the door earlier in the day. (They are heros in campus lore so I feel bad that these Brooklyn Bridge guys are in so much trouble.). Turning themselves in would demonstrate good faith, spare investigative expense etc. — and then their sister can use the $5,000 she would collect for turning them in to pay their legal fees. Their best defense is that it is similar to the performance artist who dropped down with a red cloth and spun around, doing some aerial acrobatics. (There is a video). Or the famous high-wire walker. But forthrightly turning themselves in would be the best defense. I estimate the chance of them having avoided a camera to be pretty slim if they continued walking together for any period of time or if the design of the skateboard could be made out.

        DNAinfo.com excerpt:

        “Investigators believe two teams totaling as many as six suspects had “previous and authorized access” to the bridge towers, sources said.

        And they demonstrated “special professional skill sets” that include construction rigging and hoists needed to circumvent locked gates to scale the 267 foot towers where American flags are illuminated round-the-clock, sources told “On the Inside.”

        “Even the flag poles are not normal, and these people knew precisely the correct way to rig them and lash the flags correctly in place,” a law enforcement source said. “This is not something someone can just dream up and attempt one day as a prank. It is well calculated and is more than a stunt.”

        The NYPD still hasn’t determined a motive for the embarrassing security breach.

        “But don’t be surprised if these guys hold union cards,” another source said, downplaying the notion that “hipsters” were behind the prank.

        Sources say whoever was behind the incident was apparenlty aware that lights along the span’s suspension cables are routinely turned off at about 3:30 a.m., providing an opportune time to climb undetected to the towers.”

      • DXer said

        There is an interview by a bridge and building NYC night thrill-seeker that seems to point to a third, more likely profile. (I think of the type as different than “hipster” — we can call them “daredevils”). He thinks he knows who did it — he says that people go out in groups and there the subculture is relatively small. How should the detectives make short work of the investigation so as to deter the hobby?

        One approach perhaps would be to find his or similar instagram pictures and analyze the metadata — even the pictures themselves. Then you find similar pictures and accounts themselves…. and suddenly you are staring at a different posted picture that shows his friends and family. Essentially this fellow and others are taking pictures of their crimes. Detectives perhaps will start by prosecuting the low-lying fruit in order to develop footholds of cooperating witnesses within the subculture.

        http://fotoforensics.com/tutorial-meta.php

        Different picture formats include different types of metadata. Some formats, like BMP, PPM, and PBM contain very little information beyond the image dimensions and color space. In contrast, a JPEG from a camera usually contains a wide variety of information,

        Different picture formats include different types of metadata. Some formats, like BMP, PPM, and PBM contain very little information beyond the image dimensions and color space. In contrast, a JPEG from a camera usually contains a wide variety of information, including the camera’s make and model, focal and aperture information, and timestamps.

        EXCLUSIVE: Brooklyn Bridge flag pranksters explained by fellow NYC climber
        POSTED 2:06 AM, JULY 24, 2014, BY JAMES FORD, UPDATED AT 05:05AM, JULY 24, 2014

        BROOKLYN BRIDGE (PIX11) — The people who replaced the American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with bleached white versions of the Stars and Stripes early Tuesday morning are part of a subculture of thrill seekers.

        That’s what someone who’s part of their daredevil society told PIX11 News in a one-on-one interview Wednesday.

        “I’m a 17-year-old who loves photography,” a bridge and building climber explained.

        He has posted numerous photos of his exploits on Instagram — saying that climbing to great heights and taking pictures from vantage points there helps him to artistically express his love of New York.

        “I’ve been here all my life,” the anonymous daredevil said.

        He’s a clean cut, college bound, motivated and expressive athlete.

        The soon-to-be high school senior did not want his face shown in this story, but by contrast, he’s eager for the world to see his feet.

        He features them in his selfie posts of his adventures high above the city.

        Most of the photos show buildings and streets below his feet at night, under cover of darkness, but occasionally his climbing shoes are seen in daylight far above rivers and highways.

        He said that he’s climbed bridge towers or tall buildings at least four times a week for the last seven months.

        That’s when he climbed his first bridge. His many Instagram pictures support his claim.

        One of the photos show his silhouetted feet high above Times Square.

        “I just kept looking at my iPhone as I passed the [security] guard,” he said about his ability to reach the utility roof of a hotel on the square.

        He said that he knows that his hobby is trespassing at least, and could easily lead to far more serious charges.

        He’s also aware that part of the reason for the illegality is that a person who wants to do harm, rather than just take pictures, could be enabled significantly from the vantage points the teen daredevil secures in his climbs.

        “I don’t want to be a terrorist, or anything like that,” he told PIX11 News. “You could have a machine gun up there. That’s why there’s security.”

        He was wearing a black shirt and black pants, his usual gear when he climbs, which aids in his going unnoticed on his mostly night excursions.

        “Between the hours of 12:30 and 1:30 [A.M.],” he said, “the city turns off the bridge lights. That’s when I go.”

        He also carried a black backpack in which he stores his photo equipment and other supplies.

        Somebody with a much more sinister intent could use the same type of luggage to carry firearms or explosives to a the high points to which the young man climbs.

        Noting that, his experiences with security on bridges and other tall landmarks is concerning.

        “The only security I’ve seen is the NYPD helicopter,” he said, referring to the aircraft which regularly flies over the New York’s East River bridges to assess their safety.

        When they’re not overhead, he said, he starts his climbs, and has never been noticed.

        “When you’re driving, you’re looking at the road,” he said about motorists not noticing him scale bridges.

        He said the same for cyclists. Pedestrians, according to the young climber, are typically nowhere in sight when he ascends.

        He said he very rarely sees police near the bridges’ towers, which he climbs.

        He had also planned to climb one of the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge overnight Monday into Tuesday morning, the same time as whoever removed the American flags on top of the landmark bridges’ towers and replaced them with Old Glory flags bleached white.

        He ended up making other plans, though.

        “I’m so glad I didn’t go,” he said in an interview from the bike lanes of the neighboring Manhattan Bridge.

        “People would have seen my [photo] posts, and thought it was me” who’d changed out the flags.

        He does, however, believe he knows who is behind the Brooklyn Bridge flag switch.

        “My gut tells me it’s one guy,” he said. “I secretly know it’s him.”

        He’s not naming names, but says that the subculture of New York bridge climbers, while numbering in the hundreds, is small enough for everybody to know just about everyone else.

        All bridge scalers almost always go up in groups — that’s how he got photos of himself way above it all.

        He believes he knows whose group carried out the flag switch, and says it is not any of the people online currently claiming to have done it.

        “I don’t like people taking credit for other peoples work,” he told PIX11 News.

        Finally, he had a warning for anyone considering scaling bridges and tall buildings, seeking the same thrill he does.

        “I don’t want a lot of people going up there,” he said. “There’s a lot of risk. You could get caught. Or die.”

        • DXer said

          http://instagram.com/humzadeas

          Do authorities have probable cause to access the climber’s email account?

          Humzashreds@yahoo.com

          Do authorities have probable cause to arrest the individuals pictured (to the extent identifiable) for trespassing or related crimes?

          I think the fellow’s photography is really great — it would make a wonderful coffee table book, “Above New York.”

          For starters, I would hate to the friend whose face is pictured in a number of photos.

        • DXer said

          http://www.myfoxny.com/story/26080318/whitewashed-american-flags-raised-at-brooklyn-bridge

          NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

          Posted: Jul 22, 2014 10:17 AM EDT

          The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post.

          NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) –
          Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. …

          ***

          Adams is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible. The money was provided by a private donor, said Adams.

          Comment:

          Law enforcement has a lot of discretion in charging. This is where an individual should rush to turn themselves in — and apologize for the trouble they caused.

          The goal should be to be charged as a simple trespass involving an unpermitted art installation.

          The climbers had their fun — and now this is where law enforcement has their fun.

          But a happy medium is reached when the climbers face the consequences and minimize them by respecting the process — and demonstrating that they understand that these detectives have other important things to do.

          Unauthorized access to high vantage points poses serious concerns — and if the climbers don’t proactively spin things by being cooperative, they risk underestimating a prosecutor’s creativity in charging or a judge’s frame of mind in sentencing.

          They need to act promptly in spinning things in their favor by turning themselves in.

        • DXer said

          In the meantime, they should understand that the police are reading their emails, texts etc. And lying will definitely not be the way to go.

        • DXer said

          The most talented artist I know across many media, coincidentally a Brooklynite, is my nephew.

          His flag, as appearing in a show, is here:

          This weekend he was reheating some ziti in a foil container (leftover from a graduation party the night before) and I kidded him it seemed the same size as used to cover the lights.

          He’s the type that does the work of 6 men and so wouldn’t need two teams of three — he would have found a way to bleach them in place using a sprayer and some specialized chemical on a pole.

          When I interrogated him – he asked: “But what’s the meaning of the flags?”

          A judge from here struck down a law in DC about carrying firearms in public this week.

          So I think I know the meaning of the flag he did.

        • DXer said

          Who’s behind the Brooklyn Bridge flag caper
          By Susan Candiotti, CNN
          Published: July 27, 2014, 4:04 pm
          http://wwlp.com/2014/07/27/whos-behind-the-brooklyn-bridge-flag-caper/

          NEW YORK (CNN) – White flags flying over the iconic Brooklyn bridge where American flags should be. It happened this week in the dead of night, and no one seems to know what it means or who planned it.

          Who did it and why intruders scrambling to raise two bleached white American flags on top of the Brooklyn bridge in the middle of the night?

          “We’re looking across social media, facebook, twitter and other indicators to see if there are any claim of responsibility for this,” Deputy Commissioner John Miller said.

          New details are emerging: A law enforcement official tells CNN DNA now collected from tin pans. That’s what they say climbers used to cover bridge lights Tuesday to hoist the flags without being seen. On this earthcam video, it’s hard to make out, but you can see lights flickering around 3:30 am near one flagpole. So far, no DNA match.

          “At this time it appears it has no particular nexus to terrorism or even politics, this may be someone’s art project or it may be an attempt at making some kind of statement, but at this point it’s not clear what that statement is,” Deputy Commissioner Miller continued.

          Comment:

          Let’s see the video.

          As Soraya Yazid retweeted on July 21,

          “SciencePorn @SciencePorn · Jul 21
          People can recognize each other, just from the way they walk, at least 90% of the time. Source: New Scientist 3.8.12”

    • DXer said

      http://nypost.com/2014/08/01/cops-closing-in-on-brooklyn-bridge-white-flag-suspects/

      Cops closing in on Brooklyn Bridge white flag suspects
      By Jamie Schram, Natasha Velez, Natalie O’Neill and Larry CelonaAugust 1, 2014

      Detectives now have nine “persons of interest” in the Brooklyn Bridge white-flag caper from all over the New York City area, police sources told The Post.
      The men likely met on social-media sites such as Instagram, Flickr and Facebook — and may have gotten together for the first time the night of last week’s switcheroo, the sources said.

    • DXer said

      German Artists Say They Put White Flags on Brooklyn Bridge
      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/arts/design/german-artists-say-they-put-white-flags-on-brooklyn-bridge.html?_r=0By MICHAEL KIMMELMANAUG. 12, 2014

      Comment:

      This claim of responsibility for the Brooklyn flag incident is very specific and easily verified (or not) — given the particulars of how they made the flag.

      Issues of crime and punishment are interesting. There is a need for deterrence — but there also is a need for art.

      There is so much serious turmoil in the world that I would choose priorities carefully.

      If there is a jury, there would be the risk of jury nullification.

  11. DXer said

    Easton Postal workers do anthrax drill, July 16, 2014
    http://www.myeasternshoremd.com/stardem/news/local_news/article_20ad969c-a0a0-52c5-a3c2-e9e982368cfc.html

  12. DXer said

    http://www.amazon.com/Building-Civilian-Military-Collaboration-Response-Following/dp/1500444464/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1405022340&sr=8-3&keywords=anthrax+2014

    Building Civilian-Military Collaboration to Enhance Response Following an Anthrax Release Paperback– July 8, 2014
    by United States Army War College

    In the event of a large scale bioterrorist incident, essential public health capabilities could be significantly overwhelmed, necessitating assistance from the Department of Defense (DoD) to decrease civilian morbidity and mortality. The unique rapid deployability of military personnel can provide the readily available logistical support, medical expertise and man power needed to augment local and state resources. Despite enhanced funding to the public health sector’s preparedness mission since 9/11 and the 2001 anthrax attacks, significant concerns persist regarding their response capabilities to a catastrophic event like an anthrax attack. This paper provides basic information to civilian health and emergency response agencies regarding potential local, National Guard and federal DoD resources available in the event of a deliberate release of aerosolized anthrax. Additionally, this paper suggests steps to develop collaborative civilian-military relationships and coalitions. By enhancing these alliances, the response to a catastrophic event, including the timely and sustainable dispensing of medical countermeasures, can be improved and the preparedness of the Nation strengthened.

  13. DXer said

    CDC to create anthrax research database in Atlanta
    David Allison, Atlanta Business Chronicle6:21 a.m. EDT July 9, 2014
    http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/emory/2014/07/09/cdc-anthrax-research/12396173/

    In the published notice of its plans for the anthrax database, CDC says “It is essential to be able to rapidly genotype B. anthracisand compare to a robust database in order to gain insight into the possibility of an unexplained case being a bioterrorism event and into the potential origin of the strain.”

    “The establishment of a public database is essential in order to get data from around the world, particularly countries that have difficulty sharing strains, and is needed to make rapid/effective strain comparisons,” the CDC says.

    Comment: Note, for example, that Russia had Ames and yet it was not within the 20 laboratories that the FBI in reaching its conclusions.

  14. DXer said

    BIOTERRORISM IN THE HOMELAND: THE IMPACT OF ACTS OF
    BIOTERRORISM ON AMERICAN CULTURE
    Sharon Cheatham, B.S.
    MALS Mentor: R. Nicholas Palarino, Ph.D.

    ABSTRACT

    September 11, 2001, marked a profound change in the manner in which
    Americans viewed their homeland. The events of that day fostered the realization that
    America was not immune from destructive acts against its citizens, on its soil, from
    forces that serve to cripple and destroy the nation. Few individuals would argue that the
    terrorists’ attacks of that day impacted the cultural landscape. In fact, few individuals
    would dispute that the circumstances of that day were tumultuous, and that even greater
    atrocities and calamities could have been experienced. What is the pulse of American
    society today as it relates to the threat of acts of bioterrorism?

    Chapter one introduces why bioterrorist activity is a problem for America. It
    offers a review of the methodologies to be utilized to validate the principal hypothesis,
    which is, the philosophy of bioterrorism response and disaster management adopted by
    America, which seeks to constantly monitor and strives to prevent terrorist attacks, while
    implementing methods of response to attacks that happen, is one that must constantly be revised and revamped in order to be efficacious and effective in fighting the threat of
    bioterrorism in the homeland.

  15. DXer said

    Technologies to Enable Autonomous Detection for BioWatch: Ensuring Timely and Accurate Information for Public Health Officials : Workshop Summary.
    Editors

    Board on Health Sciences Policy; Board on Life Sciences; Institute of Medicine; National Research Council; Hook-Barnard I, M. Posey Norris S, Alper J, editors.
    Source
    Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2013 Dec.

    Excerpt

    The BioWatch program, funded and overseen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has three main elements–sampling, analysis, and response–each coordinated by different agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains the sampling component, the sensors that collect airborne particles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coordinates analysis and laboratory testing of the samples, though testing is actually carried out in state and local public health laboratories. Local jurisdictions are responsible for the public health response to positive findings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is designated as the lead agency for the law enforcement response if a bioterrorism event is detected. In 2003 DHS deployed the first generation of BioWatch air samplers. The current version of this technology, referred to as Generation 2.0, requires daily manual collection and testing of air filters from each monitor. DHS has also considered newer automated technologies (Generation 2.5 and Generation 3.0) which have the potential to produce results more quickly, at a lower cost, and for a greater number of threat agents. Technologies to Enable Autonomous Detection for BioWatch is the summary of a workshop hosted jointly by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council in June 2013 to explore alternative cost-effective systems that would meet the requirements for a BioWatch Generation 3.0 autonomous detection system, or autonomous detector, for aerosolized agents . The workshop discussions and presentations focused on examination of the use of four classes of technologies–nucleic acid signatures, protein signatures, genomic sequencing, and mass spectrometry–that could reach Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6-plus in which the technology has been validated and is ready to be tested in a relevant environment over three different tiers of temporal timeframes: those technologies that could be TRL 6-plus ready as part of an integrated system by 2016, those that are likely to be ready in the period 2016 to 2020, and those are not likely to be ready until after 2020. Technologies to Enable Autonomous Detection for BioWatch discusses the history of the BioWatch program, the role of public health officials and laboratorians in the interpretation of BioWatch data and the information that is needed from a system for effective decision making, and the current state of the art of four families of technology for the BioWatch program. This report explores how the technologies discussed might be strategically combined or deployed to optimize their contributions to an effective environmental detection capability.
    Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

    Sections
    • THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
    • PLANNING COMMITTEE FOR A WORKSHOP ON STRATEGIES FOR COST-EFFECTIVE AND FLEXIBLE BIODETECTION SYSTEMS THAT ENSURE TIMELY AND ACCURATE INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS
    • BOARD ON HEALTH SCIENCES POLICY
    • BOARD ON LIFE SCIENCES
    • Reviewers
    • Acronyms and Abbreviations
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Overview of the BioWatch Program
    • 3. Public Health’s Perspective on the Role of BioWatch in the Decision-Making Process
    • 4. Potential Technologies for the BioWatch Program
    • 5. Final Thoughts
    • APPENDIXES

    Free full-text:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201353/

  16. DXer said

    There is a lengthy textual discussion after the powerpoints:

    “Detecting Bioterrorism: Is Chemistry Enough?”

    http://permalink.lanl.gov/object/tr?what=info:lanl-repo/lareport/LA-UR-14-21680

    In the Dawn of Planet of the Apes, a virus has wiped out most of the planet’s humans over the course of four years.

  17. DXer said

    US Postal Service employees receive training on what to do if anthrax is detected in the mail
    http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140513/NEWS/140519612/10924/NEWS

    PEORIA — Anthrax was the focus of a U.S. Postal Service drill in Peoria on Tuesday to help prepare for a possible emergency.

    Read more: http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140513/News/140519612#ixzz31geeXcO1

    Comment: Have you hugged your postal employee today? I raced to get a late application in the mail for a STEM summer camp with only 10 first-come, first-serve slots and dropped it in the mailbox — only to immediately realize I hadn’t put a stamp on it.
    The woman inside the post office came outside and retrieved the letter for me and sold me a stamp. Now that’s good service!

  18. DXer said

    Mercer and Lawrence County National Guard staging mock anthrax exercise

    Posted: May 06, 2014 9:43 PM EDT

    http://www.wfmj.com/story/25447865/mercer-and-lawrence-county-national-guard-staging-mock-anthrax-exercise

    On Thursday, the Lawrence County Fairgrounds will be the site of a joint civilian/military response to a simulated anthrax event.

    Comment:

    Will Counties turn to MERS in their future exercises this year? With members of the public serving as drill participants just told to stay home from work?

    Fear the Camel
    Why a deadly new virus will be so hard to stop.

    By Helen Branswell

    Infectious disease experts have been worriedly watching a new disease for more than a year and a half now, but it’s a fair bet that most people still haven’t twigged to the existence of the world’s latest infectious threat: MERS.

    That may be changing, with new infections popping up recently in Malaysia, Greece, the Philippines, and Egypt. And late last week, the United States became the 16thcountry to detect a case of MERS, in an American health care worker who has been living and working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    The acronym is short for Middle East respiratory syndrome. The disease is caused by a cousin of SARS, the coronavirus that killed roughly 900 people and crippled hospital systems in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Canada in 2003, knocking billions of dollars out of the world’s economy in the process. Canada’s outbreak occurred in Toronto, where I live; I covered SARS from its alarming beginning through its exhausting end. The information coming out of Saudi Arabia is limited, and it’s hard to be sure from a distance, but there appear to be many similarities between how the MERS outbreak is playing out in Saudi hospitals and what happened in Toronto during SARS. We are lucky that to this point MERS doesn’t seem to spread as easily as SARS did, though SARS didn’t spread particularly well either, and it still caused major trouble.

  19. DXer said

    “Health officials train for anthrax outbreak”, wlfi.com

    “It was all part of a training scenario put on by the Tippecano County Health Department, as required by teh Centers for Disease Control. The focus was a massive anthrax outbreak, which sent residents into a panic.”

    We treated 75 people in 29 minutes and 44 seconds,” said Carter. “We’re pretty proud of ourselves because I think we did a really good job.”

    http://wlfi.com/2014/04/15/health-officials-train-for-anthrax-outbreak/

    Comment: So that is more than 2 people per minute. Take the population of any given area: would that be a successful rate? In Tippecanoe County, there are 180,000 people which would require 90,000 minutes or 1500 hrs/ or 62 days / or 2 months. It seems as if these county planning drills are envisioning a small scale release rather than a large scale release.

    Is there instruction for Cipro that needs to be given in-person and can’t be provide in a note? I still like the idea of not requiring more than a passing car to slow down with the pills and written instruction tossed in. I just don’t see people getting out of their car to stand in line. People will want to jump in their car and head to their relative’s house an hour away until the dust settles.

    There was an article about an expert report addressing what you would do if a nuclear bomb detonated down the block in DC — and it emphasized that you would want to take cover in a building (as distinguished from a single family residence), and not jump in your car.

    I appreciate the correct response may differ based on the particulars of an aerosol anthrax attack. But I wonder if whether the desire to evacuate upon an aerosol release is being underestimated. As another example, they seem to contemplate distribution of antibiotics near the scene of the release — what about instead having many of the distribution points at points an hour away? I guess the interest in avoiding cross-contamination counsels against that from a government (as opposed to the individual’s) perspective.

  20. DXer said

    They are handing these extensive free emergency kits out this morning. They aim to hand out 100,000 in the state.

    Preparing for disaster: Training, supplies given for dealing with emergencies
    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/emergency_preparedness_kit_onondaga_county_emergency_management.html#comments

    • Plastic drop cloth
    • Light stick
    • (2) D Batteries
    • First Aid Kit
    • Face mask
    • Safety goggles
    • AM/FM pocket radio w/batteries
    • (6) packs of drinking water
    • (6) food bars
    • Regular flashlight
    • Emergency blanket
    • Duct tape
    • Work gloves
    • Water bottle
    [all in a very nice backpack]

    This area is one of the safest in the country from natural disasters. About now I think California, with the possibility of earthquakes, perhaps is the least safe. Then there are areas that have been regularly affected by hurricanes, tornados, and floods. We pretty much just have snow — and some floods in specific places.

    In an urban area that might be targeted with WMD by terrorists, it would be nice to have a motorcycle or a boat or a friend with a helicopter or live on the oustkirts — so as to not be blocked by gridlocked main roads. In Manhattan, for someone who is single, maybe a $39 inflatable kayak in a box in the closet would be a fun means of escape. A bicycle would come in handy.

    Securitization Theory and Biological Weapons
    PATRICK SAUNDERS-HASTINGS, JAN 8 2014
    http://www.e-ir.info/2014/01/08/securitization-theory-and-biological-weapons/

    With respect to a plane into a nuclear plant, you likely would want to know the way the wind blows.

    As for the dinner invitation from the doctor friend visiting West Africa to see travel photos, I guess we should ask to reschedule 3 weeks out from his return.

    Ebola Outbreak Empties Hotels as West Africa Borders Closed
    By Pauline Bax, Sadibou Marone and Ougna Camara Apr 11, 201
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/ebola-fears-leave-hotels-empty-while-closing-west-africa-borders.html

    “Those caring for Ebola patients should wear gloves and other protective gear, according to the WHO. The disease has an incubation period of two to 21 days. Suspected cases in Mali, Sierra Leone and Ghana have so far proved negative.'”

    The kit doesn’t include a pair of plastic gloves or matches.

    • DXer said

      The storm Sandy — which wreaked such havoc in places in Long Island and elsewhere — makes Governor Cuomo’s initiative a good idea. The presentations this morning, including the Q & A, were well-done and well-received. It’s hard to gather the materials, though, without wanting to regularly cannibalize items from it as the need arises.

  21. DXer said

    Abu Hamza al-Masri’s upcoming trial could spark terror attack in city: official
    Trial of man charged in 1998 attack on tourists in Yemen taking place in Manhattan Federal Court this month has put the NYPD on alert. Police are ‘attuned to the possibility’ of more terror inspired by the trial, NYPD director of intelligence analysis Rebecca Weiner said.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/abu-hamza-al-mastra-trial-spark-city-attack-official-article-1.1742609#ixzz2xuQycqI1

    In connection with Abu Hamza’s upcoming trial, note as background that a February 1999 letter signed by “Army of Suicidals Group 66, Bin Laden Militant Wing” threatened anthrax attacks against Westerners if they stayed in Yemen beyond a 11-day ultimatum ending February 27, 1999. Investigators considered a possible connection to the attempted extradition to Yemen of the London-based Egyptian Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. Memos in the Spring of 1999 from Zawahiri to Egyptian Mohammed Atef, Al Qaeda’s military commander, and former Cairo police sergeant, indicate that Ayman was a close student of the USAMRIID anthrax program. He believed that the Koran instructed that a jihadist should use the weapons used by the crusader. “What we know is that he’s always said it was a religious obligation to have the same weapons as their enemies,” former CIA Bin Laden unit counterterrorism chief Michael Scheuer once explained.

    See also

    1 April 2014

    New bid to extradite terror suspect Haroon Aswat to US
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26837069

    The government has begun a new attempt to extradite a British terror suspect accused of conspiring with radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to the US.

    In 2008 he was transferred from prison to Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

    Which brings us to the car bomber who may have forgot to set his watch ahead causing the bomb to blow up early.

    Daylight saving time error eyed in bomber injury, report says
    Published April 02, 2014FoxNews.comFacebook52
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/04/02/daylight-saving-time-error-eyed-in-bomber-injury-report-says/

    • DXer said

      Missing Egyptian Student Not A Terrorist, Friend Says
      http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/Missing-Egyptian-Student-Not-A-Terrorist-Friend-Says-253870881.html

      Pastor says Rezkalla is not a terrorist and has no bad motives.

      “Maybe in his mind, it’s a place to find a job,” she said, “more people, more options.”

      With unrest in Egypt, Rezkalla made it well known to friends that he wanted to stay in the United States and had no interest in returning home.

      Pastor says she’s worried about him and thinks he’s in over his head.

      “I mean, he’s from Egypt. He’s been in northern New York and it’s so much different down in New York City.”

      As far as the investigation goes, Syracuse Police Sgt. Tom Connellan said in an email: “It’s a active and open investigation, therefore we won’t be releasing any further information.”

      Fusion Centers’ Collection of Local and State Data Worries Civil Libertarians, Others
      http://somd.com/news/headlines/2014/18055.shtml

      Some of the Maryland fusion center’s “biggest successes,” according to Eisenberg, have been tracking missing and endangered people.

      Comment:

      It is understandable that the exchange student Mena might not want to return to Egypt — even before the most current turmoil, employment prospects for educated university graduates were difficult. But the best means of immigrating will be to follow procedure and find a “sponsor” that is confident that he will be responsible (despite this misstep) — he can seek to go to college here. So he should phone home and his host family and set things back on an appropriate track.

      With the heightened sensitivity in New York over Abu Hamza’s trial, local fusion centers are likely to run down loose ends, however innocuous. If he were driving, the fusion center could access the database of scanned license plates. But instead authorities likely will pick up his trail based on his accommodation — if they haven’t already.

      The friends from high school who have heard from him — and they know who they are — should pass on the information to local police or the host family so as to help things get back on track without further delay.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  22. DXer said

    Mock Terrorist Event To Take Place Wednesday At BNL
    Updated April 1, 2014 6:59 AM

    “Anthrax was first introduced as a biological agent via chocolate candy.”

    http://www.wbiw.com/local/archive/2014/04/mock-terroist-event-with-an-anthrax-threat-will-be-wednesday-at-bnl-high-school.php

    Eat Peeps, Not Swans

    The NYS DEC should consider that Swans are Peeps too.

    http://photos.syracuse.com/1819/gallery/peepart_contest_2014/index.html#/1

  23. DXer said

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303496804579368690682630818

    Fighting Terror—Long Before There Was an NSA

    By HOWARD BLUM
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:25 p.m. ET

    Consider this harrowing scenario: A well-financed terrorist cell enters America. Its operatives launch a deadly sabotage campaign against weapons factories and munitions depots. A bomb rocks the U.S. Capitol.

    The nation’s richest man, who is at the nexus of business and the military, is severely wounded in a bold assassination attempt.

    Anthrax cultures are cultivated in a covert lab 6 miles from the White House, and then used in a biowarfare attack against targets in three cities.

    The president is informed by an anxious adviser that “attempts will likely be made to blow up waterworks, electric lights and gas plants, subways, and bridges in cities like New York.”

    In response, an overwhelmed federal government turns to the more experienced New York Police Department and an elite team is quickly assembled to find the terrorists. It’s a manhunt that takes these city cops up and down the East Coast.

    Not a bad movie, perhaps. Yet these events are not the galloping beats in some Hollywood plot about terrorism today. They are the linchpins of a true story—from 1915.

    ***

    This is scary stuff. It is also infuriating. The salient truth that can be drawn from the march of events between Commissioner Woods to Commissioner Kelly is that the next terrorist attack is inevitable. The fear that New York—as well as other cities—cannot depend solely on federal authorities for protection is as valid today as it was a century ago.

    _____

    Mr. Blum, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, is the author of “Dark Invasion: 1915—Germany’s Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America,” just out from HarperCollins.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  24. DXer said

    If Al Qaeda attacks in DC and NYC with an aerosol anthrax attack led by Adnan El-Shukrijumah, what would the public reaction be in their perception of Amerithrax?

    Would the reaction be different if the anthrax used was genetically matching to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001?

    If the Prime Minister of Pakistan was sent mailed anthrax and it was genetically matching to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001, what would be the reaction?

    How would US Intel agencies handle it? Would they disclose that the same strain was used?

    What would be the affect on the US stock market?

    The New York mute swan issue is interesting to me as a case study of advocacy. t I think the petition has gone from 2500 to 20,000+ in just a few days — and it includes substantive reports about interactions with swans which are directly relevant to the assertions being raised by the duck hunters and their proxies.

    If Al Qaeda were to orchestrate an anthrax attack, who would be covered with tar and swan feathers and run out of DC on a rail?

  25. DXer said

    Securitization Theory and Biological Weapons
    By Patrick Saunders-Hastings on January 8, 2014
    http://www.e-ir.info/2014/01/08/securitization-theory-and-biological-weapons/

    The anthrax attacks of 2001 in the United States, for example, resulted in only 5 deaths15. This argument could be used to urge governments to instead invest resources in areas that consistently cause higher mortality, such as infectious diseases like AIDS or even the seasonal flu. However, in carrying out a threat assessment, it is also important to look at the potential for mortality. Here it has been suggested future attacks may not be on the same relatively small scale as those in the past15. It is difficult to produce reliable estimates of fatalities that might result from an attack; there is huge variation in estimates and, often, little statistical evidence to support the predictions11. That said, it is agreed that, in theory, even small amounts of a dangerous biological agent could cause significant mortality if prepared and disseminated effectively16. For instance, the WHO estimates that 50kg of B. anthracis distributed upwind of a population of 500 000 would leave 95 000 people dead and 125 000 more incapacitated17. Other sources suggest that 100kg of B. anthracis, disseminated via a crop-sprayer, could kill as many as three million people, and comparable values have been projected for other agents2,18. Another concern is that a contagious biological agent will result in person-to-person transmission, creating a self-sustaining effect not present in any other weapons class10.

    While mass casualties are possible, it is also important to note that, even in situations with few casualties, biological weapons attacks may have profound social and economic ramifications3. Such attacks could lead to widespread social panic and disorder, resulting in self-destructive behaviour and creating what is called a “societal autoimmune effect” involving increases in crime and looting19. While there is little evidence to predict this would occur based on previous disaster situations (such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001, where the public reaction is described as effective and adaptive, rather than panicked and disruptive), it must remain a consideration20. The effects of a largescale attack involving biological weapons are unknown, and epidemics of highly fatal diseases may cause serious social disruption20.

    The economic consequences of biological weapons attacks are severe and suggest that investing in defense makes good economic sense. While there were only five deaths in the 2001 anthrax attacks, those attacks resulted in tens of billions of dollars in government spending21. Also, the financial sector may be negatively impacted if investor confidence plummets3.

  26. DXer said

    http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/1903/13877/1/BIOCOUNTER%20Thesis.pdf

    Title: IMPROVING THE TIMELINESS AND RESPONSE TO AN AEROSOLIZEDANTHRAX ATTACK IN THE METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON, D.C. REGION
    Authors: Jamolin, Kyle
    Saltzman, Jonathan
    Schaefer, Darrell
    Serrano, Sebastian
    Shim, Aaron
    Sloane, Joshua
    Advisors: Hermann, Jeffrey
    Type: Article
    Keywords: Gemstone Team BIOCOUNTER
    anthrax
    Washington, DC
    anthrax attack
    Issue Date: 2013
    Abstract: Our research was conducted to improve the timeliness, coordination, and communication during the detection, investigation and decision-making phases of the response to an aerosolized anthrax attack in the metropolitan Washington, DC, area with the goal of reducing casualties. Our research gathered information of the current response protocols through an extensive literature review and interviews with relevant officials and experts in order to identify potential problems that may exist in various steps of the detection, investigation, and response. Interviewing officials from private and government sector agencies allowed the development of a set of models of interactions and a communication network to identify discrepancies and redundancies that would elongate the delay time in initiating a public health response. In addition, we created a computer simulation designed to model an aerosol spread using weather patterns and population density to identify an estimated population of infected individuals within a target region depending on the virulence and dimensions of the weaponized spores. We developed conceptual models in order to design recommendations that would be presented to our collaborating contacts and agencies that would use such policy and analysis interventions to improve upon the overall response to an aerosolized anthrax attack, primarily through changes to emergency protocol functions and suggestions of technological detection and monitoring response to an aerosolized anthrax attack.

  27. DXer said

    Introduction of the Republic of Korea — the United States of America’s Joint Exercise Against Biothreats in 2013: Able Response
    Seong Sun Kim,a,1, Dong Whan Oh,b,1 Hyun Jung Jo,a and Chaeshin Chuc

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3845232/

    Since 2001’s anthrax bioterrorism in the USA, no large-scale case has been reported in the world. However, the possibility of bioterrorism still exists with the rapid development of technology and rapid change in international relations. As in Defense Whitepaper in the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the Republic of Korea (ROK), North Korea’s armed forces are capable of carrying out 13 kinds of viral and bacterial attacks, so that the Korean Peninsula is exposed to a higher risk of bioattack than any other region in the world [1]. A biothreat in the Korean Peninsula could damage not only Koreans but also foreigners including the US army located in Korea. Supposing person-to-person pathogens are used in the bioattack, casualties would be expected in the US army without direct assault on the camps. Therefore, it is necessary to construct a system of preparedness to respond collaboratively to the biothreat by the ROK army, ROK government, and US army in Korea.

    In this regard, the Department of Defense (DOD) in the USA proposed a joint exercise against biothreat to ROK government in 2010. The first joint exercise, or Able Response (AR) Exercise was conducted in May 2011 and it has been held annually since then. AR supposes biothreats in the Korean Peninsula and considers effective countermeasures by military and government along with civil sectors, and discusses surveillance of biothreat agents, diagnosis, forensic medicine, information sharing, operation plan, and policy making, so that it helps to develop better methods [2–8].

    Participants and high-ranking officials evaluated the exercise very successful in that it enhances the security against biothreats not only in Korea but also internationally. High-ranking officials in both countries cooperated to solve complicated problems. Related ministries and agencies including the President Office participated, so that social issues were dealt with as well as public issues. No previous exercise on biothreats was conducted between the two countries, although there were joint-military exercises between them.

  28. DXer said

    03:09 PM ET
    Resurgent al Qaeda: new concern about U.S. homeland
    By Paul Cruickshank
    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/02/resurgent-al-qaeda-new-concern-about-u-s-homeland/

    The idea of al Qaeda was forged in part in Egypt’s repressive jails and the concern is the same grim facilities will now produce a new generation of embittered zealots.

    All this worries intelligence officials on both sides of the Atlantic. But al Qaeda’s revived fortunes in the Arab world have not yet resulted in a spike in plots against the United States and other Western countries.

    The main reason for this is that al Qaeda and its affiliates simply have bigger priorities. They believe the political turmoil produced by the Arab Spring has given them a historic opportunity to achieve what has always been their central aim: creating Islamic states in the Arab “heartland.”

    GAO: What genetic strain was the anthrax reportedly sent to Prime Minister Gilani? Did guinea pigs die when exposed to it so as to rule out possibility of a false positive? Was there a Silicon Signature?

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 2, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/gao-what-genetic-strain-was-the-anthrax-reportedly-sent-to-prime-minister-gilani-did-guinea-pigs-die-when-exposed-to-it-so-as-to-rule-out-possibility-of-a-false-positive-was-there-a-silicon-signa/

  29. DXer said

    I believe the FAA, while it is developing rules that will permit use of drones for commercial use, shut down the drone journalism program at Oklahoma.

    Locally, here is a test flight that was discussed tonight at a lecture at Newhouse. My AR drone tonight was described, in hindsight, as a toy — so it looks like I need to get a quad copter to keep up with these earnest students. My wife says that I still need to get a new lamp to replace the one I broke during my maiden flight in the living room.

    Manley Field House Test Indoor Drone Flight, Syracuse University

  30. DXer said

    STATE WATCH: Ready for anthrax sequel?
    The Trentonian-9 hours ago
    Bearing a Trenton postmark, the letters containing bacillus anthracis — anthrax — set off an explosion of panic in the jittery days after 9/11.

    http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20131020/state-watch-ready-for-anthrax-sequel

  31. DXer said

    ABC News has uploaded a passage from the sentencing memo on the surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange — it has many references to “The Doctor.” Who is Yemen-based “The Doctor”?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/page/document-nyse-portion-sabirhan-hasanoffs-sentencing-memo-19438026

    Dr. Batarfi, who helped Yazid Sufaat with procurement, was released from Gitmo to Yemen. My friend interviewed him at Gitmo. Batarfi’s mentor had been Dr. Amir Aziz. Who does Dr. Batarfi think was responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    • DXer said

      I expect the FBI has explored whether these three mokes were “A.Q.U.S.A.” and behind the mailing of the Goldman Sachs threat letters. Do reporters have any samples of their handwriting?

      Their lame operational planning is consistent with the nature of the letter mid-2007 letter.

      Al-Qaeda bunco artist rolls terrorist from KC
      June 29
      BY MARK MORRIS
      The Kansas City Star

      Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/29/4320933/terrorist-from-kc-falls-prey-to.html#storylink=cpy

      Prosecutors have alleged that in 2003, about the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, all three aspired to “support violent extremist Islamic causes.”

      Hasanoff admitted recently in court records to being radicalized by the sermons of New Mexico-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who died two years ago in an American drone strike in Yemen. Hasanoff said he needed to reconnect with his Muslim faith and reconcile that with the world around him.

      ***

      Suffian told FBI agents that Hasanoff’s report was “silly” but said The Doctor never had a real plan to bomb the stock exchange. Ouazzani, El-Hanafi and Hasanoff were pretty useless, other than providing a meal ticket for The Doctor, Suffian said.

      “The three Americans had no experience in security or movement,” Suffian told the agents.

      ***

      El-Hanafi said in his letter to the judge that … that he still was struggling with his ability to recover from the damage he’d done to his life and career.

      “I’m anticipating that many employers will be hesitant to hire someone with a terrorism conviction in their (information technology) security department,” he wrote.

      Comment: Gee. Ya think?

    • DXer said

      Hasanoff and El-Hanafi were in Yemen by February 2008, but had met in UAE in 2006. Were they in the US in late July 2007 when the late July 2007 Goldman Sachs letters were mailed? He had three children — it is a very sad case given his expressed remorse.

      It was between that the date of the Goldman Sachs letters (mailed late July 2007) and their recantation ( a week or so later in early August) that at the mosque I sat down the finance guy from Queens who was Dr. Dhafir’s confidante and explained to him my theory of Amerithrax. His beautiful wife had kept asking the crowd what “Operation Imminent Horizon” was really all about so I offered to tell her. She directed me to her husband. I explained that the raid of Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse and the raids in Idaho and Syracuse were all related and a brilliant pretext for pursuing a lead in Amerithrax.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

      Is my visit and a related email laying things all out that what caused the Goldman Sachs letters to be withdrawn? (I don’t know). The nice and highly accomplished fellow had driven up from NYC for the fundraiser. I had never met him — only knew him to be very accomplished, have a lovely and charming wife, to be Dr. D’s confidante visiting him at prison, and to be a wonderful host serving up all-you-can eat Chinese buffet at the fundraiser for the doctor who was sentenced to 22 years. And I love free Chinese food. The imprisoned Dr. had spoken alongside Anwar Awlaki and Ali Al-Timimi in England and Canada in July and August 2001. Hasanoff was inspired by Awlaki.

      At the late July 2007 fundraiser, the February 26, 2003 event I was describing involved 100 agents coming to Syracuse at dawn and simultaneously interviewing 150 people at once. It was called “Operation Imminent Horizon.”

      And is there a connection to the hoax letters coming from Syracuse? Did the return addresses not yet disclosed seem intended to frame someone? (From questions by an FBI Agent that is what I surmise).

      I never worry about frames because the forensics, once properly understood, can be very powerful). (For example, in Amerithrax, if the FBI would give up the photocopy toner reports, reports on the composition of the paper, computer forensics etc, highly relevant relevant science in Amerithrax could be explored).

      “Born in China to Uzbekistani parents, Hasanoff’s family, facing persecution in China just as they had in Uzbekistan, moved to Australia when he was a baby.

      Article on Hasanoff, the accountant recently sentenced:

      They settled in Adelaide, he attended local schools, assimilated with local kids, soaked up the culture and lifestyle and became an Australian citizen.

      As a teenager, his family packed up again and moved to Brooklyn, New York, where his parents lived a “meagre” life operating a newsstand.

      Hasanoff was ambitious and determined to make the most of America, working hard in high school and graduating from New York’s Baruch College with a bachelor degree in business administration and earning big salaries at a succession of blue chip accounting firms.

      When the passenger jets flew into the World Trade Centre buildings on September 11, 2001, and the daughter of a friend who worked in one of the towers was missing, Hasanoff embarked on a frantic search of Manhattan hospitals looking for her.

      They discovered later she was killed in the terror attack.

      Prosecutors believe Hasanoff and a Brooklyn co-accused Wesam el-Hanafi became supportive of violent extremist Islamic causes since at least 2003, and in 2006, while both were living in the United Arab Emirates, they met an al-Qaeda supporter who introduced them to Suffian, who connected them with The Doctor, who was known for facilitating travel of mujahidin.”

    • DXer said

      “The Doctor” is an Egyptian and was detained abroad and questioned by the FBI. He swore allegiance to Zawahiri in the mid-1990s and spent time with the boys in Khartoum, Sudan. I mentioned yesterday that the code that they were using was the same as Zawahiri used with the cell in Yemen in 1999 — for example, the one Zawahiri got pissed at when they bought a new fax when the old one was perfectly good. Al-Nashar, the EIJ shura member cooperating with Egyptian security while in Yemen, said that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of senior Movement leaders, including the Blind Sheik. Who is the “Doctor”?

      The microbiologist supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins was an Egyptian, a fellow alum from Cairo Medical, who once lived in Khartoum where his mother was a business professor. As a child, he would visit Cairo from Khartoum. Did the fellow supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins know “the Doctor” like he and his friends knew Dr. Ayman Zawahiri (from Dr. Ayman recruited at Cairo Medical)?

      Again, who is “The Doctor”?

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com
      Statements by Detained Terror Suspect Are Focus of Sentencing, and of Debate

      By BENJAMIN WEISER

      Published: June 3, 2013

      He was known as “the Doctor,” an Egyptian terrorism suspect who was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a foreign country where he had been held since his arrest. From the start, he made utterly clear his hatred for the United States, describing how he had even recruited a Brooklyn man to conduct surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange for a possible attack.

      Now, four years after that interrogation, the detainee’s statements are at the center of a dispute in federal court in Manhattan, where the Brooklyn man, Sabirhan Hasanoff, 37, who was later arrested and pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism, faces sentencing this month.

      Prosecutors want to use the detainee’s claims about Mr. Hasanoff’s assistance to Al Qaeda as part of an argument that he should receive a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Mr. Hasanoff’s lawyers contend the statements are unreliable, in part because the detainee was quite likely tortured while in foreign custody before he met with the F.B.I.

      The dispute highlights the debate over the admissibility and reliability of testimony from detainees who are held outside the civilian court system.

      Publicly filed court documents do not identify the witness or the country where he was held, although the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, has said in a filing that he was based in Yemen and held a senior position with Al Qaeda there.

      The F.B.I. summaries also quote the witness as saying that in the mid-1990s, he swore an oath of allegiance to an Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader whose description fits that of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later became deputy to Osama bin Laden, and his successor. The witness also spent time with Bin Laden in Sudan.

      Prosecutors have told the judge, Kimba M. Wood, in a sentencing memorandum that the defense claim that the witness was most likely tortured in foreign custody was “pure speculation,” and his statements were corroborated through F.B.I. interviews with another detainee and a cooperating witness, and other evidence.

      Joshua L. Dratel, a lawyer for Mr. Hasanoff, said on Monday that although he could not identify the country in question because it was under seal in the case, the claim of torture was based on reports by the State Department and Amnesty International, which “have repeatedly noted the problem of mistreatment of detainees, including torture,” in that country.

      Mr. Dratel said of Mr. Hasanoff, a dual citizen of the United States and Australia, “This episode represents a mistake that he regrets, that he pleaded guilty to and that he is trying to move beyond, recognizing his error.” Prosecutors had no comment.

      The 2009 interrogation of the witness, as recounted in highly redacted F.B.I. summaries, show that the agents said they were not seeking to charge him, but rather wanted to learn about a group of American terrorism suspects, including Mr. Hasanoff, and others. (A co-defendant of Mr. Hasanoff’s, Wesam El-Hanafi, has also pleaded guilty in the case.)

      They worked to build a rapport with him: he was given water, juice and food, and regular prayer breaks. One day, he was treated to a traditional dinner at a “safe house” that was attended by investigators from both countries, the summaries say.

      By the time the agents finished their first of five interviews with the witness, he had eaten a Kit Kat bar and was hugging and kissing them on the cheek.

      He was open about his views, the summaries note. “As a seasoned jihadi,” the F.B.I. wrote, “the subject had long hoped for an opportunity to create an attack on U.S. soil.”

      “The subject is very clear in his desire to attack the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests anywhere and feels completely justified in his hatred of the U.S. and its policies,” the summary added.

      During the interviews, the witness was shown photographs of senior Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad members, and explained how he used Internet cafes to search the news on the Web because he did not have access to the Internet at home. He also explained that he wanted to have “Americans travel to America to conduct terrorist operations.” And he talked about making the New York Stock Exchange a target, the summaries show.

      “The subject had very little idea about the stock exchange, i.e. its location, security measures, size, etc.,” the F.B.I. wrote, “but advised that his motivation to do an attack there was because it represented to him the world’s economy, so it was a highly desirable target.”

      He told the agents that in 2008, he gave Mr. Hasanoff an assignment, through his co-defendant, Mr. El-Hanafi, to conduct surveillance of the exchange. Mr. Hasanoff visited the exchange, but the witness said he was ultimately not happy with Mr. Hasanoff’s report, the summary says.

      “Subject reported that he tore up the report and ‘threw it in the street’ and never showed it to anyone,” the F.B.I. said.

      • DXer said

        Zawahiri micromanaged the cell in Yemen in 1999.

        http://nymag.com/news/9-11/10th-anniversary/al-qaeda/

        If bin Laden was the prince of jihad, Zawahiri was its micromanager. One memo from Zawahiri to militants based in Yemen asked them why they had bought a new fax machine for more than $400 and griped about their lack of accounting of money spent. Perhaps his central contribution to Al Qaeda’s strategy was his advocacy of efforts to acquire chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/09/inside-al-qaeda-s-hard-drive/303428/

        TO: Yemen Cell Members
        FROM: Ayman al-Zawahiri
        FOLDER: Outgoing Mail—To Yemen
        DATE: February 1, 1999
        … I would like to clarify the following with relation to the birthday [probably an unspecified attack]:

        a) Don’t think of showering as it may harm your health.

        b) We can’t make a hotel reservation for you, but they usually don’t mind making reservations for guests. Those who wish to make a reservation should go to Quwedar [a famous pastry shop in Cairo].

        c) I suggest that each of you takes a recipient to Quwedar to buy sweets, then make the hotel reservation. It is easy. After you check in, walk to Nur. After you attend the birthday go from Quwedar to Bushra St., where you should buy movie tickets to the Za’bolla movie theater.

        d) The birthday will be in the third month. How do you want to celebrate it in the seventh? Do you want us to change the boy’s birth date? There are guests awaiting the real date to get back to their work.

        e) I don’t have any gravel [probably ammunition or bomb-making material].

        TO: Ayman al-Zawahiri
        FROM: Unknown
        FOLDER: Incoming Mail—From Yemen
        DATE: May 13, 1999
        Dear brother Salah al-Din:

        … Forty of the contractor’s [bin Laden’s] friends here were taken by surprise by malaria [arrested] a few days ago, following the telegram they sent, which was similar to Salah al-Din’s telegrams [that is, it used the same code]. The majority of them are from here [Yemen], and two are from the contractor’s country [Saudi Arabia] …

        We heard that al-Asmar had a sudden illness and went to the hospital [prison]. He will have a session with the doctors [lawyers] early next month to see if he can be treated there, or if he should be sent for treatment in his country [probably Egypt, where jihadis were routinely tortured and hanged] …

        Osman called some days ago. He is fine but in intensive care [being monitored by the police]. When his situation improves he will call. He is considering looking for work with Salah al-Din [in Afghanistan], as opportunities are scarce where he is, but his health condition is the obstacle.

        TO: Ezzat (real name unknown)
        FROM: Ayman al-Zawahiri
        FOLDER: Outgoing Mail—To Yemen
        DATE: February 11, 1999
        Noble brother Ezzat …

        Following are my comments on the summary accounting I received:

        … With all due respect, this is not an accounting. It’s a summary accounting. For example, you didn’t write any dates, and many of the items are vague.

        The analysis of the summary shows the following:

        1- You received a total of $22,301. Of course, you didn’t mention the period over which this sum was received. Our activities only benefited from a negligible portion of the money. This means that you received and distributed the money as you please …

        2- Salaries amounted to $10,085—45 percent of the money. I had told you in my fax … that we’ve been receiving only half salaries for five months. What is your reaction or response to this?

        3- Loans amounted to $2,190. Why did you give out loans? Didn’t I give clear orders to Muhammad Saleh to … refer any loan requests to me? We have already had long discussions on this topic …

        4- Why have guesthouse expenses amounted to $1,573 when only Yunis is there, and he can be accommodated without the need for a guesthouse?

        5- Why did you buy a new fax for $470? Where are the two old faxes? Did you get permission before buying a new fax under such circumstances?

        6- Please explain the cell-phone invoice amounting to $756 (2,800 riyals) when you have mentioned communication expenses of $300.

        7- Why are you renovating the computer? Have I been informed of this?

        8- General expenses you mentioned amounted to $235. Can you explain what you mean? …
        TO: Ayman al-Zawahiri
        FROM: Ezzat
        FOLDER: Incoming Mail—From Yemen
        DATE: February 17, 1999
        Kind brother Nur al-Din [al-Zawahiri]:

        … We don’t have any guesthouses. We have bachelor houses, and the offices are there too. We called it a guesthouse hypothetically, and we don’t have any bachelors except Basil and Youssef. And Abd al-Kareem lives at his work place.

        If I buy a fax and we have two old ones, that would be wanton or mad.

        Communication expenses were $300 before we started using the mobile phone—and all these calls were to discuss the crises of Ashraf and Dawoud and Kareem and Ali and Ali Misarra and Abu Basel and others, in compliance with the orders.

        Renovating our computer doesn’t mean buying a new one but making sure that adjustments are made to suit Abdullah’s [bin Laden’s] work. There were many technical problems with the computer. These matters do not need approval.

        There are articles for purchase that are difficult to keep track of, so we have put them under the title of general expenses …

        The first step for me to implement in taking your advice is to resign from … any relationship whatsoever between me and your Emirate. Consider me a political refugee …

    • DXer said

      The NYTs BENJAMIN WEISER explains that the FBI Agents gave the detained “The Doctor” a Kit Kat bar in extracting the evidence used against Hasanoff and other US suspects.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/nyregion/statements-by-detained-egyptian-terrorism-suspect-are-focus-of-sentencing.html?_r=0

      The 2009 interrogation of the witness, as recounted in highly redacted F.B.I. summaries, show that the agents said they were not seeking to charge him, but rather wanted to learn about a group of American terrorism suspects, including Mr. Hasanoff, and others. (A co-defendant of Mr. Hasanoff’s, Wesam El-Hanafi, has also pleaded guilty in the case.)

      They worked to build a rapport with him: he was given water, juice and food, and regular prayer breaks. One day, he was treated to a traditional dinner at a “safe house” that was attended by investigators from both countries, the summaries say.

      By the time the agents finished their first of five interviews with the witness, he had eaten a Kit Kat bar and was hugging and kissing them on the cheek.

      He was open about his views, the summaries note. “As a seasoned jihadi,” the F.B.I. wrote, “the subject had long hoped for an opportunity to create an attack on U.S. soil.”

      “The subject is very clear in his desire to attack the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests anywhere and feels completely justified in his hatred of the U.S. and its policies,” the summary added.

      During the interviews, the witness was shown photographs of senior Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad members, and explained how he used Internet cafes to search the news on the Web because he did not have access to the Internet at home. He also explained that he wanted to have “Americans travel to America to conduct terrorist operations.” And he talked about making the New York Stock Exchange a target, the summaries show.

      “The subject had very little idea about the stock exchange, i.e. its location, security measures, size, etc.,” the F.B.I. wrote, “but advised that his motivation to do an attack there was because it represented to him the world’s economy, so it was a highly desirable target.”

      He told the agents that in 2008, he gave Mr. Hasanoff an assignment, through his co-defendant, Mr. El-Hanafi, to conduct surveillance of the exchange. Mr. Hasanoff visited the exchange, but the witness said he was ultimately not happy with Mr. Hasanoff’s report, the summary says.

      “Subject reported that he tore up the report and ‘threw it in the street’ and never showed it to anyone,” the F.B.I. said.

    • DXer said

      I believe former Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura member Al-Najjar was an associate in Yemen of the “The Doctor” (the fellow known by the alias in Yemen; it also more famously is an alias used by Zawahiri himself). Al-Najjar is one of the people who first explained Dr. Zawahiri’s intention to use anthrax.

      ——————————————————————————–

      Islamic Jihad ‘Confessions’ Described
      London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic 6 Mar 99 p 5
      AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT
      Saturday, March 6, 1999
      Journal Code: 1431 Language: ENGLISH Record Type: FULLTEXT

      First of three reports by Khalid Sharaf-al-Din from Cairo: “Surprises in the Trial of the Largest International Fundamentalist Organization in Egypt. Abu-al-Dahab: My Mission Was To Attack the Turah Prison After Dropping a Bomb from a Glider”

      (FBIS Translated Text) In the second-biggest trial of fundamentalist organizations in Egypt, since the Jihad Organization trial of 1981 that followed the assassination of late Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, the leading defendants being tried by the Higher Military Court at Haekstep base north of Cairo gave new information about an international organization whose policies were in accord with what has been attributed to Bin-Ladin, especially in the matter of attacking US interests around the world, particularly US embassies in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

      The Egyptian security services have continued their investigations in the Returnees from Albania case throughout the past four months. More than 20,000 pages of investigation report contain the defendants’ detailed confessions to the nature of their anti-regime activities, violent acts inside Egypt, and plans to threaten the state’s stability.

      The defendants’ confessions brought many surprises and details about the violent groups’ role, the extent of their activities abroad, and the political ambitions they were pursuing through their banned activities.

      Al-Sharq al-Awsat has read the investigation papers.

      The first thread in this case came with the arrest of defendant Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar in Albania, where he had fled after being sentenced to death in the Khan al-Khalili case in 1994 (date as published). Once al-Najjar was captured, members of the organization began to fall one after another. He revealed the names of a large number of his partners and gave detailed information about the support he got from the Islamic Jihad Organization’s leaders, foremost among them Ayman al-Zawahiri, ‘Adil ‘Abd-al-Majid, and Tharwat Salah Shihatah, who lives in Britain.

      Al-Najjar, who was sentenced to death in absentia in 1997 (date as published) in the case of the attempt to blow up Khan al-Khalili in central Cairo, said: The confrontation with the United States is a challenge that concerns not only Ayman al-Zawahiri or Usamah Bin-Ladin but the entire Islamic nation.

      Al-Najjar is among the 12 defendants accused of membership in the Jihad Organization who were extradited from Albania to Egypt last July. Another defendant extradited from Bulgaria to Egypt is also being tried before the court, whose sentences cannot be appealed.

      Forty-three defendants are on trial in person and 64 are being tried in absentia, among them Jihad leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (48 years old). He is regarded as the right-hand man of Usamah Bin-Ladin, who is accused by the United States of planning the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam explosions.

      Thirty-nine of the defendants were arrested before and four others were detained recently, but no announcement about this was made.

      In his confessions al-Najjar propounded this fundamentalist group’s view of US moves in the Balkans. He believes that “though the United States supports Bosnia’s Muslims, it does not want to see jihad exist in Europe because it fears that the presence of Islamic forces in the Balkans would repeat what happened in Afghanistan.”

      Nonconventional Weapons (subhead) The most controversial point in the confessions of the defendants from the Albanian fundamentalist group was the confirmation that pro-Bin-Ladin elements had obtained germ and biological weapons by post at a cheap price. Factories in the former Eastern Europe supply viruses that cause fatal diseases, such as E-Coli and Salmonella, without checking the identities of the purchasers. The important thing for them is payment of the invoice in advance. One of the organization’s members secure an offer to supply samples of anthrax gas (as published) and other toxic gases from a factory in a Southeast Asian country. The germs were offered at a price of $3,685, including shipping costs. A laboratory in Indonesia exported serums to the Islamic Moro Front, which has close ties with pro-Bin-Ladin groups and with Arab Afghans and Balkans (as published). It is believed that the Moro Front has large quantities of toxic gases.

      In another part of the investigation the defendants said that a laboratory in the Czech Republic had agreed to provide samples of the lethal butolinum germ at $7,500 a sample. The laboratory did not query the purpose for which this lethal substance would be used. The security services’ report on this point said that it is possible to use a microscopic quantity of these viruses (as published) to kill hundreds of people by inhaling it or eating contaminated food.
      ***
      A Bomb From a Glider (subhead) On the other hand, Egyptian judicial sources said that recently arrested elements from the Jihad Organization involved in the case intended to carry out an airborne landing operation to spring some of the organization’s leaders in Turah Prison south of Cairo. They said that one of these elements, Khalid Abu-al-Dahab, who has both Egyptian and US citizenship, confessed to the investigators interrogating the defendants in the Albanian Arabs’ case. He said that the organization’s leaders residing in Afghanistan had given him the task of planning an attack on the Turah Prison to facilitate the escape of a number of IG leaders. No date was set or preparations made for the plan, which involved dropping explosives from an Adeltap (name as transliterated) glider to cause an explosion in the prison. The aim was to create panic so that the glider could then land near the cells where the Islamic Jihad members were detained and release them. Most of the fundamentalisAl-Najjar’s Confessions (subhead) The confessions of the first defendant in the Albanian Arabs’ case, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar, filled 143 pages that detailed the investigations conducted by the Higher State Security Prosecution Office before the whole case was referred to the military judiciary. He said that he belonged to the second generation of the Jihad and IG alliance, which was launched at the time by ‘Abbud al-Zummar, Najih Ibrahim, and Muhammad ‘Abd-al-Salam Faraj with the blessing of Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman. This alliance assassinated President al-Sadat in 1981 during the military parade that was held to commemorate Egypt’s celebrations of the October victory. He added that the military court sentenced him at that time to three years in prison and that he had been released at the end of 1984. Al-Najjar had not ceased his banned organizational activities from the day he was released to this day.

      Following his release, he revived the Jihad Organization in 1988 by recruiting some members in the Nahiya (as transliterated) area in al-Jizah governorate. But the Egyptian security services arrested his group, which was then known as “Islamic Punishment” (al-Qasas al-Islami).

      Al-Najjar tried to form another group after his release in order to carry out armed operations and overthrow the regime. But he decided to flee from Egypt for good after the security services discovered his extremist group, which was planning to damage Egypt’s economy by blowing up the tourist quarter of Khan al-Khalili in the Holy al-Azhar area.

      Al-Najjar went on to confess that he succeeded in entering Yemeni’s territories, where he lived in Sanaa for a short time during which he was in contact with defendant Yusuf al-Jindi, the second man in the Khan al-Khalili case, who remained in hiding before the Egyptian security services arrested him. Al-Jindi lived in the Kirdasah (as transliterated) area, west of Cairo. Contacts between al-Najjar and al-Jindi continued throughout the former’s stay in Sanaa until al-Jindi was discovered and referred to the military court, which sentenced him to life imprisonment with hard labor in Case No. 60 for the year 1994 — military crimes.

      During the trial, al-Najjar was deeply fearful that al-Jindi would reveal his whereabouts and his role in the region and hence prompt the Egyptian Government to ask the Yemeni authorities to extradite him. He decided to flee from Sanaa to a European country and seek political asylum, as other leaders of the organization had done in the past.

      Escape From Yemen (subhead) A preliminary reading of the policy followed by the Egyptian security services to capture and chase this organization’s members clearly shows that these services pursued a new policy of pursuing the organization’s members outside Egypt’s borders. They put into action mechanisms for the extradition and exchange of criminals with most countries, including even Ecuador and Uruguay. The latter recently extradited to Egypt Muhammad ‘Abd-al-‘Al, one of the IG leaders who was one of the perpetrators of the attack on foreign tourists at the Hatshaput Temple in Luxor last year.

      Going back to al-Najjar’s confessions, he said: I knew that the Yemeni Government had started full security cooperation with the Egyptian authorities. I therefore decided to flee from Yemen to somewhere in East Europe or Latin America. At that time I thought that one of the Jihad leaders who has been a fugitive for a long time would help me do so. I contacted brother ‘Adil ‘Abd-al-Majid, who had political asylum in Britain and was living in London. It is known that ‘Adil manages a press office called the Office for the Defense of the Egyptian People, which he uses to attack the Egyptian Government in anti-regime publications and pamphlets. When I told ‘Adil about the situation, he helped by sending me $1,500 so that I could leave Yemen. I did succeed in doing so by using forged travel documents and arrived in Albania (he said). On his arrival there, a new stage in organizational activity began to revive the Jihad Organization, which had received heavy blows from the Egyptian GovernmentThe matter became even more complicated after al-Zawahiri’s whereabouts in Geneva, Switzerland, were discovered and he decided to escape to another destination which was unknown even to al-Najjar. He said that the organization’s leaders have not abandoned their ideas and are still working to establish a highly organized and well financed and planned armed group to achieve their objectives of seizing power in Egypt. He believes that they have maintained this objective since the coup planned by Jihad in 1981 and despite the Egyptian Government’s success in hitting the organization and liquidating (as published) it.

      Al-Najjar stressed in his confessions that al-Zawahiri was installed as leader by the Jihad members abroad several years ago and that ‘Abbud al-Zummar, the former leader now carrying out a life sentence in the assassination of President al-Sadat’s case, is not the actual leader any more and has no organizational authority.

      This information explains the conflict between the organization’s leaders in prison and the fugitive leaders abroad over the initiatives to stop acts of violence which were announced by the imprisoned leaders and rejected by those abroad. Al-Najjar said: The Jihad’s organizational structure now is very complicated because a large number of its leaders are living abroad, and those living in Egypt are keen not to endanger themselves. He added that he did not know all the members or the nature of their tasks but knew that Tharwat Shihatah, the lawyer who fled to London, was in charge of security inside the organization and his responsibilities included protecting members, information, and documents, and dealing with attempts to infiltrate it. This is apparently the organization’s intelligence service, which is in charge of protecting the organization and purging it. ‘Adil ‘Abd-al-Majid, who also fled to London, is in charge of the social committee that takes care of members inside and outTHIS REPORT MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. COPYING AND DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT OWNERS.

  32. DXer said

    Two people parachuted and landed next to the (new) Goldman Sachs building. Who was that?
    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130930/financial-district/police-looking-for-two-people-who-parachuted-into-lower-manhattan

    Police Looking for Two People Who Parachuted into Lower Manhattan

    By Janon Fisher on September 30, 2013

    It was unclear if they landed in front of Goldman Sachs building at the intersection or in between the Goldman building and the Conrad Hotel, the commissioner added.

    Police are looking into whether the two jumped from the roof of a building or from some type of aircraft.

    Comment: I saw a woman with red cloth do an acrobatic ballet on a NY bridge. She was arrested and her sentence was to do some children’s shows.

  33. DXer said

    The fellow, who worked at KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, conducted surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange for “The Doctor” based in Yemen.

    When?

    Who was the doctor?

    Jihadist Aussie accountant sentenced in US
    October 1, 2013 – 3:34AM

    An Australian accountant who undertook surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange for al Qaeda associates in Yemen and hoped to fight “in armed jihad” in overseas war zones has been sentenced in a US court to 18 years’ jail.

    Sabirhan Hasanoff, who was raised in Adelaide, had entered a guilty plea to a charge of providing material support, including financial support, equipment, and technical advice, to al Qaeda associates in Yemen.

    “I’m very sorry for my conduct,” he told the US District Court in Manhattan during Monday’s sentencing.

    “I should have known better, and I don’t have any excuses.”
    The 37-year-old married father-of-three, who lived in Brooklyn, New York, and worked at top accounting firms KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, was facing a sentence of up to 20 years’ jail.

    Hasanoff’s legal team had asked for a 13-year sentence.

    Hasanoff, in a letter to Judge Kimba Wood, admitted undertaking surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange in 2008 for a Yemen-based man, nicknamed “The Doctor”, who prosecutors described as a “career jihadist”.

    However, Hasanoff said the information he submitted had little detail that “deliberately provided nothing beyond what anyone could have learned from Google Earth, a tourist map or a brochure”.

    Hasanoff, a Muslim who only in recent years adopted an orthodox approach to Islam, provided money to contacts in Yemen in the hope of fighting overseas.

    “While Mr Hasanoff provided those contacts with a substantial sum of cash over time, and performed a number of random and often (principally) mundane tasks for them, in the hopes that they might facilitate his travel for the purpose of engaging in armed jihad overseas, his lack of knowledge and access vastly reduced his chances of ever completing any of the charged offences,” Hasanoff’s lawyer wrote in a sentencing submission.

    • DXer said

      He was using the same code words that Zawahiri used in the late 1990s in communicating with a cell of Egyptians located in Yemen.

      Brooklyn Resident Pleads Guilty to Supporting al-Qaida

      by Abha Shankar • Jun 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm
      A Brooklyn resident pleaded guilty Monday to providing money and computer assistance to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

      Sabirhan Hasanoff was charged in an indictment unsealed in April 2010 along with Wesam El-Hanafi with conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida. A superseding indictment accused the two men on three additional counts, including providing material support to al-Qaida, and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in connection with their support to the terrorist group.

      Hasanoff, a successful accountant who held a senior position at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a dual citizen of the United States and Australia. He was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and brought to the United States to face charges of providing material and technical assistance to al-Qaida.

      Prosecutors allege that in November 2007 Hasanoff received around $50,000 from a confidential co-conspirator to move money and perform other tasks for al-Qaida. Both Hasanoff and El-Hanafi subsequently had a discussion with the co-conspirator about joining al-Qaida. Hassanoff also instructed the co-conspirator to avoid using his U.S. passport for traveling because a “passport with fewer immigration stamps would be more valuable to al Qaeda.” Prosecutors claim Hasanoff is widely traveled and has visited several countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

      El-Hanafi, a U.S. citizen and computer engineer living in Brooklyn, traveled to Yemen in February 2008, where he met with two al-Qaida members “who instructed him on operational security measures and directed him to perform tasks for al Qaeda.” While in Yemen, El-Hanafi swore an oath of allegiance to al-Qaida. He also subscribed to a software program to enable him communicate securely with others on the Internet. Both Hasanoff and El-Hanafi used code words to communicate their desire to fight jihad in Internet chat rooms and connect with other al-Qaida members. The term “safari” was used as a codename for “jihad” and saying a friend was “hospitalized” implied he was “in prison.” El-Hanafi also made an online purchase of seven Casio digital watches for al-Qaida. …

    • DXer said

      El-Hanafi, a different defendant (who was arrested in VA), made $170,000 protecting government computers from intrusion.

      Wesam El-Hanafi, New Yorker Accused Of Aiding Al-Qaeda, Pleads Guilty To Terror Charges
      By TOM HAYS

      NEW YORK — A New Yorker accused of trying to start what prosecutors called “a mini al-Qaida cell” pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of conspiracy and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

      An indictment had alleged that Wesam El-Hanafi pledged loyalty to al-Qaida and sought to teach the terror group how to evade detection on the Internet after he went to Yemen in 2008.

      The Brooklyn-born El-Hanafi admitted in federal court in Manhattan to having conversations in 2009 with a co-defendant about “seeking out additional contacts within al-Qaida.” The co-defendant, Sabirhan Hasanoff, pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this month.

      Prosecutors had portrayed the two U.S. citizens as a new, more sophisticated breed of homegrown terrorist: Both had earned college degrees and landed well-paying jobs before trying to share their expertise with al-Qaida.

      El-Hanafi, 37, faces up to 20 years in prison. No sentencing date has been scheduled.

      He was arrested in Virginia on April 30, 2010, after he was brought to the United States from Dubai, where he was being paid $170,000 a year to work in a government job safeguarding computers. According to the FBI, he told an agent and a police detective that he traveled to Yemen in February 2008 for two job interviews.

      When he returned from Yemen, El-Hanafi “basically formed his own mini al-Qaida cell” by buying software that secured Internet communications and reaching out to others, including Hasanoff, who were sympathetic to the group, prosecutors said. He also was accused of supplying tens of thousands of dollars to al-Qaida and of buying seven Casio wristwatches that prosecutors claimed could be converted to detonation devices.

      The investigation uncovered evidence that El-Hanafi and Hasanoff used code words on the Internet during 2009 about fighting jihad and making contact with al-Qaida. In their code language, “safari” was used in place of “jihad” and saying a friend was “hospitalized” meant that he was in prison.

  34. DXer said

    September 19, 2013 9:02 AM
    Court document references al Qaeda-linked chemical weapons program in Somalia

    (CBS News) A new document filed in a still-developing terrorism case in New York seems to confirm the long-held fear that al Qaeda is working to develop chemical weapons.

    On Wednesday, CBS News obtained a document filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York indicating that three men charged with being members of the al-Shabab terrorist group in Somalia had “substantial knowledge regarding an al-Shabaab research and development department that was developing chemical weapons.”

    CBS News senior correspondent John Miller told “CBS This Morning” the lead defendant in the case, Mahdi Hashi, and two others were arrested in August, 2012, by African authorities while allegedly on their way to Yemen. They are charged with participating in a weapons and training program with al-Shabab over a four-year period beginning in 2008.

    Hashi, who left his home in the U.K. to join the Somali group, had been part of an elite suicide bomber unit with al-Shabab.

    Below: “CBS Evening News” report on threat posed by AQAP

    The new document says the defendants’ planned to join al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the terror network’s branch in Yemen which has orchestrated numerous recent, high-profile a terrorist attacks, including plots targeting the U.S. mainland.

    Miller, who is a former assistant director at the FBI, notes that developing chemical weapons is a goal al Qaeda, “seems to be striving for.”

    But Miller notes that neither the new court document, nor, to his knowledge, current U.S. intelligence, reveal a clear timeline regarding when al Qaeda might actually be able to produce a finished chemical weapons agent or gain the capacity to use such a weapon against the United States.

    Miller adds, however, that the mere “idea that they have a department and that they have capable, knowledgeable people in that department who are striving towards it is … very concerning” to U.S. intelligence organizations.

    Miller said that in the context of what’s going on now in Syria — where al Qaeda-linked or inspired militants are thought to comprise anywhere from 15 to 50 percent of the rebel fighting force on the ground — the threat of al Qaeda’s chemical weapons ambitions is two-fold: that they might be developing their own weapons, and that they could gain access to military-grade weapons developed by governments in Syria and the Middle East.

    A former top CIA analyst told CBS News a week ago that if Syria’s government fell, the al Qaeda elements in the country could gain access to the estimated 1,000-ton chemical weapons stockpile currently under President Bashar Assad’s control.

    In June, authorities in Iraq — from which many of the jihadi fighters in Syria came — arrested five alleged al Qaeda militants and raided three alleged chemical weapons manufacturing laboratories across the country. The government claimed the men were trying to make sarin and mustard gas to use in attacks in Europe and North America.

    The only al Qaeda affiliate known to have manufactured and used chemical weapons to date is al Qaeda in Iraq, which waged attacks in 2006 and 2007 using bombs containing chlorine, which failed to kill anyone.

    Outside of trying to acquire existing chemical weapons, “al Qaeda is more than likely trying to develop their own homemade sarin or working with readily available commercial-industrial products that can be turned into dispersal devices that can be deadly,” said Miller.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  35. DXer said

    WVEC.com
    Posted on September 17, 2013 at 7:02 PM
    Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 7:20 PM
    Related:
    Navy Yard gunman visited range in Va. 2 days before shooting
    13 killed in Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage
    NORFOLK—In the last year, Navy installations in Hampton Roads have conducted at least four counter and anti-terrorism exercises as part of annual training known as Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield.
    Various scenarios have included a lone gunman firing shots in the Naval Station Norfolk Commanding Officer’s headquarters building, an active shooter at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek harbor, and a terrorist releasing anthrax from the sky over Naval Air Station Oceana.
    http://www.wvec.com/news/local/Navy-conducts-counter-terrorism-drills-224148021.html

  36. DXer said

    In the event of a mass attack on New York City, what would be the role of the military in light of the Posse Comitatus Act? 1/

    Would they attempt to move the gold? Assuming that they wouldn’t, what would be the affect on the financial system if it was perceived that the contamination affected access to the gold reserves underground?

    http://www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/goldvault.html

    Viewed from the perspective of history, did the British move gold from Boston (e.g., need for payroll) in 1776 to Halifax area and with the expertise of lead engineer John Montresor hide it under Smith’s Cove off Oak Island? 2/ I have seen Montresor’s journals from 1777 and 1778 but have not yet read his journals from 1776 relating to his time in Halifax then. He was already very familiar with the area.

    Is Ayman Zawahiri keeping journals that he will someday publish so that the history can be written?

    How long can a secret be kept?

    Where kept for 200+ years, is it most often just a mistake in analysis? Is it because of the covert nature of the operation? Or is it sometimes because it is in the self-interest of some to obscure the historically correct understanding? Or is it often a combination of all three.

    1/ The Military’s Response to Domestic CBRNE Incidents
    Heffelfinger, David G. / Tuckett, Craig M. / Ryan, Jeffrey R.

    Published Online: 07/13/2013

    National Guard units are less restricted by both the Posse Comitatus Act and the Title 10 US Code (USC) allowing them greater flexibility during response to CBRNE events. Civilian leaders responsible for leading National Guard units must be well versed in the laws, structure and tactics pertaining to National Guard forces and must be familiar with the National Guard’s capabilities and limitations.

    2/ The British evacuation of Boston, 1776

    by Benjamin Duvivier
    http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/war-for-independence/resources/british-evacuation-boston-1776

  37. DXer said

    Why you don’t need to worry about getting the plague
    USA TODAY – ‎1 hour ago‎
    Each year about seven people get the plague, but modern antibiotics are an effective treatment. Only about 10% of people who get it die, compared with as many of 60% before the discovery of antibiotics.

  38. DXer said

    CIDRAP has a story about some problems that might arise with people taking pills after an anthrax attack. I’ve always felt that one problem is that people will immediately be on the move — heading to stay with friend or family. If I were in NYC, for example, I would head up Route 17 into the Catskills and leave it all behind me — figuring out a way how to get antibiotics upstate. I think dispensing pills at the booths leaving the city might be viable — it needn’t take any longer than it does for an EZ pass to register.

    “In an anthrax attack, federal response plans call for treating those at risk of Bacillus anthracis spore exposure with a 60-day course of antibiotics, and also offering three doses of anthrax vaccine for longer-term protection against late-germinating spores.

    Laura Ross, PhD, lead health communication specialist in the division of state and local readiness with the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, told participants that health departments face a tall task in getting the medication to the public within the recommended 48-hour time frame, including the step of getting the public to come to the PODs.

    To mobilize people, health officials needs to gauge what knowledge gaps and misperceptions are barriers to people showing up to get—and take—the antibiotics, she said. Ross said, for example, people might leave their jurisdictions if an attack occurs nearby, or they might have resentments if companies or institutions assist with response efforts by dispensing the medications only to their employees and employees’ family members.”

  39. DXer said

    Updated 07/19/2013 08:34 AM
    NYPD, Feds Continue Major City Airflow Study

    http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/185719/nypd–feds-continue-major-city-airflow-study

    The New York City Police Department and federal officials are once again conducting air sampling today, as part of the largest urban airflow study ever conducted.

    Comment:

    I rode 4 and 6 NYC Subway Lines this week. Inside the cars were air-conditioned. The platforms were not. Based on air pressure and flow, I don’t know what that would counsel as a strategy for a passenger caught in the subway system during a release.

    There were lots of police, especially in the vicinity of the 911 Memorial. At a small Starbucks, some van came up and left off a wheelchair and the manager had promptly summoned several police officers and asked what he should do. With no explanation why it had been left, it was rolled away.

  40. DXer said

    Local bioterrorism as a potential global threat
    July 17, 2013 by Angela Herring

    – See more at: http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2013/07/local-bioterrorism-as-a-potential-global-threat/#sthash.BsH0Dh0E.dpuf

    According to a new computer modeling research study from Northeastern Univer sity network scien tist Alessandro Vespignani, when it comes to bioterrorist attacks, “diseases have no borders.” Thus, an outbreak of smallpox intended to harm a local pop u la tion would ulti mately affect the entire planet.

    Vespignani, the Sternberg Family Distin guished Professor of Physics, Health Sciences, and Computer and Information Science at Northeastern, and his team modeled the spread of a hypothet ical smallpox virus across the globe and found that even with the most conservative estimates, a small initial attack in the city of London would likely spread to two or four countries before the first cases were even diagnosed, Vespignani said. The results were reported in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports.

    – See more at: http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2013/07/local-bioterrorism-as-a-potential-global-threat/#sthash.BsH0Dh0E.dpuf

    Comment: Are such remote hypothetical risks worth modelling? The researcher might more usefully model the outbreak of MERS virus at hajj over the next 30 days.

    In Amerithrax, in 2002, the FBI considered a financial motive. Dr. Ivins stood to gain $4,000 in connection a patent relating to anthrax.

    I suppose in MERS they would study who invested in Nanoviricides.

    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=MERS&oq=MERS&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j0l4j43i53.1965.2492.0.2966.4.4.0.0.0.0.125.434.1j3.4.0…0.0…1ac.1.qa08CWemyV8d

    In 2008, in Amerithrax, they should have invested in NanoBio — they would have found it was the fellow who was in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan and was #3 at the Department of State.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      MERS Virus Not Yet a Global Emergency, WHO Panel Says
      by Kai Kupferschmidt on 17 July 2013
      http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/07/mers-virus-not-yet-a-global-emer.html

      Comment:

      Hopefully, the WHO panel had sophisticated computer modeling available to it.

      I took a tour with my family of the UN on July 18, Nelson Mandela Day. Bill Clinton spoke in the next room. It was very cool to see my daughter’s passion for the UN mission.

      The fascinating thing about the MERS issue is that with hajj it may very well develop in a concentrated timeline so that we will be able to look back with hindsight on the WHO’s decision-making. Oftentimes, it takes years in a bureaucracy for missteps to be known.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Solving a Viral Mystery
      Experts Scramble to Trace the Emergence of MERS

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/health/experts-scramble-to-trace-the-emergence-of-mers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      There is urgency to the hunt for answers. Half the known cases have been fatal, though the real death rate is probably lower, because there almost certainly have been mild cases that have gone undetected. But the virus still worries health experts, because it can cause such severe disease and has shown an alarming ability to spread among patients in a hospital. It causes flulike symptoms that can progress to severe pneumonia.

      The disease is a chilling example of what health experts call emerging infections, caused by viruses or other organisms that suddenly find their way into humans. Many of those diseases are “zoonotic,” meaning they are normally harbored by animals but somehow manage to jump species.

      “As the population continues to grow, we’re bumping up against wildlife, and they happen to carry some nasty viruses we’ve never seen before,” said Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist and the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a scientific group that studies links between human health, the health of wild and domestic animals, and the environment.

  41. DXer said

    Bioterrorism: A Dirty Little Threat With Huge Potential Consequences

    All information for this article is taken from unclassified material. Most has been provided by a medical doctor and biomedical scientist who has an unconventional warfare background and prefers to be unnamed. He has conducted extensive research in tropical medicine, has served as overwinter physician for a 14-person Antarctic research team, and served as a WMD consultant to the National Medical Response Team (NMRT). He currently conducts jungle training for biomedical scientists, and has conducted extensive pathology investigations involving Ebola, Marburg and other deadly viruses. He also participated in the Asian Disaster Foundation medical response to Sri Lanka, and has authored and coauthored numerous related medical research papers.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/07/21/bioterrorism-a-dirty-little-threat-with-huge-potential-consequences/

    Comment:

    Who is the journalist’s unnamed expert?

    Given what I know of Sufaat’s work with anthrax and the fact that the CIA concluded that the cropduster inquiries related to the dispersal of anthrax, there are few people more cognizant of the thesis of this new Forbes article.

    But especially in the context of David Willman’s good work on the issue of an acute conflict of interest her perceives in a different matter relating to the anthrax threat, it is not good practice to rely on unnamed sources in advancing this thesis.

    I presume there is no conflict of interest but only through transparency can one know; for the same reason, the members of the Red Team members in Amerithrax should be identified. They concluded there was no reason to pursue the silicon signal. Upon their identification it will be possible to determine whether there was a conflict of interest.

    For example, the chief prosecutor in Amerithrax pled the Fifth Amendment for the leaks relating to the anthrax smelling dogs etc. that derailed the investigation and kept things focused on Hatfill. His daughter came to represent “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi pro bono. ( “Anthrax weapons suspect” is the phrase used in briefing by Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s esteemed defense counsel.) The lead prosecutor’s sibling and spouse in 2002 argued publicly that Bin Laden was not responsible for 911 — which was total crock.

    GAO should consider whether there was an apparent conflict of interest under the applicable guidelines — both as to the lead prosecutor and to the membership of the Red Team.

  42. DXer said

    Delco Drill Simulates Response to Anthrax Attack
    Delaware County emergency-response personnel spent two days in Ridley testing their protocols.

    Posted by Eric Campbell (Editor), June 28, 2013
    The training scenario focused on a fictional aerosolized anthrax attack.

    Comment:

    I’ve skimmed almost 50 books on investment in the past couple weeks and am still ignorant on some key questions.

    The common wisdom is that the price already reflects all the available information — and that is foolhardy to try to “time” the market.

    The reasoning is that statistics do not show that this or that funds manager or financial adviser, for example, can beat the S&P 500 market index.

    John Bogle illustrates one side of the debate. He persuasively argues in favor of avoiding fund expenses and choosing a no-load fund. He emphasizes the effect of compounding that %1 savings over time. Peter Schiff illustrates an opposing view. Schiff urges the seriousness of the predicaments that the US economy faces (relating to what he calls the “government bubble” arising from printing money). I find that both have powerful logic supporting their views — and indeed, it seems that both could be right. But no one I’ve read so far seems to be factoring the possibility of a terrorist event into their investment models.

    For example, consider the difference of a mutual fund containing stocks and bonds compared to an ETF fund. The traditional fund calculates the price at the end of the day whereas an ETF fund allow changes in real-time during the day. In the event of an aerosol anthrax attack, if you have notice of it 7 minutes before the rest of the world (because of more frequent googling) and have highly agile investments, won’t you be able to avoid a ruinous drop in your retirement savings (if you act before trading is suspended)?

    As I recall, a former top CIA official working in Europe made a ton of money trading on options relating airlines — many people knew that Al Qaeda was planning an attack involving airplanes. (The results of the probe, as I recall, remained classified). Any lack of transparency involving the anthrax threat would be troubling. If we don’t learn from history we are bound to repeat it. As an example, wasn’t the situation involving Dr. Danzig reminiscent of the situation involving Admiral Crowe, where he was gifted a substantial portion of Bioport stock? The public needs to demand greater accountability and we need to learn from our past mistakes.

  43. DXer said

    Senator seeks review of government purchase of anthrax drug
    Sen. Claire McCaskill is concerned that Richard Danzig, a government biowarfare consultant who was paid by a firm that made such a drug, may have improperly influenced the process.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-danzig-20130622,0,1566024.story

    Comment: Without knowing the rules that apply, maybe RD would want to contribute the money he received to the Red Cross.

    I once inadvertently forced the FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford to resign over a similar issue of stock ownership. I emailed the former FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford on Wednesday at 2:22 p.m. I represented a whistleblower who had been part of a secret project that had learned about the fuel additive benzene was in drinks sold to children worldwide. The FDA Commissioner resigned Friday morning, sending an email to all FDA employees just before he left the building. He never explained why he quit. Dr. Crawford stonewalled Senator Clinton and Senator Kennedy’s pleas for an explanation. On Saturday, when WSJ broke the news, I was in Boston at a childhood obesity conference. The CSPI lead scientist and the lead PHAI lawyer were sitting nearby. I commented “Someone should check that man’s stock.” It turned out he owned something like $76,000 in Pepsi and about that much in the stock of the food lunch distributor Sysco. He had been in charge of the task force addressing the issue of childhood obesity at the FDA.

    By not explaining why he was resigning, he swept the problem under the rug and I had to go to Germany to get them to test their country’s drinks. I had emailed the head of FDA’s CFSAN but she did not respond either. Germany did the testing resulting in mass recalls, then UK did and then most all developed countries did, prompting recalls all over the developed world — leaving the undeveloped world unprotected from the multinationals selling the drinks with the benzene in it.

    A non-profit called last week and says they have hired a consultant to test the many dozens of products worldwide that still contain the two ingredients. A database they have shows there are many such products. Testing is ongoing.

    I used to do it the old fashioned way and physically collect the samples and submit them to the local lab for a $65 test for benzene.

    Good luck to the industry if their reformulations (adding a chelating agent i.e., EDTA) did not work and the 5 ppb level for benzene is still exceeded.

    The former FDA head eventually was charged with two misdemeanors. But nothing was made clear in the allocution about Dr. Crawford’s role and his expertise as a drinking water contamination expert. The same US Attorney who handled Amerithrax handled the matter relating to that FDA Commissioner. Political considerations loom large — with politics often determining who gets what job in government.

    As the result of the lack of an allocution or production of documents from 1991, FDA never appropriately addressed the risk assessment presented. There are strong parallels with anthrax ; the US public does not know the risk they face because the ball was hid in connection with Amerithrax.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    Mr. Willman is to be congratulated for his focus on issues that relate to financial self-interest on matters relating to the public health (without me presuming in this instance to know what the rules or facts are or how they apply to these facts). I believe he won a Pulitzer in a similar matter.

    In the benzene in soft drinks matter, the FDA stonewalled on the documents relating to what the FDA knew in 1991. I spoke to the scientist who said he had given the documents to the FOIA officer but then nothing in fact was produced. The (very powerful) non-profit group has had the same experience.

    All the private companies should test their drinks immediately and take action before the sky falls on them in the coming months.

  44. DXer said

    Comment: I have no opinion on the value of a biosurveillance program. A frugal consumer, I look for bargains such as “connecting the dots” through the reading in an armchair the open source documents. That added value to national security is all free. Reading is a good investment.

    We are paying a lot due to the failure of some of our government officials to do their homework.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/306259-house-oversight-panel-questions-need-for-high-cost-biosurveillance-program-

    House panel questions value of biosurveillance program
    By Amrita Khalid – 06/18/13 02:28 PM ET

    More than a decade after the 2001 anthrax attacks, a House oversight committee on Tuesday questioned the track record of a controversial surveillance program launched to prevent future incidents of bioterrorism.

    BioWatch, the nationwide system designed to detect early signs of anthrax or other deadly agents in the air, was denied further funding by Congress last year following multiple reports that it was defective.

    The program was launched in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2003 as a response to the anthrax attacks following 9/11, when a series of anonymous letters filled with anthrax spores were sent to several recipients, including members of Congress. The attack killed five people.

    “Most troubling is whether we are better prepared to respond to bioterrorism than we were 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the answer would seem to be no,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) in his opening statement Tuesday before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    At a cost of $85 million a year, BioWatch is in use in 34 of the largest U.S. metropolitan cities. Since launching in 2003, the program has cost $1 billion.

    The Los Angeles Times reported in 2012 that a CDC official told White House aides that they would not rush medications to the site of an attack detected by BioWatch unless it was followed up with more sampling.

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation into BioWatch last summer, requesting the federal government confirm multiple reports that BioWatch was operating with defective technology and had a history of triggering false alarms.

    DHS denied the accuracy of these reports and stated that the BioWatch system has never given a false positive.

    Michael Walter of DHS told members of the subcommittee that the BioWatch system was in fact effective, and that allegations over “false positives” came from a misunderstanding of the terminology.

    When a city’s BioWatch system detects the DNA of a select agent, the lead public official of that city declares a “BioWatch Actionable Result,” or BAR. After the BAR is declared, further testing is done to see if BioWatch actually detected a lethal pathogen, or just bacteria with similar DNA.

    “To be clear, a BAR does not mean a terrorist attack has occurred, a viable agent has been released, or that people have been exposed. Additional analysis is needed to determine if a release has occurred and if there is a risk to public health,” Walter said.

    BioWatch has sent out 149 BARS since its creation, with no actual attacks detected.

    The DHS is requesting further funding from Congress to upgrade the BioWatch system for a faster response time.
    In each city where it is deployed, BioWatch uses a collection of outdoor and indoor aerosol collectors that take regular air samples. The samples are then collected by public health officials for further testing in labs. The total process can take up to a few days.

    The DHS was denied $40 million to invest in a new “lab in a box” technology called Generation 3, which would be able to produce results in a few hours.
    Lawmakers questioned whether investing in the technology would be worth the cost.

    The DHS has experimented with upgrading the BioWatch technology in the past, but stopped after the results were ineffective. The failed testing efforts cost the agency a total of $300 million. The Government Accountability Office predicted that upgrading BioWatch to the Generation 3 technology would cost the DHS $5.8 billion over a decade.

    Both Democratic and GOP lawmakers in the committee questioned the need for the Generation 3 technology, citing recent threat assessments by the DHS that showed a biological attack to be less likely now than it was in earlier years.

    Rep. Diane DeGette (D-Colo.) asked if the system was worth the cost, given that it had not detected an actual terrorist attack in the decade of its operation.

    Rep. Steven Scalise (R-La.) pointed out that the anthrax attacks were a much smaller operation than the large-scale attacks that BioWatch was created to detect.

    Murphy said while the threat of bioterrorism was still a concern, it was more likely that the attacks would be smaller, and unable to be detected by BioWatch.

    Murphy said while the DHS would be expected to pursue Generation 3 if officials are able to prove that it was effective, the higher costs were a considerable concern. Lawmakers also inquired about recent cuts in the public health workforce that could further complicate matters.

    “We cannot afford another DHS boondoggle. This costly approach is unbalanced and misdirected. It makes no sense to expand outdoor monitoring for a less likely large-scale attack, while not addressing the declining number of public health responders who are needed in any kind of attack. If public health authorities lack the capability to respond, BioWatch will not produce a benefit,” Murphy said.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/306259-house-oversight-panel-questions-need-for-high-cost-biosurveillance-program-#ixzz2WenFMIak

  45. DXer said

    The Potential Impact of an Anthrax Attack on Real Estate Prices and Foreclosures in Seattle ( Article in press ) 2013

    Dormady, N.a , Szelazek, T.b, Rose, A.c

    a John Glenn School of Public Affairs The Ohio State University Columbus, OH USA
    b GIS and Economic Analyst Point C Partners and RideAmigos Corp Pasadena, CA USA
    c Sol Price School of Public Policy; Coordinator for Economics, CREATE, USC Los Angeles, CA USA

    Abstract

    This article provides a methodology for the economic analysis of the potential consequences of a simulated anthrax terrorism attack on real estate within the Seattle metropolitan area. We estimate spatially disaggregated impacts on median sales price of residential housing within the Seattle metro area following an attack on the central business district (CBD). Using a combination of longitudinal panel regression and GIS analysis, we find that the median sales price in the CBD could decline by as much as $280,000, and by nearly $100,000 in nearby communities. These results indicate that total residential property values could decrease by over $50 billion for Seattle, or a 33% overall decline. We combine these estimates with HUD’s 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) to further predict 70,000 foreclosures in Seattle spatial zones following the terrorism event. © 2013 Society for Risk Analysis.

    Comment: What is the estimate for commercial real estate in Manhattan?

  46. DXer said

    Here is a major article by David Willman.

    Anthrax drug brings biotech firmBiowarfare consultant Richard J. Danzig urged the government to stockpile a type of anthrax remedy. But he had a stake in one such drug’s success.BY DAVID WILLMAN
    REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON
    May 19, 2013

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-anthrax-resistant-20130519-dto,0,3192936.htmlstory?track=lat-pick

    Comment:

    For historical context, two words: Admiral Crowe. I’ve always found the gift of Bioport stock to him to be absolutely outrageous He wasn’t expected to do anything was the bizarre defense to an alleged conflict of interest — that made it worse, not better.

    GAO should be vigilant on this issue of conflict of interest in its review of Amerithrax.

    For example, it was outrageous that the daughter of the lead Amerithrax prosecutor would come to represent lead anthrax suspect Ali Al-Timimi — for free no less.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/the-head-of-the-amerithrax-prosecution-daniel-seikaly-pled-the-fifth-amendment-about-leaking-the-hyped-hatfill-stories-that-derailed-the-amerithrax-investigation-for-7-years-his-daughter-later-ca/

  47. DXer said

    Adnan El-Shukrijumah, now head of Al Qaeda external operations, and in my opinion the leading anthrax letters candidate for mailer, was indicted in this complaint involving Zazi. Zazi lived in Queens and worked a food cart in lower Manhattan in the financial district, right in front of Goldman Sachs. Was he the sender of the Goldman Sachs anthrax hoax letters in June 2007 saying hundreds will die? Sufaat, the Al Qaeda anthrax lab head also lived with KSM in Kandahar, where he had his anthrax lab, and he does not deny to me that Al Qaeda was responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

    http://us.justdial.com/NY/New_York/GOLDMAN_SACHS_GROUP_INC/New_York/A4F0426429

    Before building new offices at 200 West St., 2007 Goldman Sachs offices were at 85 Broad St.

    Worker Injured in Crane Accident Downtown – NYTimes.com
    Dec 14, 2007 – December 14, 2007, 11:37 am … Goldman Sachs, whose main officein Manhattan is at 85 Broad Street in the financial district,

    They were sent on June 27, 2007 from Queens where Zazi lived.

    Zazi had begun travelling to Pakistan the year before. He met with the person who lived with KSM when he called his mom in Miramar Florida and told her he was coming to the US notwithstanding 9/11.

    Worker Injured in Crane Accident Downtown – NYTimes.com
    cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/…/worker-injured-in-crane-accident-d…‎

    Dec 14, 2007 – December 14, 2007, 11:37 am … Goldman Sachs, whose main officein Manhattan is at 85 Broad Street in the financial district,

    Queens imam loves U.S., says radical attorney Kuby
    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_337/queensimam.html‎

    Oct 9, 2009 – … who formerly operated a food cart on Stone St. near Ground Zero.

    Local Planning for Terror and Disaster: From Bioterrorism to … – Google Books Result
    Leonard A. Cole, Nancy D. Connell – 2012 – Science
    Najibullah Zazi was born in Afghanistan’s Paktia province, which borders Pakistan …criticized the Taliban government that had shielded Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. … A few years later he began working at his father’s food cart near Wall Street.

    On what basis was he excluded (in the event that he was)?

    http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/1332.pdf

    Zazi struggled as a student at Flushing High School in Queens, eventually dropping out.[11] From 2004–09, he operated a coffee and pastries vending cart on Stone Street in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District.[9][11] He displayed a “God Bless America” sign on his cart.[9]
    In 2006, he traveled to Pakistan and married his 19-year-old cousin in an arranged marriage.[9][15] He claimed several trips he made to Pakistan between 2006 and 2008 were to visit his wife. In the course of his visits, Zazi and his wife had two children, whom he planned to move to the U.S.[14]
    Events leading to arrest [edit]

    Al-Qaeda training and direction
    During the spring and summer of 2008, Zazi conspired with others in Queens, New York, to travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban and fight against the U.S. military and its allies.[7][16] On August 28, 2008, they flew from New York to Peshawar, Pakistan, a city just east of Pakistan’s volatile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (the FATA).

    “The Goldman Sachs Threats : Familiar Rhetoric

    Last week, letters went out to a large number of media outlets: letters-mailed from the NYC metropolitan area-that levied familiar-sounding threats against investment giant,Goldman Sachs.

    “Hundreds will die.

    We are Inside.

    You cannot stop us.”

    Maybe it’s just me, but I thought there was some similarity between that rhetoric and this :

    ” You cannot stop us.

    We have this anthrax.

    You die now.

    Are you afraid ?

    Death to America.

    Death to Israel.

    Allah is great.”

    Media reports indicate the threat letters were “signed” : AQUSA – which any reasonable person would probably interpret as “Al-Qaeda U.S.A.”

    The FBI, Postal Inspection Service, and any number of agencies are investigating these letters,in hopes of obtaining some useful clue…but,considering the progress of the FBI’s AMERITHRAX investigation, I would not suggest holding my breath.

    The FBI , in any event , does not think the Goldman Sachs letters are part of a credible threat…and they may very well be right.

    Still, the rhetoric has a familiar tone and message- even if the content has changed a bit to suit a new situation ; and I would not be surprised to learn there are other physical similarities as well.

    I must admit to some curiousity as to how this will all work out ”

    Sources:

    Goldman Sachs targeted with death threats
    Hand-written letters say hundreds will die; bank believes threat isn’t credible.
    By CNN’s Katy Byron
    July 6 2007: 3:21 PM EDT

    NEW YORK (CNN) — The FBI is investigating letters sent to newspapers nationwide that say “Goldman Sachs. Hundreds will die. We are inside. You cannot stop us,” the bureau said Friday, but government and company officials are downplaying the threat.

    U.S. Postal Inspection Service said the letters were sent to 20 small to mid-size newspapers, including publications in Indiana, Texas, Idaho, Tennessee and New Jersey.

    “We take these things very seriously,” said FBI spokesman Bill Carter.

    But he added, “We have no specific and credible information about a credible threat to Goldman Sachs other than these letters.”

    And Goldman spokesman Lucas Van Praag told CNN an FBI analysis has “concluded the threat is extraordinarily incredible,” meaning the threat lacks credibility. The investment firm has been in close contact with the FBI on the issue since late June, he said.

    The threat is unique in terms of specifically targeting Goldman employees, Van Praag added. A year ago, he said, there were threats against a number of U.S. banks.

    “We have a broad range of security measures in place to counter all likely threats and we’re monitoring the situation closely,” a written statement from the bank reads.

    The FBI does not yet know who mailed the letters, which were signed “A.Q.U.S.A.,” FBI sources told CNN.

    Authorities are working with Goldman Sachs (up $2.46 to $223.78, Charts, Fortune 500) to identify possible suspects, including disgruntled former or current employees or angry investment clients, Postal Inspection Service spokesperson Tom Boyle told CNN.

    “Goldman has been very cooperative,” he added.

    All Goldman Sachs America employees received an e-mail just before 9 a.m. ET Friday from the company’s Office of Global Security that said: “The firm is aware that a number of local newspapers in a few places in the U.S. have received anon[ymous] letters threatening the firm. We take any threat to the safety of our people and our business very seriously.”

    But it added, “We do not view this situation as a cause for concern.”

    The letters were postmarked on June 27 and mailed from the Queens borough of New York. Each letter was handwritten in red ink on loose-leaf paper, according to Boyle.

    “There’s potential for a lot of evidence,” Boyle told CNN. “There’s potential for DNA from the paper itself, the envelopes. They can get a lot of evidence from one piece of paper, you’d be surprised.”

    Papers that have received the letter include the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal Gazette, the New Jersey Star-Ledger, the Idaho Statesman , the Caller-Times of Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee.

    Asked if investigators have an idea on why the letters were mailed to those newspapers, Boyle said, “We’re trying to figure it out ourselves. … Usually you’d think they would send it to the New York Times or L.A. Times.”

    Calls to New York and New Jersey FBI officials were not returned Friday.

    Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s top investment banks, had tight security even before 9/11, and hardened its offices even more after the World Trade Center attacks.

    The bank has offices in 46 cities around the globe staffed by about 28,000 employees worldwide. About 9,000 work in New York City with another 3,000 in New Jersey.

    USA Today
    Ex-workers eyed as suspects in threats against Goldman
    July 10, 2007

    Authorities have pinpointed two postal collection areas where the letters were dropped into sidewalk mailboxes in Queens and Manhattan.

    [Note: Zazi lived in Queen and worked in Manhattan]

    July 14, 2007 / News
    Paper gets ‘Qaeda’ threat
    By The Brooklyn Paper
    for The Brooklyn Paper

    Cops from the 84th Precinct swarmed through the offices of The Brooklyn Paper last week after this newspaper became one of 20 nationwide that received a letter suggesting a plot against the New Jersey-based investment giant, Goldman Sachs.

    “Goldman Sachs. Hundreds will die. We are inside. You can’t stop us,” read the letter, which was written in red ink on lined looseleaf paper.

    It was signed “A.Q.U.S.A.,” an apparent reference to al Qaeda.

    The letter — addressed to the “News Department” of the Downtown News, one of our long-running editions — showed up at our DUMBO office on Friday, June 30. It was opened by Editor Gersh Kuntzman, who didn’t think much of the “threat,” but did ensure that he was the only staffer who touched what could be a vital piece of evidence in the nation’s war on terror.
    Naomi Village: In the heart of the Poconos

    “All I know about police work, I learned on ‘Law & Order,’ but I still knew the minute I opened it that there would be cops down here fingerprinting everyone who touched that letter,” Kuntzman said. “So I put it aside before anyone else came in contact with it.

    “Basically, I took one for the team,” Kuntzman quipped.

    Cops from the 84th Precinct did indeed fingerprint Kuntzman on Sunday — his day off — and slipped the letter into a plastic bag.

    The missive was later turned over to the FBI, which is investigating why roughly 20 newspapers around the country, including the Star-Ledger of Newark, received the same letter, all of which were mailed from Queens and The Bronx.

    The New York Post — which did not receive the letter — reported that federal law enforcement authorities don’t think the threat is serious because of its “non-specific nature.” But officially, FBI spokesman James Margolin said that “all threats are taken seriously.”

    Investigators are looking at fingerprints on the letter and even the saliva on the envelope, which could yield DNA evidence.

    “Thankfully, I didn’t put the envelope in my mouth,” Kuntzman said. “Learned that from ‘CSI: New York.’”

    “It’s a ridiculous letter,” he said.

    Comment: It was a ridiculous letter. Was it written by the guy selling hotdogs in front of Goldman Sachs headquarters?

    The New York Daily News
    Exclusive
    Teens behind terror ‘hoax,’ sez new letter
    BY JOHN MARZULLI
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Monday, August 6th 2007, 4:00 AM

    A new letter purportedly written by the author of terrorist threats against Goldman Sachs claims the whole thing was a hoax “conceived by three misguided teenagers.”

    The four-page letter, hand-printed in red ink on lined paper just like the original batch of 40 letters mailed to media outlets around the country in June, was sent to a Daily News reporter last month and immediately turned over to federal investigators.

    An FBI spokesman said yesterday that the new letter is still undergoing analysis at the agency’s lab in Quantico, Va., but it appeared to contain similarities to the original threats.

    “The investigators believe the latest letter may have been written by the same person, but they’re not convinced the underlying story in the letter is the truth,” said spokesman James Margolin. The story revealed in the latest missive is nearly as bizarre as the warning sent out in the original letters.

    Those read: “Goldman Sachs. Hundreds will die. We are inside. You cannot stop us.” They were signed “A.Q. U.S.A.”

    The new letter begins: “This letter is being dictated to and written by our daughter so that you can compare her printing to that on the infamous Goldman Sachs letters.”

    “These letters were not the work of criminals or worse,” it continues. “They were conceived and mailed out by three misguided teenagers, two boys and one girl. … The girl was chosen to print the letters because her printing style was deemed ‘prettier.'”

    The new letter says that one teen’s parents had a “financial beef” with Goldman and the kids thought it would be “funny and creative” to do the mailing.

    Those allegedly responsible for the original batch of letters said they didn’t expect that days later there would be terrorist attacks in Britain.

    “We are now sitting here, six parents and three kids, scared out of our wits, since this idiotic, childish ‘plot’ unfortunately seems to have coincided with the horrendous events in England and Scotland and a renewal of fears of similar events in the U.S.,” the letter states.

    Investigators’ interest was piqued by the claim that the letters were wiped with furniture polish to erase forensic evidence, which was confirmed by tests.

    “We are extremely confident that it is only a matter of time until the individual responsible for sending the threat letters is apprehended,” said Joseph Demarest of the FBI’s counterterrorism division in New York.

    The new letter says the teens bought supplies from a discount store, Staples and stationery stores in Westchester and Connecticut and on Long Island.

    It also states the threats were mailed from random locations in Queens and the Bronx to newspaper addresses obtained at a public library.

    Comment: This later letter was fascinating. One FBI agent commented to me that it seemed surprising that three young people would be involved — that is, that the two young people who was not the family member of a Goldman Sachs letter would bother to participate.

    Newsday.com
    Letter to Newsday claims Goldman threat a hoax
    BY ROCCO PARASCANDOLA | rocco.parascandola@newsday.com
    August 7, 2007

    The probe of the terrorist threats against Goldman Sachs will focus on a potentially new piece of evidence — a letter mailed to Newsday by a writer who called the incident a hoax by three teens.

    FBI investigators will analyze the letter and its envelope for fingerprints and DNA evidence, FBI spokesman James Margolin said.

    The letter, which Newsday will hand over Tuesday, will also be studied by a handwriting analyst to see if the writer is the same person who two months ago, in a letter sent to 40 media outlets, warned that Goldman Sachs would soon be targeted by al-Qaida.

    “Hundreds will die,” that letter warned. “We are inside. You cannot stop us.”

    The FBI at the time seemed to downplay the threat, citing its non-specific nature.

    Nearly two months later, however, authorities still have not figured out who sent the missive.

    The new letter, sent to a Newsday reporter who wrote about the threat to Goldman Sachs, appears to be a copy of one sent the New York Daily News.

    The FBI already has possession of the letter sent to the Daily News and says that a preliminarily analysis of the handwriting suggests the same person may have penned the Goldman Sachs letter.

    “There are some similarities,” Margolin said. “But we haven’t determined that it is written by the same person.”

    The letters sent to Newsday and the Daily News claim the writer is a teenage female who wrote the Goldman Sachs letter. Both letters say the female is writing the letter at the behest of her worried parents.

    They called the letter to Goldman Sachs an “idiotic, childish plot” conceived as a way for one of the teens to get some satisfaction after learning that the teen’s parents had had a problem with the financial giant.

    The red-ink, handwritten letter is signed “three frightened kids and six frightened parents.”

    The letter sent to Newsday was postmarked July 11 in Brooklyn. It was not received until last week, as it went first to the newspaper’s Melville office before being sent to the reporter’s office at Brooklyn federal court.

    Margolin said that until the Daily News handed over its letter, the investigation had not been focusing on three teenagers.

    But, Margolin said, there is still no reason to believe the trio sent the initial letter to Goldman Sachs.

    “We’re not convinced of the underlying story,” Margolin said.

    Comment: I told the FBI that from watching Law and Order, the letter seemed quite amazing in that 9 people were a lot to know a secret. I had noted that it seemed that armed with that suggested scenario the FBI would be able to obtain emails and IMs from teenager(s) of interest etc. There was a lot of information in the long letter by the person presenting as a concerned parent. The cursive of the long letter seemed distinctive. The letter no doubt caused further hassle for Goldman Sachs employees as it merely served to point the finger for the hoax letters to their families. What does Zazi’s handwriting look like?

    • DXer said

      I have asked whether the handwriting of Zazi is a match for Goldman Sachs anthrax hoax letters of June 2007. He had a coffee cart on Stone St. right below the Goldman Sachs office building which then was at 825 Broad near the one block of Stone St.

      He was recruited by Adnan El-Shukrijumah to go back and plot an attack against the US.

      http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/02/time-line-for-a-terror-plot/

      Adnan was at KSM’s residence in Kandahar on September 13, 2001 when he called him that week before the first anthrax letters told his mom he was coming back to the United States. She plead with him that he stay away lest he be arrested.

      Al Qaeda anthrax lab head Yazid Sufaat also lived with KSM in Kandahar for 6 days in Fall 2001. Sufaat does not deny to me Al Qaeda’s responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

      I am having trouble finding authenticated handwriting for Zazi. I may see bombmaking notes in lowercase handwriting but I’m not sure.

      I do not see examples of his handwriting in his bankruptcy filing in 2009.

      According to a bankruptcy petition signed on March 26, 2009, he lived at 33-24 Parson Blvd, 8F, in Flushing [Queens] NY 11354.

      His T-Mobile account was 582396645.
      His account with Washington Mutual Card Services was 4185-8222-5732-3523.
      He had a Macy’s card that he opened in March 2006. 4106217279540.
      He had a Citi card that he opened March 2006. Account No 542418057810.
      Those 3 cards could be checked for June and July 2007 to create a map of his whereabouts at the time purchases were made.

      (Beginning in 2008, he was quite the dead beat, opening up numerous accounts and incurring unpaid balances.)

      As for the handwriting of the Goldman Sachs letters, it appears that I misremembered the handwriting of the letter recanting the letters. I had thought the initial letter was in printing and the long recanting letter was in a distinctive (and nice, even feminine) cursive. But it seems to be in the same handwriting as the initial Goldman Sachs letter. This is very significant because if the initial letter and then the recanting letter purportedly by a parent of the first writer are in the same handwriting, they seem to have been written by the same person. Zazi was said by a relative to be dumb.

      I also have not been able to see examples of his handwriting in his prosecution — much has been sealed and there are classified procedures in place.

      Zazi apparently has been cooperating pursuant to a plea agreement.

      His handwriting must be available on some governmental forms and so I will keep looking.

      Here is an article about his coffee cart. For example, the woman in investor relations could be interviewed about the argument that they had about money.

      From smiling coffee vendor to terror suspect

      Prosecutors say Zazi was just as furtive an operative as Sept. 11 hijackers

      By Michael Wilson. Also reported on by Simon Akam, Alison Leigh Cowan and Karen Zraick.

      updated 9/26/2009

      For years, he was a fixture in Lower Manhattan, as regular as the sunrise. Every morning, Najibullah Zazi would be there on Stone Street with his pastries and his coffee, his vending cart anchored to the sidewalk.

      For many on Wall Street — young, old, all in a hurry, the charging bulls of Bowling Green — his was the first hello of the day. Affable and rooted, he lived for 10 years in the same apartment with his family in Flushing, Queens. His father drove a cab for more than 15 years.
      He was, in other words, no brooding outcast, no sheltered, suggestible loner raised in a closed community.

      He was the smiling man who remembered a customer liked his coffee large, light and sweet. He had a “God Bless America” sign on his cart. He was the doughnut man.

      But prosecutors say Mr. Zazi, 24, who worked blocks from ground zero, was just as furtive an operative as the Sept. 11 hijackers when he traveled to Pakistan last year for terrorism training and returned to the United States with a plan to build bombs using beauty supplies and backpacks.

      In fact, law enforcement officials, who fret about how to seal the borders of a free society from terrorists, say they find in Mr. Zazi a particularly harrowing challenge: a homegrown operative who travels freely, who is skilled with people, who passed an airport employee background check, who understands the patterns and nuance of American life so well that he gave multiple interviews to journalists for whom access and openness rarely seem like a disguise.

      ***

      Najib was not a strong student, and he dropped out before graduating, friends said. Mr. Rasooli, the elder Mr. Zazi’s step-uncle, said it bluntly: “He was a dumb kid, believe me,” but one who was dedicated to making money and helping his father.

      Mr. Zaraei said, “He was basically a left shoulder for his father.”

      ***

      n 2005, he quit. His father now ran a coffee cart, which his sister and brother-in-law had been operating in Lower Manhattan. Now it was Mr. Zazi’s turn. He took a 15-hour course in food handling to get a city license.
      Mr. Sik said Mr. Zazi told him he was leaving “because the coffee cart paid more money.”

      The cart crew

      The vendors gather before dawn in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, stocking their coffee carts with pastries and rolls that they generally buy from the owner of the Guernsey Street garage, from whom they also rent space.

      Many of them are Afghan immigrants. Some own their carts. Others lease them. Mr. Zazi was there every morning for years, preparing his father’s cart and towing it to the financial district, where he set up shop before the sun rose.

      “He was well spoken,” said John Walters, a customer who works nearby. “He always said good morning to everyone. He used to memorize what everyone needed in the morning.”

      During this period, around 2006, Mr. Zazi flew to Pakistan and took a wife, whom he hoped to later move to New York. He returned in 2007 for another visit, said his lawyer, Arthur Folsom.

      Each time, he went back to work with his coffee cart. Over time, Mr. Zazi’s appearance shifted, customers noted, to that of a devout Muslim. He grew his beard long, started carrying prayer beads and occasionally wore tunics instead of his Western-style outfits, friends and customers said.

      ***

      A Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker, John Rodes, 53, who bought his coffee from Mr. Zazi, said a co-worker recounted to him that Mr. Zazi had tried to sell her a Koran. “He did it more than once,” Mr. Rodes said.

      Erika Moran, 26, who works in investor relations, was a regular at his cart until last summer, she said.

      “I got in an argument with him one day,” Ms. Moran said. “You knew he was very religious, to say the least. He asked if I was happy. I said yes. He told me I could not be happy. He was speaking in general. He said, ‘You people cannot be happy, with your money.’ ”

      The stirrings of a move toward violence, or something much more inconsequential? Either way, money certainly was not making Mr. Zazi happy. He was spending more than he earned, opening new credit cards and not paying his bills.

      In April 2008, according to bankruptcy records, he began using a Discover card. May 2008: a Shell card. June 2008: five new credit cards. July 2008: three more, including ones from Sony and Radio Shack. August 2008: two more.

      He would later report that his monthly expenses were $1,108, including $450 in rent and $390 for food. His stated income was only $800.

      Off to Pakistan

      He said he was going to see his wife, as he did every year. On Aug. 28, 2008, Mr. Zazi and some others boarded a plane in Newark and flew through Switzerland and Qatar to Peshawar, according to court records.

      The day he left, he had signed his cart over to another vendor to operate. It was a lease, and the Zazi family would receive payments of some kind.

      [After moving to Colorado, he drove back to NYC]

      F.B.I. agents were watching. New York was 1,800 miles away. He drove through the night, arriving on Sept 10. Investigators say he may have hoped to set off bombs here. But he flew home on Sept. 12, perhaps alarmed to learn that the authorities were tracking his movements.

      Mr. Zazi explained his trip to New York differently, telling reporters he had come back to clear up issues regarding his coffee cart.
      He was certainly there, at the cart, on the morning of Sept. 11, eight blocks from the hole that had once been the World Trade Center. Old customers saw him. “He was standing behind his friend,” said Imran Khan, a transportation authority worker.

      • DXer said

        I’ve been reading the meaty articles about Zazi, in connection with the New York City subway plot. As with Shukrijumah and the Boston marathon bombers, Zazi turned to jihad because his life sucked. Failure at education and work, mounting debts, specific dramatic stressors etc. are a familiar theme. The same elements appear in the Toronto train plot.

        The times I love following the news is when these experienced journalists sink their teeth into a subject and advance the story. For example, today here is a substantial article by Edmund Mahony on the Gardner Heist involving one of my favorite $5 million treasure hunts.

        A Hartford Wise Guy And A $500 Million Museum Heist

        Robert Gentile’s connections with Robert Guarante, a bank robber… (William Rye / The Boston…)
        May 18, 2013|By EDMUND H. MAHONY, emahony@courant.com,The Hartford Courant
        http://articles.courant.com/2013-05-18/news/hc-gardner-gentile-0513-20130518_1_robert-guarente-robert-gentile-gentile-claims

    • DXer said

      Zazi’s cart was one block away from Goldman Sachs. It was at the intersection of Whitehall and Stone St. The street closng mentioned by the fellow who took over from Zazi upon leasing the cart was complaining of the closing of the sidewalks on Stone St. If you drop to street view on Google Maps, you likely will see that the street across from China Chalet, which was a favorite lunch spot of Goldman Sachs employee was closed. At the “T” the Goldman Sachs entrance, with its pillars, is very prominent and dominates the view looking up Stone St. from Zazi’s cart.

      F.B.I. Searches Colorado Home of Man in Terror Inquiry That …
      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/nyregion/17terror.html

      Sep 16, 2009 – F.B.I. Searches Colorado Home of Man in Terror Inquiry That Reached Queens … The vendor said Najibullah Zazi visited the cart, on Whitehall Street, … how a sidewalk closing on Stone Street had put a crimp in his business.

    • DXer said

      Urgent: I need you to go to The Bank of New York tonight and meet a pirate for the next clue leading in 3 days to a treasure in gold coins (offered by Discovery Channel) worth $10,000.

      -$10,000 Discovery Channel pirate treasure hunt –

      Thank you for signing up… here is the first clue that will help you figure out where to go IN PERSON on Monday night, May 20th between 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET to meet the Pirate who will provide the next clue!

      Should you choose NOT to attend the clue distribution in person on Monday night – you will be emailed the next clue to the address you provided by 10:00 AM on Tuesday morning May 21st.

      Please be sure to print out the below clue as you will not be able to retrieve this information once you navigate away from this page.

      CLUE #1:
      SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure contains an unmatched display of gold coins recovered from the wreck of the SS Republic, which additionally yielded over 14,000 artifacts. The gold coins shipped aboard the vessel – which will also be waiting at the end of this treasure hunt – were secured by lead seals imprinted with the name of this historical establishment, founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784.

      Background of hunt promoting new Discovery Channel exhibit in NYC

      http://www.discoverytsx.com/shipwreck!-treasure-hunt

  48. DXer said

    During a break in the hearing on May 17, 2013, for former Al Qaeda lab technician Yazid Sufaat, could someone ask him the details of his acquaintanceship with Dhiren Bharot aka Al-Hindi. Al-Hindi was scouting terror targets in NYC and New Jersey in 2001 and argued that it was important to use biochem weapons in sabotage.

    Unlike Jdey, suggested by my friend, Professor Dillon, to be the mailer, El-Shukrijumah

    (1) was seen with Atta in early 2001,

    (2) actively cased targets with Dhiren Bharot, the fellow sent by KSM who urged use of biochem weapons for sabotage and had been sent to train under Hambali in Kuala Lumpur,

    (3) stayed in New Jersey in March 2001 while casing targets relating to finance and helicopters, and

    (4) he proceeded to travel to Washington, D.C. with Al-Hindi by rental car.

    Now if you don’t know who Dhiren Bharot and El-Shukrijumah visited in Washington, D.C., you really need to focus because failure in analysis is not an option.

    According to the report, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of 9/11 and one of al-Qaida’s most senior figures, claimed he ordered al-Britani to Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia to learn about the jihad from notorious terror-plotter [and anthrax planner] Hambali, the alleged mastermind of the Bali bombings.

    Highlights from timeline:

    1992: Barot converts to Islam and listens to sermons by Abu Hamza al-Masri a London-based radical clerics later imprisoned in England .

    1999: Barot attends a training camp in the Philippines and publishes a book in Britain, under an alias, which he argues that it was important to use biochem weapons in sabotage.

    August 2000: Barot travels to the US to identify targets for al-Qaeda. He stays with an aunt in New Jersey. Guess where she lived?

    March 2001: Barot travels to the US again. He films buildings in New York, including the World Trade Centre, the New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup headquarters.

    [lots of evil plotting to murder civilians ]

    November 7, 2006: Barot is sentenced to life in prison, without a possibility of parole for 40 years.

    As between Jdey and El-Shukrijumah, El-Shukrijumah is a far better candidate for mailer than Jdey.

    Jdey fits all the affirmative points made by Jdey but in addition was seen with Atta, known to have stayed in New Jersey casing targets, and he was staying with the fellow who urged using biochem weapons in sabotage who had spent time with Hambali in Kuala Lumpur.

    British Terror Plotter Gets Life In Prison – CBS News
    Sep 10, 2009 – Prosecutor Says Dhiren Barot Was Caught Just In Time, Before Attacks … visiting an aunt in New Jersey on both occasions, Lawson said.

    Barot made two reconnaissance trips to the United States in August 2000 and March 2001 — visiting an aunt in New Jersey on both occasions, Lawson said.

    A 1-hour, 20-minute New York reconnaissance film was later discovered in London spliced into a video tape copy of “Die Hard With A Vengeance.”

    Lawson said the camcorder footage of buildings on New York’s Broad Street and Wall Street was shot in 2001, when Barot also took two helicopter trips across Manhattan.

    Prosecutors said Barot’s U.S. targets included the World Bank headquarters and the International Monetary Fund, both in Washington, the Citigroup buildings in New York and the Prudential building in Newark, New Jersey.

    http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2006/Man-to-Be-Sentenced-in-British-Bomb-Plot/id-2cf8766625abdc9c9f974dc466638fdd

    the pair stayed with Barot’s aunt in New Jersey before driving a rental car to Washington.

    On a second trip with another alleged conspirator [El-Shukrijumah] in March 2001, Barot told his aunt he was planning to visit California and meet a group of girls. Instead, Barot went to Washington and also took a helicopter trip across Manhattan.

    Bin Laden Sent Suspect to U.S., Officials Say
    By DOUGLAS JEHL and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
    Published: August 7, 2004

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 – American intelligence officials now believe that Issa al-Hindi, the alleged Qaeda operative now in British custody, was dispatched to the United States in early 2001 by the mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot at the direction of Osama bin Laden to case potential targets in New York City, senior government officials said Friday. …

    The account of Mr. Hindi’s being dispatched to New York was based on claims by the mastermind, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, while in American custody, the report said. But American officials said on Friday that it is consistent with other evidence that Mr. Hindi headed a three-man team that surveyed the New York Stock Exchange and other buildings in New York, probably in early 2001.

    3 charged with plotting U.S. terror attacks
    AP/MSNBC ^ | April 12, 2005 | ap
    Posted on April 12, 2005 2:13:26 PM EDT by prairiebreeze

    WASHINGTON – Three suspected terrorists on Tuesday were indicted on charges that they targeted financial buildings in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., in a plot that prompted federal authorities to raise the terrorism threat assessment level in the area last summer.


    Described as senior al-Qaida figure U.S. officials claim that Barot is a senior al-Qaida figure, known variously as Abu Eisa al-Hindi, Abu Musa al-Hindi and Issa al-Britani, who scouted the financial targets in the United States at the behest of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Prosecutors say the men conducted surveillance on the buildings between August 2000 and April 2001, including video surveillance in Manhattan around April 2001.

    THREATS AND RESPONSES: SECURITY; TOURIST COPTERS IN NEW YORK CITY A TERROR TARGET

    By DAVID JOHNSTON and ERIC LICHTBLAU; Reporting for this article was contributed by Patrick E. Tyler in London, Jason George in New Brunswick, N.J., and Michelle O’Donnell in New York.

    Published: August 9, 2004
    Some intelligence officials believe that Mr. Shukrijumah is a close associate of Abu Issa al-Hindi, a suspected operative of Al Qaeda who was one of the men arrested last week in Britain and who was believed to have traveled to the United States at the direction of senior terrorist leaders to supervise and take part in the surveillance of the financial institutions.

    • DXer said

      I am still working to resolve uncertainties and discrepancies in my understanding of the facts.

      Dhiren Barot had two conspirators, Nadeem Tarmohamed and Qaisar Shaffi.

      http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/hindi.pdf

      Dhiren Barot, was enrolled in Mohawk Valley Community College in Upstate New York. But reportedly never attended classes.

      When Dhiren stayed for two months in New Jersey, where did he live? Who stayed with him with his relatives?

      http://www.indianexpress.com/news/barot-s-relatives-play-down-link/16246

      Barot’s relatives play down linkExpress news service : hu Nov 09 2006,

      …four daughters—Dhiren’s mother Bharti, Bhanuben who emigrated to the US and two others in Vadodara.

      http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/NM19/Gujarat-roots-Britain-s-terror-king-is-Indian-import/Article1-170745.aspx

      Gujarat roots: Britain?s terror king is Indian import
      Haresh Pandya
      Rajkot, November 08, 2006

      He is learnt to have stayed for two months with his cousin Meeta (Sudhaben’s daughter) and her husband in New Jersey— who had no clue to his activities. Sources said when Meeta’s father visited her after post 9/11, the US police grilled him as Barot’s cover had blown by then.

    • DXer said

      http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=dhiren_barot_1

      According to a footnote in a 9/11 Commission report, Barot is sent to Malaysia with al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash on the orders of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). Bin Attash attends an al-Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur that is also attended by Amihdhar and Alhazmi (see January 5-8, 2000). Barot apparently does not attend the summit, but shortly afterwards he meets with al-Qaeda leader Hambali, who does attend the summit, and he gives him two addresses.

  49. DXer said

    California:

    Local agencies prepare for anthrax
    EXERCISE USES SKITTLES, M&MS FOR MEDICATION
    http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/local-agencies-prepare-for-anthrax/article_832f1a9c-b3bd-11e2-bddc-0019bb2963f4.html

    Based on the results, personnel decided which of two medications — Ciprofloxin or Doxycycline — they should receive to treat inhalation anthrax, Shoresman said.

    Idaho:

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho– Authorities transformed the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Wednesday into practice triage center.
    Hundreds of volunteers acted as patients following a fake terrorist attack during a massive drill in Coeur d’Alene. Authorities staged the drill to be a massive anthrax attack on Northern Idaho.
    http://www.krem.com/news/anthrax-attack-drill-transforms.html

    Kentucky

    The volunteers were then treated as if they had been exposed to Anthrax and brought through a decontamination tent to be cleaned.
    Read more: Floyd County Times (KY) – HHS particpates in mock disaster

  50. DXer said

    It is important to understand that the dropped ball relating to anthrax relates to the same ball dropped in connection with 911. Those two hijackers were coming from the planning meeting at the anthrax lab director’s condo that Hambali attended.

    But I have to admit to a bias. I used to work for the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City and love the city.

    I also appreciate that it was the CIA who did not share with the FBI about the two hijackers. CYA motivation knows no jurisdictional limits. But those walls needs to be broken down so as to permit the correct analysis. It’s not a matter of finding fault or kowtowing to the FBI’s fear that its domestic intelligence functions will be taken away from it.

    It’s a matter of maintaining a coordinated defense so as to avoid the next 9/11.

    So I want everyone to get together for a group hug before the next press cycle.

  51. DXer said

    Peter King: US Can Block WMD Attack on Homeland
    Tuesday, 15 Feb 2011 09:09 AM
    Article Font Size

    By Henry J. Reske and Ashley Martella

    House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King tells Newsmax.TV he is optimistic that the United States can thwart any terrorist attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction within the country.

    The Long Island Republican was commenting on a Newsmax report setting the probability of such an attempted attack at 100 percent. The estimate came from Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate.

    • DXer said

      A Legal Manual for an Apocalyptic New York
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/nyregion/15doomsday.html?src=mv

      “So this month, an official state legal manual was published in New York to serve as a guide for judges and lawyers who could face grim questions in another terrorist attack, a major radiological or chemical contamination or a widespread epidemic.

      Quarantines. The closing of businesses. Mass evacuations. Warrantless searches of homes. The slaughter of infected animals and the seizing of property. When laws can be suspended and whether infectious people can be isolated against their will or subjected to mandatory treatment. It is all there, in dry legalese, in the manual, published by the state court system and the state bar association.”

  52. DXer said

    If I were an exec on Wall Street, and I learned that Aulaqi was coordinating with Al-Timimi, I would say that a “requires further study” type conclusion is horse hockey.

    The study of the DNA was what the NAS was tasked to do — and if the FBI withheld the data necessary to do such a study, then the FBI officials should be called before a Congressional Committee to explain themselves.

    Finding 6.10: The evidentiary material from this case is, and will be, immensely valuable,
    especially in the event of future work on either this case or other cases involving biological
    terrorism or warfare. It is critically important to continue to preserve all remaining
    evidentiary material and samples collected during the course of this (the anthrax letters
    investigation) and future investigations, including the overseas environmental samples, for
    possible additional studies.
    Recent and future advances in scientific methods and insight may provide the means to
    extract additional valuable information from case-associated material and samples. In addition,
    in the event of a future biological attack, these materials and samples may prove useful for
    comparative analyses. Therefore, despite the closure of this case, all remaining case-associated
    materials and samples should be retained and preserved for possible further studies.

  53. DXer said

    South Africa Arrests Businessman for Terrorism Threat Against U.K., U.S., Feb 12, 2011

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-12/south-african-charged-with-terrorism-for-u-s-u-k-biological-attack-plot.html

  54. DXer said

    Mubarak resignation throws into question U.S.-Egyptian counterterrorism work

    By Mary Beth Sheridan and Joby Warrick
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/12/AR2011021203949.html

  55. DXer said

    “All I can say is, we believe the biological threat is real and we believe it is something that we need to keep maturing our efforts about,” Napolitano said.

    DHS Better Prepared to Handle Potential WMD Threats, Secretary Says

    Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011

    Global Security Newswire
    http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20110210_6950.php

  56. DXer said

    This is not the first time there has been a threat to use anthrax originating in Yemen.

    A February 1999 letter signed by “Army of Suicidals Group 66, Bin Laden Militant Wing” threatened anthrax attacks against Westerners if they stayed in Yemen beyond a 11-day ultimatum ending February 27, 1999. Investigators considered a possible connection to the attempted extradition to Yemen of the London-based Egyptian Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. Emails in the Spring of 1999 from Zawahiri to Egyptian Mohammed Atef, Al Qaeda’s military commander, and former Cairo police sergeant, indicate that Ayman was a close student of the USAMRIID anthrax program. He believed that the Koran instructed that a jihadist should use the weapons used by the crusader. “What we know is that he’s always said it was a religious obligation to have the
    same weapons as their enemies,” former CIA Bin Laden unit counter terrorism chief Michael Scheuer once explained.

  57. DXer said

    The “greater advances” Wikileaks memo so widely quoted recently could just as easily be referring to documents year earlier. See 2003 Barton Gellman article. The Vancouver article should have linked the document so that the readers could see that there was no “there there” — at least in this document, there was nothing to support the claim that documents showing “greater advances than was previously known” were found in 2007. Instead, it could relate to documents dating to years earlier — relating to pre-911 efforts.

    TENTH U.S.-JAPAN COMMISSION MEETING ON NOVEMBER 8, 2007 TOKYO 00005492 001.2 OF 010

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/nuclear-wikileaks/8297103/TENTH-U.S.-JAPAN-COMMISSION-MEETING-ON-NOVEMBER-8-2007-TOKYO-00005492-001.2-OF-010.html
    Preventing WMD Terrorism ————————

    29. (C) Leading off on chemical terrorism, Acting U/S Rood raised U.S. concerns about improvised chlorine gas devices used for terrorist attacks in Iraq. Turning next to bioterrorism, he mentioned U.S. monitoring has shown growing interest in bioterrorism methods among terrorist groups. He added the growth of the biotech industry in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, brings many benefits, but it also makes potential biological weapons more available to Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. He mentioned that Al-Qaida bioterrorism plans found in Afghanistan revealed greater advances than was previously known. Acting U/S Rood highlighted U.S. efforts on pathogen security, noting the G8 Bioterrorism Experts Group (BTEX) and APEC are promising fora for this initiative. He also mentioned DOS participation in the U.S. Biosecurity Engagement Group, along with HHS, DOA, EPA, and other agencies. Acting U/S Rood noted Japan,s considerable expertise and practical history in the area of chemical and biological terrorism and welcomed Japan,s advanced capabilities in global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.

  58. DXer said

    collecting some reactions to story about Wall Street –

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/Officials-Warn-of-Al-Qaeda-Threats-Against-Wall-Street-6811/

  59. DXer said

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41371178/ns/business-us_business/

    MSNBC investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst video on story

  60. DXer said

    link to nbc video that has images from Inspire, blogger, anthrax etc.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/01/wall-street-banks-executives-yemen-al-qaeda-target_n_816991.html?ir=Business

    The glossy magazine, I think, is 67 pages long. Does Anwar give weight loss tips?

  61. anonymous said

    Is this the first time in the last 10 years that the FBI have ever specifically warned about an anthrax attack? Hmmm – coincidental timing – in the same month the NAS anthrax report is meant to be released.

    Al Qaeda May Be Targeting Wall Street Execs, FBI Warns
    Gus Lubin | Feb. 1, 2011, 7:25 AM | 478 | 15
    A A A

    inShare
    NBC just reported news about planned terrorist attacks on Wall Street execs that have been identified by the FBI.
    Al Qaeda in Yemen is said to have mentioned Wall Street figures in discovered documents. The FBI warns they may be planning bomb or anthrax attacks.
    The Feds are working with Wall Street mailrooms and the NYPD to prevent the attack.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/al-qaeda-may-be-targeting-attack-at-wall-street-execs-fbi-warns-2011-2#ixzz1CiFxvKEf

    • anonymous said

      If the FBI are indeed officially warning of an anthrax attack on US soil it had to go across the desk of the man below.

      How specific is the information that a WMD is about to be deployed in the US? Do they have knowledge of anthrax possession by Al Qaeda? A credible anthrax program to manufacture by Al Qaeda? Smuggling of anthrax into the US?

      Or is it just a hunch?

      Or, worst of all, is it just an exaggerated story to distract from the upcoming release of the NAS anthrax report?

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/executives/majidi
      National Security Branch
      – Executive Assistant Director – Sean M. Joyce
      – Associate EAD – John Mullen
      – Counterterrorism Division – Mark F. Giuliano
      – Counterintelligence Division – Vacant
      – Directorate of Intelligence – Tracy A. Reinhold
      – Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate – Dr. Vahid Majidi

      Dr. Vahid Majidi – Assistant Director, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

      Dr. Majidi was appointed by Director Mueller to serve as the Assistant Director for the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. Dr. Majidi comes to FBI from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where he served as the Chemistry Division Leader.

      The Chemistry Division at LANL is a premier scientific organization with extensive research capabilities essential to national security and civilian research programs. Chemistry Division’s strategic programs included nuclear weapons-related research, non/counter-proliferation, homeland security, isotope science, applied energy, and nanoscale science and engineering.

      In 2003, Dr. Majidi was appointed by the Deputy Attorney General to serve as the Chief Science Advisor to the Department of Justice. Dr. Majidi was detailed from LANL to the Department of Justice, and he was responsible for coordinating science and technology policy among the Department’s component agencies and with state and local law enforcement entities. He served as the lead Department representative for biosecurity, pathogen forensics, DNA technologies, biometrics programs and as the liaison to the scientific community.

      Prior to his career at LANL, Dr. Majidi was a tenured associate professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky. His research activities were focused on analytical spectroscopy and gas-phase chemistry.

      Dr. Majidi earned his BS degree in chemistry from Eastern Michigan University and his PhD degree from Wayne State University. After his graduate work, he spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas ( Austin).

      Dr. Majidi has published numerous scientific articles in peer reviewed journals, and he has served on editorial boards for several international journals.

      • anonymous said

        The FBI read about anthrax in “Inspire” magazine – whatever that is.

        In recent weeks, the FBI’ Joint Terrorism Task Force and NYPD officials have been briefing bank executives and their security departments on the nature of the threat information. Much of it gleaned from al Qaeda writings like ‘Inspire’ magazine that recently warned of attacks targeting financial institutions.

        The latest “Inspire” issue also made reference to trying to use Anthrax in an attack, officials said.
        NBC terror consultants also point to the web writings of al Qaeda blogger Abu Suleiman Al-Nasser who recently wrote,”Rush my Muslim brothers to targeting financial sites and the program sites of financial institutions, stock markets and money markets.”

        • anonymous said

          Here are the links to the issue of “Inspire” magazine which seems to be the source of the warning.

          http://m.memri.org/14499/show/ed2c7b7fa081c80974638fa18c23562b&t=20320d97cb30b6845cb6422bedb5dfbe

          An overarching theme throughout this issue of “Inspire” is outreach, as exemplified by the numerous offers and suggestions to readers in the West to contact Al-Qaeda – including the provision of direct email addresses. Also in this issue are many subtle and intimated threats, on multiple pages; they include threats against the White House and the Capitol building, as well as Time Square in New York, by means of machine guns and anthrax, and more.

          This installment in the Mukhtar Hassan’s “What to Expect in Jihad” series is datelined Sana’a, Yemen, January 10, 2011. The article addresses issues such as “Facing Aerial Bombardment in Jihad,” and “Dealing with Injury,” and includes a to-do list: “buy handguns, make bombs, blow up Times Square, and pull off Mumbai[-]style attack on the White House till martyrdom.” Also included is an image of an envelope marked “anthrax.”

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