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

Archive for May 27th, 2011

* Congressman Jerrold Nadler complains to FBI Director Robert Mueller that questions he first asked in September 2008 regarding silicon content in the anthrax in several of the 2001 attack letters were answered incorrectly … previous posts on this blog assert that the correct information may be very relevant to determining who the real perpetrator(s) of those attacks were

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 27, 2011


UPDATE 5/27 … Greg Gordon writes …

  • The FBI said the bureau had received the letter and would respond directly to Nadler.

LMW: let’s hope it doesn’t take 7 months to answer this time


UPDATE 5/27 … Jim White writes on firedoglake …

FBI Ignored, Hid Data Potentially Excluding Bruce Ivins as Anthrax Killer

  • The FBI ignored as potentially erroneous a measurement of silicon in one anthrax sample and then hid this information from Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
  • Even more importantly, the high silicon measurements in at least two samples also were coupled with high tin measurements, opening up the possibility that silicon was added to the attack material in a form that is not mentioned in any of the FBI documents.
  • Significantly, it is virtually impossible that Bruce Ivins, whom the FBI has concluded acted on his own to carry out the attacks, would have been able to perform the necessary chemical manipulations involved in this treatment of the spores.
  • Ivins likely also would not have had access to the necessary laboratory equipment to perform this treatment.


Congressman Nadler & FBI Director Mueller


 Congressman Jerrold Nadler writes to FBI Director Mueller (5/25/11) …

Nadler specifically asked Mueller why the FBI appears to have provided incorrect information on the case to Nadler and the Judiciary Committee subsequent to a September 16, 2008 oversight hearing on the FBI.

excerpts from Nadler’s letter are shown below …

see the entire letter at …


see also …

* Greg Gordon (McClatchy): the apparent failure of the FBI to pursue this avenue of investigation raises the ominous possibility that the killer is still on the loose … Stuart Jacobsen: it is “outrageous” that the scientific issues haven’t been addressed.

* RMR-1029 was registered as #7737 in Building 1412 ; what were particulars of #7736? Was it from same seed stock? Did it have a silicon signature?

* Did the anthrax grown in soil reported at the June 2001 anthrax conference by Dr. Ezzell and his colleagues contain a Silicon Signature?

* Silicon Signature – what were samples 040030-2 and 040255-1 that showed Silicon Signature? If one was Flask 1030, what was the other? Dugway?

* the GAO review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation has begun … a report is expected to be issued by September 20, 2011 … *** UPDATE: a series of fascinating comments to this post suggest many pertinent questions that GAO might want to consider

… among many other posts and comments on this blog dealing with the silicon signature

and its often ignored significance in identifying the perpetrator(s) of  the anthrax attacks


excerpts from Congressman Nadler’s letter


  • On September 16, 2008 …  I asked you the following:  “[W]hat was the percentage of weight of the silicon in the powders that your experts examined?”

LMW NOTE: it took 7 months for Director Mueller to respond

to what was a very simple factual question !!!

  • On April 17, 2009, (the FBI) responded with the following answer:
    • FBI Laboratory results indicated that the spore powder on the Leahy letter contained 14,470 ppm of silicon (1.4%).
    • The spore powder on the New York Post letter was found to have silicon present in the sample; however, due to the limited amount of material, a reliable quantitative measurement was not possible.
    • Insufficient quantifies of spore powder on both the Daschle and Brokaw letters precluded analysis of those samples.
  • A February 15, 2011 report by the National Academy of Sciences (“NAS report”) … raises three questions about this DOJ/FBI response to me.
    • First, with respect to the anthrax on the letter sent to Senator Leahy, the NAS report shows on pages 66 and 67 (Table 4.4) that the silicon content found by the FBI was 1.4% in one sample and 1.8% in a second sample.

Nadler: Why were both figures not provided to me

in response to my questions?

    • Second, the NAS report shows on pages 66 and 67 (Table 4.4) that the FBI found the silicon content in the New York Post letter anthrax to be 10% when the bulk material was measured by mass and 1-2% when individual spore coats were measured by mass per spore.

Nadler: Why was neither piece of data provided to me

in response to my questions?

    • Third and finally, the NAS report raises questions about the appropriateness of the measurements taken of the anthrax on the letter to the New York Post.
      • (the NAS said) … additional samples should have been analyzed to determine representativeness.  
      • If such data exist, they were not provided to the committee. 
      • Lacking this information, one cannot rule out the intentional addition of a silicon-based substance to the New York Post letter, in a failed attempt to enhance dispersion.  
      • The committee notes that powders with dispersion characteristics similar to the letter material could be produced without the addition of a dispersant.

Nadler: Were additional samples tested to determine the extent

to which the ones examined were representative

of the New York Post letter material? 

If not, why not? 

  • If the FBI did do these additional tests, please provide the resulting data to me and NAS.



It seems clear from Congressman Nadler’s letter that FBI Director Mueller has been less than forthcoming to the House Judiciary Committee on crucial issues regarding the investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

The Congress and the American people need to know the truth and also why Director Mueller has avoided fully stating that truth.

The FBI’s publicly presented case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus:

… no evidence, 

…. no witnesses, 

…. an impossible timeline, 

…. science that proves innocence instead of guilt. 

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

As regular readers of this blog well know,

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

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



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* UNCLASSIFIED (FORMERLY SECRET) – Technical Review Panel Meeting Summary, 14 Nov, 2001

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 27, 2011





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