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

* The address/phone number associated with the WTC 1993 bomber Ramzi Yousef was frequently called by subtilis expert Walied Samarrai in February 1993 (up to the time and hour of the first arrests). See WTC 1993 trial, Exhibit 818. That address is separately associated with Dr. Samarrai, a subtilis expert, in this Intellius Report. Did the subtilis expert know WTC 1993 bomber Ramzi Yousef? Who does Walied Samarrai think is responsible for the anthrax mailings? Is it correct that in 2001 Professor Samarrai lived at one of the two addresses about 20 miles from the mailbox in Princeton?

Posted by DXer on June 7, 2011





96 Responses to “* The address/phone number associated with the WTC 1993 bomber Ramzi Yousef was frequently called by subtilis expert Walied Samarrai in February 1993 (up to the time and hour of the first arrests). See WTC 1993 trial, Exhibit 818. That address is separately associated with Dr. Samarrai, a subtilis expert, in this Intellius Report. Did the subtilis expert know WTC 1993 bomber Ramzi Yousef? Who does Walied Samarrai think is responsible for the anthrax mailings? Is it correct that in 2001 Professor Samarrai lived at one of the two addresses about 20 miles from the mailbox in Princeton?”

  1. DXer said

    Biden Declassifies Secret FBI Report Detailing Saudi Nationals’ Connections To 9/11
    September 12, 20213:31 AM ET

  2. DXer said

    If President-Elect TRUMP is indicted or impeached based on issues that were publicized yesterday, I don’t know that it would change anything related to Amerithrax. The new Administration would come to be led by Vice-President Elect PENCE. PENCE, whether you agree or disagree with his politics, seems a grown-up and would assure the country’s stability that is so important to national security.

    I am up to page 9 of the 35 page “dossier” on Buzzfeed, where it is discussing an alleged meeting between Carter Page and Kremlin Internal Affairs official DIVYEKIN.

    People should work quickly to get on the same page in this — by informing themselves and verifying or debunking facts. A lot is at stake.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  3. DXer said

    The Trentonian (which seems to have been having internet problems today; maybe it is related to the broader problem New York and NJ websites reportedly had over the weekend) today reports:

    “panel authorized by the “Anthrax Attack Investigation Act” would seek to determine:

    “Whether “all credible leads and information regarding the potential perpetrators of the attacks were pursued with due diligence by federal investigators.”

    We have since learned from the former FBI WMD person Vahid Majidi that not all suspect labs were not swabbed for the contaminating subtilis because they had concluded Ivins was guilty based on their understanding that he had no reason to be in the lab that night.

  4. DXer said

    Vahid Majidi writes:

    “Because of the national focus on al Qaeda and their undeniable desire to harm the United States, the FBI knew that it was imperative to run down every microscopic lead that had even a tenuous connection to the terrorist group.”

    Comment: Yes. That’s why it was important to swab all suspect labs for the subtilis contaminant found in the mailed anthrax.

  5. DXer said

    When did Dr. Majidi make the budget decision not to swab suspect labs for subtilis? Why wasn’t it done in 2003?

    “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.

    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).”

  6. DXer said

    Lab scientists didn’t identify the genetically unique strain of B. subtilis until December 2005. It was in letters sent to NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw and the New York Post, but wasn’t in the Senate letters.

    B. subtilis is harmless, but looks and behaves so much like anthrax that researchers have used it to simulate how anthrax spores would act if made into an airborne spray.

    Its presence in the letters, LSU’s Hugh-Jones said, suggests that somebody grew anthrax using equipment contaminated during earlier B. subtilis experiments.

    In March 2007, an FBI advisory panel of six scientists recommended expansive testing for both the mutations in the anthrax and the B. subtilis strain, describing the latter as perhaps the most promising clue to date.

    One of the unnamed law enforcement officials said that the FBI arranged for extensive studies of B. subtilis. It also tested for, but didn’t find the contaminant in a lab at the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, which years earlier grew anthrax that went into Ivins’ flask and which also received anthrax from him, the official said. Tests also were conducted in work areas of unidentified parties who were under “under investigation,” but weren’t anthrax researchers, he said.

    But once the four mutations in the mailed anthrax were linked to Ivins’ flask, there seemed little value to testing the equipment, countertops and B. subtilis stocks in the labs of researchers whose anthrax didn’t match Ivins’ spores, another of the law enforcement officials said.

  7. DXer said

    I once emailed Walied Sammarai’s friend, the subtiilis expert, his opinion on Amerithrax forensics but he didn’t get back to me. Would he recognize the potential forensic importance of such swabbing?

    • DXer said

      I meant I emailed the subtilis expert, WS. WS was the friend of the 1993 WTC bomber who fled to Iraq and remains at large. WS frequently called the apartment of the WTC bomber. But the FBI WMD head Vahid Majidi now claims that swabbing suspect labs for subtilis was not in the budget.

      And yet Dr. Majidi simply doesn’t understand why these scientists and Editorial boards think that Amerithrax was characterized by missteps.
      Dr. Majidi doesn’t even seem to know who Al Qaeda scientist Rauf Ahmad was — given I don’t see that he mentions him. I hesitate to ask if he ever has heard of Ramzi Yousef or was familiar with the phone calls to the WTC 1993 bombers apartment. He has said in his first stint at the FBI he was not privy to investigative information.

  8. DXer said

    Dr. Majidi writes:

    “The fact that the contamination [with subtilis] was not a common occurrence between the two sets of mailings indicate that it is unlikely that the entire laboratory where the mailings were prepared was contaminated with Bacillus subtilis. Thus we chose not to do environmental sampling of all suspect laboratories…”

    IMO, this constitutes massive investigative negligence. Dr. Hugh-Jones and Dr. Rosenberg and Dr. Jacobsen hit this issue out of the park. This is the first that the FBI has admitted it.

    Dr. Majidi writes: “time and resources were a critical factor in deciding what needs to be done next. Given enough taxpayers’ money everyone’s science curious could have been satisfied.”

    This is fucking incredible. The thing speaks for itself. Now why, in the interest of transparency, couldn’t the FBI have admitted this a half decade ago? Why couldn’t this have been disclosed to the NAS?

    • DXer said

      Note that, to my lay eye, Dr. Majidi offers no scientific validation of this statement whatsoever:

      “The fact that the contamination [with subtilis] was not a common occurrence between the two sets of mailings indicate that it is unlikely that the entire laboratory where the mailings were prepared was contaminated with Bacillus subtilis.”

      The GAO has considerable expertise on the FBI’s lack of validation of sampling procedures and so I’ll leave the scientific insights to GAO.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Majidi says it cost the EPA $75 million to clean up AMI. And it cost the FBI $100 million in investigative costs. How much would it have cost to swab the suspect labs for the genetically distinct subtilis?

  9. DXer said

    In his new manuscript, Dr. Majidi writes:

    “Meanwhile, as I was coordinating science and technology related policies for DOJ in my day-job, I also had to serve the Department as a liaison to my peers in the intelligence community (IC) and I was the lead Department representative on Biosecurity, Microbial Forensics, Select Agents, DNA technologies and Biometrics. Many of these activities brought me closer to the science behind the Amerithrax investigation.”

    Dr. Majidi,

    Am I correct that you were the go-to with ultimate responsibility for determining the necessary scope of swabbing done for subtilis?

  10. DXer said

    Consider the case study of the Al Hayat letter bombs for which there is an outstanding $5 million reward.

    The Al Hayat letter bombs involved lethal letters sent to newspapers in NYC and DC and symbolic targets relating to the WTC 1993 plotters — to include the “parole officer” at Leavensworth prison. Were the Al Hayat letter bombs the model for the Amerithrax letters? Were the same people responsible?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 25, 2010

    Purporting to speak for the Vanguards of Conquest, Saif Adel specifically denied the letters to NYC and DC newspapers and people in symbolic positions sent in connection with detention of the blind sheik.

    But then he was roundly rebuked by the London-based spokesman for the Vanguards of Conquest, Al-Sirri, who denied responsibility for the letters on behalf of the Vanguards and said Saif Adel was not authorized to speak for the group unless he went through formal channels.

    The same sort of counterintuitive theory (a bioevangelist theory) — with or without being dressed up by panties — was raised in connection with the earlier letter bombing of newspapers to DC and New York City and people in symbolic positions. (Al Hayat letter bombs for which there is up to a $5 million reward under the rewards for justice program) But that time it was US Post Office worker Ahmed Abdel Sattar who noted that the bombs were mailed on December 20, 1996 one day before the brief in support of the blind sheik on appeal. He questioned whether someone (like the FBI) was trying to undermine the appeal’s prospects. This time, Mr. Sattar did not need any help making the argument with respect to the anthrax letters — numerous people with agendas rushed to do it for him. Some are focused on young children they imagine to have written the letters. Others are focused on murderous fiends who edit Wikipedia and use screen names on the internet and have crushes on college coeds.

    Egyptian Saif Adel (Makawwi) was involved in military planning. Adel was a colonel in the Egyptian Army’s Special Forces before joining Al Qaeda. He helped plan the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Africa. He was also a planner in the attack on the USS Cole and has served as the liaison officer between Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. Adel assisted Atef, who had overall responsibility for Al Qaeda’s operations. There was part of a long-running disagreement with Saif Adel (Makawwi) and Ayman, however. As Attorney Al-Zayyat has said, Makkawi had many times claimed responsibility for operations that were carried out inside Egypt but when the perpetrators were arrested, it would be al-Zawahiri’s name whose name they shout loyalty to from the docks. Some would even say they did not know a person named Makkawi. After the letter al-Hayat letter bombs were sent in January 1997, Saif Adel (Makawwi) gave a statement denying responsibility on behalf of the Vanguards of Conquest. He got admonished by the unnamed but official spokesman for the Vanguards organization (Al-Sirri) — chastising him as not being authorized to speak for the organization (or even being a member).

    On January 7, 1997 Col Muhammad Makkawi purporting to be speaking for the Egyptian Vanguards of Islamic Conquest denied responsibility for sending the letter bombs. He said: “Those are messages of admonishment. There is no flirtation between us and the Americans in order for us to send them such alarming messages in such a manner.” Makkawi said that “the Vanguards of Conquest “are heavyweight and would not embark on such childish actions.” US press and political commentaries had hinted at the Vanguards of Conquest organization’s involvement in these attempts. In his statement to `Al-Hayat, Makkawi added “I am surprised that we in particular, and not other parties, should be accused of such an operation.” (He would have been referring to the Egyptian Islamic Group).

    But then someone else credited with being the Vanguards official spokesman denounced Makkawi’s authority to speak for the group, referring to the January 5th statement it had made denying responsibility. This other claimed spokesman said “We welcome any Muslim who wants to join us, and if Makkawi wants to [join us], he will be welcomed to the Vanguards march, but through the organizational channels. But if words are not coupled with actions, we tell him: Fear God, and you can use a different name other than the Vanguards to speak on its behalf.” The spokesman for the Vanguards of Conquest was Al-Sirri, who US Post Office worker Sattar would have upload a fatwa to kill jews that he wrote with the Islamic Group head Taha in September 2000. Sattar issued under Sheik’s Abdel-Rahman’s name, without him even knowing of it until after the fact.

    The FBI would not speculate as to who sent the letters or why. But this was your classic “duck that walks like a duck” situation. As NPR reported at the time, “analysts say that letter bombs are rarely sent in batches, and when they are it’s generally prompted by politics, not personal animus.” Al Hayat was a well respected and moderate newspaper. It was friendly to moderate Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt — just as, say NBC and CBS. That, without more, was accurately discerned by observers at the time as sufficient to make the newspaper outlet a target of the militant islamists. The newspaper, its editor explained, does not avoid criticizing militant islamists. The Al Hayat Editor-in-Chief explained: “We’ve been opposed to all extremists in the Arab world, especially the fundamentalists.” Mohammed Salameh, a central defendant in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sent to Leavenworth in 1994. The other three Egyptian extremists convicted in the bombing were sent to prisons in California, Indiana and Colorado. Like the blind sheik, Abdel Rahman, Salameh had complained of his conditions and asked to be avenged. The Blind Sheik was particularly irked that the prison officials did not cut his fingernails.

    Rahman was convicted in 1995 of seditious conspiracy, bombing conspiracy, soliciting an attack on an U.S. military installation, and soliciting the murder of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. His followers were indicted for plotting to bomb bridges, tunnels and landmarks in New York for which Rahman allegedly had given his blessings. The mailing of deadly letters in connection with an earlier attack on the World Trade Center, was not merely the modus operandi of militant islamists, it was the group’s signature — it’s their calling card. Khaled Abu el-Dahab, a naturalised American, from Silicon Valley in a confession detailed in a state security document from Egypt’s defense ministry dated October 28, 1998, explained that he was trained to make booby-trapped letters to send to important people, as well as asked to enroll in American aviation schools to learn how to fly gliders and helicopters. He was a friend of Ali Mohammed, a former special forces officer in the Egyptian army and former US Army Sergeant. He ran the Blind Sheik’s Services Organization in Brooklyn. Islamic Group member Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin, headed the organization in Peshawar.

    After the Al Hayat letter bombs to newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic positions, in January 1997, both the Blind Sheikh and his paralegal, Sattar, were quoted in separate articles in Al Hayat (in Arabic) denying that they or their supporters were responsible. The Blind Sheikh commented that al Hayat was fair and balanced in its coverage and his supporters would have no reason to “hit” them. Sattar noted that the bombs were mailed on December 20, one day before the brief in support of the blind sheik on appeal. He questioned whether someone (like the FBI) was trying to undermine the appeal’s prospects. For its part, al Hayat reporters, editor and owner were not expressing an opinion — though the owner did lay out various possibilities (e.g., Iraq, Iran etc.). The owner of the paper had commanded Saudi forces during the Persian Gulf War, when Bin Laden was so upset about American troops on the Arabian peninsula. Moreover, al Hayat had recently opened up a Bureau in Jerusalem, giving it a dateline of Jerusalem rather than al Quds, which some thought blasphemous. But none of the possibilities would plausibly explain why the letter bomb was sent to Leavensworth where three of the WTC 1993 defendants were imprisoned, including Ramzi Yousef’s lieutenant who had asked that his mistreatment be avenged. (That was the criminal genius who returned to Ryder to reclaim his deposit after blowing up the truck at WTC). Egyptian security officials claimed that said that the letters were sent from outside of Egypt, the stamps were not available in Egypt, and that the postmark was not Alexandria as reported. Whatever the place of mailing, the sender likely was someone who was upset that KSM’s and Ramzi Yousef’s associates had been imprisoned, to include, most notably, the blind sheik. Whoever is responsible for the anthrax mailings, it is a very good bet that they are upset the blind sheik is detained. That should be at the center of any classified profile of the crime.

    On December 31, 1996 Mohammed Youssef was in Egypt — having gone to Egypt months before. The al Hayat letter bombs related to the detention and alleged mistreatment of the blind sheikh and the WTC bombers were sent 10 days earlier — on the Day of Measures. In 2006, he was named as co-defendant with Hassoun, Daher, Padilla and Jayyousi. Youssef was born in Alexandria. Do authorities suspect the “Florida cell” of being involved in the al Hayat letter bombs? Kifah Jayyousi’s “Islam Report” over the years — distributed by Adham Hassoun in Florida and Kassem Daher in Canada — expressed outrage at detention/extradition due to terrorism law and also what he perceived as attacks on his religion by some newspapers. His headlines on the internet groups blazed “Just In! First Muslim Victim of New Terrorism Law!: US Agents Arrest Paralegal Of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman Without Charge Prepares To Hand Him To Egyptian Regime,” soc.religion.islam, dated April 27, 1996 and “Islam Report (Newspaper Attacks Our Religion! Act Now!,” soc.religion.islam, Apr. 16, 1996

    In connection with the January 1997 letter bombs, Ayman got the know-how to send sophisticated electronic letter bombs from Iraqi intelligence according to one item from the highly controversial Feith memo. In the al Hayat letter bombings, Ayman allowed the finger to be pointed at Libya. In the Amerithrax letters, he allowed the finger to be pointed to a United States biodefense insider. Tenet in his May 2007 book included Saif Adel as among “al-Qa’da’s leadership to the group’s highly compartmentalized chemical, biological, and nuclear networks.”

    In September 2006, in a Sahab Media production called “Knowledge is for acting,” there is a clip in which Al Quds editor Atwan refers to his visit with OBL in 1996 (see his 2006 book The Secret History of al Qaeda) and he says that Bin Laden was planning to attack America “and America prisons in particular.” That was an apparent reference to the Al Hayat letter bombs sent to newspapers and prisons in January 1997. There were recurrent references to Abdel-Rahman in the tape.

    Given that the EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest people (such as Al-Sirri and Zawahiri) are working with the Egyptian Islamic Group leaders (such as Taha and Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin), it seems that Amerithrax can be thought of as a joint operation. After the merger between Al Qaeda and EIJ, and the joining of Al Qaeda by some of the Islamic Group leaders, the group responsible can be thought of as by the code name Zawahiri used — the Greendale School. He used “school” in May 2001 correspondence announcing to his followers the course he had embarked upon. Saif Adel had led the “Green Team” to Somalia organized by Atef.

  11. DXer said

    Buffalo News (New York)

    March 22, 1993, Monday, City Edition


    BYLINE: From News Wire Services

    SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 6

    LENGTH: 814 words


    Law enforcement officials investigating the World Trade Center bombing reportedly are looking to question an engineer who once lived in Iraq.
    Musab Yasin, formerly of Brooklyn, is one of three people on a Justice Department list of suspects in the Feb. 26 bombing, New York Newsday reported Sunday.

    “He hasn’t been charged with anything so I’m not going to comment,” said Joe Valiquette, spokesman for the New York office of the FBI.

    City taxi records show that a Musab Yasin had a hack license from 1984 to 1990, was born in Indianapolis, and lived in Iraq for four years, Newsday reported.

    A 1992 New Jersey telephone listing shows a “M. Yasin” residing at the same building where Mohammed Salameh, 25, who has been indicted in the bombing, lived, Newsday said. Also indicted on charges related to the bombing was Nidal Ayyad, a chemical engineer, from Maplewood, N.J.
    The FBI was continuing its search for Mahmud Abouhalima, 33, an Egyptian cab driver, who most recently lived in Woodbridge, N.J. There have been conflicting reports on how — and even when — he fled the country.

    Abouhalima reportedly flew out of New York on March 6 — eight days after the deadly blast rocked the twin towers, killing six people and injuring 1,000.

    Abouhalima, Salameh and other suspects in the bombing are said to be followers of Egyptian Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a fundamentalist Muslim, who preaches at mosques in Jersey City and Brooklyn.

    • DXer said

      So at 12:08 on 2/28 someone calls from the Yasin apartment to the chemical engineer who later was indicted.

      Then at 12:46 there is a long call to Islamabad billed to the Yasin apartment from the subtilis expert’s dorm room. Did the person who made the call to the indicted chemical engineer then travel to the Hunter College dorm room to make the long call to Islamabad Saudi Red Crescent? Was KSM waiting there at the Saudi Red Crescent? If so, who made the call from Walied’s dorm room? Was it Abdul Yasin — or was it Musab Yasin, the Yasin who later co-authored with Walied on the distribution of a virus?

      Did Walied ever work for NYC biodefense in connection with an aerosol exercise? I’ve misplaced the citation I thought I once had to that effect.

  12. DXer said

    Note the calls to Walied Samarrai’s dormitory room mid-day on March 4. In trying to place Musab’s and Yasin’s whereabouts, we have a sworn statement provided to the court by Musab.

    Musab Yasin, the “chemical engineering professor at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, said he moved into Apartment 4 when Mr. Salameh, an acquaintance of two years, moved out in September 1992. When he heard of Mr. Salameh’s arrest on March 4, he said, he rushed home to find agents searching the premises, seizing the tools and wiring, manuals and devices. He said he told an agent, Eric Pilker, that ‘these items belonged to me and were used for my studies and teaching.'”

    • DXer said

      Laurie Mylroie at page 170 of her September 2001 book explains Musab Yasin’s telephone listing.

      “Until at least mid-May 1992, Musab Yasin’s telephone was listed with the telephone company under his own name, as indicated by the Trade Center bombing defendants’ phone records. But by the end of August, Yasin had a new and unlisted phone number, registered with the telephone company under a false name, “Josie Hadas.” Thus, someone trying to locate Yasin through phone company records would not have been told that such an individual had an unlisted number in Jersey City. He would have been told that the phone company no longer had any record of Yasin in the area. Also, Yasin’s phone bill was not sent to his apartment at 34 Kensington Avenue, but was sent to an address in Brooklyn. As one New York newspaper, citing law enforcement agents, observed, the residents of Yasin’s apartment “took extraordinary pains to maintain anonymity.

      In June 1993, Yasin filed a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, claiming that he had moved in 34 Kensington Avenue “in or about September 1992,” at the same time that Salameh (who already lived in the building) moved out of what would become Yasin’s apartment, number 4, and into number 8. But Yasin moved into 34 Kensington significantly earlier than September 1992. his name, address, and phone number appear in the 1992 Jersey City telephone book (although not the 1991 phone book), and the phone book was published in January, as is indicated on its cover. Thus, Yasin was living at 34 Kensington already in January 1992. Why would he misstate the date on which he moved into his residence?

      One possibility is that he simply made a mistake in his affidavit. His memory was grossly inaccurate. or there was a typing error in his statement; perhaps he moved into the apartment in September 1991. The other possibility is that Yasin deliberately misstated when he moved into his apartment. By claiming that he moved into 34 Kensington in September 1992, he blurred the fact that prior to the start of the Trade Center bombing conspiracy, his phone was registered in an ordinary fashion. But once the plot got underway — and his brother is an indicted fugitive in the Trade Center bombing who stayed in his apartment — the listing of his telephone in phone company records became quite secretive.”

      • DXer said

        As Peter Bergen has explained, Yousef has freely admitted his ties to Bin Laden and Zawahiri, support for the Blind Sheik, and support for the two Bin Laden shieks promoted by the Ann Arbor, Michigan charity IANA, for which Ali Al-TImimi was the lead speaker.

        More precisely, Mr. Bergen explains:

        “When Yousef flew to New York from Pakistan in 1992 before the bombing of the Trade Center, he was accompanied by Ahmad Ajaj, who was arrested at Kennedy Airport on immigration charges, and was later found to have an al Qaeda bomb-making manual in his luggage. Al Qaeda member Jamal al-Fadl told a New York jury in 2000 that he saw Yousef at the group’s Sadda training camp on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border some time between 1989 and 1991. When Yousef lived in the Philippines in the early 1990s, his partner in terrorism was Wali Khan Amin Shah, who had trained in Afghanistan under bin Laden. A number of Yousef’s co-conspirators had ties to a Brooklyn organization known as the Afghan Refugee Center. This was the American arm of an organization bin Laden founded in Pakistan during the mid-1980s that would later evolve into al Qaeda. Yousef’s uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, sent him money for the Trade Center attack, and would later go on to become al Qaeda’s military commander and the chief planner of 9/11. I could go on. The point is that the 1993 attack was plotted not by Iraqi intelligence, but by men who were linked to al Qaeda.

        In addition to ignoring Yousef’s many connections to al Qaeda, Mylroie is clearly aware that in 1995, he gave what would be his only interview to the Arabic newspaper al Hayat since she alludes to it in her book Study of Revenge. “I have no connection with Iraq,” said Yousef to his interviewer, adding for good measure that “the Iraqi people must not pay for the mistakes made by Saddam.” “Yousef,” who traveled under a variety of false identities, confirmed that his real name was indeed Abdul Basit and that he was a Pakistani born in Kuwait, and also admitted that he knew and admired Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, one of al Qaeda’s spiritual gurus, whom the U.S. government would later convict of plotting terror attacks in New York.

        Yousef went on to say that he wanted to “aid members” of Egypt’s Jihad group, a terrorist organization then led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is now bin Laden’s deputy. Yousef’s interview has the ring of truth as he freely volunteered that he knew Sheikh Rahman, the cleric whom the U.S. government had by then already identified as the inspiration for several terrorist conspiracies in New York during the early ’90s and also explained that he was part of an Islamic movement which planned to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia to avenge the arrests of Sheikh Salman al-Audah and Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, radical clerics who have profoundly influenced both bin Laden and al Qaeda. Yousef knew that he was likely facing a lifetime in prison at the time of this interview, and so had little reason to dissemble. In Study of Revenge, Mylroie is careful not to mention the substance of what Yousef said here as it demolishes her theory that he was an Iraqi agent.”

        Ms. Mylroie hit on a key possible lead in delving into the telephone records. Mr. Bergen, however, emphasizes that she is widely thought to have been mistaken in suggesting that Saddam, rather than Al Qaeda, was responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing. He writes:

        “Mary Jo White, the no-nonsense U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted both the Trade Center case and the al Qaeda bombers behind the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa, told me that there was no evidence to support Mylroie’s claims: “We investigated the Trade Center attack thoroughly, and other than the evidence that Ramzi Yousef traveled on a phony Iraqi passport, that was the only connection to Iraq.” Neil Herman, the F.B.I. official who headed the Trade Center probe, explained that following the attacks, one of the lower-level conspirators, Abdul Rahman Yasin, did flee New York to live with a family member in Baghdad: “The one glaring connection that can’t be overlooked is Yasin. We pursued that on every level, traced him to a relative and a location, and we made overtures to get him back.” However, Herman says that Yasin’s presence in Baghdad does not mean Iraq sponsored the attack: “We looked at that rather extensively. There were no ties to the Iraqi government.” In sum, by the mid-’90s, the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, the F.B.I., the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, the C.I.A., the N.S.C., and the State Department had all found no evidence implicating the Iraqi government in the first Trade Center attack.”

        But it is precisely because Yousef was the nephew of Al Qaeda’s anthrax planner KSM and a supporter of Zawahiri and the Blind Sheik, for example, that the connection to the connection to the subtilis expert is so important.

        The Blind Sheik’s lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat had expressly said that Dr. Ayman intended to use anthrax to retaliate for the imprisonment of the Blind Sheik.

  13. DXer said

    Musab Yasin, Abdul Yasin’s brother, transferred registration of his car under Yousef’s and Salameh’s names shortly before the accident in January 1993, where the Kensington address was listed on the police report. Musab claimed that he “had problems concerning the license.”

    Musab Yasin told al-Hayat that he was a Muslim fundamentalist. Jamal Khashoggi, “He Speaks to al Haayat about His Relations with Muhammad Salameh and Ramzi Yousef; Musab Yasin: ‘I Was Exposed to American Pressure to Involve Iraq in the Trade Center Bombing,” al-Hayat, January 25, 1994. The Al-Hayat article notes “This does not really explain his good relation with Ramzi Yousef.”

    See Laurie Mylroie’s book at page 293.

    Ramzi told the FBI that when he told Musab that they were going to blow up NYC buildings that he was just joking. (see Basit statement uploaded in 250-page e-book)

    Chasing Islambouli’s Ghost: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    Islambouli was an Egyptian who once was in a cell with KSM.

    When dealing with Ayman Zawahiri, it never pays to underestimate the importance to him in the 1990s of the terrorist infrastructure in Brooklyn and Jersey City. In the late 1990s, Steve Emerson traced the development of the “Mekhtab Al-Khidemat Al-Mujahideen,” or the “Office of Services of the Mujahideen,” from its formation in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the early 1980′s to the Al Kifah Refugee Centers which spread throughout the United States and internationally. Zawahiri visited Brooklyn’s al Farouk mosque, which was part of Khidmat Services in Peshawar and was used to funnel jihadists and funds to Afghanistan. The blind sheik’s lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, visited in 1990. Islambouli was head of the office in Peshawar. In a 1990 documentary by SBS-TV “Cutting Edge” series entry called “Sword of Islam,” Islambouli said: “Islam grows on the severed limbs and blood of martyrs. Islam will be back, and take over the world.”

    The CIA’s December 4, 1998 PDB to President Clinton explained that Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin, was planning an attack using aircraft and other means on the United States. After Bojinka, which can be thought of as the origin for the 911 planning, Islambouli had been in a cell with KSM in planning the attacks. KSM came to be head of the cell planning to use powderized anthrax on the United States. Therefore, it is important to understand who Islambouli knew and consider his historical connection to the al-Farook mosque in Brooklyn, New York.

    Now the surest way to know who Islambouli knew would be to go back to the late 1970s leading up to Sadat’s assassination and study membership in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad cells at the universities. But the story also can fruitfully be picked up a decade later in the context of Islambouli’s ongoing connection to al-Farook. The Al-Kifah Refugee Center had found its home in the early 1990s at the Al-Farooq mosque on Atlantic Avenue. Some of the men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing worshipped at the mosque, as did the blind sheik’s bodyguard El-Sayyed Nosair, who killed the radical Israeli Rabbi Meir Kahane.

    The Brooklyn office of Makhtab Khidmat al-Mujahiden was staffed by Egyptian Islamic Jihad operative Khaled Dahab, a used car salesman from Santa Clara. Dahab handled the logistics for terrorists out of his home. He patched through calls for Egyptian Islamic Jihad members and transferred money. Ayman called Dahab periodically — once to price telephone surveillance equipment. Dahab at last report was in jail in Egypt. Dahab had been recruited by Ali Mohammed, the former US Army sergeant who was Bin Laden’s chief of security during the move from Afghanistan to Sudan. Ali Mohammed helped conduct the surveillance leading much later to the embassy bombings. He trained Dahab on how to make letter bombs.

    When Ali Mohammed would visit Brooklyn, he would stay with a fellow Egyptian Nosair, who assassinated Meir Kahane. Nosair had been one of the men practicing with the men at the Calverton shooting range in Long Island under Mohammed’s instruction (along with some of the WTC 1993 bombers).

    In 1992, Mohammed Islambouli, was in regular fax contact from his Peshawar Mujahedeen Office in Peshawar, Pakistan and the Brooklyn Al-Kifah office. One 1992 memo from Islambouli’s Peshawar office read: “The military wing of the Jihad seals its news with success everywhere. However, the matter is the hands of the leadership to form the Islamic government to manage the country.”

    Sheik Abdel-Rahman would lecture regularly at al-Farook. He would visit Islambouli in Pakistan from Brooklyn in 1989 and during the early 1990s. It was not until April 1993, upon a crackdown on the foreign fighters, that Islambouli and Zawahiri had to move their operations into Afghanistan. Islambouli moved a scant 100 miles. Before disappearing into Afghanistan, Islambouli told the press the group would continue its holy war against the Egyptian government. In 1993, after he had to leave Peshawar, Islambouli lived at the Samarkhiel Guest House in Jalabad, a town in eastern Afghanistan three hours by road from the Pakistan border. In April 1993, a fax to Western news media threatened American interests if anything happened to Abdel-Rahman. At the time, Egyptian Islamic Group had about 200 members in Jalabad.

    Even back then, moreover, there was a connection between Brooklyn and the Moro National Liberation Front in the Philippines. For example, a 1992 memo read:

    “We urge you to support them and to support them and to contribute to their developments, programs and projects in order that they may do their part in accomplishing our jihad and mission of raising the World of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the Message of our Prophet Muhammad (saw) to the Highest.” Another memo from the Moro National Liberation Front read: “THIS IS TO CERTIFY that according to the records of this office, that Mr. Abdul Zindani had shown his sincerity, loyalty, and devotion to his work and noble project as Chairman of:


    P.O. Box – 294, Brooklyn NY -11217

    Telephone No. 718-797-9207

    We urge you to help all kinds of support needed to all concern Islamic movements, specially our Muslim Mujahidin around the Globe including those in Bosnia Herzegovinia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Kurdisn, Burma, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Lebanon, India, Trinidad, Somalia and Bangsamoro in Southern Philippines.”

    By 1995, Nosair was in prison and a defendant in a trial for sedition along with the Blind Sheik. The father of Adnan El-Shukrijumah (“Jafar the Pilot”) once translated for the Blind Sheik and was a character witness for Clement Rodney Hampton one of the defendants in the 1995 sedition trial. Jafar’s father was Bilal Philip’s mentor. Bilal Philips in turn was Al-Timimi’s mentor (and he continued to be in contact with him). Hampton-El testified that Philips was the head of “Project Bosnia.” He explained that Philips funneled money from Saudi Arabia to pay for noncombatant support services for the mujahideen in Bosnia. Project Bosnia also recruited combatants and men for paramilitary training. Numerous cities would come to have subsidiary Al Kifah offices. Aafia Siddiqui would be associated with the one in Boston, which after WTC 1993 was renamed Care International. The Care head was MIT MSA Imam Suheil Laher. He worked with Aafia in fundraising.

    In 2003, prosecutors alleged in a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court that a Yemeni cleric raised millions, some of it through Al-Farooq mosque, that was then funneled to al-Qaida terrorists. Prosecutors alleged that Sheik Mohammed Al Hasan Al-Moayad used the mosque to raise money for Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network in 1999. He allegedly told an FBI informant that he supplied al-Qaida with more than $20 million, recruits and weapons in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks. The government sought to extradite Al-Moayad and his assistant. The complaint said much of the money came from contributors in the United States, including the Al-Farooq mosque.

    If the federal investigative interest over the years has been any indication, it appears that authorities perceived that a tree grew in Brooklyn.

  14. DXer said

    There is a direct connection between the terror summit at the condo of my (sometimes) Facebook Friend Yazid Sufaat (where KSM, Hambali and others were meeting) and the Kensington Ave, Jersey City apartment where years earlier KSM’s nephew had planned the murder of 250,000 in the WTC 1993 bombing.

    The man who met the 911 hijackers Nawaf and Al Midhar, when they arrived for the meeting at the Kuala Lumpur condo of anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat, was Ahmad Hikmat Shakir.

    Stephen F. Hayes explained:

    “Khalid al Midhar and Nawaz al Hamzi flew from Bangkok, Thailand, to Los Angeles on January 15, 2000. On September 11, 2001, the two men were at the controls of American Airlines Flight 77 when it plunged into the outer ring of the Pentagon.

    Six days after the Pentagon and World Trade Center attacks, Ahmad Hikmat Shakir was detained in Doha, Qatar, where he had resurfaced as an employee of the Qatari government’s Ministry of Religious Development. Authorities searched Shakir and his apartment and were stunned by what they found: The Iraqi had contact information for Islamic radicals involved in many of the most devastating terrorist attacks of the past decade. These contacts included:

    * Musab Yasin and Ibrahim Suleiman from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. At the time of that attack, Yasin lived in New Jersey with his brother, Abdul Rahman Yasin. Abdul Rahman Yasin, who badly burned his leg while mixing the chemicals for the World Trade Center bomb, was interviewed by the FBI and, in a costly mistake, released. After it realized its error, the FBI placed him on the list of “Most Wanted” terrorists. But they were too late. Abdul Rahman Yasin had fled the United States for Iraq, where U.S. intelligence officials believe he remains today. Ibrahim Suleiman was a Kuwaiti native whose fingerprints were found on the bombmaking manuals authorities determined were used in planning the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”

    Musab’s brother Walied was a subtilis expert and there were regular calls between his dorm room at Hunter College — and even calls made from Yasin’s telephone from the dorm room. It appears that Walied and Musab then continued to be roommates in future years and at one point co-authored an article on distribution of a virus.

    The AUSA’s conclusion that Walied Samarrai could be excluded based on a lack of access to virulent Ames rested on a shaky premise indeed given that, for example, a scientist coordinating with Anwar Awlaki shared a suite with the leading Ames researcher and a former Zawahiri associate was supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. In 2001, Walied lived within 20 miles of the mailbox from which the anthrax was mailed.

    *Osama’s Best Friend: The further connections between al Qaeda and Saddam
    The Weekly Standard ^ | 11/03/03 |

  15. DXer said

    Here is an interview of former AUSA Andrew McCarthy on the WTC 1993 trial.

  16. DXer said

    This story from late last year about the arrest of another Blind Sheik bodyguard is a reminder that the FBI must know a lot about the blind sheik’s supporters dating to the 1991-1995 era in the NYC area.

    Florida imam had ties to 1993 WTC terrorist group

    • DXer said

      Click to access ImamDocument.pdf

      The defendant, MARCUS DWAYNE ROBERTSON, has been an extremist for many years. In the early 1990s, the defendant was a leader of the “Forty Thieves,” which was a group of Muslims who conducted numerous armed robberies of Government installations and banks to generate funds that were used, among other things, to buy weapons and explosives. As part of his crimes, the defendant murdered several individuals; participated in assassination attempts; used pipe bombs, C-4, grenades, other explosives, and automatic weapons; participated in a robbery resulting in a hostage situation; and attempted the murder of police officers. Following the first Gulf War, the Forty Thieves stockpiled weapons and explosives in preparation to fight against the perceived threat of interment of Muslims by the United States. The defendant served as personal protection for the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, and personally gave over $300,000 of the stolen funds to mosques that the defendant attended. The defendant was arrested in 1991, testified for the prosecution, and served 4 years in prison.

      Comment: This fellow provided personal protection to the Blind Sheikh a couple years before the Feb 1993 bombing — and so was out of the circle well before WTC 1993.

      As for all the phone calls made to and in the dorm room of the subtilis expert, the quickest way to figure that out is for some journalist to call and respectfully ask Professor Samarrai. Walied later co-authored with Abdel Yasin’s brother Musab in viruses. Thus, given that Walied later appears to have been a roommate with Musab at other addresses (during the period Abdel was a fugitive), perhaps Musab was using Yasin’s phone and calling to the Hunter College dorm room and calling from there. In that event, Musab could explain the long, late-night call to Saudi Red Crescent in Islamabad

      Musab, according to what WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef told the FBI, Musab was teaching at Hudson Community (which is in Jersey City). Whereas Hunter College is in Manhattan about 1000 feet from where Kathy Nguyen died. Ramzi involved Musab’s brother because they needed help moving things — and says that when Abdel Yasin spilled chemicals on his leg, he was treated at the Kensington Ave apartment by his mother. Given that Musab lived with his mother and Abdel, wouldn’t Musab have known of the serious chemical burn Abdel received from the bomb-making chemicals?

      Musab signed over his car to Ramzi Yousef. Let me guess: Ramzi Yousef told Musab he was a tourist.

      Ramzi Yousef told the FBI that when he talked to Musab about blowing up buildings he was just joking. See interview statement uploaded in the 250 page e-book I’ve hyperlinked.

      Ramzi was hoping to kill 250,000 people. This month he has filed saying he’s lonely at Supermax and wants company. He shouldn’t have killed all those people then.

  17. DXer said

    Was Musab using a telephone in the name of his brother Abdel Yasin, for whom there is a $5 million reward being offered?

    From the beginning:

    The phone of the subtilis expert at Hunter College repeatedly called the number (201) 435-7501 , which was the phone of key WTC 1993 participants, including WTC 1993 mastermind Ramzi Yousef.

    Ramzi Yousef was a relative a Khalid Mohammed; Khalid Mohammed in turn claims he was directly involved in overseeing the planning of WTC 1993. KSM also claims to have been involved in anthrax planning.,3755676&dq=khalid-mohammed+wtc+1993&hl=en

    The subtilis expert Walied Samarrai is directly connected to the telephone number used to rent the U-Haul used to bomb the World Trade Center.

    Both Mohammed Salameh, Walied Samarrai, Abdul Yasin and Musab Yasin resided at the same 34 Kensington Ave. street address. Men who knew each other lived in both Apt. #4 and #8.

    The telephone number (201) 435-7501 was listed which was subscribed to 34 Kensington Ave., Apartment 4, Jersey City, N.J. under a woman’s false name.

    The records indicate that someone using the phone of masters student, Walied Samarrai, called the apartment of the WTC 1993 participants in the month leading up to the bombing — with the calls stopping the moment of the Blind Sheik’s arrest.

    THE TWIN TOWERS: The Complaint; Starting With Debris

    Ramzi Yousef, KSM’s relative and the WTC 1993 mastermind, also listed the address when he got in a January 1993 car accident in which officers did not know notice the bomb-making materials in the trunk. See police report described in book describing the accident.

    On March 4, 1993, Salameh returned to the Jersey City Ryder office. Abdul Yasin taught Mohammed Salameh to drive the truck (though he continued to be such a bad driver someone else had to drive it the day of the bombing). Abdul Yasin is a fugitive for which up to a $5 million reward is offered under the Rewards For Justice program. An Iraqi, he fled to Iraq where he was imprisoned. He admitted his involvement in the WTC 1993 bombing in a 2002 “60 Minutes” interview . Until recently, Yasin’s brother Musab continued for years to live at the same addresses with the subtilis expert.

    So were all these calls actually made by Musab, rather than his brother?

    Walied Samarrai and the brother Musab in the mid-1990s co-authored a paper on the distribution of a virus. Computer Model of the Gene Control in Lambda Virus Life Cycle, authored by Walied Samarrai, Sidi Beri, Khaled Amiri, and Musab Yasin. Published as part of the Society For Modeling and Simulation 2006.

    A man named Nosair, who was the Blind Sheik’s bodyguard, murdered radical rabbi Kehane. According to Nosair, Mohammed Salameh had gone with him the night of the assassination.

    Montasser Al-Zayat, the blind sheik’s lawyer, came from Cairo to NYC to assist in that defense. He later announced that Ayman Zawahiri would likely use anthrax to retaliate for the imprisonment for the blind sheik.

    The mailed anthrax was contaminated with subtilis.

    GAO: Did the FBI compare the genetically distinct subtilis with samples obtained from Walied SamarraI?

    According to FBI documents, Kahane’s killer, El-Sayyid Nosair, told detectives in 2005 that he had planned to assassinate Sharon, who was then Israel’s minister of housing and construction. Nosair claims that on the night he shot Kahane dead, he was accompanied by two co-conspirators to the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan where Kahane was speaking – one of whom was also carrying a gun. “The men, Bilal al-Kaisi of Jordan and Mohammed A. Salameh (the guy who rented the U-Haul truck to bomb WTC 1993), a Palestinian illegal alien later involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, have never been charged for their part in the slaying.”

    ‘Sharon was Kahane killer’s target’
    08/15/2010 01:04

    WTC 1993 participant and Nosair assassination conspirator Mohammed Salameh was there at the Calverton shooting range with Nosair and Ali Mohammed.

    Ali Mohammed is the US Army infiltrator who taught his protege Dahab how to make lethal letters.


    Recruits in Yemen took courses in Islamic law, the ideology of Islamic Jihad, the political history of militant Islamic movements, passport forgery and surveillance. Others said they were taught how to make letter bombs.

    The letter-bomb training was put to use, according to Egyptian investigators. In documents presented to the prosecutors, the investigators said Jihad members were responsible for sending letter bombs from Egypt to ”news organizations outside the country.”

    That apparently was a reference to a spate of letter bombs sent in 1997 from Alexandria, Egypt, to the London, New York and Washington offices of the newspaper Al Hayat. The paper, owned by Saudis, is the leading international Arabic-language newspaper. Two people were injured when one bomb went off in London.

    Ali Mohammed was chief of intelligence for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He recruited a man named Dahab from Cairo Medical in the early 1980s and taught him to send lethal letters.

    In 2002, Eleanor Hill, director of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating intelligence failures prior to the Attacks of September 11, 2001, reported that Osama Bin Laden helped pay for Nosair’s legal defense for his trial for the murder of Kahane.

    Bin Laden Bankrolled Kahane Killer Defense by Greg B. Smith, New York Daily News, October 9th 2002 (retrieved on October 1, 2008).

    Again, Nosair’s defense counsel, Montasser Al-Zayat. was the attorney who announced that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of prisoners. He was joined by the Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura members Al-Najjar and Mabruk in explaining that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax.

    The FBI says that they excluded a subtilis expert who allegedly had connections to Al Qaeda and Ansar Al-Islam. How did they do that if he lived 20 miles from the mailbox in 2001 — lack of access to virulent Ames? Did they do that before or after the 16 pages were faxed in March 2005 showing that Bruce Ivins supplied a former Zawahiri associate with virulent Ames. By then, the postal inspector had already developed his theory about sorority coeds.

    Did they do a comparison of subtilis strains? There was a subtilis contaminant in the mailed anthrax.

    I’ve emailed Professor Samarrai twice and called and left a message once to clarify these issues but have not heard back.

    The former residents of Kensington Ave should be advised that the CIA Zawahiri Task Force has known all of this since 200 when I first contacted the CIA.

    Musab Yasin reportedly, according to motor vehicle records, had transferred the title of his car to New York in the names of WTC 1993 mastermind Ramzi Yousef and WTC bomber Mohammed Salameh. Hey, Musab: Where’s your brother?

    Musab Yasin himself confirmed that he had registered his car under Yousef’s and Salameh’s names. He claimed that was because he “had problems concerning the license. Jamal Khashoggi, “He Speaks to al Hayat about His Releations with Muhammad Salemeh and Ramzi Yousef; Musab yasin: ‘I Was Exposed to American Pressure To Involve Iraq in the Trade Center Bombing,’ “, al Hayat, January 25, 1994. Yasin told al-Hayat that he was a Muslim fundamentalist but stayed away from its more extreme manifestations. But as a Hayat noted, “This does not really explain his good relation with Ramzi Yousef.” fn. 10

    Study of revenge: the first World Trade Center attack and Saddam Hussein’s … By Laurie Mylroie, Notes to Pages 173-80, 293, n. 10.–gU7W9ISM&hl=en&ei=7nNbTu_GMcfZgAfvrNCRDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CB8Q6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=%22Musab%20Yasin%22&f=false

    Amerithrax really shouldn’t have been that hard to solve even assuming a cell structure would have been used. Now should it?

  18. DXer said

    The calls were billed to that apartment. Who were they made by? Yasin? WS?

    Some calls were from the dorm room to that apartment.

    WS lived at the apartment when he wasn’t staying there? Did WS and Yasin know each other from living there at the Kensington address when WS did not stay on campus?

    Was Yasin WS’s friend and did he visit him on WS’s campus?

    Upon being arrested, Ramzi Yousef described Yasin to his FBI questioner.
    Offhand, I believe this interview may have occurred on the plane ride home in which he
    was accompanied by a famous FBI agent who served on the Amerithrax Task Force.

    “[YOUSEF] noted that ABDUL RAHMAN YASIN was involved in the plot,
    but described him as not being a “central motivator” in the plan.

    He characterized YASIN into the plot because help was needed in
    “moving stuff” from place to place.

    [YOUSEF] related that YASIN had burned his leg with acid while at
    40 Pamrapo Avenue. He noted that YASIN could not seek treatment
    for the burn from a medical doctor, because questions
    might be asked regarding the origin of the burn; [YOUSEF] believes
    that YASIN instead was treated by YASIN’s mother at YASIN’s residence.

    [I believe that was at the Kensingon Ave. address].

    [YOUSEF believed that YASIN was now residing in Iraq with his family, and
    offered that it would be characteristic of the Iraqi Government to put pressure
    on YASIN’s famlly members in order to obtain information regarding the bombing.

    Regarding YASIN’s brother, MUSAB YASIN, [Youssef indicated that
    [YOUSEF had occasionally joked with MUSAB about bombing buildings
    in New York, but that [YOUSEF] never recruited MUSAB to assist in the plot,
    due to MUSAB’S busy schedule in teaching college and MUSAB’s tendency
    to “talk too much.”

    Now it would make sense that the calls to Baghdad billed to the Kensington address
    were by Yasin and were to his family members still there. It also makes sense that he would not have been
    tasked to make a reporting call to KSM at an Islamabad charity given his low level
    of responsibility in the plot. Yasin was more of an underling. The FBI mistakenly allowed
    to go home that first night and then fled the country.

    But who made the calls from the dorm room of the subtilis expert Walied, now a college professor,
    who in 2001 lived 20 miles from the mailbox — a location where Al Qaeda’s website that explained the code then
    used by Yazid Sufaat, Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab director, years later on his Facebook page?

    Did Ramzi Yousef ever go to WS’ dorm room? Did he make the call to Islamabad? What is the time of that
    call relative to the time of Ramzi’s flight out of the country?

    The subtilis expert recently has been involved in teaching microbiology remotely to people
    interested in learning microbiology in Afghanistan. Isn’t the public entitled to know who made
    the calls from his dorm room that were billed to the telephone associated with Ramzi Yousef?
    That Kensington number was the number that Ramzi Yousef listed at the time of the accident in January,
    when the fellow crashed it while carrying bomb-making chemicals? The driver was the idiot who
    returned for his $400 deposit on the Ryder truck. Yousef by then had moved out of the Kensington
    apartment but they would not want to list the Pamrapo address given that was where they were
    assembling the bomb.

    The writer/researcher who provided the 250 pages of resource material in an e-book includes
    a transcript of a conversation where Saddam is discussing WTC 1993 with his cabinet.
    He credits J.M. Berger of intelwire for much the material — and I have often mentioned intelwire
    as a place of first resort for useful documents on the subject.

    It is clear Saddam was not involved. While I never credited Laurie Mylroie’s theory about KSM
    and Youssef not being related — her theory they were working for Saddam — I do think that
    her focus on Exhibit 1008 from the WTC 1993 if a key foothold in the doorway to an important revelation.
    The telephone bill was published in her book that came out in September 2001.

    As for Abdul Yasin, he went to Baghad, was imprisoned by Saddam who sought to use WTC 1993 to
    advantage. Then Yasin in 2002 was interviewed by a major network. Where is Abdul Yasin now?

    What does Yasin say about the calls billed to his Kensington address?

    What does subtilis expert Walied the professor say?

    A subtilis contaminant was found in the mailed anthrax. Did the FBI test WS’ samples to compare them?

    Or did they just consider the case solved because some lady controlled by the alien who she thinks had implanted a microchip in her butt said
    Bruce Ivins was a murderous fiend. Who vetted that first counselor as a witness? Postal inspectors? FBI agents? At the time she may already
    had drafted a book explaining that she had been psychotic delusions in 2000 when she counseled those several sessions in July 2000.

    • DXer said

      Professor Samarrai is an expert who is available to be interviewed on the subject of subtilis and mutations.

      “Differential Response of Bacillus Subtilis Ribosomal RNA Promoter to Nutrition Stress,” co-author, Abstract: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) 103, General Meeting, 2003; “Adaptive Mutagenic Response During Amino Acid Starvation on Bacillus Subtilis”, co-author, Abstract at the 46th annual Wind River conference on Prokaryotic Biology, Journal of Bacteriology, 2003;”A reIA (s) Suppressor Mutant Allele of Bacillus Subtilis Which Maps to ReIA and Responds Only to Carbon Limitation,” co-author, Gene, 1994

      For starters, WS could be asked whether he lived at the Kensington Ave address when he wasn’t at his dorm; who made the calls from his dorm room to the Kensington Ave. apartment; who made the calls billed to that address that were placed from the dorm room; whether he knew Ramzi Yousef [Basit], how well he knew Yasin; whether he had a role at one point in NYC biodefense etc. Alternatively, Musab could be asked the same questions as they relate to WS.

      • DXer said

        AUSA Lieber excluded WS on the basis of lack of anthrax to virulent Ames.

        Dr. Ayman Zawahiri did not in fact lack access to virulent Ames, did he?

        What does Yazid Sufaat say?

        • DXer said

          Given that I didn’t do any of these graphics, I can assure you that someone in the US government is way cleverer than Ken and Rachel appear to have been.

        • DXer said

          Now I believe the call to Islamabad was to the Red Crescent during off-hours. Is that correct?

          I believe Youssef had already left the country the night of the bombing, on Feb 26. Is that correct?

          So who made the call? Who was on the other end? KSM? Dr. Ayman Zawahiri?

          Red Crescent was a cover Dr. Ayman used (his early employer when he came to Afghanistan).

          An article this week reminds me that Yousef apparently left the country the night of the bombing. He told the FBI interviewer that he thought it was really stupid that his colleagues did not do the same.

          As I understand the report of the interview provided in the 250 page free e-book, Yousef also described a yet unidentified additional conspirator who helped with the actual delivery of the bomb — waiting with Yousef with the truck in Brooklyn and then driving into the garage with Yousef.

          Yousef says he is lonely. If he wants out of isolation, then he should fill in the details of the bombing, to include the unidentified helpmate he described to the FBI.

          ‘Lonely’ terrorist behind 1993 World Trade Center bombing files lawsuit to get out of solitary confinement

          Read more:

          He fled to the Middle East the night of the bombing and was captured two years later in Pakistan …

        • DXer said

          So someone at the Kensington Ave apartment (presumably Yasin) is calling Walied Samarrai’s dorm room repeatedly on March 3 , 1993 and then on March 4 up until the time the FBI cuts into the Young and Restless with a press conference announcing there had been an arrest in the bombing. It was a small dorm room? The phone subscriber was Walied Samarrai right? The WTC 1993 bomber Abdul Yasin was calling the subtilis expert right up to the announcement of an arrest. Right? Where did Walied and Abdul know each other from?

  19. DXer said

    If Salem was the Blind Sheik’s personal assistant and bodyguard, what can he tell us about the subtilis expert who was calling the telephone number of the apartment where Ramzi Yousef, KSM’s nephew who was the WTC 1993 bomber had stayed.

    Was Walied part of the circle of the Blind Sheik’s supporters? As I recall, the calls to the apartment that day continued up to the hour of the Blind Sheik’s arrest.

    FBI informant warns so-called Blind Sheik ‘will kill Americans’

    By Jonathan Dienst, Joe Valiquette and Shimon Prokupecz,

    An FBI informant who has helped catch some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists is coming out of witness protection to warn that a terrorist sheik in prison remains a significant threat to the U.S.

    Emad Salem is urging the U.S. to keep the ailing 74-year-old sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, often known as the Blind Sheik, behind bars and to not transfer him, even as governments overseas continue to press for his release.

    “He will kill Americans,” said Salem. “He will kill anyone who disputes what he says with a fatwa.”

    Salem, a one-time Egyptian military officer, had warned officials about the looming 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but his warnings were ignored after a lie-detector test was inconclusive and he said he would never testify at any trial.

    After the bombing, Salem agreed to become an FBI informant and managed to become the sheik’s personal assistant and bodyguard. Salem was able to record the sheik ordering the killing of Americans during his time in Jersey City, N.J., and Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Salem was also able to link the sheik to the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in that first attack.

    Now Salem is concerned about the mounting pressure on the U.S. from Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and other Mideastern government leaders to get Rahman out of American custody.
    ‘A terrible price’

    In one letter dated Feb. 26, 2008, the justice minister of Qatar relayed a request from Rahman’s family asking U.S. officials to have him transferred back to the nation to serve the rest of his sentence. They said they wanted to be able to visit him more easily, according to the letter by Qatar Attorney General Dr. Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri.

    More recently, on this 20th anniversary week of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Rahman’s sons wrote on their family website that “America will pay a terrible price” if he is not released soon.
    “The rain begins with one drop. America should expect more violent reactions if it does not release the sheik,” the sons wrote on the website.

    A 1993 photo shows Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in the U.S. for his role in terrorist attacks, including an explosion at the World Trade Center in 1993.

    The sons pointed to the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens as an example of terrorists acting on behalf of the sheik. The terrorists in that attack are believed to have called themselves the “Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman Brigade” in honor of the Blind Sheik.

    The family also pointed to the recent attack on a gas plant in Algeria where hostage takers demanded the sheik be set free or American hostages would be killed.

    The sons said they were hopeful that Morsi would make progress in working to free the sheik next month or they will “review their options.”
    Experts said the sheik’s family was intensifying an already active campaign to both seek the sheik’s release and inflame passions among the sheik’s extremist followers.

    Calls monitored

    The sheik has also been able to call his relatives twice a month from his prison, NBC 4 New York has learned. Officials said the calls are monitored, and his relatives tell NBC News’ Ayman Moyheldin that the calls are personal in nature and do not include calls for a violent jihad.

    But in one posting on their website, Rahman’s sons posted a political message they said was from the sheik. In that message, Rahman urged Egyptians to vote for Morsi in the recent presidential election “because he is the candidate who represents Islam and represents the revolution.”
    A Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman declined to discuss the specifics of the sheik’s phone privileges.

    Rahman’s lawyer, Lynne Stewart, was arrested in 2002 and later convicted for her role in sneaking out terror messages for the sheik in which he called for more attacks on Western tourists in Egypt after the Luxor massacre killed 58 people.

    “When are we going to wake up and smell the coffee?” asked Salem. “This man is dangerous in prison. What will happen when he is out of prison?”

    A Justice Department spokesman insisted the U.S. government will not be swayed by the appeals from Mideast leaders calling for Rahman’s release.

    “The Blind Sheik will spend the rest of his life in a U.S. federal prison. Period,” said DOJ spokesman Dean Boyd.

    Still, Rahman remains an inspiring figure for al-Qaida and radical jihadist figures across the globe. Salem said he was risking his life stepping forward because the sheik and his followers want him dead.

    “They are seeking to get me killed to be a feather in their hat, that ‘We killed the man who helped America,’” Salem said.

    But he said not stepping forward to warn about the potential threat the sheik and his followers still pose could be an even greater danger.

    A New York Police Department spokesman said there is no new specific threat to New York but intelligence officials are aware of the Rahman family website and the terror warnings posted there this week.

    While security experts said the sheik does not have operational capability from prison, they agree that as long as he is alive in a U.S. prison he could serve as inspiration for extremists to act.

    “This guy — 1990 or 2013 — sadly, unfortunately, [is] still in charge of his followers,” Salem lamented. “He is the ‘Prince of Jihad’ and will continue to be.”

    • DXer said

      New York City Remembers Victims Of 1993 World Trade Center Bombing [PHOTOS]

      BY Connor Sheets | February 26 2013 3:58 PM

      One of the blind sheik’s attorneys, Montasser Al-Zayat, announced that Dr. Zawahiri was going to use anthrax to retaliate for the imprisonment of the blind sheik. Montasser Al-Zayat came to NYC to assist in the defense of the assassin Nosair, who had been the blind sheik’s bodyguard.

    • DXer said

      The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing: A New Threat Emerges
      February 26, 2013

      “The man whose wire transfer funded that attack, Yousef’s uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, would mastermind an even larger one eight years later.”

      Comment: Was the call from microbiologist Walied’s dorm room to the Pakistani charity after WTC 1993 a reporting call made to KSM? If so, who made it?

      What does KSM say? What does Walied say? In 1994, his thesis related to mutations and subtilis. Recently also.

    • DXer said

      The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing: Decoys, Aliases and NeoConspiracy Theories

      ” In particular, Mohammed Salameh (convicted in the first of the three WTC trials) was a complete moron, managing to crash a car loaded with chemicals for making the bomb which resulted in Yousef ending up in hospital.”


      This article, I believe, hyperlinks an e-book with 1993 WTC documentary material. Check the police report of Mohammed Salemeh’s car accident in which Yousef went to the hospital. The accident, as I recall was in January, the month before the bombing. The number listed was the number regularly being called by WS, the subtilis expert who in 2001 lived within 20 miles of the mailbox from which the anthrax letters were sent. I emailed WS many years ago to ask him about the silicon signature but did not get a response. More recently, but still a long time ago, I emailed him with some other question — I forget now what I was asking. But if you don’t understand WTC 1993, and the importance of the Blind Sheikh, then you’ll never understand 911 — or the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. A couple years ago WS worked with a colleague on a project to teach microbiology remotely to students in Afghanistan.

  20. DXer said

    Albany FBI gets new top agent; also serves VT

    ALBANY, N.Y. — The FBI has named a new agent in charge of its Albany Division responsible for investigations in northern New York and Vermont.

    Andrew Vale, most recently special assistant to the deputy director at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., follows Clifford Holly in the Albany post.

    Vale, a former immigration inspector and detention officer in Buffalo, joined the bureau in 1991 and began by investigating terrorism and civil rights cases in Newark, N.J.

    He transferred to Washington in 2001 with the Domestic Terrorism Operations Unit, where he became unit chief of the director’s research group.

    Vale transferred to Albany in 2006 as assistant special agent in charge of its National Security Branch, with oversight of counterterrorism, counterintelligence and intelligence programs.

    Comment: It would be hard to imagine a better professional background for understanding the importance of matters dating to WTC 1993, including support for the Blind Sheik.

    • DXer said

      This blog first had a comment about the new Washington Field Office head, Andrew Vale, three years ago: ” It would be hard to imagine a better professional background for understanding the importance of matters dating to WTC 1993, including support for the Blind Sheik.”

      Agent Vale likely knows that a tree grew in Brooklyn.

      If it turns out that Amerithrax was botched and the wrong conclusion reached — and things remain uncorrected — it won’t be because of bad personnel choices.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  21. DXer said

    The Bioterrorist Attacks on America
    Yurii V. Ezepchuk*

    Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA
    *Corresponding author: Yurii V. Ezepchuk
    Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of Biochemistry
    University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA

    Received April 18, 2011; Accepted July 18, 2012; Published July 20, 2012

    Citation: Ezepchuk YV (2012) The Bioterrorist Attacks on America. J Bioterr Biodef 2:115.

    Copyright: © 2012 Ezepchuk YV. 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.


    This article discusses the events surrounding the 9/11 bioterrorist attacks upon US citizens in which anthrax spores were utilized. The arguments presented in this article substantiate the shortcomings regarding the search of “domestic” terrorists, indicating that agents from the Arab world were involved in the organized attacks of sending letters with anthrax spores. Since the attacks employed the use of the weaponized aerosol form of anthrax, there is evidence which demonstrates that the manufacturing of the spores was carried out in a country with capabilities of developing bacteriological weapons. Ultimately, this article presents legitimate arguments in which further investigation is warranted.


    The following reports from the investigative committee of the base laboratory stated that the necessary skills for the handling of the anthrax spores were possessed by Iraqi microbiologist Waly Samar (Walied Samarrai), who worked in New York but lived in New Jersey, from where the first contaminated envelopes were sent [14]. He was a citizen of the USA and graduated from Hunter College where he received a doctorate degree in microbiology. It was easy for him to disguise his work under his investigation of non-pathogenic Bacillus subtilis, which is similar to the composition of the causative agent Bacillus anthracis, better known as anthrax. Since the laboratory techniques and technology used for both microorganism spores are very much alike and require similar precautions, his work was easily conducted under routine experimentation. As a highly competent microbiologist, Samar knew what had to be done in order to prevent contamination of laboratory facilities. Apart from filling the envelopes, he was not successful with the lyophilizing process of anthrax, indicating that the powdery material substance used was prepared ahead of time at a different location. Later it was found that some of the anthrax letters were contaminated with Bacillus subtilis spores. This bacteriological analyzes can be considered as evidence that handling with the anthrax letters was carried out in the lab in which Bacillus subtilis was cultivated [10].

    How, where, and when did samar obtain this material?

    The Iraqi press reported an interesting observation shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11. The reports discussed possibilities of completing the biological terrorist attacks: they had enough concentration of viruses kept in a small jar to harm thousands.

    According to UN weapons inspector Richard Spertzel, the idea of spraying biological and chemical contamination by air was accomplished a long time ago by Iranian intelligence services [17]. For a short time before 9/11, the 20th sole surviving hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui was given the task of studying at the College of Aviation Agriculture at Minnesota State University. In the investigation, it was established that Samar turned in the application to work at the college proposing his services in microbiology as a chief development officer of spraying poison and mixing microbes for use in aviation technology. The ability to spread anthrax through the postal system was apparently selected by terrorists later on, as was the case in this event that the goal was to be achieved with a smaller amount of contaminated material than was required for the creation of an airborne aerosol used in the aviation method. Opening a clandestine biotechnological venture for the production of anthrax spores within the borders of the US was too risky a business. It is much easier and more practical to bring a few preprepared flasks of dry anthrax spores from overseas. If the FBI was not even interested in the training of future terrorists in American aviation schools, then the importation of small packages resembling medical supplies was of little or no value.

    From my point of view, the report made by Dr. Christos Tsonas from Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is worthy of attention. According to Dr. Tsonas, at the end of June 2001, a pilot with a terrible abscess on his leg came to see him. Dr. Tsonas prescribed this pilot with an antibiotic, which subsequently was discovered in the apartment of the hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi. According to the hypothesis of Dr. Tsonas, the pilot he treated had been infected with the skin form of anthrax. Furthermore, a pharmacist in Del Rey Beach, Florida witnessed the hijackers Mohamad Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi seeking medicine in the pharmacy for a severe skin irritation on their hands [15].

    In my opinion, these facts provide evidence that the hijackers had contact with anthrax spores. I ruled out that they pre-packed the anthrax spores into envelopes because they did not have the necessary microbiological conditions, not to mention the qualifications. More than likely someone from overseas delivered the anthrax spores a few months before the planned terrorist attack on September 11. According to European intelligence services, it is possible that it was Atta, who visited Prague in the summer of 2001. European intelligence stated it is possible that Atta received the lyophilized anthrax spores there, sealed in ampoules or packaged in flasks on which the title of a well-known treatment preparation was labeled in order to avoid detection while clearing customs. For example, I know for a fact that many Russian technological manufacturing lines for the preparation of dry bacteriological spores utilize flasks labeled as penicillin.

    Having the anthrax spores delivered to his home in Florida, the hijacker naturally decided he was interested in which form the anthrax was and whether or not they were damaged during transport. Evidently the bottles were undamaged, but whoever packaged the bottles did not take sufficient care in packaging the bottles as a small amount of the spores were on the wrapping material. The hijacker unwrapped the parcel without rubber scientific protective gloves and isolated spores came into contact with his hands causing an erythema, from which he was saved with the help of antibiotics. One cannot eliminate the possibility that the other terrorist was present and not wearing rubber scientific protective gloves when the parcel was unwrapped. The terrorist transferred an undetermined amount of anthrax spores from his hands to his leg, causing the anthrax to contaminate his skin. Even if he had opened just one flask, he would have not been successful in avoiding infection through inhalation of the anthrax, resulting in the usual outcome. Again, I am positive that the hijacker did not actually send the envelopes containing anthrax spores. This endeavor could only be accomplished by a qualified microbiologist.

    After the flasks containing the anthrax spores were given to Samar, he packaged the powder into the envelopes and placed the empty package in a laboratory biohazard waste bin which was removed daily to be destroyed. All of the operations Samar conducted were skillfully undetected by other laboratory staff.

    The next step was to send the envelopes, who wrote the addresses on the envelopes, and who wrote the threatening note on the piece of paper. I hoped that investigators would be able to answer such questions as why certain addresses were selected and who put the letters into the mailbox.

    • DXer said

      Subtilis is an anthrax surrogate:

      See, e.g., Boston subway to be used to test sensors in fake “bioweapons” attack
      By David Szondy

      September 2, 2012


      “The current series of tests follow on from a 2009 study where inert gases were released in the Boston subway. This time, Bacillus subtilis (AKA hay bacillus or grass bacillus) will be released while the subway is closed and their spread through the system will be tracked by the new sensors.

      Bacillus subtilis is a harmless “food grade” bacterium normally found in the human gut and this particular bacilli will be dead before release, though this may not be much help to those not comfortable with the idea of government-sanctioned germs on the public transport.”

    • DXer said

      In his article, Professor Ezepchuk mentions Iraq as a possible source of the Ames.

      The present evidence does not support acquisition from Iraq. It is true that Ken Alibek has said that a key Russian scientist helped Iraq and Russia had the Ames strain. It is true that Michael Scheur has said that it is certain that Ansar Al-islam experimented with anthrax in Northern Iraq. (That group was formed in 2001 when Dr. Ayman sent 4 senior EIJ leaders to Iraq). And it is true that before that, Zawahiri had traveled to Baghdad in 1998 with an entourage to attend the birthday party of Saddam’s son. The papers found at headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq’s feared secret police, show that an entourage from Al Qaeda group was sent to the Iraqi capital in March 1998 from Sudan. But the talks are thought to have ended badly for the Iraq. According to at least some reports, Bin Laden rejected the suggestion of an alliance — preferring to pursue his own concept of jihad.

      For the past 10 years I have considered the hypothesis relating to Atta, Prague and an alleged Iraq connection to be unproven — if not soundly debunked.

      But let’s revisit the evidence given I no longer discuss it.

      According to some reports encouraged by Vice-President Cheney’s aide “Scooter” Libby Atta met in Prague with an Iraqi case handler and obtained the anthrax from Iraq then. The reported transfer of a vial of anthrax, however, is totally unproven. The origin of the story seems to have been based simply on speculation of what might have occurred (at a meeting never established to have occurred). For his part, al-Ani denies meeting with Atta. In a statement submitted for the record to the Armed Services Committee and released in July 2004, the CIA concluded that there was an “absence of any credible evidence” that a meeting occurred in 2001 between Atta and Iraqi intelligence in Prague. A declassified portions of classified June 21, 2002 CIA report, “Iraq and al-Qa’ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship” states: “Reporting is contradictory on hijacker’s Mohammad Atta’s alleged trip to Prague and meeting with an Iraqi intelligence officer, and we have not verified his travels. A declassified portion of “CTC Iraqi Support for Terrorism” dated January 29, 2003 similarly concludes “the most reliable reporting to date casts doubt on this possibility.”

      In contrast to what most of the senior Czech officials have said, the Prague Post quoted the director general of the Czech foreign intelligence service UZSI (Office of Foreign Relations and Information), Frantisek Bublan, denying the much-touted meeting. He also now may (or perhaps not) have been joined by the Czech President. But never let it be said the White House has been consistent on the issue either. Apparently the report is based on a waiter’s recollection of customers several months earlier. Even the Czech intelligence officials who support the report only cite a 70 percent probability that it was Atta. The bottom-line is that Al Qaeda did not necessarily need Iraq to commit this crime. It is more prudent to limit the conclusion to Al Qaeda’s involvement absent additional evidence. Even if there was a meeting, maybe it related just to taking action against Radio Free Europe.

      Some hawks advising the Administration, both in the government and in private business (to include Richard Perle and James Woolsey), argue that there was powerful evidence showing Iraq is giving biological and chemical weapons and training to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld, whose comments of course should not be taken lightly, describes the evidence as “bulletproof.” CIA intelligence assessments such as the declassified portions of classified June 21, 2002 CIA report, “Iraq and al-Qa’ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship” noted the involvement of Iraqi nationals in al-Qa’ida CBRN efforts, but concluded “we cannot determine, which, if any, of these Iraqi national Baghdad directed.” There are, indeed, some reports by defectors concerning Al Qaeda’s coordination with Saddam on biological and chemical weapons but those reports all depend on the reliability and detail of those reports by defectors. We now know, for example, that the son of a Chalabi aide made up info about mobile biolabs. Similarly, someone else forged documents relating to uranium. Shouldn’t there have been criminal prosecutions? Classified CIA and DIA reports to the White House expressly questioned and doubted the reliability of senior Al Qaeda Al-Liby — who Secretary of State Powell would later expressly rely upon in his speech before the UN in which he held up a vial of anthrax.

      The briefs made by President Bush and Tony Blair lacked a “smoking gun” in this regard. The information released by Powell similarly contained no “smoking gun” on the question of an Iraq/ Al Qaeda connection. It may turn out that there was merely a tolerance of Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam by the Iraqi regime. The nature of any cooperation between Al Qaeda and Iraq is still an open (at least disputed) question though criticism of the Administration’s distortion of intelligence has grown sharply. As in the game Monopoly, sometimes practical alliances can be formed for tactical purposes against a common enemy. A detailed argument relating to the connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda can be found online in the trillion dollar complaint against Iraq filed by the law firm Kreindler & Kreindler in connection with 9/11. There also is a lengthy Spring 2003 article by PhD microbiologist Dany Shoham who had been with the Israeli military intelligence and then at an Israeli university.

      As United States District Judge Harold Baer noted, and as Director Tenet has acknowledged, some of the early high-level contacts between Al Qaeda and Iraq related to a non-aggression pact. Judge Baer, upon the default of all the opposing parties and their failure to defend the lawsuit brought by the law firm Kreindler & Kreindler, found that CIA Director Woolsey and Laurie Mylroie had not presented any facts supporting their position, but that a jury could find in their favor by crediting their opinion. He described the evidence relied upon as consisting of layers of hearsay and therefore inadmissible.

      Mylroie’s theory requires that Khalid Mohammed is an Iraqi intelligence agent — along with his nephew Ramzi Yousef. She even posits that Murad, a participant in the Bojinka operation, is necessarily an Iraqi agent. It is odd, then, that Murad did not disclose the fact in “tactical interrogation” (i.e., torture) by Philippine authorities and that his statement to US officials recount the names and location and details of his many family members. It is odder still that KSM did not disclose the fact in his months of interrogation. Yousef also failed to admit the fact — even in the course of extensive operations by the FBI involving a mafiosa defendant who had a nearby cell. In June 2004, yet another nephew of KSM was captured. No clear evidence emerged even after Iraq was invaded. Moreover, of course, KSM is a vocal sort — and if DNA and accounts from North Carolina where he attended school did not clinch it — he could set things straight at his upcoming trial.

      When a mid-level of aide of Jordanian poison expert Zarqawi captured in Iraq was a member of Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad, that sort of development points to Al Qaeda’s/EIJ’s presence in Iraq — not a connection between Amerithrax andh the Iraqi regime.

      Why do commentators who point to the needed learning of a state not mention that Yazid Sufaat early this Spring explained that he had been part of the Malaysian biological weapons program? Here, this article was submitted, as I recall, last year, and so the author would not have had the benefit of the blockbuster (but largely unnoticed revelation). Reviewers should have prompted a revision on this count — along with necessary but omitted sourcing on the various other issues that would have avoided plain error on familiar issues.

      Given that at the time we knew where Saddam lived, and he was a survivalist, he would have wanted to maintain deniability in the event he had assisted in the anthrax mailing. A terrorist state sponsor would want to use a strain that was not associated with it. Thus, Iraq as a source of the Ames is entirely possible. It’s just not yet indicated by any of the evidence. Two top Iraqi scientists, codenamed Charlie and Alpha, helped the coalition to learn more about Iraq’s anthrax program according to Dr. David Kay, head of the Iraq survey group in charge of the hunt for WMD, said. He has said that the Iraqis had made surprising innovations in the milling and drying processes needed to weaponize anthrax.

      One source, Ghorbanifar, who dates back to the Iran-contra days — and at times has been stridently discredited by the CIA as unreliable — has said that Iran was the source of the anthrax. But why are folks looking to foreign states when associates of KSM and associates of Dr. Ayman are either working directly with Ames anthrax or just feet away from such virulent strains. (For example, Aafia walked by Vollum every day).

      In February 2003, in a much anticipated presentation about Iraq and its weapons, Secretary of State Colin Powell reported that a senior al Qaeda operative in custody has said that a terrorist operative was sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring biological and chemical weapons. He was sent after Bin Laden determined that Al Qaeda labs were not sophisticated enough. In a document found on his computer, Zawahiri had indicated that experts would have to be recruited, particularly using universities as a cover, because using unsophisticated talent had not proved successful. Accordingly, based on what Ayman has written, the FBI should be giving priority to connections with researchers at universities and NGOs. The FBI of course should have given priority to learning all about Sufaat’s work with the Malaysian biological weapons program, especially given the possibility that heme was indicated (and that was the nature of Sufaat’s business for the Malaysian army even after he went into private business.

      There’s every reason to think Zawahiri succeeded in recruiting the necessary expertise — just no compelling reason to think he obtained the expertise from Iraq. The papers found at headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq’s feared secret police, show that an entourage from Al Qaeda group was sent to the Iraqi capital in March 1998 from Sudan. The talks are thought to have ended badly for Iraq. According to some reports, Bin Laden rejected the suggestion of an alliance — preferring to pursue his own concept of jihad. According to other information, it was Saddam who wanted to distance himself from Al Qaeda. He reportedly never responded to an Al Qaeda request that it be allowed to establish training camps. He viewed Al Qaeda as a threat to his regime.

      Ramadan, former Iraqi Vice-President who hosted Ayman in Baghdad in 1998, was arrested by Kurdish forces. Saddam, of course, was also captured.

      Some have pointed to reports that a leader, the late Abu Musab Zarqawi, thought to be involved in the planned ricin attacks, was a clear link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Zarqawi reportedly was at the safe house in Afghanistan where traces of ricin and other poisons were found. According to an article that appeared in the conservative National Review, Iraq’s embassy in Islamabad hosted some Iraqi biochemical scientists, who trained Zarqawi and his lab technicians under the cover of the Taliban embassy. No further details ever emerged or were corroborated and the speculation arose that Al-LIbi had merely misled US interrogators after his capture in December 2001. He recanted his claims in 2004.

      There were reports of an Al Qaeda facility in northern Iraq where there was testing of chemical and biological weapons (such as ricin) on barnyard animals and a human. The area, however, was in an area not controlled by Saddam Hussein. Al Qaeda had sent four of its senior leaders, including Abu Yasir (Taha), the former head of the Egyptian Islamic Group, to northern Iraq. Taha, 51, with a degree in commerce from Assiut University, served a five-year sentence for terrorist activities. Following his release, he left the country and settled in Afghanistan. He is credited with planning the massacre of tourists in Luxor in 1997. Captured, he goes on trial this coming month.

      Taha and his colleagues formed a fighting group of 600 men — known as Ansar al-Islam — out of an amalgamation of existing groups. ABCNEWS reported that there is evidence the terrorists tested ricin in water, as a powder and as an aerosol. (Some experts dispute that ricin can effectively be used as an aerosol or water contaminant.) The militants used it to kill donkeys and chickens, and at one point, allegedly exposed a man to the toxin in an Iraqi market and followed him home and watched him die several days later. In a television interview in January 2006, Michael Scheuer said he was 100% sure that in 2002, Ansar al-Islam was also experimenting with anthrax.

      The senior Al Qaeda leader (and successor to the blind sheik) Abu Yasir, (Taha) before being extradited to Egypt, had lived in a suburb of the capital of Iran. Under the Administration’s logic, does that mean there is also state sponsorship by Iran? The author is even intimating that possibility. Just as we need to avoid mistakes on the origin of the strain and the targets sent the letters, we should be very conservative in such speculation. Enough young men have died in needless wars and occupations.

      The “bomb Iraq” crowd relied on only wisps of hearsay evidence and glimmers of ambiguous facts. In other contexts, the evidence was fabricated (such as related to the purchase of enriched uranium from Niger or the mobile bio labs). No hijacker was shown to have trained at Salman Pak, alleged to be a terrorist training facility (where a 747 was located), rather than a counterterrorist training facility.

      On the other hand, while Bin Laden has declared Saddam’s party apostate and infidel, he has urged that there is a religious duty to cooperate with a secular ruler if it furthers jihad. The Iraqi intelligence chief Hijazi, who according to the Iraqi National Congress allegedly met with Osama in Afghanistan a few years ago was captured. In August 2003, former Iraqi Vice-President Ramadan, who met Zawahiri in 1998, was also captured. Saddam seemed to enjoy the debate with interrogators and at trial was defiant towards the court.

      Polls show that most Americans think that the invasion of Iraq has led to an increase in the likelihood of terrorism rather than a decrease. Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies, presented powerful support for the view, from an insider’s perspective. He was not merely “in the loop” — he as much as anyone was or should have been the loop.

      A lawsuit by the estate of former FBI counterterrorism official, John O’Neill, filed in August 2003 alleges connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq, based in part on statements by Iraqi defectors, information from Iraq and al-Qaeda prisoners, and documents uncovered in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Complaint alleges that Iraqi intelligence provided al-Qaeda with training in document forgery and chemical and biological weapons in a series of contacts that spiked in 1996, and again after 1998.

      The Complaint, In re Estate of John P. O’Neill, Sr. et al. v. Republic of Iraq et al, D.D.C. 8/20/03 ^ alleges that -Zawahiri met with Iraqi intelligence in 1992 and 1998, and that contact between Iraq and al-Qaeda increased in 1998, when Al Qaeda bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa.

      A memo by Undersecretary of Defense Feith is even more dramatic. Not credited by the CIA or Richard Clarke, the memo does not represent an analysis of the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, as much as a laundry list of possible data points, many of which are not confirmed.

      The 9/11 Commission, in contrast, concluded that Atta did not visit Prague in April 2001. On April 4, 2001, there is a picture of him at a Virginia ATM. On April 6, 9, and 10, 2001, there were calls made to his cell phone from within Florida to Florida. Then on April 11, 2001 he is known to have been in Florida. Moreover, “Newsweek has also learned that Czech investigators and U.S. intelligence have now obtained corroborated evidence which they believe shows that the Iraqi spy who allegedly met Atta was away from Prague on that day.”

      In late November 2004, Iraqi troops in Fallujah, Iraq discovered a site with lab manuals on manufacturing explosives and toxins — including anthrax — according to Iraq’s national security adviser. When seeking to resolve such issues, people need to put politics aside and pull together to get conclusive objective proof, one way or the other.

      Whatever you do, don’t close a case based on a theory that some guy did not have reason to be the lab — and then knowingly withhold the copious documents showing he was involved in experiments involving the killing and testing related to 52 rabbits.

      Whatever you do, don’t close a case based on some psychiatrists reliance on a witness who says she was controlled by an alien who had implanted a microchip in her butt.

      That is what the United States Department of Justice did.

  22. DXer said

    A 1998 operation Bin Laden had two men test security at NYC’s airport. The planned hijacking was to free Blind Sheik Abdel Rahman and KSM’s nephew, the WTC 1993 bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef.

    The subtilis expert who lived in the Princeton area in 2001 called Ramzi Yousef’s number right up to the point that the Blind Sheik was arrested — nearly to the minute.

    His field related to mutations in subtilis due to nutrient starvation.

    Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in the history of United States intelligence analysis.

    • DXer said

      It wasn’t Paul Keim’s job to also understand the investigation — and not just the science. It was Jennifer’s. Formerly FBI, then CIA. And Jason’s. ATCC then FBI. And Dr. Majidi.

  23. DXer said

    The CIA National Resources Division was working the same subjects as the FBI’s Amerithrax Task Force. How did coordination work? Was the CIA’s National Resources Division able to share with the FBI Task Force, which included a number of CIA personnel?

    Was the CIA National Resources Division subject to FISA? No? If not, is that an end-run that renders the law meaningless?

    Former Ambassador-at-Large Crumpton had a very responsible position for a year at the FBI in charge of counterterrorism. He writes that while at State in charge of counterterrorism he never saw a counterterrorism memo written by FBI that informed policy. He argues that FBI for institutional reasons is not well-suited to counterintelligence analysis.

    Such policy considerations are above my pay grade and not a focus of the blog. The blog is more narrowly focused on the whodunnit.

    But his revelations about the CIAs National Resources Division are of profound significance — and of historical import..

    FBI Director Mueller has said that the FBI would place priority on prevention — not prosecution. Is that what he did?

    Note that he never congratulated the prosecutors or investigators for their proposed solution of Amerithrax. He did not attend the press conference. They were not happy about that.

    What would happen in a case where the FBI placed the emphasis on prevention but then did not in fact have a prosecutable case? And realizing that, the FBI went with blaming the dead fellow who had committed suicide under the pressure of the investigation. It likely is easy to find a reason to indict someone when you look hard enough (for example, unrecorded transfer of a pathogen).

    Is that what happened in Amerithrax?

    Mr. Crumpton’s revelations about the National Resources Division are fascinating. When the CIA is allowed to target foreign threats, what if the communications targeted of a US citizen but merely concern communications with a foreign national. He describes his meeting with a university official seeking cooperation. He writes about coordinating with telecommunications and data carriers. Isn’t that exactly what FBI Director Mueller threatened to resign over when the warrantless searches were done by NSA?

    What if a honey trap targeted a US citizen? Mr. Crumpton talks about the many moral questions that were raised in his line of work. I worry more that poor analysis just leads to immoral and feckless behavior.

    How does Section 1983 of the civil rights apply? The CIA is part of the USG. A warrantless search or intelligence operation targeting a US citizen — or a technical operation not in compliance with FISA — is actionable under the civil rights statute. Isn’t it?

    I know that if I ever found the CIA taking any action whatsoever domestically that messed with my interests, there would be a claim under Section 1983 and there would be punitive damages recoverable.

    That, after all, is what we have the FBI for? Isn’t it? Don’t taxpayers deserve that well-mannered pair of agents at the door asking polite questions?

    It seems true that the FBI is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But when dealing with the exercise of power over citizenry, is that such a bad thing? Like Agent Montooth once said, it comes with the job.

    I don’t doubt Mr. Crumpton’s assessment that there are more foreign spies in the US than during the cold war. And so I don’t mean to suggest any answers posed by these questions.

    I just think that it is important to establish the “whodunnit” of Amerithrax — because Dr. Ayman strikes me as the kind of guy who tries to finish what he started.

    But Mr. Crumpton’s book raises profound questions that need to be part of the national dialogue.

  24. DXer said

    Hank Crumpton writes in his book of the phone and email network analysis that would be done when a lead was developed with regard to a connection between a scientist with relevant expertise and a foreign terrorist group.

    He writes:

    “Increased awareness also led to intelligence analysis. As an example, a NR station [covert CIA office in US targeting foreign threats located in the US] learned that a small group had purchased a high technology system often used in labs that handle biological systems. This warranted more investigation, including a link analysis of phone calls and emails, which led to a known terrorist group. NR then passed the intelligence to CTC and the FBI for pursuit overseas. (p. 301).

    Hey, Mr. Crumpton: Did you know that a subtilis expert working with mutations lived in New Brunswick in 2001 was calling the phone number of KSM’s nephew, the WTC 1993 bombing mastermind, right up to the time the Blind Sheik was arrested in 1993? Do you appreciate that this was known as of September 2001? (The author was pals with Woolsey who just misconstrued what they had as a connection to Iraq rather than Al Qaeda). And that it was the public domain as early as September 2001 and available to any Special Agent to read? Did you know that in 2008 AUSA Lieber and AUSA Kohl withheld the documents showing what Dr. Ivins was doing those hours in the lab that they found suspicious? And that the first counselor on who they relied so heavily for their insights writes that she was receiving instructions from an alien at night who had implanted a chip in her butt? See the 2009 book by Judith McLean available for download for $10.

    Amerithrax represents the greatest intelligence failure in the history of the United States. You were the man in charge. You took a sabbatical in 2003 and went back to school for a masters at Johns-Hopkins. That’s nice. And now you are retired — making money. That’s nice.

    Don’t get me wrong. I credit your efforts and the effort of 410 colleagues with majorly disrupting Al Qaeda’s plans — as illustrated by overtaking the AQ anthrax lab.

    But what the fuck are you going to do about the mess known as Amerithrax? Is a book tour really going to cut it if Amerithrax is unsolved and the US is attacked? (Oh, and Al Qaeda won’t be attacking in Kentucky or Minnesota — Dr. Ayman doesn’t leave unfinished business and time means nothing to him).

    You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. I think of you as part of the solution. Make it happen. Go to GAO and get whatever clearances you need to tell them anything that might help them in their analysis.

  25. DXer said

    It’s not like Dr. Ayman hides his connection to WTC 1993 folks — especially “blind sheikh” Abdel-Rahan.

    Was Dr. Ayman with KSM at the Pakistan charity called by the phone in the subtilis expert’s dorm room (the one who lived in the New Brunswick area in 2001)?’

    Kidnapped American appears in al-Qaida video
    By Declan Walsh
    New York Times
    Posted: 05/07/2012 08:36:10 PM PDT

    Weinstein, sitting cross-legged behind a table with books and food, said in a monotone voice: “My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live. If you don’t accept the demands, then I die.”

    It was the first direct confirmation that al-Qaida was holding Weinstein, the country director for J.E. Austin Associates, a consultancy based in Arlington, Va., which contracts for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Armed men snatched him from a Lahore neighborhood in August; three months later the leader of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahri, said Weinstein could be released if the Obama administration stopped all airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, and released several men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

  26. DXer said

    “The 1993 World Trade Center bombing was the work of his nephew, Ramzi Yousef. ”
    For Alleged 9/11 Plotter, Attacks Were Family Affair
    by Dina Temple-Raston, National Public Radio
    May 5, 2012

  27. DXer said

    The FBI Agent Frank Pellegrino, who knew about these records and had hunted Ramzi Yousef and KSM for years, was called in to question by DOJ official Andy Arena.

    By the time he could drive down to D.C., the White House removed Arena and Cummings was appointed. Arena had not focused on what the Bush White House perceived as an all-important Al Qaeda-Iraq connection.

    Agent Pellegrino was asked by Art Cummings to write down 100 questions to ask KSM by the CIA. He said “I don’t write questions. I ask questions.” Then he turned and walked away.” ( p. 254).

    Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in intelligence analysis in the history of the United States.

    It’s not important to find fault — it is only important to get the right questions asked before it is too late.

    p. 272 – The FBI agents who had been trying to track him knew that KSM knew, the location of most, if not all, of the members of Al Qaeda’s leadership council and covert cells around the world — and that he hadn’t given them up. Unbeknownst to them, the CIA had acknowledged as much in a top secret internal report months earlier, in April of 2003, entitled “Khalid Shaykh Muhammed’s Threat Reporting — Precious Truths Surrounded by a Bodyguard of Lies.” It concluded that protectiing operatives in the United States appeared to be a “major part” of KSM’s resistance efforts.”

    p. 276 [describing when Pellegrino is finally allowed to speak with KSM]

    “KSM said that he had known when Pellegrino had arrived in Qatar to arrest him…”

    “A government official who observed the interviews said everyone outside the room was amazed at how amiable the men were on the surface. They both cracked jokes, in part to ease the palpable tension.”

    Comment: It’s never too late to ask the right questions — until it is.

  28. DXer said

    Given his expertise on mutations from his research with subtilis, what does Dr. Samarrai think of the probativeness of the FBI’s genetic evidence on mutations?

    I emailed him many years ago about his thoughts on the Silicon Signature — when I heard about NYC aerosol tests using an anthrax simulant — but never heard back.

  29. DXer said

    Dr. Ayman now demands the release of the Blind Sheikh, Ramzi Yousef and Sayyid Nosair. Meanwhile the subtilis expert whose phone records tie him directly and closely to Ramzi Yousef still reads about Dr. Ivins editing of Wikipedia in the American media.

    And if the FBI investigators and scientists don’t know who Nosair is and his relevance, that’s the problem, isn’t it?

    Dr. Ayman: You are bringing dishonor to yourself and the Ummah by resorting to this kidnapping. You need to rethink the morality of kidnapping Mr. Weinstein, a man devoted to providing aid to the needy.

    I’m sure your sister Heba, the Cairo medical school professor, thinks it a despicable act, even though she feels just as strongly on these issues as you do.

    He said that the White House could secure the 70-year-old Weinstein’s release if it halts air strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, and releases the 1993 World Trade Center bombers and relatives of Osama bin Laden.

    “Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to al Qaeda and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who has been neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the 1970s,” Zawahiri said in the 31-minute video.

    Among the list of eight demands for Weinstein’s release, al Qaeda also called for the release of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdul Rahman, Ramzi Yousef and Sayyid Nosair, who are tied to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

    Also on the list: Abu Musab al-Suri, one of al Qaeda’s senior theorists and operatives.

  30. DXer said

    Ten years since Daschle received anthrax-laced letter,0,1217516.story

  31. Was on this case soon after 9/11 with Dr. Laurie Mylroie. The FBI got in touch with me mainly because they wanted to know how I figured out what I had. Nothing happened thereafter except someone kicked the door in of my apartment and ransacked the place. Our intelligence services have long since been compromised IMHO. America is corrupted and defeated from the inside out.

    • It would be interesting to know WHO put out the order and WHY they did for the destruction of the Ames anthrax spores collection in Iowa in early-October 2001. After all, this burned the bridge with regard to the source of specimen for the flask that Ivins had.

      With the help of a task force of scientists, it found a flask of anthrax that closely matched—through its genetic markers—the anthrax used in the attack.

      This flask had been in the custody of Ivins, who had published no fewer than 44 scientific papers over three decades as a microbiologist and who was working on developing vaccines against anthrax. As custodian, he provided samples of it to other scientists at Fort Detrick, the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and other facilities involved in anthrax research.

      According to the FBI’s reckoning, over 100 scientists had been given access to it. Any of these scientists (or their co-workers) could have stolen a minute quantity of this anthrax and, by mixing it into a media of water and nutrients, used it to grow enough spores to launch the anthrax attacks.

      Evidence Disappears

      Last month, after consulting with the F.B.I., Iowa State University in Ames destroyed anthrax spores collected over more than seven decades and kept in more than 100 vials. A variant of the so-called Ames strain had been implicated in the death of a Florida man from inhalation anthrax, and the university was nervous about security.

      Now, a dispute has arisen, with scientists in and out of government saying the rush to destroy the spores may have eliminated crucial evidence about the anthrax in the letters sent to Congress and the news media.

      If the archive still existed, it would by no means solve the mystery. But scientists said a precise match between the anthrax that killed four people and a particular strain in the collection might have offered hints as to when that bacteria had been isolated and, perhaps, how widely it had been distributed to researchers. And that, in turn, might have given investigators important clues to the killer’s identity.

      • DXer said

        Hi Spirit of Truth! It’s been a long time — many years. Glad to hear from you. As you can see, I think you and LM potentially had a key component of the solution right out of the gate relating to the subtilis expert.

        As to Iowa, there is no evidence that the genetically matching ames was at Iowa — although I do think the evidence is uncertain and I know the evidence on the precise point extremely well.

        The boiling frogs video commentator was mistaken on the point … in suggesting “the original ames was destroyed.”

        The accepted wisdom is that most everyone agrees it was foolhardy to destroy the collection (see, e.g., Hugh-Jones). (It was foolish to destroy the collection given that it could have just been carried to the nearby secure USDA facility.)

        The matching Ames, however, has not been shown to have been there.

        I interviewed all the ISU scientists involved in the destruction and they all report that only old various samples were in the collection — and there is no evidence that virulent Ames from the cow in Texas was in the collection. (I had to enlist the dean of the medical school to persuade one of the retired professor to cooperate; it is not a happy subject for them).

        Moreover, note that ISU is distinct from USDA Ames which was collecting the sample and so your view of the significance of the destruction would require an assumption based on the fact that many of the ISU scientists also working at USDA. That is, ISU had nothing to do with collection of the ames in Texas … that was the nearby USDA facility.

        The mailing label from Texas does not have cancellation stamps on it –thus Mr. Broad’s WSJ article is not the end of the story and the evidence he cites is not definitive. His article was based on the file from USAMRIID Knudsen (who had moved to NMRC/CIA) but the address label lacked cancellation stamps. Thus the mailing label is consistent with being affixed in Texas or Iowa.

        Those claiming that it was sent directly to USAMRIID from Texas may very well be right — and I personally credit the conclusion — but it certainly is not proved by the documentary evidence absent cancellation stamps. A sophisticated gap assessment would note this but I wouldn’t expect GAO to be up on the fine points of the issue given that it was not addressed by the NAS as I remember.

        The scientist who mailed it from Texas (Howard W., I think) had retired and incredibly says he was not interviewed by the FBI. When contacted by friend Marcia, he says he couldn’t remember.

        And thus it is ambiguous whether it was first routed from Texas to Iowa. (Dr. Knudsen had asked a vaccine researcher at UDSA Iowa to collect virulent strains).

        No one from the FBI put out the order as such. Professor Boyle could (and has identified) the FBI official who allowed it to happen but the initiative came from the ISU folks. (People who use the word “ordered” have no basis for doing so; they merely acquiesced).

        I asked B3 manager Thomas Bunn at USDA Iowa if they have virulent Ames there and he did not respond.

        A formal FOIA response was vetted through a terrorism committee and the FOIA person made a point to say that they did not have virulent anthrax by that name (though he left open the possibility that they called it something else). It did not come to be named Ames until some years later in an article published by some USAMRIID authors.

        I was always fascinated at the possibility that it was at Iowa because there was a prototype of an army device called the MICROBIAL VAC that was being tested that summer. It concentrated the anthrax by a factor of 10 (which is what was observed). It used sequential filtration and centrifugation. The colleague and mentor of a supporter of the salafist-jihadis consulted on it. The supporter of the salafis was arrested as a material witness the day and minute ali timimi’s townhouse was raided.

        I once called him to ask him if he was arrested because they suspected him of processing the anthrax. He thanked me for his concern but said he couldn’t talk about it.

        He lived about a mile from me and if I ever see him in the grocery store I’ll ask.

        the day he was arrested 100 agents came here and simultaneously interrogated 150 people.

        I think we were both at the bookstore one sunday morning buying eric nadler’s book. I bought both copies. :0)

        The supporters of the salafi-jihadis tend to be very educated and reasonable and you are far more likely to get straight talk from them than from a career-minded bureaucrat.

        “4spiritoftruth (@4spiritoftruth) said
        September 24, 2011 at 6:28 am

        It would be interesting to know WHO put out the order and WHY they did for the destruction of the Ames anthrax spores collection in Iowa in early-October 2001. After all, this burned the bridge with regard to the source of specimen for the flask that Ivins had.”

        • You are conducting an excellent investigation. Undoubtedly there are elements in the FBI most upset about your activities.

          As for the destruction of the Anthrax specimen collection, I think it will remain a question mark in my own mind, although that it was not “ordered” by the FBI does indicate this was a consequence of simple misjudgment rather than some sort of cover-up.

          As for “Waly Samar”, the failure of authorities to take a close look at him has always puzzled Dr. Mylroie and myself.

          That federal authorities have not been too concerned about him seems revealed by how DHS conducted an “Urban Dispersion” test in NYC with his school which examined the likely flow patterns of pathogens like Anthrax throughout the city.

          Obviously, if there was any sense the Anthrax mailing culprit was at the school, DHS would hopefully steer clear of it since the potential would exist that a bioterrorist could gain access to the test results. I can tell you with certainty that DHS was informed about WS since I personally went to their headquarters in Washington DC and handed them my dossier on him.

        • DXer said

          The vast bulk of the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation is confidential. So for example for Mr. Willman to say that there is no evidence that AQ etc…. is stupid given that only the Ivins documents were released.

          To the same effect, there would be no way for you and LM to know of any investigation.

          Similarly, for that matter, the FBI would not be sharing with DHS.

          So I have no idea what they did or didn’t do except insofar as searches are reported in the paper.

          On the merits, the documentary evidence relating to a subtlis expert having such a close connection to Ramzi Yousef is off the charts as a lead that needed to be pursued…. even more so if you credit my source from Jersey CIty who says the phone records relate not to a dorm room but the phone of a masters student. My friend from Jersey City says, rightly or wrongly, that WS lived at the Kensington Ave. location. Do you have any learning on that all these years later?

          Amerithrax was necessarily going to be screwed when the new marching orders were given that had as an assumption that the acquirer of Ames was the same as the processor was the same as the mailer. Then it only took some nuttiness from the first counselor, a suicide, and some contrived (false) arguments on subsidiary issues like the April 2002 sample, the code etc. to make the square guy fit into a round hole.

          But the FBI doesn’t have anything to fear from me. Only from Dr. Ayman … and then only if they have loved ones living in DC or New York.

  32. DXer said

    Edward Jay Epstein in the Wall Street Journal –

    • DXer said

      “The only fault I find with “The Mirage Man” is that it does not take sufficient account of the National Academy of Science report, which concluded that the anthrax in the letters could have as easily come from the Dugway Proving Ground as Ivin’s lab. So it’s possible that someone at Dugway, or elsewhere, stole a minute sample of anthrax any time after 1997 and, as in any classic espionage operation, delivered it to another party, foreign or domestic, who used it in September 2001.

      After its 10-year quest, the FBI understandably wants closure. These two fine books help by laying out the established facts. But so long as the source of the killer anthrax remains in doubt, the crime remains unsolved.”

  33. DXer said

    The anthrax scare: not a germ of truth
    Ten years on, the anthrax attacks seem a footnote to 9/11. But we forget how George Bush used them to push for war in Iraq

  34. DXer said

    What does Michael Leiter say about why Shakir was released by Jordan in October 2001? (He took the hijackers from the KL airport to anthrax lab director’s condo and by most accounts attended the meeting.)

    What does Ali Soufan say about why the FBI failed to interrogate Shakir before he was released? (The FBI did not even interview Sufaat until November 2002, 11 months after his capture.)

    In his book, Mr. Soufan questions why the CIA insists everything about the Kuala Lumpur meeting is still classified and cannot be discussed. He asks whether the CIA has even disclosed all who attended. Does Soufan think that Shakir, who escorted two key hijackers to the future anthrax lab director’s condo, attended?

    Did Shakir die in interrogation by the Jordanians? If not, what is the evidence he in fact returned to Baghdad?

    Is it corroborated that when he was captured he had contact info for Musab Yasin, who had lived with Ramzi Yousef, the WTC 1993 bomber at 34 Kensington Ave., Jersey City address prior to WTC 1993? What does Musab say? What does his longtime friend, the subtilis expert, who reportedly lived 20 miles from Princeton in 2001, say?

    What do the young CIA analysts who were there for the Abu Zubaydah and who were such fans of Boris’ experiments with interrogation tehniques, say? Were they as unschooled on the history of Al Qaeda as Mr. Soufan suggests?

    Is it true that the CIA did not know about KSM before Abu Zubaydah’s capture? It isn’t, is it? I mean, there had been a plan to capture him in Qatar years earlier. Does Mr. Soufan have an unfair advantage in his account by having the soapbox without CIA analysts and operational people being in a position to defend themselves? Though I guess Mr. Leiter and Mr. Scheuer are both in a position to defend the CIA. What do they say about Mr. Soufan’s meaty book? The book is filled with examples to show the advantages of a kindler, gentler approach to interrogation. (And the examples seem persuasive although I haven’t yet seen a detailed rebuttal).

    But aside from interrogation techniques, isn’t the greater priority the issue whether the dots have been correctly connected? Isn’t Shakir a key dot that has been overlooked in connection with an Al Qaeda – anthrax theory?

    Hambali, Sufaat, al-Hawsawi, al-Balucchi. Why does it make sense to think that anthrax was not part of the planning at the January 2000 KL meeting?

  35. DXer said

    In the 571-page book, “The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda,” Mr. Soufan accuses C.I.A. officials of deliberately withholding crucial documents and photographs of Qaeda operatives from the F.B.I. before Sept. 11, 2001, despite three written requests, and then later lying about it to the 9/11 Commission.

    He recounts a scene at the American Embassy in Yemen, where, a few hours after the attacks on New York and Washington, a C.I.A. official finally turned over the material the bureau requested months earlier, including photographs of two of the hijackers.

    “For about a minute I stared at the pictures and the report, not quite believing what I had in my hands,” Mr. Soufan writes. Then he ran to a bathroom and vomited. “My whole body was shaking,” he writes. He believed the material, documenting a Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in January 2000, combined with information from the Cole investigation, might have helped unravel the airliner plot.

    • DXer said

      In his 571-page book out today, Ali Soufan describes the work that he and colleagues did (often under difficult conditions in foreign countries) in connection with WTC 1993, the 1995 New York landmarks plot, the 1998 embassy bombings, Bin Laden’s time in Sudan, the EIJ London cell, the Azeiberjan cell, the investigation in Yemen regarding the Cole investigation and much more. It’s so refreshing to hear the history told by someone who lived it that I won’t attempt to do it justice. I encourage that you read the book. As an example of my admiration of the work done by Mr. Soufan and his colleagues, consider the single example of building a case for extradition against the London cell based on the papers found in one of the cell members’ trunk — relating to the faxed claim of responsibility for the 1998 embassy bombings. (I had previously only read the description of the evidence in court opinions). Or consider how an FBI interrogator brilliantly got the 1998 embassy bomber to reveal the number he called (when actually the interrogator was bluffing to suggest he already knew that such a call had been made).

      Soufan, assisted by a coauthor, writes in his book about 9/11 and the CIA’s failure to pass on information relating to the January 2000 meeting in Kuala Lumpur at the condo of the future anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat. What the former agent needs to get his head around — especially given his tremendous expertise and critically relevant experience — is that the same failure bears on the missteps and shortcomings of the Amerithrax investigation. There’s no touchdown, Mr. Soufan, if you run 99 yards down the field in returning the ball and then throw the ball down in a victory bounce — in the face of an ongoing threat that Dr. Ayman fully intends to cross the other goal line.

      It seems that the fault was an institutional fault — with requests for information from the FBI to the CIA having to be directed through the FBI Director’s office. And so I wouldn’t even focus too hard on the failure to pass on the information — with hindsight being 20/20. Sometimes the importance of information only comes apparent as other information later becomes available — such as the subtilis contaminant belatedly focused on by the FBI.

      But the dots still not apparently being connected, for example, relate to SHAKIR, the fellow who took the two hijackers from the airport to Sufaat’s condo. When he was detained in September 2001 he had on him contact info for the guy who had lived at 34 Kensington Ave Musab Yasin — the guy who would remain in very close contact (often sharing the same street address) with the subtilis expert Walied Samarrai for the next 20 years. It is incredible that the CIA let Shakir go in October 2001 (and uncorroborated that they did).

      Hambali, at the KL summit, had a key role in anthrax planning. Al-Hawsawi, at the KL summit, would have the anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop. Al-Balucchi, who would marry Aafia, who was tasked to study for 6 months use of anthrax as a weapon. Sufaat would become anthrax lab director. (He got the job instead of Abdur Rauf who had been attending the Porton Down Special Pathogens conferences — along with Bruce Ivins, John Ezzell, Art Friedlander etc.)

      Mr. Soufan needs to bone up on the same materials as they relate to Amerithrax. The same EIJ players serve as the network — consider as a single example, the former roomates of Wadih al-Hage who wrote for the charity in which al-Timimi was centrally involved.

      Turning to the Mr. Soufan’s day on 9/11:

      “The swat agent asked, ‘What’s wrong, bud?” What the hell did he tell you?”

      “They knew, they knew.”

      Another agent came in to check what was happening, and I told him what had just happened and why we had been ordered to stay in Yemen. We hugged and walked out.

      I went back down the corridor to the [4 words redacted] office to get the file. “Ali?” he asked as I walked in. I looked him squarely in the face and saw that he was blushing and looked flustered. He clearly understood the significance of what the agency had not passed on.”

      Mr. Soufan understands the significance of what the agency had not passed on as it relates to 9/11. Does he understand the significance of the information as it relates to the anthrax mailings?

      • DXer said

        as another case study that former Special Agent Soufan could point to as an example of the effectiveness of his method of interrogation was of a former Bin Laden bodyguard being detained in Yemen. It was the fellow he brought sugarless cookies and got to admit the all of those pictured (hijackers) were Al Qaeda.

        • DXer said

          The bodyguard interrogated in Yemen in 2001 said that OBL used a Yaesu ham radio — communicating in code using a string of numbers (as translated by a small casio computer). The screen name DXer (KC2VDX) means one who communicates by ham radio. I’ve previously posted about the use of numbers as code by ham radio operators. (It’s illegal to communicate by code using ham radio). But that’s just coincidence.

        • DXer said

          Ex-FBI interrogator ‘gagged’ over 9/11 backstory
          By Gordon Corera & Steve Swann
          BBC News

          Ali Soufan says techniques like water boarding were ineffective against terrorists

          A former FBI agent who worked at the heart of America’s battle against al-Qaeda has told the BBC he is being prevented from telling the truth as he challenges the back story of 9/11 and what has happened since.

          Comment: The lengthy account of the Abu Zubaydah interrogation (much of it redacted) — and the CIA interrogator “Boris” Mr. Soufan never conducted any interrogation and knew nothing about al Qaeda — is very important to the public policy discussion of enhanced interrogation. Mr. Soufan persuasively points out central errors in the Bush Administration memos that had publicly been used to justify them.

          I won’t presume to know what needs to be redacted and what doesn’t — but do think that Mr. Soufan could readily attract top-flight pro bono help from a large DC law firm to bring suit if the CIA doesn’t back off on redactions. (The FBI’s redactions and vetting had not posed a problem). (At the start of the book, Mr. Soufan notes that legal action is planned).

        • DXer said

          After abu zubaydah, ali soufan discusses interrogations of hamdan, bin laden’s driver, and qahtani, the 20th hijacker.

          The juxtaposition of the accounts of interrogations with the Bush policy pronouncements is fascinating. He makes a strong case for the argument that the memos being written by the lawyers for the Bush administration were seriously misguided — and counter to the aim of successful interrogations.

          People are free to disagree with Ali Soufan. But I hope we can all agree on the central and important role he played in numerous matters. I hope we get to hear a lot of interviews by him because he has a mountain of important insights to share — such as his recurring point that you need to know what a person SHOULD know to know whether an interrogation has been successful.

          Most of all, you need to master the substantive detail to assess what the detainee is saying. All media outlets should jump at an opportunity to interview him. Hopefully, they’ll delve into specific areas and draw out even more detail and anecdotes that illustrate his themes.

          For example, I think it was Hamdan who was so thankful at being allowed to call his wife — he opened up once that promise was honored.

  36. DXer said

    I’m told Musab Yasin and Walied Samarrai moved back to Brooklyn after the 1993 bombing. did they attend al Farouq mosque in Brooklyn? If so, did they know imam Gulshair Shukrijumah? If so, did they know his son, “Jafar the Pilot”? Did the anthrax mailer attend al Farouq mosque during the 1991-1993 period?

    10 years after 9/11, suspected al-Qaida figure still eludes FBI


    McClatchy Newspapers

    Read more:

    “One of those connections, according to the report, was his father, an imam who testified on behalf of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the Egyptian who’s serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison for a plot to bomb the United Nations headquarters in New York, along with the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the George Washington Bridge.

    U.S. authorities discovered that plot as a result of investigations into the first attack on the World Trade Center, in 1993. A key plotter in that attack was Ramzi Yousef, a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    Gulshair Shukrijumah served as an imam, or prayer leader, at al Farouq mosque in Brooklyn, where Rahman once preached. He moved the family to Miramar in 1995, when he became imam of al Hijra Mosque, which then was next door to the house where his widow and daughters still live.”

  37. DXer said

    What does former FBI agent and Al QaedaWTC 1993 expert Dan Coleman make of the reported connections between Shakir, who escorted two key hijackers to anthrax lab director Sufaat’s condo in January 2000 and was detained in September 2001, think of the alleged connection between Shakir and 34 Kensington Ave, the residence of the WTC 1993 bombers? Dan Coleman obtained Mabruk’s laptop which first disclosed Dr. Zawahiri’s plan to use anthrax against US targets.

  38. DXer said

    Here are selective excerpts from an Investor’s Business Dailyeditorial — winnowed to focus on the point of my focus on a narrow point of the overlap between KSM WTC 1993 crowd and a Princeton-area subtilis expert from 2001.

    There was a connection established by the documentary evidence between the planning session at the KL condo of the Al Qaeda anthrax lab director and the WTC 1993 apartment at 34 Kensington Ave. in Jersey City called regularly by the subtilis expert. That subtilis expert then years later lived 20 miles from the Princeton mailbox in 2001 (when he lived at Piscataway). If GAO wants to understand whether the FBI’s resolution of this issue was sound all it needs to do is to ask Bradley Garrett whether he knew of the connection. And ask FBI the basis for excluding the connection between the subtilis expert and the WTC 1993 bombers.

    Now no GAO review of the documents released by the FBI will be able to close that gap in analysis.

    It’s a hole big enough to fit the biggest failure in the history of United States intelligence.

    As for portions I’ve deleted,that draws a connection between the Yasin brothers and the Iraqi government, I have not yet seen documentary evidence that overcomes the filmed “60 Minutes” evidence from 2002 indicating that Abdul Yasin was in an Iraqi prison (but I’ll keep an open mind while I look for the documentary evidence showing otherwise).

    Investor’s Business Daily

    March 16, 2007 Friday

    Missing Link?


    LENGTH: 504 words

    War On Terror: Al-Qaida mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has confessed to being the mastermind for a lot of terrorist crimes.

    In particular, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confirmed what was suspected all along: He was the driving force and chief planner behind 15 years of al-Qaida terrorism — nearly 30 attacks and plots in all. That includes 9/11, the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl and, much earlier, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

    Of particular interest is the revelation about Mohammed’s involvement in the ’93 bombing. It shows a linkage … between the ’93 WTC attack and 9/11 …

    … Abdul Rahman Yasin, the Iraqi responsible for carrying out the ’93 bombing, … worked closely with another al-Qaida operative, Ramzi Yousef, on the ’93 WTC bombing.

    For the record, Yousef is Mohammed’s nephew. He was described by the National Commission On Terrorism’s 9/11 report as “the mastermind” of the ’93 bombing. And according to U.S. intelligence, he got funding from al-Qaida.

    …Ahmed Hikmat Shakir … attended a key meeting of the 9/11 hijackers and other al-Qaida terrorists in January 2000.

    Upon capture, Shakir was found to be in contact with Zahid Sheikh Mohammed, brother of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Iraqi Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, and Ibrahim Ahmad Suleiman, a ’93 WTC conspirator.

    • DXer said

      It is commonly reported that Shakir actually attended the meeting.

      The Australian

      December 24, 2002, Tuesday All-round Country Edition

      Kuala Lumpur a vital hub for al-Qa’ida strike plans – TENTACLES OF TERROR – al-Qa’ida’s South-East Asian network – War on Terror

      In the final of three exclusive extracts from his new book, US-based terrorism expert Zachary Abuza examines the links between southeast Asia and the September 11 attacks on the US

      THERE is substantial evidence that Malaysia was an important logistical base for Osama bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida terrorist network and that some planning for the September 11 terrorist strikes on New York and Washington DC was conducted there.

      Three of the September 11 hijackers — Khalid al-Midhar, Nawaq Alhazmi and his brother Saleem Alhazmi — were photographed and videotaped by Malaysian intelligence officials at a January 5, 2000, meeting with two suspected bin Laden lieutenants who are suspects in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen — Tawfiq bin Atash (aka Khallad) and Fahad al-Quso.

      The FBI described Tawfiq, a Yemeni, as “the intermediary between bin Laden himself and the (USS Cole) attack planners” and “a key operative in Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network”. Tawfiq used travel documents with the name Salah Said.

      Also present at the Kuala Lumpur meeting was Khalid Shiek Mohammed, a high level al-Qa’ida operative who helped plan the 1993 attack on New York’s World Trade Centre, which killed six people. He was also involved in the Bojinka plot (the foiled 1995 plan to blow up US passenger jets over the Pacific), the USS Cole attack, as well as September 11. Another attendee was an Iraqi al-Qa’ida operative, Ahmad Hikmat Shakir.

      The FBI believes there were 11 people who attended the meeting in Kuala Lumpur. These are the only confirmed individuals, listed with their known involvement in certain al-Qa’ida attacks:
      Tawfiq bin Atash (Khallad) — USS Cole.

      Fahad al-Quso — USS Cole and East African embassies.

      Khalid Shiek Mohammed — 1993 World Trade Centre, Bojinka plot, USS Cole, September 11.

      Ramzi bin al-Shibh — USS Cole and September 11.

      Khalid al-Midhar — USS Cole and September 11.

      Nawaq Alhazmi — September 11.

      Saleem Alhazmi — September 11.

      Ahmad Hikmat Shakir.

      Riduan Isamuddin (Hambali).

      This meeting was meant to plan the USS Cole bombing, the September 11 attacks and to review the failed operations to bomb Los Angeles International Airport and targets in Jordan during the millennium celebrations. Two co-conspirators in the USS Cole attack delivered money to Khallad at

      the Kuala Lumpur meeting for the operation.

      The operatives believed Malaysia to be a secure place to hold a high-level meeting of at least five very senior bin Laden lieutenants with vast knowledge of al-Qa’ida operations, over the course of four days, from January 5-8.

      After the meeting, Malaysian intelligence followed al-Midhar and Alhazmi, and searched the hard drives of computers they had used, but did not have any evidence to arrest them.

      The man who escorted the two operatives was Hambali, now southeast Asia’s most wanted man, and the meeting took place in the apartment of Yazid Sufaat — both men are high-level operatives of regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah.

      After the meeting, al-Midhar and Alhazmi left Malaysia, flew to Los Angeles via Bangkok and Hong Kong, respectively, on January 15, 2000. They lived openly and enrolled in a San Diego area flight school, using their real names.

      The Malaysian intelligence service obviously shared the videotape and photos with the CIA. Although the CIA knew that al-Midhar had a multiple entry visa to the US, it did not put him on a terrorist watchlist or inform immigration authorities or the State Department. Indeed, al-Midhar was able to leave the country for Frankfurt on June 10, where he played a role in the attack on the USS Cole, while Alhazmi applied to extend his visa on July 7, 2001.

      *** In July 2001, a CIA officer assigned to the FBI re-discovered a CIA cable that detailed Khallad’s presence at the Kuala Lumpur meeting and sent an email to the CIA’s counter-terrorism centre: “This is a major league killer,

      who orchestrated the Cole attack and possibly the (1998 East) Africa bombings.”

      The FBI discovered al-Midhar had re-entered the US on July 4, 2001. The CIA put al-Midhar and Alhazmi on a “terrorist watch list”, but only on August 21, 18 months after the Kuala Lumpur meeting, causing a huge scandal in the US.

      According to recent congressional testimony, the CIA learned that the two were in the US in March 2000, but did not inform the FBI. When immigration authorities were eventually informed, it was too late — the two were already in the US. The FBI began looking for them immediately but was unable to find them.

      Also at the Kuala Lumpur meeting was Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Al-Shibh was named as the missing 20th hijacker, who tried to enter the US four times. Al-Shibh, a Yemeni Imam from Hadramaut province, lived in Hamburg and shared an apartment with Mohammed Atta. The two attended Al Quds Mosque, where they were recruited by a Syrian-German, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who trained in an al-Qa’ida camp in Afghanistan.

      Zammar put Atta and al-Shibh in touch with Khalid Shiek Mohammed, who came to Hamburg in early 1999 and sent them to Afghanistan for training in 1999.


      Al-Shibh fled Germany on September 5, travelling via Spain to Pakistan. He was one of the most wanted terrorists, as he attended both the Kuala Lumpur and Madrid meetings, and was captured in a shoot-out in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 11 this year.

      Moussaoui, who was already in detention in the US before the attacks, raised the suspicion of federal investigators when he enrolled in a Minnesota flight school but asserted that he did not need to learn how to take off or land. Moussaoui is thought to have been recruited as the 20th hijacker once al-Shibh was denied a visa on four separate occasions into the US. Moussaoui received almost $US15,000 in two wire transfers in early August 2001 from al-Shibh; $US6300 of which was used to pay for lessons on a 747 flight simulator. He was detained on August 17, 2001, and to date is the only suspect to be indicted for the September 11 attacks.

      The federal indictment against Moussaoui asserts that he received a letter from a Malaysian firm, Infocus Technology, in October 2000, that appointed him their “marketing consultant” for the US, Europe and the United Kingdom, and was signed by Sufaat.

      Through this letter, he is thought to have been able to secure a visa to the US. He was paid a retainer of $US2000 per month. Infocus Technology denied having any contact with Moussaoui, much less hiring him as their marketing consultant, and asserted that the letter was a forgery.

      Infocus Technology was an al-Qa’ida front company established by Sufaat, a 37-year-old Malaysian, a retired army captain and a US-educated biochemist. Yazid, who had studied at California State University in the 1980s, returned to Malaysia in 1987, becoming a biochemist. He was reproached by his family for his loss of Islamic values while abroad and began attending prayer sessions when he came into contact with a militant preacher Riduan Isamuddin, aka Hambali. Hambali was in charge of setting up a large al-Qa’ida cell in the region, the Jemaah Islamiah, and recruited Sufaat. In June 2001, Sufaat travelled to Afghanistan, where he was trained by al-Qa’ida. He was arrested in mid-September 2001, when he tried to return to Malaysia from Afghanistan. He established another front company for al-Qa’ida, Green Laboratory Medicine.

      Infocus Technology hired Moussaoui as a marketing consultant and was able to get him a visa to the US. Infocus was to pay Moussaoui a lump sum of $US35,000 and then a monthly stipend of $US2500. Sufaat has told Malaysian investigators that the money was actually never paid.

      Moussaoui was in Malaysia twice, first in September 2000 and then October 2000. There Moussaoui hoped to enter flight school, but was disappointed when he could not receive jumbo jet training and decided to go to America for

      Moreover, it was at Sufaat’s Kuala Lumpur apartment where the major al-Qa’ida meeting between key bin Laden lieutenants, Tawfiq bin Atash, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhazmi and al-Shibh, occurred on January 5 2001.


      Professor Zachary Abuza is a professor of international relations at Simmons College in Boston. This is an extract from his forthcoming book, Terrorism and Radical Islam in Southeast Asia, to be published by Lynne Rienner early in 2003. An abridged version will appear in the December edition of Contemporary Southeast Asia

  39. DXer said

    Shakir called the apartment associated with the subtilis expert the month leading up to the WTC 1993 bombing. He had Musab Yasin’s contact information on him when he was arrested in 2001. Shakir attended the planning meeting at the anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat’s condo — and brought some of the hijackers there after meeting them at the airport. The subtilis expert, connected to the apartment called by the fellow who attended the planning meeting at the anthrax lab director’s condo in Kuala Lumpur, lived 20 miles from the Princeton mailbox in 2001. Who does he think is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

  40. DXer said

    Talanta. 2011 Sep 30;85(4):1734-7. Epub 2011 Jul 3.
    Establishing the detection threshold for Bacillus subtilis in a complex matrix using an inorganic fingerprint approach.

    Lev SM, Gasparich G, Choi F, King L, Moore J, Zimmerman S.

    Urban Environmental Biogeochemistry Laboratory, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD, 21252-0001, USA.


    Methods for the detection and characterization of airborne biological warfare agents, such as bacteria, using their DNA or organic composition are fairly well developed. This approach is useful for identifying the type of bacterial strain once the organism has been isolated from the matrix sampled (e.g., dust particles) and can identify genetically related organisms, which might be helpful during a forensic investigation. However, this genetic signature will not reveal information related to the methods used to grow and weaponize the organism. Bacteria will take on an inorganic signature that is related to their growth and processing history. Therefore, the ability to characterize the inorganic fingerprint of a biological particle has the potential to detect the presence of a bio-agent and expand the forensic tools available to those investigating the origin of biological weapons. This investigation builds on previous work documenting the usefulness of the inorganic fingerprint and evaluates the limits of detection in the presence of background dust. Based on ICP-MS measurements and mixing models of digested mixtures of laboratory cultured Bacillus subtilis (anthrax stimulant) and NIST Standard Reference Material 2709 (dust stimulant), the inorganic fingerprint method is capable of detecting toxicologically relevant levels of a bio-warfare agent in the presence of a complex background matrix.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Samarrai had an address at 208 Elizabeth Ave, Piscataway, and at 261 Hampshire Court, Piscataway. Musab did not live at those particular addresses. Where was he working when he had those addresses?

  41. DXer said

    At page 414 of his new book, Vice President Cheney notes that the CIA advised him that the “safe houses” in Baghdad were established by the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

    Mr. Cheney encouraged the CIA to call them “Al Qaeda” safe houses instead. But what does that do other than obfuscate analysis.

    • DXer said

      Steven Hayes, the Cheney biographer, had made the same claim about Abdul Yasin — that he had been given safe haven by Saddam.

      Which was it. Was he provided assistance and safe refuge by Saddam’s regime or was he in prison as indicated by the 2002 “60 Minutes” interview where he was in cuffs.

      Is it just that the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center were connected? Or does the documentary evidence, including telephone records, suggest that the 1993 and 2001 WTC attacks — and anthrax mailings — were connected.

      If the latter proves true, only those who come forward with helpful info before 9/11 will be keeping their jobs.

      “AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.
      When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his “pocket litter,” in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

      These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

      The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them–Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir–went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq–Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

      Readers of The Weekly Standard may be familiar with the stories of Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Readers of the 9/11 Commission’s final report are not. Those three individuals are nowhere mentioned in the 428 pages that comprise the body of the 9/11 Commission report. Their names do not appear among the 172 listed in Appendix B of the report, a table of individuals who are mentioned in the text. Two brief footnotes mention Shakir.”

      • DXer said

        Mr. Cheney,

        Dr. Ayman/ EIJ had safe houses in the United States without the complicity of the United States government. Why do you imagine that he couldn’t have safe houses in Iraq without the complicity of the Iraq government?

        • DXer said

          Former Official: Interrogations Were Geared to Link Iraq, Al Qaeda, Aug. 31, 2011

          By Conor Friedersdorf

          He had pulled me aside in the National Intelligence Council spaces in the CIA, put me in a room, he and I alone, and he told me he was going to throw all the presentation material about the connection between Baghdad and al-Qaeda out, completely out. I welcomed that, because I thought it was all bogus.
          Within about an hour, George Tenet, having scented that something was wrong with the Secretary vis-à-vis this part of his presentation, suddenly unleashes on all in his conference room that they have just gotten the results of an interrogation of a high-level al-Qaeda operative, and those results not only confirm substantial contacts between an al-Qaeda and Baghdad, the Mukhabarat and Baghdad, the secret police, if you will, but also the fact that they were training, they were actually training al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons. Well, this was devastating. Here’s the DCI telling us that a high-level al-Qaeda operative had confirmed all of this. So Powell put at least part of that back into his presentation.

          We later learned that that was through interrogation methods that used waterboarding, that no U.S. personnel were present at the time–it was done in Cairo, Egypt, and it was done by the Egyptians–and that later, within a week or two period, the high-level al-Qaeda operative recanted everything he had said. We further learned that the Defense Intelligence Agency had issued immediately a warning on that, saying that they didn’t trust the reliability of it due to the interrogation methods. We were never shown that DIA dissent, and we were never told about the circumstances under which the high-level al-Qaeda operative was interrogated. Tenet simply used it as a bombshell to convince the secretary not to throw that part, which was a very effective part, if you will recall, out of his presentation.

      • DXer said

        This man Shakir who attended the meeting at the anthrax lab tech/director’s condo in Kuala Lumpur called the address associated with the subtilis expert before the WTC 1993 bombing who lived 20 miles from the mailbox in 2001.

        Let me repeat that for people like Ed Lake who hasn’t even read Laurie Garrett’s book and yet deems himself qualified to address these issues.

        This man Shakir who attended the meeting at the anthrax lab tech/director’s condo in Kuala Lumpur called the address associated with the subtilis expert before the WTC 1993 bombing who lived 20 miles from the mailbox in 2001.

        Mr. Hayes explains Mr. Shakir’s background:

        “AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.

        When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his “pocket litter,” in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

        These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

        The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them–Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir–went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq–Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

        Readers of The Weekly Standard may be familiar with the stories of Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Readers of the 9/11 Commission’s final report are not. Those three individuals are nowhere mentioned in the 428 pages that comprise the body of the 9/11 Commission report. Their names do not appear among the 172 listed in Appendix B of the report, a table of individuals who are mentioned in the text. Two brief footnotes mention Shakir.

        Why? Why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention Abdul Rahman Yasin, who admitted his role in the first World Trade Center attack, which killed 6 people, injured more than 1,000, and blew a hole seven stories deep in the North Tower? It’s an odd omission, especially since the commission named no fewer than five of his accomplices.

        Why would the 9/11 Commission neglect Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a man who was photographed assisting a 9/11 hijacker and attended perhaps the most important 9/11 planning meeting?

        And why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention the overlap between the two successful plots to attack the World Trade Center?

        The answer is simple: The Iraqi link didn’t fit the commission’s narrative.

        AS THE TWO SIDES in the current flap over Able Danger, a Pentagon intelligence unit tracking al Qaeda before 9/11, exchange claims and counterclaims in the news media, the work of the 9/11 Commission is receiving long overdue scrutiny. It may be the case, as three individuals associated with the Pentagon unit claim, that Able Danger had identified Mohammed Atta in January or February 2000 and that the 9/11 Commission simply ignored this information because it clashed with the commission’s predetermined storyline. We should soon know more. Whatever the outcome of that debate, the 9/11 Commission’s deliberate exclusion of the Iraqis from its analysis is indefensible.

        The investigation into the 9/11 attacks began with an article of faith among those who had conducted U.S. counterterrorism efforts throughout the 1990s: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was not–could not have been–involved in any way. On September 12, 2001, the day after the attacks, George W. Bush asked Richard Clarke to investigate the attacks and possible Iraqi involvement in them. Clarke, as he relates in his bestselling book, was offended even to be asked. He knew better.

        Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, started from the same assumption. So did Douglas MacEachin, a former deputy director of the CIA for intelligence who led the commission’s study of al Qaeda and was responsible for the commission’s conclusion that there was “no collaborative operational relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda. (Over the course of the commission’s life, MacEachin refused several interviews with The Weekly Standard because, we were told, he disagreed with our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.)

        From the evidence now available, it seems clear that Saddam Hussein did not direct the 9/11 attacks. Few people have ever claimed he did. But some four years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and one year after the 9/11 Commission released its final report, there is much we do not know. The determination of these officials to write out of the history any Iraqi involvement in terrorism against America has contributed mightily to public misperceptions about the former Iraqi regime and the war on terror.

        HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW TODAY about Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. In August 1999, Shakir, a 37-year-old Iraqi, accepted a position as a “facilitator” at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A “facilitator” works for an airline and assists VIP travelers with paperwork required for entry and other logistical issues. Shakir got the job because someone in the Iraqi embassy in Malaysia wanted him to have it. He started that fall.

        Although Shakir officially worked for Malaysian Airlines, his contact in the Iraqi embassy controlled his schedule. On January 5, 2000, Shakir apparently received an assignment from his embassy contact. He was to escort a recent arrival through immigration at the airport. Khalid al Mihdhar, a well-connected al Qaeda member who would later help hijack American Airlines Flight 77, had come to Malaysia for an important al Qaeda meeting that would last at least three days. (Shakir may have also assisted Nawaf al Hazmi, another hijacker, thought to have arrived on January 4, 2000.)

        Malaysian intelligence photographed Shakir greeting al Mihdhar at the airport and walking him to a waiting car. But rather than see the new arrival off, he hopped in the car with al Mihdhar and accompanied him to the meeting. Malaysian intelligence has provided its photographs to the CIA. While U.S. officials can place Shakir at the meeting with the hijackers and several high-ranking al Qaeda operatives, they do not know whether Shakir participated actively. (Also present at the meeting were Hambali, al Qaeda’s top man in South Asia, and Khallad, later identified as the mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole.)

        The meeting concluded on January 8, 2000. Shakir reported to work at the airport on January 9 and January 10, and then never again. Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaz al Hazmi also disappeared briefly, then flew from Bangkok, Thailand, to Los Angeles on January 15, 2000.

        Shakir, the Iraqi-born facilitator, would be arrested six days after the September 11 attacks by authorities in Doha, Qatar. According to an October 7, 2002, article by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman, “A search of Shakir’s apartment in Doha, the country’s capital, yielded a treasure trove, including telephone records linking him to suspects in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and Project Bojinka, a 1994 Manila plot to blow up civilian airliners over the Pacific Ocean.” (Isikoff, it should be noted, has been a prominent skeptic of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection.)

        Shakir had contact information for a lot of bad people. As noted, one was a Kuwaiti, Ibrahim Suleiman, whose fingerprints were found on the bombmaking manuals U.S. authorities allege were used in preparation for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Suleiman was convicted of perjury and deported to Jordan. Another was Musab Yasin, the brother of 1993 Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin. Yet another was Zahid Sheikh Mohammed, brother of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, now in U.S. custody. Shakir also had an old number for Taba Investments, an al Qaeda front group. It was the number long used by Mahmdouh Mahmud Salim, the highest-ranking Iraqi member of al Qaeda.


        Two weeks before the 9/11 Commission’s final report was released to the public, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee released its own evaluation of the intelligence on Iraq. The Senate report added to the Shakir story.

        The first connection to the [9/11] attack involved Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi national, who facilitated the travel of one of the September 11 hijackers to Malaysia in January 2000. [Redacted.] A foreign government service reported that Shakir worked for four months as an airport facilitator in Kuala Lumpur at the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000. Shakir claimed he got this job through Ra’ad al-Mudaris, an Iraqi Embassy employee.[Redacted.] Another source claimed that al-Mudaris was a former IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] officer. The CIA judged in “Iraqi Support for Terrorism,” however, that al-Mudaris’ [redacted] that the circumstances surrounding the hiring of Shakir for this position did not suggest it was done on behalf of the IIS.


        All of this information was known to the U.S. intelligence community months before the 9/11 Commission completed its investigation. And yet none of it appeared in the final report.

        Two footnotes are the sum total of what the 9/11 Commission had to say about Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Here is the more substantive, footnote 49 to Chapter 6, on page 502 of the 567-page report: “Mihdhar was met at the Kuala Lumpur airport by Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi national. Reports that he was a lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi Fedayeen turned out to be incorrect. They were based on a confusion of Shakir’s identity with that of an Iraqi Fedayeen colonel with a similar name, who was later (in September 2001) in Iraq at the same time Shakir was in police custody in Qatar.” The report is sourced to a briefing from the CIA’s counterterrorism center and a story in theWashington Post. And that’s it.

        Readers of the 9/11 Commission report who bothered to study the footnotes might wonder who Shakir was, what he was doing with a 9/11 hijacker in Malaysia, and why he was ever “in police custody in Qatar.” They might also wonder why the report, while not addressing those questions, went out of its way to provide information about who he was not. Such readers are still wondering.

        There is no doubt the 9/11 Commission had this information at its disposal. On the very day it released its final report, commissioner John Lehman told me that Shakir’s many connections to al Qaeda and Saddam’s regime suggested something more than random chance.

        So how is it that the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report contains a substantive account of Shakir’s mysterious contribution to the 9/11 plot, while the 9/11 Commission report–again, released two weeks later–simply ignores it?


        Answers about Able Danger would be nice, but it is surely long past time for answers on Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, Abdul Rahman Yasin, and Musab Yasin. The 9/11 Commission itself and other relevant bodies should reexamine Shakir’s role in the 9/11 plot and his connections to the 1993 World Trade Center plotters. The Bush administration should move quickly to declassify all of the intelligence the U.S. government possesses on Shakir and the Yasin brothers. The Senate and House intelligence committee should demand answers on the three Iraqis from the CIA, the DIA, and the FBI.”

      • DXer said

  42. DXer said



    “Though it is about seven miles north of Ground Zero the dome is under heavy security, with NYPD and FBI agents in abundance. The audience, which includes many of the world’s top old guard experts on biological weapons and terrorism, wants Hauer to spell out a list of easy solutions, offering solace to a stressed city. He disappoints.

    “There are probably a number of al-Qaeda cells in the United States right now that don’t know about the others. And they have mission statements,” Hauer warns. “So we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

    If that “other shoe” is a release of deadly microbes, Hauer continues, “There is very little you can do to protect yourselves from bioterrorism. There is very little you can do to protect yourself if a plane crashes into a building. If it happens, it happens. We have to go on.”

  43. DXer said

    A Good Terrorist Is Hard to Find

  44. DXer said

    I called Dr. Samarrai and left a detailed message, asking for confirmation of various facets. Specifically, I asked if he lived 20 miles from the mailbox and asked him to confirm he’s never worked with anthrax (that he is just a subtilis expert). If he calls, I’ll ask why he was calling the apartment where the WTC 1993 plotter was staying — because investigative journalism is dead in this country.

  45. DXer said

    Was Ramzi Yousef KSM’s cousin rather than nephew?

    Why was the subtilis expert who lived 20 miles from the Princeton mailbox in 2001 calling KSM’s cousin/nephew Ramzi Yousef (or at least the Kensington Ave. #4 apartment) so often in the month leading up to the WTC 1993 bombing?

    Did Agent Lawrence Alexander and AUSA Rachel Lieber test to see if the subtilis WS worked with in 2001 was a genetic match?

    Or did they just go with their reliance on the lady who she says during this period was getting her instructions from ET.

    KSM’s Gitmo Detainee Assessment –

    (S/A{F) Detainee’ssix cousins:DetainedRamzi Yousef, capturedfor his role in the 1993World TradeCenterbombing; detainedAbd al-Samad;
    Abd al-Karim aka (Abu Musab al-Baluchi);Abd al-Mun’im aka (Abu Khalid al-Baluchi);Hashim Abd al-Aziz aka (Shabir); and detainedAmmar al-Baluchi. Abu Musab and Abu Khalid
    respectively, handlesomeof the most sensitivelogistic and administrative matters for al-Qaida operatives based in or transitingto Pakistan. Ammar al-Baluchi played a key role as financial facilitator for detainee’s

  46. DXer said


    The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Questions, Potential Answers

    June 11, 2011

    Martin E. Hugh-Jones, et al.

    3. B. subtilis contamination in some of the attack letter powders

    A bacterial contaminant that could be an important institutional “fingerprint” was found in the attack powders in the NY Post and Brokaw letters, but not in the more highly purified material in the letters sent to the Senate,# which were mailed later. The genetic sequence of the NY Post contaminant had 98% similarity to B. subtilis 168,# a standard laboratory strain, but it was not genetically identical to any presently recognized strain of B. subtilis, based on assays for three genetic markers.# The Brokaw contaminant has never been sequenced, but its similarity to the NY Post contaminant was demonstrated at 23 genetic loci for which multiple PCR assays were developed.# An environmental sample from the office of American Media, Inc. (AMI) in Florida–the only AMI sample for which analysis has been reported–contained bacilli that were phenotypically (observationally) indistinguishable from the B. subtilis in the NY Post and Brokaw letters.# Cell suspensions of the B. subtilis and B. anthracis isolates from the AMI environmental sample were prepared in 2006 and sent for genetic analysis,# but evidently were never analyzed; in 2011 the FBI told the NAS Committee verbally that the U.S. Attorney’s Office advised that further characterization of those samples “would not be undertaken.”# No explanation for this decision has been offered.

    Samples submitted to the FBI repository by all known possessors of Ames B. anthracis appear to contain no B. subtilis contamination that matches that in the NY Post powder, as shown by negative results in assays for ID65,# one of three rare markers in the NY Post strain.# The FBI subpoena, issued in 2002, had required that repository samples must be taken from stock anthrax cultures, which are usually handled with great care to prevent contamination. (Thus it is surprising that 30% of the 1070 repository samples tested positive# in a genetic assay for sboA, a pan-B. subtilis-specific marker used by the FBI as a common marker for B. subtilis#). On the basis of the ID65 results on repository samples the FBI concluded, and the NAS concurred, that the B. subtilis contaminant did not provide useful forensic information.#

    But this conclusion was unwarranted. Flask RMR 1029 at USAMRIID, the putative B. anthracis stock culture from which the spores in all the attack letters were derived and the source of the more interesting repository samples, contains no contaminant.# The repository of stock B. anthracis cultures was the wrong place to look for the letter spores’ contaminant. The letter spores were most likely contaminated during their production. The NY Post B. subtilis strain is an extraordinarily efficient sporulator, which suggests that it may persist in the environment.# Environmental and other samples should have been collected from laboratories that were potential production sites of the letter spores—i.e., laboratories known or suspected to possess B. anthracis similar to the attack anthrax.

    FBI documents released in February 2011 contain assay results on about 400 samples consisting mainly of swabs, etc., grouped under the titles “Environmental Samples” and “Location Searches.” The samples are not identified. Some or all of them may have originally been collected for B. anthracis analysis along the suspected paths of the letters and at contaminated worksites,# perhaps including some at USAMRIID. The samples were not assayed for B. subtilis until 2007-2008, when the procedures became available. A few of the 400 samples were found to contain B. subtilis, but none of them was ultimately shown to contain B. subtilis identical to that in the NY Post letter. #

    There is no evidence that relevant samples were ever collected at Dugway, Battelle or other potentially suspect sites. Samples of microbial production runs that took place in the appropriate time frame at those locations, and environmental samples, especially in areas involved in production and other activities with Bacillus species (aerosol testing, for example), should have been collected and examined for the presence of an unusual type of B. subtilis. Some current environmental sampling may still be worthwhile, and samples of stock cultures and products, as well as records of past activities, should still be available.

    Because of the inconsistencies that have been encountered in the B. subtilis assays,# a re-evaluation of the assay procedures will be needed before further work is done. Since B. subtilis has been shown to possess high genetic variability,# perfect agreement with the NY Post strain cannot be expected. For this reason it may desirable to re-examine some of the repository samples.


  47. DXer said

    Thursday, Jun. 09, 2011

    A treasure trove of information about Amerithrax

    The FBI may have closed its investigation of Dr. Bruce Ivins in February 2010, but the investigation of its conclusions and accusations against Ivins continues.

    Paul Kemp, Ivins’ attorney, claimed the evidence the FBI relied on to impugn the Fort Detrick researcher at USAMRIID “their smoking gun” is nothing more than “smoke and mirrors.”

    This member of Frederick Rotary Club listened to the attorney’s story on June 1, and had a sick feeling any one of us could face the same intrusion into our family and personal affairs.

    We could be accused on the basis of inconclusive facts, as the National Research Committee found in a review of the FBI’s scientific evidence, and be hounded publicly and so badly that we become emotionally crushed.

    Paul Kemp is one of the top lawyers in the Washington area. He received the prestigious John Adams Award by the U.S. District Court in Maryland for extraordinary work on the Criminal Justice Act panel representing indigents.

    In the 25 minutes allotted by the club, he revealed information not widely known about FBI conduct in the Ivins case.

    For instance, the FBI lost anthrax samples that Ivins supplied to it in 2002. Several years later, agents asked for additional samples, and Ivins used a different method, sending a purer virus. The FBI accused the scientist of intentionally misleading investigators when in fact the FBI was unclear about what it wanted.

    They also could have gone to Frederick’s USAMRIID and withdrawn their own samples, if they had any doubt.

    The FBI made a major effort to connect Ivins to the anthrax letters containing anthrax spores. It concluded the pre-stamped envelopes were only sold in three post offices: Cumberland, Elkton and Fairfax, Va., as told to three judges in order to get search warrants.

    Then the FBI later added Frederick without indicating the source for that information.

    Nor did the FBI get anthrax samples from other major contractors under contract with the government. The largest, Battelle, had a number of locations working with anthrax, and equipment that could create an aerosol. Yet the FBI did not pursue those leads, so certain were they that only Ivins had mailed the letters.

    Kemp had been interviewed previously by National Public Radio and noted that the anthrax beaker of which Ivins was in charge was in an “open-access facility.” There was little security, only a key-entry pass. At the time, “dozens” of scientists had access to it and samples for it were sent to other federal laboratories.

    In that interview, Paul Kemp revealed the undue stress placed upon the Ivins family.

    On Nov. 1, 2007 the family was taken to a hotel in the Frederick area. They were placed in different rooms and not allowed to contact each other, except Dr. Ivins who, for a short period, talked to his wife with Paul Kemp present.

    The children complained about their treatment by FBI agents. The daughter indicated agents reached her at her apartment in Hagerstown, indicating her father had killed five people and tried to kill many more.

    The son claimed agents told him there was a $2.5 million reward for information leading to a conviction. They implied the son could purchase a nice car if he had that money.

    Paul Kemp told us additional details about the supposed evidence the FBI had. Yet Kemp believes had Ivins gone to trial, he would not have been convicted.

    The case will continue to make news. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is in charge of the congressional investigation and hopes to have a report competed in the fall.

    No doubt Paul Kemp will be called. He is a treasure trove of information about Dr. Ivins.

    Paul Gordon is a local historian, and was mayor of Frederick city from January 1990 to January 1994

  48. DXer said

    The year before developing an Ivins Theory beginning in 2004, Special Agent Lawrence Alexander received an award (along with other investigators from the various agencies) in connection with their efforts to defeat drug activities at Langston Dwelling Public Housing Complex.

    He submitted a 52-page affidavit regarding the wiretaps in the longrunning investigation which is on file at the United States District of Columbia. Given the length of that investigation of drug dealing at the housing complex, it is unclear what background he had in regards to Dr. Ayman’s plan to use anthrax against targets in the United States in retaliation for the rendering of senior EIJ leaders, to include his brother Mohammed.

    But now that we’ve been regaled by David Willman about Agent Alexander’s expert googling about sororities, perhaps he could address his background on the subject and whether or not he was subject to compartmentalization that Agent Richard Lambert said would prevent agents from connecting the dots. Lambert was forbidden by headquarters, David Willman reports, from addressing these subjects. Official spin only, is the word from above.

    The compartmentalization was imposed after the FBI failed to take any effective steps to stem the 2002 leaks by lead prosecutor Daniel Seikaly hyping a Hatfill theory, and they continued into 2003. GAO: Did it create the appearance of a conflict of interest for Daniel’s daughter to then represent “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali-Al-Timimi pro bono as his defense attorney?

    Specifically, Agent Alexander’s key witness is Patricia Fellows. She wore a wire against Bruce and Agent Alexander in June 2007 and somehow Agent Alexander and Rachel Lieber interpreted what was said as inculpatory rather than exculpatory.

    Does Lawrence know that a former Zawahiri associate thanked Patricia Fellow for providing technical assistance and that a very large supply of Ames anthrax that she made is missing? Does Rachel Lieber?

    Did he consider that his other main witness who immediatley knew Ivins was guilty — Nancy Haigwood — was furious at Ivins because of a September 2001 description of her research (presumably unfounded) as cold fusion? She knew that Bruce Ivins was vindictive toward sororities. And she very strongly suspected that he was vindictive towards her personally. Did Agent Alexander ask Nancy Haigwood if she suspected him of that also? Did David Willman? No. and No.

    Just because Bruce sometimes felt paranoid doesn’t mean he often was being victimized.

    It was important to rely on material evidence and neither the June 2007 transcript nor Nancy Haigwood’s hatred of Ivins was evidence of the anthrax mailings. (We still haven’t seen any — everything the US Attorney claimed at the August 2008 press conference has been proved a mischaracterization).

    • DXer said

      Let’s think of US Attorney Jeffrey Taylor as a well-trained spokesman for the position being advocated by Agent Lawrence Alexander and AUSA Rachel Lieber.

      And compare his statements to the documentary evidence that eventually has been produced — with much more still being withheld. In David Willman’s book, he doesn’t address the merits until the Appendix after the Epilogue.

      August 8, 2008
      Following is a transcript of the Aug. 6, 2008, news conference by U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor, FBI Assistant Director Joseph Persichini and other officials to discuss the government’s investigation of Bruce Ivins, an Army microbiologist suspected in the 2001 anthrax-letter attacks. Ivins committed suicide last month. Source: Department of Justice

      U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor: Good afternoon. I’m Jeff Taylor, the United States attorney for the District of Columbia. I am joined here today by Joseph Persichini, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Chief Postal Inspector Alexander Lazaroff; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Kohl.

      As the department indicated last week and has been widely reported, substantial progress has been made in the Amerithrax investigation in recent years. As you know, this investigation into the worst act of bioterrorism in U.S. history has been one of the largest and most complex ever conducted by the FBI. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has also made an extraordinary contribution to this investigation. Over the past seven years, hundreds of thousands of agent-hours have been dedicated to solving this crime as well as, I may add, many hours of prosecution time.

      Ordinarily, we do not publicly disclose evidence against a suspect who has not been charged, in part because of the presumption of innocence. But because of the extraordinary and justified public interest in this investigation, as well as the significant public attention resulting from the death of Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins last week, today we are compelled to take the extraordinary step of providing first, the victims and their families, as well as Congress, and the American public with an overview of some recent developments as well as some of our conclusions.

      Earlier today, several search warrant affidavits were unsealed in federal court in the District of Columbia. Among other things, these search warrants confirm that the government was investigating Dr. Ivins in connection with the attacks, which killed five individuals and injured 17 others in 2001. Dr. Ivins was a resident of Frederick, Md., and a longtime anthrax researcher who worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, known as USAMRIID.

      Dr. Ivins died of an overdose on July 29, 2008, and, at the time of his death, was the sole suspect in the case. Our investigation had begun to shift to a particular laboratory at USAMRIID in 2005 and began to focus on Dr. Ivins as a suspect in 2007.


      In the weeks prior to his death, we had been in conversations with his attorneys regarding the direction of the investigation because we believed that based on the evidence we had collected, we could prove his guilt to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.


      Based upon the totality of the evidence we had gathered against him, we are confident that Dr. Ivins was the only person responsible for these attacks.

      We are now beginning the process of concluding this investigation. Once this process is complete, we will formally close the case. Had Dr. Ivins been indicted, he would have been presumed innocent until proven guilty as is the case of any other criminal defendant. We regret that we will not have the opportunity to present the evidence to a jury to determine whether the evidence establishes Dr. Ivins’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

      We have provided you copies of the court documents, which give details about our evidence. I encourage you to read through them carefully.

      I will summarize from these documents and then I’ll turn the podium over to the FBI to go into greater detail. I will also note that, for a variety of reasons, there may be some questions and details we simply may not be able to discuss publicly today. I hope you respect these boundaries, given the extraordinary steps we’re taking with this disclosure today.

      Now, turning to the evidence.

      First, we were able to identify in early 2005 the genetically unique parent material of the anthrax spores used in the mailings. As the court documents allege, the parent material of the anthrax spores used in the attacks was a single flask of spores, known as “RMR-1029,” that was created and solely maintained by Dr. Ivins at USAMRIID. This means that the spores used in the attacks were taken from that specific flask, regrown, purified, dried and loaded into the letters. No one received material from that flask without going through Dr. Ivins.


      We thoroughly investigated every other person who could have had access to the flask and we were able to rule out all but Dr. Ivins.


      Second, as a renowned expert in the production and purification of anthrax spores, Dr. Ivins was one of a handful of scientists with the capability to create spores of the concentration and purity used in the attacks. The affidavits allege that, not only did Dr. Ivins create and maintain the spore batch used in the mailings, but he also had access to and experience using a lyophilizer. A lyophilizer is a sophisticated machine that is used to dry pathogens, and can be used to dry anthrax. We know others in Dr. Ivins’ lab consulted him when they needed to use this machine.


      Third, in the days leading up to each of the mailings, the documents make clear that Dr. Ivins was working inordinate hours alone at night and on the weekend in the lab where the flask of spores and production equipment were stored. A review of his access records revealed that Dr. Ivins had not spent this many “off hours” in the lab at any time before or after this period. When questioned about why he was in the lab during those off hours prior to each of the mailings, Dr. Ivins was unable to offer any satisfactory explanation.


      Fourth, the affidavits indicate Dr. Ivins had engaged in behavior and made a number of statements that suggest consciousness of guilt. For example, one night shortly after a search warrant was executed on his house, Dr. Ivins took highly unusual steps to discard a book and article on DNA coding while under 24-7 surveillance. In addition, he had submitted a questionable sample of anthrax from his flask of parent spores to the FBI, presumably to mislead investigators.


      He had also made far-reaching efforts to blame others and divert attention away from himself, and had made threatening e-mail statements to a friend regarding the case. Recently, he had detailed threats in his group therapy session to kill people who had wronged him, after learning he might be indicted.


      Fifth, as reflected in the court documents, Dr. Ivins had a history of mental health problems and was facing a difficult time professionally in the summer and fall of 2001 because an anthrax vaccine he was working on was failing. The affidavits describe one e-mail to a co-worker in which Dr. Ivins stated that he had “incredible paranoid, delusional thoughts at times,” and feared that he might not be able to control his behavior.

      Sixth, throughout his adult life Dr. Ivins had frequently driven to other locations to send packages in the mail under assumed names to disguise his identity as the sender. He had also admitted to using false names and aliases in writings. In addition, he was a prolific writer to Congress and the media, the targeted victims in the anthrax attacks. Law enforcement recovered 68 letters to such entities from his house in a Nov. 1, 2007, search.


      I’ll conclude with one more point. The envelopes used in the attacks were all pre-franked envelopes, sold only at U.S. Post Offices during a nine-month window in 2001. An analysis of the envelopes revealed several print defects in the ink on the pre-printed portions of the envelopes. Based on the analysis, we were able to conclude that the envelopes used in the mailings were very likely sold at a post office in [the] Frederick, Md., area in 2001. Dr. Ivins maintained a post office box at the post office in Frederick, from which these pre-franked envelopes with print defects were sold.

      During the course of the seven-year investigation, Dr. Ivins was interviewed by federal authorities several times — three times in 2008 alone. His statements were inconsistent over time and failed to explain the evidence against him.

      The points I have just gone over are only a summary of the court documents we have provided you. There are additional details in the documents, which again, we encourage you to read thoroughly. All the information contained in this statement is now public information. We are able to give you this information because the United States followed proper procedures and formally requested that a federal court unseal several search warrants in this investigation, and that court approved the request. In addition, we consulted and received express permission of the Justice Department to do so.


      I’d now like to introduce Mr. Persichini to provide you with some greater detail on the evidence and how the investigation was conducted. Thank you.

      FBI Assistant Director Joseph Persichini: Thanks Jeff, Chief Inspector Lazaroff. Good afternoon.

      As assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office of the FBI, I was able to be with Director Mueller this morning as he met with the families of those who died, and many of the surviving victims of these attacks. I was able to once again offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences, and provide them some of the answers they have waited for with such patience and understanding for seven years.

      As U.S. Attorney Taylor pointed out, over the past seven years, the members of the Amerithrax Task Force, comprised of FBI agents and U.S. Postal Service inspectors, put forth a herculean effort to identify the origin of the anthrax spores contained in the mailings. And, together with career prosecutors from the Department of Justice, prepared to bring the person responsible for these crimes to justice.

      The Amerithrax Task Force members worked tirelessly on a case that quickly became a global investigation spanning six continents, and required that new scientific techniques be created. Postal inspectors, FBI agents, analysts and scientists worked this investigation 24-7, with unwavering dedication and perseverance.

      For example, at the time of the anthrax attacks, the protocols for genetic tests to determine the DNA fingerprint of individual batches of anthrax had not been developed. The FBI sought out the best experts in the scientific community and, over time, four highly sensitive and specific tests were developed that were capable of detecting the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks.

      That is to say, this investigation took our agents and scientists to new territory. An extraordinary amount of research and testing needed to achieve these groundbreaking accomplishments required months and years of trial and error analysis and review.

      We were then able to trace that to an individual lab, a single flask, and one individual who controlled it. Further, painstaking investigation lead us to the conclusion that Dr. Bruce E. Ivins was responsible for the death, sickness and fear brought to our country by the 2001 anthrax mailing, and that it appears, based on the evidence, that he was acting alone.


      In closing, I sincerely hope that the documents we have released today provide an overview of our investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings, our scientific accomplishments and the conclusion made regarding Dr. Ivins.

      Thank you.

      Taylor: We’re happy to take some questions.

      Question: Can you explain, please, why you would tell a target or someone that you believed that he — that there was a killer who had a weapon of mass destruction, and then allow that person continued access to a lab working with — still having access to some of those substances?

      Taylor: With respect to the access he actually had, I’ll refer to the Department of Defense. However, when the investigation began to focus on Dr. Ivins, the lab was notified of our concerns about him. With respect to what was done after that, I’ll refer you to the Department of Defense.


      Persichini: I’ve talked already about the extensive investigation that took place from 2005 to 2007. Again, we’re talking about a large number of individuals, over 100, who potentially had access to this substance. We had to go through this laborious process to ferret out or exclude those who were not involved. With respect to the other individual you mentioned, we were able to determine that at no time could that individual be put in the presence of that flask from which these spores came.




      Jeff, did you find any handwriting samples or hair samples that would have matched Dr. Ivins to the envelopes where the hair samples were found in the mailbox?

      Taylor: We did not find any handwriting analysis or hair samples in the mailbox. So there were no facts and circumstances of that part.

      You didn’t take handwriting samples from Dr. Ivins?

      Taylor: We examined handwriting samples but then there was no comparison made or a specific identification of the handwriting. It appears that when the analysts would look at it, that there was an attempt to disguise the handwriting. So it was unable to make a comparison.

      With respect to handwriting samples, we did have indications from individuals with whom we spoke that there appeared to be some similarities in handwriting that were apparent. That said, we did not have a scientifically valid conclusion that we thought would lead us to be able to admit that in evidence.

      Could you speak a little bit about what he said in an e-mail a couple of days before the letters went out regarding al-Qaida having some kind of biological weapons or sarin gas or anthrax to this quality? There was some mention in the affidavits about it, and then it’s compared to the letters.

      Taylor: That’s correct. There was an e-mail at the time that mentioned that factor, and we put it in to suggest, among other things, some possible connection between what he was describing about death to Israel, death to America, and what was found in the letters that had been mailed in the attacks.

      Is that a strong connection, do you think?


      Could you address the reports today that the family had been confronted at a mall in Frederick, Md., at one point by investigators?

      Taylor: That’s categorically false. The notion that somehow these people were coerced or abused by the agents or the lawyers is categorically false. These agents handled themselves professionally, responsibly, and with great respect for Mr. Ivins and for his family. And I’d say the same thing about the prosecutors in this case. They are pros, and they handled themselves the right way.


  49. DXer said

    Both are associated with not only the same address, but Apt. #4. The calls are detailed in Exhibit 818 of the WTC 1993 trial. Attorney General recently wanted to indict KSM in this same docket. Former Attorney General Mukasey was the judge who presided over the trial.

    An aside: Agent Lambert , the former head of the investigation, told Mr. Willman that he was forbidden by headquarters to address the matter. That’s too bad. He was forthright-sounding and lucid in his deposition in the Hatfill matter. Perhaps he can give an interview now that he’ll see the current agents are trashing him and blaming him for being fixated on Dr. Hatfill.

  50. DXer said

    Richard Lambert was concerned that compartmentalization would prevent investigators from connecting the dots.

    Agent Lambert was right. Wasn’t he?

    • DXer said

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

      Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast
      Published: October 28, 1993

      Comment: The Emad Salem – John Anticev tapes illustrate how tricky a business it is. The handler of the informant was trying to explain the perils, for example, where there was an ongoing defense. The FBI could not be understood, Agent Anticev, to be gaining confidential information relating to defense matters.

      By analogy, in the case of Ivins, it would be mental health issues including the issues that investigators caused when they falsely told him that Dr. Heine had implicated him. It would relate to the mental issues associated with him being suicidal when they proceeded with testing the semen on the panties and told him that they were going to call his children before the grand jury about his unhappiness at home.

      We have to be sensitive to the fact that the FBI managers understandably feel that they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Here, David Willman explains that although Ken Kohl was distracted by another major case assignment, AUSA Rachel Lieber quickly shifted from a Hatfill Theory to an Ivins Theory and was working toward a deadline to bring against an indictment. Against somebody.

      As to foresight that WTC 1993 would happen, hindsight is 20/20. It is easy to regret how things unfolded. But the supervisor appears to have wanted Emad Salem to testify and Agent Anticev seems to have been raising valid issues about the need to document expenses. But it’s a fascinating subject and I’m still reading. If Emad Salem is out of federal protective witness custody, he would be fascinating to interview about what, if anything, he knows about the subtilis expert Walied Samarrai’s connection to WTC 1993 bomber Ramzi Yousef. (All the letters said by the FBI agent to be double-lined were not in fact double-lined; given it is WS’ field and he would be familiar with codons and proteins, WS could be asked to consider the FBI’s code theory both with and without that letter double-lined.)

      KSM came to work closely with Dr. Ayman as part of “As Sahab” and his assistant Al-Hawsawi had anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop. KSM says he was the mastermind behind WTC 1993.

      And so given the FBI may have telephone records involving a call made by a subtilis expert who lived 20 miles from the Princeton mailbox reporting to KSM after the bombing, we should not let the FBI’s or Mr. Willman’s unaddressed mistakes impede analysis.

      Agent Montooth directed that the investigation only consider where it was known virulent Ames had been obtained — thus if it was obtained or distributed using stealth pursuant to the parallel compartmentalized cell structure that Dr. Ayman was using, the fellow holding the USG supply was going to get screwed. And the case would continue to stick and not be reopened if documents giving him an alibi were withheld, other documents were misunderstood or misrepresented, and if he could be said to be a troubled loner type. And if they could get an accomplished writer to put a nice polish on the pile of dung while avoiding the key issues raised by the documentary evidence.

      Amerithrax represents a playing out of the FBI Quantico’s crummy profile in early October 2001 — with there being no reason to think that the profiler(s) knew jack about Dr. Ayman’s planning to use anthrax against the United States targets to retaliate for the rendition of senior EIJ leaders.

      Amerithrax represents the great intelligence failure in the history of the United States.

      FBI Director Mueller and former Deputy Director Comey will testify today in support of a 2-year extension by Director Mueller. David Willman, who extensively interviewed a number of investigators who were pushing an Ivins Theory, squarely lays blame at the feet of Mueller and Comey for being fixated on a Hatfill Theory because the bloodhounds had alerted to him and Patricia Fellows. (Given that Patricia Fellows had been thanked by a former Zawahiri associate for providing technical assistance in connection with virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins, it is unclear why they fixated on Hatfill instead of the missing Ames made by Fellows; perhaps it was due to the fact that 16 pages about Tarek Hamouda’s research with Ivins and Fellows was not transmitted until February 2005, when it was faxed from Art Friedlander’s fax).

      In an ideal world, that would be an opportunity for Director Mueller to correct the course. But the reality is that likely he is too busy to get it right. If AUSA Rachel Lieber withheld the documents from us, she may have also withheld them from Director Mueller.

      If there were meaningful Congressional oversight — and I have it on good authority that DOJ considers Congressional oversight to be toothless — our elected officials would at least direct FBI Mueller to direct the DOJ to produce all documents under FOIA not subject to exemption.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: