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

* Catherine Herridge’s NEXT WAVE: Anwar Awlaki, Ali Al-Timimi and why FBI Agent Wade Ammerman wanted to allow Anwar Awlaki to meet with Ali Al-Timimi in October 2002

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 21, 2011

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Catherine Herridge in her book out today reports her search for answers as to why the arrest warrant for Anwar Awlaki was rescinded in October 2002 at the same he was stopped at JFK upon entering the country.

She asked Edward McMahon, Jr, if he knew FBI Agent Wade Ammerman who she says was involved in the dropping of the arrest warrant.

“You bet I know him, Catherine, I told you when you started that Awlawki showed up in Ali [Al-Timimi’s] case…
McMahon tells me that Ammerman was the FBI’s number or number two agent in the Al-Timimi case.  Ammerman was also the agent who told customs to let the cleric go at JFK.”

Al-Timimi’s later counsel, Professor Turley, explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:

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

In the court filing, Professor Turley describes his client Ali Al-Timimi, who shared a suite with the two leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers working with virulent Ames, as an “anthrax weapons suspect.”  The researchers used the contractor Southern Research Institute in Frederick, Maryland to do the B3 lab work.

Ali Al-Timimi came to be represented pro bono by the daughter of the head of the Amerithrax prosecution, Daniel Seikaly, who pled the Fifth Amendment in connection with leaking the hyped Hatfill stories about anthrax-smelling bloodhounds.

The NEXT WAVE notes that defense counsel sought audiotapes made during the October 2002  meeting but prosecutors said there was no authority for the request.

Ms. Herridge writes:  “By now, we knew there was a connection between Al-Awlaki’s re-entry into the United States and a senior FBI agent.”

Catherine, known as the “Terror Pixie”, asks:

“What was the FBI’s motivation for allowing the cleric in?”

Well, for the answer,  let’s turn to previous reporting by the Washington Post on the subject.

The Washington Post explained in Fall 2006:

‘In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.

Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.”

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54 Responses to “* Catherine Herridge’s NEXT WAVE: Anwar Awlaki, Ali Al-Timimi and why FBI Agent Wade Ammerman wanted to allow Anwar Awlaki to meet with Ali Al-Timimi in October 2002”

  1. DXer said

    FBI’s Awlaki surveillance footage revealed

    By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne

    Published April 19, 2017
    FoxNews.com

    EXCLUSIVE: New files obtained through a federal lawsuit show, for the first time, FBI surveillance images of American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on the same day he spoke at a Pentagon lunch to promote post-9/11 outreach to the Muslim community.

    The FBI documents confirm the imam was under bureau surveillance as part of the “IT UBL/Al-Qaeda” investigation, but the information was not shared with the Defense Department’s Office of General Counsel, which sponsored the 2002 Pentagon lunch.

    The high-level FBI surveillance – including specialized teams, as well as video and photos – also calls into question the bureau’s explanation regarding a decision eight months later, in October 2002, by FBI agent Wade Ammerman. While Awlaki was held by Customs officers at JFK airport because of an outstanding warrant for the cleric’s arrest from the Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego, Ammerman told Customs to release him. The FBI has maintained Ammerman’s actions were routine.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/19/fbis-awlaki-surveillance-footage-revealed.html

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

  2. DXer said

    “I looked for guidance and… Guidance came [from] Sheikh Anwar. … Said it clearly attack the Kuffar [non-believers] in their backyard,” Rahami’s journal said, according to the complaint. One of Awlaki’s central tenets of jihad was for Western recruits to launch attacks close to home.
    The notebook also mentioned two deadly U.S. attacks that were inspired by Awlaki: The Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 and the deadly 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas. Both were launched by men radicalized into action by the mild-mannered, U.S.-born cleric, who once preached at mosques in San Diego and Virginia.

    “The New York/New Jersey bombing suspect’s written praise for radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is another grim reminder that this icon of global jihad continues to inspire terror attacks long after he was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

    If you were to look at people who had committed acts of terrorism or had been arrested and you took a poll, you’d find that the majority of them had some kind of exposure to Awlaki,” said one U.S. counter-terrorism official who has followed his impact closely.

    When he was arrested Monday after a shootout with police, bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami was carrying a handwritten journal that contained praise of Awlaki, the former head of external operations for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network’s Yemen-based branch. The federal criminal complaint filed in Manhattan Tuesday evening said Rahami’s journal referenced the instructions of terrorist leaders that, “If travel is infeasible, to attack nonbelievers where they live.”

    “I looked for guidance and… Guidance came [from] Sheikh Anwar. … Said it clearly attack the Kuffar [non-believers] in their backyard,” Rahami’s journal said, according to the complaint. One of Awlaki’s central tenets of jihad was for Western recruits to launch attacks close to home.

    The notebook also mentioned two deadly U.S. attacks that were inspired by Awlaki: The Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 and the deadly 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas. Both were launched by men radicalized into action by the mild-mannered, U.S.-born cleric, who once preached at mosques in San Diego and Virginia.

    Awlaki was killed by U.S. Hellfire missiles in September 2011 while riding in a car in Yemen. But he lives on through a remarkable library of videos, audio recordings and writings that are easily accessible on the internet.

    The Counter Extremism Project has counted 77 extremists with ties to Awlaki — 43 in the U.S. and 34 in Europe.

    Here are some of the individuals in high-profile U.S. terrorism cases who were either in contact with Awlaki while he was alive, or inspired by his words before and after his death:

    • Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a Somali who was captured in April 2011 and charged with being the liaison between al-Qaeda and al-Shabab, the Somali terrorist group, was believed to be in direct contact with Awlaki.
    • Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who killed 13 and wounded many more in Texas in November 2009, had actually exchanged emails with Awlaki.
    • Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, convicted in the Christmas 2009 attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit, traveled to Yemen to make contact with Awlaki, whose teachings he had been following. Abdulmutallab stayed at Awlaki’s house, and the cleric then directed the young Nigerian’s participation in the failed bomb plot.
    • Faisal Shahzad, captured and convicted after plotting in May 2010 to detonate a bomb-laden SUV in Times Square, was inspired by Awlaki.
    • Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who with his brother Tamerlan exploded backpack bombs in April 2013, killing three and injuring 264 others.
    • Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who shot dead four Marines and a Navy sailor in Chattanooga in July 2015.
    • Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting that killed 14.
    • Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

    Anwar al-Awlaki: The Radical Cleric Inspiring Terror From Beyond the Grave

    by Josh Meyer
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/anwar-al-awlaki-radical-cleric-inspiring-terror-beyond-grave-n651296

  3. DXer said

    Just the procedural history in the US v. Al-Timimi is substantial reading. But Scott Shane has a magnus opus out about Aulaqi called OPERATION TROY.

    Again: So do you think FBI Special Agent Wade Ammerman and FBI Special John Wyman developed the same hypothesis back in early 2003? Go find the Wash Po’s “Hardball Tactics.” Just because they then were told to keep quiet, are we going to get dumb about what they suspected? Once you know what they suspected, you can get at this question of Professor Turley’s focus — whether they suspected it before early 2003.

    DXer’s Current Hypothesis
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/dxers-current-amerithrax-hypothesis/

  4. DXer said

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/27/disagreement-over-whether-11-hijackers-had-support-inside-us-report-says/

    Disagreement over whether 9/11 hijackers had support inside US, report says

    By Catherine HerridgePublished March 27, 2015
    FoxNews.com

    Nearly 14 years after Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans in New York City, Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, there is disagreement over whether there were others inside the U.S. who knew about the plot in advance and aided the 19 hijackers, according to a special review commission.

    FBI Director James Comey acknowledged during a press event Wednesday that the 9/11 case remains “alive,” but said there was no solid evidence a domestic support network had helped the hijackers. “We have no credible evidence that there were additional assisters or funders,” the director said.

    Fox News is told one of the points of disagreement is over American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and the significance of his contacts with hijackers.

    A member of the review team confirmed to reporters that they investigated the mysterious re-entry to the U.S. of al-Awlaki on Oct. 10, 2002 when he was held in federal custody at JFK international airport until FBI agent Wade Ammerman ordered his release despite an active warrant for his arrest.

    The warrant for passport fraud was developed by the JTTF, or Joint Terrorism Task Force, in San Diego as a “holding charge” to pick up the cleric, and question him about his association with two of the hijackers in San Diego, and two other hijackers who attended his Virginia mosque.

    Fox News’ ongoing reporting has shown that al-Awlaki, the first American targeted for death by the CIA, was released from federal custody at JFK and then appeared within days in FBI agent Ammerman’s northern Virginia counterterrorism investigation of Ali al-Timimi, an Islamic lecturer who was convicted of inciting jihad in 2004.

    Details of al-Awlaki’s re-entry, the role agent Ammerman played, and the cleric’s appearance in the Timimi case were not provided to Timimi’s defense during his original trial, and continue to be withheld during his appeal, with the government citing national security and classified information. Timini’s defense team has said he did not know al-Awlaki well.

    One of the panel members conceded they never interviewed Ammerman, who told Fox News as part of its investigation, “I don’t think anyone wants me talking ’bout what I was involved in.”

    “We interviewed some FBI agents that were involved in this case as where we thought it was necessary. In this case I thought the evidence that we had seen and the information we were given was sufficient to reach that conclusion,” said Bruce Hoffman, who is the director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and a member of the panel.

    During his exit interview, former FBI Director Robert Mueller who ran the bureau during this period, did not rule out an effort to work with or recruit the cleric as an asset during the 2002 visit.

    “I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset — that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so,” Mueller said.

    At the time, Mueller could not recall the contents of a classified memo sent under Mueller’s name to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft on Oct. 3, 2002 — seven days before the cleric re-entered the U.S. and was detained at JFK — marked “Secret” and titled “Anwar Aulaqi: IT-UBL/AL-QAEDA.” The heavily redacted memo was released after Judicial Watch sued in federal court for the cleric’s records after he was killed by the CIA.

    At Wednesday’s press event, Comey was asked whether he would make the information public, given the cleric no longer had a right to privacy after his death in a 2011 CIA drone strike, and the bureau’s position that there was nothing unusual about al-Awlaki’s re-entry to the US in October 2002 and the FBI agent’s role waiving him through.

    “I’m not going to commit to what I’ll do publicly about it but I am satisfied that the headline that we’ve described is accurate..With respect to al-Awlaki, that there was not an effort to develop it as a source at that point in time.

    Asked whether it was a coincidence that Ammerman told Customs to release the cleric, despite the active warrant,and al-Awlaki then showing up in Ammerman’s case, Hoffman said, “I think there’s people in the bureau that could answer that. Again, I don’t want to cross into sources and methods but we looked at that very seriously. The only reason we didn’t interview is because there was nothing there. At least that’s my — I don’t want to speak for my colleagues. My own conclusion is there was nothing there.”

    Asked if he knew what happened, Comey said “I’m comfortable the matter was handled appropriately that the inference – which I guess you did fairly draw — is not accurate. Your inference is wrong. I don’t know what I could do to convince you otherwise. It’s not a matter I’m going to discuss in detail here.”

    What is striking is the JTTF devoted significant resources to develop the arrest warrant for the cleric in 2001, and the FBI devoted the Special Surveillance Group, the bureau’s highest level of surveillance, to track al-Awlaki well into 2002. Yet in October of that year, at a time when dozens of Muslim men were held on material witness warrants with no known connection to the hijackers, an FBI agent waived Awlaki into the country, and there is no evidence the FBI did surveillance or interrogated him.

    What prompted the bureau to so thoroughly change its approach to, and surveillance on, the cleric is not publicly known.

    Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

  5. DXer said

    Brother in Paris massacre met with American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen

    By Catherine Herridge
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/01/12/brother-in-paris-massacre-met-with-american-cleric-anwar-al-awlaki-in-yemen/

    Published January 12, 2015
    FoxNews.com

    Exclusive: Said Kouachi, one of the two brothers who massacred the staff at Charlie Hebdo, met with the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011 in Yemen at an Al Qaeda camp east of the capital Sana’a, a Yemeni government official briefed on the terrorist investigation told Fox News.

    ***
    Shortly after al-Awlaki re-entered the US, he showed up in Ammerman’s investigation of Ali al-Timimi whose conviction is on appeal. In an August 2013 interview with Fox News, the outgoing director of the FBI did not deny there was an effort by the bureau to work with, and even recruit, the cleric as an asset.

  6. DXer said

    You may know Scott Shane as the ace Amerithrax reporter who wrote so brilliantly about the anthrax-smelling bloodhounds. But he has turned legal beagle under FOIA. He and the NYT and ACLU are taking their request for the legal memo targeting Anwar Aulaqi to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

    As maybe FoxNews’ Catherine Herridge will be the first to tell you, Anwar Aulaqi in 2001 was coordinating with “anthrax suspect” Ali Al-Timimi.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    Scott was the reporter who requested Bruce Ivins’ emails — and USAMRIID took years to produce them. Each batch was sent out by John Peterson to a large group of DOJ and FBI employees who were allowed to delay and cull as they liked. Rather than starting with the time of mailing — which would have promptly revealed the experiment with the 52 rabbits — USAMRIID started with emails from 1999.

    https://www.aclu.org/national-security/appeals-court-hear-oral-argument-tuesday-aclu-foia-lawsuit-seeking-targeted

    New York Times Reply Brief
    09/09/2013 Letter Directing the Government Make Available Each Member of the Panel Documents for Prompt in Camera Inspection
    10/10/2013 Government’s Post-Argument Supplemental Brief
    10/10/2013 Government’s Letter to Second Circuit re: Ex Parte Filings
    10/14/2013 NYT’s Opposition to Government’s Ex Parte Filings
    10/15/2013 ACLU’s Opposition to Government’s Ex Parte
    10/18/2013 ACLU’s Post-Argument Supplemental Brief
    10/18/2013 NYT’s Post-Argument Supplemental Brief

    https://www.aclu.org/national-security/anwar-al-aulaqi-foia-request-legal-documents

    Appeals Court to Hear Oral Argument Tuesday in ACLU FOIA Lawsuit Seeking Targeted Killing Memos

    September 30, 2013
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times will appear before a federal appeals court tomorrow afternoon asking that the government be ordered to release records about the targeted killing program and the killing of three American citizens in Yemen in 2011. The oral argument concerns the appeal of a federal district court decision from January. That ruling, which referenced “Alice in Wonderland,” allowed the CIA and the Departments of Justice and Defense to withhold documents responding to the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act request about the killings of Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in September 2011, and al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman the following month.

    “The argument that releasing the legal memos would compromise national security is simply not plausible, nor is the government’s claim that other records can’t be described or even listed,” said ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer, who will argue Tuesday before a three-judge panel. “For several years now, senior officials have publicly claimed that the targeted killing program is effective, lawful, and closely supervised. If they can make these claims to the public, there is no reason why they should not be required to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.”

    The ACLU’s FOIA request seeks documents related to the legal and factual bases for the government’s targeted killing program, including memos written by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluding that the killing of American citizens would be constitutional in certain situations. The New York Times submitted a similar but narrower FOIA request, and the two resulting lawsuits were combined.

    The Departments of Defense and Justice have listed certain relevant documents responsive to the FOIA requests, but both agencies, as well as the CIA, have said that other records cannot be listed or described in any way, citing risks to national security. The ACLU argues that the FOIA requires the agencies to list and describe the documents, and explain why they are being withheld. It also argues that public officials, including the president, have already disclosed much of the information that the agencies say is secret.

    Earlier this month, in an unusual move, the appeals court ordered the government to make the legal memos in question available for private review by the judges, and also ordered the government to have ready at oral argument the information the government believes cannot be disclosed about the documents withheld by the CIA.

    In a separate pending FOIA lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the CIA can no longer deny its intelligence interest in maintaining the targeted killing program, but in recent court filings in district court the CIA maintained that it can still keep the documents secret.

    The ACLU, together with the Center for Constitutional Rights, has also filed a lawsuit directly challenging the constitutionality of the killing of the three U.S. citizens in Yemen. In that case, argued in July in Washington and awaiting decision, the government has said that the suit should be dismissed because the courts have no role to play in assessing whether the killings were legal.

    Case information and documents are at: aclu.org/national-security/anwar-al-awlaki-foia-request

    • DXer said

      Although ACLU brought a separate action in the District of Columbia, the appeal is before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and not the District of Columbia appellate court as I stated above.

      (A FOIA requestor may bring suit in either the plaintiff’s district, the agency’s district, or in the District of Columbia.)

      In litigation the agency will be required to prepare a Vaughn index, itemizing the documents withheld and the reason for the withholding.

      You can see how a Vaughn index operates in the lawsuit suit brought by this blog’s participant Dillon in Dillon v. United States.

      In New York Times Company v. United States, the Court of Appeals directed the agency to submit a Vaughn index itemizing the documents withheld by several agencies pursuant to and invocation of the deliberative process privilege.

      https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/2013.10.18_nyt_letter_brief_opposition_post_argument_final_stamped.pdf

  7. DXer said

    10/7 – Feds fight request to learn if Awlaki was informant.

    FBI Agent Wade Ammerman was working an anthrax-Al Qaeda lead and was an experienced FBI Agent, fully capable of monitoring a planned meeting using electronic means. Moreover, keep in mind that Awlaki had a driver. Awlaki and Al-Timimi were not the only ones at the 2002 meeting.

    Ali’s former defense counsel has explained that Ali played it cool because he suspected something was up. (The lawyer withdrew because he also represented Moussaoui, whose defense Ali and Bin Laden’s sheik Al-Hawali had discussed funding.)

    But Ali’s former defense counsel — and this was Attorney Turley’s predecessor — was wildly mistaken in once publicly suggesting Ali did not know Anwar. They were both imams in Falls Church, VA and had spoken alongside each other with the Syracuse doctor about jihad in July and August 2001 in Canada and England. The suggestion that they did not know each other was always absurd. They each knew other very well — but by this time Ali Al-Timimi knew he was an anthrax weapons suspect and was playing things very cool. Ali’s gracious wife Ziyana told me when I called her that someday we may be able to learn what he was doing for the Navy with his security clearance while at SRA with former USAMRIID Commander and long-time Ivins colleague, Charles Bailey. But at the time all communications needed to be vetted by defense counsel. Someone might try to interview Ziyana again. She is educated and charming and accompanied Dr. Dhafir and Al-Timimi to China.

    Attorney Turley chose to represent Ali Al-TImimi as did the daughter of the lead Amerithrax prosecutor, Katherine Seikaly. (She worked closely at the firm with the former NSA General Counsel). IMO, self-actualization as an attorney is achieved when an attorney represents causes they think are righteous — defendants they think are innocent. The daughter of the lead Amerithrax prosecutor represented anthrax weapons suspect Al-Timimi for free. (“Anthrax weapons suspect” is Al-TImimi’s defense counsel phrase in a court filing). Is it any wonder Amerithrax was screwed up? Our constitution represents the ideal of lawyer as hired gun — especially when it pertains to constitutional law. When WMD is involved, however, I for one don’t think that’s ideal. Because of Attorney Turley’s influence and position with MSNBC as a regular commentor, for example on the Rachel Maddow show, Ali Al-Timimi got a softball interview on MSNBC and was never asked the hard questions. He was never asked, for example, about sharing a suite with Ames anthrax researchers Ken Alibek and Charles Bailey.

    Of course, although Vahid Majidi says that undercover operations required several layers approval, the constitution does not permit undercover operations that trammel the constitution — even when WMD investigations are involved. Consitutional violations lead to Section 1983 liability. Given the levels of approval are required (as Dr. Vahid Majidi has explained), the actions of the undercover are imputed to the agency making the USG responsible for damages. And so we can presume that the loyalty of the daughter of the lead Amerithrax prosecutor sided with her client and not the investigation. (Although it would have been very cool if she was following in her Dad’s footeteps and had been working for the good guys rather than the jihad supporter; Daniel Seikaly came over from the CIA in mid-September 2001 to the DC US Attorney’s Office). In any event, the GAO’s expertise is needed to consider whether there was an apparent conflict of interest.

    If you don’t understand the significance that Al-TImimi shared a suite with Ames researchers Ken Alibek and the former USAMRIID Commander who co-invented the patent using silica in the growth medium, then you just are not paying attention. Ken Alibek has told me that he always knew Al-TImimi was a hardliner. Majidi’s suggestion that a man couldn’t walk in off the street is funny — instead, all they needed to do was to apply to work as a graduate student and they could share workspace, fax and maildrop with the leading Ames anthrax scientist in the world. Ali Al-Timimi was granted access to the largest microbiological repository in the world (whcih was supervised by the bacteriolgical collections scientist Jason who then had the lead role in the Amerithrax science investigation.

    An investigation simply does not get more screwed up than Amerithrax.

    It does not relate to a conspiracy. The proof that Amerithrax was screwed is establish by two factually verifiable issues provable by documentary evidence:

    First, Vahid Majidi did not understand that the two person rule was not implemented at USAMRIID until January 2002. Thus his analysis in closing the Amerithrax investiation was inexcusable crock.

    Second, if as a reporter you were to ask him, you will find that he cannot provide or cite any document indicating that the 52 rabbits experiment was done any place other than Bruce Ivins B3 suite.

    Those two things alone demolish the FBI’s Amerithrax theory. There was no reason to convene the NAS review or even GAO review. All that was needed was for AUSA Lieber or FBI Official Majidi to be pressed for the documents on the 52 rabbits.

    AUSA Lieber told me — in a written email — that I would never be getting any documents under FOIA on the subject.

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

    Faioure is not an option.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    Feds fight request to learn if Awlaki was informant
    Published October 07, 2013FoxNews.com

    Lawyers for a Muslim scholar in prison for recruiting Taliban warriors to fight against the U.S. got their court hearing last week as they try to learn whether Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was once a government informant — a fact that could impact their client’s 2005 conviction.

    Prosecutors, though, fought the request in court and a judge expressed doubt about the defense requests.

    Defense lawyers for Ali al-Timimi said Friday at a hearing in U.S. District Court in northern Virginia that al-Awlaki paid a 2002 visit to their client in which he purportedly tried but failed to get al-Timimi to recruit men for jihad after the 9/11 attacks.

    Al-Timimi lawyer Jonathan Turley said government documentation of the meeting would refute the prosecution’s case that al-Timimi was urging Muslims to fight.

    Court documents show defense lawyers requested the hearing to “compel the government to produce previously requested information and unlawfully withheld evidence” that would have allowed them to “impeach testimony of at least two key government witnesses.”

    Turley did not return a message Monday asking whether he is trying to overturn his clients’ life-in-prison conviction.

    Al-Timimi played paintball to train for holy war. Several of his recruits got as far as Pakistan, training with the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    Defense lawyers raised suspicion about whether al-Awlaki, who has since been killed, went to the 2002 meeting as an informant to get incriminating information on al-Timimi. If so, they say, al-Awlaki’s role as an informant should have been disclosed at the trial.

    The suspicion is based on newly discovered information that FBI agents involved in Al-Timimi’s case may have facilitated al-Awlaki’s return to the United States in 2002. Al-Awlaki had been imam of a northern Virginia mosque at the time of the 2001 attacks but left the country shortly thereafter.

    The suspicion also is based on reporting by Fox News and Judicial Watch that found al-Awlaki was released from custody at JFK airport upon arriving to the United States in 2002, despite an active warrant for his arrest, with the OK of the FBI.

    Also released earlier this year were FBI documents showing that agents observed al-Awlaki in 2001 and 2002 hiring prostitutes, but never brought charges against him.

    Prosecutors say they’ve turned over everything required of them. In court papers and at Friday’s hearing, they gave no information on whether al-Awlaki may have been an informant.

    Instead, they say, they are obligated only to turn over information that would assist the defense and the law gives prosecutors the discretion to make that determination.

    The law “does not entitle any defendant to the disclosure of the extent and nature of the government’s investigative tools or tactics simply because he suspects that materials are in the government’s possession that might prove interesting to him,” prosecutor Gordon Kromberg wrote.

    U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she will issue a written ruling later on the motion, but expressed doubt about the defense requests.

    She said she was persuaded in part because of secret evidence the government submitted in the case, which even Turley, who holds a security clearance, has not been allowed to see.

    Al-Timimi attended Friday’s hearing but did not speak, wearing a jail jumpsuit and sporting long hair and a beard significantly grayer than at his 2005 trial.

  8. DXer said

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/23/did-us-government-try-to-recruit-radical-muslim-cleric-as-intelligence-asset/

    Comment: I believe it was the fellow accompanying Awlaki who was the asset.

  9. DXer said

    Mohammed Zawahiri is pretty plain spoken. Who does he think was responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    al-Qaeda chief’s younger brother arrested in Syria for aiding rebels

    5 Jan 2013 00:00
    He was seized by Syrian troops as he prepared to meet up with rebels in Darya, outside Damascus

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/al-qaeda-chief-ayman-zawahiris-younger-1519162

    The brother of al-Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahiri has been arrested, it was revealed last night.

    Mohammed Zawahiri, 59, was seized by Syrian troops as he prepared to meet up with rebels in Darya, outside Damascus.

    But Western intelligence fears the arrest could lead to more bloodshed.

    A source said: “Zawahiri junior has set himself up as something of a peace maker in the Middle East, although he holds the same ideals as al-Qaeda.

    “He believes in the spread of Islam, Sharia law and has supported terrorist acts against the west, justifying them as jihad against oppressors of the Islamic faith.

    “This development could well enhance the al-Qaeda leadership’s interest in promoting violence across Syria as Zawahiri junior is well-respected by the network.”

    • DXer said

      Mohammed explains that the report that he was detained (or out of the country) was false.

      Qaeda man’s arrest in Syria denied

      January 5 2013 at 03:50pm
      By SAPA

      REUTERS

      Cairo – Mohammed al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaeda’s chief, Saturday dismissed as baseless media reports that Syrian government troops recently arrested him while he was on an aid mission in the conflict-torn country.

      “I came out of prison less than a year ago after spending 15 years there. Since then, I have not left Egypt,” he told the state-run newspaper al-Ahram in Cairo.

  10. DXer said

    Here is former WTC 1993 prosecutor Andrew McCarthy on the dropping of the Awlaki arrest warrant:

    http://www.rightsidenews.com/2012080416794/editorial/us-opinion-and-editorial/the-governments-awlaki-story-does-not-pass-the-laugh-test.html

  11. DXer said

    The FBI official at the hearing Wednesday seems to think that he was not the man in 2001. That seems naive wishful thinking. Awlaki’s roommate Hal at Hajj in Spring 2001 (in Saudi Arabia) tells me that Awlaki did not change — he was always hardcore privately. He just had a different public persona. That is, he knew how to fool the FBI just as EIJ intelligence head and Ali Mohammed did as he served in the Army and was an FBI asset.

    FBI Director Freeh resigned in 2001 when it became known a senior FBI official had been spying for the Russians. Everyone can get fooled. But the key is whether you do something about it or whether you try to hide the mistake — thus compounding the consequences.

    The surest way to avoid people finding out you were fooled is to withhold documents and overclassify things.

    That’s what the FBI has done in Amerithrax. That’s what the White House did when the conducted the warrantless wiretapping of Al-TImimi’s network and cut the DOJ out of the loop.

    If you think Awlaki would not have been all over his fellow Falls Church imam who shared a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers who had just developed a microencapsulation process for growing anthrax in silica, then maybe you are not paying sufficient attention.

    Below is an example of an email Anwar in 2010.

    January 25, 2010

    As-salaam aleikum,

    Dear brother, I pray this e-mail reaches you at the best state of iman and health.

    I was introduced to you by your brother, may Allah reward him. When he mentioned to me your profession and that you intended to make Hijra, so your brother mentioned that you work at BA.

    I immediately wanted to contact you to tell you that my advice to you is to remain in your current position. Depending on what your role is and the amount of information you can get your hands on, you might be able to provide us with critical and urgent information and may be able to play a crucial role [on behalf of the] ummah.

    Whenever we have reluctance in how far are you willing to go for Allah and then choose the choice of sacrifices, Allah rewards us with tranquility and opens up for us doors of good that we did not imagine.

    Allah is generous. We ask Allah to guide us to the straight path. Today we need men who are willing to go all the way, to not hold back anything from Allah. The religion of Allah cannot be given victory by part-time service. This is not a weekend religion. The contract is to sell ourselves to Allah. The compensation is paradise. With the human resources that exist in the ummah today, but only a fraction of them follow the path to sacrifices. The [inaudible] would be prepared Khalifa is known no [inaudible].

    “But the ummah today has been weakened by virtues of supplication. However, good be praised, our ministry of numbers of sincere men and women here and there who are willing to break through the shackles.

    We search for such men and women. I pray you are one of them, dear brother. I was pleased when your brother conveyed from you salaams to myself and was excited by hearing of your profession.

    I pray that Allah may grant us a breakthrough through you. Can you please answer these questions in as much elaboration as possible.
    • Can you please specify your role in the airline industry?
    • How much access do you have to airports?
    • What information do you have on the limitations and cracks in present airport security systems?
    • What procedure would travellers from the newly listed countries have to go through?
    • What procedure would a person on a watch list have to go through?
    • Can they prevent a national from a certain country to travelling to this country and like a Brit going back to Britain?
    • What ways can you help us based on what you know of your job and our objective?

    For security reasons, I prefer to communicate with you through your brother’s account. However, please maintain the other account by keeping it open just in case I need to contact you there.

    Awaiting your answer.

    As-salaam aleikum,

  12. DXer said

    Some chronology:

    In July 2001, Awlaki was in Toronto with Al-Timimi.

    In late August 2001, Awlaki was at the University of Leicester (in England) with Al-Timimi. Also Bilal Philips who has explained he recruits men from the US military to jihad.

    On September 15, 2001 Awlaki was interviewed by the FBI about 911.

    Awlaki submitted his e-book on “Lives of the prophets” to the Copyright Office in which he explains the meaning of the “Green Birds” on October 4, 2001. That weekend the “green birds” stamp was used again on the anthrax letters to symbolize the souls of the hijackers were going to paradise.

    In October 2002, arrest warrant dropped so that he can go meet with Al-Timimi. FBI Agent Wade Ammerman can explain. The meeting is secretly recorded. Ali is suspicious and does not join in Awlaki’s discussion of recruiting young men to jihad. Source: Filed brief in Al-Timimi prosecution.

  13. DXer said

    I am not clear why Catherine in an article now says the Al-TImimi is on appeal.

    Here is the record of the only appeal I can find.

    Further below are the last entries in the district court docket. They involve, for example, withdrawal of the daughter of the former lead Amerithrax prosecutor and discussion of certain classified filings. I contacted Attorney Seikaly and Mr. Olsen and urged that she should recuse herself but Mr. O said he was not going to discuss it. Withdrawal only came many, many months later.

    It is my understanding that AUSA Lieber was told by a supervisor that she could not interview Ali Al-Timimi in prison — because a deal had been cut in another matter.

    To her great credit, it is my understanding that AUSA Lieber went anyway and then was reprimanded for her trouble.

    That sort of intervention with a prosecutor’s discretion to pursue leads, if it in fact occurred — especially given the former lead prosecutor’s daughter was counsel for Al-Timimi — needs to be addressed by a committee with oversight of the Department of Justice. …especially after the unconvincing dog-and-pony show that the DOJ then put on about Dr. Ivins — replete with central factual mistakes and overstatements.

    Given Awlaki’s argument that a mass anthrax attack is permitted under the hadiths and koran, there needs to be a Congressional investigation involving the exercise of subpoena power.

    And as for the FBI’s not having anything to do with the NYPD Intelligence, well, it will have to be NYPD Intelligence that keeps New York City safe because if the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” is the best indication, the FBI is not up to the job. It involves the same dropped balls as did 911.

    If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

    ON APPEAL

    04cae 05-4761 1 07/28/2005 04/25/2006

    03/02/2006 58 Supplement filed by Appellant Ali Al-Timimi to motion to remand case [54]. [58] [05-4761] (SAW)
    03/06/2006 60 Response/answer filed [60] by Appellee US to motion to vacate and remand case [54] [05-4761] ~ [4350775] (BHR)
    03/16/2006 62 Supplement filed by Appellant Ali Al-Timimi to motion to remand case [54] . [62] [05-4761] (SAW)
    03/22/2006 67 Notice issued TO: Jonathan Robert Turley for Appellant Ali Al-Timimi, Paul Joseph McNulty for Appellee US, Gordon Dean Kromberg for Appellee US RE: proposed order requested from counsel. [05-4761] (SAW)
    04/04/2006 69 Document (proposed order) filed by Appellee US, Appellant Ali Al-Timimi [69]. [05-4761] (SAW)
    04/25/2006 74 COURT ORDER filed [4380261] terminating supplemental motion [62], terminating supplemental motion [58], granting motion to remand case [54] Copies to all parties. ~ [4380261] [05-4761] (SAW)
    04/25/2006 75 Judgment order filed. Decision: vacated and remanded. EOD Date: 4/25/06. ~ [4380358] [05-4761] (SAW)
    04/25/2006 77 CJA 20 voucher issued to Edward Brian MacMahon. [05-4761] (SAW)
    04/26/2006 78 Corrected judgment order filed to correct clerical error. [05-4761] ~ [4381235] (SAW)
    05/18/2006 79 Mandate issued. ~ [4394681] [05-4761] (SAW)

    BEFORE THE DISTRICT COURT

    # Docket Text
    06/16/2010 296 ORDER granting 295 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. William Edward Olson withdrawn from case as to Ali Al-Timimi (1). Signed by District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema on 06/16/2010. (jlan) (Entered: 06/16/2010)
    06/15/2010 295 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney by William E. Olson. by Ali Al-Timimi. (krob ) (Entered: 06/15/2010)
    02/22/2010 294 TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings held on April 4, 2005, before Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Court Reporter/Transcriber Anneliese J. Thomson, Telephone number 703-299-8595. The transcript is a paper document which may be viewed at the Clerk’s Office. (jlan) (Entered: 02/23/2010)
    05/27/2009 293 NOTICE of Change of Address of Co-Counsel by Ali Al-Timimi (jlan) (Entered: 05/28/2009)
    05/15/2009 292 Notification Regarding Security Clearance by USA as to Ali Al-Timimi (jlan) (Entered: 05/15/2009)
    02/27/2009 291 NOTICE OF ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Philip James Meitl appearing for Ali Al-Timimi (jlan) (Entered: 03/10/2009)
    02/27/2009 290 ORDER granting 289 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Katherine Joanne Seikaly withdrawn from case as to Ali Al-Timimi (1). Signed by District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema on 2/27/2009. (rban, ) (Entered: 02/27/2009)
    02/27/2009 289 MOTION for Withdrawal of Appearance of Katherine J. Seikaly as Co-Counsel for Dr. Al-Timimi by Ali Al-Timimi. (rban, ) (Entered: 02/27/2009)
    02/19/2009 288 For the reasons stated in an under seal hearing, the Government’s Motion for Treatment of Certain Defense Filings as Classified 282 is deemed resolved; and, it is hereby ORDERED that the transcript of the closed portion of the February 19, 2009 hearing will remain classified and under seal pending classification review. The government is directed to carefully review the transcript and make only those redactions necessary to protect classified information.Signed by District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema on 02/19/08. (yguy) (Entered: 02/24/2009)
    02/19/2009 Minute Entry for proceedings held before District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema:CLOSED HEARING held on 2/19/2009. US appeared through Gordon Kromberg.Deft appeared w/counsel Johnathan Turley. Pltf motion was argued in open court and deemed resolved. (Order to follow). (Court Reporter Thomson.) (yguy) (Entered: 02/24/2009)

  14. DXer said

    Top official admits FBI had al-Awlaki in custody before letting him go in 2002

    By Catherine Herridge

    Published August 02, 2012

    FoxNews.com

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/01/top-official-admits-fbi-had-al-awlaki-in-custody-but-let-him-go-in-2002/#ixzz22NNHIxcV

    “I really want to get to the bottom (of this),” said Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the committee that has oversight of the FBI. The committee was holding a hearing Wednesday on the Webster report on the FBI’s intelligence failures leading up to the Fort Hood massacre. Al-Awlaki exchanged 19 emails with Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of murdering 13 in the shooting.

    Wolf noted Wednesday that the Webster report makes no mention of the 2002 incident and the FBI’s role in the cleric’s release.

    “We’re going to send a letter on this. If we can, we’re going to get a hearing, and if we have to, we may even subpoena the thing,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/01/top-official-admits-fbi-had-al-awlaki-in-custody-but-let-him-go-in-2002/#ixzz22NNUeGwW

    • DXer said

      As I best recall before my morning coffee, in her book NEXT WAVE, Catherine Herridge explains that they let Awlaki through because he was going to see Al-Timimi and he had a companion with him who was an informant.

      I thought she had reported that Wade Ammerman (who suspected Al-Timimi in Amerithrax) (see Hardball Tactics Wash Po article) was the key player. She seems best positioned to win the Pulitzer for Amerithrax even if she doesn’t know it.

      I believe Ali’s defense counsel says that Ali suspected something and clammed up. See page from brief Lew has uploaded. The defense counsel said that Awlaki was coordinating with Al-TImimi and that his relationship with Awlaki was central to understanding why they went after Ali. See brief. (His original counsel had pretended Ali did not know Anwar, which is ridiculous given that the well-known fellow Falls Church imams and had spoken together in July and August 2001 in Toronto and London.

      I checked the docket on PACER about a week ago and no documents were hyperlinked except for 1 page that said the particular document was sealed. And so I will have to locate and upload the previously obtained public filings that I can find. (I do not recall offhand whether I obtained them from PACER or the prosecutor).

      Al-TImimi’s wife is named Ziyana (different last name; works at an embassy) and is very gracious. The only time I spoke with her was years ago when she said that she was sure that we would speak some day but for the time she could not speak with me absent consent of counsel. She may now be able to put things in their historical context.

      By way of background, the White House was engaged in the warrantless NSA wiretapping of Ali Al-TImimi, who once had been Andrew Card’s former assistant at the Department of Transportation. Source: Old defense committee webpage. It promised to be a public relations disaster. Ali’s father worked at the Iraqi embassy, in a renovated residence, as a lawyer.

      If it came out that Andrew Card’s former assistant had access to the virulent Ames strain and a new pre-patented information about growing anthrax in silica (see “Microdroplet Cell Culture Method” — rather than Iraq — then the Bush Administration perhaps would not be able to win a second term.

      In the warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, the DOJ was cut out of the loop except for two politically-minded fellows.

      The book about NSA wiretapping explained that there was showdown between Mueller and Andrew Card.

      Director Mueller had been reporting regularly to Card on Amerithrax. The exchange between Mueller and Card about the warrantless wiretapping reportedly was very animated.

      FBI Director Mueller threatened to resign if it did not stop.

      But even at the time the sources reportedly said that the additional content of the argument had not yet come out — there was something substantive that was even more sensitive than widespread warrantless NSA wiretapping.

      There was a Pacific Northwest charity that already received a verdict or settlement for millions, I believe (but I have not followed that case and would have to google). Typically, an adverse result for a multi-million dollar verdict would be taken up on appeal and so maybe the matter is still pending.

      Ali’s charity IANA had a spin-off here and so the illegal NSA wiretapping extended throughout the United States. The founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad was the charity’s chief writer.

      The wiretapping included, for example, Aafia Siddiqui’s sister at Johns-Hopkins according to author DS in a book on Aafia.

      100 agents came here the day and minute that Ali’s townhouse was searched. The agents interviewed 150 people simultaneously. There had been 8 agencies and 30 extensions of warrants of the Vice-Chairman of IANA.

      I called Ken Alibek to ask why they suspected Ali Al-Timimi. Ken said he had always known that Ali was a hardliner.

      I don’t know. Maybe someone naively thought Ali was a double agent rather than a triple. Or maybe someone thought that of Anwar.

      The convictions of these highly educated salafist-jihadi supporters run way too deep for that, IMO. Ali Mohammed was Exhibit A of the naivete of American intelligence and law enforcement in this regard.

      Peter Lance, as I recall, wrote a riveting TRIPLE X about Ali Mohammed.

      Perhaps Amerithrax someday will be understood as Ali Mohammed redux.

      In any event, it seems that the Ali Al-TImimi investigation can be understood as cover for part of Amerithrax. Professor Turley says that his client, Al-Timimi, was an “anthrax weapons suspect.” See brief.

      Ali Al-TImimi’s lawyers was the daughter of the former lead prosecutor in Amerithrax.

      The NSA warrantless wiretapping was done by Andrew Card/WH/NSA. Ali’s father worked at the Iraqi embassy, which is very small. It would have been a public relations disaster for it to come out that there was a letter of recommendation from the White House to Ali Al-TImimi for classified work for the Navy. His field was bioinformatics.

      This is all presuming the good faith of everyone involved. I am not suggesting that the White House was at all complicitous. They just had a different view of the warrant requirement regarding domestic wiretapping.

      But if you don’t understand that DOJ was cut out of the loop on the wiretapping of Al-TImimi, then you can’t understand how that affected the future course of events in Amerithrax.

      Heck, not only did they not get the transcripts but DOJ did not even know of the existence of the program.

      Ali had been at SRA — that is SRA rather than SRI — in 1999 at the same time as Charles Bailey.

      Turning back to the docket. … Before this past week, there was a period I could not find it at all and I thought it somehow had dropped from the system. Now the document titles are listed — it is just that nothing is linked.

      I may be misremembering. Maybe I got filed court documents from the prosecutor who is a highly scrupulous and by-the-book fellow but courteous enough to save me copying costs with respect to a publicly filed document (by emailing the pdf).

      But I need to check the status of any appeal and the issues raised on appeal.

      The appeal may involve issues involving classified warrantless NSA wiretapping and for all I know is sealed like portions of the docket below.

  15. DXer said

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/1723078742001/new-report-on-fort-hood-shooting-to-recommend-changes-at-fbi/

  16. DXer said

    In an article “Spilling Out the Beans” in the most recent issue of INSPRE, Anwar Awlaqi describes his surprise when FBI Agent Wade Ammerman, suspecting Ali Al-Timimi of involvement in the anthrax mailings, quashed the warrant for Anwar’s arrest so that he might meet Al-Timimi in the company of an informant.

    Awlaqi writes:

    “Passport fraud: Rescinded just one day before my ar rival? The custom officials were quite baffled at the situ- ation and didn’t know what to say. I got an apology from one of them with a weird face on him. Actually I myself was shocked and asked them:
    Is that it? They said, yes sir, that’s it. You are free to board!”

  17. DXer said

    FBI: US Colleges Infected WIth Foreign Spies
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-08/american-universities-infected-by-foreign-spies-detected-by-fbi

  18. DXer said

    Mueller grilled on FBI’s release of al-Awlaki in 2002
    By Catherine Herridge
    Published March 07, 2012
    | FoxNews.com

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/07/mueller-grilled-on-fbis-release-al-awlaki-in-2002/#ixzz1oUUlh1Ne

    After al-Awlaki re-entered the U.S. in the fall of 2002 with the FBI’s help, the cleric then appeared in a high-profile investigation, in which Agent Ammerman was a lead investigator. The FBI has not made the agent available to Fox News to interview, nor has the Department of Justice made the U.S. attorney on the case available. Former FBI agents say Ammerman would have needed permission from higher up in the bureau to let al-Awlaki go.

    The House Homeland Security Committee launched an official investigation into the cleric and his 9/11 connections last year, but sources tell Fox News that committee staffers have been frustrated by the FBI’s resistance to providing documents and witnesses, citing “ongoing investigations.”

    Wolf urged the FBI director to brief other lawmakers, including the head of the house intelligence committee, so that a similar scenario “never happens again.”

    Fox News confirmed that the October 2002 incident and the arrest warrant for al-Awlaki was never disclosed to the 9/11 Commission or to Congress.

    Former FBI agents, familiar with al-Awlaki’s re-entry in October 2002, say only two scenarios seem to explain what happened. The FBI was tracking the cleric for intelligence or the FBI was working with the cleric and saw him as a “friendly contact.”

    • DXer said

      FBI director: Have to check whether targeted killing rule is outside US only
      By Catherine Herridge
      Published March 07, 2012
      | FoxNews.com

      FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday said he would have to go back and check with the Department of Justice whether Attorney General Eric Holder’s “three criteria” for the targeted killing of Americans also applied to Americans inside the U.S.

      Pressed by House lawmakers about a recent speech in which Holder described the legal justification for assassination, Mueller, who was attending a hearing on his agency’s budget, did not say without qualification that the three criteria could not be applied inside the U.S.

      “I have to go back. Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not,” Mueller said when asked by Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., about a distinction between domestic and foreign targeting

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/07/mueller-have-to-check-with-holder-whether-targeted-killing-rule-is-outside-us/#ixzz1oUVpIEip

  19. DXer said

    Ali Al-Timimi’s Attorney On What The US Knew And When

    Eric Lichtblau writes in BUSH’S LAW: The Remaking of American Justice (2008):

    “Over the past two and a half years, a team of NSA technicians, analysts, and translators working round-the-clock out of cubicles at an open office the size of a small newsroom at Fort Meade had eavesdropped without warrant on the phone calls and e-mails of several thousand people in the United States suspected of ties to terrorists. An Islamic charity in Oregon had apparently been monitored. So had a woman in Baltimore [Fowzia Siddiqui]whose sister [Aafia] was suspected of being an al Qaeda ‘facilitator, an imam [Aref] at a mosque in Albany with suspected ties to militants in Iraq, and a truck driver in Cleveland [Faris] who talked of taking a blow torch to the Brooklyn Bridge.”

    In United States v. Ali Al-Timimi, attorneys have wrangled about the government’s failure to produce law enforcement interviews of Al-Timimi after WTC 1993 and after 9/11 — as well as failure to produce NSA intercepts from 2002. Al-Timimi’s original attorney was the first to tell us in 2003 that the FBI raided Ali’s townhouse on February 26, 2003 because they feared he was part of a planned WMD attack. Al-Timimi’s townhouse was raided two weeks after the blind sheik’s son, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman — a member of Al Qaeda’s 3-member WMD committee — was captured in Quetta, Pakistan. Al-Timimi’s attorney, Edward McMahon, in the Moussaoui case, stipulated to a timeline of events in 2001 related to what the US knew about a planned attack. Over this same period the United States government was failing to disrupt the coming attacks, microbiologist Al-Timimi was publicly lecturing on the signs of the coming day of judgment. In both July and August 2001, in Toronto and then London, Al-Timimi was lecturing on the end of times alongside the man known as the “911 imam.” “911 imam”, Awlaqi, was a fellow Falls Church iman who counseled key hijackers first in San Diego and then in Falls Church. Before that, in 1993 and twice in 1996, the man joining Al-Timimi at the podium was none other than Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik’s son. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman would serve on Al Qaeda’s WMD committee and recruit scientists. Al-Timimi was granted a high security clearance and allowed to work alongside top anthrax bioweaponeers at the same time law enforcement and intelligence memos were flying fast and furious about Al Qaeda’s interest in biological weapons and the planned attack known to relate, in part, to the detention of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman.

    Although the timeline by Al-Timimi’s defense attorney begins on February 6, 2001, I have added some notes from the first week in February 2001 that set the stage. In February 2001, the CIA briefed the President in a Presidential Daily Brief (”PDB”) on “Bin Laden’s Interest in Biological and Radiological Weapons” in a still-classified briefing memorandum. Like the PDB on Bin Laden’s threat to use planes to free the blind sheik, the February 2001 PDB would illustrate the wisdom that most intelligence is open source. There was little about Ayman’ s plan to use anthrax against US targets in retaliation for rendering of EIJ leaders that was not available to anyone paying attention. The blind sheik’s attorney in Cairo had announced that Zawahiri likely would use weaponized anthrax to protest the detention of senior Egyptian militants. The previous military commander of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, then on trial, had made the same claim, along with yet another EIJ shura member. In September 1999, a London cleric even had a dialogue with Bin Laden, in open letters read at mosques in Pakistan and London, in which the cleric called for a holy biowar against the United States and Bin Laden responded.

    The timing of the specific PDB on Al Qaeda’s biological weapons in early February 2001, however, was due to anthrax threat letters sent in late January 2001 to the Immigration Minister in Canada and the Justice Minister. The letters were sent upon the announcement of bail hearing for a detained Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader who had managed Bin Laden’s farm in Sudan. Canada announced on January 18, 2001 that an Egyptian Islamic Jihad Shura member, Mahjoub, would have a January 30 bail hearing. Someone sent an anthrax threat letter to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Minister Caplan had signed the security certificate authorizing Mahjoub’s detention. After arriving in Canada in 1996, Mahjoub continued to be in contact with high level militants, including his former supervisor in Sudan, al-Duri, an Iraqi reputed to be Bin Laden’s chief procurer or weapons of mass destruction. Beginning on February 6, 2001, another former colleague of al-Duri in Sudan, Jamal Ahmad Al-Fadl, began his testimony in the Southern District of New York in United States v. Bin Laden about his own early efforts on Bin Laden’s behalf to obtain WMD. Then Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was the prosecutor. (The United States has been required to produce 900 pages of transcripts of video conferences between FBI agents and al-Fadl.) Al Duri, while living in Tucson, Arizona, was acquainted with Wadi al Hage. Wadi al Hage was another witness cooperating with authorities in connection with the prosecution of Bin Laden in Spring 2001 relating to the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Africa.

    On February 6, 2001, a Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (”SEIB”) indicated a heightened threat of Sunni extremist terrorist attacks against United States facilities, personnel, and other interests. (A SEIB, once called the National Intelligence Daily, is a CIA-produced intelligence summary similar to the President’s Daily Brief; it must be returned to the CIA within 5 days.

    In March and April 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency disseminated a series of reports warning that Abu Zubaydah was planning an operation in the near future.

    On April 13, 2001, the FBI sent an all-office message summarizing the intelligence reporting to date on the Sunni extremist threat.

    On April 20, 2001, a Senior Executive Intelligence Brief indicated that that Osama Bin Laden was planning multiple operations.

    On May 3, 2001, a SEIB indicated Bin Laden’s “public profile may presage attack.”

    On May 23, 2001, a SEIB reported a possible hostage plot against Americans abroad to force the release of prisoners, including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was serving a life sentence for this role in the 1993 plot to blow up landmarks in New York City. (The anthrax letters followed the pattern of letter bombs mailed in late 1996 to NYC and DC newspaper offices, along with people in symbolic positions associated with the detention with Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and the WTC bombers. That is, the modus operandi of the anthrax letters was not just the modus operandi of The Friends of Abdel-Rahman, it was their signature).

    On May 26, 2001, a SEIB indicated that Bin Laden’s plans were advancing.

    In June 2001, over the course of a week, Yazid Sufaat briefed Ayman Zawahiri and Hambali on his efforts at cultivating anthrax).

    On June 19, 2001, a CIA report passed along biographical information on several terrorists mentioned, in commenting on Khalid Mohammed, that he was recruiting people to travel to the United States to meet with colleagues already there so that they might conduct terrorist attacks on Bin Laden’s behalf. (An early December 1998 PDB to the same effect to President Clinton — declassified and included in the 911 Commission Report — reported that the aircraft and attacks were being planned by the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Mohammed Islambouli. Islambouli was in a cell with Khalid Mohammed (”KSM”), who by December had come to lead the cell planning anthrax attacks in the United States.)

    On June 21, 2001, after a press report from a journalist reporting from Bin Laden’s entourage, United States embassies raised the force protection condition for United States troops in six countries to the highest possible level, Delta. The embassy in Yemen was closed. (In February 1999, militants had threatened to attack with anthrax if Americans did not promptly leave the country; the militants were thought to be connected to Abu Hamza in London; Ayman Zawahiri was in contact with a cell in Yemen).

    The unclassified portion of “Daily UBL/Radical Fundamentalist Threat Update” for June 22, 2001 under “Newly Reported Threats and Incidents” (recently uploaded to intelwire.com) states:

    “State notified all embassies and the national security community of a terrorist threat warning on 6/22/01. ‘The State Department has been made aware of the following uncorroborated threat information indicating a possible near term strike against U.S. interests (NFI). Usama Bin Laden reportedly intends to strike against U.S. interests within the next two days according to the information held by an Arab in Kabul, Afghanistan on 6/21/01. The Arab in Kabul was sure that the strike, whose location he did not disclose, would generate an American response. The DOD European also put out a similar warning to all military commands.”

    On June 22, 2001, the CIA notified all its station chiefs around the world about intelligence suggesting a possible al Qaeda suicide attack on a United States target over the next the few days. The same day, the State Department notified all embassies of the terrorist threat and updated its worldwide public warning.

    On June 23, 2001, the title of a SEIB warned, “Bin Laden Attacks May be Imminent.”

    On June 25, 2001, a SEIB titled Bin Laden and Associated Making Near-Term Threats reported that multiple attacks were being planned by Bin Laden and his associates over the coming days, including a ’severe blow’ against United States and Israeli “interests,” during the next two weeks. (Senator Leahy is in charge of the subcommittee that oversees appropriations to Egypt and Israel).

    Also, on June 25, 2001, an Arabic television station reported Bin Laden’s pleasure with al Qaeda leaders who were saying that the next few weeks “will witness important surprises” and that the United States and Israeli interests will be targeted. At the end of June 2001, an Qaeda intelligence report warned that something “very, very, very, very” big was about to happen, and most of Bin Laden’s network was reportedly anticipating the attack.

    In late June 2001, a CIA terrorist threat advisory indicated a high probability of near-term “spectacular” terrorist attacks resulting in numerous casualties.

    On June 30, 2001, a SEIB titled “Bin Laden Planning High-Profile Attacks,” repeated that Bin Laden operatives expected near-term attacks to have dramatic consequences of catastrophic proportions. The SEIB contained an article titled “Bin Laden Threats Are Real.”

    The intelligence reporting at the end of June consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a calamitous level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil and that they would consist possibly of multiple — but not necessarily simultaneous — attacks.

    Threat reports surged in June and July 2001.

    On July 2, 2001, a SEIB indicated that the planning for Usama Bin Laden’s attacks continue, despite delays.

    Also on July 2, 2001, the FBI issued a National Law Enforcement Telecommunications (”NLETS”) message concerning potential anti-United States attacks. The message summarized the information regarding the threats from Bin Laden and warned that there was an increased volume of threat reporting. The message indicated a potential for attacks against United Statets targets abroad from groups “aligned or sympathetic to Usama Bin Laden.” The message further stated, “The FBI has no information indicating a credible threat of terrorist attack in the United States.” The message asked recipient to “exercise extreme vigilance” and “report suspicious activities” to the FBI. (Later that summer, when a flying school instructor reported Zacarias Moussaoui and it was known he was associated with Bin Laden’s colleague Ibn Khattab, who intelligence showed was related to Bin Laden’s CBRN aspirations, FBI HQ denied the request that a FISA warrant be sought for his laptop.)

    On July 5, 2001, the CIA briefed the Attorney General on the al Qaeda threat, warning that a significant attack was imminent. In addition, the Attorney General was told by the CIA that preparations for multiple attacks were in late stages or already complete and that little warning could be expected. The briefing addressed only threats outside United States.

    On July 13, 2001, a SEIB indicated that Bin Laden’s plans had been delayed, maybe for as long as two months, but not abandoned.

    On July 19, 2001, one of the items mentioned by the Acting FBI Director in a conference call with his special agents in charge, was the need, in light of increased threat reporting, to have evidence response teams ready to move at a moment’s notice, in case of an attack. The Acting Director did not task FBI field offices to try to determine whether any plots were being considered within the United States or to take any action to disrupt any such plots.

    On July 25, 2001, a SEIB stated that one Bin Laden operation was delayed, but that others were ongoing.

    On August 1, 2001, the FBI issued an advisory that in light of the increased volume of threat reporting and the upcoming anniversary of the bombings of the U.S. embassies in East Africa (which occurred on August 7, 1998), increased attention should be paid to security planning. The advisory noted that while most of the reporting indicated that the potential for attacks were on U.S. interests abroad, the possibility of an attack in the United States could not be discounted.

    On August 3, 2001, the CIA issued an advisory concluding that the threat of impending al Qaeda attacks would likely continue indefinitely. The advisory suggested that al Qaeda was lying in wait and searching for gaps in security before moving forward with the planned attacks.

    An article in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (”PDB”) titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S” was the 36th PDB item in 2001 relating to Bin Laden or al Qaeda and the first devoted to the possibility of an attack in the United States. The PDB again mentioned the detention of the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman as motivating the attack.

    On August 7, 2001, a SEIB indicated that Osama Bin Laden was determined to strike in the United States.

    On August 23, 2001, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet received a briefing on Zacarias Moussaoui, titled “islamic Extremist Learns to Fly.” (Both Zacarias Moussaoui and Mohammed Atta had made cropduster inquiries during the summer).

    On August 24, 2001, a foreign intelligence service reported that Abu Zubaydah was considering mounting terrorist attacks in the United States to Attack Targets in the United States.

    The Stipulation ended just before the most interesting pre-911 data point.

    A report titled “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters” issued on September 10, 2001. It was a study of the mailed anthrax threat in January 2001. In contrast to a 1998 study by William Patrick that had been requested by Dr. Hatfill’s employer SAIC, the Canadian study found considerable exposure to those in the room resulted when such a letter was opened. Bacillus globigii spores (in dry powder form) had been donated by the US Department of Defense (Dugway Proving Ground, Utah). “The letter was prepared by putting BG spores in the center of a sheet of paper, folding it over into thirds, placing the folded sheet into the envelope and sealing using the adhesive present on the envelope. The envelope was then shaken to mimic the handling and tumbling that would occur during its passage through the postal system.” The aerosol, produced by opening the BG spore containing envelope, was not confined to the area of the desk but spread throughout the chamber. Values were almost as high at the opposite end of the chamber, shortly after opening the envelopes. 99% of the particles collected were in the 2.5 to 10 mm size range. The report explained: “In addition, the aerosol would quickly spread throughout the room so that other workers, depending on their exact locations and the directional air flow within the office, would likely inhale lethal doses. Envelopes with the open corners not specifically sealed could also pose a threat to individuals in the mail handling system.” The authors of the study emailed the study to the head of the CDC’s investigation of the anthrax mailings but he did not open or read the email. The lead CDC investigator explained: “It is certainly relevant data, but I don’t think it would have altered the decisions that we made.” In the week after 9/11, only an estimated 16 individuals in the United States knew of the report). Question: Was Ali-Al-Timimi one of the 16 who knew of the Canadian report on the danger of anthrax aerosols from mailed anthrax? Was the Canadian report faxed to the Alibek/Bailey/Timimi fax number or sent to his mail drop?

    On October 5, 2001, bail was denied for Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura member Mahjoub. The anthrax mailer then rushed to mail the potent anthrax to the author of “Leahy Law” — that allows continued appropriations to security units in the event of “extraordinary circumstances.” The postmark was Tuesday, October 9, but Monday was a holiday, leaving the possibility the anthrax was mailed as early as October 6.

    In March 2003, the FBI questioned people in Ann Arbor, MI and asked them if they knew of any conspiracies against the United States. Homam Albaroudi, co-founded the Islamic Association of North America in 1993, reports he was among those the FBI sought to question. He had been a member of the Ann Arbor Muslim Community Association (“MCA”) since 1999. He served on its board for 3 years. He organized the Free Rabih Haddad Committee in December 2001 and sought to garner support for Mr. Haddad in connection with the closed proceedings relating to his immigration status. The Muslim Community Association (“MCA”) runs the Michigan Islamic Academy which is right across from the University of Michigan North Campus. In 2001, Dr. Albaroudi was head of its PTO. As the American Civil LIberties Union explained in a suit against the United States Department of Justice in 2003, approximately 1000 people attend services at the mosque each Friday. MCA employs about 20 people and has about 700 registered, dues-paying members. Approximately 200 students were enrolled at the Michigan Islamic Academy which offered classes from pre-K through 11th grade. In addition to the standard academic curriculum used in state public schools, the ACLU explained, the school offers classes in Arabic language, Quranic recitation and Islamic Studies. The mission of the school is to provide students with the basic knowledge require to preserve their basic Islamic heritage, religion and cultural identity. Rabih Haddad, founder of the Global Relief Foundation, taught as a volunteer at the school twice a week. Bassem Khafagi, the Chairman who had been questioned about Ali Al-Timimi before 9/11 lived in Ann Arbor. The MCA held numerous rallies and fundraisers supporting Rabih Haddad in connection the closed proceedings on his immigration status. The ACLU has noted that Dr. Albaroudi stepped down from the IANA becaue of personal differences with other IANA leaders. The ACLU reports that after the FBI raided IANA’s offices in February 2003 and Al-Timimi’s residence in Northern Virginia, the FBI sought to question him notwithstanding he no longer was associated with IANA.

    The ACLU explains:

    “The FBI contacted Mr. Albaroudi again in or about March 2003. On this occasion, the FBI agents who contacted him said they had not singled him out but rather were interviewing many people in the area to find out whether anyone had learned of any conspiracies against the United States Mr. Albaroudi explained to the FBI that he would have contacted them of his own accord if he had learned of any conspiracies against the United States. The FBI then asked Mr. Albaroudi about another co-founder of IANA [Bassem Khafagi], who had recently been arrested for an overdraft check and then detained on immigration charges. The FBI did not pursue did not pursue efforts to speak with Mr. Albaroudi after he informed them he did not feel comfortable speaking without an attorney present.”

    According to Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer, Bassem Khafagi was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest.” Given that, according to his counsel, Al-Timimi was an “anthrax weapons suspect,” it appears that much of the investigation of former and present charity officials related to that suspicion about IANA’s celebrated speaker Al-Timimi. Whatever the US knew, it appears they wanted to know more. It turns out that it appears that the FBI did not know enough — and then the prosecutors and investigators were quite content to close Amerithrax rather than be blamed for Dr. Ivins’ suicide.

    At the end of the day, inside the beltway it is all about CYA.

  20. DXer said

    http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/house-panel-launch-look-anwar-al-awlaki

    House panel to launch look at Anwar al-Awlaki
    Published 18 August, 2011 – 04:35

    ***

    The House Homeland Security Committee “has initiated an investigation” into the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and whether he was an overlooked key player in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a letter from the committee chairman to Attorney General Eric Holder says.
    The 3-page letter, obtained exclusively by Fox News, argues that a decade after the worst terrorist attack on U.S.soil, the full story of 9/11 has not been told. The letter says:
    This congressional investigation will seek to determine:

    • 1. To what extent Anwar al-Awlaki wittingly or unwittingly facilitated the plot of the 9/11 hijackers; and
    • 2. to what extent al-Awlaki was an al Qaeda operative, offering support to acts of terrorism prior to 9/11.
    Fox News reports that the letter to Holder, sent by Representative Peter King (R-New York) on 26 May, confirms that investigators believe the American-born cleric’s contacts with three of the five hijackers on Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon, were more than merer coincidences, but rather evidence of a purposeful relationship. King writes:

    Given the greater collection of intelligence and integration of pertinent data since the attacks of 9/11, I believe that al-Awlaki may have played greater roles in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as well as other terrorist plots, than those of which we have been previously aware…. Accordingly, I request the full assistance of the Department of Justice in carrying out this inquiry.

    The letter goes on to say that the House committee investigation is seeking “all documents … in the possession of the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or any other DOJ entity or component” that pertain to al-Awlaki and seven other individuals, including his associate in San Diego Mohdar Abdullah and his associate in Virginia Eyad al-Rababah who directly aided the hijackers.

    The letter says the committee is also seeking “files, reports, analysis, assessments, memoranda, notes and presentation in all forms” that are related to long-closed FBI investigations of al-Awlaki in 1999. In that case, the San Diego terrorism task force was investigating an alleged link between al-Awlaki, Usama bin Laden and a “known procurement agent named Ziyad Khaleel…(who) had previously purchased a satellite phone for (bin Laden).”
    Fox New notes that “The tone of the letter and the materials being sought suggest that the congressional investigation believes there is compelling evidence that al-Awlaki may have been Al Qaeda from the beginning, and that his rise to an operational commander in the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, considered the most active, was not a surprise but rather a logical progression.”

  21. DXer said

    Journalists have such a cool job. Here is Kim Murphy reporting on her interview of a man who worshipped in Al-Timimi’s Falls Church mosque. Mr. Rockwood would have insights into the relationship between Anwar Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi. Mr. Rockwood says he shared Anwar Awlaki’s views. Ali’s original defense counsel’s suggestion that Ali did not know his fellow Falls Church imam, Anwar, when he came to coordinate with him on the recruitment of young men to jihad was specious on its face. (Anwar was travelling with an informant which is why FBI Agent Ammerman wanted the meeting, which was monitored, to go forward. Ali suspected a trap and declined Anwar’s entreaties).

    In the Rockwood matter, judging from this article, it appears that there was no entrapment — just a brave and resourceful State Trooper and someone else idiotic enough not to realize that plotting jihad with a State Trooper is a pretty moronic thing to do.

    Invite him tobogganing sure. Snowshoeing even. But draw up lists for targeted assassination? No. That’s stupid.

    You would never catch me getting in bed with an undercover. At least not without a flash.

    How an Alaska couple became the militants next door

    By KIM MURPHY
    Los Angeles Times
    Published: December 26, 2011

    To federal authorities, Rockwood, 36, is a man who turned from hard-partying bartender and ex-Navy seaman to Muslim militant committed to killing fellow Americans.

    To Rockwood, the plot involving targeted assassinations and bombs was a “pure fantasy” created by a government agent he thought was his friend — a common refrain in the nation’s burgeoning number of “home-grown” terrorism plots prosecuted since the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Rockwood concedes he drew up a list of people. He thought they should be punished.

    “But … it was all talk,” Rockwood said from a small interview room at the correctional facility he has called home since July 2010.

    ..

    “I was struck by how similar the beliefs in Islam were to Christianity, and at the same time, I guess also the differences made sense to me — it was a straighter path,” he said.

    Rockwood said he also felt he was beginning to understand what had driven the Sept. 11 hijackers. “These people felt that they had been under attack,” he said. “They kind of saw it as a self-defense response. It was like you’d be impressed if an American soldier jumps on a grenade to save his buddies — it takes a lot of courage to give up your life like that.”

    In December, only three months after the attacks, Rockwood took the shehada, the Muslim affirmation of faith, and not long after began attending the radical Dar al-Arqam mosque in Falls Church, Va. That mosque had frequently served as a platform for Ali al-Timimi, a radical lecturer who would soon be convicted and sentenced to life in prison on charges of soliciting followers to join the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Here, Rockwood was exposed to the teachings of Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni American engineer whose entreaties to U.S. Muslims to engage in jihad made him one of the most influential voices of violent, radical Islam in the West. Al-Awlaki was killed in September in a U.S. missile strike in Yemen.

    “I held beliefs that were similar to his beliefs,” Rockwood said. Among them were outrage at the deaths of innocents, fury at war crimes committed by U.S. troops and a conviction that the Iraq war had been started to lock up new oil supplies for the U.S.

    ..

    Two years after arriving, and again in 2009, Rockwood traveled to Cairo, hoping to find a way that he and Nadia could move there and enroll their young son in an international madrasa.

    His boss, he feels sure, noticed he was listening to al-Awlaki sermons and using his personal laptop to visit websites such as Revolution Muslim, which praised Nidal Malik Hasan’s deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, as a “pre-emptive attack.” It was his boss, he believes, that called him to the FBI’s attention — though the government has said its initial tip in the case came from outside Alaska.

    By that time, Rockwood was back on prescription meds to counter a flare-up of his Meniere’s disease. He was lonely and thinking again about moving to Egypt.

    ..

    That was when one of the leaders at the mosque in Anchorage asked if he wouldn’t like to meet a potential convert. The gentleman was a state trooper, he was told, and wanted to learn more about the religion. Would Rockwood talk about his own experience?

    They met and became, Rockwood thought, fast friends. “Every time I came to Anchorage we would go to the mosque, go out to dinner, he’d ask me for help in how to recite the Quran, how to fast. He actually became a Muslim. He took the shehada. He said the words,” Rockwood said, a little incredulously.

    “Our conversations for months and months had nothing to do with politics or jihad and the wars. But slowly over time, that was all he wanted to talk about,” Rockwood said. “He’d bring up certain things or ask me certain questions to try to get me riled up. Things like atrocities that were committed during the war. Abu Ghraib, the villages, the rapes. Basically, we’d both share our outrage and ask, what should be done about this? Who should be doing something about this?”

    The discussions — often carried out at an expensive hotel where the trooper paid to put up Rockwood in a room — began to grow deadly serious.

    “We decided to assassinate certain people. We had these conversations. I’m not going to deny it,” Rockwood said. “I told him that I’d kept news articles with the names of people that were involved in the atrocities and stuff. He said, ‘Great, get me a list of names.’ Part of it was a macho kind of thing. … Also, he was offering me money. He said he was going to give me $8,000 (to get started on the plan).” …

    “The suggestion that this was planted in his mind is just false. … He researched the means to select targets, and his looking for people to kill and how to kill them was well before law enforcement got involved,” Karen Loeffler, U.S. attorney in Alaska, said in an interview.

  22. DXer said

    The New York Times has sued the Department of Justice to obtain the memo providing the legal justification for killing Awlaki.

    • DXer said

      New York Times files lawsuit seeking info on targeted killings
      NEW YORK TIMES

      December 21, 2011|By Jesse Solomon, CNN

      Scott Shane is one of the plaintiffs along with the newspaper.

      David E. McCraw, assistant general counsel for the New York Times, said the paper wants the use of targeted killings to be part of a public discussion.

      “From our standpoint, we lay out the case that this is an important public issue. We’re not interested in any sensitive operational details” McCraw said. “This is about the legal arguments made within the justice department and within the government used to legally justify the killings.”

  23. DXer said

    Congressional Investigators Want 9/11 Suspects Questioned About Awlaki
    By Catherine Herridge
    Published October 27, 2011
    | FoxNews.com

    Fox News Exclusive
    These are mugshots that Fox News exclusively obtained of Daoud Chehazeh, (l), and Eyad al Rababah, (r), both suspects in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
    House Homeland Security Committee investigators want the 9/11 suspects questioned about the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his possible role in the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans, Fox News has learned.
    FBI Special Agent Bob Bukowski, who led the Pent-Bomb investigation team in Paterson, New Jersey told Fox News that Rababah’s story did not add up in the days immediately after the attack.
    Rababah “found out we were looking for him,” he said. “There’s no doubt when he got tipped off, he was in Connecticut at the time. He walked into the Connecticut office of the FBI and said ‘oh, by the way, I just happened to meet the hijackers.’ But we knew that wasn’t true.”

    [ Comment: I believe there were calls made from a Connecticut pizzeria that should be pursued in this regard. ]

    ..

    Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, told the Fox News that his investigators had wanted to question the Jordanian because they too were suspicious of his possible role in the attack, but the Justice Department denied them access.

    In a third letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the committee asked that Chehazeh, also implicated in al-Awlaki’s Virginia support network, not be deported “without first questioning Chehazah — under oath — about what role, Awlaki and their associate Eyad al-Rababah played in the 9/11 attacks.”
    According to investigators and declassified documents, Chehazeh told the Jordanian to go to al-Awlaki and look for work. After the meeting at al-Awlaki’s Virginia mosque, Rabahah hooked up with two of the 9/11 hijackers.

    In the three letters, the House Homeland Security Committee cites new evidence, including the fact that Chehazeh and Rabahah were aware of pilot Hani Hanjour’s flight training. Hanjour was the pilot on United Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon.
    And that the men were also aware of where and how Hanjour, along with fellow hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi, bought their tickets for the attacks at a “New Jersey library compute facility,” and the men’s facilitation of the hijackers’ movements inside the United States.

    Customs documents show that an FBI agent, Wade Ammerman, ordered the cleric’s release even though the State Department warrant was still active. Al-Awlaki then appears in a high profile FBI investigation involving the same FBI agent Ammerman. The FBI has not made the agent available for questioning nor has the agency publicly explained why the cleric was allowed to slip through its grasp one year after the attacks.

    [ Comment: I’m not comfortable in the role of critic of the DOJ and FBI given I think they are highly skilled and admire the work they do. There is no denying that they do very important and challenging work.

    I’m just looking forward to the day that we can celebrate Wade Ammerman and others as heros on a challenging national security assignment — instead of poking fun at the evidence proffered against Dr. Ivins in Amerithrax.

    Unless those 52 rabbits were his assistants, Dr. Ivins wasn’t doing anything on those nights except tend to his scheduled business.

    Now if you want to focus on the missing Ames being what was used in the attack, then that requires development of an entirely different line of reasoning and supporting evidence. ]

  24. DXer said

    I don’t doubt that the US wanted to develop Awlaki as an intelligence asset in 2002 and/or wanted to follow him and wiretap his meeting with Al-Timimi (as they did). But I would be slower to second-guess the wisdom of such an approach based on such sparse information.

    But I have to agree with the Terror Pixie’s point about the incongruity about redactions based on Anwar’s privacy under FOIA and putting on a hit list.

    State Department: Don’t Invade Privacy of Cleric on CIA Kill List
    By Catherine Herridge
    Published August 26, 2011
    FoxNews.com

    Both the Justice Department and FBI have refused Fox News’ requests and resisted calls from Congress to explain why the cleric was able to slip through the grasp of federal agents just one year after the 9/11 attacks. On Oct. 10, 2002, Al-Awlaki was held by Customs agents at JFK International airport for three hours until an FBI agent, Wade Ammerman, ordered the cleric’s release, even though there was an active warrant for al-Awlaki’s arrest on passport fraud.
    Despite repeated requests, the FBI has refused to make agent Ammerman available for questions. The bureau has not disputed Fox News’ reporting that the FBI was trying to cultivate the cleric as an intelligence asset or, that at the very least, agents wanted to follow the cleric to gather intelligence.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/26/state-department-dont-invade-privacy-cleric-on-cia-kill-list/#ixzz1WLQonsdL

    • DXer said

      The 2006 Arrest Of Falls Church “911 Imam” And Fellow Salafist Lecturer Awlaqi

      By way of some background, In March 2002, fellow Falls Church iman Anwar Aulaqi — known as the “911 imam” — suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). Upon a return visit in Fall 2002, “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon claimed that those “entreaties were rejected” (and this may have been true, especially given that it appears that Ali thought Anwar was wired). A few years ago — perhaps in 2007 — I wrote the late Mr. Aulai and advised that “In the event Anwar Aulaqi responds to my emails, I will add any insights he wants to share.” It turns out, I believe, that he had been detained in Yemen and had been interrogated by the FBI.

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

      Although I did not know it at the time, Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi), who met with hijacker Nawaf, reportedly was picked up in Yemen by Yemen security forces at the request of the CIA in the summer of 2006. British and US intelligence had him and others under surveillance. Al-Timimi would speak alongside fellow Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi) at conferences such as the August 2001 London JIMAS and the August 2002 London JIMAS conference. They would speak on subjects such as signs before the day of judgment and the like. Dozens of their lectures are available online. Unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post in 2008 that “they have come to believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaida networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia.” One official said: “There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies.” “Some believe that Aulaqi was the first person since the summit meeting in Malaysia with whom al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi shared their terrorist intentions and plans,” former Senate Intelligence committee chairman Bob Graham wrote in his 2004 book “Intelligence Matters.” The FBI has said that as part of the House Homeland Security inquiry into what was known about Awlaqi, they will study his past public statements. (This seems a very lame and truncated approach to any investigation of whether Awlaki was a covert operative (Anwar was very controlled in what he said publicly; just ask his roommote in Spring 2001 at hajj and you would know that he had a different persona privately). But at the very least such a scrutiny should study the fact that he was speaking in Canada and London alongside the salafi-jihadist supporter who shared a suite with the two DARPA funded researchers.

      Now, it should not slow the FBI that the scientist, Ali Al-Timimi had previously worked for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card at the Transportation Department as his assistant. It should not slow the FBI in producing documents that for a time FBI Director Mueller reported each day to the President on Amerithrax and it was Andrew Card who was calling key shots on things like authorization of NSA wiretapping of AL-TImimi and opening the door for the Director. Did Andrew Card give Ali a letter of recommendation in 1999 or 2000 in getting him the position alongside the Hadron and Center for Biodefense researchers researching with Ames? The risk of embarrassment should not slow the inquiry. The fact that Eric Holder wants to honor what he says is the longstanding DOJ tradition of withholding documents relating to responding to such inquiries — even though no privilege applies — should not slow the production of documents given Dr. Zawahiri’s commitment to destroying New York City and District of Columbia. The fact that the daughter of the lead prosecutor of Amerithrax –the prosecutor had came over from the CIA’s IG office on September 18, 2001 — would represent Ali Al-TImimi for free. I would think that Mr. Holder, an inside-the-beltway insider and consummate politician himself, would especially want to get to the bottom of Amerithrax and have an understanding of the analysis that went far deeper than stained panties tucked at the bottom of the garbage can of the DOJ/ FBI Ivins Theory. His friends throughout the D.C. area are counting on him to do a better job at connecting the dots regarding Awlaki, Al-Timimi and anthrax. If Al-Timimi is a Top Echelon informant, Mr. Holder and Mr. Mueller need to consider whether the information they obtained from Ali was worth it. They need to consider whether this is just Whitey Bulger redux. We live in a day and age that one does not want to bet one’s career on maintaining secrets. On the other hand, one can always hide behind the truth and know that the shadow will not move.

      Awlaqi was hired in early 2001 in an attempt by the mosque’s leaders to appeal to younger worshipers. Born in New Mexico and raised in Yemen, he had the total package. He was young, personable, fluent in English, eloquent and knowledgeable about Middle East politics. Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Al Hazmi worshiped at Aulaqi’s mosque for several weeks in spring 2001. The 9/11 commission noted that the two men apparently showed up because Nawaf Hazmi had developed a close relationship with Aulaqi in San Diego. In 2001, Awlaqi came to Falls Church from San Diego shortly before Nawaf did. Awlaqi told the FBI that he did not recall what Nawaf and he had discussed in San Diego and denied having contact with him in Falls Church.

      The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was his roommate. Smith tells me that he was very extreme in his views when speaking privately and not like his smooth public persona. “Aulaqi is deep into hardcore militant Islam. He is not a cleric who just says prayers and counsels people as some of his supporters have suggested.” Sami al-Hussayen uncle checked into the same Herndon, VA hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn, on the same night — September 10, 2001 as Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and another hijacker. Hussayen had a seizure during an FBI interview and although doctors found nothing wrong with him was allowed to return home. During his trip to the US, al_Hussay had visited both “911 imam” Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi.

      The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states

      “Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmi’s personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.”

      In March 2002, Awlaqi suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” The Washington Post explains that “After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. His CD “The Hereafter” takes listeners on a tour of Paradise that describes “the mansions of Paradise,” “the women of Paradise,” and “the greatest of the pleasures of Paradise.” In London, after leaving the United States, he spoke at JIMAS and argued that in light of the rewards offered to martyrs in Jennah, or Paradise, Muslims should be eager to give his life in fighting the unbelievers. “Don’t think that the tones that die in the sake of Allah are dead — they are alive, and Allah is providing for them. So the shaheed is alive in the sense that his soul is in Jennah, and his soul is alive in Jennah.” He moved to Yemen, his family’s ancestral home, in 2004.” Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in San’a run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.

      In court documents in New York filed in 2004, the United States alleged that while in the US, Aulaqi served as vice president of a charity alleged to be a front that sent money to al-Qaeda. The Washington Post reports that tax records show that in 1998 and 1999, while in San Diego, Aulaqi served as vice president of the now-defunct Charitable Society for Social Welfare, Inc., the U.S. branch of a Yemeni charity founded by Zindani. Documents filed in 2004 in Alexandria, Va., recount that in 2002, Aulaqi returned briefly to Northern Virginia where he visited Al-Timimi and asked him about recruiting young Muslims for “violent jihad.”

      Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: “Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi’s charity as its Yemeni partner. In what is another seminal article by Susan Schmidt, the Washington Post explains: “The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.”

      What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? What did Al-Timimi say about Awlaqi? The Washington Post reports that in a taped interview posted on December 31, 2007 on a British Web site, “Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers.” “I don’t know if I was held because of that or because of the other issues they presented,” Aulaqi said. Aulaqi said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so “until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.”

  25. DXer said

    Dr. Rita Colwell’s CV is 300 pages long, listing 100 awards. Do you think she even had time to read or the inclination to read INSIDE JIHAD or pick up the phone and call its author “Tawfiq” Hamid who described his recruitment by Dr. Ayman at Cairo Medical?

    Intelligence and biosecurity analysis in government is bureaucratic form — pomp and circumstance — over substance.

    Entomologists are put in charge of intelligence analysis.

    That is why we have a DOJ arguing that it was not foreseeable that a liquid anthrax could be stolen and made into a dried powder.

    That is why we have no official acknowledgement that the EIJ shura council members and officials Al-Najjar and Mabruk — and the blind sheik’s lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat — long before 9/11 had specifically announced that Dr. Ayman was going to attack US targets with anthrax … and why.

    The main course of defense threat reduction effort in this country has been PC- tripe-by-distinguished-committee followed up by a dessert of CYA served up by postal inspectors who had never even heard of Dr. Ayman’s Vanguards of Conquest and the group’s anthrax planning.

    That is why we had $50 million invested in the small company of the former Zawahiri associate who as a non-citizen worked alongside Bruce Ivins… with the head of the venture firm Perseus providing the $50 then coming to head US efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Our country’s defense has all been about making money by those involved and not keeping the country safe.

    Dr. Ayman’s next attack will not be avoided and we now have a paper record containing a long list of people who are responsible.

    If you think the questions are hard now Dave F. … just wait until the tsunami that hits the Beltway after Dr. Ayman’s attack.

    And if you thought investigative journalism was dead, book reviewers are right there attending the funeral.

  26. DXer said

    Excerpt from former Senator Bob Graham (former head of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence):

    “Zaid said bin Laden has had weapons of mass destruction as his Holy Grail since long before 9/11. You remember the biological weapons lab we wrapped up after the 2001 invasion of Kandahar? According to the Times, it had been active since the early ninenties and bin Laden was close to having a device. If it hasn’t already happened, I’m convinced he will and soon.” (pp. 195-196)

  27. DXer said

    I addressed these issues three years ago in June 2008.

    To: ZACKandPOOK
    In the Al-Timimi matter, the government has been granted a protective order over material currently under seal. Professor Turley, however, will be able to review classified material next week. None of the lawyers in the firm serving as his co-counsel will be allowed to see the classified material.

    It was on October 10, 2002 — a few days after Al-Timimi had arranged for the letter to be hand-delivered to all Congressman warning of the consequences of invading Iraq — that Aulaqi arrived at JFK airport. (Al-Timimi had the letter delivered on the first anniversary of the anthrax letters to the Senators.) If I were Professor Turley, I would be curious as to who caused the warrant for Aulaqi’s arrest to be removed on October 9, 2002. Aulaqi came to DC, met with Al-Timimi, closed some business, and then left the country again.

    One of the investigations of Aulaqi — Case Number HOo2P1o2H0ooo5 — involved Aulaqi’s connection that originated with the Customs office in Houston. “RADWAN ABU-ISSA — SUBJECT OF HOUSTON JTTF INVESTIGATION — SENT MONEY TO AULAQI,” states a document from the federal database called the Treasury Enforcement Communication System, or TECS II for short. Abu-Issa is a Syrian national who arrived in the US in 1997 or so. A research scholar and Muslim activist, he had taken Saudi flights in and and out of the country since 9/11. Lead investigator was Special Agent Pam, an FBI agent detailed over to Customs after 9/11 who worked in the Houston office of the JTTF.

    Aulaqi was also the subject of a Green Quest investigation led by a senior special agent Michael with Customs. The case — Number DCo2PU02DC0014 — apparently has been closed. Operation Green Quest was transferred over to Homeland Security’s ICE.

    Separately, Aulaqi was the subject of a terror-finance investigation led by senior ICE agent David Kane, who has been following the financial trail of the leaders of a Virginia group suspected of aiding Islamic terrorists. The Safa group is funded by wealthy Saudis.

    Note that Jdey, according to the 911 Commission, may have trained with Aulaqi’s acquaintances from Falls Church and San Diego.

    The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on … – Page 527
    by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, Lee Hamilton – History – 2004 (”Abderraouf Jdey, aka Faruq al Tunisi. A Canadian passport holder, he may have trained in Afghanistan with Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi and received …”)

    Now there are many reasons why the Administration might want to obfuscate the investigation relating to Ali Al-Timimi. …

    878 posted on June 1, 2008 9:43:00 PM EDT by ZACKandPOOK
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 877 | View Replies]
    To: ZACKandPOOK
    Special Agent Wade Ammerman once played a role in both the Al-Timimi and Aulaqi investigations. He had followed Aulaqi out of the bureau’s Washington field office. He recently wrote in the Law Enforcement Bulletin, quoting Albert Einstein, that “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”He also quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears, I cannot hear what you say.” …

    FBI Special Agent Wade Ammerman, for example, testfied that on September 17, 2001, Masoud Ahmad Khan applied for a passport. On September 18, 2001, Khan left for Pakistan to go to a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp. In December 2002, Khan purchased an auto-pilot module for a radio-controlled model aircraft. Upon a search in 2003, at Khan’s residence, authorities found a copy of “The Terrorist’s Handbook.”

    Maybe Special Agent Wade knows why the October 9, 2002 warrant for “911 imam” Aulaqi’s arrest was canceled the day before he arrived back in this country to finish some business. …

    If the anthrax mailings were thought to have involved a US citizen whose father worked at the Iraq embassy — as Ali’s lawyer suggests the FBI did — would that support or undermine the reason for invading Iraq? If they involved a former assistant of Andrew Card, the White House Chief of Staff, would that make it or more less likely the White House would direct that these issues be dealt with candidly?

    Personally, I think that there was just a long-planned instance of infiltration by a dedicated and clever foe. The Administration need only be faulted for continuing to obfuscate the truth about Amerithrax. GMU’s civil liability would be determined, in part, by the candor and vigor in which they addressed these issues. ATCC fired a new, highly trained scientist the minute she complained about the lax security.

  28. DXer said

    Herridge says the Awlaki case is the worst intelligence failure post 9/11.

    http://gretawire.blogs.foxnews.com/check-out-catherine-herridges-new-book/

  29. DXer said

    This document seized in Afghanistan pointed to infiltration n of US biodefense. To what was the author referring?

  30. DXer said

    One can only hope that the DIA is not as clueless as the FBI and CIA and Postal Inspectors have proven themselves to be.

  31. DXer said

    Infiltration Of The ATCC-Sponsored Program At GMU’s Discovery Hall Housing The DARPA-Funded Center For Biodefense

    On March 14, 2001, former USAMRIID deputy commander Ames researcher Charles L. Bailey and famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek filed a patent application for a process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide. Dr. Bailey was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. Ali Al-Timimi, an associate of radical Saudi sheik al-Hawali, considered to be Bin Laden’s spiritual mentor, was a graduate student who worked in the same building. Ali Al-Timimi was the most celebrated speaker of the Ann Arbor-based charity Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”). Its lead writer was Kamal Habib, founder of Egyptian Islamic JIhad, who had been in the first cell with Ayman Zawahiri decades earlier and spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. The IANA website had published the fatwa “Provision of Suicide Operations,” dated June 19, 2001, that stated: “The mujahid [or warrior] must kill himself if he knows this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies or demolishing a center vital to the enemy or its military forces. In this new era, this can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses.” On August 26, 2001, IANA’s website http://www.islamway.com published a propaganda statement that encouraged individuals to join arms against the West titled “An Invitation to Jihad,” stating that “[t]he mujahid brothers will accept you with open arms and within a period of two weeks you will be given commando training and will be sent to the frontline.”

    In mid-December 2001, the US arrested US-based Al Qaeda biochem operative Ali Al-Marri, who had arrived on September 10, 2001 and was nominally a student living in Macomb, Illinois. Al-Marri had lived in Macomb the previous summer and had traveled to New York City to join with UK operative Dhiren Barot to case NYC helicopters and financial institutions. Authorities had learned of calls he made to KSM’s assistant al-Hawsawi, who worked with Dr. Ayman Zawahiri and KSM in Al Qaeda’s media organization “As Sahab” (or “The Clouds”). Al-Hawsawi was the fellow with anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop. He had the imam at the local mosque store the computer in his basement and then ship it to Washington.

    Beginning December 2001, Ali Al-Timimi was on GMU staff and paid $70,000 a year. Officials learned of communications between Al-Timimi and Bin Laden’s spiritual adviser, radical Saudi sheik al-Hawali. Al-Timimi’s attorney, for example, says that Al-Timimi and Al-Hawali spoke on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001. They later spoke in coordinating a letter to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax letters to the Senators and helping Moussaoui with his defense.

    In March 2002, a crude biological weapons site was found in Afghanistan. U.S. forces discovered a site near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar that appeared to be an Al Qaeda biological weapons lab under construction. Zawahiri’s plan, evidenced in the documents found previous in the Fall, was to move the location of the lab every 3 months.

    In February 2011, the National Academies of Sciences reported:

    “In December 2010-January 2011, the FBI first made available to the Committee “AMX Weekly Science Updates” and a newly de-classified document that described the collection and analysis of environmental samples from an undisclosed site outside the continental United States (OCONUS) for the presence of B. anthracis Ames (FBI/USDOJ, 2011, FBI Documents, WFO Report). This work was performed as part of the anthrax letters investigation. Few details were made available to the committee.”

    At least three sample collection missions were conducted by the FBI and/or partners from the intelligence community at an overseas site because of information about efforts by Al Qaeda to develop an “anthrax program” (FBI/USDOJ, 2011). In May 2004, the FBI and partners from the intelligence community visited an overseas location at which they had been told an anthrax program had been operating, and brought back swab and swipe samples to the United States. None of the samples grew B. anthracis after incubation in culture media. However, three swab samples were reported as positive for B. anthracis and for B. anthracis Ames-specific sequences by PCR, including swabbings from the outside of an unopened medicine dropper package, a sink, and a sink drain hose. Repeat testing of these three positive samples as part of a group of 15 blinded samples, including soil samples, water blanks and non Ames Bacillus species, again yielded positive results for two of the three same samples (and for none of the other samples).

    However, not all replicates of the DNA extracts from the positive samples gave positive results. Apparently, an earlier collection mission to this site, prior to May 2004, by others in the intelligence community had also yielded samples with positive PCR results for B. anthracis DNA and negative culture results. As a result of these findings, a third collection mission was conducted in November 2004 and this time large portions of the site were returned intact to the United States, including the entire sink, drain, and associated plumbing that had been the source of the positive March 2004 samples. These items were extensively sampled, and again tested for both viable B. anthracis and for B. anthracis DNA. This time, according to the June 2008 declassified document, all the tests were negative (FBI Documents, WFO Report).

    The committee was provided only fragmentary information about and limited primary data from this work and received them very late in our study. We consider these data to be inconclusive regarding the possible presence of B. anthracis Ames at this undisclosed overseas site. Several scientific and technical issues should be explored in more detail, such as the performance characteristics of the assays, whether or not the assays were validated for use with these sample types, the degree to which samples or sample locations gave repeatedly positive results, interpretation of inconsistent positive results, whether or not the Ames genetic mutations in the anthrax letters were detected in any of these overseas samples, and the natural distribution of B. anthracis strain types in this overseas geographic region.”

    As he described to ABCNEWS, Dr. Alibek and other scientists in March 2002 took lie detector tests. He had to answer questions including “Did you do it?” and “Do you know who did it?” Alibek reports that he passed the test. Although Dr. Alibek offered his services to the FBI Director in a letter, the response was that they already had a large group working on it. In late June 2002, quoting unnamed law enforcement officials, the Associated Press reported that up to 200 polygraph tests had been given to current and former employees of the Battelle Institute and of Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, where scientists have developed a powdered form of anthrax for testing biological defense systems. It was Dugway that provided the simulant used in testing after the 2001 threat letter relating to the detention of Mahjoub, the former manager of Bin Laden’s farm in Sudan. The DARPA-funded Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had both worked for Battelle as consultants. Dr. David Franz advises that in 2001, if a researcher wanted to test a biodefense project, if it was inside, it could be done at either West Jefferson, Ohio facilty or at the Dugway facility managed by Battelle in Utah. But if it was an outside testing, it would be done in Utah.

    In August 2002, Afghan police found a store of chemicals in a house in Kabul formerly occupied by a Saudi non-governmental organization, the WAFA Humanitarian Organization. Local media reports called it a terrorist laboratory. “Some containers and documents have been found by the police authorities,” a spokesman for international peacekeepers said. One local report said that the discovery included 36 types of chemicals, explosive materials, fuses, laboratory equipment and some “terroristic guide books.” It said the laboratory was found in a residence in the diplomatic area of Kabul in a building that had been used by an Arab national who headed the group prior to 9/11. WAFA was a militant supporter of the Taliban. Documents found in WAFA’s offices in Afghanistan revealed that the charity was intimately involved in assassination plots against U.S. citizens as well as the distribution of “how to” manuals on chemical and biological warfare. U.S. officials have described WAFA as a key component of Bin Laden’s organization. The recently leaked Detainee Assessments, uploaded to this blog, provide rich detail on WAFA’s role.

    In 2002, a man named Singh tried to purchase over the internet a wireless video module and a control module for use in an unmanned aerial vehicle (”UAV”). He chose an airborne video system with a camera and transmitter able to transmit video images from a UAV back to a receiver from as far as 15 miles away. The video camera could be used in military reconnaissance and in helping aim artillery and other weaponry across enemy lines. Singh placed his order from England, but the company was unable to confirm Singh’s overseas credit card. Two young men from Northern Virginia, Chapman and Khan, who were among the group later known as the “Virginia Paintball Defendants,”assisted him in completing the purchases. As the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals later explained, the pair “attended the Dar al Arqam Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia where Ali Timimi, a primary lecturer, spoke of the necessity to engage in violent jihad against the enemies of Islam and the ‘end of time’ battle between Muslims and non-Muslims.” In the summer of 2002, Singh visited Virginia, staying first with one of them and then with the other. Ali Timimi was unindicted co-conspirator number 1 in the Virginia Paintball Case, and was only later identified by Prosecutors (and then separately indicted).

    Ali Timimi drafted a letter from dissident Saudi sheik Hawali dated October 6, 2002. He had it hand delivered it to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The letter was from al-Hawali (not Timimi), and warned of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Rm 154A in George Mason’s Discovery Hall (down from former USAMRIID head Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B) would be Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to a newly constructed, adjacent building). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface. A faculty member who would consult with Ali suggests that it instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite.

    On October 10, 2002, Anwar Awlawki arrived at JFK in the early morning hours. Catherine Herridge, in her book out today, says FBI Special Agent Wade Ammerman was central to the dropping of the arrest warrant pending against Awlaki for a visa fraud issue. Anwar Awlaki was headed to Falls Church to meet with Ali Al-Timimi. And Wade Ammerman was a lead agent suspecting that Ali Al-Timimi had been involved in the anthrax mailings. Ali Al-Timimi, according to his original defense counsel Edward McMahon thought that Anwar Awlaki might be wiretapped. Defense counsel sought all recordings made but prosecutors objected on the ground that there was no authority for the request.

    The AUSA prosecutor handling the Al-Timimi matter was Gordon Kromberg. Unlike defense counsel, the prosecutor is not likely to be mistaken about whether Ali Al-Timimi and Anwar Awlaki knew each other prior to that meeting. He likely is not confused about whether they knew each other leading up to 9/11.

    • DXer said

      Shouldn’t GAO subpoena the records relating to the connection between Ali Al-Timimi and the Ames researchers at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense? That is where he had unfettered access to the largest microbiological repository in the world where the bacteriology collection scientist was the future head of the Amerithrax science investigation who would guide the NAS review and the production of documents from the FBI to NAS.


  32. DXer said

    The 2006 Arrest Of Falls Church “911 Imam” And Fellow Salafist Lecturer Awlaqi

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

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

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

    Awlaqi was hired in early 2001 in an attempt by the mosque’s leaders to appeal to younger worshipers. Born in New Mexico and raised in Yemen, he had the total package. He was young, personable, fluent in English, eloquent and knowledgeable about Middle East politics. Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Al Hazmi worshiped at Aulaqi’s mosque for several weeks in spring 2001. The 9/11 commission noted that the two men apparently showed up because Nawaf Hazmi had developed a close relationship with Aulaqi in San Diego. In 2001, Awlaqi came to Falls Church from San Diego shortly before Nawaf did. Awlaqi told the FBI that he did not recall what Nawaf and he had discussed in San Diego and denied having contact with him in Falls Church.

    The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was Aulaqi’s roommate. Mr. Smith tells me that he was very extreme in his views when speaking privately and not like his smooth public persona. “Aulaqi is deep into hardcore militant Islam. He is not a cleric who just says prayers and counsels people as some of his supporters have suggested.” Sami al-Hussayen uncle checked into the same Herndon, VA hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn, on the same night — September 10, 2001 as Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and another hijacker. Hussayen had a seizure during an FBI interview and although doctors found nothing wrong with him was allowed to return home. During his trip to the US, al-Hussayen had visited both “911 imam”
    Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi.

    The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states

    “Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmi’s personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.”

    The Washington Post explains that “After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. His CD “The Hereafter” takes listeners on a tour of Paradise that describes “the mansions of Paradise,” “the women of Paradise,” and “the greatest of the pleasures of Paradise.” In London, after leaving the United States, he spoke at JIMAS and argued that in light of the rewards offered to martyrs in Jennah, or Paradise, Muslims should be eager to give his life in fighting the unbelievers. “Don’t think that the ones that die in the sake of Allah are dead — they are alive, and Allah is providing for them. So the shaheed is alive in the sense that his soul is in Jennah, and his soul is alive in Jennah.” He moved to Yemen, his family’s ancestral home, in 2004.” Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in San’a run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.

    Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: “Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi’s charity as its Yemeni partner. A Washington Post article explained: “The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.”

    He now has been released and came to be at the center of a controversy concerning what the FBI should have known and shared about Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. The next month he was alleged to have been involved with the planned bombing of a airliner flying into Detroit. What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? Was Anwar Awlaki cooperating against Ali Al-Timimi in October 2002? Is Ali Al-Timimi cooperating against Anwar Awlaki?

  33. DXer said

    Hardball Tactics In An Era Of Threats

    The Washington Post, in an article “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” dated September 3, 2006 summarized events relating to George Mason University computational biology graduate student Ali Al-Timimi:

    “In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.

    Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.
    The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.

    On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.”

    Al-Timimi had rock star status in Salafist circles and lectured in July 2001 (in Toronto) and August 2001 (in London) on the coming “end of times” and signs of the coming day of judgment. He spoke alongside officials of a charity, Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) promoting the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. Another speaker was Ali’s mentor, Bilal Philips, one of the 173 listed as unindicted WTC 1993 conspirators. Bilal Philips worked in the early 1990s to recruit US servicemen according to testimony in that trial and interviews in which Dr. Philips explained the Saudi-funded program. According to Al-Timimi’s attorney, Ali “was referenced in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”) as one of seventy individuals regarding whom the FBI is conducting full field investigations on a national basis.” The NSA was intercepting communications by Fall 2001 without a warrant.

    At the same time the FBI was searching the townhouse of PhD candidate Ali Timimi, searches and arrests moved forward elsewhere. In Moscow, Idaho, FBI agents interviewed Nabil Albaloushi. (The FBI apparently searched his apartment at the same time they searched the apartment of IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen, who they had woken from bed at 4:00 a.m.) Albaloushi was a PhD candidate expert in drying foodstuffs. His thesis in 2003 was 350 pages filled with charts of drying coefficients. Interceptions showed a very close link between IANA’s Sami al-Hussayen and Sheikh al-Hawali, to include the setting up of websites, the providing of vehicles for extended communication, and telephone contact with intermediaries of Sheikh al-Hawali. Al-Hussayen had al-Hawali’s phone number upon the search of his belongings upon his arrest. Former Washington State University animal geneticist and nutrition researcher Ismail Diab, who had moved to Syracuse to work for an IANA-spin-off, also was charged in Syracuse and released as a material witness to a financial investigation of the IANA affiliate “Help The Needy.” After the government failed to ask Dr. Diab any questions for nearly 3 months, the magistrate bail restrictions and removed the electronic monitoring and curfew requirements.

    In Moscow, Idaho, the activities by IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen that drew scrutiny involved these same two radical sheiks. U.S. officials say the two sheiks influenced al Qaeda’s belief that Muslims should wage holy war against the U.S. until it ceases to support Israel and withdraws from the Middle East. Sami Hussayen, who was acquitted, made numerous calls and wrote many e-mails to the two clerics, sometimes giving advice to them about running Arabic-language websites on which they espoused their anti-Western views.

    According to witness testimony in the prosecution of the Virginia Paintball Defendants, after September 11, 2001, “Al-Timimi stated that the attacks may not be Islamically permissible, but that they were not a tragedy, because they were brought on by American foreign policy.” The FBI first contacted Timimi shortly after 9/11. He met with FBI agents 7 or 8 times in the months leading up to his arrest. Al-Timimi is a US citizen born in Washington DC. His house was searched, his passport taken and his telephone monitored. Ali Al Timimi defended his PhD thesis in computational biology shortly after his indictment for recruiting young men to fight the US in defending against an invasion of Afghanistan.

    Communications between Al-Timimi with dissident Saudi sheik Safar al-Hawali, one of the two fundamentalist sheikhs who were friends and mentors of Bin Laden, were intercepted. The two radical sheiks had been imprisoned from September 1994 to June 1999. Al-Hawali’s detention was expressly the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War against the United States and the claim of responsibility for the 1998 embassy bombings. He had been Al-Timimi’s religious mentor at University.

    ABC reported in July 2004 that FBI Director Mueller had imposed an October 1, 2004 deadline for a case that would stand up in court. The date passed with no anthrax indictment. Al-Timimi was not indicted for anthrax. He was indicted for sedition. Upon his indictment, on September 23, 2004, al-Timimi explained he had been offered a plea bargain of 14 years, but he declined. He quoted Sayyid Qutb. He said he remembered “reading his books and loving his teaching” as a child, and that Qutb’s teaching was prevented from signing something that was false by “the finger that bears witness.” He noted that he and his lawyers asked that authorities hold off the indictment until he had received his PhD, but said that unfortunately they did not wait. On October 6, 2004, the webmaster of the azzam.com website Babar Ahmad was indicted. In 2007, the North Brunswick, NJ imam who mirrored the azzam.com website was indicted (on the grounds of income tax evasion).

    The indictment against the paintball defendants alleged that at an Alexandria, Virginia residence, in the presence of a representative of Benevolence International Foundation (”BIF”), the defendants watched videos depicting Mujahadeen engaged in Jihad and discussed a training camp in Bosnia. His defense lawyer says that the FBI searched the townhouse of “to connect him to the 9/11 attacks or to schemes to unleash a biological or nuclear attack.” Famed head of the former Russian bioweaponeering program Ken Alibek told me that he would occasionally see Al-Timimi in the hallways at George Mason, where they both were in the microbiology department, and was vaguely aware that he was an islamic hardliner. When what his defense counsel claims was an FBI attempt to link Al-Timimi to a planned biological attack failed, defense counsel says that investigators focused on his connections to the men who attended his lectures at the local Falls Church, Va. In the end, he was indicted for inciting them to go to Afghanistan to defend the Taliban against the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan. During deliberations, he reportedly was very calm, reading Genome Technology and other scientific journals. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 70 years.

    • DXer said

      The Education of Ali Al-Timimi

      Milton Viorst, who knew Ali as a teenager, wrote a fascinating and sympathetic yet balanced portrait in “The Education of Ali Al-Timimi” that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, June 2006. In Saudi Arabia, Al-Timimi had been mentored by a Saudi-trained Canadian imam Bilal Philips. Philips was Al-Timimi’s Islamic Studies teacher at Manaret Riyadh High School in the early 1980s. Al-Timimi adopted Philips’ view that “The clash of civilizations is a reality,” and “Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam.” Between 1991 and 1993, Philips relocated to the Mindinao, Philippines, where he taught at an islamic school. In 1993, according to an interview he gave in a London-based Arabic-language magazine interview, Philips ran a program to convert US soldiers to Islam stationed in Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War. Philips was made a proselytization official by the Saudi Air Force. Philips followed up in the US, with telephone calls and visits intended to recruit the veterans as potential members of Bin Laden’s network. He enlisted assistance from others based in the U.S. and members of Islamic centers all over the US. These conversion specialists financed pilgrimages for US veterans and would later send Muslim clerics in the United States to their homes. Bilal Philips encouraged some converts from this program to fight in Bosnia in the 1990s. Bilal Philips explained these recruitment efforts to a London newspaper in Arabic (translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service) in an article titled “Jamaican-Born Canadian Interviewed on Islamic Missionary Work Among US Troops”:

      “[redacted] used to coordinate with US intelligence. And, when Croatia closed its borders to Arab volunteers, there were a group of black Americans who completed their training and knew Islam through me. [Redacted] contacted Shaykh Umar Abd-al-Rahman and offered to use this group for sabotage acts inside the United States. The offer was made on the telephone, which apparently was tapped by US intelligence. Shaykh Umar replied by saying: ‘”Avoid civilian targets.’”

      After completing his religious education in Saudi Arabia in Medina, Ali Al Timimi returned to the United States and received a second bachelor’s degree — this time in computer science at the University of Maryland, while also studying software programming at George Washington University. Timimi spoke at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1994. A senior al Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman Dosari, also spoke at three IANA conferences in the early 1990s. In December 1993, Al-Dosari (a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke on ‘Jihad & Revival” and exhorted young men to fight for their faithjust as Al-Timimi would later be accused of doing privately with young men in Virginia.

      At the first annual IANA conference in 1993, scheduled speakers included Bilal Philips, Mohammed Abdul-Rahman from Afghanistan, Mohammad Qutb from Cairo, Gamal Sultan from Cairo, and Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ (Bosnia).

      Mohammad Abdul-Rahman was the blind sheik’s son. The blind sheik soon was sentenced for terrorism relating to WTC 1993 and the “Day of Terror” plot directed at NYC landmarks. In 2000, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was sitting alongside Bin Laden and Zawahiri and was videotaped encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

      Mohammad Qutb was Sayyid Qutb’s brother. Egyptian Mohammad Qutb, a renown scholar and activist, taught Bin Laden at university in Saudi Arabia, having emigrated to Saudi Arabia. In the 1970s, bin Laden was taught by Sayyid Qutb’s brother, Dr. Mohammad Qutb, and a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood member, Dr. Abdullah Azzam. Azzam’s ideas of non-compromise, violent means, and organizing and fighting on a global scale were central to Al Qaeda methods. Qutb, as al-Hawali’s teacher, also strongly influenced al-Hawali. Al-Hawali was sent to prison in 1994.

      Gamal Sultan was a former EIJ member who would seek to start a political party in 1999 with the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. They sought to chart a nonviolent course (given the practical reality that the movement had been so infiltrated by the security forces). The blind sheik declined to endorse the venture. In 2000, on a trip to Pittsburgh, Gamal Sultan and his colleagues thought Pittsburgh reminded them of Kandahar given its rolling hills.

      Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ was a well-known holy warrior and fundraiser from Saudi Arabia. In 1994, Abdel Aziz glorified jihad and praised the Pittsburgh magazine Assirat for its interest in holy war. He asked Assirat readers and in a 1995 update, to donate money for holy war. He lauded Dr. Abdullah Azzam, the founder of al-Qaeda. He explained jihad will continue till the day of judgment.” In 1996, he was detained as the primary suspect in the attack on the Dhahran barracks, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed. Expert Evan Kohlmann explains: Barbaros was “one of the key individuals responsible for LeT’s formation and development.” He “was a Saudi Al-Qaida member.” Kohlmann writes “In the fall of 1992, a former Al-Qaida lieutenant-turned-government informant attended secret meetings in Croatia chaired by Abu Abdel Aziz (“Barbaros.”). During those meetings, Abu Abdel Aziz talked about his directives from Usama Bin Laden and indicated that Al-Qaida was seeking to use regional jihads such as those in Bosnia and Kashmir as “a base for operations… against al Qaeda’s true enemy, the United States.”

      In 1995 Ali Al Timimi headed an IANA delegation to China together with IANA President Bassem Khafagi and Syracuse oncologist and IANA Vice Chairman Rhafil Dhafir. The IANA condemned the UN women’s rights conference as “an attack on Islam.” They urged Imams worldwide to tell Muslims about “the hidden agenda of this UN Conference, and how to foil the libertine and Westernization movements in the Islamic world.”

      Salafist commentator Umar Lee has explained that in the early 1990s “the most dynamic part of the salafi movement in the DC-area were the students Sheikh Ali al-Timimi who in the 1990’s co-founded a very small group with a small office for an organization called the Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah. In early July 1994, cooperation with Al-Timimi’s Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah, Washington, D.C., IANA held its first annual summer camp in English in Frederick, MD (where the ponds were drained in the Amerthrax investigation). The theme of the camp was “Living the Shahadah in America.” This is what Sheikh Ali was teaching kids at the 1st Annual IANA Summer Camp at a Frederick, MD park:

      “Reflections on the Meaning of Our Testimony of Faith: ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” by Ali Al-Timimi.
      ***
      “6 Wage Jihad in the Path of Allah
      ***
      “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and practice not the true religion (Islam), being of those who have been given the Scripture (the Jews and the Christians) — until they pay tribute readily and have been brought low. (The Qur’an 9:29)”
      “The Prophet has said:
      I am commanded to fight mankind till they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish

      According to the webpage of his first defense committee (which disbanded when they felt under pressure due to their support), at some point years earlier had worked for Andrew Card for 2 months.

      Al-Timimi’s increasing computer skills got him a job at SRA International where Ali worked as a “bioinformatics software architect” providing information technology to the government. Some of his jobs required that Ali obtain a high-level security clearance. One job resulted in a letter of recommendation from the White House. In 1999, Battelle consultant and former USAMRIID Charles Bailey also worked at SRA.
      Ali then enrolled in a PhD program in computational biology at George Mason University. By 2000, Ali Al-Timimi was already taking advanced courses at Mason in computational sciences. Dr. Bailey became co-Director of the DARPA-funded Center of Biodefense there in the Spring of 2001.

      Timimi once explained his research: “I am currently a research scientist at the Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics, George Mason University. I am involved in the analysis of the microarray data generated by the CTRF Cancer Genomics Project. Likewise, I am developing new computational approaches and technologies in support of this project.” The webpage for Timimi’s program at the time explained: “Faculty members and graduate students in the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology participate in numerous collaborative efforts including but not limited to the following Laboratories and Research Centers: Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics (GMU) , Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Biocomplexity (GMU) and Center for Biodefense (GMU). Beginning the Spring of 2002, GMU hired Ali to develop a computer program that coordinated the research at several universities, letting him go only after he came under suspicion by the FBI. In Spring 2002, according to salary information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, GMU hired him for $70,000 a year. In 2002, the employment was through the School of Computational Sciences and in 2003, it was through Life Sciences Grants & Contracts.

      The School of Computational Sciences at George Mason is a joint venture between the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”) and George Mason. The joint venture is an effort to maximize research efforts by combining the academic and applied approaches to research. The School’s first activity was to teach an ATCC course in DNA techniques adapted for George Mason students. The ATCC is an internationally renown non-profit organization that houses the world’s largest and most diverse archive of biological materials. In 2001, the Prince William Campus shares half of Discovery Hall with ATCC. ATCC moved to a state-of-the-art laboratory at Discovery Hall (Prince William II) in 1998.

      ATCC’s 106,000-square-foot facility has nearly 35,000 square feet of laboratory space with a specialized air handling system and Biosafety Level 2 and 3 containment stations. The ATCC bioinformatics (BIF) program carries out research in various areas of biological information management relevant to its mission. BIF scientists interact with laboratory scientists in microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology at ATCC and other laboratories throughout the world. ATCC has strong collaborations with a large number of academic institutions, including computational sciences at George Mason University. Through these partnerships, the George Mason Prince William Campus offers George Mason microbiology students an opportunity for students to be involved in current research and gain access to facilities and employment opportunities at ATCC and other partner companies.

      The person who inherited his old telephone number (3-4294) is Victor Morozov in the Center for Biodefense. Dr. Morozov, upon joining the faculty and inheriting the phone number was in Rm. 154A, very near Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B. One faculty member who consulted with Al-Timimi suggested to me that Ali instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite. GMU Information Services helpfully looked up the listings from 2001 directory.

      Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames strain anthrax researcher Charles Bailey, in Rm 156B, was given a Gateway desktop computer in mid-March 2001 (upon his arrival) — serial number 0227315480. It was like the one Dr. Alibek would get the next year in 156D. One way to think of proximity analysis — a form of true crime analysis — is the number of feet or inches between 154B and 156B/156D. Another way is to think of it is in terms of the number of feet or inches to the hard drives. You can judge the distance for yourself from a First Floor plan that is available online, clicking upon 154-156 area to enlarge.

      The December 2007 biodefense PhD thesis explains:
      “Although computers are password protected, anyone can access the computers located throughout the labs. Research results can be recorded on lab computers. Someone wanting to access research results would first have to understand what the numbers meant. Research results are also kept in a lab notebook that is kept in the lab or office. This enables other students to repeat what was already done or to see results.”

      In a separate appeal, the conviction of Al-Timimi’s assistant Chandia affirmed but the 15 year sentence was vacated and remanded for resentencing because of failure to making findings warranting terrorism enhancement. The conviction was reaffirmed by the District Court. He was alleged to have helped a Pakistan group buy components of a UAV.

      • DXer said

        Ayman Zawahiri had an extensive recruiting network for his anthrax planning and the announcement of his plans in March 1999, including the blind sheik’s son who spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi and was on Al Qaeda’s 3-member WMD society. Did the blind sheik’s son recruit Ali Al-Timimi?

    • DXer said

      Al-Timimi’s Connection to AQ WMD Comm. member Mohammed Abdel-Rahman

      While Al-Timimi was recruiting for the Taliban, he was also connected to one of the principals on Al Qaeda’s WMD Committee, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke at the first conference of the Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) in 1993 and was noted to be from Afghanistan. Mohammed Abdelrahman spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi again, for example, in 1996 in Toronto and again that December in Chicago at the annual conference. The December conference was held after blind sheik Abdel-Rahman was indicted. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was close to bin Laden and was engaged in planning key operations. OBL considered him like a son. Mohammed was on the three member WMD committee with Midhat Mursi. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman ran a training camp that was part of the larger complex of several camps. He was an explosives trainer.

      The “Superseding Indictment” in United States of postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar and others explains that on February 12, 1997, with Mohammed Abdelrahman back in Afghanistan, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “The Islamic Group declares all American interests legitimate targets to its legitimate jihad until the release of all prisoners, on top of whom” is Abdel Rahman. Three months later, on May 5, 1997, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “If any harm comes to the [S]heikh [,] al-Gama al-IsIalamiy[y]a will target [] all of those Americans who participated in subjecting his life to danger.” The statement also said that “Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya considers every American official, starting with the American president to the despicable jailer [] partners endangering the Sheikh’s life,” and that the Islamic Group would do “everything in its power” to free Abdel Rahman.

      Al Qaeda continued to seek religious approval from blind sheik Abdel-Rahman for its attacks. The US indictment of the Post Office worker in contact with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman alleged: “On or about June 19, 2000, one of Abdel Rahman’s sons, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, spoke by telephone with SATTAR and asked SATTAR to convey to Abdel Rahman the fierceness of the debate within the Islamic Group about the initiative, and said SATTAR should tell Abdel Rahman to calm the situation by supporting “the general line of the Group.” The indictment of the US Post Office worker Sattar further alleges: “On or about June 20, 2000, SATTAR spoke by telephone with Mohammed Abdel Rahman and advised him that a conference call had taken place that morning between Abdel Pahman and some of his attorneys and that Abdel Rahman had issued a new statement. The press release issued in Abdel-Rahman’s name containing additional points which made clear, among other things, that Abdel Rahman was not unilaterally ending the initiative, but rather, was withdrawing his support for it and “stating that it was up” to the “brothers” in the Islamic Group now to reconsider the issue.

      The indictment of the US Post Office employee Sattar further alleges: “On or about September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised a meeting of Usama Bin Laden (leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization), Ayman al Zawahiri (former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and one of Bin Laden’s top lieutenants), and Taha. Sitting under a banner which read, “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman,” the three terrorist leaders pledged “to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. During the meeting, Mohammed Abdel Rahman was heard encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

      Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was arrested in mid-February 2003. Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse was searched two weeks later.

      • DXer said

        Fall 2001 Greenlight of Biological Attack By US-Based Operatives

        In October or November 2001, Al Qaeda’s spokesman al-Kuwaiti wrote a letter to the Administration claiming that they would use their biological weapons if the US did not stop their financial and military support for Israel and the muslim regimes. The letter from Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Kuwaiti outlined the next attack against the Americans and issued a statement to the Americans to let them know of their fighters’ readiness to kill hundreds of thousands with their nuclear and biological arsenal. The letter has been declassified (and was released by West Point Combating Terrorism Center in 2006).

        Your Brother Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Kuwaiti; 1- Announcing publicly the next attack.2- Announcing publicly that we gave some groups the green light to move.3- The groups that are present in America and Europe are above suspicion. 4- We obtain our intelligence information from your government and intelligence agencies.5- The statement/letter should be directed to the American people.A- There is no animosity between us. You involved yourselves in this battle. The war is between us and the Jews. You interfered in our countries and influenced our governments to strike against the Moslems.
        If the American people are ready to die as we are ready to die, then our combat groups along with our military, nuclear, and biological equipment will kill hundreds of thousands of people we don’t wish to fight.

        B- If you are ready to die as we are ready to die, the thousand present here in Afghanistan equals hundreds of thousands of Americans. I am pleased to inform you that the billions you spent fighting us so far have resulted in killing a small number of us. We consider them martyrs and they did not exceed (10) martyrs. We warn you that our war against you has not ended, but its effects will increase. Isn’t it time to end American arrogance and begin listening to your people before you experience more devastating disasters?

        In early October, Abu Graith had appeared on two widely-circulated videos on al Jazeera television to defend the attacks and threaten retaliation for the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan, saying “Americans should know, the storm of the planes will not stop. There are thousands of the Islamic nation’s youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live.” Abu Gha’ith, Bin Laden’s spokesman, was from Kuwait and made a similar threat in a videotape released June 2002. In June, he renewed the biochem threat, more broadly, urging that under the koran, it was morally justified to kill up to 4 million Americans, including 1 million children, with biological or chemical weapons.

        Suleiman Abu Ghaith claimed that Al Qaeda has the right to murder four million Americans, in a three-part article “In the Shadow of the Lances,” posted in June 2002 on the web-site of the Center for Islamic Research and Studies, Abu Ghaith wrote:
        “The Americans have still not tasted from our hands what we have tasted from theirs. The [number of] killed in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were no more than fair exchange for the ones killed in the Al-‘Amiriya shelter in Iraq, and are but a tiny part of the exchange for those killed in Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, the Philippines, Bosnia, Kashmir, Chechnya, and Afghanistan.”
        “We have not reached parity with them. We have the right to kill four million Americans – two million of them children – and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons, so as to afflict them with the fatal maladies that have afflicted the Muslims because of the [Americans’] chemical and biological weapons.”

        In July 2003, a Kuwaiti minister announced that the Iranian government had offered to extradite Abu Ghaith to Kuwait, but that Kuwait had refused the offer. After eventually being released, Abu Ghaith has had a change of heart and appreciates that such mass murder would be immoral and violate the koran.

    • DXer said

      GMU Center for Biodefense: Discovery Hall

      Ali Al-Timimi worked at George Mason University’s Discovery Hall throughout 2000 and 2002 period. The Mason Gazette in “Mason to Pursue Advanced Biodefense Research” on November 17, 2000 had announced: “The School of Computational Sciences (SCS) and Advanced Biosystems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hadron, Inc., of Alexandria, are pursuing a collaborative program at the Prince William Campus to enhance research and educational objectives in biodefense research. The article noted that the program was funded primarily by a grant awarded to Advanced Biosystems from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). A 2007 GMU PhD thesis explains that the “An Assessment of Exploitable Weaknesses in Universities” by Corinne M. Verzoni offices and research located in Discovery Hall, making this an attractive building on the Prince William Campus to target for information and technology.” The 2007 PhD student biodefense student explained: “Discovery Hall currently has BSL 1, 2 and 2+ labs in which students work with attenuated and vaccine strains of Fracella tularemia, anthrax and HIV. GMU will eventually have new biological labs featuring a BSL-3 lab which will have anthrax and tularemia.”

      Instead of starting a center from scratch, GMU chose to join forces with Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey’s existing research firm, Hadron Advanced Biosystems Inc. Hadron was already working under contract for the federal government, having received funding from DARPA. Dr. Alibek told the Washington Post that he and Bailey had spent their careers studying an issue that only recently grabbed the country’s attention, after the anthrax mailings the previous fall. Dr. Bailey and Alibek met in 1991, when a delegation of Soviet scientists visited USAMRIID at Ft. Detrick. Dr. Bailey explained that the purpose of the tour was to show the Soviets that the US was not developing offensive biological weapons. Bailey said he tried to engage Alibek in conversation but Alibek remained aloof. Alibek, for his part, explains that he was suspicious of this American smiling so broadly at him. A year later, Alibek would defect to the US and reveal an illegal biological program in the Soviet Union of a staggering scope. Alibek says that one reason he defected was that he realized that the Soviet intelligence was wrong — that the US research was in fact only defensive.

      Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames researcher Bailey coinvented, with Ken Alibek, the process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide so as to permit greater concentration upon drying. He was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. The patent application was filed March 14, 2001. Rm 154A was Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to the newly constructed Bull Run Hall). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface.

      One ATCC former employee felt so strongly about lax security there the scientist called me out of the blue and said that the public was overlooking the patent repository as a possible source of the Ames strain. ATCC would not deny they had virulent Ames in their patent repository pre 9/11 (as distinguished from their online catalog). The spokesperson emailed me:
      “As a matter of policy, ATCC does not disclose information on the contents of its patent depository.” Previously, though, the ATCC head publicly explained that it did not have virulent Ames.

      George Mason University, Department Listings, accessed August 17, 2003, shows that the National Center For Biodefense and Center for Biomedical Genomics had the same mail stop (MS 4ES). The most famed bioweaponeer in the world was not far from this sheik urging violent jihad in an apocalyptic struggle between religions. Dr. Alibek’s office was Rm. 156D in Prince William 2. The groups both shared the same department fax of 993-4288. Dr. Alibek advises me he had seen him several times in the corridors of GMU and was told that he was a religious muslim hard-liner but knew nothing of his activities. At one point, Timimi’s mail drop was MSN 4D7.

      Charles Bailey at 3-4271 was the former head of USAMRIID and joined the Center in April 2001. He continued to do research with Ames after 9/11. Dr. Alibek reports that shortly after the mailings, he wrote FBI Director Mueller and offered his services but was advised that they already had assembled a large group. A 2004 report describes research done by Dr. Alibek and his colleagues using Delta Ames obtained from NIH for a research project done for USAMRIID. There were two grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2001. One $3.6 million grant dated to July 2001 and the other was previous to that.

      Ali Al-Timimi had the same telephone number that Dr. Victor Morozov of the Center for Biodefense would later have when he joined the faculty and occupied the newly constructed Bull Run Building, which opened in late 2004 (Rm. #362). Dr. Morozov focuses on the development of new bioassay methods for express analysis, high-throughput screening and proteomics. He has recently developed a new electrospray-based technology for mass fabrication of protein microarrays. Dr. Morozov is currently supervising a DOE -funded research project directed at the development of ultra-sensitive express methods for detection of pathogens in which slow diffusion of analytes is replaced by their active transport controlled and powered by external forces (electric, magnetic, gravitational or hydrodynamic). His homepage explains that: “A variety of projects are available for students to participate in “*** 7. Develop software to analyze motion of beads. 8. Develop software to analyze patterns in drying droplets. 9. Develop an electrostatic collector for airborne particles.”

      Al-Timimi obtained a doctorate from George Mason University in 2004 in the field of computational biology — a field related to cancer research involving genome sequencing. He successfully defended his thesis 5 weeks after his indictment. Curt Jamison, Timimi’s thesis advisor, coauthor and loyal friend, was in Prince William II (Discovery Hall) Rm. 181A. The staff of Advanced Biosystems was in Rm. 160, 162, 177, 254E and several others. Computational sciences offices were intermixed among the Hadron personnel on the first floor of Prince William II to include 159, 161, 166A, 167, 181 B and 181C. Rm. 156B was Charles Bailey, former commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who was head of the Center for Biodefense. Defense contractor Hadron had announced the appointment of Dr. Bailey as Vice-President of Advanced Biosystems in early April 2001.

      “Over 13 years, Dr. Bailey had served as a Research Scientist, Deputy Commander for Research, Deputy Commander and Commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute. As a USAMRIID scientist, he designed and supervised the construction of BL-3 containment facilities. His hands-on experience with a wide variety of pathogens is chronicled in 70 published articles. During his 4 years with the Defense Intelligence Agency, he published numerous articles assessing foreign capabilities regarding biological weapons.” When I asked Dr. Bailey to confirm Al-Timimi’s room number relative to his own, his only response was to refer me to University counsel. Counsel then never substantively responded to my inquiry regarding their respective room numbers citing student privacy. Ali’s friend and thesis advisor, Dr. Jamison never responded to an emailed query either. GMU perhaps understandably was very nervous about losing the $25 million grant for a new BL-3 regional facility to be located very near our country’s capitol.

      The reports on the study on the effectiveness of the mailed anthrax in the Canadian experiment was reported in private briefings in Spring and Summer of 2001. An insider thus was not dependent on the published report later that Fall. (The date on the formal report is September 10, 2001).

      Dr. Charles Bailey for DIA wrote extensively on the the biothreat posed by other countries (and presumably terrorists). He shared a fax number with Al-Timimi. What came over that fax line in Spring and Summer of 2001? At some point, Dr. Al-Timimi, Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey also shared the same maildrop. It certainly would not be surprising that the two directors who headed the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense — and had received the biggest defense award in history for work with Delta Ames under a contract with USAMRIID — would have been briefed on the threat of mailed anthrax. The 1999 short report by William Patrick to Hatfill at SAIC on the general subject was far less important given that it did not relate to actual experimental findings.

      Plus, it is common sense that while someone might use as a model something they had surreptitiously learned of — they would not use as a model something in a memo that they had commissioned. Thus, it was rather misdirected to focus on the 1999 SAIC report commissioned by Dr. Hatfill rather than the 2001 Canadian report. The Canadian report related to the anthrax threat sent regarding the detention of Vanguards of Conquest #2 Mahjoub in Canada. Mahjoub had worked with al-Hawsawi in Sudan (the fellow with anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop). The anthrax threat in late January prompted the still-classified Presidential Daily Brief (“PDB”) in early February 2001 by the CIA to President Bush on the subject.

      In Fall 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”) had detected silicon dioxide (silica) in the attack anthrax — with a characteristic big spike for the silicon. No silica was observable on the SEMs images that Dr. Alibek and Dr. Matthew Meselson saw. The Daschle product was “pure spores.” Was silicon dioxide used as part of a microdroplet cell culture process used prior to drying to permit greater concentration? As explained in a later related patent, the silica could be removed from the surface of the spore through repeated centrifugaton or an air chamber.

      Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had filed a patent application in mid-March 2001 involving a microdroplet cell culture technique that used silicon dioxide in a method for concentrating growth of cells. The patent was granted and the application first publicly disclosed in the Spring of 2002. Weren’t the SEMS images and AFIP EDX finding both consistent with use of this process in growing the culture? It’s been suggested informally to me that perhaps the silicon analytical peak was due to silanol from hydrolysis of a silane, used in siliconizing glassware. But didn’t the AFIP in fact also detect oxygen in ratios characteristic of silicon dioxide? Wasn’t the scientist, now deceased, who performed the EDX highly experienced and expert in detecting silica? Hasn’t the AFIP always stood by its report. In its report, AFIP explained: “AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica.” Perhaps the nuance that was lost — or just never publicly explained for very sound reasons — was that silica was used in the cell culture process and then removed from the spores through a process such as centrifugation. The applicants in March 2001 for an international patent relating to vaccines were a leading aerosol expert, Herman R. Shepherd, and a lonstanding anthrax biodefense expert, Philip Russell.

      Dr. Morozov is co-inventor along with Dr. Bailey for a patent “Cell Culture” that explains how the silicon dioxide can be removed from the surface. Perhaps it is precisely this AFIP finding of silicon dioxide (without silica on the SEMs) that is why the FBI came to suspect Al-Timimi in 2003 (rightly or wrongly, we don’t know). The FBI would have kept these scientific findings secret to protect the integrity of the confidential criminal/national security investigation. There was still a processor and mailer to catch — still a case to prove. After 9/11, intelligence collection takes precedence over arrests. As Ron Kessler explains in the new book, Terrorist Watch, many FBI officials feel that they are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Outside observers are constantly second-guessing them about how to proceed rather than trusting that they are in the best position to balance the competing considerations of national security, intelligence gathering, the pursuit of justice, and the safeguarding of civil liberties. Above all, in disclosing the theory of access to know-how, the FBI has needed to protect the due process rights of Al-Timimi while he defended himself on other charges.

      An example from October 2006 of equipment that went missing from GMU’s Discovery Hall was a rotissery hybridization oven belonging to the Center for Biomedical Genomics. “This equipment can be used to manufacture biological agents and genetically modified agents, which could potentially be used as biological weapons,” Corinne Verzoni explained in her PhD 2007 thesis. “Upon hearing about instances or missing equipment in Discovery Hall, the author contacted campus security who was unaware of instances of missing equipment. Missing equipment should be reported to the equipment liaison. Missing equipment may not be reported to campus security because labs tend to share equipment. Equipment also goes missing because it is not inventoried if it is under $2,000.”

      One of her other examples was equally dramatic:

      “A DI system is a de-ionized water system, which removes the ions that are found in normal tap water. The assistant director for operations noticed the DI system in Discovery Hall was using the entire 100 gallons in two days, which is an enormous amount of water for the four DI taps in the whole building. According to the assistant director for operations, it is difficult to calculate the reason for that much water since no leak was found. A large amount of water used over a short period of time for unknown reasons could indicate that the research is being conducted covertly.”

      “A student with legitimate access to Discovery Hall,” she explained, “has easy accessibility to equipment. A student with access to the loading dock could steal equipment on the weekend when campus security is not present in Discovery Hall. A student could also walk out of the entrance with equipment on the weekend without security present.” She concluded: “The events at GMU demonstrate opportunity to create a clandestine lab, the ability to sell items illegally, or the ability to exploit school equipment.” In a late September 2001 interview on NPR on the anthrax threat, Dr. Alibek said: “When we talk and deal with, for example, nuclear weapons, it’s not really difficult to count how much of one or another substance we’ve got in the hands. When you talk about biological agents, in this case it’s absolutely impossible to say whether or not something has been stolen.”

      Presently, Al-Timimi’s prosecution is on remand while the defense is given an opportunity to discover any documents that existed prior to 9/11 about al-Timimi and to address an issue relating to NSA intercepts after 9/11. Ali’s defense counsel explained to the federal district court, upon a remand by the appeals court, that Mr. Timimi was interviewed by an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent as early as February 1994 in connection with the first World Trade Center attack. The agents left their business cards which the family kept. Defense counsel Johnathan Turley further explained that “We have people that were contacted by the FBI and told soon after 9/11 that they believed that Dr. Al-Timimi was either connected to 9/11 or certainly had information about Al Qaeda.”

      Al-Timimi worked for SRA in 1999 where he had a high security clearance for work for the Navy. At a conference on countering biological terrorism in 1999 sponsored by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Alibek was introduced by a former colleague of Dr. Bailey:

      “Dr. Llewellyn: This is rather strange because I just met Dr. Alibek today. He was introduced to me by Dr. Charlie Bailey, who now works for SRA. But Charlie and I were associated with the Army Medical Research and Development Command Defense Program for over 20 years.”

      When I emailed Dr. Bailey in December 2007 to confirm Ali had the room right near his at Discovery Hall and whether he had worked with Al-Timimi at SRA he politely referred me to counsel and took no questions. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov have told me that Ali is not known to have worked on any biodefense project. Dr. Popova told me I should direct any such questions to Dr. Bailey. Dr. Bailey told me I should direct any questions to University counsel. University counsel declined to answer any questions.

      • DXer said

        “The Straight Path”: Connecting the Dots

        Al-Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali” and “was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:

        “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden.”

        Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assirat also. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage. Wadih al Hage was Ali Mohammed’s friend and served as Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.”

        Kamal Habib had been a founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and had spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the late 1970s, the cell run by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. In Egypt he formed the Islah (“Reform”) party with Gamal Sultan. While contributing to Al Manar al Jadeed, the Ann Arbor-based IANA’s quarterly journal, the pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999. They were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group. They were just hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless, at the same he withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group.

        In early April 2001, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rented an apartment in Falls Church, Virginia, for about a month, with the assistance of a man they met at the mosque. Nawaf Al-Hazmi had been at the January 2000 meeting at Yazid Sufaat’s Malaysian condominium in January 2000. Hijackers Nawaf and Hani Hanjour, a fellow pilot who was his friend from Saudi Arabia, attended sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Al-Timimi was located until he established the nearby center. The FBI reports that at an imam named Awlawki who had recently also moved from San Diego had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. Police later found the phone number of the Falls Church mosque when they searched the apartment of 9/11 planner Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. In his 2007 book, Center of the Storm, George Tenet noted that Ramzi bin al-Shibh had a CBRN role.

        Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:

        “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.
        Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.
        Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

        A man named Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God. “He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America.” Kwon said Al-Timimi told the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen —preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.

        After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September 16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group and gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch with two of the group on September 19, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting.

        Al-Timimi’s lawyer explains that Al-Timimi was in telephone contact with Al-Hawali on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001:
        “The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.”

        Al-Timimi was urging the young men go defend the Taliban against the imminent US invasion. A recent open letter to Ayman Zawahiri from a senior Libyan jihadist, Bin-Uthman, now living in London, confirms that Ayman Zawahiri and Atef, at a several day meeting in Kandahar in the Summer of 2000, viewed WMD as a deterrent to the invasion of Afghanistan.

        Kwon, who had just become a U.S. citizen in August 2001, went to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001. Kwon practiced with a semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher, but he was not able to join the Taliban. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as
        U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training. His trainers suggested that he instead go back to the United States and gather information for the holy warriors. Kwon told jurors at al-Timimi’s trial how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago and then found that Al-Timimi lectured locally near his home in Northern Virginia. “Russian Hell” — a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war — was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed. “They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration,” Kwon told the jurors.

        In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League.

        Al Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:

        “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

        In addition to the October 6, 2002 letter, drafted by Al-Timimi, Hawali had sent a lengthy October 15, 2001 “Open Letter” to President Bush in which he had rejoiced in the 9/11 attacks. One Al-Hawali lecture, sought to be introduced in the prosecution of the IANA webmaster, applauded the killing of Jews and called for more killing, praised suicide bombings, and said of Israel that it’s time to “fight and expel this hated country that consists of those unclean,
        defiled, the cursed.”

        Bin Laden referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 Declaration of War on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik al-Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime.

        Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:
        “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

        As Ali later explained to NBC, “To have a space shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there’s a divine hand behind it.”

        • DXer said

          Zawahiri’s Booklet On “Covert Operations”

          Mark A. Gabriel, PhD, once taught at Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote a very lucid book Journey Into The Mind Of An Islamist Terrorist. He discusses a booklet Zawahiri wrote titled COVERT OPERATIONS which is available online in Arabic. The Nigerian underpants bomber Abdulmutallab wrote his father asking “when is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?”
          If you want to know how Zawahiri views deceit on such issues as battle plans and spying, read his own words online.

          Gabriel explains:

          “Ayman al-Zawahiri leads a busy terrorist organization, and he must solve practical problems. For example, he may want some Al-Qaeda members to blend in and live in the United States. If these men wore full beards and went to ultraconservative mosques to pray, they they would arouse suspicion and get put on a watch list. Instead, al-Zawahiri would want these operatives to go undercover and blend into society. However, these devout Muslims will not go undercover unless they believe they have permission to do so from the teachings of Islam.
          As a result, al-Zawahiri wrote a booklet titled COVERT OPERATIONS, which goes deep into Islamic teaching and history to describe how deceit can be a tool in Muslim life.”

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

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

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

          “Protecting the mujahideen and preserving their secrets

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

        • DXer said

          Ali Mohammed, the head of intelligence for Egyptian Islamic Jihad who had a document on his computer seized by the FBI that outlined principles of cell security that would be followed, trained Dahab, a Cairo medical drop-out, to make deadly letters.

          Attorney McMahon’s claim that Al-Timimi did not know his fellow Falls Church imam is mistaken.

        • DXer said

          Attorney McMahon had been defense counsel for Zacarias Moussaoui. Why did the FBI fail disclose that Jdey was detained and released as the same time as Moussaoui?

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