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

* NYT: Qaeda Trying to Harness Toxin for Bombs, U.S. Officials Fear

Posted by DXer on August 13, 2011


Al Qaeda’s arm in Yemen has openly discussed deploying ricin and other deadly poisons against the United States. “Brothers with less experience in the fields of microbiology or chemistry, as long as they possess basic scientific knowledge, would be able to develop other poisons such as ricin or cyanide,” the organization posted to its online English-language journal, Inspire, last fall, in an article titled “Tips for Our Brothers in the United States of America.”



This title will be released August 16, 2011.
Qaeda Trying to Harness Toxin for Bombs, U.S. Officials Fear
Published: August 12, 2011

16 Responses to “* NYT: Qaeda Trying to Harness Toxin for Bombs, U.S. Officials Fear”

  1. DXer said

    In a CNN Digital exclusive video, former jihadist turned British spy Aimen Dean recalls plotting a NYC subway chemical attack. Watch “A Double Life: The Spy Inside al Qaeda” at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, May 25.

    Posted: May. 24, 2018 4:37 AM

    • DXer said

      Comment on CNN Special Report last night. Why did some US Administration official disclose in 2006 that there was a mole within Al Qaeda? The report was made in a book by Ron Susskind “One Percent Solution”. Who was that official?

      At the time, I asked Ron Suskiind his source on a separate claim that extremely virulent anthrax had been found in Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s house. (known as the Ames strain). He declined to say but said he was confident of his source. Who was the source? Was it the same source? Was it Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden squad? Or was it Dick Cheney? Someone else? I have absolutely no idea. In brainstorming, I only suggest the two possible names because it seems that in the US not many people would have known either bits of information.


      1. Mubtakkar

      Report: Al Qaeda planned N.Y. subway attack
      Sunday, June 18, 2006; Posted: 5:26 p.m. EDT (21:26 GMT)

      “According to Time’s report on the book, U.S. intelligence learned of the plot from the contents of a laptop computer belonging to a Bahraini jihadist captured in Saudi Arabia early in 2003.

      Suskind, according to Time, writes that a “management-level” al Qaeda operative identified as “Ali” had given U.S. agents accurate tips and had believed his leaders had erred in attacking the United States on September 11, 2001.”

      A mole within al Qaeda?

      Suskind, according to Time, writes that a “management-level” al Qaeda operative identified as “Ali” had given U.S. agents accurate tips and had believed his leaders had erred in attacking the United States on September 11, 2001.

      “Ali revealed that Ayeri had visited Ayman Zawahiri in January 2003 to inform him of a plot to attack the New York City subway system using cyanide gas. Several mubtakkars were to be placed in subway cars and other strategic locations,” according to the Time report.

      “Ali did not know the precise explanation why” al-Zawahiri called off the plot, Time quoted Suskind as writing. “He just knew that Zawahiri had called them off.”

      Meanwhile, administration officials wondered why Ali was cooperating — and why the plot was called off, Suskind wrote, according to Time.”

      3. Exclusive Book Excerpt: How an Al-Qaeda Cell Planned a Poison-Gas Attack on the N.Y. Subway
      Saturday, June 17, 2006,8599,1205309,00.html

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

  2. DXer said

    Question: What individuals mentioned on this blog were at the place of mailing of the cyanide letters in 2001 from the “September 11” group?

    Related question to the book author and former DSS agent, and his New Zealand contacts: Is there an outstanding reward?

    Cyanide was used in the letter.

    The New Zealand Open heightened security for the event in light of the threat made against it. Many speculated that the threat was made because Tiger Woods would be attending the Open. Cyanide is commonly used (and available) in New Zealand in various forms, particularly to kill possums. The letter that claimed responsibility for this incident also claimed responsibility for three letters sent to the U.S. Embassy and the British and Australian High Commission offices in Wellington. These letters threatened further action if Iraq were invaded by the U.S., U.K., or Australia (cf. 200302210004).

    Group Name
    September 11 Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Letter)

    Incident Sources:

    “Protecting Tiger costs police $ 1m,” The Evening Post, February 14, 2002.

    “AFP: New Zealand Police Release Text Of Cyanide Threat Letter,” Agence France Presse, February 26, 2003.”

    “Patrick Gower, Paula Oliver, and Alan Perrott, “Cyanide letter threat to Cup,” New Zealand Herald, February 26, 2003.”

  3. DXer said

    Intel Hints at Al-Qaida Steps Toward Ricin Strikes

    By Global Security Newswire Staff
    August 16, 2013 | 12:02 p.m.

    Al-Qaida’s Yemeni branch appears to be more than 12 months into an effort to stockpile the lethal toxin ricin for aerial dispersal in the United States, intelligence insiders said in a Monday New York Times report.

    Confidential findings suggest the terror group has been trying to amass castor seeds and other ricin precursors at a secluded location in Yemen’s Shabwa province, an area beyond reach of the country’s central government in Sanaa, according to the sources. The data — initially reported in 2012 to President Obama and senior White House security staffers — suggests the militants want to have explosives spread the deadly substance through crowded indoor areas, government personnel said.

    Still, U.S. insiders said they saw no signs of an impending ricin strike. They added that Yemen’s climate is not conducive to ricin retaining its potency, and that the toxin less readily enters the human body than certain types of nerve agent.

    Following the initial reports last year, a Saudi intelligence lead surfaced that suggested al-Qaida sought to inject ricin into a popular perfume made from agarwood resin, and send the tainted fragrance as presents to government officials and armed forces. However, it is uncertain that the plot was ever attempted, the Timesreported.


    Didn’t they try this mailed perfume idea years ago using cyanide? Or was that just a brainstormed alternative idea when Aafia’s husband (I think) suggested that perfume bottles could be used in nightclubs. OBL thought the perfume sprayer idea in nightclubs was lame. Mailed bottles of perfume would be even lamer.

    At best, perfume would be given to wives and mistresses and result only in killing civilians. These operatives must be really uninformed if they are so inclined to violate the hadiths — and thus forfeit their soul — under their own belief system and the rules governing the conduct of warfare outlined in the koran and hadiths. See Abu Ghaith’s book.

    The Netflix series “Breaking Bad” had a (IMO) totally implausible plot involving a ricin cigarette that Jesse was carrying.

    Yazid Sufaat in interviews has said that he now thinks anthrax is ineffectual and wants something that (bim, bam boom) has immediate effect . (That was not his exact phrasing in the published interview but he had switched to his native language for a similar expression).

    As I recall, the undercover informant (arranging for a wife for Awlaki) said Awlaki had been working on getting a refrigerator. (Awlaki should have stuck to his prostitutes).

    Thus, although Al Qaeda may be successful in mounting a ricin attack, it will only be against their own interests in this world and the hereafter.

    • DXer said

      Was this claim of responsibility ever validated?

      Islamist Group Claims Senate Ricin Attack

      July 7, 2004

      An Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the ricin attack on a U.S. Senate office earlier this year, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Feb. 24).

      The Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade posted a statement on its Web site yesterday claiming it was responsible for the traces of ricin found on a mail-sorting machine in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) in February. The group said that incident was a test for a future attack, according to the Associated Press.

      The brigade takes its name from a top al-Qaeda lieutenant killed in a U.S. air strike on Afghanistan in 2001 (Maggie Michael, Associated Press, July 6).

    • DXer said

      I believe the Aug 16 NTI report is mistakenly treating a 2011 NYT report as if it appeared in 2013. This is old news. Awlaki was working on it. He was killed. Case closed.

      Intel Hints at Al-Qaida Steps Toward Ricin Strikes | Global Security …‎

      Aug. 16, 2013. Al-Qaida’s Yemeni branch appears to be more than 12 months into an effort to stockpile the lethal toxin ricin for aerial dispersal in the United …

    • DXer said

      The experienced and thoughtful chemical weapons analyst Rene Pita has concluded that the claim of responsibility is highly questionable and cites other false claims of responsibility by the group.

      • In July 2004 the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade claimed responsibility for the ricin “attack” on US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s office in early 2004, which it stated was a test for a future attack [26]. The credibility of this claim is questionable, however, since this same group has claimed responsibility for many attacks and incidents that it had nothing to do with, including the 11 March 2004 train bombings in Madrid and even the recent blackouts caused by power failures in the US and Canada.

  4. DXer said

    Stewart Bell wrote a book about Jabarah titled Martyr’s Oath. In his 12-page interrogation report, Jabarah was trained, he says, to add germs to bombs. Wasn’t the germ anthrax? Separately, Stewart Bell also notes that Abu Khabab gave instructions on poisons — ordinarily the word “germs” is intended to have a distinct meaning from “poisons.” Muklis Yunos, Hambali’s second-hand man, was an expert on bombs and was trained in anthrax.
    Silica is used in a microencapsulation process to protect the germ from the explosion. Was Jabarah trained by Muklis Yunos? Someone fitting Muklis Yunos’ description once bragged to a journalist his skill at manipulating anthrax. While travelling, he was carrying papers from Ayman Zawahiri.

    “Martyr’s Oath” explains how DOJ lawyers worked out a plan whereby Al Qaeda operative Jabarah would be brought to the US. Jabarah had been an Al Qaeda operative who had important information but he was not known to have committed any crimes in Canada apparently.

    CSIS Agent Mike Pavlovic flew to an Air Force base in Upstate New York before proceeding to Toronto and taking Jabarah out to a Toronto strip club. He had asked for a night out on the town before he proceeded to the US. His father was angry that his son had been persuaded to come to the US to cooperate under a vaguely worded agreement.

    I will have to study “Martyr’s Oath” to understand the role Jabarah played in Hambali’s planning for bombs in places like Singapore to understand his connection, if any, to Al Qaeda lab tech Sufaat. With respect to the allegation in Ken Dillon’s FOIA suit, he says that a fellow named Abdelrahman told him Jdey had brought down Flight 587 with a shoebomb. On an Al Qaeda website, Al Qaeda did claim responsibility.

    In the case of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, the anthrax lab director had been detained in December 2001. Why would Al Qaeda claim responsibility when it might result in Sufaat never being released? Al Qaeda had denied responsibility for 911 until it was beyond dispute. In the case of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, there were too many people willing to make assumptions that did not take into account that Al Qaeda had declared war against the United States and it was known that Ayman Zawahiri was planning to attack US targets with anthrax. Most of those people making such assumptions never even bothered to inform themselves about Dr. Ayman’s anthrax planning. That’s just lazy.

  5. DXer said

    Biological weapons expert Tucker, 56, was known for fluency in politics

  6. Dxer said

    From .book –
    “The April 2010 intelligence reports warned that AQAP operatives in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, were attempting to contract out for large quantities of castor beans. “The assumption was they were attempting to weaponize them,” said a senior administration official. How would they do that? Most likely packed around an explosive, and most likely in a. confined space…”

    So the means of delivery was an analyst’s conclusion or inference …. Not based on direct intel.

    • Dxer said

      From book at 227 …

      Several countries, including the United States, have tried unsuccessfully to convert ricin into weapon causing mass casualties..

      • Dxer said

        “They noted that a ricin bomb requires more chemical and engineeringsophistication than just wrapping the toxin around an explosive.” (p. 227)

  7. DXer said

    Robert L. Le Tourneau’s patent for a ricin bomb filed in 1955 (granted in 1965), LIGHT HIGH EXPLOSIVE BOMB FOR DISPERSING TOXIC AND INSECTICIDAL AEROSOLS, is here:

    What do results from filed FOIAs reveal as to whether a ricin bomb was ever developed and tested pursuant to this patent?

  8. DXer said

    Let’s review what Dr. Relman and Dr. Petro have listed as among Dr. Ayman’s papers to see if there were any materials on ricin, and if so, what they said.

    Dr. Relman was #2 on the NAS review panel in Amerithrax

    The list below was published as a freely available online appendix to their article in SCIENCE about understanding the threats of scientific openness.

    I don’t see any articles on ricin. I read the listed books but offhand don’t know if they discussed ricin.

    Nope. Just stuff about growing anthrax and other pathogens (to include growing anthrax in silica).

    DIA gives out redacted excerpts of the articles under FOIA.

    In light of the attempted use of cyanide in order to poison the localized water supply of the US embassy in Rome in 2002, focus on use of ricin in bombs is a bit misdirected.

    Anwar should know that use of ricin to poison food or water violates the hadiths.

    Science Supporting Online Material

    Selected Document References:

    Darlow, HM, and Pride, NB. (1969). Serological diagnosis of anthrax. Lancet

    Doi, H, et al. (1996). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) subtype prevalence in Chiang Mai,
    Thailand, and identification of novel subtypes of HCV major type 6. J. Clin. Microbiol.

    Green, DM, and Jamieson, WM. (1958). Anthrax and bone-meal fertilizer. Lancet ii:153-

    Hobbs, G, Roberts, TA, and Walker, PD. (1965). Some observations on OS variants of

    Clostridium botulinum type E. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 28(1):147-152.

    Mangold, T, and Goldberg, J. (1999). Plague Wars: The Terrifying Reality of Biological
    Warfare. MacMillan, Great Britain.

    Morris, EJ. (1955). A selective medium for Bacillus anthracis. J. Gen. Microbiol.

    Pearce, TW, and Powell, EO. (1951). A selective medium for Bacillus anthracis. J. Gen.
    Microbiol. 5:387-390

    Roberts, TA. (1965). Sporulation of Clostridium botulinum type E in different culture
    media. J. Appl. Bacteriol 28(1):142-146.

    Roberts, TA, and Ingram, M. (1965). The resistance of spores of Clostridium botulinum
    type E to heat and radiation. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 28:125.

    Semple, AB, and Hobday, TL. (1959). Control of anthrax: Suggestions based on survey
    of imported hides. Lancet ii (3 October): 507-508

    Stanley, JL, and Smith H (1961). Purification of factor I and recognition of a third factor
    of the anthrax toxin. J. Gen. Microbiol. 26:49-66.

    Thorne, CB, and Belton, FC. (1957). An agar-diffusion method for titrating Bacillus
    anthracis immunizing antigen and its application to a study of antigen production. J. Gen.
    Microbiol. 17:505-516.

    Wang, CH, et al. (1996). Immune response to hepatitis A virus capsid proteins after
    infection. J. Clin. Microbiol. 34(3):707-713.

    Selected Supplementary References from Handwritten Notes Recovered on Site:
    Ajl, SJ, Kadis, S, and Montie, TC. (1970) Microbial Toxins. Academic Press, New York.
    Anderson, RM, and May, RM. (1991). Infectious Diseases of Humans: Dynamics and
    Control. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    Batty, I and Walker, PD. (1965). Colonial morphology and fluorescent labelled antibody
    staining in the identification of species of the genus Clostridium. J. Appl. Bacteriol.

    Brachman, PS, Plotkin, SA, Bumford, FH, and Atchison, MM. (1960). An epidemic of
    inhalation anthrax: The first in the twentieth century. II. Epidemiology. Am. J. Hyg. 72:6-

    Clarke, R. (1968). We All Fall Down: The Prospects of Biological and Chemical
    Warfare. Penguin Books, London.

    Hodgkiss, W, and Ordal, ZJ. (1966). The morphology of the spore of some strains of
    Clostridium botulinum type E. J. Bacteriol. 91:2031-2036.

    Keppie, J, Cocking, EC, Witt, K, and Smith, H. (1960). The chemical basis of the
    virulence of Pasteurella pestis. III. An immunogenic product obtained from Past. pestis
    that protects both guinea pigs and mice. Br. J. Exp. Pathol. 41:577-585.

    Knisley, RF. (1966). Selective medium for Bacillus anthracis. J. Gen. Microbiol. 13:456.

    Knisely, RF, Swaney, LM, and Friedlander, H. (1964). Selective media for the isolation
    of Pasteurella pestis. J. Bacteriol. 88:491-496.

    Miller, JK. Human anthrax in New York state. N.Z. Med. J. 61:2046-2053.

    Murphy, S, Hay, A, and Rose, S. (1986). No Fire, No Thunder: The Threat of Chemical
    and Biological Weapons. Pluto Press, London.

    Proceedings of the Conference on Airborne Infection. (1961). Bacteriol. Rev. 25:173-

    Riemann, H. (1969). Botulism Types A, B, and F in Foodborne Infections and
    Intoxications. Edited by H Rieman. Academic Press, New York.

    Roberts, B. (1993). Biological Weapons: Weapons of the Future. Significant Issues
    Series XV(1). Center for Strategic and International Studies. Washington, DC.

    Rothschild, JH. (1964). Tomorrow’s Weapons. McGraw-Hill, New York.
    Science Supporting Online Material

    Smith, H (1988). The development of studies on the determinants of bacterial
    pathogenicity. J. Comp. Pathol. 98:253-73.

    Walgate, R. (1990). Miracle of Menace? Biotechnology and the Third World. The Panas
    Institute, London.

    William, P, and Wallace, D. (1989). Unit 731: The Japanese Army’s Secret of Secrets.
    Hodder and Stoughton, London.

    World Health Organization (1970) Expert Committee on Plague, 4th Report. World
    Health Org. Tech. Rep. Ser. (no. 447).

  9. DXer said

    Ricin as a weapon of mass terror — Separating fact from fiction
    Leo J. Schepa, , , Wayne A. Templea, Grant A. Buttb and Michael D. Beasleya

    Ricin Poisoning (JAMA)
    A Comprehensive Review

Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: