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

* Al Qaeda lab lingers in anthrax story

Posted by DXer on October 3, 2011


al Qaeda cave


 By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY (10/3/11) …

  • Fears that al Qaeda had some role in the anthrax letter attacks that killed five and terrorized the U.S. 10 years ago surfaced early in the investigation.
  • “THIS IS NEXT. TAKE PENACILIN NOW. DEATH TO AMERICA. DEATH TO ISRAEL. ALLAH IS GREAT,” read the anthrax-laden letter sent to NBC newsman Tom Brokaw on Sept 18, 2001, at the start of the attacks.
  •  Those messages likely contributed to one of the more curious endeavors of the nine-year “Amerithrax” investigation into the anthrax murders, the retrieval of a suspected terrorist lab, right down to the pipes of the kitchen sink.
  • “While it is undoubtedly true that al Qaeda was seeking to establish an offensive bioweapons program in 2001, Task Force agents were unable to find any link between al Qaeda and the letter attacks in the United States, or even that, at the time of the attacks, any al Qaeda operatives had access to the type and quality of anthrax pathogen used in the 2001 attacks,” says the FBI’s investigative summary of the case.
  • The NRC panel, headed by Lehigh University president Alice Gast, however, “consider these data to be inconclusive regarding the possible presence of B. anthracis Ames at this undisclosed overseas site,” according to their report.

63 Responses to “* Al Qaeda lab lingers in anthrax story”

  1. DXer said

    “Intelligence Matters”: Michael Morell on 9/11, the CIA and Afghanistan, Part 2
    UPDATED ON: SEPTEMBER 22, 2021 / 9:10 AM / CBS NEWS

    Subsequent plots and the feeling of a “ticking time bomb”: “We received in early 2003 intelligence that al Qaeda had been planning an attack on the New York City subway system but that Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s number two, had called off that attack because “We have something better in mind.” We asked ourselves: “Do they have a nuclear weapon inside the United States?” … Again, it is difficult to overstate hard the level of the threat we saw. Many days we asked ourselves: ‘Is this the day we get hit again?'”
    Fears of nuclear and biological weapons: “In the aftermath of 9/11, including during the initial fighting in Afghanistan, we were learning more and more about al Qaeda and what we were learning was deeply concerning. We learned that al Qaeda saw 9/11 as the first in a series of attacks on the us; 9/11 was only the beginning. We learned that al Qaeda, before 9/11, was experimenting with chemical and biological weapons, including anthrax, and was working to get its hands on Pakistani nuclear weapons. We even learned that prior to 9/11, some Pakistani nuclear scientists had shared crude nuclear weapons designs with al Qaeda.”

  2. DXer said

    ANALYSIS: ISIS preparing for radioactive and biological attacks
    ISIS is re-emerging as a guerilla force and threatening chemical warfare.

    The Islamic State group is now threatening to stage biological and radio-active attacks to finish off the anti-ISIS coalition.
    The organization’s Al-Taqwa Media Foundation last week started to publish new inciting material, including animation videos depicting a burning capitol building and abandoned military vehicles as well as civilian cars – as ISIS terrorists raise their black banner.

    The images also showed four symbols to warn against biohazards which were placed on a nearby building and three barricades near the burning target.

    Comment: I don’t understand the purpose of terrorism. It is a very rare instance indeed where it led to the intended result. Osama or Zawahiri might once have pointed to the Khobar Towers.

    Robbing banks I understand — but not terrorism. It seems to fit the definition of insanity.

    For example, take the young man this New Years who plowed into a crowd in Japan to protest the execution of some Aum members. He drove into people to protest capital punishment. If he opposed capital punishment, he should have advocated against it — not provide another reason to turn to it. It’s not like he persuaded any hearts or minds — he accomplished the opposite.

  3. DXer said

    December 14, 2018
    Homeland Security inspectors and a whistleblower say the site, which would be used to coordinate federal responses to a bioterror attack, isn’t secure.

  4. DXer said

    Unfortunately, regardless who is appointed — the new Attorney General will be overwhelmed with so many new responsibilities that he or she won’t be able to sort through the facts of the Amerithrax whodunnit.

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

    But most anyone can consider the DOJ’s current claim that it threw out the only documents on which it closed Robert Mueller’s biggest whodunnit— the September and October 2001 emails to and from Ivins relied upon by the FBI in building its Ivins Theory. If I were the new AG, I would order FBI FOIA’s Hardy to direct his staff to look harder for them.

    Here is a 2001 discussion by then-Senator William Sessions discusses Barr and anthrax. Sessions describes the situation where authorities might have found an Al Qaeda member in Kabul with an anthrax factory — but with evidence pointing to a plan to send it to, say, France, rather than the United States. He asks: Would there be authority to try the Al Qaeda terrorist in New York?

    On the eve of the release of Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat in Malaysia, it is unfortunate that the Administration’s game of musical chairs is leaving these questions to collect dust.

    “Senator Sessions. You know, I was thinking about how you
    would try somebody–let’s say you catch a person–I was a
    prosecutor, and I am glad to see you have been in the courtroom
    and tried a lot of cases. There are some basic things that you
    run up against. You catch an Al Qaeda member in Kabul with an
    anthrax factory, and you don’t have direct proof that he
    intended to send it to New York. Maybe you have proof he
    intended to send it to France. Would there be any way under
    traditional rules of law that you would have venue in New York
    or any other place in the United States to try that? Or would
    that be a difficult legal question to overcome?

    Senator Sessions. Thank you. I would just say that, as Mr.
    Barr stated also, “When we wage war, the Constitution does not
    give foreign enemies rights to invoke against us; rather, the
    Constitution provides us with the means to defeat and destroy
    our enemies.” Otherwise, our liberties would be subject to
    potential victory by a terrorist group who doesn’t value any of
    the values that we cherish in this country.
    So I think we need to understand this distinction, Mr.
    Chairman, when we are in a war situation as opposed to a
    domestic law enforcement situation, and historically all
    nations, to my knowledge, have always understood the great


    before the







    Serial No. J-107-50


    Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary

  5. DXer said

    December 2, 2018
    Introducing “the Poor Man’s Atomic Bomb”: Biological Weapons

    But how much of a threat are they really?

    by Tyler Headley

  6. DXer said

    Risk of terror chemical attack closer than ever, minister warns, Oct 9, 2018

    Terrorists are “marching closer” to carrying out a chemical or biological attack in Britain as they relentlessly pursue new ways to commit violence, the security minister warned yesterday.

    Ben Wallace said that terrorists and rogue states were limited only by their imagination and police and intelligence services were engaged in a “gargantuan” effort to protect the public.

    He told the National Security Summit in London yesterday: “As I speak, terrorists continue to explore new ways to kill us on our streets. Chemical and biological weapons are marching in closer. They have developed and worked on a better arsenal, and we have to be prepared that might come to our streets here. Be under no doubt the threat is real. Our open, liberal and free societies…

    UK public warned chemical or biological terrorist attack is ‘marching closer’

    Security Minister Ben Wallace said the UK must face up the possibility as “terrorists relentlessly pursue new methods to commit murder”.

    Hayden Smith
    • 15:52, 9 OCT 2018

    “Be under no doubt the threat is real. Our open, liberal and free societies are easy prey to those that fear little and care even less.”


    And yet the US FBI reports that they did not keep the emails to and from Bruce Ivins indicating why he was in the B3 on those nights and weekends — the ones that it relied upon and misleadingly quoted in the Amerithrax Investigation Summary in accusing him — without evidence beyond the emails — of five murders.

    And the UK, for its part, concealed the infiltration of the Porton Down conferences and the B3 lab by Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist, Rauf Ahmad.

    There’s lots of alarmism when funds are sought — but no honesty when accountability (the foundation for security) is at issue.

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

  7. DXer said

    A bioterrorism attack is coming, Lieberman added, and so too is another infectious disease pandemic, “but we don’t know when, even though we can say with reasonable certainty that both awful events will occur.”

    “We have a tendency in this country to react to things after they occur,” said Blue Ribbon panel co-chairman Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania.

    The anthrax attack 17 years ago on Capitol Hill, for instance, found the federal government semi-prepared. “That incident shook up the nation,” which learned it could have done a better job in preparing to respond to such bioterrorism, Ridge said.

    “The bottom line is we don’t think we’re ready,” Lieberman said. “We have to get ahead of the threat rather than be reactionary.”

    Hence, the title of Tuesday’s meeting by the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense meeting — Fits and Starts: Reactionary Biodefense, he said.


    Daschle said that his “mounting frustration over the inaction in Washington on this issue” is one of the reasons he decided to serve on the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.

    “Today’s intelligence reports confirm that there are nation-states and terrorist organizations who are actively seeking to weaponize biological agents and attack the United States and its interests overseas,” said Daschle. “The biological threat is real. Despite this fact, we have done far too little to coordinate our response and take meaningful action.”

    Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense: Expert recommends biothreat preparedness solutions
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Kim Riley

  8. DXer said

    How should we deal with a large-scale chemical attack?

  9. DXer said

    Albany professor wins $2.5M to study how anthrax spreads among African wildlife

    By Lynda Edwards

    Updated 6:26 pm EDT, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    “Turner will study anthrax, a soil bacteria (B. anthracis) that can be refined into a deadly bio-terrorism weapon, that lethal white powder used in 2001 attacks in America when anthrax spores were mailed. That refined form of anthrax killed five and sickened 17. Naturally occurring anthrax spores, which Turner studies, can survive in dirt for decades where they can sicken animals then humans who use infected meat or animal hides.

    “Anthrax is a naturally occurring pathogen that’s existed all over the world, including in the U.S.,” said Turner, who earned her doctorate from University of California, Berkeley. “But ecosystems react to anthrax differently. In Africa, zebras and kudus (a species of antelope) seem the most vulnerable to anthrax.””


    I have a nephew and niece who once lived under Mount Kilimanjaro for a year watching elephants. There was a photo of him holding up the leg of a recently killed zebra. At the time, I commented “ew” — it could have anthrax. But now it occurs to me that a greater concern was that the big cat that killed the zebra might come back for seconds.

    So we’ll wish the research scientist and her husband and colleagues safe travels.

    Unfortunately, Al Qaeda researchers can just as easily cultivate anthrax from carcasses.

    Ayman Zawahiri recently released a tape on September 11 and apparently is angry and urges that supporters attack the US. That man needs to let go of his anger and at least find the peace that Yazid Sufaat finds through his religion.

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

  10. DXer said

    Bioterrorism: Fear accidents more than attacks

    By Rebecca L. Brown, August 29, 2018

    A dangerous accident. In 2009, the world saw the first deadly sign that terrorists pursuing biological weapons are more likely to unleash a local outbreak than a biological attack. Forty Al Qaeda jihadis in an Algeria-based cell, who may have been experimenting with biological weapons, all died of plague. Had any one of those jihadis interacted with somebody from a nearby community, they could have set off a localized epidemic in rural communities where antibiotics and other medicines are not readily available.

    This incident showcased both the risk to any community where terrorists experiment inexpertly with biological agents and toxins, and the lack of sophistication in the safety procedures terrorists are using. Establishing safety precautions sufficient to prevent the spread of infectious diseases is difficult, even in modern facilities, which the Algerian terrorists lacked access to. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration strictly regulates personal protective equipment and health worker contact with infectious diseases. Without such safety precautions, accidental infections are likely, and cross-infection with the local community is possible, especially if the infected terrorist ventures into a community in search of medicine.

  11. DXer said

    Terrorists potentially target millions in makeshift biological weapons ‘laboratories’, UN forum hears

  12. DXer said

    Smallpox Drug Will Be Stockpiled by U.S Government in Case of Bioterrorism Attack

    By Lisa Spear On 7/17/18 at 12:54 PM

    “Smallpox killed about 300 million people during the 20th century before the World Health Organization’s worldwide eradication efforts began in 1967.”

  13. DXer said

    DPP loses court battle to keep anthrax attack suspect’s wife in remand

    At the time of her arrest, Nuseiba was an intern attached at Mubeda Hospital in Uganda. She was arrested on June 5, 2016, by ATPU officers at Entebbe International Airport for allegedly intending to fly to Kenya upon learning of her husband’s arrest. Following her arrest she was escorted to Kenya and charged with three counts related to terrorism.

  14. DXer said

    Super Bowl anti-terrorism documents left on plane
    Posted 8:03 AM, February 5, 2018, by CNN Wire

    The reports also noted there was confusion among local health agencies about … with whom information could safely be shared during an emergency.

    This “made it difficult for them to assess whether their city was at risk,” the documents stated, and “creates a situation where local officials are deciding on courses of action from limited points of view.”


    Ironically, leaving the unclassified document was one way to share information whether your city is at risk — and thus avoiding a situation where local officials are deciding on courses of action from limited points of view.

  15. DXer said

    Volume 364
    Issue 12
    June 2017
    Green tea and epigallocatechin-3-gallate are bactericidal against Bacillus anthracis

    Shane D. Falcinelli Maggie C. Shi Arthur M. Friedlander Jennifer Chua
    FEMS Microbiology Letters, Volume 364, Issue 12, 3 July 2017, fnx127,
    12 June 2017

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is listed as a category A biothreat agent by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virulence of the organism is due to expression of two exotoxins and capsule, which interfere with host cellular signaling, alter host water homeostasis and inhibit phagocytosis of the pathogen, respectively. Concerns regarding the past and possible future use of B. anthracis as a bioterrorism agent have resulted in an impetus to develop more effective protective measures and therapeutics. In this study, green tea was found to inhibit the in vitro growth of B. anthracis. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound found abundantly in green tea, was shown to be responsible for this activity. EGCG was bactericidal against both the attenuated B. anthracis ANR and the virulent encapsulated B. anthracis Ames strain. This study highlights the antimicrobial activity of green tea and EGCG against anthrax and suggests the need for further investigation of EGCG as a therapeutic candidate against B. anthracis.

  16. DXer said

    Security Agency Says Oklahoma Bioterror Drill Designed To Prepare For Hazard, Not Create One

    By Joe Wertz •

    The federal agency has conducted similar bioterrorism tests and drills before in subway systems in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C.


    The school buildings are located in a remote, rural setting but have updated heating and air-conditioning systems, and can simulate how airborne contaminants infiltrate modern buildings.

    Two powdery chemicals will be released during the winter test, the federal agency reported in its environmental assessment, including urea laced with a fluorescent dye commonly found in laundry detergent, and titanium dioxide, a commonly used white pigment.

    When the public hears chemical names like titanium dioxide, “it sounds scary,” says Kitty Cardwell, an OSU professor and director of the National Institute for Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity. “It’s a chemical name, but if you look on the ingredients list in your toothpaste, in ranch dressing,” you’ll see it.

    For the summer test, the security agency wants to release a pound of Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacteria and pesticide used in “caterpillar killer” dust found on the shelves of big-box stores.

    “It’s not more than you would be exposed to if you lived next to an agricultural setting,” says Cardwell, who’s not involved in the proposed tests, but has worked on similar ones.

    The Chilocco school, located near Newkirk in northern Kay County, is owned by the Council of Confederated Chiloco Tribes and leased to OSU’s Multispectral Laboratory, which conducts experiments on contract for law enforcement and government security agencies.

    In a statement, council speaker and Otoe-Missouria Chairman John Shotton said, “The tribes would like to know more about the environmental and human impact of the proposed testing.” Shotton said the council also requested meetings between the federal agency and each of the member tribes, including the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Ponca Tribe, Tonkawa Tribe and the Pawnee and Kaw nations.

    Hough, with Homeland Security, says the Oklahoma tests are key to planning a public response to a chemical or biological attack. The testing would also be helpful in the event chemicals or biological agents are accidentally released, say from a plant explosion or a train derailment.

    “Should the Department of Homeland Security give emergency managers and first responders instruction that they should stay in their home and shelter in place,” he says, “or should they leave the home and head in a different direction?”

    Comment: “Council of Confederated Chiloco Tribes and leased to OSU’s Multispectral Laboratory, which conducts experiments on contract for law enforcement and government security agencies.”

    I don’t know what the lease says — whether there would be any legal grounds for shutting the testing down if there was public outcry.

    This question whether to evacuate or shelter in place does seem an important one. I also find interesting the question how many responders will choose instead to stay with their families — or leave with them. For example, consider the idea of mail carriers distributing antibiotics. Might your mail carrier simply travel with his family to North Carolina? I’ve always liked the idea of distribution at traffic booths on the way out of the city. But one problem with that is that the powder would travel on the car.

    If you think government employees had a difficult time with a whodunnit mystery of a low scale attack involving a mailed pathogen, imagine the aftermath of an aerosol pathogen attack.

  17. DXer said

    Bioterrorism tests spark fears along the Kansas border

    Nearby residents question safety of Department of Homeland Security tests in abandoned Oklahoma school

    • By Justin Wingerter The Oklahoman
    • 5 hrs ago

    Comment: That’s an attractive building. According to Wikipedia, it is approximately 20 miles north of Ponca City, Oklahoma and seven miles north of Newkirk, Oklahoma.

    It seems that an attack would be more likely made in an urban setting with tall buildings — in order to maximize the economic damage and human loss of life. Perhaps someone in a high-rise should shelter in place in one of the upper floors. (I don’t know).

    I haven’t read on the subject but it seems that a key is that HVAC systems can be shut off — so as to not draw in air from the outside.

    My wife just did a wonderful job of renovating the basement with a fresh coat of paint, decluttering and vacuuming cobwebs. But with a nuclear attack the aim is to get as far away as possible from settling radioactive particles. The trouble is that they would settle both on the roof and on the ground, and so I have no idea whether the basement, in our particular case, would be better off or not. The rule of thumb for a nuclear attack is to get into the center of the basement of the tallest building you can immediately find — and don’t spend time in transit during that initial period.

    A more pressing concern than a nuclear or biological attack, is the faulty algorithm (at least as judged by today’s experience) used in the online snow day calculator. Let’s hope that everyone did their homework.

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

    • DXer said

      Lots of smart professionals are thinking about how to respond to a mass anthrax event.FN/ But as members of the public, we can consider whether we have the basic go-bag and emergency supplies recommended by the Red Cross.
      If not, it would make a nice present for the holidays to your loved ones.

      For those of us who have medical need for prescription medicines, one alternative is to opt for the 3 month prescription option, rather than 1 month. Cat food, kitty litter, toilet paper may be priorities for some. And likely won’t cost you anything just to have additional supplies of things you will be using anyway. Water I had picked up already proved useful when I had to shut off the water for a few days at the kitchen sink to resolve a leaky faucet.


      A Calculation Tool and Process to Pre-Position Pharmaceuticals for Anthrax Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
      Peksa Gary D., Robbins Michael J., Beyer Alexis R., Weber Elisabeth K., and Johnson Keneatha. Health Security. November 2017, ahead of print.
      Online Ahead of Print: November 14, 2017

      Multidisciplinary DSS as Preventive Tools in Case of CBRNe Dispersion and Diffusion: Part 1: A Brief Overview of the State of the Art and an Example – Review
      • Jean-François CiparisseEmail author
      • Roberto Melli
      • Riccardo Rossi
      • Enrico Sciubba
      • Jean-François Ciparisse

      • 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
      • 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity Roma SapienzaRomeItaly
      First Online: 01 November 2017

      Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Jan; 23(1): 46–55.
      doi: 10.3201/eid2301.151787
      PMCID: PMC5176207
      Modeling Tool for Decision Support during Early Days of an Anthrax Event

      Gabriel Rainisch, Martin I. Meltzer,1 Sean Shadomy, William A. Bower, and Nathaniel Hupert1

  18. DXer said

    Chemicals To Be Released Near Newkirk

    Posted: Nov 10, 2017 7:25 PM EST Updated: Nov 10, 2017 7:25 PM EST
    By Tiffany Liou, News 9

    Newkirk, OK – The Department of Homeland Security is preparing in the event of a biological attack. According to a 58-page document, chemicals will be released at Chilocco Indian School in Newkirk.

    In January/Feburary and again in June/July of 2018, particles will be released onto buildings of the Chilocco campus. It is to determine how well biological agents will penetrate into single and multi-family homes


    It seems that this may be the subject of an attempt to stop it by legal action. I appreciate that the government sprays pesticides to control insect-borne diseases. And I know that there have been studies using anthrax stimulants, widely thought to be harmless, in places like subways — to include some studies dating back decades. But even those were not without controversy.

    Whether such a legal action would succeed, I have no idea.FN But something about the plan to intrude into people’s home is unsettling — and the vulnerable population segment will increase feelings of protectiveness and would tend to provide such a legal claim with a favorable PR spin. Counsel, perhaps from a pro bono nonprofit group, might argue that the government should simply do such testing on government-owned single and multi-family homes housing solders.

    Scientific uncertainties sometimes lead to unfortunate situations. For example, the government unknowingly sent virulent Ames willy nilly all over the world for years — and then did not even study the extent of the problem pre-2002, so as to provide insight into the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. The people in charge of Amerithrax had shifted to the Army (Hassell & Majidi) and truncated the analysis to post-2001 transfers.

    The Department of Homeland Security might want to move the proposed study and choose a location housing only military personnel.

    Having said that, I would be the first to concede the possibility that Al Qaeda or ISIS may launch an aerosol attack using biological weapons.

    But if a nonprofit brings suit to stop spraying to test the extent to which chemicals will intrude and expose the children at a rural Indian School, will it nonetheless proceed in face of the bad PR? Prudence might dictate a change in venue before people’s sensibilities are tested.

    FN/ In Operation Sea Spray, a stimulant was sprayed over the Bay Area in the 1950s. In Nevin, a suit brought in connection with someone who had died of a urinary tract infection, the appellate court found that the government was immune from suit.

    • DXer said

      I’ve now listened to the newscast, and understand that I was operating on a fundamental misapprehension. The Indian School campus is closed and not open to the public. And so the argument against such testing, at best, is that the aerosol might blow and affect residents in the area. The study might provide details bearing on that risk — how far away the nearest neighbors are One observation in the newscast was that the scientists will be suited in biohazard suits and wearing respirator masks.

      In studies of New York subway, I believe the simulant immediately dispersed far away due to the drafts in the tunnel.

      Now that I understand that the property is closed to the public, I think a legal action would stand little chance of success.

      Here, pesticide spraying is routinely done upon outbreak of diseases where mosquitos are the vector..

  19. DXer said

    Biological weapons simulation test planned in Oklahoma

    Updated: Nov 13, 2017 – 4:27 PM

  20. DXer said

    So while there is a book forthcoming by the FBI Agent who had his book proofread by the guy who thinks a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters, the book I’m waiting for is the one to be written by biodefense infiltrator Rauf Ahmad. In email correspondence with me, on more than one occasion, Rauf Ahmad said he would be willing to tell his story in exchange for money.

    Suspect and A Setback In Al-Qaeda Anthrax Case

    By Joby Warrick
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006
    In December 2001, as the investigation into the U.S. anthrax attacks was gathering steam, coalition soldiers in Afghanistan uncovered what appeared to be an important clue: a trail of documents chronicling an attempt by al-Qaeda to create its own anthrax weapon.

    The documents told of a singular mission by a scientist named Abdur Rauf, an obscure, middle-aged Pakistani with alleged al-Qaeda sympathies and an advanced degree in microbiology.

    Using his membership in a prestigious scientific organization to gain access, Rauf traveled through Europe on a quest, officials say, to obtain both anthrax spores and the equipment needed to turn them into highly lethal biological weapons. He reported directly to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and in one document he appeared to signal a breakthrough.

    “I successfully achieved the targets,” he wrote cryptically to Zawahiri in a note in 1999.

  21. DXer said

    Students participate in simulated bioterrorism attack on campus

    November 7, 2017 : By Will Young/Liberty University News Service
    Liberty News

    First responders participated in a bioterrorism training simulation for Liberty University students on Saturday. (Photo by Joel Isimeme)

    Liberty University’s Forensic Science program, under the Department of Biology & Chemistry, gathered groups of students and members of local first responder agencies at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex on Saturday to host its third and largest to-date bioterrorism attack simulation.

    Fog machines dispensed a cloud from under the bleachers to simulate the airborne spread of the Ebola virus and anthrax ***

    Volunteers and faculty from the various departments instructed students on the different factors that would be at play during a live scenario, comparing the results of the simulation to what has happened in past real-life bioterrorism attacks. McClintock shared the example of the 2001 anthrax attack on the U.S. Senate Hart building in Washington, D.C.d anthrax bacteria. A fake laboratory for a mock terrorist cell allowed students to observe how terrorists weaponize the disease. Several injured and captured “terrorists” were removed from the site.

    Comment: A nephew recently honeymooned in Madagascar, where the number of plague cases is sharply increasing. And elsewhere Marburg is rearing its head. I think the first victim lived near a cave of bats.

    My lay understanding is that the hadiths forbid use of a biological weapon against women and children — and against livestock or in foodstuffs or water. Even if Zawahiri were to disagree, he has long since recognized the PR problems that arise relating to choice of targets.

    Mother nature’s playbook isn’t written with the same safeguards. Stateside, in these parts, I think attention should turn to toxic algae in our lakes.

  22. DXer said

    Senate approves defense bill with amendment to help Detrick lab

    By Danielle E. Gaines

    The U.S. Senate passed a bill this week that includes further protections for a Fort Detrick laboratory slated for closure by the Department of Homeland Security.

    The lab was designed and built in response to the anthrax attacks in 2001 with the goal to bolster criminal biochemical investigations and better understand the threat posed by deadly biological agents. The facility has since processed thousands of pieces of evidence in cases investigated by the FBI.

  23. DXer said

    Jihadists wouldn’t target children because it would violate the hadiths — committing them to eternal damnation as happened (under the belief system of jihadists) as the result of the death of the elderly Ottilie Lundren, I venture.

    The scenario of a student bringing an envelope found on the courthouse steps seems a real stretch. So putting the issue in the minds seems ill-conceived.

    We should protect children from the world’s insanity the best we can.

    Unfortunately, maybe it is the threat of a nuclear detonation and radioactive fallout that should more often be the subject of such drills.

    ANTHRAX! WHAT IF? Lincoln emergency services test bioterrorism response
    By Abigail Whitehouse

    Email the author
    Published 11:18 am Friday, September 15, 2017

    STANFORD – Fort Logan High School students got a chance to see what would happen if anthrax made it’s way onto the school busFriday morning as they participated in a mock disaster drill at Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital.

    A school bus, driven by Chris Mingo, transported 10 Fort Logan High School students – or fake victims – to Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital where the anthrax contamination exercise was staged.

    The scenario for the exercise was one aimed at testing local emergency services’ skills and response when it comes to bioterrorism. The script for the scenario begins with a field trip to the Federal Courthouse in Lexington where students had been observing civil and criminal proceedings. Several students on the bus began to develop allergic reactions to a “white power-like substance that was being passed around from student-to-student on the bus.” As the bus was rerouted by Bluegrass 911 dispatch to Fort Logan Hospital, one student with a history of asthma seized while others experienced respiratory distress.

    The substance was traced to a large envelope found by a student at the courthouse and brought onto the bus, according to the exercise scenario. A decontamination tent was set up outside of the hospital as the school bus arrived and students were removed individually and decontaminated before entering the hospital for treatment. The bus, which was roped off as a “hot zone” was also decontaminated while law enforcement was on stand by to provide security and crowd control.

    Following the exercise, responders gathered inside the hospital to discuss what went well and what could be improved as far as the group’s response to the anthrax scenario.

    Some of the problems identified during the critique included: the interference of a Garrard County radio test that interfered with the hospital’s ability to monitor emergency communications; placement of the decontamination tent blocked entry and could have been placed better; electrical and water supply to decontamination tent were right next to each other creating a hazard; bus hot zone doors and windows were left open and not secured to protect environment and personnel; inadequate number of medical personnel in protective outerwear/suits; and decontamination tent station/zones were not identified, making instruction to patients unclear.

    State police were actually en route to the hospital at one point as they believed that the exercise was an actual event. Lincoln County Emergency Management suggested notifying local and regional agencies of training.

    The absence of the Lincoln County Health Department was also noted in the critique. Both the local and state health departments were advised and participated in the planning of the exercise but failed to show due to a possible schedule conflict.

    The agencies and/or organizations that participated in the event were: Fort Logan High School; Fort Logan Hospital; Lincoln Haz-mat unit; Stanford Fire Department; Stanford Police Department; Lincoln County EMS; Lincoln County EMA; Lincoln County Coroner; Lincoln School Bus Garage; Bluegrass 911 Dispatch; The Interior Journal; Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

  24. DXer said

    Trial to explore if Homeland Security ignored a potential breakthrough in efforts to block bioterrorism

    Los Angeles Times-1 hour ago, by David Willman

    A government lawyer, Christopher M. Kovach, countered that “there exists no evidence’’ that Homeland Security “possessed an intent to injure’’ NVS. The official who terminated the contract “decided to prioritize” other research-and-development efforts, Kovach wrote.

    Homeland Security also lodged a counterclaim, seeking $606,771 that it says it overpaid NVS.

    The case stems back to the widespread fear that erupted after several anthrax-laced letters sent through the U.S. mail killed five Americans shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    In response, President George W. Bush authorized ambitious efforts to prevent biological attacks that could cause mass casualties.

    The CDC began to stockpile therapeutics for rapid deployment against likely bioagents. And in his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush announced deployment of “the nation’s first early warning network of sensors to detect biological attack.’’

    All told, the various federal efforts have cost roughly $21 billion so far — but with mixed results.

    By early 2010, for instance, it was clear to government scientists that the nationwide system for swiftly and reliably detecting a bioterrorism attack — called BioWatch — was not working as promised.

  25. DXer said

    Cuts to US bioterror funds risk peril in event of attack
    By Daniel M. Gerstein, opinion contributor – 06/06/17 03:30 PM EDT

    “The proliferation of biotechnology coupled with the increasing use of technology by terrorists suggests a growing likelihood of a bioterrorist attack. Al Qaeda, in a previous version of its Inspire magazine, had called for like-minded scientists — biologists and chemists — to conduct attacks. More recently, ISIS has called for attacks using available means. The degree to which the U.S. will be prepared to respond could be directly related to the preparations made now at NBACC.

    Closing NBACC would leave the nation without these critical capabilities. No other such facility exists anywhere in the United States. It was established based on what the government determined to be a critical operational need. It is maintained at significant cost, and like most insurance policies, these costs may not be universally perceived as good investments until, God forbid, they might be needed in a crisis. In the event of a bioterror attack, NBACC would be on the front lines, providing essential information that would inform decisionmakers and save lives.”

    Daniel M. Gerstein works at the RAND Corporation and is an adjunct professor at American University. He was the undersecretary (acting) and deputy undersecretary in the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security from 2011-2014. Gerstein oversaw the NBACC during his time at DHS.


    Did some of those opposed to the closing NBACC contribute to the underestimation of the threat by the continued excessive compartmentation of information that was motivated by CYA considerations rather than national security?

    When we have a President who does not embrace the rule of law — who thought it was okay to demand loyalty in avoiding independent investigation — is it any wonder that a culture exists that it is okay to play hide-the-ball with the American people?

    Is it any wonder that the FBI’s Dave Hardy does not feel obligated to comply with FOIA and produce the pages from Notebook 4282 containing the contemporaneous notes from the B3 laboratory on the date of mailing and the week prior? Does not even feel an obligation to expedite a response?

    Is it any wonder that Congressional oversight has proved ineffective?

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

  26. DXer said

    Which terror group is most likely to use bio-chemical weapons? Written by: Vicky Nanjappa Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2016
    Read more at:

    “Latest findings, especially a seizure of IS laptop and purported attacks using seized chemical weapons, have brought the world’s attention towards Islamic State’s intention and capability. Also read: Intelligence Bureau questioning alleged ISIS sympathiser in Goa

    The information on the laptop of a Tunisian IS militant suggests their interest to acquire or develop a biological weapon capability, even if they can [sic] be used effectively. A 19-page document in Arabic found in that laptop was on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals.

    The instruction found on the laptop describing the benefits of biological agents indicated IS approval on the work to weaponize the bubonic plague and other viruses that would have an even greater affect than that of a localized chemical attack.

    What is more alarming is that the laptop information had a message of religious approval for the use of such weapons. It reportedly read, “If the Muslims can’t overwhelm the infidels in any other way, they are allowed to use weapons of mass destruction to kill everyone and erase them and their descendants from the earth.”

    The 26-page fatwa was issued by the Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al- Fahd, who is currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. To note, this could be a May 2003 fatwa written by Nasir al- Fahd and endorsed by Ali al-Khudair, another radical cleric.

    Following al Fahd’s arrest (on May 28, 20003), Saudi intelligence agency found cyanide in an Al Qaeda safehouse in Riyadh. Al-Fahd is the author of a book that approved the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction against the non-believers.

    Abu Mushab Zarqawi and his lingering influence as a founding father of IS leads us to believe that the violent group won’t hesitate to use chem/bio weapons against the enemy. He was identified as al Qaeda’s chief biochemical engineer, before his death in 2006 and it was widely believed that Zarqawi imparted training to a special terror cell in Afghanistan and Iraq on the use of bio/chem agents for possible attacks in Europe and the Middle East.”


    Read more at:


    “He was identified as al Qaeda’s chief biochemical engineer, before his death in 2006.”

    I don’t see any sourcing at all of this claim. I do credit, however, Michael Scheuer’s assertion that it is a 100% certainty that AQ was experimenting with anthrax in Northern Iraq. (And they were toying with ricin also).

    But before anyone seeks to strip Abu Khabab (Midhat MursI) the familiar props for chemical or Yazid Sufaat props for bio, they should at least provide attribution for the claim.

  27. DXer said

    Anthrax, bombs and al-Qaeda

    The terrorist network has been pursuing WMDs for years, but Canadians in Afghanistan have helped foil its plans

    SEAN M. MALONEY | May 28, 2007

    Outside of Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan is a complex of compounds and ranges known as Tarnak Farms. Site of the notorious 2002 “friendly fire” deaths of four Canadian soldiers, Tarnak Farms was one of several sites in the country where al-Qaeda pursued research into acquiring weapons of mass destruction. My friend, whom I will call Muhammad, showed me around the now-bulldozed area in 2006. “It was back in 2001. We had 12 American special forces soldiers with us,” he said. “Two helicopters came in at night and brought another 65 men. Our men surrounded the place. We also did this at a mosque in Kandahar city. We spent several days protecting the teams as they searched.” When I asked Muhammad what they were looking for, he told me that al-Qaeda was making a chemical weapon that he called “stinky gas” — and that they may have tested it: “They used it once, against people on the road to Herat. These people had blood coming from their noses and openings.”

    Indeed, back in 2002, personnel from Lt.-Col. Pat Stogran’s 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, assisted in “SSEs,” or sensitive site exploitation — missions associated with the hunt for what al-Qaeda was up to in the weapons of mass destruction field during that time. In the wake of 9/11, anything was possible, especially when anthrax-filled letters arrived in the United States in the fall of 2001.

    The furor over WMDs is generally associated with Iraq, and the UN Special Commission’s cat-and-mouse games with the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1990s or, more recently, the Bush administration’s attempt to sell the war in Iraq back in 2002. “WMD” has become a catch-all term for what specialists call chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and the technologies and scientific knowledge that support their construction. A lot of effort has been put into debunking U.S. claims that Iraq possessed WMDs prior to the 2003 invasion. Almost no public investigative effort has, however, focused on al-Qaeda’s interest in WMDs.

    The recent publication of former CIA director George Tenet’s book, At The Center of the Storm, should rekindle such an examination, but distressingly the focus has been on Tenet’s “slam dunk” remark and the issue of politicized intelligence and the drive to war in Iraq. When it comes to al-Qaeda, however, Tenet connects several dots, some of which have been in the public domain, some not. The Kandahar facilities were used by al-Qaeda to isolate anthrax: the work was done by Yazid Sufaat, a member of the affiliated Jemaah Islamiya from Malaysia. The labs were established by a Pakistani, Rauf Ahmad(both were apprehended by 2002). Information from the SSE missions resulted in the unravelling of a sophisticated al-Qaeda anthrax network. Though Tenet doesn’t say so, others have speculated that the anthrax used against targets in North America was connected to this network.(The attacks stopped after Ahmad and Sufaat were apprehended.)


    Sherlock Holmes reminded Watson that sometimes it was the dog that didn’t bark that was the significant thing. The same goes for al-Qaeda’s search for weapons of mass destruction capability, truncated and disrupted as it is.

  28. DXer said


    I realize you only had a BS. But your confidence and easy charm suggests to me that you are a smart cookie. Surely you know the genetic strain of anthrax you were working with even without having obtained it yourself. Come on, now. Clinch that Pulitzer. In a single chat message — over Word With Friends if you like — tell me the strain you believe you were working with even if Dr. Ayman provided it to you (from a separate cell operation by which he obtained it).

    Lie if you feel you must, but know the PCR analysis pointed to it being Ames.

    Relatedly, where did you get the vaccine for yourself, Barq and al-Sudani? Dr. Ayman again?

  29. DXer said

    Yazid Sufaat and his lab assistant did work at Omar Hospital in May 2001 while the equipment was en route to the lab being established at Kandahar.

    The Detainee Assessments on this subject are part of the public record and so why did they not inform the discussion? Is the GAO report going to be without the bereft of highly relevant information?

  30. DXer said

    Remembering A Man And A Marriage (Thomas Morris, postal worker at Brentwood)

    by NPR Staff

  31. DXer said,0,982875.story

    Anthrax Attacks Still A Mystery After 10 Years

    October 5, 2011

    After the World Trade Center was destroyed 10 years ago, death arrived once again — in the mail. Anthrax, a terrifying and deadly bacterium that multiplies rapidly when inhaled, began to appear in letters sent to a variety of places. Among these were the New York Post, the offices of two U.S. senators, the office of NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, and, bizarrely, the home of 94-year-old Ottilie Lundgren of Oxford.

    Mrs. Lundgren and four others died; 17 were injured. Thousands were exposed and had to take powerful antibiotics. The government seemed paralyzed. The FBI investigators careened from one false lead to another. After 10 years, 9,000 interviews and 6,000 subpoenas, the anthrax attacks are still unsolved

    For years, the FBI harassed scientist Steven Hatfill as the only suspect in the case until the agency was forced to apologize and award him $5.8 million for slandering him and destroying his career. After Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins committed suicide in 2008, the FBI announced that he was the likely source of the anthrax attacks. But the agency’s case is circumstantial and important questions remain unsolved:

    — The anthrax spores were “weaponized” with a high percentage of silicon, making the bacteria even more lethal. Yet there’s no evidence that Dr. Ivins either had the equipment or was capable of the elaborate process necessary to add the silicon.

    — One of the 9/11 hijackers, Ahmed Alhaznawi, reported to a Florida hospital with a dark wound that the attending physician told the FBI was consistent with cutaneous anthrax, which causes skin lesions.

    — The cave at Tora Bora where Osama bin Laden hid for a time twice tested positively for the same strain of anthrax found in the letters, according to Pulitzer-prize winning author Laurie Garrett, author of “I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks.”

    The Government Accountability Office is currently examining the FBI’s botched investigation. U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, from whose New Jersey district the perpetrator mailed the anthrax-laced letters, has for years proposed congressional hearings into the anthrax attacks. So far, nobody’s listened.

    Such hearings are the least that should occur. A decade without clear answers is infuriating — and unacceptable.

  32. DXer said

    Anal Chem. 2011 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print]
    Sensitive detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by immunocapture and liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.
    Chenau J, Fenaille F, Ezan E, Morel N, Lamourette P, Goossens PL, Becher F.

    Bacillus anthracis is one of the most dangerous agents of the bioterrorism threat. We present here a sensitive immuno-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (immuno-LC-MS/MS) approach to spore detection in complex environmental samples. It is based on the combined specificity and sensitivity of two techniques: immunocapture and targeted mass spectrometry. The immunocapture step, realized directly on the intact spores, is essential for their selective isolation and concentration from complex environmental samples. After parallel trypsin and Glu-C digestions, proteotypic peptides corresponding to Small Acid-soluble Spore Protein-B (SASP-B) are specifically monitored in the Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry mode. Peptide ratio is carefully monitored and provides an additional level of specificity, which is shown to be highly useful for distinguishing closely related samples and avoiding false-positive/negative results. Sensitivity at the level of the infectious dose is demonstrated, with limits of detection of 7.103 spores/mL of milk or 10 mg of soil. This mass spectrometry approach is thus complementary to PCR techniques.

  33. DXer said

    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print]
    National validation study of a cellulose sponge-wipe processing method for use after sampling Bacillus anthracis spores from surfaces.
    Rose LJ, Hodges L, O’Connell H, Noble-Wang J.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Atlanta, GA.

    This work was initiated to address the gaps identified by Congress regarding validated biothreat environmental sampling and processing methods. Nine Laboratory Response Network (LRN) affiliated laboratories participated in a validation study of a cellulose sponge-wipe processing protocol for the recovery, detection, and quantification of viable Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores from steel surfaces. Steel coupons (645.16 cm(2)) were inoculated with 1-to 4-log(10) spores and then sampled with cellulose sponges (3M™ Sponge-Stick, St Paul, MN). Surrogate dust and background organisms were added to the sponges to mimic environmental conditions. Labs processed the sponges according to the provided protocol. Sensitivity, specificity, and mean percent recovery (%R), between-lab, within-lab and total %CV were calculated. The mean %R (SE) of spores from the surface was 32.4 (4.4), 24.4 (2.8) and 30.1 (2.3) for 1-, 2- and 4-log(10) inoculum levels, respectively. Sensitivities for colony counts were 84.1%, 100% and 100% for 1-, 2- and 4-log(10)inocula, respectively. These data help to characterize the variability of the processing method and thereby enhance confidence in the interpretation of the results of environmental sampling conducted during a B. anthracis contamination investigation.

  34. DXer said

    U.S. orders anthrax vaccine‎ – 14 hours ago
    ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 3 (UPI) — The US government has ordered 44.75 million doses of a vaccine from a Maryland company to protect against anthrax. …

    • DXer said

      New from the National Academies Press:

      Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax, 420 pp. (2011)

      If terrorists released Bacillus anthracis over a large city, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk of the deadly disease anthrax – caused by the B anthracis spores – unless they had rapid access to antibiotic medical countermeasures (MCM). Although plans for rapidly delivering MCM to a large number of people following an anthrax attack have been enhanced over the last decade, many public health authorities and policy experts fear that the nation’s current systems and plans are insufficient to respond to the most challenging scenarios, such as a very large-scale anthrax attack. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, commissioned the IOM to examine the potential uses, benefits, and disadvantages of strategies for prepositioning antibiotics. This involves storing antibiotics close to or in the possession of the people who would need rapid access to them should an attack occur. The IOM defined and evaluated three categories of prepositioning strategies that could complement existing, centralized stockpiling strategies, including the Strategic National Stockpile maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  35. DXer said

    Dr. Ayman Zawahiri (Vanguards of Conquest) planned to use universities and colleges as cover to develop anthrax for use against the U.S.

  36. DXer said

    Dr. Ayman’s notes show that they planned on moving the lab every 3 months. As I best recall offhand, they planned to paint the walls and wipe down the walls with an insecticide. And so the FBI should have thought to test the walls for insecticide.

  37. DXer said

    What biological laboratory equipment did Atef ask KSM to move to the special laboratory near Tarnak Farm that KSM came to think was related to the anthrax development efforts?

  38. DXer said

    Abdur Rauf’s “I have successfully achieved” letter to Ayman al-Zawahiri

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