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

* Anonymous states … This DARPA budget document shows that DoD was experimenting with microencapsulated pathogens in 2000-2001 … Bruce Ivins could not have produced such a dry anthrax powder that was microencapsulated

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 7, 2011

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Department of Defense FY 2003 Budget Estimate

Feburary 2002

RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST AND EVALUATION, DEFENSE-WIDE

Volume 1 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

(p. 123)

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 RDT&E BUDGET ITEM JUSTIFICATION SHEET

(R-2 Exhibit)

DATE: February 2002

APPROPRIATION/BUDGET ACTIVITY

RDT&E, Defense-wide … BA2 Applied Research

R-1 ITEM NOMENCLATURE: Biological Warfare Defense

PE 0602383E, R-1 #16

UNCLASSIFIED

  • Evaluated the feasibility of additional strategies (e.g., exhaled breath) for direct identification or detection of infection without direct sample collection.
  • Demonstrated the ability to perform accelerated patient diagnosis using a rapid single molecule DNA sequencing technique in a model system.
  • Sensors. ($25.800 Million)
  • Completed development and testing of first-generation prototype biochip sensor.
  • Continued the development of effective and rapid chip-reading capability with enhanced sensitivity and low false alarm rate.
  • Continued the development of advanced alternative technologies for live vs. dead bio-agent identification using peptides and other molecules.
  • Developed hierarchical biochip sensors.
  • Designed and tested techniques to replace antibody-based detection, such as short peptides, aptamers and lectins.
  • Designed and tested novel reporting/transduction techniques such as ion channels.
  • Designed and synthesized short peptide binding molecules for use in the detection of biological warfare agents.
  • Evaluated ion channel sensor systems for use in the detection of biological warfare agents.
  • Evaluated methods for removing micro-encapsulation of disguised pathogens and/or sensing through the micro-encapsulation.

  • Developed technologies required for next-generation miniature biological detectors including the use of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), microfluidics, and mesoscopic -sized components.
  • Evaluated false positive and false negative rates for systems of detectors using biomolecular cells or tissues.
  • Exploited and/or mimicked the olfactory sensors of biological systems for use in the detection of biological warfare agents.
  • Demonstrated enhanced signal output from engineered cells and tissue based sensors and integrated information from these sensors with user interfaces for predictive responses.
  • Engineered a deployable prototype cell and tissue sensor for field-testing.
  • Evaluated sample collection technologies for cell and tissue sensors.
  • Evaluated methods of cell stabilization for possible application to cell based sensors.
  • Developed biosensor models and robust characterization protocols.
  • Evaluated new resonant modes for biosensors.
  • Investigated standoff techniques for trigger and identification.

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 Anonymous comments …

The chemical analysis of the attack spores suggests that microencapsulation with a tin catalyzed silicone polymer was employed. Something that was not possible at Fort Detrick. Bruce Ivins could not have produced such a dry anthrax powder that was microencapsulated.

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18 Responses to “* Anonymous states … This DARPA budget document shows that DoD was experimenting with microencapsulated pathogens in 2000-2001 … Bruce Ivins could not have produced such a dry anthrax powder that was microencapsulated”

  1. DXer said

    The notebook relating to microencapsulation of the Ames strain that the Army is not giving me is Notebook 3655. The only thing that likely should be redacted in the notebook is the name “Fellows” on the front cover next to Ivins (under (b)(6).)

    Was Flask 1030 (Notebook 3655) the source of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings rather than Flask 1029 (Notebook 4010)?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 15, 2015

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/was-flask-1030-notebook-3655-the-source-of-the-fall-2001-anthrax-mailings-rather-than-flask-1029-notebook-4010/

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

    Army microbiologist Dr. Henry Heine, until now forbidden to speak, says … Ivins is absolutely not the anthrax attacker … it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts … whoever did this is still running around out there
    Posted on April 23, 2010
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/army-microbiologist-dr-henry-heine-until-now-forbidden-to-speak-says-ivins-is-absolutely-not-the-anthrax-attacker-it-was-impossible-that-the-deadly-spores-had-been-produced-undetected-in-dr/

  2. DXer said

    I am sorry to inform that his wife writes me to say a good friend of mine and the blog, Stuart Jacobsen, has passed away suddenly, of a heart attack. He was found slumped over at his desk. He was only 56 years old He will be sorely missed. The FBI’s and Army’s delay in processing FOIA requests — and not expediting them on this subject — is inexcusable.

    • DXer said

      One of the notebook that the Army is withholding relates to microencapsulation — so this is horrible timing.

      The notebook relates to Flask 1030, which relates to the genetically matching Ames that contained a silicon signal — unlike Ivins Flask 1029 so-called “murder weapon” (which did not have such a silicon signature).

      Stuart used to work for DARPA in a field related to floatability and silica. His source of information on these issues of Amerithrax was a senior DARPA Program Manager who went on to even far more distinguished positions.

      Stuart was told in Fall 2001 by the former DARPA Program Manager that they even know the machine that was used.

      I’m in the business of representing whisteblowers.

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

  3. DXer said

    The Silicon Layer Supports Acid Resistance of Bacillus cereus Spores.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2798246/
    Ryuichi Hirota,¶ Yumehiro Hata,¶ Takeshi Ikeda, Takenori Ishida, and Akio Kuroda*
    Author information ► Article notes ► Copyright and License information ►

    “Our findings also strongly indicate that the anthrax spores were harvested from culture on a silicate-containing medium.”

    Given the Spring 2001 patent of Ali Al-Timimi’s suitemates involved growing anthrax in a culture medium containing added silica, the forensic evidence is strongly exculpatory of Dr. Ivins but points to the importance of greater disclosure regarding Ali Al-Timimi’s coordination with 911 imam Anwar Awlaki.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  4. DXer said

    Building 1412 , Rm. 212 was where the FBI’s expert made a dried powder out of Ames supplied from RMR 1029 as part of a DARPA-funded program. No sample was submitted initially to the repository and it was later seized. JE’s assistant then went on to Johns-Hopkins. The Ames seized from Building 1412, Rm. 212 had 3 mutations.

  5. DXer said

    Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones, the Pro-Med editor for anthrax, writes in the recent article:

    “DOD-sponsored projects explicitly involving microencapsulation at DARPA, Dugway and perhaps elsewhere were spelled out publicly in budget documents in 1999 and thereafter, and executed at the very time of the anthrax attacks. Both the Dugway laboratory and Battelle Memorial Institute, a sub-contractor at Dugway, had extensive experience in making Bacillus spore powders; both had access to Bacillus anthracis genetically matching the attack spores; both could have made the attack spores legally for institutions conducting biodefense activities that required microencapsulated spores.”

  6. DXer said

    USAMRIID’s John Ezzell, the FBI’s anthrax expert, prior to 9/11, made a dried aerosol using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins and sent to Johns-Hopkins Applied Physics.


    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/john-ezzell-forthrightly-to-my-way-of-thinking-heroically-answered-all-my-dxers-questions-relating-to-the-darpa-research-in-which-flask-1029-the-“murder-weapon”-to-borrow-us/

    Here is Ivins’ email of 6-28-05 that discusses powder deemed closest to attack anthrax … in which Ivins says, “but I told ??? we didn’t make spore powder”

  7. DXer said

    The DOJ should disclose under FOIA the 2004 article provided by Bruce Ivins to the FBI regarding silica and Bacillus spore suspensions
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/the-doj-should-disclose-under-foia-the-2004-article-provided-by-dr-bruce-ivins-to-the-fbi-regarding-silica-and-bacillus-spore-suspensions/

    Alternatively, the GAO should cite the title of the article and where it appeared in its report.

    • DXer said

      William Broad and Scott Shane’s article on this subject will appear later in the day. Let’s see if they rely on scientists who have made anthrax simulant using a silanizing solution — scientists who have made microencapsulated product.

      Let’s see if they took the rudimentary step of obtaining a copy of the 2004 article that Dr. Ivins supplied the FBI on the subject.

  8. DXer said

    The link you found on microencapsulation is very interesting. What we need is some major news organization to move the ball down the field with interviews of people with expertise who can shed further light on the Silicon Signature and its potential probativeness.

    I have suggested as a qualified expert John Kiel, whose air force lab helpfully did controlled experiments on the Silicon Signature. (He found a silanizing solution in the slurry led to the same SEMs as the mailed anthrax; it did not relate to “floatability” as such but made the anthrax more lethal).

    Additional government experts include Lawrence Livermore’s Velsko or Weber, the government consultants who have urged the importance of understanding the reason for the Silicon Signature.

    Or Dr. DeBell the Battelle aerosol consultant in 2001 from Virginia is an authoritative expert as to know-how.
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/september-2001-battelle-arlington-report-by-dr-de-bell-on-particle-size-and-organism-number-impact-on-bioaerosols/

    I have ventured that Tom Voss, president of SRI, could tell us when Southern Research Institute first acquired virulent Ames. SRI was doing the work for DARPA’s Center for Biodefense, whose founders Alibek and Bailey co-invented the “Microdroplet Cell Culture” method and filed a confidential application in spring 2001. (They shared a suite, fax and in-box with Ali Al-Timimi, whose lawyer says he was an “anthrax weapons suspect” and prosecutors say was coordinating with Anwar Awlaki / Aulaqi.)

    (Dr. Bailey worked for years at USAMRIID doing DIA threat assessment after his time as Acting Commander.)

    Dr. Franz could also say when SRI first acquired virulent Ames but dropped contact with me when I asked.

    Michael Osterholm (UMN) and his NYT correspondent co-author John Schwartz could give the background of what they know about microencapsulation and its purposes dating to their work on their 2000 book which Dr. Ayman eagerly read (judging from the documents seized in Afghanistan).

    Public understanding of such an issue — which FBI scientist Chris Hassell would be correct to point out has national security implications — need not be any more detailed than already made plain in the 2000 book by Dr. Osterholm and his NYT journalist co-author John Schwartz.

    see index for word “microencapsulation” and go to explanation that it serves to protect the anthrax from being killed by heat and sunlight.

    Thus, for AQ to say “we have this anthrax” is very bad news.

    Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe [Paperback]
    http://www.amazon.com/Living-Terrors-America-Bioterrorist-Catastrophe/dp/0385334818/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318070789&sr=8-1

    • DXer said

      On microencapsulation generally in this context, see NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
      “Reopening Public Facilities” explains on page 83:

      For the case of biological agents, there is also the possibility of weaponization — engineering of the organism to improve its stability or other properties. In general, weaponization begins with the growth of the agent (lag, log, and stationary phases each have unique properties mixed in with the culture media), then fermentation; centrifuging and separation; drying; milling for respirable particle size; additives to prevent aggregation and clumping, neutralize electrical charge, and increase survival in air; and microencapsulation for stability and viability.

      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309096618&page=R1

      • DXer said

        also from the National Academies Press on microencapsulation:

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?term=microencapsulation&record_id=11567&booksearch=1&submit.x=0&submit.y=0
        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11567&page=139

        Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences

        bottom of PAGE 189 … Microencapsulation is the envelopment of small solid particles, liquid droplets, or gas bubbles with a protective coating derived from any of a number of compounds (… At the

        bottom of PAGE 189 … Microencapsulation is not a new technology. Between the late 1940s and early 1960s, the concept of chemical microencapsulation generated interest in the pharmaceutical industry as an alternative mode of drug delivery that could offer sustained controlled release. Researchers … entrepreneurs continue to utilize and investigate advances in microencapsulation technology in efforts to make dosages more palatable, make active ingredients more stable and/or soluble, and otherwise improve drug delivery.

        On PAGE 190 … There are two general categories of microencapsulation processes: physical (e.g., spray drying, fluid bed coating, co-extrusion, rotary disk atomization) and chemical (e.g., polymerization, phase …

    • DXer said

      I may be misremembering which of the books Dr. Ayman was interested in reading discussed microencapsulation.

      PLAGUE WARS explained in 1999:

      “There are already effective ways in which to protect deployed BW agents, Dr. Malcolm Dando, the distinguished biologist and Professor of International Security at the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, talks of microencapsulation, a process by which BW agents can be coated and protected against a variety of harmful outside factors, particularly their natural enemies light and heat. This process also allows agents to survive longer and to be inhaled more easily, which increases the likelihood of infection and death. Currently, the detection and identification of microencapsulated BW agents is more difficult for non-encapsulated materials. (The Soviets crossed this scientific threshold years ago and were able to ‘spray’ their offensive bacterial and viral agents that were resistant to sun’s rays.)

      In fact, microencapsulation can already be tailored for the mission. For example, you can apply one coating for added protection from heat, and then another one for the effects of sunlight. A germ would need both coatings if it were packed inside a missile warhead and then had to survive decompression at its target, together with sudden exposure to sunlight.”

      As I’ve been explaining for years now, Kathryn Crockett, Ken Alibek’s assistant — just a couple doors down from Ali Al-Timimi — addressed the microencapsulation in her 2006 thesis, “A historical analysis of Bacillus anthracis as a biological weapon and its application to the development of nonproliferation and defense strategies.” She expressed her special thanks to bioweaponeering experts Dr. Ken Alibek and Dr. Bill Patrick. Dr. Patrick consulted with the FBI. Dr. Crockett successfully defended the thesis before a panel that included USAMRIID head and Ames strain researcher Charles Bailey, Ali Al-Timimi’s other Department colleague. In 2001 he said he did not want to discuss silica because he did not want to give terrorists any ideas. Oops! Too late. The scientist coordinating with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s Sheik was 15 feet away.

      • DXer said

        When Plague Wars was first published in September 2000, Rauf Ahmad, Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist was attending the conference in the UK with Bruce Ivins and other USAMRIID and Porton Down scientists. (Dr. Ivins had been working to plan the June 2001 conference for over two-and-a-half years, since coming back from the September 1998 conference). A starting point of analysis is: Rauf Ahmad says he consulted with someone about processing tricks. Who did he consult? See uploaded correspondence mentioning the processing tricks he had learned from someone.

        Plague Wars read:

        “Through the coldest war years of the fifties, other agents were added to the active research list… The army scientists attempted to make each of these agents more virulent, more stable, more viable, and easier to manufacture. The new techniques included use of additives and mixtures of agents; micro-encapsulation of particles to counter the degrading effects of sunlight; and devising new methods of generating aerosols.”

        Rauf Ahmad knew a lot about seeds, foodstuffs, bacteria and the like. But he was not the only expert who supported the Salafist-Jihadis. Some were even highly expert — cutting-edge — on microencapsulation to include Magdy Al-Nashar who had the keys to the apartment used by the 7/7 bombers.

        Consideration of the “silicon signature” got derailed when there was a focus on the issue of floatability (“hang-time”) — when the dual purpose process of micro-encapsulation is also part of “weaponization”. Viability, lethality in the lungs, acid resistance, resistance to ultra violet light, ease of manufacture are examples of other considerations that bioweaponeers consider. That is why it is important to seek out the opinion of experts who have been involved in making aerosols using anthrax simulants.

        Magdy Al-Nashar is but one example of an expert on functional polymerization. Rather than having no access to virulent anthrax or know-how, the difficulty of the investigation by the Third Squad — if they had not proven themselves Keystone Kops by settling on an Ivins Theory — has been that there are so many vexing possibilities that needed to be run down, both here in the United States and abroad. As Ken Kohl explained years ago, he only wishes the public could understand how much work has gone into running down the full range of possibilities. We can fully credit the good faith of investigators and prosecutors while noting that what has been disclosed about an Ivins Theory is not at all persuasive — and urging that the effects of any compartmentalization among governmental employees be overcome and the DOJ come into compliance with FOIA.

        While some have suggested spuriously that others could be confidently excluded, let’s take a single example, if Dr. Majidi does not know the whereabouts of Jdey, how could he be excluded?

        Once the FBI assumed the processor would be the same as the mailer, a botched result was inevitable — especially once the CYA motivation upon Ivins’ death kicked into high gear.

        • DXer said

          I’m not a scientist but I believe this new study out of Tehran is discussing the event of UVB (which I believe is what we think of as the tanning sun ray) on anthrax.

          While I don’t know anything about science, I have a sense of Dr. Ayman as a strategist. And he is someone who will seek to finish what he set out to do. He has been reading on the effects of sunlight on anthrax since 1998.

          And his intentions were made plain in the spring of 1999.

          Shehata and his family were living in a suburb of Tehran.

          Shehats’s importance in anthrax planning should not be underestimated given he was in touch with his brother-in-law Jaballah and Mabruk, who announced Dr. Ayman’s intentions regarding anthrax.

          Maedica (Buchar). 2011 Jan;6(1):28-31.
          An in vitro Survey on the Apoptotic Effects of UVB Ray in Bacillus anthracis.

          Behzadi P, Behzadi E.
          Source

          MSc, Microbiology Department, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Shahr-e-Qods Branch, Tehran – Iran.

          Abstract

          Objectives: Bacillus anthracis as the bacterial agent of anthrax, is spread in different geographical zones around the world.The purpose of this survey was to observe eventual apoptotic reactions in total genomic DNA of UVB irradiated colonies of Bacillus anthracis.Materials and Methods: The colonies of Bacillus anthracis were exposed to UVB ray for 10 minutes; then, the DNA molecules of control and irradiated colonies were extracted. Finally, the DNA samples mixed in loading dye, were run in 1% agarose gel containing fluorescent dye of ethidium bromide to produce visible DNA bands.Outcomes: Neither smear nor DNA laddering band were detected upon the agarose gel.Conclusions: According to the present protocol, the UVB ray can not induce apoptosis feature in colonies of Bacillus anthracis. It seems that the recovery and protection systems in Bacillus anthracis can resist against eventual UVB disorders.

        • DXer said

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150024/

          The bacterial agent of Bacillus anthracis can be isolated from the papules, black eschar and other lesions, in the cutaneous form of anthrax (4). Although, the cutaneous anthrax can be treated by antibiotic therapy (5), it may be helpful to use a low-dose of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation simultaneously for shortennig the treatment period. Hence, in this study we tried to detect the feature of apoptosis in total genomic DNA of UVB light exposed Bacillus anthracis. …

          Besides, as we know the long-term and high dosage of UVB, has harmful effects on human’s skin (8). Nevertheless, according to the present UV-irradiation protocol, if we could induce the apoptosis feature in Bacillus anthracis, we should continue the present study as in vivo experimental investigation; because, the final goal of these types of studies is to find cheap and safe methods for shortening the antibiotic therapies of microbial infectious diseases.

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