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

* former USAMRIID scientists Jeff Adamovicz and Gerry Andrews … “The scientific evidence clearly shows that the (anthrax) wasn’t produced in our laboratory (USAMRIID).” … ie, IT WASN’T IVINS!!!

Posted by DXer on October 8, 2011


Is it possible that Director Mueller, an intelligent man, doesn't know the FBI has failed to make its case against Dr. Ivins? And what does it mean if he knows but won't admit it?


from the University of Wyoming web site … UW Professors say Accused Anthrax Killer Couldn’t Have Done It

  • Colleagues of accused anthrax killer Bruce Ivins say evidence from the laboratory clearly demonstrates that Ivins could not have committed the crime.
  • Jeffrey J. Adamovicz, now an assistant professor in the University of Wyoming Department of Veterinary Medicine and a researcher at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, will appear on the new PBS Frontline special “The Anthrax Files.” The show is scheduled to air Tuesday, Oct. 11.
  • Adamovicz and UW Professor Gerry Andrews both worked in 2001 at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Md., where, according to the FBI, Ivins produced the anthrax used to commit the “country’s most notorious act of bioterrorism.”
  • “The scientific evidence clearly shows that the (anthrax) wasn’t produced in our laboratory (USAMRIID),” the two UW professors say.
  • “The FBI based part of its case on unusual activity that took place in our lab for one week. There is no way he could produce that amount of spores in our lab during that time.”
  • Other independent laboratories couldn’t produce anthrax under similar lab conditions, and the FBI could not recreate the attack strain, Adamovicz says.
  • “The FBI’s own evidence suggested a more advanced laboratory produced it,” he says.

read the entire article at …

9 Responses to “* former USAMRIID scientists Jeff Adamovicz and Gerry Andrews … “The scientific evidence clearly shows that the (anthrax) wasn’t produced in our laboratory (USAMRIID).” … ie, IT WASN’T IVINS!!!”

  1. DXer said

    The US Army used to be good at addressing FOIA. Most recently, though, they have outdone the FBI. After taking down the website containing past FOIA responses about Amerithrax, they then misplaced Dillon’s FOIA request for months and haven’t addressed it yet. It was your standard “the dog in our mailroom at your request” excuse.

    I hope the Army FOIA people appreciate that with FOIA specialist Jeffrey Light representing Dillon, they really should make it a point to comply with FOIA.

    Research into deadly viruses and biological weapons at US army lab shut down over fears they could escape
    Fort Detrick researchers banned from working with anthrax, Ebola and smallpox until procedures improved

    The Independent US

    Researchers at Fort Detrick have been barred from working with the most dangerous pathogens after an inspection ( Shutterstock )

    America’s main biological warfare lab has been ordered to stop all research into the deadliest viruses and pathogens over fears contaminated waste could leak out of the facility.

    Fort Detrick, in Maryland, has been the epicentre of the US Army’s bioweapons research since the beginning of the Cold War.

    But last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – the government’s public health body – stripped the base of its license to handle highly restricted “select agents”, which includes Ebola, smallpoxand anthrax.

    The unusual move follows an inspection by the CDC at Fort Detrick which found several problems with new procedures used to decontaminate waste water.

    For years the facility used a steam sterilisation plant to treat waste water, but after a storm flooded and ruined that machinery last year, Fort Detrick switched to a new chemical-based decontamination system.

    But the CDC inspectors found the new procedures were not sufficient, with both mechanical failures causing leaks and researchers failing to properly follow the rules.

    As a result, the organisation sent a “cease and desist” order to Fort Detrick, forcing it to suspend all research on select agents.

    The army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, based at Fort Detrick, says its primary mission today is to “protect the warfighter from biological threats” but its scientists also investigate outbreaks of disease among civilians and other threats to public health.

    In recent years it has been involved in testing possible vaccines for Ebola, after several epidemics of the deadly virus in Africa.

    A spokeswoman for the lab, Caree Vander Linden, said despite the CDC suspension order, there had not been any threat to public health or any leaks of hazardous material outside the base.

    This is not the first time the lab has been temporarily shut down due to failures in handling the dangerous pathogens inside.

    In 2009, research at Fort Detrick was suspended because it was discovered it was storing pathogens which were not listed on its inventory.

    The regulations on keeping close track of hazardous biological material were tightened after the 2001 anthrax attacks, which saw five people die after spores were posted to several media newsrooms and Democratic senators.

    The FBI’s chief suspect in the 2001 case, Bruce Ivins, was a senior biological weapons researcher at Fort Detrick. He killed himself in 2008, shortly before the FBI was planning to charge him with the attacks.

  2. DXer said

  3. DXer said

    I’m going to read Edward Jay Epstein’s new book cover-to-cover. I love true crime and love the breadth covered by the numerous chapters.

    He writes of the FBI’s Ivins Theory:

    “the FBI found creepy behavior in Ivins’ personal life. He collected pornography, had web aliases, and admitted that he had become obsessed with a sorority girl. As the pressure continued, and his legal fees threatened to bankrupt him, he drank heavily, took prescription mind-altering drugs, acted erratically, and had a psychiatric breakdown. Finally, his life a shambles, on July 29, 2008, he killed himself with a Tylenol overdose.”

    “I had been investigating this case for seven years at this point, and I had interviewed scientists with whom Ivins had worked or who were otherwise familiar with his lab work. All of them told me that they did not believe that Ivins had the means to grow and then convert the liquid lab anthrax into the powdered attack anthrax without others in the lab observing this process. Jeffrey Adamovicz, one of the lab scientists I interviewed, wrote me: “Even if Bruce (or anyone else) wanted to use the fermenter in our labs, [and it] was non-operational, this person would have been observed even if it were operational.” I also found out that the FBI had never reverse engineered or otherwise replicated the process by which the anthrax was produced. Indeed, almost all the attempts failed to produce the silicon content found in the anthrax in the letter sent to the …”

  4. DXer said

    Note that the documentary refers to 100 having access — but that was the figure before the USG conceded it had also been stored in Building 1412.

    Once that is recognized, the USG admitted that “up to 377” had access.

    That is 277 that they overlooked due to the prior assumption.

  5. anonymous said

    Scientists’ Analysis Disputes F.B.I. Closing of Anthrax Case
    Published: October 9, 2011

    A decade after wisps of anthrax sent through the mail killed 5 people, sickened 17 others and terrorized the nation, biologists and chemists still disagree on whether federal investigators got the right man and whether the F.B.I.’s long inquiry brushed aside important clues.
    Now, three scientists argue that distinctive chemicals found in the dried anthrax spores — including the unexpected presence of tin — point to a high degree of manufacturing skill, contrary to federal reassurances that the attack germs were unsophisticated. The scientists make their case in a coming issue of the Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense.

    F.B.I. documents reviewed by The New York Times show that bureau scientists focused on tin early in their eight-year investigation, calling it an “element of interest” and a potentially critical clue to the criminal case. They later dropped their lengthy inquiry, never mentioned tin publicly and never offered any detailed account of how they thought the powder had been made.

    The new paper raises the prospect — for the first time in a serious scientific forum — that the Army biodefense expert identified by the F.B.I. as the perpetrator, Bruce E. Ivins, had help in obtaining his germ weapons or conceivably was innocent of the crime.

    Both the chairwoman of a National Academy of Science panel that spent a year and a half reviewing the F.B.I.’s scientific work and the director of a new review by the Government Accountability Office said the paper raised important questions that should be addressed.

    Alice P. Gast, president of Lehigh University and the head of the academy panel, said that the paper “points out connections that deserve further consideration.”

    Dr. Gast, a chemical engineer, said the “chemical signatures” in the mailed anthrax and their potential value to the criminal investigation had not been fully explored. “It just wasn’t pursued as vigorously as the microbiology,” she said, alluding to the analysis of micro-organisms. She also noted that the academy panel suggested a full review of classified government research on anthrax, which her panel never saw.

    In interviews, the three authors said their analysis suggested that the F.B.I. might have pursued the wrong suspect and that the case should be reopened. Their position may embolden calls for a national commission to investigate the first major bioterrorist attack in American history.

  6. On what basis did they determine Ivins could not have done it?

    Method I: They were familiar with the exact rooms Ivins used or had access to. They knew the sizes of the glove boxes and of hoods and the square feet under the hood. They knew if the centrifuges or shaker flasks could fit under the hood and if they were there already. They knew the size of the shakers and centrifuges and whether they were floor units to heavy to lift under the hood or not. They prepared an estimate of how much anthrax was in each letter. They had some basics of the stochastic process for growing anthrax, including stochastic yield parameters and time to grow. Based on this they formed an estimate and determined Ivins could not do it.

    Method 2: They knew all the above but only a stupid person who is a lay person would not know that. So who is their audience? They won’t explain what equipment Ivins had, what access to what areas, how long it takes, etc?

    Method 3: They don’t know or didn’t consider some of those pieces of information. So they never did a calculation or got reference information or stochastic growth parameters.

    Method 4: They don’t even know that growing anthrax is stochastic, either as to yield, time to grow, or its characteristics physical, chemical and biological.

  7. One of the problems with these types of stories is that scientists for Ivins never cite scientific papers on growth times, or silicon, etc. and argue that those papers tend against Ivins doing it or against the FBI statements. They never link to photos of lab equipment suitable for growing or centrifuging the amounts of anthrax needed that don’t fit into a glove box.

    These scientists come off sounding as loyal to Ivins but unable to cite any document or link to any photo of lab equipment and then explain to non-scientists why the published paper and the photo tend the FBI theory of growth.

    • The impression these colleagues of Ivins leave is that they are frustrated with the case but they are unwilling to actually enter into a scientific debate on the merits that Ivins grew the anthrax and put their scientific reputation on the line by citing papers and documents including manufacturer’s brochures on the lab equipment that would have been used to argue that Ivins could not have done it.

      The conclusion that GAO may reach from hearing these scientists sound off but not cite or explain scientific papers that support their side is that no such papers exist and that the FBI has science on its side. Thus the GAO may see the skeptics to the FBI as not being able to find scientific literature or argue it to show a genuine doubt to the FBI growth and processing scenario.

      • anonymous said

        Actually Adamovich and Andrews have given detailed calculations on how it would have been impossible to make the at least 10g of spores suspended in water that would have been needed to yield the dry spores in all opf the letters. They needed to look no further than the detailed background on what resources were needed to make the 30g of spores in RMR-1029. It took at least ten production fermentor runs at Dugway plus flask preparations at Detrick. It’s discussed below.

        It is utterly impossible for a single person to have achieved this in secret in a shared lab even over a year or more.

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