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

* Baltimore Sun/Frontline … if Ivins was not the person who sent the anthrax, then that killer is still on the loose … and we are left with an FBI that not only failed to solve such a huge case, but overstated and maybe lied about what it did accomplish.

Posted by DXer on October 10, 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?


“The Anthrax Files’ premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday October 11, 2011.


David Zurawik writes in The Baltimore Sun (10/9/11) …

  • Nobody does investigative journalism on TV like Public Television’s “Frontline”
  • And Tuesday night at 9, the venerable series revisits Ft. Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, and the case of anthrax researcher Bruce Ivins who killed himself in 2008 as the FBI zeroed in on him as its prime suspect in the case of deadly envelopes of anthrax sent through the mail.
  • According to this hard-edged report done in partnership with McClatchy Newspapers and Propublica, the FBI did more than zero in.
  • Under tremendous pressure to solve the case that started in 2001 with anthrax mailed to U.S. senators and network anchors, the agency squeezed Ivins hard — using every trick in the book to get a confession out of him even as he insisted on his innocence to the end.
  • Ivins was a troubled guy with some distinctive kinks, the report acknowledges, but …

even FBI consultants in the case now admit

that the agency overstated its evidence

and never found a smoking gun to prove the researcher’s guilt.

  • In fact, evidence was revealed last summer that shows

Ivins did not have the equipment needed

to make the powdery kind of anthrax sent through the mail.

  • That didn’t stop the FBI then — or now — in acting like it found its man.
  • “The Anthrax Files” suggests that anyone with the psychological issues Ivins had might have cracked under the weight of the FBI invading his privacy, exposing his secrets and ultimately getting him kicked out of the community of researchers that he called home at Ft. Detrick.
  • This is a chilling report, because if Ivins was not the person who sent the anthrax, then that killer is still on the loose …

and we are left with an FBI that not only failed to solve such a huge case,

but overstated and maybe lied about what it did accomplish.

read the entire story at …–fbi-suicide-fort-detrick-scientist-20111009,0,4090742.story



I have long held that the FBI’s publicly presented case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline, science that proves innocence instead of guilt. So what really happened? And why doesn’t the FBI offer America a credible story?

As regular readers of this blog well know, I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons …THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO
When I first heard the FBI/DOJ August 2008 press conference, I was infuriated. It was obvious to me even then that the FBI had no case, or at least no case they chose to make publicly known. Since I’m a novelist, I focused my anger and wrote CASE CLOSED, a fictional account of what might have happened in the anthrax attacks and subsequent FBI investigation. The novel has been published and is available at amazon …

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

Here is the first scene in CASE CLOSED, where I have the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) institute its own re-examination of the FBI’s obviously flawed investigation …

this is the opening scene of Lew Weinstein's novel CASE CLOSED


* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *


19 Responses to “* Baltimore Sun/Frontline … if Ivins was not the person who sent the anthrax, then that killer is still on the loose … and we are left with an FBI that not only failed to solve such a huge case, but overstated and maybe lied about what it did accomplish.”

  1. DXer said

    These reporters and their team are very hard-working professionals — they excelled at getting up to speed on the voluminous Amerithrax documents and then made those documents available to the public. There should be rewards so as to encourage such hard work in their future endeavors.

  2. DXer said

    Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations

    An infant was infected and elderly woman was killed. I should hope that Dr. Ayman and the mailer wouldn’t consider the anthrax mailings a success. As it is, the mailer is doomed in any afterlife under the hadiths.

    Folks who assume that Al-Timimi and his colleagues would have claimed responsibility are not taking into account that Bin Laden denied responsibility for 911 initially until it became beyond dispute. Zawahiri thinks that war is deception. Moreover, in a sleeper cell operation, the participants would not want themselves exposed.

    • DXer said

      Target Acquired: Al Qaeda’s Spymaster on Amerithrax

      As explained by author Peter Lance in Triple Cross, after the 1998 embassy bombings, a ten-member federal team secretly entered the California residence of Ali Mohamed, Zawahiri’s former head of intelligence. They copied Mohamed’s hard drives and removed a series of CD-ROM and floppy disks. A memo titled “Cocktail” appeared to be a draft manual on sleeper cell structure.

      The file on cell structure read in part:

      “Every member knows how to do everything.
      Every member has a legal job as a cover (Student, worker, trade).
      Safety is the main concern, so the contingency plan is very important. Before working on the target you have (to) specify a rally point to meet in case of separation for any reason.
      The communications between the different groups are conducted through the dead drop only.
      Each group does not know anything about the other group, even Majmouat (the word means “the collected” or “the collection”). Al-qeyada does not know how many group(s) under its leadership. Only the group know each other because the members of one group only working with each other.”

      Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim took on Ali Mohammed’s role. His alias is easier to remember — Abu Jihad al-Masri. Al Masri means the Egyptian. Also known as Al-Hukaymah, he was the author of the description of the Amerithrax investigation in 2002. Born in 1961, Abu Jihad al-Masri joined the Egyptian Islamic Group in 1979. He was arrested in 1981 after Sadat’s assassination. He once was arrested alongside the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Hukaymah is reportedly connected to the blind sheikh’s successor Taha, the Islamic Group head who was in close touch in 1999 and 2000 with the NY-based US postal employee Sattar, the blind sheik’s “surrogate.” Al-Hukaymah dedicated the treatise “[t]o the pious and the hidden who are not known when they come and who are not missed when they disappear — To those whom their God will answer when they pray to Him. To all the eyes that are vigilant late at night to bring victory to this religion.”

      The introduction of the 152-page book starts:

      “The Manhattan raid led to a radical change in the perception of American Security. After the northern half of the continent had been isolated from the rest of the world and its threats by two oceans, it now came from inside. The surprise hit the symbols of American power in its economic and security dimensions.”

      Published at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website ( by the one-time EIJ shura member al-Sibai (according to a WIkileaks release, he is thought to be EIJ #5), the section on the anthrax investigation appears to have been written in 2002.

      “The Anthrax Scandal:

      Over many months, there was an excited search for the person responsible for the worst biological terror attack on American soil. Six letters sent by mail to Leahy, Daschle, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, The New York Post and the offices of the National Enquirer in Florida, led to the sickening of 18 people and five deaths. The crime was especially scary because anthrax, which is a complex powder that scatters in the atmosphere, had spilled from the envelopes and spread through parts of the mail system and contaminated a Senate building. One year later, the main post office in Washington had not yet opened.

      The FBI is under great pressure to close this case, and the anthrax criminal is supposed to be alive and free. Two members of the Senate have asked to receive regular reports about this investigation from the FBI, and they have become increasingly impatient.”

      After a lengthy discussion of the focus on Hatfill, the author explains,

      “Until the investigators find material evidence that connects a person to the crime, they are forced to speculate about the motives and methods of the criminal. They are still casting a wide net. Law enforcement sources say they have issued hundreds of subpoenas and they are analyzing thousands of documents in search of new evidence.

      The evidence may be small and unseen – sweat or an odor on an envelope – but that is all that they need in order to attract the dogs.”

      Al-Hukaymah pointed to the Aldrich Ames incident and the FBI’s inability to find the perpetrator of the anthrax mailings as evidence that U.S intelligence can be defeated. Aldrich Ames, head of counterintelligence relating to the Russians, had a different rolex for different days of the week. He drove a new jaguar to work. Aldrich told the CIA that his money came from his wife’s foreign inheritance, and the CIA never required meaningful corroboration. So we should not be that surprised when someone known, to borrow Dr. Alibek’s description to me, as an “Islamic hardliner,” is given access to Center for Biodefense and ATCC facilities, to include a program funded by DARPA’s $13 million during the relevant period. Perhaps the focus should not be on more money for biodefense but on doing a better job at maintaining security. Perhaps focus should be on avoiding proliferation of know-how.

      Al-Hukaymah reportedly was Ayman’s connection to Mamdouh Ismail, an Egyptian defense attorney and a former member of “the Jihad group” who since the 1980’s has represented various Egyptians accused of terrorism offenses in Egypt. Mamdouh Ismail represented al-Nashar, the biochemist who was an expert on polymerization and had a key to the 7/7 bomber’s flat. Ismail was one of several hundred rounded up following the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. He served three years. He represented Ayman Zawahiri’s family in connection with the rendition and detention of Ayman’s brother Muhammad in the Spring of 1999. Ismail was arrested on March 29, 2007.

      In 1999, Ismail was refused permission to establish an Islamist political party with the help of fellow lawyer attorney al-Zayat. After the blind sheik said in March 1999 that an attempt through a political party should not be attempted, Al-Zayat and Mamdouh Ismail deferred and Attorney Ismail has publicly objected to a reconciliation between Cairo and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The two had worked with EIJ shura member al-Sibai before he took refuge in the UK. Mamdouh Ismail then was accused by the Mubarak regime of complicity in an “Egyptian project” of al-Qaeda, taking his orders from Ayman al-Zawahiri via al-Qaeda propaganda chief al-Hukaymah and the UK-based EIJ publicist Hani al-Sibai. Both al-Hukaymah and Al-Sibai denied the charge. Al Sibai considers himself historian of the movement and published his diaries in Al Hayat in 2004. He is at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website that published the treatise that included the discussion of Amerithrax.

      Al-Hukaymah was apparently killed in a missile strike in late October 2008. Cairo-based IANA writer Kamal Habib says that the man was a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad that had assassinated Sadat but was part of a second generation, not part of the first generation responsible for the assassination. Abu Jihad al-Masri was said by US authorities to operate in Iran as the head of media and propaganda for al-Qaeda, and “may also be the Chief of External Operations for al Qaeda”.

      Al-Hukaymah appeared in an August 2006 as-Sahab (al-Qaeda) video to announce the merger of al-Qaeda with part of the Egyptian Islamic Group. Ayman al-Zawahiri introduced him. The video claimed that al-Hukaymah joined al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in 1979 and was arrested in connection with the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Al Sadat in 1981, and subsequently rearrested several times in various countries. Zawahiri claimed in that video that Muhammad al-Islambouli (brother of assassin Khalid al-Islambouli) had joined al-Qaeda with al-Hukaymah.

      In addition to the analysis of the American intelligence community, the next month al-Hukaymah wrote a short piece entitled Towards A New Strategy in Resisting the Occupier that appeared on a jihadist website. Abu Jihad Al-Masri emphasized the need to consider public opinion in planning operations.

      • DXer said

        DXer: Zawahiri’s Booklet On “Covert Operations”

        Mark A. Gabriel, PhD, once taught at Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote a very lucid book Journey Into The Mind Of An Islamist Terrorist. He discusses a booklet Zawahiri wrote titled COVERT OPERATIONS which is available online in Arabic. The Nigerian underpants bomber Abdulmutallab wrote his father asking “when is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?”

        If you want to know how Zawahiri views deceit on such issues as battle plans and spying, read his own words online.

        Gabriel explains:

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

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

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

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

        “Protecting the mujahideen and preserving their secrets

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

  3. DXer said

    Scott Horton Interviews Greg Gordon

    Scott Horton, October 11, 2011

  4. DXer said

    More Holes Emerge in FBI’s Anthrax Case
    Prosecutors Still Bet They Could’ve Got a Conviction
    by Jason Ditz, October 11, 2011

  5. DXer said

    Jennifer Smith, the FBI agent who then continued to work on Amerithrax as the lead science /WMD person at the CIA, suggests that the mutations evidence would not even have been admissible because of difficulties and the holes that would have been very difficult to fill.

    You may recall she is the beautiful blond who delivered the samples in 2001 to Dr. Keim on the tarmac.

    Frontline and their partners deserve huge kudos for getting Dr. Smith to speak on the record on these issues. She previously has been very reserved and not wanted to question the FBI publicly. She declined an invitation to speak at a November 29, 2010 conference for that reason and is to be commended now for her candor. The national security priorities are that we know we got the right answer in Amerithrax — and the country needs her expertise and experience.

    Out of more than 1,000 samples, only eight had tested positive for four mutations found in the deadly germs sent to Congress and the news media.

    Even so, the outside scientists, known as the Red Team, urged the FBI to do more basic research into how and when the mutations arose to make sure the tests were “sound” and the results unchallengeable.

    Jenifer Smith, a senior manager at the FBI’s laboratory, shared the team’s concerns. Smith recalled that she was worried the FBI didn’t have a full understanding of the mutations and might see a trial judge throw out the key evidence.

    “The admissibility hearing would have been very difficult,” Smith recalled in an interview. “They had some good science but they also had some holes that would have been very difficult to fill.”

    The FBI rebuffed the Red Team’s suggestion, describing it as “an academic question with little probative value to the investigation.”

    Read more:

  6. DXer said

    ‘Morally obligated’
    By JEREMY PELZER Casper Star-Tribune | Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 11:45 pm | No Comments Posted
    Font Size:
    Default font size
    Larger font size

    The case against Ivins closed in July 2008, when he overdosed on Tylenol in an apparent suicide soon after learning that criminal charges were likely to be filed against him.
    However, the controversy still continues, as the family of one of the anthrax victims has filed a civil lawsuit against the U.S. government alleging negligence in handling anthrax at the Army lab.
    Government investigators compiled a list of circumstantial evidence against Ivins.
    He worked long hours and late nights alone, and he was one of the few people who had access to deadly strains of anthrax, a bacterial disease that’s very rarely contracted in North America.
    His vaccine program wasn’t going well, according to U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor, and an anthrax attack could reinvigorate enthusiasm for his work.
    But both Adamovicz, who was Ivins’ supervisor, and UW assistant veterinary sciences professor Gerry Andrews, who worked with Ivins for years, said the FBI’s case against their former colleague was very weak.
    For one thing, they said, Ivins would have needed several months to prepare the amount of anthrax used in the attacks — much longer than the couple of weeks alleged by the government.
    Ivins also worked with wet spores, Adamovicz said, not the dry spores used in the attack. If Ivins dried his spores, he said, they wouldn’t have the same composition as those found in the letters.
    Ivins used a similar anthrax strain to the type found in the letters, Andrews said, but that same strain was also farmed out to a number of other labs.
    “This is not rocket science,” Andrews said. “I mean, the evidence that the FBI is proposing in support of their conclusion that Bruce Ivins did this is incredibly weak. And there’s no real sound, scientific basis for this.”
    Also, having worked with him for years, both Adamovicz and Andrews said Ivins gave no indication of being someone who would want to send lethal bacteria to kill innocent people.
    “He was a little quirky, a little bit socially awkward, but he was a very nice guy,” Adamovicz said. “He was a person who valued other people — he wasn’t a loner at all. … This sort of thing is completely out of keeping with his personality.”
    Adamovicz said he has no guesses as to who was responsible for mailing the letters. That’s difficult to tell, he said, as much of the investigation remains classified.
    But his theory is that someone in one of the labs may have palmed a couple of glass vials and took them out.
    “If you have an insider threat, it’s going to be near to impossible to catch somebody trying to steal a … strain or a small amount of biologics,” Adamomicz said.
    Adamomicz said the FBI didn’t even ask for all the labs that had received samples of the anthrax strain — possibly, he theorized, because the government was manufacturing anthrax secretly in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention.
    “It’s just my local conspiracy theory, but I can’t imagine why any investigator worth their salt wouldn’t pursue that as a central line of questioning,” he said.
    In the years following the anthrax attacks, Andrews, then Adamovicz, left the Army lab to take faculty positions at the University of Wyoming.
    The two are currently helping to develop a brucellosis vaccine for elk and bison, which can transfer the disease to livestock, causing aborted or stillborn calves and weakened adult animals.
    But even 10 years and thousands of miles removed from Bruce Ivins, Adamovicz said the mystery of the anthrax attacks is still a major part of his life.
    “It’s almost like the white whale in a way,” Adamovicz said, referring to Captain Ahab’s continually out-of-reach nemesis in Moby Dick. “It is something that I feel morally obligated to continue to pursue.”

  7. DXer said

    Editor’s Note: About the Case of the Anthrax Letters

  8. DXer said

    Intern who opened anthrax letter describes experience to Frontline

  9. The government has many secrets and professors and lawyers move in and out at low, medium and high levels. Foreign countries work hard to find embarrassing information as does Wall Street and even foreign banks that have issues about laundering funds for 3rd world dictators.

    The leadership of the government wants these people who go in and out to keep quiet about what they know about the people at the top. Biology and medical types are a good target to make an example of because there are no Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals for MDs or biology profs as there are for law and econ profs. Nor do biology types or MDs have a National Economic Council, Council of Economic Advisers, Fed, Treasury, etc role.

    In contrast to the treatment of biology and medical types in the last 10 years, econ profs, law profs, etc. have not been touched. Nor have biology types from top schools been touched. They are always from schools like Texas Tech, SUNY Buffalo or USAMRIID. Places with no access to secrets of the powerful.

  10. DXer said

    Journalists have not yet examined the documentary evidence produced in May 2011 that now shows what Dr. Ivins was doing in the B3 and instead bought into the FBI’s mistaken narrative that Ivins had no reason to be in the B3 on those nights. For the time-pressed, ask yourself: Where in her Investigative Summary does the word “rabbit” ever pass AUSA Rachel Lieber’s lips? The 52 rabbits arrived the week of September 24th and occupied Dr. Ivins’ attention as evidenced by ongoing reports of the research by email and memo — which the DOJ inexplicably withheld. DOJ could win a lot of defenders if it expedited the long-pending FOIA requests in this matter and stopped denying fee waivers on the grounds that the public was not interested in the subject.

  11. DXer said

    The investigators and psychatrists in 2008 could not have known that in 2009 Dr. Ivins’ first therapist, Judith M. McLean, would write of how she acquired her psychic abilities in her book available for sale — from a being from another planet …

    In addition to helping the FBI with Amerithrax, the psychic relied upon the government prosecutors and investigators helped with 911 by her astral travelling and retrieval of etheric body parts at Ground Zero … She reports she would be pursued by nasty astral entities upon her return each night from Afghanistan and would save herself by closing a vortex of light.

    I am still waiting for the author or journalist that interviews the members of the EBAP panel that relied on the first counselor — to see if they say “oopsie.”

  12. DXer said

    On the genetics, a prosecution of Dr. Ivins would have been over upon the FBI’s genetics expert Claire Fraser-Liggett.

    Claire Fraser-Liggett: the genetic analysis of the spores in Ivins’ flask do not indicate Ivins is guilty

  13. DXer said

    The FBI never answered the NAS’ questions. There was nothing about the questions that could and should not have been answered — and answered a year or two earlier than the questions needed to even be asked.

    Ivins is merely Hatfill Redux.

    Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy? March 24, 2011

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: