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

* Anthrax Lab Director Yazid Sufaat Wrote This Letter Of Introduction For Zacarias Moussaoui, Who Made The Cropduster Inquiries

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 23, 2012

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36 Responses to “* Anthrax Lab Director Yazid Sufaat Wrote This Letter Of Introduction For Zacarias Moussaoui, Who Made The Cropduster Inquiries”

  1. DXer said

    Public Service

    Flashback to November 2001: EMS Review after 9/11

    By Mark Forror | September 11, 2017

    Perhaps most on-target was Michael Cox’s “Chemical and Bacteriological Terrorist Attacks: The Coming Threat.” An emergency medical technician-paramedic and registered nurse, Cox flies with Florida Flit 1 in Orlando.

    His presentation began with a historical overview of the use of blood, nerve and blistering agents, as well as bacteriological agents such as anthrax, to infect urban populations He also discussed the availability of materials that could be used to construct a chemical or bacteriological weapon and presented several scenarios illustrating how a chemical attack by terrorists would affect pre-hospital, transport and in-hospital management of victims.

    The discussion took on a new sense of urgency hen, just one day before Cox made his presentation, news reports revealed that some of the terrorists had approached aerial application operations with detailed questions about the payload capacity of crop dusting aircraft.

    This new information led the FBI and other authorities to speculate that such interest was a prelude to a terrorist plan to deliver a chemical or bacteriological agent in another wave of attacks. A 1993 report by the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment estimated that between 130,000 and 3 million deaths could follow the release of 100 kg of anthrax spores upwind of the Washington, D.C., area.

    http://www.rotorandwing.com/2017/09/11/flashback-november-2001-ems-review-911/

  2. DXer said

    3 July 2017
    Ignore Bill Gates: Where bioweapons focus really belongs

    Filippa Lentzos
    At a stretch, terrorists taking advantage of advances in biology might be able to create a viable pathogen. That does not mean they could create a sophisticated biological weapon, and certainly not a weapon that could kill 30 million people. Terrorists in any event tend to be conservative. They use readily available weapons that have a proven track record—not unconventional weapons that are more difficult to develop and deploy. Available evidence shows that few terrorists have ever even contemplated using biological agents, and the extremely small number of bioterrorism incidents in the historical record shows that biological agents are difficult to use as weapons. The skills required to undertake even the most basic of bioterrorism attacks are more demanding than often assumed. These technical barriers are likely to persist in the near- and medium-term future.

    http://thebulletin.org/ignore-bill-gates-where-bioweapons-focus-really-belongs10876

    Comment: Now let’s consider Filippa Lentzos commentary in light of the cropduster inquiries and the evidence that Michael Osterholm and the New York Times co-author compiled in their 1999 book about cropdusters. Also, let’s consider about Dr. Garvey’s report that the CIA detected the Ames strain in Afghanistan. Finally, let’s consider whether the powder mailed was “simple” or “sophisticated” — keeping in mind that it cost $6 billion dollars in damage according to widespread estimates.

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

  3. DXer said

    Robert Mueller Chooses His Investigatory Dream Team
    https://www.wired.com/story/robert-mueller-special-counsel-investigation-team/

    President Donald Trump had almost certainly never heard the name Aaron Zebley before the announcement that the former FBI agent was joining the special counsel investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. But to those who have followed the arc of the bureau during the past twenty years, Zebley’s is a name that underscores just how far-reaching and dogged—and potentially long—the probe will likely be.

    ***

    But despite the other more high-profile names, it’s the career of Zebley, a dogged FBI agent turned prosecutor turned confidant, that perhaps best points to how Mueller intends to run his new investigation: With absolute tenacity and strong central leadership from Mueller himself. It’s a team that’s not just a paper office tiger but one with deep experience investigating crime around the world.

    Tenacious Z

    Zebley, who has worked alongside Mueller since their departure from the Hoover Building in 2013, attended the College of William & Mary—James Comey’s alma mater—and went on to the University of Virginia’s law school, a prime feeder school for federal prosecutors, including Mueller himself. Zebley then started with the FBI on I-49, one of its most storied squads and part of the small group of agents in New York who were chasing Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda before September 11th.

    ***

    Mueller’s Right-Hand Man

    Within days of the devastating attack, the brand-new FBI director—Robert Mueller, who had started only on September 4th—decided to centralize the investigation into the September 11th attacks at the Bureau’s headquarters in Washington, an all but unprecedented move to lead an operational case from the Hoover Building itself.

    While Mueller didn’t personally lead the PENTTBOM case, the decision to centralize it at headquarters—where he could see it, touch it, and have investigators be instantly available for questions—marked a significant departure from the FBI’s tradition of allowing field offices wide independence on investigations. It also underscored Mueller’s understanding that high-profile, politically sensitive investigations required a tactile, hands-on approach. It is a model that Mueller will likely carry forward into his role as special counsel in the Russia investigation, ensuring that he’s always personally involved even as he delegates threads of the case to experienced investigators like Quarles and Zebley, who was one of the first agents the FBI assigned to the PENTTBOM case in Washington.

    On that PENTTBOM case, Zebley was so steeped in the intricacies of the 9/11 attacks that the Justice Department turned to him as the courtroom witness in 2006 to testify that, if Zacarias Moussaoui—the so-called 20th hijacker who was arrested in August 2001—cooperated and allowed his belongings to be searched sooner, the FBI could have likely unraveled the 9/11 plot before it was executed.

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

  4. DXer said

    FBI Director Mueller has hired Aaron Zebley. You may remember Mr. Zebley, a former FBI Agent turned prosecutor, from the trial connecting Zacarias Moussaoui and my pal, Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat.

    President Trump seems a deer in the headlights and indictments of close associates — maybe even his son-in-law Jared — seem likely.

    But calling Mr. Mueller a “bad man” does not seem an effective strategy — because he is not a bad man.

    But this question of FBI Director Mueller’s (and, for example) Attorney Zebley’s, handling of the Al Qaeda anthrax threat is a discussion worth having. The public needs a publication like the Wall Street Journal to do a balanced piece that is informed by the particulars of what is admittedly a complex case.

    But here is an example. Did prosecutor Zebley conceal the anthrax connection — and even Jdey’s arrest — in his prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui?

    The FBI and CIA failed to disclose that Jdey was detained ( with biology textbooks) at the same time as Zacarias Moussaoui and then released.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 25, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/the-fbi-and-cia-failed-to-disclose-that-jdey-was-detained-with-biology-textbooks-at-the-same-time-as-zacarias-moussaoui-and-then-released/

    Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat discusses Zacarias Moussaoui in this 2011 French language television interview
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 28, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/al-qaeda-anthrax-lab-tech-yazid-sufaat-discusses-zacarias-moussaoui-in-this-2001-french-language-television-interview/

    The dropping of the ball relating to Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi’s entering the country after the meeting at the KL condo of the anthrax lab tech was closely related to the detention and release of Jdey at the time of Moussaoui’s arrest.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 7, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/the-dropping-of-the-ball-relating-to-al-mihdhar-and-al-hazmis-entering-the-country-after-the-meeting-at-the-kl-condo-of-the-anthrax-lab-tech-was-closely-related-to-the-detention-and-release-of-jde/

    The opening statement of prosecutor in Moussaoui prosecution emphasizes Yazid Sufaat’s connection to these two hijackers.

    16 The final avenue that Mr. Zebley will describe involves
    17 another item recovered from Moussaoui’s belongings after September
    18 11th, again would have been discovered before September 11th had
    19 he not lied. This is a letter, a false cover letter stating that
    20 Moussaoui is the marketing representative for a Malaysian company
    21 called Infocus Tech, owned by someone named Yazid Sufaat. This
    22 letter is signed by someone named Yazid Sufaat.
    23 Had Moussaoui not lied, FBI agents would have had this
    24 letter and investigated Yazid Sufaat. A rudimentary investigation
    25 of Yazid Sufaat connects him not only to Moussaoui, but also to

    42
    1 another one of the 9/11 hijackers named Khalid al-Midhar. Now,
    2 Midhar was a name that had already been given to the CIA and the
    3 FBI in that summer, and a little bit before, in 2001. The FBI got
    4 the name al-Midhar and another 9/11 hijacker named Nawaf al-Hazmi
    5 in August of 2001.

    • DXer said

      NEW: Moussaoui prosecutors close with testimony that he could have spurred hunt for 9/11 hijackers

      • MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN, Associated Press Writer
      • Mar 22, 2006
      http://www.bestbuy.com/site/braun-wet-dry-trimmer-with-2-guide-combs-black-blue/5712309.p?skuId=5712309?utm_source=N351805.1679090AMNETGROUP.COM&utm_medium=video&utm_campaign=10711742

      ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Prosecutors wrapped up their case for executing Zacarias Moussaoui with a former FBI agent’s testimony Thursday that the bureau could have identified 11 of the Sept. 11 hijackers if the al-Qaida conspirator had confessed when he was arrested a month before the suicide attacks.

      Former FBI agent Aaron Zebley testified that Moussaoui’s admission, when he pleaded guilty last April, that he received more than $14,000 in wire transfers from a man using the name Ahad Sabet could have allowed the FBI to go through Western Union, cell phone, calling-card and motor vehicle records, as well as leases and other business materials to identify most of the 19 hijackers who flew jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

      U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who has told the jury it cannot decide Moussaoui’s punishment “on speculation,” barred Zebley from explicitly asserting what the FBI would have accomplished had he confessed when arrested Aug. 16, 2001.

      ***

      But Zebley gave prosecutors their strongest testimony in a week when many of their witnesses ended up buttressing the defense argument that the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration badly bungled better intelligence about 9/11 than Moussaoui had in the summer of 2001.

      Zebley implied that Moussaoui’s lies when arrested while taking pilot lessons in Minnesota foreclosed several avenues of investigation that might have saved at least one of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on 9/11.

      “We could have set about finding the hijackers,” Zebley said.

      For the first hour of more than two hours on the stand Thursday, Zebley had jurors leaning forward to follow his explanation of how FBI agents moved from the data in records of one money transfer by Western Union, through incoming and outgoing calls to a phone number listed on the Western Union record, to the businesses that were called from all those phone numbers, to home addresses listed on business and bank transaction records, to leases and driver’s licenses and other IDs recorded by landlords. He said the identities of 11 of the hijackers were learned by these methods within weeks after the attacks and these records existed in August, 2001.

      On cross-examination, defense lawyer Edward MacMahon pointed out that neither Moussaoui’s statements after arrest nor anything found in a post-9/11 search of his possessions gave away that he got that money transfer by wire. The defense has argued that under the Fifth Amendment Moussaoui had no obligation to incriminate himself when arrested.

      MacMahon asked why the FBI didn’t launch a full criminal investigation of Moussaoui in August 2001 based on 70 appeals to Washington by arresting agent Harry Samit who warned that Moussaoui was a terrorist training to hijack an airliner.

      “The FBI has to have a confession … before anybody listens?” MacMahon asked.

      Zebley replied that Samit did not know all the details in Moussaoui’s 2005 confession.

      MacMahon got Zebley to acknowledge that nothing in the confession or in FBI evidence gathered since then shows any contact between Moussaoui and the 9/11 hijackers, who lived, trained and traveled together in small groups. Moussaoui pleaded guilty to conspiring with al-Qaida to fly planes into U.S. buildings. But he says he had nothing to do with 9/11 and was training to fly a 747 jetliner into the White House as part of a possible later attack.

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

  5. DXer said

    May 10, 2017, 11:08 a.m.

    Washington
    Five candidates under consideration for acting FBI director

    Joseph Tanfani

    According to the Justice Department, the other candidates under consideration for interim director include:

    * William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

    * Adam Lee, FBI special agent in charge of the Richmond office

    * Michael Anderson, FBI special agent in charge of the Chicago office

    * Paul Abbate, executive assistant director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.

    Rosenstein and Sessions were scheduled to interview the five candidates on Wednesday.

    http://www.latimes.com/la-bio-joseph-tanfani-staff.html

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

    • DXer said

      Mike Rogers was mentioned today as being under consideration also.

      Mike Rogers is more familiar with most with the Al Qaeda anthrax threat and has expressed frustration with Pakistan intelligence.

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

      An Invitation

      From: [Tom Daschle]
      To: [John Podesta]
      Date: 2016-01-12 19:29
      Subject: An Invitation

      Dear John,

      We hope this note finds you well. I’m sure things are very busy for you right now!

      Former Congressman Mike Rogers and I invite you to join us for a salon dinner discussion on biodefense on February 22nd at 6:00 pm at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. As you know, biosecurity is an issue that I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with first hand when anthrax was sent to my Senate office. However, even with the anthrax attacks that took place in 2001, and the Ebola outbreak in 2014, biodefense isn’t being as seriously considered as I believe it should be.

      Mike, as I am sure you know, during his time in office was the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Mike built a legacy as a tireless and effective leader on biodefense, counterterrorism and national security policy. Mike currently hosts a nationally-syndicated radio show, is a CNN national security commentator, a Distinguished Fellow at the Hudson Institute and serves on the Board of Trustees at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

      Last year, I had the privilege of serving on the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense led by Governor Ridge and Senator Lieberman. Mike briefed the panel and informed our final recommendations. Now that that the panel’s report has been released, we believe we have an opportunity to elevate the political prioritization of biodefense and preparedness, as well as advance near and mid-term changes to address the challenges and gaps we continue to face.

      Mike and I would like to bring together a small group of thought leaders, such as yourself, for an informal discussion. Ideally, we would like to build on the discussion that the Blue Ribbon Panel Study began, and identify some actionable priorities. In the end, we hope to use the ideas gathered during the dinner discussion to develop both short-term and mid-term strategies for increasing political interest in improving our national health security.

      Given your experience and expertise in these areas, Mike and I are hopeful that you will be able to join us.

      All the best,

      Tom Daschle
      Former US Senate Majority Leader

      Mike Rogers
      Former Chairman, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

  6. DXer said

    Paul Abbate, another of the five being interviewed to replace FBI Director Comey:

    We know that this (Washington region) is a high-profile [terror] target. It’s been attacked in the past, historically,” said Paul Abbate, the FBI’s executive assistant director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.

    Mr. Abbate began his FBI career as a special agent in March 1996 and was assigned to the New York City Field Office, where he worked in the Criminal Division and served as a member of the SWAT team.



    In December 2003, Abbate transferred to the Counterterrorism Division as a supervisory special agent in the Iraq Unit, overseeing FBI counterterrorism operations and personnel deployments in Iraq. In October 2005, Abbate deployed to Iraq, serving as senior FBI liaison officer to the U.S. Department of Defense and leading a group of FBI personnel conducting counterterrorism operations in theater.



    From February 2006 to December 2009, Abbate served as a supervisory special agent within the Newark Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. In February 2008, Abbate deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as FBI deputy on-scene commander, leading FBI counterterrorism operations and personnel in theater.



    In December 2009, Abbate returned to the Counterterrorism Division as assistant section chief, providing national-level oversight and guidance of all United States-based international terrorism investigations. During this time, Abbate was a member of a team, which received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service.



    In July 2010, Abbate reported to the Los Angeles Field Office and served as assistant special agent in charge for counterterrorism matters, overseeing the primary branch of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force.



    In August 2011, Abbate returned to the Counterterrorism Division, where he served as section chief, providing oversight of all FBI international terrorism investigations and counterterrorism operations external to the United States.



    In October 2012, was appointed special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, Counterterrorism Division. During this time, Abbate also served as the FBI on-scene commander in Libya.

    From October 2013 to September 2015, Abbate served as the special agent in charge of the FBI Detroit Division, covering the state of Michigan.

    In September 2015, Abbate was appointed assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, where he currently serves.

  7. DXer said

    Paul Abbate, another of the five being interviewed to replace FBI Director Comey, once explained:

    We know that this (Washington region) is a high-profile [terror] target. It’s been attacked in the past, historically,” said Paul Abbate, the FBI’s executive assistant director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.

    Mr. Abbate began his FBI career as a special agent in March 1996 and was assigned to the New York City Field Office, where he worked in the Criminal Division and served as a member of the SWAT team.



    In December 2003, Abbate transferred to the Counterterrorism Division as a supervisory special agent in the Iraq Unit, overseeing FBI counterterrorism operations and personnel deployments in Iraq. In October 2005, Abbate deployed to Iraq, serving as senior FBI liaison officer to the U.S. Department of Defense and leading a group of FBI personnel conducting counterterrorism operations in theater.



    From February 2006 to December 2009, Abbate served as a supervisory special agent within the Newark Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. In February 2008, Abbate deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as FBI deputy on-scene commander, leading FBI counterterrorism operations and personnel in theater.



    In December 2009, Abbate returned to the Counterterrorism Division as assistant section chief, providing national-level oversight and guidance of all United States-based international terrorism investigations. During this time, Abbate was a member of a team, which received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service.



    In July 2010, Abbate reported to the Los Angeles Field Office and served as assistant special agent in charge for counterterrorism matters, overseeing the primary branch of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force.



    In August 2011, Abbate returned to the Counterterrorism Division, where he served as section chief, providing oversight of all FBI international terrorism investigations and counterterrorism operations external to the United States.



    In October 2012, was appointed special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, Counterterrorism Division. During this time, Abbate also served as the FBI on-scene commander in Libya.

    From October 2013 to September 2015, Abbate served as the special agent in charge of the FBI Detroit Division, covering the state of Michigan.

    In September 2015, Abbate was appointed assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office.

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

  8. DXer said

    One of 5 reportedly being interviewed to replace by FBI Director Comey, as reported by the NYT, is William Evanina, who according to Wikipedia, worked on the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings as an FBI Agent.

    drawn from Wikipedia –

    As United States Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX), William Evanina is head of national counterintelligence for the US government. Prior to his appointment to ONCIX, he was the chief of the Counterespionage Group for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He gained his initial law enforcement as an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    As an FBI Agent, he worked on the anthrax mailings of 2001. In June 2004, he was appointed as a Supervisory Special Agent in the new Joint Terrorism Task Force.[9] While there, following a tipoff from Customs,[10] he led the investigation into the activities of an FBI intelligence analyst at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, who was leaking classified information to parties in the Philippines. Evanina’s work led to the conviction of Leandro Aragoncillo for espionage, in appreciation of which Evanina received the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence.[6][9] In January 2006 he was appointed as Senior Supervisory Resident Agent (SSRA) heading the FBI’s New Jersey office in Trenton.

  9. DXer said

    Former NYPD Police Ray Kelly would be a good choice for FBI Director to replace Director Comey.

    NYPD chief: NYPD wouldn’t decide on own to shoot plane
    AP
    September 28, 2011 1:29:28 PM PDT
    By COLLEEN LONG
    NEW YORK —

    In his first remarks about an attention-grabbing claim that police had the means to shoot down a terrorist plane, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday that the department could arm helicopters with .50-caliber guns to fire at small aircraft, not a commercial airliner.

    Kelly explained he was referring to crop dusters that could be commandeered and used to disperse anthrax or some other toxic material. In the months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, authorities uncovered information from would-be hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui about small aircraft being used this way. It led to the brief grounding of crop dusters nationwide.

    In response, Kelly said, New York Police Department officers spoke to local businesses and went to insecticide conferences around the country to learn how the planes were used, bought and manufactured. They also sent officers to Fort Dix in New Jersey to train on shooting from aircraft, and equipped helicopters so they could be armed with heavy machine guns if necessary.

    “We didn’t want to be totally defenseless in a situation like that, so we have trained our flight crews to use a .50-caliber weapon,” Kelly told reporters on Wednesday.

    The decision to fire would be only in an extreme circumstance, and would be made in consultation with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and with the Federal Aviation Administration and other federal authorities, he said.

    “We have a hotline to the FAA and we have direct contact to the towers at LaGuardia and Kennedy airport,” Kelly said.

    He stressed that the weapons are not meant to shoot down a commercial airliner.

    “I don’t see that as being a real possibility,” he said.

    The arming of helicopters is only one example of how the NYPD has pursued an ambitious program to fortify defenses against another terror attack against the city.

    After the commando-style assault on Mumbai in 2008, the department trained scores of additional officers on the use of high-powered rifles loaded with armor-piercing bullets. The officers have been put through drills at a facility that simulates a typical New York City block.

    The use of motorboats by terrorists in Mumbai also prompted New York police to order a high-speed combat vessel that can carry up to 30 officers armed with heavy weapons. Officials say the $5 million boat gives the department the ability to respond with rapid force if the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or other sites are faced with a threat like this year’s Norway massacre.

    Although the Daily News of New York had reported in 2005 that a revamping of NYPD’s helicopter fleet included giving choppers heavy weapons capabilities, police officials had kept the idea under wraps until Kelly’s remarks in a “60 Minutes” segment that aired Sunday on CBS.

    Asked about potential threats from aircraft, Kelly said: “Well, it’s something that’s on our radar screen. I mean in an extreme situation, you would have some means to take down a plane.” But he declined to go into details, raising questions about whether the department had the authority and expertise to shoot down a plane.

    Bloomberg said earlier this week that since Sept. 11, the NYPD has developed counterterror defenses the public may never know about.

    “The New York City Police Department has lots of capabilities you don’t know about and you won’t know about them,” he said.

    The department has seven helicopters in its fleet, which include Bell- and Augusta-made choppers. Not all are equipped to handle the weapons.

    • DXer said

      Chris Christie has background in Amerithrax but seems an unlikely choice to replace Director Comey given the current highly charged situation. The same is true with Rudy Giuliani. Both have too close a connection to President Trump and are understood to be highly partisan.

    • DXer said

      Trey Gowdy, although not well-known as Christie and Giuliani, raises the same optics problems as Christie and Giuliani.

      And David Clarke, too, seems a non-starter because of his ardent support of Mr. Trump.

      So it seems that Ray Kelly is the comparatively strong choice.

      Ray Kelly has been tested under fire — he knows what it is like to have “a feeling that government is not in control.”

      And he may take an interest in the suggestion that the notebook that the FBI is withholding provides Dr. Ivins with an alibi — an explanation for why Ivins was in the B3 lab on the date of the mailing and the week prior to the date of mailing.

      In fact, note to Kris Weart, the new FBI Director might even get angry at the withholding.

      articles.latimes.com › Collections › Terrorism — United States
      Oct 28, 2001 – RESPONSE TO TERROR | THE ANTHRAX THREAT : NEWS ANALYSIS … “There is a feeling that government is not in control,” said Ray Kelly, …

    • DXer said

      Politico suggests Ray Kelly’s age might weigh against his appointment to a 10-year term. (He is five years older than the President).

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/10/who-will-replace-james-comey-list-238201

      If that were to be given weight, Mike Rogers seems a sound pick.

      Mike Rogers

      “The former House Intelligence Committee chairman and seven-term congressman from Michigan has one obvious qualification: he’s a former FBI special agent.”

      If, instead, Ken Wainstein, the pick, he of course is highly knowledgeable about Amerithrax, having had key roles in the investigation. He was Chief of Staff under FBI Director Mueller.

      “A longtime federal prosecutor now in private practice, Wainstein served as the first head of the Justice Department’s national security division when it was formed in 2006.”

      He was the former US Attorney, as I recall, in DC and then key national security advisor to the President.

      I don’t think that there would be any critical reassessment by Mr. Wainstein — especially given his connection to the US Attorney who announced an Ivins Theory — unless and until the country is attacked with anthrax.

      Same with Fran Townsend.

      Chuck Rosenberg was Chief of Staff to Comey in the past. It seems that a former Chief of Staff might not be interested in the job — as a matter of personal loyalty.

      Politico raises the issue of age as to Larry Thompson.

      Mark Filip rounds out the field.

      As I mentioned earlier, I think Christie and Giuliani are non-starters from the point-of-view of the historical aspects and optics relating to the Russia investigation. President Trump needs to pick someone not so closely associated with him.

      Although before I would have guessed Ray Kelly would be the pick, now I’m thinking Ken Wainstein will be the pick. His ticket has been punched in a lot of relevant ways, even though he is not a household name.

      For a fresh perspective on Amerithrax, I would have preferred Ray Kelly. It’s New York City, after all, that will suffer the most in the event that there has been a failure in intelligence analysis due to compartmentalization.

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

    • DXer said

      President Trump, Kenneth Wainstain certainly comes already trained for the job — with many years of highly relevant experience.

      Kenneth Wainstain was on the panel that concluded our nation is dangerously unprepared to prevent or respond to a bioattack.

      America Needs to Strengthen Biodefense Now | Commentary
      Posted Jun 12, 2015 8
      http://www.rollcall.com/news/america_needs_to_strengthen_biodefense_now_commentary-242314-1.html

      Here is a presentation Kenneth Wainstain gave on the subject.

      Tackling the Terrorist Threat: Progress Made and Future Challenges
      Kenneth L. Wainstein
      January 7, 2009

      Our discussion is also timely because last month, the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (WMD Commission) issued their thoughtful and comprehensive report on many of the WMD programs I will discuss today. The Commission recognized the gravity of the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction — and in particular biological and nuclear weapons; it noted the progress the administration has made in addressing the threat; and it offered a series of important recommendations to the incoming administration. The Commission did the nation an important service by carefully analyzing this issue providing a roadmap for enhancing our ability to confront what amounts to the gravest and most immediate threat facing our nation.

      So, these reasons, today is a good opportunity to step back, look at how this threat evolved, assess the defenses we have erected against this threat, and reflect on the challenges the international community will continue to face in the years to come.

      The Threat: Imagining the Unimaginable

      During the Cold War, terrorism and WMD proliferation were seen as two serious — but separate — problems. In that era, the threat of mass destruction came not from terrorists and terrorist groups, but from nation-state adversaries whose destructive ambitions could be curbed and deterred by the prospect of mutually assured destruction.

      But that all changed after September 11, 2001. Those attacks highlighted the single-minded fanaticism of our adversaries, their focus on mass destruction, and their immunity from the traditional deterrence strategies that had served us well against our Cold War adversaries. We realized that a catastrophic attack was no longer solely the province of a nation-state, and that it was only a matter of time before we faced the prospect of a WMD attack from al-Qaeda or another terrorist group.

      That reality was made clear when we went into Afghanistan and learned that al-Qaeda had been developing a program to cultivate and weaponize anthrax that could be used to kill by the hundreds or thousands.

      And it has been made even more clear with events in the years since:

      • In the fall of 2001, we suffered an attack with anthrax-laced letters that killed five, sickened seventeen others and caused somewhere in the range of $6 billion in damage to our economy.

      • In December of 2001, we and the United Nations designated as a supporter of terrorism a group of Pakistani scientists and former government officials — known as the UTN — who had worked with the Taliban and had previously discussed nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons with Osama bin Laden.

      • In 2002, we discovered an al-Qaeda laboratory in Afghanistan that was built to produce anthrax.

      Attorney Wainstain appeared on this 2017 biodefense panel discussion.
      http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2017-01/blueribbon13017.html

    • DXer said

      Should President Trump appoint Michael Mason to replace Mr. Comey? He was a former executive assistant FBI director, who I always thought of as head of Amerithrax

      For years, I thought the head of the investigation was Assistant FBI Director Michal Mason by reason of his being head of the DC Field Office. He explained that he regretted that Dr. Hatfill’s name had ever surfaced and noted that they could not replicate the powder — that is, they could not replicate the Silicon Signature. I once emailed him and he responded that they were leaving no stone unturned.

      Joining the bureau in 1985, Special Agent Mason handled narcotics violations, violent crimes, white-collar crimes and public corruption. He was especially relieved the time he did not have to shoot the suicidal Elvis impersonator in a Sears parking lot. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he served as special assistant to FBI Director Robert Mueller. He assumed responsibility for Amerithrax as assistant director in charge of the Washington, D.C., field office. He oversaw the office’s massive counterintelligence efforts against foreign intelligence agents based in Washington, D.C.

      While in Buffalo, harking back to his days watching Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. on television, he addressed the portrayal of the FBI in “X-Files”, suggesting that reality was just as interesting.

      Mason was in the Syracuse office, when 2:15 a.m. one night, a 115,000-volt transmission tower came crashing down not far down the street from me. Mason investigated when the tower on the nearby Onondaga Indian reservation came 50 feet from crashing on a cigarette shop, near where the local residents buy their smokes.

      “This is a serious felony. It is more than just criminal mischief,” Mason said. The Niagara Mohawk spokesperson declined to comment on what caused the tower to fall. But a local Onondaga businessman Oliver Hill said he knew. The tower missed crushing his cigarette shop, which had been opened without the permission of the local Onondaga tribal leaders. “There has been sabotage on that tower because on each leg there are 20 to 30 bolts,” said Hill. “All the bolts were taken out on all four legs. So when the bolts are taken out, there’s nothing to hold it up so it fell over. Yes, it was sabotage.”

      I didn’t call the local FBI office about the tower incident. After all, smoking kills 400,000 people a year.

      Instead, I called the FBI office to tell them that a Ronald Reagan mask had been found along with a bank bag where the man lay in wait with a semi-automatic — first for my brother, and then the next week my father. The FBI agent in the small local office, who did not identify himself, said something to the effect: “We killed the Closing Time Bandit who used a Ronald Reagan mask in robbing banks. So this guy can’t be responsible for those robberies.”

      Ronald Petersen had been killed Aug. 15, 1996 by FBI agents in the Rochester suburb of Henrietta while plotting another heist. The rightist, who had been tracked by a miniature television camera on a telephone pole outside his home, died in a hail of bullets. When police searched his house in Liverpool, a Syracuse suburb, they recovered 20 guns, including two Uzis, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and a cache of explosives.

      “I know. “ I said, “This guy’s parole officer says his apartment in Watertown is covered with newspaper articles glorifying famous New York State criminals. He’s trying to make you fellows look foolish. By being a copycat and making it look like you killed the wrong guy..”

      The ex-convict and three-time loser who tried to take my Dad away at gunpoint that night before Christmas got over 20 years to life, with no possibility of parole. Robbery was the apparent motive. That night, the police siren had come on in within seconds of the 911 call coming in. The gunman spent the night holed up in a nearby garage and was captured after a psychiatrist/hostage negotiator came from Syracuse and talked him out of the garage. He asked that they kneel and pray together. (I never said the gunman was very bright).

      So why have I always been such a booster of the FBI and local law enforcement (that is, until US Attorney Jeff Taylor’s recent performance at the press conference last year and Daniel Seikaly’s calculated leaks about Hatfill before that). (Attorney Seikaly of Taylor’s same office pled the Fifth Amendment in connection with such leaks; his daughter then came to represent Ali Al-Timimi, the “anthrax weapons suspect” of the other investigative squad). Why was I always such a fan of Director Mueller and Agent Michael Mason in particular? Because it is their job to protect our loved ones.

      Sam Stanton of the Sacramento Bee provides relevant background on Mason:

      “He has a friend in Syracuse, N.Y., who’s a felon, and when he talks about his favorite case — the successful recovery of a 2-year-old girl kidnapped at Christmas — tears come to his eyes.

      The son of a truck driver whose mother died when he was a baby, Mason knew he wanted to be in law enforcement early in childhood. As an African American growing up in Chicago, he said, he knew that many minorities said they had trouble with Chicago cops. But he said he never had a negative law enforcement experience.

      He shifted his goal from joining the Chicago police force to the FBI after seeing the old Efrem Zimbalist Jr. series “The FBI” on television.

      Mason knew many FBI agents came to the bureau with law degrees, but that wasn’t realistic given his family’s finances. So he ended up with an accounting degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

      After graduation, he went into the Marine Corps, serving at Camp Pendleton and ending up a captain. But he still dreamed of joining the FBI, and when his tour of duty was up with the Corps he decided the time was right.

      “I remember when I called I didn’t have any idea how one becomes an FBI agent,” Mason said. “I called and said, ‘Can I have an application?’ And the lady, an old-timer there, said, ‘Sure, honey, we’ll send you one right out.’ “ ***

      People who have worked with him before say Mason’s nice-guy image is genuine, and a sign of that is his friendship with community activist Kathleen Rumpf in Syracuse.

      Rumpf, who calls herself a “felon for peace” (and who I adore) spent several months in prison for trespassing during a demonstration against the School for the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. She has spent years in Syracuse fighting for prisoner rights and other issues, and when Mason showed up there one of the first things he did was meet with her.

      “I’ve been treated very badly in the past by the FBI because I’m an activist,” Rumpf said.

      But Mason was different.

      “He’s quite wonderful,” Rumpf said in an interview from the Syracuse offices of the American Civil Liberties Union. “He was incredibly responsible and treated me with great respect.

      “He said to me if he ever had to arrest me he would do it, and I said, ‘Be my guest.’ But I knew I could trust this man to be professional.”

      Local law enforcement officials echo that sentiment.

      ‘He is an outstanding individual,’ said Gary Miguel, chief deputy of investigations for the Syracuse Police Department. ‘You’re fortunate to have him.’

      In Syracuse, Miguel said, Mason worked hard to get to know the community and to cooperate with local authorities.” *** [Mason said,] “I’m not complicated enough to be political. It’s too hard.”

      Once told there was CIA involvement, he responded that his superiors might not like to hear that. Attorney Seikaly, to whom the head of the investigation and Mason reported the status of the investigation, came over from the CIA to the DC US Attorney’s Office on September 29, 2001. But a student of history likely would conclude that any suppression of information is for old-fashioned reasons: CYA. At the very least, when in doubt, follow the goddamn money.

      The question of the hour is how did Ali Al-Timimi come to have the mail drop at the Center for Biodefense that for example received issuance of the patent for concentrating anthrax using silicon dioxide in the culture medium? …the one my military lab head calls a “Wow!” microencapsulation patent. That is the best explanation I’ve seen that the FBI WMD head Majidi offers for the silicon signature. (Coincidentally, in the small world department, Ali Al-Timimi worked for 2 months for the former White House Chief of Staff. Did he list Mr. Card on his resume?) Ali Al-Timimi worked with the former deputy USAMRIID Charles Bailey at SRA in 1999. Ali did mathematical support work for the Navy and had a high security clearance. What was his security clearance for? Ali then came to work 15 feet from the leading anthrax scientist in the world, Ken Alibek, and the former deputy USAMRIID, Charles Bailey. They co-invented the method using silica in the culture medium to concentrate anthrax. The silica can then be removed through repeated centrifugation or an air chamber (according to a related patent). When you focus on Pasechnik’s work with a jet mill, on which NAS panel member D.A. Henderson has been briefed, it is time for some probing questions to be asked.

      I’ve always argued that the key to achieve the best balancing of interests was to have an informed debate. I’ve always argued that with people like Michael Mason advising Director Mueller, I felt both secure and confident that authorities would always continue to strive to strike an appropriate balance. I had no reason to think that Mr. Persichini was not of the same caliber despite my disagreement with the suggestion that the evidence establishes Dr. Ivins is guilty, rather than just that the anthrax used came originally from his flask. His later dismissal for cheating on an open book examination on how to conduct a terrorism investigation was both a surprise and a disappointment.

      For his part, Director Mueller, at the time, said, in a vintage comment, that it would be mistaken to suggest that the FBI has made a mistake. Well, respectfully, I disagree. Jeff Taylor’s comments were pretty clear and demonstrably untrue. More broadly, during the Bush Adminsitraiton, the US DOJ made a mistake in allowing itself to be politicized. Men like Mason and Mueller and Holder should be among the first to agree — and to do something about it. Did Attorney General Holder take to heart the lessons learned of the the Rich pardon in Clinton’s last days or not? Bring back the US DOJ that stands for the rule of law. (Although one can disagree with him and second-guess him, Comey seemed to represent that).

      Let’s hope Trump does that now. We are a stronger nation if we have full confidence in the FBI and we all embrace the rule of law.

  10. DXer said

    https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/unconventional-weapons-drones-hit-their-limits

    With Unconventional Weapons, Drones Hit Their Limits
    Security Weekly
    February 16, 2017

    The Difficulties of Biological Weapons

    Of the three unconventional weapons, biological agents are the most capable of causing a true mass-casualty event. Though commercial drones are limited in the amount of weight they can carry — several kilograms at most — they could, at least in theory, convey enough of a biological agent to kill millions of people. But the nature of biological agents themselves curb their effectiveness as a drone-delivered weapon.

    A single gram of weaponized anthrax, the amount included in letters mailed to U.S. Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy in October 2001, can contain up to 1 trillion spores — enough to cause somewhere between 20 million and 100 million deaths if the disease were allowed to run its course. The volume of anthrax in the two letters, plus the five or so sent to major media outlets around the same time, was more than enough, if administered efficiently, to wipe out the entire U.S. population. Nevertheless, the attack infected only 27 people. Five died, and the rest recovered after receiving treatment.

    The incident dominated the headlines, but it’s a prime example of how tough it can actually be to cause mass casualties with even a highly potent, weaponized biological agent like anthrax. After all, if anthrax spores could be spread widely by a drone, infections could easily be treated with antibiotics. People exposed to the spores distributed in a highly obvious drone attack could start courses of antibiotics early, well before the spores have time to incubate, mitigating the impact of the attack.

    Non-state actors have tried to develop biological weapons for decades but have struggled to concoct virulent agents.

    ***

    Because a drone could deliver only a small amount of a chemical agent, whether dropped in a container that would break on the ground or in some sort of airburst, it probably couldn’t create the type of heavy cloud needed to drive up the number of fatalities. By comparison, a crop-dusting plane — which could transport and spray hundreds of gallons of a chemical agent — would be a far more effective means of aerial delivery.

    ***

    All in all, there are few drone attack scenarios — whether using conventional explosives or biological, chemical or radiological weapons — that couldn’t be undertaken far more effectively with a much larger general aviation aircraft.

  11. DXer said

    Cameron warns ISIS could use drones to spray nuclear material over Western cities, Published April 02, 2016

    FoxNews.com
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/04/02/cameron-warns-isis-could-use-drones-to-spray-nuclear-material-over-western-cities.html

    “We have already seen (ISIS) trying to look at whether they can get their hands on low-level crop-using-type drones,” one British official told The Telegraph.

    Comment:

    If we forget our pasta, we are bound to reheat it.

  12. DXer said

    A small, low and slow threat that is growing fast
    by Arie Egozi on 27 March, 2014 in Uncategorised
    In a recent meeting in Brussels experts from NATO member states and others for the first time defined the evolving threat posed by all types of mini and micro unmanned air systems (UAS).

    It took some time before the experts came to the initial conclusion that airborne threats have changed dramatically. A terrorist organisation can purchase a micro or mini UAS online, it can be delivered very fast, assembled in minutes and can be used to carry a payload of a small explosive device instead of a camera.

    This is an imminent threat that most countries have preferred to ignore so far, but they are quickly waking up to the reality now, prompted by intelligence data and the proliferation of micro UAS such as the new quadcopters available on the open market in growing numbers.

    In 2012, just before the Olympic games in London began, a senior British army officer warned that unmanned drones carrying deadly poison could be used in a devastating terrorist attack during the Olympic Games.

    According to the UK media, Lt Col Brian Fahy delivered the grim warning at a meeting intended to allay fears from residents over the army’s plans to place missiles on the rooftops of flats.
    He said it was “feasible” that remote-controlled aircraft filled with poison and small enough to fit into a backpack could be used as a biological weapon in the capital.
    Are we going to see air defence systems permanently deployed on rooftops of big cities? We are not there yet, but the problem has surfaced and it is now “over the water” – and, as one Israeli expert described it, “with a red marker attached”.

    Terrorist organisations have been trying to use small UAS to penetrate Israeli airspace. Air force F-16s have been scrambled and the UAS were shot down. But there is a common understanding that such a war of attrition between micro UAS and fighter aircraft is not logical in the long run, so experts are scratching their heads in an effort to meet the new challenge.
    Some very “interesting” solutions are being evaluated in Israel but these are still classified. One thing is sure, though: the problem is understood and efforts to solve it are being made.

    – See more at: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/ariel-view/2014/03/small-low-slow-threat-fast-growing/#sthash.fZgwCArW.dpuf

    Comment: Is banning them off the table? States ban many fireworks. Why do people need these toys if they pose such a threat?

  13. DXer said

    Central New York’s NUAIR national drone test site lands first customer

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/01/central_new_yorks_national_drone_test_site_lands_first_customer.html#incart_m-rpt-2

  14. DXer said

    Anthrax letter may have come from Malaysia
    October 15, 2001 Posted: 3:18 AM EDT (0718 GMT)

    http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/10/14/asia.anthrax/

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A letter returned to a Microsoft Corporation office in the U.S. found to be contaminated with anthrax is believed to have been sent from a Malaysian address.

    The correspondence was originally sent from a Microsoft subsidiary in Reno, Nevada, to an address in Malaysia, but was returned to the sender.

    After three rounds of tests Nevada state officials confirmed that one of several magazine clippings in the envelope tested positive for anthrax bacteria. Six people who came into contact with the letter are also being tested.

    Comment: This later was concluded to be a false positive. The testing, however, should be provided to GAO as part of its review. It is as important to understand false positives as it is to understand false negatives.

    The magazine clippings, as I recall, were pornography. Given Yazid Sufaat’s and Moussaoui’s company was a computer peripherals company, it would be interesting, for the sake of completeness, to know the identity and address of the sender.

    Any objection to pornography is ironic given the trove of pornography that Bin Laden had collected and given Anwar Awlaki’s regular patronage of prostitutes.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      As of this date of this report, Malaysia reportedly had not yet been provided with the anthrax.

      It was the pornography inserted with the envelope sent to the Microsoft vendor in Malaysia that was associated with the powder.

      In addition to the identity of the Malaysian vendor, what was the powder determined to be?

      If Malaysia is going to urge the threat of a biological attack — as it has done this month — it would be helpful some someone to flesh out some of these historical details and have some transparency on an issue that occurred 12 years ago.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1600303.stm

      Monday, 15 October, 2001, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
      Malaysia requests anthrax attack evidence

      The letter was originally posted from Reno, Nevada containing a cheque to a Microsoft vendor in Malaysia. It was returned to the Reno office with the pornographic pictures inserted.

      The envelope and cheque tested negative for anthrax.

      The origin of the anthrax is not clear

      Malaysian police said the US had not yet made any request for help.

      “We’ve not even been told of the address, so how are we to proceed?” said acting Kuala Lumpur police chief, Dell Akhbar Khan.

    • DXer said

      Why did Mohamed Atta and the hijackers (including key player Nawaf) repeatedly fly to Las Vegas in the summer of 2001?

      So four questions that for the sake of completeness of analysis that should be answered include:

      (1) what was the powder associated with the pornography? (that is, what explains the reported false positives)

      (2) what was the postmark? (date and location)

      (3) what was the Malaysian vendor?

      (4) Did the hijackers travel to Reno?

      Mohamed Atta – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Atta‎
      On June 28, Atta arrived at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to meet with ….. indicates direct identification of the Brooklyn cell, and Mohammed Atta.

      10 years after 9/11, key question remains: Why were the hijackers in …
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/10-years-9-11-key-question-remains-Why-hijacke...
      Sep 8, 2011 – … why did the terrorists spend so much time in Las Vegas? … Mohammed Atta and his Al Qaeda accomplices visited Las Vegas as many as five …
      Seedy secrets of hijackers who broke Muslim laws – Telegraph

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk › News‎
      by Toby Harnden
      Oct 6, 2001 – THE leader of the September 11 terrorists and four other hijackers made several trips to Las Vegas over the summer to hold meetings, gamble …

      LAS VEGAS — Additional FBI agents are being brought to this city to chase down hundreds of leads and track the movements of terrorists who repeatedly visited …
      How Las Vegas Fueled 9/11 Pilots
      http://www.christiangallery.com/LeavingLasVegas.htm‎
      Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, along with all the other pilots of the hijacked planes, traveled to Las Vegas at least six times in the weeks …

      Timeline – ABC
      August 13–14. Mohammed Atta goes to Las Vegas and stays in the Econo Lodge . Both Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazami are also in Las Vegas at this time.

    • DXer said

      If the government is going to spend money that the country does not have, there at least should be transparency and government accountability.

      Otherwise, special interests, lobbyists and those who profit from war and the occupation of countries will continue to recklessly spend our country into bankruptcy.

      Good government begins with disclosure.

      Anthrax War—the Malaysian Connection
      http://www.propublica.org/article/anthrax-war-the-malaysian-connection

      In January 2008, in a little-noticed deal, Emergent, or EBS, announced a joint venture with a firm funded by the Malaysian Health Ministry to build 52,000 square feet of “vaccine development and manufacturing infrastructure” on a 62-acre site in an industrial park just outside of Kuala Lumpur.

      “It is our belief that this joint venture will not only expand the use of our anthrax vaccine in this market, but will also serve as a platform for joint product development and manufacturing activities,” Fuad El-Hibri, chief executive of Emergent (the majority partner), said of the deal with Ninebio Sdn Bhd.

      “It is anticipated that the joint venture will also supply such products and services to certain member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (“OIC”) and other countries within Asia,” an EBS press release said. The facility was originally scheduled to open this year, but is now set to begin operations in 2013.

      On a Web page describing architectural plans for the Malaysian venture is a sentence that has raised some eyebrows. It says the companies plan to build a “biocontainment R&D facility that includes BSL … 3 and 4 laboratories.”

      Biosafety Level 3 (“high-containment”) labs are for disease-causing organisms that can cause death in humans, such as anthrax, plague and SARS. Malaysia already has three BSL-3 labs, and there are several thousand worldwide (1,356 in the U.S. alone).

      **

      Geography also counts. In March, Assistant Secretary of State Vann H. Van Diepen told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism that one key component of the new “biological threat” is “the growing biotechnology capacity in areas of the world with a terrorist presence.”

      Malaysia, where six in 10 citizens are Muslims, was tied to several terrorist plots earlier in the decade. Al-Qaida leaders used Kuala Lumpur as the “primary operational launch pad” for the 9/11 attacks, the FBI says. An organization known as Jemaah Islamiyah operating out of Malaysia bombed a disco in neighboring Bali in 2002, killing 202 people; the group’s leaders were subsequently arrested and executed by Indonesian authorities.

      More disturbing are recent revelations that Kuala Lumpur was a crucial base of operations in the lucrative black-market nuclear centrifuge network put together by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.

      For some experts, this raises a question of whether it is wise to encourage the creation of a BSL-4 lab there.

      Building such a facility in Malaysia does have benefits for American interests in the region. Security analysts see the development of an advanced biotech sector in the developing world as inevitable. A U.S. partner allows the American government to have some measure of influence and control on foreign “biodefense” efforts.

    • DXer said

      Was it the Sterne strain of anthrax associated with the pornographic material? Sterne is used in vaccine research and is not harmful to humans.

      FBI trying to learn when anthrax added to Reno letter

      By Scott Sonner The Associated Press
      Tuesday October 16, 2001

      RENO, Nev. — All six people exposed to anthrax in a letter at a Microsoft office in Nevada have tested negative for the deadly, inhaled version of the disease, state officials said Monday.

      The nasal swab tests for the final two people came back negative Monday, Washoe County District Health Officer Barbara Hunt said. The other four had tested negative on Sunday.

      State officials were waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to complete tests on the anthrax sample from the letter at Microsoft Licensing in Reno to determine whether it is a disease-causing strain or a harmless vaccine strain. Results were expected Tuesday, Gov. Kenny Guinn said.

      Hunt said the test result was a secondary concern because no one had shown signs of illness.

      “The negative nasal swab tests, combined with the physical condition and location of the letter, indicate that this is a very, very low risk situation even if the CDC results indicate that the anthrax isolate did contain a disease-causing strain,” Hunt said.

      “It is a great relief,” Hunt said.

      Health officials will monitor the six people for the less dangerous form of anthrax, which can result in skin lesions but is highly treatable, she said.

      ***

      An FBI spokesman said Monday from Las Vegas that the agency is investigating whether the letter that tested positive for anthrax was contaminated before or after it was sent to Malaysia then returned to Microsoft in Reno.

      “It is too early to tell,” FBI spokesman Daron Borst told The Associated Press. “Anything is possible at this point.”

      Borst said the FBI will release additional information “if we develop anything that is a public safety issue,” but otherwise won’t be making any statements on the progress of the investigation.

      “If the CDC test comes back positive for the content of anthrax, then yes, it will be considered a criminal investigation,” he said.

      The anthrax was found in the letter on a pornographic picture, which apparently had been cut from a magazine.

      ***

      Guinn said Microsoft had sent a check in the letter to a vendor in Malaysia. The letter was returned and the check was still in the letter, along with pornographic material. The vendor wasn’t identified.

      Microsoft representatives contacted U.S. health officials Wednesday after an employee became suspicious about the returned envelope.

      Malaysia’s foreign minister said Monday he believed that the letter did not originate in Malaysia.

      He suggested it might have been tampered with before it was sent to Malaysia.

      “I think definitely there is no truth that the thing originates from Malaysia,” Syed Hamid Albar told reporters after holding talks with a senior U.S. government trade representative.

      Syed Hamid said he told U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick that Malaysia was concerned that unverified anthrax information could cause fear in other countries. Zoellick later met with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

      The Malaysian government has pledged to prosecute anyone shown to be involved in the Nevada anthrax letter, and to cooperate fully with U.S. investigators. The government has appealed to the FBI for all relevant information.

      “We do not know exactly how the thing originates,” Syed Hamid said.

      Meanwhile, Microsoft officials sought to reassure employees returning to work Monday. About 600 employees work in the Sierra Pacific Power headquarters building in Reno where Microsoft Licensing Inc. leases office space.

      Counseling sessions were held with workers over the weekend and were continuing Monday.

      “What we are trying to manage now are not the medical issues — which the local health officials have done a good job with — but those legitimate emotional concerns that people have,” Sierra Pacific President Jeff Ceccarelli said.

      ***

      All six people being tested — five Microsoft employees and a family member — had some form of contact with the contaminated letter.

      Hunt said the letter contained such a small amount of anthrax that it’s difficult to know whether it was deliberately placed on the picture.

      ***

      Borst said it’s too early to tell whether terrorists sent the letter, but “anytime you send anthrax through the mail, the intent is to induce fear and that’s a form of terrorism.”

    • DXer said

      Second anthrax test negative on letter from Malaysia to Microsoft

      By BRENDAN RILEY,Associated Press Writer
      Published: 2:00 AM – 10/13/01
      Last updated: 8:34 AM – 12/15/10

      RENO, Nev. (AP) — A second, more sensitive test on a letter sent from Malaysia to a Microsoft office has come back negative for anthrax, state officials said Friday. A third test was planned for Saturday.

      No one has tested positive for the disease or become ill, officials said.

      State and county health officials interpreted the results differently.

      “With our latest test results, it is probably not anthrax,” said Barbara Hunt, Washoe County district health officer. “The risk appears to be very low.”

      Dr. Randy Todd, state epidemiologist, said he was encouraged by the second test, but said he was not backing off from his original statement Friday that it was a “presumptive anthrax” case.

      He said he would need to see the results of a third test before drawing a conclusion

      “We can’t rule it out until we have the third test,” Todd said. “It’s still presumptive anthrax.”

      Public health investigators were contacting Microsoft employees to determine who might have handled the letter, which contained pornographic material

      Gov. Kenny Guinn confirmed the letter had been sent to the Microsoft Licensing Inc. office. He said Microsoft officials contacted health officials Wednesday.

      Todd said the country health department and the FBI were involved in the investigation, which began after one company employee got a returned letter that “just didn’t look right.”

      The governor said Microsoft had sent a check in the letter to an unidentified vendor in Malaysia. The letter had been opened and returned to Microsoft, including the check. Pornographic material also was included. The contents appeared to have been moistened and dried, officials said.

    • DXer said

      CDC testing of the letter returned from Malaysia to Microsoft in Reno found that it was a bacteria but was not anthrax (thus we can know that it was not the Sterne strain of anthrax).

      What was the bacteria? Was it subtilis?

      0/18/2001 – Updated 09:45 PM ET

      Letter to Microsoft office in Nevada tests negative

      CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Final tests on a letter in a Microsoft office in Reno have come back negative for anthrax, Gov. Kenny Guinn announced Thursday. Tests performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the presence of a bacterium, but ruled out that it was anthrax. The tests performed by the CDC in Atlanta were requested after initial state tests showed anthrax had contaminated a pornographic picture in a letter at the Microsoft Licensing Inc., office in Reno. The state Health Division’s laboratory had confirmed the presence of anthrax earlier, but forwarded the material to the CDC to determine whether it was dangerous or harmless, vaccine-grade anthrax.

      The CDC’s initial analysis was negative, but state health officials said the first sample sent to the CDC might have been too diluted and sent another.

      Six people exposed to the Microsoft letter have tested negative for the deadly, inhaled version of the disease.

      Officials at Microsoft Licensing contacted health officials Oct. 10 over an employee’s suspicions about a returned envelope, mailed earlier to a vendor in Malaysia. Pornographic pictures had been inserted into the envelope, which also contained a check made out to the vendor, who wasn’t identified.

      The Malaysian government, which along with the FBI is investigating, says it is not clear where the contamination originated.

      Deputy Inspector General of Police Jamil Johari was quoted in the New Straits Times newspaper as saying that the letter from Microsoft in Reno was returned to the sender after the addressee in Malaysia could not be contacted.

    • DXer said

      Although In October 2001, the Nevada Governor’s spokesman would not say what the CDC found — upon its final testing that confirmed that the bacteria was not anthrax — it seems that we will be able to confirm what was found. Was it subtilis? CDC was very good on a FOIA request relating to its sampling of Florida post offices — producing 2000 pages to me. Although I don’t doubt that they would produce the results of their tests on the Reno letters, perhaps the finding has already been published. The CDC was especially good at publishing scientific findings in its online scientific publication. For example, the CDC concluded that there were two letters received by the AMI publications — as evidenced by two routes through the post offices.

      There was a subtilis contaminant found in the mailed anthrax and so this is worth running down for the sake of completeness.

      http://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/18836848/tests-show-nevada-microsoft-letter-not-anthrax.htm

      Tests Show Nevada Microsoft Letter Not Anthrax

      October 19, 2001 2:11 PM ET
      A letter mailed to a Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) office in Reno, Nevada, from Malaysia last week that was believed to contain anthrax did not, in fact, contain the potentially deadly bacteria, a spokesman for Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn says.

      Spokesman Gary Bortolin says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that the letter did not contain the potential germ warfare agent even though two of three earlier tests had been positive for the anthrax. Further testing by the CDC determined no anthrax was present, Bortolin says. He declined to say what the letter actually contained.

  15. DXer said

    According to a 2010 Harvard report on al Qaeda by a former CIA officer, Jdey was detained in summer 2001 together with Zacarias Moussaoui. Given that I think Jdey and Yazid stayed with KSM at the same time in August 2001, didn’t Jdey and Yazid know each other? Chomel, can you ask Yazid? Thanks. Chomel when you claimed to the press that Yazid knew Moussaoui only as a businessman, that was not true.

  16. DXer said

    Yazid Sufaat reportedly was not Managing Director of Infocus Tech when he wrote the letter of introduction and paid the $35,000 to Zacarias Moussaoui for the crop-dusters which KSM suggests were for the purpose of dispersing anthrax.

    It was Chomel who was the 20% shareholder. It’s easier to find religion urged by your mother-in-law, I suppose, when it’s your in-laws who have the money.

    Indonesian Cleric Had Role in Skyjackings, Officials Say

    Terror: In Malaysia, a jailed Cal State graduate helps unravel Al Qaeda’s Southeast Asia network

    by Mark Fineman and Bob Drogin
    The Los Angeles Times
    February 2, 2002

    ***

    But they show clearly that Sufaat’s wife, Sejahratul Dursina, also known as Chomel Sufaat, is a significant shareholder, with at least 20% of the 500,000 outstanding shares.

    She declined to be interviewed. On Friday night, she made a statement to a Malaysian Internet news service staunchly defending her husband, who was ordered detained for two years earlier in the day.

    “I strongly deny these allegations against him. They are baseless, wrong and outrageous,” she told Malaysiakini.

    Saiful Kasri, the lawyer retained by Infocus, said this week that the company is a “100% legitimate” importer of U.S. computer software and hardware and has partnerships with U.S. companies that were jeopardized by the indictment.

    “Yazid Sufaat has nothing to do with the company,” Kasri said. “He is neither a director, employee nor shareholder.”

    Malaysian officials said their investigation convinced them that Infocus Tech and its real managing director–as well as Sufaat’s wife–are not suspected of wrongdoing.

  17. DXer said

    Exclusive Interview With Yazid Sufaat,
    “The Experience In The Thaghut Prison”

    Jamadi-ul-Awwal 06, 1433 A.H, Friday, March 30, 2012

    ***

    While mostly candid about his involvement with famous characters such as Sheikh Usamah bin Laden (rahimahullah),Yazid was hesitant to reveal details about the government’s “secret” programme which was later scrapped, describing it “a long story”.

    “When they (the police) first took me in, I didn’t tell them (about the government programme). I didn’t want them to know, didn’t want the liability to fall on the government, to pass the buck to someone else.

    “Finally, they managed to get a report from their ‘friend’ and they wanted me to clear things up. I didn’t want to clarify (anything), so they took my wife in,” said the father of four.

    His wife, Sejahratul Dursina @ Chomel Mohamed, was held under ISA for two months and after this was placed under a movement restriction order for six years.

    “If you want to be released from ISA, just follow what they say and admit to all the charges… I refused to do so and they kept me for seven years… because I don’t want to sing ‘Negara-ku’ (national anthem – ed.).

    “I don’t want to sing. Why should I (when) the country had betrayed me?” Yazid asked.

    ***

    Still in touch with Jemaah Islamiyah

    To this day, Yazid, who confesses to still be in touch with and “helps” old friends who are linked to Jemaah Islamiyah with their “daily needs”, denies all the five ISA charges (see chart) that were levelled against him.

    ***

    “I gave the condo to these people for whatever they wanted to use if for. If a traveller needed lodging, they could use it,” he said.

    Three of the people who stayed at the condominium were associated with the 9/11 attacks, with one – Zacarais Mousaoui – eventually employed by Yazid, purportedly to market a software developed by Yazid’s company, Infocus Tech.

    Infocus Tech is one of several Malaysian companies that researchers claim were shell companies set up to raise funds for al-Qaeda.

    “Back then, computers and phones didn’t talk to each other, so we developed software to integrate them. We developed it for call centres. That kind of thing…

    “So, if you ask whether I funded (Mousaoui for 9/11), I’m not going to say yes or no. He was my employee. Let the readers think,” he said.

    Yazid said he hired Mousaoui when the latter, who is from a computer engineering background, asked for help, saying he needed to get a visa for the United States.

    “He never told me he wanted to take lessons (in flying planes).

    “He asked me if I could help him get a visa to the US. I said, ‘Why not? You take my software there’. So I wrote everything, that he is representing us, etc,” he said.

    The other two individuals linked to 9/11 who stayed in the Sungai Long condominium were Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi – two of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon.

    The duo, according to the United Nations, had stayed at Yazid’s condominium in January 2000 to attend what the UN termed an “al-Qaeda conference” in Kuala Lumpur.

    “I was not there. At that time I was in Pakistan and Afghanistan, building a hospital there,” Yazid said.

    Next to the hospital, he said, was a laboratory where he is accused of developing biological weapons – an accusation not levelled at him during his detention under the ISA, but earning him the moniker “Anthrax CEO”. Though the US intelligence doubts that Yazid developed the anthrax strain.

    Favourite bugs

    But Yazid said that he was in fact “successful” in developing some “bugs”, but the laboratory was destroyed when the NATO forces bombed Kandahar.

    “I can still find (anthrax) if I want to, but what for? It has no commercial value. Anthrax is only good for sabotaging, it cannot kill.

  18. DXer said

    This letter of introduction can be understood in the context of the formal opinion on the subject of the CIA in its public report that is online.

  19. DXer said

    Moussaoui was a portal to Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab director.

  20. DXer said

    NYPD Intelligence: I know someone who swears that Moussaoui was in New Jersey at a barbecue over the July 4th weekend. I was never able to confirm it. There would be hard copy records relating to Moussaoui’s whereabouts that weekend. Records for key hijackers were admitted at his trial but only covered a limited period of time.

  21. DXer said

    MBTA plans to conduct bio-terror test in Boston

    http://www.necn.com/searchNECN/search/v/56560685/mbta-plans-to-conduct-bio-terror-test-in-boston.htm

  22. DXer said

    What does Mr. Sufaat say about the circumstances of writing this letter for Zacarias Moussaoui? What did he understand to be Zacarias Moussaoui’s mission in the United States? Did he find Zacarias hard to get along with? Did Hambali want him off the project — but was Hambali overruled by Osama?

    Obtaining such an interview is a huge journalistic coup for the Malaysian journalist. I hope his employer appreciates the accomplishment and we wish Mr. Sufaat the best. Revealed truth is the ultimate goal both of journalism and individuals, of whatever faith.

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