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

* In Late August 2001, When Atta Was In Fort Lee, NJ Planning 911 With Nawaf Al-Hamzi At 244 W. Main St., Did He Stumble Over The $100,000 Particulate Mixer That Had Been Delivered Just Feet Away At 215 Main St The Previous Month?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 25, 2012

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14 Responses to “* In Late August 2001, When Atta Was In Fort Lee, NJ Planning 911 With Nawaf Al-Hamzi At 244 W. Main St., Did He Stumble Over The $100,000 Particulate Mixer That Had Been Delivered Just Feet Away At 215 Main St The Previous Month?”

  1. DXer said

    Hydroponic Garden ‏@HydropncGarden 24m24 minutes ago

    @scottshaneNYT Nawaf & Al-Midhar: NSA ORCON: CIA/FBI Dropped Ball Involved Same Failure To Track 2 After KL Meeting w/ Sufaat & Hambali

  2. DXer said

    What does Syed Athar Abbas say all these years later about the reason he arranged to buy the particulate mixer? He went to jail refusing to say. Syed, did you know Jdey?

  3. DXer said

    When one focuses on who purchased tickets and where they were, one realizes that Atta purchased tickets for a 911 flight at 244 Main St., Ft. Lee, NJ just feet away from where the $100,000 particulate mixer had been delivered the previous month.

  4. DXer said

    See generally “Guilty Plea in Fraud Case But Feds Fear Pakistani’s Purpose for buying Food Mixer,” Newsday , July 15, 2002

    I haven’t laid my hands on the Newsday article will try to do so within the next day.

    I made the following notes about the processor in mid-August 2002:

    An arrest warrant was issued on or about October 18 [2001] for a man of Pakistani origin in Fort Lee, New Jersey who had ordered a $100,000 processor that was delivered to 215 Main St. in Ft. Lee. (Source: PACER) This turns out to be just yards from where Atta booked the 911 flight. Mr. Abbas had left the country for Karachi and was arrested on his return in December. He worked in the computer wholesale business. (D&B) He had obtained the money for the processor, the type of machine which a top DOD official says could be used for making anthrax (Air Force Journal, May 2002) by a check-kiting scheme to which he recently pled guilty. (PACER) He was denied bail when he only turned two expired passports and wouldn’t swear he didn’t have another one. (PACER) (I don’t know whether the two expired passports had the same social security number and birthdate or not).

    I wrote at the time:

    “So he’s been locked up since late December 2001 and now faces a sentence for the check-kiting used to get the processor for his computer wholesale firm.”

    I wrote:
    “Hani and Nawaf, shortly before 9/11, wired $15,000 in excess funds back to U.A.E. where one of them had lived and then it was routed to Karachi. ” (Note: It turns out that the excess funds were being wired to the fellow with the anthrax production document scanned onto his laptop). And it turns out that Nawaf attended the planning at the anthrax lab technician’s condo in Malaysia.

    “Syed Athar Abbas¹ federal defender says … that the feds have never asked about the processor and neither has he (as his counsel). I don’t know what his original federal defender would say. (There was a change of venue and thus I presume a change in counsel).”

    While I admire Rocco P. breaking the story, for years I have just relied on David Tell’s excellent article on the subject given its ready availability.

    • DXer said

      Who were his accomplices? How hard could it be to identify them given the number of cameras on Main St.? The other computer shops. The nearby eateries. There must have been dozens of possible witnesses available to interview on Main St. in Fort Lee just as they did in Portland.

      Guilty Plea in Fraud Case / But Feds fear Pakistani’s purpose for buying food mixer
      [NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]

      Newsday – Long Island, N.Y.
      Rocco Parascandola. STAFF WRITER
      Jul 15, 2002

      A Pakistani national arrested more than three months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has pleaded guilty to bank fraud – but federal investigators have not been able to locate the industrial food mixer that he and several other men are believed to have purchased, according to authorities and sources. The concern then – and now – is that the machine, a fine-food particulate mixer delivered to a New Jersey office building where they rented space but immediately transported elsewhere, could be used to mix dangerous chemicals.

      Syed Athar Abbas, using the alias Arthur Abbas, and an apparent front company, Cards.com, rented the top floor of the two-story building on Main Street in Fort Lee, N.J., in June 2001, according to law enforcement sources and the building’s landlord. Authorities had hoped Abbas would cooperate with them in their search for the food mixer and identify others seen with him in the office building. He did not.

      Abbas, 32, paid his $1,050 rent on time and neither he nor the two or three other Middle Eastern men seen at Cards.com aroused any suspicion, said the landlord, who asked that his name not be printed.

      But less than a week after the World Trade Center was attacked, the FBI came looking for Abbas and his friends, only to learn from the landlord that they had disappeared a month earlier.

      Sources said the men took with them the mixer they had purchased for $100,000 and had received at Cards.com.

      According to John Yauch, Abbas’ court-appointed lawyer, Abbas traveled late last year back to his homeland to visit his ailing father, who later died.

      Yauch said that upon learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, Abbas flew to Los Angeles International Airport, where he was arrested in late December, and was returned to New Jersey, where federal prosecutors charged him in a check-kiting scheme.

      Abbas scammed a Fleet Bank in Fort Lee and a Wells Fargo Bank in Woodland Hills, Calif., of more than $104,000 by depositing into one insufficiently funded account checks from a second such account, according to court papers.

      At Fleet Bank, for instance, Abbas deposited nearly $15,000 into the account between May 2001 and August 2001, court papers said. During the same time, he wrote 26 checks drawn on that account and worth more than $161,000, according to court papers.

      Abbas then deposited eight of those checks – worth more than $76,000 – into the Wells Fargo account, court papers said.

      In pleading guilty, Abbas agreed to make full restitution to the two banks, but sources said he refused to cooperate with investigators trying to find out more about his accomplices or the mixer.
      Abbas faces 10 to 16 months in jail.. He also faces deportation after serving his sentence.

  5. DXer said

    One early potential lead that was reported in the press concerned a $100,000 piece of equipment bought by someone from Pakistan paying cash who had it delivered to 215 Main St. in Ft. Lee. It had been delivered to 215 W. Main, Ft. Lee in June or July of 2001. Then in August 2001, Mohamed Atta was 244 Main St., at another small computer firm, booking reservation for his 9/11 flight.

    http://www.showmelocal.com/profile.aspx?bid=1893055

    Atta was with Nawaf Al-Hazmi who had connections to anthrax planner Hambali, anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat, biology textbook reader Jdey (for whom there is a $5 million BOLO), … and well, truth be told, Ali Al-TImimi who shared a suite with the leading Ames anthrax researcher. Ali had previously worked for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, to whom FBI Director Mueller regularly reported on the anthrax investigation.

    Oh — did I mention that the FBI captured Jdey with bio books at the same time as Moussaoui but let them go? Good thing that didn’t come out or else Congress might have thought that the folks let BOTH 911 AND the anthrax mailings happen by dropping the ball.

    Nawaf attended a critical meeting with Yazid Sufaat, the biochemist working on anthrax, in January 2000. The United States alleged in its indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui that on or about April 1, 2001, Nawaf al-Hazmi was in Oklahoma (at the same time Zacarias Moussaoui was in Norman, Oklahoma). Nawaf then lived in Falls Church, VA and attended mosque and met with the imam Anwar Awlaki who spoke alongside fellow Falls Church imam Ali Al-Timimi at a conference with other Salafists in Toronto and London in July and August 2001.

    The individual, Syed Athar Abbas, from Karachi who had ordered the processor pled guilty to a check kiting scheme that raised the funds used to purchase the processor. The purchaser, Syed Athar Abbas from California and then New Jersey, used the name Arthur Abbas in making the purchase. The front company was Computers Dot Com, a computer peripherals wholesaling firm, owned by Abbas.

    A Syed Athar Abbas (with records showing a different age and a different social security number) had a computer peripherals wholesaling firm named Mixun Solutions, also based in Karachi. Mixun Solutions went defunct after the New Jersey Syed Athar Abbas was arrested.

    According to the database PACER, he had initially been denied bail because he turned in two expired passports but failed to turn in the third. The New Jersey Syed Athar Abbas was given back his passport after serving a 15 month sentence.

    Karachi was where KSM and As Sahab was located. In April 2001, al Hawsawi, whose laptop contained the anthrax spraydrying documents, traveled to Dubai from Karachi at the direct of Qaeda’s Media Committee. Between September 11 and September 21, 2001, KSM and others at the guesthouse in Karachi, Pakistan recorded many news stories of the 9//11 attacks for future use in As Sahab films.

    In “connecting the dots” one also would want to consider whether any supporter of the militants had access to the know-how of this encapsulation technique or the drying technique proposed by experts such as Dr. Popov. I’ve posed the question whether Ali Al-Timimi had access to such know-how. A supporter of the Taliban who was working with Bin Laden’s spiritual mentor, Al-Timimi was a Salafist imam sentenced to life plus 70 years for sedition and exhorting some young men to go abroad and defend their faith. When he wasn’t coordinating with Anwar Awlaki about recruiting operatives or coordinating with Bin Laden’s sheik about Moussaoui’s representation, he shared a suite with the leadings Ames anthrax researchers funded DARPA.

    We might also consider, however, whether any supporter of the militants has expertise in such polymerization or encapsulation relating to drug delivery, such as biochemist Magdy al-Nashar. He studied in North Carolina in 2000. His webpage at Leeds explained he was expert in functional polymers used in the delivery of drugs. He was represented by an attorney in Cairo who has been alleged as Ayman Zawahiri’s conduit to jihadists in Egypt and Iraq and elsewhere. Al-Nashar had the keys to the apartment used to make the London subway bombs and to store materials shipped to al-Zawahiri’s chief aide al-Hadi.

    Ali Al-Timimi was a graduate computational biology student at George Mason University, where famed Russian bioweaponeer and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Charles Bailey on March 14, 2001 filed a patent involving the use of hydrophobic silica in permitting greater concentration of biological agents. There is a related, more sophisticated, patent based on Dr. Alibek’s know-how published later (after the mailings).

    The First Floor at GMU’s Discovery hall intermingled the Center for Biodefense/Hadron and the GMU/ATCC computational sciences people. The government even allowed the method to be commercialized and be published in the public domain for use in a broad range of possible commercial applications. Perhaps the United States biodefense establishment should not let officials commercialize and disclose such dual use technology, whether the patent is assigned to a DARPA-funded program or not — and whether deemed “biofriendly” or not. (The patent, which is not classified, has been assigned to George Mason University). FBI Director Mueller this Fall cautioned universities to guard against access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information.

    GMU microbiology grad Al-Timimi, who was working with and had been taught by Bin Laden’s sheik, did mathematical support work for the Navy that required a high security clearance while working for a Beltway contractor SRA. What did his work for the Navy involve? Dr. Bailey, the former deputy USAMRIID Commander who served as co-Director of the GMU Center for Biodefense, was also at SRA in 1999. He and Dr. Alibek served as consultants to Battelle in 1999. Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for some of his work for the government. Why? When? The lead Amerithrax scientist, a Battelle employee James Buran, had been head of the Navy’s biological defense effort.

    When pressed by the interviewer, “Does it nag at you in the back of your mind that possibly you do know [the anthrax processor]?” Dr. Bill Patrick said: “Possibly, possibly, I could have talked to these people. But it would have been within the context of their having a need to know.” He explained: ” Most of my discussions about the biological problem has been in secure conferences and meetings, and involve people with need to know, with security clearance and what have you. I don’t talk about ‘how to’, I don’t get into ‘how to’ with many people, no people other than the fact that those who really have a need to know.” As so well explained by Rutgers professor Richard Ebright, proliferation of know-how serves to proliferate opportunities for access to that know-how.

    It’s a small world indeed. Let’s just hope the anthrax mailer turned out to have really bad luck in who he knew.

    • DXer said

      Lenox Hill Hospital was 8 miles from where the particulate mixer was delivered.

      The duties of the Lenox Hill Hospital doctor who wrote about Kathy Nguyen’s anthrax infection (or rather was listed as a co-author) had been to run foreign recruits to camps in Bosnia. What does Mr. Faraj say about 9/11 operatives/ former Bosnian fighters Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Abderraouf Jdey? What does he say about his former next-door neighbor in Falls Church (Ali Al-TImimi)? What does he say about 911 imam Anwar Awlaki? What Washington area university did his brother work at? Attorney Cohen disparaged the prosecutors allegations as being unconnected snippets. By all means, let’s connect them. The most authoritative account can be obtained from Mr. Faraj himself.

      Here is the AP Treatment: “Prosecutors Allege Brooklyn Doctor’s Terrorist Ties”

      US says doctor has terror links; plea to revoke bail is denied
      November 06, 2004|Associated Press

      • NEW YORK — Prosecutors alleged yesterday that a Syrian-born doctor had blueprints for a Washington, D.C.-area overpass in his Brooklyn apartment and tried to help a suspected Al Qaeda associate enter the United States.

      But a federal magistrate denied the government’s request to revoke the doctor’s bail on an immigration charge after his lawyer blasted the allegations as a smear based on old evidence and guilt by association.

      The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force found the shredded blueprints for a Capital Beltway overpass in the apartment of Dr. Hassan Faraj after he was arrested in June, prosecutors said.

      Prosecutors also accused Faraj of submitting an affidavit saying he would financially support prospective immigrant Amir Abdulrazzak, whom they called a suspected Al Qaeda associate.

      They asked at a hearing yesterday that Magistrate Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto revoke Faraj’s $100,000 bail.

      Matsumoto did not jail Faraj, 39, but placed him under house arrest until a full hearing next week.

      Faraj’s lawyer, Stanley Cohen, said he planned to disprove each of the government’s allegations.

      Cohen said the blueprints, for example, belonged to Faraj’s brother, a civil engineering professor who had been teaching at a Washington-area university.

      Faraj threw out the papers after the brother moved overseas, he said. Cohen declined to identify the university where the brother taught.

      As for the alleged Al Qaeda connection, ”that accusation has no more significance than the rest of the government claims, which are based upon old, unproved, and unconnected snippets of information,” Cohen said.

      He challenged the government to indict his client and prove its allegations.

      Faraj was arrested earlier this year and charged with falsely obtaining US citizenship after he arrived from Bosnia in 1993.

      Prosecutors said he lied to immigration authorities about his refugee status and medical experience.

      Prosecutors told the magistrate that Faraj worked in Croatia for a charity front organization that had ties to Osama bin Laden.

      Faraj’s duties included running foreign recruits to camps in Bosnia, they said.

      • DXer said

        In Amerithrax, did the FBI interview Arif Qasmani about the information on his calendar linking the NYC (Brooklyn; Manhattan) pharmacy chain owner to anthrax and biological weapons?

        https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/in-amerithrax-did-the-fbi-interview-arif-qasmani-about-the-information-on-his-calendar-linking-the-nyc-pharmacy-chain-owner-to-anthrax-and-biological-weapons/

        Did they interview the pharmacy chain owner, who had stores in Brooklyn and very near Lenox Hill Hospital, about jihad supporting, Al Qaeda-connected doctor writing on how Kathy Nguyen contracted anthrax? I mean, I realize that AUSA Rachel had learned that Dr. Ivins was editing Wikipedia about sororities but I am just wondering whether we will ever learn what they did to vet alternative hypotheses. The lead investigator says FBI Director Mueller was fixated on Dr. Hatfill.

        The lead prosecutor’s daughter (Seikaly) represented Ali Al-TImimi for free and so I don’t see him very motivated to pursue such leads, given that he went out of the way to leak the story about the bloodhounds who were friendly to Dr. Hatfill… and then he pled the Fifth Amendment at deposition. I have no knowledge or interest in politics but if he was born in Haifa in 1948 and came from a family of Palestinian activists, he was a curious choice to be lead prosecutor.

        Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in intelligence analysis in the history of the United States.

      • Faraj has me stumped.

        His official CV pre-U.S.

        Hassan Yousef Faraj Consultant, Assistant Program Director Internal Medicine Residency M.B.,B.S, MD University of Zagreb
        American Board of Internal Medicine Medicine
        Azd AlamEddine Assistant Consultant 1997- Degree of Doctor of Medicine, Tishreen University-Syria.

        I doubt any of it is true.

        In the last five years, he’s been doing a bit of medical work in Saudi. No longer, it seems: he’s been removed from the hospital websites.

        Is he now in Saudi???

        Red flags were first raised by his association w BIF (in Balkans and the US), sponsorship of Abdulrazzak, and blueprints found in his house.

        His brother (haven’t been able to find his name) is a a civil
        engineering professor who had been teaching at a Washington-area university. [This might be a helpful lead.]

        “Cohen said the blueprints, for example, belonged to Faraj’s brother, a professor of civil engineering who had been teaching at a Washington area university. Faraj threw out the papers after the brother moved overseas, he said. Cohen declined to identify where the brother taught.” [Brooklyn Doctor Accused of Terror Ties AP]

        Why so reticent to name names?

        His old medical clinic website says he is fluent in:
        Arabic
        Croatian
        French
        Spanish

        He might have picked up French when he was young, in Syria — if he is Syrian.

        Where’d he learn Spanish?

        “To get asylum, the defendant claimed that he was a Bosnian citizen, that his Bosnian wife, Suada Hausic, had been killed by Serbs during the Balkan conflict, that he had been studying medicine at Sarajevo University in Bosnia, and that he had been forced to flee Bosnia due to the conflict. These claims were a sham. The defendant was not a Bosnian citizen, Suada Hausic never existed, the defendant never studied medicine at Sarajevo University, and the defendant was not forced to flee Bosnia (indeed, he did not even reside in Bosnia, but rather in Croatia).”

        That he’d first come to Brooklyn makes a lot of sense now. The kifah office and Omar Abdel Rahman were in charge of the Croatia BIF in the early 1990s.

        I’m having no luck finding anyone with a name similar to his associated with BIF Croatia. I am troubled by this. We’ve got good docs, and a lot of them. There does not seem to be a Hassan Yousef Faraj in the Balkans. He might have been using a nom de guerre. Or Hassan Faraj might not be his real name.

        I’d very much like to see the court documents,
        and his real estate records here in the US.

        How does the US even know he’s from Syria? His word? He may have kept his Syrian passport, but that would have been risky.

        There were some Syrian fighters in the Balkans, but not a lot.

        I’ve seen this practice before: Sneaking Arab fighters into the U.S. under the guise of being Bosnian refugees. I even know a case from 1993 where a wounded (and very nasty) Arab fighter from Tunisia was brought to the US for treatment, after a big fund-raising effort in MN … please help this poor innocent civilian from Bosnia.

        The feds continue to deport and try these guys on minor charges, to get them off the streets as quickly as possible. There’s a certain sense to this. Unfortunately, those trials records are of great use to the rest of us, as they’re among the few documents being made public.

        I’ll work some more on him this weekend. The Brooklyn connections are important, and relevant to my current work.

        • DXer said

          Thanks so much for your research. You are good at what you do. I am in dire need of similar help with the fellow who procured the equipment delivered to 215 Main St., Syed Athar Abbas of NJ/Cal.

          As for Hassan Faraj, his CT relatives might be able to provide an update. But foregoing that CT address for possible privacy reasons, I’ll list his now very old addresses in Brooklyn and Falls Church.

          Address 3:
          75 Bay 13th St
          Brooklyn, NY 11214
          (718) 567-0557

          Address 4:
          413 63rd St
          Brooklyn, NY 11220

          Address 5:
          413 63rd St
          Brooklyn, NY 11220
          (718) 567-0557

          Address 6:
          248 7th St
          Brooklyn, NY 11215
          (718) 768-7233

          Address 7:
          75 Bay Ave
          Brooklyn, NJ 07105
          (718) 256-0559

          Address 8:
          5505 Seminary Rd
          Falls Church, VA 22041

          Address 9:
          5505 Seminary Rd
          Falls Church, VA 22041
          (718) 567-0557

          Address 10:
          5505 Seminary Rd
          Falls Church, VA 22041

          Address 11:
          415 63rd St
          Brooklyn, NY 11220

          Address 12:
          550 Seminary Rd 2611n
          Falls Church, VA 22041
          (718) 567-0557

          Address 13:
          3705 George Mason Dr
          Falls Church, VA 22041

          Address 14:
          2611 North
          Falls Church, VA 22041

        • DXer said

          Ali,

          I haven’t validated your suggestion as to where he was yet. But from the above list, I inadvertently omitted his address from Laurel, Maryland.

          His address was:

          8301 Ashford Blvd
          Laurel, MD 20707

        • DXer said

          His brother could provide a reliable update the chronology after he (presumably) left the US as intended. His brother uploaded this video from a rally.

          http://qik.com/video/46293751

    • > “Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for some of his work for the government. Why? When?”

      “The bioinformatics grad student once had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy.” [http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1995125/posts]

      Abdel-Moniem El-Ganayni couldn’t keep his clearance for a contract with DoE (re Navy and nukes). We don’t know the details, but he was a fundamentalist and has contact with someone who was a ‘spy, traitor, seditious, etc., and had led investigators to suspect that he might be inclined to do something. [http://home.comcast.net/~halqahtani/abdelmoniem/]

      I should think a low-level investigation of Timimi would have raised lots of flags. He didn’t much care for the U.S.

      • DXer said

        That is me posting” The bioinformatics grad student once had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy.”

        But bioinformatics, as explained by Les Baillie at the 1999 conference attended by Zawahiri associate Rauf Ahmad, was critical to understanding the virulence of Ames anthrax. And so there is a big question as to what he was doing. The Navy contract was at SRA which is where former USAMRIID commander and Ames anthrax Charles Bailey had been in 1999. I called Ali’s wife, Ziyana, and she was very gracious but noted she couldn’t answer the question without consent of counsel. She said she was sure we would be speaking about it someday but that was years ago. I emailed Ali’s counsel directly but he did not respond. The information about his security clearance, his letter of commendation from the White House, and his former service as Andrew Card’s assistant at DOT, came from the original website of his defense committee. They disbanded and so the website is only available, if at all, now at archive.org through the wayback machine.

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