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

* 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 DXer on January 25, 2012



21 Responses to “* The FBI and CIA failed to disclose that Jdey was detained ( with biology textbooks) at the same time as Zacarias Moussaoui and then released.”

  1. DXer said

    When was Aaron Zebley, Special Prosecutor Mueller’s recruit to the team, first appointed case agent in the Moussaoui case?

    “FBI headquarters, however, rejected Minneapolis FBI field agents’ repeated requests for a national security warrant to search Moussaoui’s belongings after he was arrested Aug. 16, 2001. One agent, Harry Samit, was so convinced Moussaoui was a terrorist that he sent scores of messages to FBI headquarters pressing for a search warrant.

    It’s not clear whether the FBI would have been able to trace the money and telephone calls fast enough to pre-empt the Sept. 11 attacks, but the decision to reject the requests for a warrant meant they never had the chance.

    Instead, Moussaoui’s tattered, blue spiral notebook sat in a sealed bag at an immigration office — unopened until after four hijacked jets slammed into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside.”

    “On Monday, FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said the bureau had “worked diligently on the case” but “the trail of evidence was complex, and additional information was not available until after the 9/11 events.” He declined further comment.”

    “Officials familiar with the Sept. 11 investigation and the items in Moussaoui’s possession when he was arrested provided the most detailed description to date of FBI agents’ pre-Sept. 11 path toward the hijackers. The officials declined to be identified because the decision not to seek the warrant has caused friction and embarrassment within the FBI.”

    “Former FBI agent Aaron Zebley, testifying at Moussaoui’s trial, said that if Moussaoui had confessed to his role in a suicide-hijacking plot, the FBI could have tracked the wire transactions and phone calls quickly before Sept. 11 and identified 11 of the 19 hijackers. He didn’t say how far he thought the bureau might have gotten with a search warrant but without Moussaoui’s cooperation.”

    • DXer said

      Here is another article about the testimony by Aaron Zebley, Mueller’s former Chief of Staff and the case agent in the Moussaoui case.

      Ex-FBI Agent Says Moussaoui Deception Prevented Probe
      October 31, 2009 9:37 AM

      A former FBI agent testified Thursday that investigators may have been able track down some of the September 11 hijackers if Zacarias Moussaoui had confessed his role with al-Qaida before the 2001 attacks. Moussaoui is the convicted al-Qaida terrorist now on trial for his life in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington.

      Former FBI agent Aaron Zebley testified that had Moussaoui confessed his links with al-Qaida before the 9/11 attacks, the authorities might have been able to trace money transfers and telephone calls to al-Qaida financiers who were in touch with some of those who hijacked airliners on September 11.

      Zebley said it was possible that the FBI could have traced a $14,000 wire transfer to Moussaoui that came from Germany, which might have led to financial backers also in contact with at least five of the 19 hijackers.

      Prosecutors argue that Moussaoui should be put to death because he withheld information from investigators after his arrest in Minnesota three weeks before the 9/11 attacks.

      Defense lawyers contend the FBI and other U.S. government agencies would not have been able to do much to prevent the attacks even if Moussaoui had admitted earlier that he was an al-Qaida operative.

      Earlier this week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the government has learned a lot of lessons from the 9/11 attacks, including how to respond more quickly to threat information gathered by agents in the field.

      “I am not going to comment on anything related to the trial,” Gonzales says. “What I will say is that we obviously are more sensitive today about threats to the United States and we believe that we have better procedures, better infrastructure to share information.”

      Moussaoui pleaded guilty last year to terror and conspiracy charges. He said he was not part of the 9/11 conspiracy but was planning to be part of a second wave of attacks using planes that were to go after other high-profile targets, including the White House.

      The jury in the case has two choices. Either sentence Moussaoui to death or send him to prison for life.

  2. DXer said

    Special Prosecutor Mueller’s key recruit, Aaron Zebley, was one of the two lead case agents in the Zacarias Moussaoui matter. In his 2006 testimony in Moussaoui’s prosecution, he did not disclose that Jdey, who had been part of the 911 operation, was detained and released about the same time as Moussaoui. Where was he detained? What were the circumstances? Did the FBI fail to disclose it just as part of a CYA operation? Wasn’t it material to former Agent Zebley’s argument that if Moussaoui had confessed, the FBI could have prevented 911 and captured the 9/11 operatives? Hadn’t the FBI in fact already detained one and then released him?

    Here are some highlights from the Plaintiff’s brief filed in Dillon v. U.S.:

    According to former Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) senior official Rolf Mowatt- Larssen, Jdey was also detained in the summer of 2001. See Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Al Qaeda Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat: Hype or Reality? at 16 (January 2010), available at (last accessed Oct. 18, 2014).
    2Case 1:13-cv-00532-RBW Document 33 Filed 10/18/14 Page 3 of 23

    Mr. Mowatt-Larssen did not explicitly state that Jdey was detained at the same time or in the same place as Moussaoui, only that he was detained and that he had biology textbooks in his possession.3 See id. Mr. Mowatt-Larssen’s paper is the only publicly-available document which references the detention of Jdey, but its specificity and accuracy on other matters, coupled with the author’s impressive credentials,4 should entitle it to a degree of deference by the Court sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact. Discovery may be appropriate to ascertain the accuracy of Mr. Mowatt-Larssen’s assertions.


    Mr. Mowatt-Larssen has recently confirmed to the undersigned that his statement could be read to mean that Jdey was detained at a different location and different time. [not on August 16 in Minnesota along with Moussaoui].


    “Mr. Rolf Mowatt-Larssen served over three years as the Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to this, he served for 23 years as a CIA intelligence officer in various domestic and international posts, to include Chief of the Europe Division in the Directorate of Operations, Chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Department, Counterterrorist Center, and Deputy Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support. . . . He is a recipient of the CIA Director’s Award, the George W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Medal, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, Secretary of Defense Civilian Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Intelligence Superior Performance Medal, among others.” Id. at 29.

    “While there is no requirement that an agency search every record system, the agency cannot limit its search to only one record system if there are others that are likely to turn up the information requested.” Jefferson v. DOJ, 168 F. App’x 448, 450 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (internal quotation and alteration omitted) (quoting Oglesby v. Dep’t of the Army, 920
    9 F.2d 57, 68 (D.C. Cir. 1990)). See also Nat’l Day Laborer Org. Network v. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency, 877 F. Supp. 2d 87, 98 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) (holding that “the government is not required to search only the files of the . . . custodians who are ‘most likely’ to have responsive records; it must also search other locations that are reasonably likely to contain records”) (citing Oglesby, 920 F.2d at 68).


    FBI’s primary argument boils down to one simple idea: “Release of information would identify the investigative interest of particular individuals.” (2d Hardy Decl. ¶ 86.) The main problem with this argument is the unavoidable fact that if Jdey was detained, he already knows what happened.14 Release of information about his detention cannot reasonably be expected to assist him in avoiding detection, since he presumably knows what he said and what the agents did. The same would be true for some information about others as well. While the exact nature of information might be exempt, it is no secret that FBI has a file about the people on its Most Wanted List. If Moussaoui is mentioned in any of the Jdey records, that fact is likely not exempt. In none of these circumstances does FBI’s argument that “[r]elease of information would identify the investigative interest of particular individuals” (id.) hold up. FBI argues, “Once subjects become aware of the FBI’s interest in their activities, they will take actions to conceal their activities, elude detection, and/or suppress or fabricate evidence.” (Id. ¶ 88.) This only applies to individuals who do not already know that FBI is interested in their activities, a factor that is not true for those who FBI has openly stated it is seeking.

    FBI’s behavior in this case is a classic case of a kneejerk response to an unusual situation. Dillon concedes that, for the vast majority of people FBI investigates, keeping that fact secret is probably justifiable. There is an exception to every rule, however, and the exception to FBI’s rule is, at the very least, “people on the Most Wanted List.” Until FBI segregates information which would already be known to Jdey or other subjects from the information which would not, the Court should not grant summary judgment to FBI.

    FBI further invokes a plethora of other exemptions for unknown parts of the withheld records. However, the Court should not consider these arguments until it has ruled on the categorical withholding under Exemption (b)(7)(A). FBI’s stubborn refusal to provide anything approximating a Vaughn index for its withholdings completely deprives Dillon of the ability to intelligently oppose any of the remaining withholdings with any degree of particularity, and, if the Court determines that FBI’s categorical invocation of Exemption (b)(7)(A) is in violation of FOIA, the Court should order FBI to provide significantly greater specificity regarding all of its withholdings under all exemptions.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  3. DXer said

    To summarize, relying only on the Harvard WMD report as authority — authored by the former head CIA analyst — this is the allegation not yet suppoprted in any way by the FOIA documents recently produced.

  4. DXer said

    Is this exempt under FOIA under a privacy exemption if it has been disclosed by the top CIA analyst in a formal report issued by some organization at Harvard?

  5. DXer said

    On this issue of the holdback of the detention of Jdey, note that there was an FBI official who, in announcing the BOLO for Aafia, Jdey and “Jafar the Pilot”, specifically and forthrightly said that there were things that they were not telling. As an update, the DOJ recently again denied the FOIA request for materials relating to Jdey. On appeal, it had been remanded for closer consideration. But then all documents were denied on the grounds that there was no proof Jdey was dead and he therefore had a right to privacy. It is sort of amusing that there may be an executive order permitting him to be killed by a drone but he is deemed to have a right of privacy in regard to being detained but then released at the same time as Moussaoui was detained. FBI came under a lot of fire for not getting into Moussaoui’s laptop — someone at HQ did not understand that a connection to Khattab sufficed under FISA. As one wise senior FBI official once opined, “we’re damned if we do, we’re damned if we don’t.”

  6. DXer said

    The CIA has denied the request for documents relating to Jdey on the grounds that it involves intelligence sources and methods that cannot be confirmed or denied.

  7. DXer said

    It’s really quite remarkable that no reporter asked Dr. Majidi — when he says that the FBI was able to exclude everyone but Dr. Ivins — how he was able to exclude Jdey.

    … given there is no reason to think he knew where Jdey was.

    The same goes for numerous other operatives in the United States.

    Hell, Dr. Majidi did not even know that Dr. Ivins gave a former Zawahiri associate virulent Ames (in 1998) until 2005!

    Amerithrax is an investigation that was conducted with gross negligence.

  8. DXer said

    2 Canadians Tied to Terrorist Plots
    Citizens: Tunisian-born men are suspected of planning suicide missions against the U.S. They are at large and considered ‘extremely dangerous.’

    WASHINGTON — U.S. authorities drew their first firm link Friday between Canada and Al Qaeda-trained terrorists since the Sept. 11 hijackings, identifying two Canadian citizens who are suspected of plotting suicide attacks against America.

    The two Tunisian-born men, a known Al Qaeda operative and his associate, are thought to have left Canada some months ago and are on the lam, law enforcement officials said.

    Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said he did not know whether the men might be in the United States. Even so, he urged the public to be on the lookout for the pair. The Justice Department released photographs of the men, Al Rauf bin Al Habib bin Yousef Al-Jiddi, 36, and Faker Boussora, 37. Ashcroft said they should be considered “extremely dangerous.”

    Although Ashcroft’s repeated terrorist-related warnings since Sept. 11 have drawn criticism from some quarters as excessive and somewhat alarmist, the attorney general and his advisors said in releasing the new photos that the public should have as much information as possible and use “vigilance and common sense” to help deter attacks.

    The identification of the pair will likely focus renewed attention on security concerns in Canada, which some critics branded a “Club Med for terrorists” in 1999 after an Algerian-born resident tried to sneak into the U.S. with a trunkload of explosives.

    Jiddi represents the first Al Qaeda operative “positively identified” as a citizen of Canada since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, said Dan Brien, a spokesman for the Canadian solicitor general.

    “To this point, we haven’t had any evidence of a link between Canada and the events of Sept. 11,” Brien said. “There’s a lot of interest in [Jiddi and Boussora] because now there’s a name and a face. We’ve been saying for some time that there are people involved in terrorism in this country–as there are in every industrialized country in the world. Our job is to bring them to justice and make sure they don’t carry out their terrorist acts.”

    Jiddi was one of five suspected Al Qaeda operatives identified in videotaped messages of anti-American martyrdom that the U.S. military found in the rubble of a top Osama bin Laden aide’s home in Afghanistan some weeks ago.

    Ashcroft identified the other four operatives publicly last week, but authorities had been unable to put a name with Jiddi’s face until they matched him to a suicide letter also found in the rubble.

    With the aid of Canadian law enforcement, U.S. officials traced Jiddi to Montreal, where he apparently lived after his arrival in Canada in 1991 until recently. He became a Canadian citizen in 1995. U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officials said they believe he left the area several months ago, but it is not known whether it was before or after Sept. 11.

    Boussora, an unlikely looking terrorist suspect, with a boyish face and what Ashcroft called “prominent ears,” was described as a known associate of Jiddi who authorities believe may be traveling with him.

    Boussora is also a Canadian.

    Montreal was also the home in the late 1990s of Ahmed Ressam, the would-be terrorist whose plot to bomb LAX in December 1999 was thwarted when he was discovered at the U.S. border north of Seattle with explosives in his car. It was later revealed he had trained at two jihad terrorist camps in Afghanistan.


    Liam isn’t afraid of wolves.

  9. DXer said

    Here is the testimony of a true hero in the 911 saga, FBI Agent Harry Samit. Before joining the FBI as a Special Agent and being assigned to a Joint Terrorism Task Force, he had been a former student
    and instructor at the Top Gun School. For years, he served as a Naval intelligence officer tasked with analyzing threats to the country. Years of experience and expertise supported the alarm he
    was communicating to FBI HQ in seeking a FISA warrant to get into Moussaoui’s laptop. Upon hearing that Moussaoui had no aviation rating and yet was taking the expensive course at Pan Am
    (and Moussaoui wasn’t interested in learning how to land), he and others knew there was good reason to be alarmed. Agent Samit did all he could to avoid 9/11. Given Moussaoui’s connection to Abu Khattab was known, any suggestion that there was not grounds for a warrant under the standard for FISA is not well-founded.

    On 9/10, Agent Samit was comforted by a colleague who explained that he will have done all he could.

    On this question of Moussaoui’s arrest — and where Jdey was arrested at the same time with biology textbooks — Agent Samit might know and be able to explain the details. Or Eileen Rowley.
    For example, in the snippet below he explains that Moussaoui was driving a Subaru.

    Was the companion al-Attas?

    Al-Attas, too, if interviewed might be able to describe anything he knows about Jdey being arrested at the same time — but the released. Of course. Mowf, who had been head of the CTC at the time and kept the secret of Jdey’s arrest from the public for 10 years, could also.

    1 Q. Did he give you any type of information about whether
    2 Mr. Moussaoui was associated with any type of car?
    3 A. He did. He was able to describe a sedan and give a partial
    4 license plate and a color of the license.
    5 Q. All right. Did he tell you the make of the car?
    6 A. He did.
    7 Q. What kind of car was that?
    8 A. Subaru.
    9 Q. All right. And did you learn from Mr. Prevost if
    10 Mr. Moussaoui was traveling alone or with somebody else?
    11 A. Mr. Prevost indicated that Mr. Moussaoui had a companion.
    12 Q. And did he give you any further information about that
    13 companion at the time?
    14 A. He was able to describe him as a male, dark complected, with
    15 dark hair.

    • DXer said

      Q. Did you tell the FAA the things that Mr. Moussaoui told you
      8 on August 16 —
      9 A. We did. We were only able to report what he told us.
      10 Q. Had Mr. Moussaoui told you the things that in the statement
      11 of facts he admitted in front of this Court, for example, that he
      12 was part of a plot to fly planes into buildings, could you have
      13 supplied that information to the FAA on September 5 as well?
      14 A. Absolutely. It would have gone much sooner, obviously, but
      15 yes, we would have been in a position to do that.
      16 Q. Well, why would it have been smoother? What would you have
      17 done?
      18 A. We would have notified them immediately, along with other
      19 members of the intelligence community, FBI headquarters, FBI New
      20 York. Within minutes of Mr. Moussaoui disclosing any of those —
      21 answering any of those questions truthfully, that information
      22 would have been forwarded to, to every member of the intelligence
      23 community, and especially the FAA.

      • DXer said

        25 Q. Now, did you continue to try to accumulate the information

        1 that you had gotten through your French legat and from the Central
        2 Intelligence Agency in terms of pursuing your FISA warrant?
        3 A. Yes. It was, it was the obsession of our squad, of the Joint
        4 Terrorism Task Force, was doing just that.
        5 Q. When you say obsession, could you tell us what do you mean by
        6 that?
        7 A. I mean that on the basis of the interviews that Special Agent
        8 Weess and myself had done on the 16th and the 17th, we were
        9 convinced that Mr. Moussaoui was involved in some type of plot,
        10 and so all of our energies were directed at accumulating whatever
        11 was required, evidence or intelligence, to get into his belongings
        12 and search them for information as to what was going to happen.
        13 Q. Now, at some point, your request to get a FISA search warrant
        14 was denied by your headquarters; is that right?
        15 A. Yes, sir.
        16 Q. Okay. Do you know approximately when that was?
        17 A. Approximately August 28.
        18 Q. All right. At the time that your request for a search
        19 warrant was denied, could you explain to us what was the extent of
        20 the information that you had available that connected you to a
        21 terrorist organization?
        22 A. Yes, sir.
        23 Q. Or Mr. Moussaoui, I’m sorry.
        24 A. Yes, sir. We had information from our legat in Paris that
        25 Mr. Moussaoui had recruited this fighter for the Chechens who had

        1 since been killed in Chechnya, that that fighter, in fact, was
        2 connected to Ibn Khattab, who was the leader of the Chechen
        3 fighters.
        4 The CIA was able to confirm that information and also to
        5 provide information that Ibn Khattab and Usama Bin Laden had a
        6 relationship.

        • DXer said

          Amerithrax represents the greatest intelligence analysis failure in the history of the United States because the failure so closely parallels the intelligence analysis leading up to 9/11 — and the lesson of 9/11 should have been sufficient to avoid the same mistake in Amerithrax.

        • DXer said

          Q. Now, on August 30, did you get additional information back
          4 through your French legat?
          5 A. Yes, sir.
          6 Q. And did you get specific information about Mr. Moussaoui’s
          7 fundamentalism?
          8 A. Yes.
          9 Q. Could you describe what the extent of the information was
          10 about his religious views?
          11 A. That he was extreme, that he was — had espoused violence,
          12 that he attempted to recruit and convert others to both the
          13 extreme view of Islam and to violence, and that he had followed
          14 closely the Wahabi sect of Islam.

        • DXer said

          Q. All right. Now, specifically about this information that is
          12 in paragraph 6, where Mr. Moussaoui has admitted that he dealt
          13 directly with Bin Laden and Abu Hafs, what kind of questions would
          14 you have asked perhaps about Bin Laden and Abu Hafs and al Qaeda?
          15 A. I would have asked what his purpose for being in the United
          16 States was, what they had asked him to do, who else they had asked
          17 to do it, his means of communicating with them, the amount of
          18 money they provided him.

          Comment: Abu Hafs is Atef, to whom Dr. Zawahiri wrote memos discussing the status of the anthrax planning and program.

        • DXer said

          21 Q. Could you tell us what it is that you told Mr. Moussaoui?
          22 A. We informed Mr. Moussaoui that his story hadn’t added up,
          23 that he had not given us a satisfactory explanation for his
          24 reasons for being in the United States, his reasons for coming to
          25 Minnesota to take flight training, the fact that he had so much

          1 money, the fact that his flight training and the purpose and the
          2 ends to that flight training did not make sense for any kind of
          3 practical aviation rating, that we understood that he was an
          4 Islamic extremist, that he talked about violence before, and we
          5 asked him to identify his associates and what his plan was.

        • DXer said

          Q. Okay. Now, did you again during this second day of
          2 interviews, did you ask him about the source of his funding again?
          3 A. Yes.
          4 Q. And could you tell us why it is that you did that again?
          5 A. The issue remained the same from the day before. He had not
          6 provided a wholly convincing explanation for where he was able to
          7 come up with that amount of money.
          8 Funding is very important to terrorism investigators
          9 because, not just the source that allows us to identify
          10 associates, but it also gives an indication of what the plan may
          11 be. It is a very important article of any criminality for us to
          12 determine it.
          13 Q. And did he indicate to you any further discussions about
          14 where he had gotten his money from?
          15 A. He did.
          16 Q. And what was that?
          17 A. He named, he indicated it was from friends and associates.
          18 Q. And did you press him again on details of who those friends
          19 were?
          20 A. We did. We pressed him on them, again, reminding him that it
          21 seemed very strange that people who had provided him with such a
          22 large sum of money, that he couldn’t even name.

        • DXer said

          Moussaoui initially was taken to INS center on 8/16 and then on 8/17 was taken to the Sherburn County jail.
          1 A. Previously, yes. And he had been transported back up by then
          2 to the immigration office.
          3 Q. And at any point did you put the two of them in the same jail
          4 together?
          5 A. No, sir.
          6 Q. We’re going to talk about another interview of Mr. Moussaoui,
          7 but when you were done with that, did you send Mr. Moussaoui back
          8 to Carver or did you send him to a different jail?
          9 A. At the conclusion of the interviews on the 17th,
          10 Mr. Moussaoui was sent to a different jail.
          11 Q. And what jail was that?
          12 A. Sherburn County Jail.
          13 Q. All right. Now, after you got done talking to Mr. al-Attas,
          14 did you have an occasion to speak with Mr. Moussaoui?
          15 A. We did. We, as we had agreed the night before, we
          16 reinterviewed Mr. Moussaoui.
          17 Q. All right. And at that time did you — how long did you
          18 interview him?
          19 A. Approximately two hours.
          20 Q. All right.
          21 A. One to two hours.
          22 Q. And at that time when you first started, did you readvise him
          23 of his Miranda rights as you did the previous day?
          24 A. We did. We reminded him that that was still in effect.
          25 Q. And at that time was Mr. Moussaoui interested in talking to

  10. “… on the grounds that he is still alive …”

    There’s a pickle for you.

    FBI says he’s alive and won’t respond to FOIA requests. Only way to prove he’s dead is to prove that he actually did commit suicide when he downed American Airlines 587. But to do that, you’ll need FOIA documents to prove:

    (i) Jdey’s martyrdom video was not just for fun;

    (ii) The explosive residue on AA587 really is identical to that found in the bombs used by Nagayeva and Dzhebirkhanova and in the bomb that R. Reid tried to use; and

    (iii) that AQ guys were just joking when they said that Jdey brought AA587 down.

    • DXer said

      The FBI caught Bulger by focusing on his wife. Perhaps they should catch Jdey by catching Mr. Boussara whose ears give him a distinctive look. There was a report that they were seen entering Turkey in June 2002. So that’s a possibility.

      Separately, there was an unconfirmed report that he had and Adnan El-Shukrijumah were spotted on Route 302 in Mass and Maine — the alert issued in September 2003.

      We meed a full bio on him done by the someone like Stewart Bell who interviews classmates and neighbors, figures out the detail of his detention in August 2001 etc. Or maybe the former head of the CTC should explain the details. Does he get the credit for making the disclosure or for having kept the information from the public for 10 years?

  11. DXer said

    The FBI, by response dated January 11, 2011, denied a FOIA request for documents relating to her arrest on the grounds of Jdey’s privacy rights — on the grounds that he is still alive.

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