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

* Where was Jdey detained and released?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 1, 2012

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17 Responses to “* Where was Jdey detained and released?”

  1. DXer said

    Some highlights from the Plaintiff’s brief filed yesterday 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 http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/al-qaeda-wmd-threat.pdf (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.

    FN

    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].

    FN

    “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
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  2. DXer said

    Although the name is redacted, the documents produced to date all refer to Al-Attas and make no mention as far as I can see of Jdey.

  3. DXer said

    Suit has been brought against the DOJ and FBI in federal district court for documents that would answer this question.

    It would FURTHER the law enforcement purpose, not impede it, for the DOJ to release documents relating to Jdey’s detention in the Summer of 2001.

    Where was Jdey detained and released?

  4. DXer said

    Recent response to Jdey FOIA appeal:

    “After carefully considering your appeal, and as a result of discussions between FBI personnel and this Office, I am remanding your request for a search for responsive records. If the FBI locates releasable records, it will send them to you directly …”

  5. DXer said

    Yazid, doesn’t Jdey look distinguished in a pilot’s uniform?

  6. DXer said

    Use of Code

    In planning 9/11, Atta used code in instructing Ramzi Binalshibh to send “the skirts” to “Sally”. The 9/11 Commission Staff explained that the coded reference to “Sally” referred to sending money to Zacarias Moussaoui. (Ramzi then sent Zacarias $14,000). Former CIA Director Tenet in his 2007 book Center of the Storm included Ramzi Binalshibh along with KSM and Hambali as among al-Qa’ida’s leadership “linked to the group’s highly compartmentalized chemical, biological, and nuclear networks.”

    Atta and Ramzi Binalshibh used coded phrases as they approached 9/11 to include:

    Faculty of Fine Arts/arts = Pentagon
    Faculty of Town Planning/architecture = World Trade Center
    Faculty of Law / law = The Capitol
    politics = White House
    White Meat = Americans
    Terminal = Indonesia
    Market = Malaysia
    Hotel = Philippines
    Village = Egypt

    The CSIS has explained that EIJ operative Jaballah used code in discussing operational or sensitive matters. For example, in a discussion with a Pakistan-based contact, with whom he was discussing acquiring false documents, he requested help in acquiring a “green outfit.” In describing Mabruk’s detention in Dagestan, and seeking funds to get him out, he told Florida cell member in Alberta, Canada, that the “medicine” needed was expensive and that it would cost $15,000. Daher commented that when the “patients” were Arab it seemed a lucrative trade. Similarly, US supporters of Abdel-Rahman in the 1990s used “Food and Beverage Industry” to refer to the FBI. It is worth considering, then, whether code was used in the anthrax letters. In the conversations that the blind sheikh’s spokesman, Sattar, had with people like the blind sheik’s successor Taha, EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest al-Sirri, and the blind sheikh’s son, they used the same language found in emails between Zawahiri and the Yemeni cell in email. If a brother was in the hospital, it meant he was in prison. If he had an accident, it meant perhaps that Egyptian security services had killed him.

    KSM and Clouds (As Sahab)

    Many people think that the letter sending the first anthrax reportedly had clouds pictured on it. The flagship of American Media, Inc., National Enquirer, described the letter sent AMI as follows:

    “Bobby Bender came around the corner with this letter in the upturned palms of his hands,” said photo assistant Roz Suss, a 13-year Sun staffer. “It was a business-size sheet of stationery decorated with pink and blue clouds around the edges. It was folded into three sections, and in the middle was a pile of what looked like pink-tinged talcum powder.”

    In admitting that he had taken over supervising the development of anthrax for use against the US upon Atef’s death (in November 2001), KSM separately noted that “I was the Media Operations Director for As-Sahab or ‘The Clouds,’ under Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri

    Jennifer Lopez Letter and Atta’s “Jenny”
    Code

    The letter sent to AMI in Florida sought to dissuade Jennifer Lopez from a planned marriage. A wedding or marriage is well-known Al Qaeda code for an attack. The sender said how much he loved her and asked her to marry him. Stevens noted at the time it was especially off the wall given that the Sun did not deal with celebrities, which was the subject of the sister-paper Globe. Stevens’ fellow photo editor Roz Suss was looking over his shoulder: “With that Bob says to me,” Hey, I think there’s something gold in here. It looks like a Jewish star sticking out of the powder.” I walked up behind him and reached over his shoulder. I pulled this little star out of what looked like a mound of powder in this letter. I remember it as a fine white powder.” “It looked like something from a Cracker Jacks box,” she says. She picked it out of the powder and tossed it in her wastebasket. Stevens’ colleague Bobby Bender has a different recollection. He says he opened a letter to Jennifer Lopez, recalls handling a large envelope to Jennifer Lopez, care of the Sun. In it was a cigar tube containing a cigar, a small Star of David charm, and something that seemed like soap powder. Hambali and two al-Qaeda minions considered attacking an Israeli restaurant, with a Star of David above it, in the Khao San Rd. backpacker area in Bangkok.

    A December 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton explained: “An alleged Bin Ladin supporter late last month remarked to his mother that he planned to work in ‘commerce’ from abroad and said his impending ‘marriage,’ which would take place soon, would be a ’surprise.’” The December 1998 PDB continued: “‘Commerce’ and ‘marriage’ often are code words for attacks.” Of course, sometimes, a young man just wants to tell his mom he’s got a job or warn her that she may not approve of the woman he intends to marry. Similarly, sometimes folks who write to tabloids are merely commenting on JLo’s impending nuptials.

    Jennifer Lopez’s fame had withstood a number of under performing movies, to include the movie “The Cell” in the year 2000. In the movie, following a trail of bodies, an FBI agent tracks down and captures a disturbed serial killer. Before the killer can reveal the whereabouts of his next victim (a woman trapped in a cell on the verge of drowning), he falls into a coma. Enter beautiful FBI psychologist Lopez, who uses a radical link to the killer’s brain that could destroy her own sanity. “Her mission: Find the cell’s location before time runs out, and avoid getting trapped inside the killer’s head.” According to an early National Enquirer, Stevens held it up to his face and then put it down on the keyboard (where traces of anthrax were ound). The publisher’s wife was the real estate broker who rented to two of the hijackers.

    The heaviest concentration was in the mailroom on the first floor, with positive findings in many cubicles throughout the first floor. The second floor had positive traces mainly in the hallways. The third floor had the fewest positive traces. The FBI has a theory that the spores were distributed on copy paper, perhaps having fallen onto an open ream of paper in the mailroom where it was stored. Perhaps instead spores could have been spread by a vacuum cleaner and collected at copier machines because of the electrostatic charge and the fans on the machines.

    Mrs. Stevens recently explained: “They get strange letters sometimes, and the consensus seems to be that if Robert wasn’t wearing his glasses and if it was something funny, he would hold the letters up to his face. They think perhaps that’s how he got it. Just bad luck.” The key expert evidence on this issue of the Jennifer Lopez letter thus far is the New England Journal of Medicine in which Stevens’ doctor concludes that the letter, opened 9/19 and resulting in symptoms appearing 9/30, evidenced an incubation period consistent with inhalational anthrax.

    A recent CDC report discusses a second letter of possible interest thought to have been opened on September 25 by a different woman who was exposed. The jury will have to remain out unless and until there is more information on the letter(s) that transmitted the anthrax to AMI. The FBI went back to AMI in August 2002. A February 2003 article in Esquire says the “cops and the doctors” have concluded that there were two letters, following two different paths, with one having been mailed to an old address of the National Enquirer before being forwarded. If there were two different letters, were they to two different AMI publications? That would make sense — with one directed to the Sun and one directed to the National Enquirer.

    What does the J.Lo letter tell us about the sender, or senders? J.Lo is what they used to call a “sex bomb” — and the biggest one at the time. She had international fame. The vehicle had a “weird” love letter, a Star of David, maybe a cigar. Who had “issues” and weird obsessions with women, sex (with a cigar being a crude symbol) and Jewish symbolism? Atta, for example, had strict instructions in his will about what women would be allowed to do at his funeral. Follow the anomalies.

    Two of the hijackers had subscriptions to AMI publications, as did Al Qaeda operative al-Marabh. Boston cab driver Al-Marabh had been in contact with the hijackers, to include Alghamdi who rented an apartment from the wife of the AMI publisher. Atta was seen at the apartment of Al-Marabh and his uncle (the co-founder with Jaballah of an islamic school in Toronto in the Spring of 2001. After coming to Canada in 1996, Jaballah spoke with Ayman regularly on Ayman’s satellite phone.

    ”In The Hearts Of Green Birds” (Inside Green Birds)

    It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” The stamp’s image of a green-blue colored bird was designed by artist Michael Doret. Mr. Doret provided me “a file made directly from the original art [he] created, so the color is an accurate representation of the printed envelope.” Michael advises me that the color of the eagle is a “teal” or greenish-blue.

    In the very interview with Al-Jazeera in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh admitted to the Jenny code, the code for representing the date 9/11, and used the symbolism of the “Green Birds.” Osama Bin Laden later invoked the symbolism in his video “The 19 Martyrs”, describing a hijacker as “A man of worship who enjoined good and forbade evil. His body was on earth but his heart roamed with the green birds that perch beneath the Throne of the Most Merciful.”

    A FAQ on Al Qaeda’s website, the Azzam Publications website, explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside. The actual Arabic word used in the Hadith is not Qalb (heart) but it is Jowf which can mean any of interior, inside, or heart (as in center). There was a video based on the hadith with the title “In The Hearts of Green Birds” about foreign mujahideen who had been martyred in Bosnia. The audiocassette was created in August 1996 and its 3rd edition was released in January 1997. The azzam.org website selling the “In the Hearts of Green Birds” audiocassette was shut down after 9/11 because authorities thought it might contain codes and instructions to militants. British and US intelligence sources reportedly suspected that some of Azzam.com’s jihad photos and graphics contain messages embedded with a technology known as steganography. The code instead perhaps was there for all to see on the stamps of the lethal missives being sent.

    In early Fall 2001, the Azzam.com website was mirrored by someone who lived 6 miles from the mailbox where the anthrax was mailed. He was indicted in Spring 2007 for income tax invasion. To the left of the advertisement for the “Green Birds” video, you’ll see the description of al-Hawali’s imprisonment. The imprisonment of al-Hawali and certain other scholars was the “Cover Theme” (which includes a related article on the torture of prisoners in Saudi prisons). GMU computational biology grad al-Timimi drafted a letter for al-Hawali and had it hand-delivered to every member of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailings.

    Of course, given that the symbolism used in this regard in the anthrax mailings had an origin in religious writing, there is no direct tie with the website — the tie could be with the hadith. The London webmaster once said that the FBI allowed it to remain up (while it moved from server to server) for another year hoping to get leads on supporters.

    Even Zarqawi invoked the imagery in a 60-minute audio message:

    “The martyrs rejoice in the bounty provided by God. Their souls are inside the bodies of green birds that fly in heaven.”

    Bin Laden was using “Green Birds” in the same way he used the repeated phrase “Looming Tower” to hint of what was to come with the planes attack on the World Trade Center. He would say

    “Wherever you are, death will find you
    even in the looming tower.”

    In a prerecorded tape aired October 7, 2001, at the time of the anthrax mailing to the Senators, Bin Laden said “The winds of faith have come.”

    An advertisement for “In The Hearts of Green Birds” sold by Al Qaeda’s website read: “In the Summer of 1996, Azzam Recordings released the first audio tape of its kind to be produced in English. The name of this tape was: ‘In the Hearts of Green Birds.’ It outlined some of the stories of these men. This tape was so successful, that it spread, by the Will of Allah, throughout many Muslim homes in the UK, North America and Australia. Due to popular demand, in the Summer of 1997, Azzam Recordings produced the sequel to this tape: ‘Under the Shades of Swords.’ The Virginia Paintball defendants really liked videos like “In the Hearts of Green Birds” and found them inspirational.

    “Greendale School”

    ”Greendale School” is the return address of the anthrax letters to Senators Daschle and Leahy. In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The letter was found on Al Zawahiri’s computer. The letter was designed to look innocent. It was dated 3 May 2001 and signed “Dr. Nour, Chairman of the Company.” Nour is one of Zawahiri’s aliases. In this context, it was Egyptian Islamic Jihad, not Al Qaeda, of which he was Chairman.

    “We have been trying to go back to our main, previous activities. The most important step was the opening of the school. We have made it possible for the teachers to find openings for profitable trade.”

    The letter read

    “To: Unknown
    From: Ayman al-Zawahir
    Folder: Letters
    Date: May 3, 2001

    The following is a summary of our situation: We are trying to return to our previous main activity. The most important step was starting the school, the programs of which have been started. We also provided the teachers with means of conducting profitable trade as much as we could. Matters are all promising, except for the unfriendliness of two teachers, despite what we have provided for them. We are patient. (This refers to an internal dispute with two senior London Egyptian islamists).

    As you know, the situation below in the village [Egypt] has become bad for traders [jihadis]. Our Upper Egyptian relatives have left the market, and we are suffering from international monopolies. Conflicts take place between us for trivial reasons, due to the scarcity of resources. We are also dispersed over various cities. However, God had mercy on us when the Omar Brothers Company [the Taliban] here opened the market for traders and provided them with an opportunity to reorganize, may God reward them. Among the benefits of residence here is that traders from all over gather in one place under one company, which increases familiarity and cooperation among them, particularly between us and the Abdullah Contracting Company [bin Laden and his associates]. The latest result of this cooperation is the offer they gave. Following is a summary of the offer: Encourage commercial activities [jihad] in the village to face foreign investors; stimulate publicity; then agree on joint work to unify trade in our area. Close relations allowed for an open dialogue to solve our problems. Colleagues here believe that this is an excellent opportunity to encourage sales in general, and in the village in particular. They are keen on the success of the project. They are also hopeful that this may be a way out of the bottleneck to transfer our activities to the stage of multinationals and joint profit. We are negotiating the details with both sides.”

    The full message, decoded, is thought to say:

    “We have been trying to go back to our military activities. The most important step was the declaration of unity with al-Qaeda. We have made it possible for the mujahideen to find an opening for martyrdom. As you know, the situation down in Egypt has become bad for the mujahideen: our members in Upper Egypt have abandoned military action, and we are suffering from international harassment.”

    “But Allah enlightened us with His mercy when Taliban came to power. It has opened doors of military action for our mujahideen and provided them with an opportunity to rearrange their forces. One benefit of performing jihad here is the congregation in one place of all mujahideen who came from everywhere and began working with the Islamic Jihad Organization. Acquaintance and cooperation have grown, especially between us and al-Qaeda.”

    In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for “Al Qaeda.”

    Dr. Jean Rosenfeld, a researcher associated with the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion, and an expert on the symbolism of religious extremist movements, wrote me: “Greendale’ to me signified a conscious choice to use the symbolic color of Islam.” She continued: “The franked eagle on the envelope of the anthrax letters was identical to the one I caught on a documentary that showed a one-second shot of the site where Sadat was assassinated –- the huge eagle above the podium where he was when he died. That assassination was of great significance to Egyptian Jihad and produced the pamphlet by Faraj that justifies “fard ‘ayn”/individual duty as the basis of jihadist doctrine.” She explained that Al Qaeda “is rooted in Egypt and Salafism, not Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism. Al-Zawahiri, I believe, is intensely nostalgic for the Nile Valley.”

    The CIA factbook explains that the color green — such as used by anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat in naming his lab “Green Laboratory Medicine,” and by the mailer who used the return address “Greendale School” – is the traditional color of islam. Green symbolizes islam, Mohammed and the holy war. In its section on Saudi Arabia, and the “Flag Description,” the CIA “Factbook” explains that the flag is “green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber … ; green is the traditional color of Islam.”

    An intelligence document first released in 2007 involves an operation by EIJ members headed by Atef and including Saif Adel in which the group headed to Somalia to work at developing a new base of operations. The group was called The Green Team. “Greendale School” was used as the return address in the letters and likely is code referring to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The stamp on the prestamped envelopes was of a green bird. For a video depicting the Green Bird’s point of view and invoking Allah’s guidance to “the straight path,” see this video “The 3D Kabah – A green birds eye view.” The koranic “Green Birds” reference is from the sentence relating to being set on “The Straight Path.” Timimi, the graduate student who had access to the Alibek/Bailey patent about concentration using silanized hydrophobic silica, advised the EIJ founder Kamal Habib in writing for the publication called Assirat Al-Mustaqeem (“The Straight Path”).

    Likely for the same reason, Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat and Zacarias Moussaoui used the name Green Laboratory Medicine as the name of the company that he used, for example, to buy 4 tons of ammonium nitrate, and that he used to cover his anthrax production program. Green dale refers to green “river valley” — Egypt, Cairo, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and/or Egyptian Islamic Group. Put it all together and you have their new official name (though the American press does not use it) — Qaeda al Jihad. At the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they would be washed.

    Given that using the same address helps the second recipient receiving the letter to identify it and avoid opening it, the perp would have no reason to use the same address unless he was communicating something and wanted to draw attention to it.
    Adham Hassoun and Kassem Daher used “school” as code. Canadian businessman Daher is an associate of EIJ member Jaballah, who was detained in Canada and had maintained regular contact with Ayman by satellite telephone after coming to Canada in 1996. “Is there a school over there to teach football?” Hassoun asked, using what the FBI says is code for jihad.

    The Amerithrax Task Force explanation of Greendale is as follows:

    “The investigation into the fictitious return address on envelopes used for the second round of anthrax mailings, “4th GRADE,” “GREENDALE SCHOOL,” has established a possible link to the American Family Association (AFA) headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi. In October 1999, AFA, a Christian organization, published an article entitled “AFA takes Wisconsin to court.” The article describes a lawsuit filed in federal court, by the AFA Center for law and Policy (CLP), on behalf of the parents of the students at Greendale Baptist Academy. The articles focuses on an incident that occurred on December 16, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy. The article focuses on an incident that occurred on December 1, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy in order to interview a fourth grade student. The case workers, acting on an anonymous tip that Greendale Baptist Academy administered corporal punishment as part of its discipline policy, did not disclose to the staff why they wanted to interview the student. The case workers interviewed the student in the absence of the student’s parents and informed the school staff that the parents were not to be contacted. The AFA CLP filed suit against the Wisconsin Department of Human Services, citing a violation of the parents’ Fourth Amendment rights.”
    [D]onations were made to the AFA in the name of “Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Ivins” on eleven separate occasions beginning on December 31, 1993. After an approximate two year break in donations, the next donation occurred on November 11, 1999, one month after the initial article referencing Greendale Baptist Academy was published in the AFA Journal. It was also discovered that the subscription to the AFA Journal, in the name of ‘Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Ivins,’ … was active until March 2005.”

    The logical fallacy is that Ivins would have had no reason to use the same address unless he was sending a message he wanted to be received. There was no audience that reasonably would have perceived the message being sent. He had no reason to send such a message. The theory was fine for an affidavit in support of a search of a residence — but not on which to close a case.

    “Franklin Park”

    On the return address, Greendale School purported to be in Franklin Park. Padilla, the former Broward man suspected of plotting to explode a ‘’dirty bomb’’ to spread radiation in the United States, worshipped at a Broward County mosque, Masjid Al-Iman, in Fort Lauderdale. That mosque was across the street from Franklin Park. It’s address was 2542 Franklin Park Drive. Padilla was a former gang member who converted to islam while in South Florida and became an extremist while in Egypt beginning in 1998. He attended al Azhar University in Egypt and started a family there after leaving his American wife. In 1999, Padilla left for Pakistan. Authorities detained him May 8, 2002 when he got off a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The FBI has found no ties between Padilla and the September 11 hijackers, even though several of them had lived in Broward County.

    While in Pakistan, Padilla had reported to KSM, the al Qaeda’s No. 3 leader who had anthrax production documents on his laptop when he was arrested. It appears that in April 2002, Khalid Mohammed dispatched Padilla to the United States, with several thousand dollars for a mission to disperse a radiological device that was still in the thinking stage. He was placed in a military brig in North Carolina and was held incommunicado for years, forbidden from contacting his family or attorney.

    A Padilla acquaintance, Adham Hassoun, was detained in June 2002 in Sunrise by federal agents. His home had been searched in November 2001 but authorities laid back, not arresting him and hoping surveillance would lead to insights. Hassoun once served as distributor of a magazine published in Australia advocating Muslim holy war and was associated with one or more charities accused by the Bush administration of funding terrorists. Padilla reportedly had contacted Hassoun from overseas and was apparently en route to meet Hassoun when he was arrested. Investigators monitored the communication between Padilla and Hassoun and arrested Hassoun after he was called by a reporter from Miami about his acquaintanceship with Padilla. State records indicate that he was the Florida registered agent of the Chicago-based Benevolence International Foundation. The leader of the mosque across from Franklin Park was Awad, the Florida representative of Holy Land Foundation.

    Hassoun had established Benevolence International Foundation in Plantation, Florida in 1992. In 1993, the headquarters was moved to Chicago area. A man named Mohammed Loay Bayazid was its president in 1993 and 1994. Bayazid was arrested while visiting Northern California in December 1994 along with Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law. Bayazid, according to authorities, had been looking to purchase enriched uranium for Bin Laden. On his driver’s license, his listed address was BIF headquarters. Thus, things had quickly come full circle for BIF to once again be involved in an investigation relating to Al Qaeda’s attempt to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

    In late 2002, it was announced that authorities were urgently seeking a Florida pilot El Shukrijumah, who worshipped at this same Fort Lauderdale mosque across from Franklin Park and had possible ties to Adham Hassoun. A federal undercover agent repeats that he saw Atta and El-Shukrijumah together at the mosque. The pilot El Shukrijumah is said to be at the level of Mohammed Atta and is thought to have been associated with Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-trained biologist. Aafia Siddiqui reportedly also has a yet-undisclosed connection to Adham Hassoun. Mohammed Atta lived 11 miles away from this mosque across from Franklin Park, where these members of the Egyptian Islamic Group worshipped. Holy Cross hospital –where Dr. Tsonas treated Flight 93 hijacker Ahmad al-Haznawi for a suspicious leg lesion that he and other experts think was due to cutaneous anthrax — is only 7 miles from the mosque. Is it all a coincidence? Possibly.

    Remember: Given that using the same address helps the second recipient receiving the letter to identify it and avoid opening it, the mailer would have no reason to use the same address unless he was communicating something and wanted to draw attention to it.

    There was a detailed description at a June 1, 2004 press conference of Padilla’s plot and his relationship with Jafar the Pilot by a senior DOJ official. The official also described Padilla’s relationship with Atef, Zubaydah, KSM, and Ramzi Binalshibh. He emphasized that there is an urgent need to find Adnan (Jafar). Ali Al-Timimi’s mentor, Bilal Philips, was a good friend of Jafar the Pilot’s father.

    Allusion to Both Atta and Genomic Sequencing of Ames Strain

    The writing of the text of the letter is also interesting in that the “As” and “Ts” are double-lined — to suggest ATTA, the lead hijacker.

    When the US Centers for Disease Control first identified that the Ames strain had been used in the mailing to Florida in October 2001, Keim and his colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) had nearly finished a project to sequence Bacillus anthracis— specifically, the chromosome of an anthrax isolate from a laboratory in Porton Down, U.K.Ayman had a microbiologist attending Porton Down-sponsored conferences at which presentations were made about the sequencing of Ames. The letter writer appears to have even double-lined A’s and T’s in the letters accompanying the anthrax possibly to simultaneously allude to Atta and the genomic sequence.

    As explained at the Porton Down conferences attended by Ayman’s operative Rauf Ahmad, Keim’s research team eventually discovered 60 new ‘markers’ in the Bacillus anthracis genome—DNA sequences that may vary from one isolate to another. These include insertions or deletions of DNA, and short sequences that are repeated at different lengths in the genome known as VNTRs (variable-number tandem repeats). A decade earlier, it had been determined that one of three proteins comprising anthrax toxin, and the first nucleotide sequence to be reported from B. anthracis (by USAMRIID authors no less), had a consensus TATAAT sequence located at the putative -10 promoter site. It is greek to us but apparently something with meaning to the person who drafted the letter. Perhaps the sender was saying that the bacteria was pathogenic unlike what had been sent to the Canadian immigration minister six months earlier.

    When authorities determined that the anthrax had not been genetically modified so as to be resistant to antibiotics, Condi Rice told the President: “That’s the best news you’ve had as president.” Years later, at trial for sedition, GMU microbiology grad student Ali Al-Timimi read “Genome Technology.”
    ***
    The coded e-mail Faris wrote back to KSM suggesting that the idea of removing bolts from the span of the Brooklyn Bridge was not a viable idea was but one of many examples of the simple codes used by Al Qaeda operatives. Sometimes the code might be as simple as Adham Hassoun’s “stuff” for the local soccer team in places like Bosnia or his references to a young man who wanted to go out and get some “fresh air” [go join the jihad]. Sometimes it might be Iyman Faris’ reference to the weather or Ramzi Binalshibh’s “shirts” for Sally. Sometimes it might be a reference to Greendale School or a marriage proposal to Jenny such apparently in the case of the anthrax mailings. The CIA reports that wedding is Al-Qaeda-speak for an event. That, according to New York Times journalists, is why the CIA got so anxious to have the Buffalo boys arrested. Apart from an email about a “big feast,” the young men from Buffalo had started talking about a planned wedding. Interpreting such code is not without risk. The CIA kicked down the door in Bahrain and dragged him away from the altar to the horror of his bride-to-be.

    But putting aside this question of nuptials, impending or annulled, the fact remains that the sender of the anthrax letters would have had no reason to use the same address on the second letter unless he was communicating something. That identical return address, in fact, helped authorities locate and intercept the letter to a Senator. All of the coding together may have served to tell the world, for example, that Mohammed Atta and the others were going to fly to paradise in a green bird and that the anthrax was courtesy of the Vanguards of Conquest. If you mistreat our prisoners or continue appropriations to Israel and Egyptian regimes, we may attack Washington, D.C. and New York City with aerosolized anthrax. You act at your peril. Zawahiri simultaneously framed the US Army by using the “Ames strain” while telling them who did it. Now that 911 imam Anwar Aulaqi has formally urged that it would be islamically permissible to kill a million civilians, this is not the time to be distracted by a bag of stained panties found in the basement of the residence of some USAMRIID scientist.

    In contrast, not even the expert the FBI consulted as to its theory of the code thought that its theory passed the “giggle test.”

    Summer 2001 Inquiries About Cropdusters and Helicopters

    Expert Kohlmann reports that “The LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba] has also displayed persistent efforts at aimed at obtaining remote control drone aircraft, presumably in order to gather reconnaissance on enemy positions. Kohlman quotes a November 2000 Taiba Bulletin that quotes a LeT representative boasting “Lashkar-e-Taiba also made a remote control aeroplane that was caught in Occupied Kashmir. We are developing the modern technology.” Evan Kohlman reports that “one of the best accounts of the jihad in Kashmar is the book Army of Madinah in Kashmir written by “Esa al-Hindi”. He quotes Al-Hindi: “Running … straight into the enemy ranks on a well-worn battlefield is a noble and admirable action, but it needs to be complemented by all other fields of the battle arena for a successful operation… [including] Physical warfare, Drug warfare, Germ warfare, Chemical warfare, [and] Sabotage warfare.’ ”

    Authors Schwartz and University of Minnesota Professor Osterholm explained in December 2000:
    “Dozens of Websites offer information on new and used crop-dusting planes and equipment that can be fitted to almost any plane or even trucks. Most of the equipment can be found on those sites produce a highly controlled mist spray, with nozzles that can set the droplet size precisely.”

    “A quick call to the toll-free number for a state university’s agricultural service (listed, naturally on its Website) revealed that powder dispersal systems, while less popular than wet systems, are still available. One Website even provides a handy guide to the area one would expect to cover using various particle sizes, wet and dry — from thousand micron particles to half-micron particles capable of drifting almost four hundred miles.”

    It was no small irony that by the time the paperback version came out in September 2001 just a few miles away Zacarias Moussaoui had in fact downloaded such materials onto his laptop.

    Attorney General Ashcroft, on October 1, 2001 explained: “I think shortly after the September 11 events, we developed information about crop dusters and noted that there had been an interest expressed in the dispersal of chemical agents by some of the individuals who had relationships with the hijackers and were the hijackers, and we asked those who were associated with the agriculture, chemical industry, and crop dusting to begin to be more careful, to lock their airplanes, to be aware of anyone seeking to adjust the kind of way in which the nozzles would be, which would maybe require a different approach.

    President Bush, at a press conference on October 11, 2001 said:
    “We received knowledge that perhaps an al-Qaeda operative was prepared to use a crop-duster to spray a biological weapon or a chemical weapon on American people, and so we responded. We contacted every crop dust location, airports from which crop-dusters leave. We notified crop-duster manufacturers to a potential threat. We knew full well that in order for a crop-duster to become a weapon of mass destruction would require a retrofitting, and so we talked to machine shops around where crop-dusters are located.”

    Mohammed Atta and Zacarias Moussaoui reportedly made inquiries about cropdusters and a cropdusting manual was found among Moussaoui’s belongings. Ahmad Ressam, an Al Qaeda terrorist caught in the United States, revealed that Bin Laden was personally interested in using low flying aircraft to disperse biological agents. In early June 3, 2003, a CIA report concluded that the reason for Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was in fact for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. Moussaoui, however, has confessed only to a plot to fly a 747 into the White House if the United States government refused to free the blind sheikh. On August 13 and 15, 2001, Moussaoui was getting practice on a 747 simulator in Minneapolis and thus the evidence has always remained ambiguous.

    Some investigators on the team prosecuting Zacarias Moussaoui thought he wasn’t expected to take part in the 9/11 plan as such or fly into the White House as prosecutors would allege in January 2003, but was expected instead to use a cropduster. In an e-mail dated July 31, 2001, after receiving $14,000 from Ramzi Binalshibh, Moussaoui inquired of a Minnesota school concerning a 6 month or year long cropdusting course. Although French intelligence suggests instead that there was a separate hijacking plot (of an international airline) to occur later, in light of the e-mail, use of a cropdusting plane may have been an alternative plan at least as of the end of July 2001. Khalid Mohammed reportedly has told his interrogators that Moussaoui was to be part of a second wave of attacks. He said that Moussaoui’s interest in cropdusters may have related to Yazid Sufaat’s work on anthrax.

    In a coded communication in the summer of 2001, KSM told Ramzi Binalhibh to send the “skirts” to “Sally”, apparently referring to sending funds to Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui may have been considered as a substitute if one of the pilots, who had developed a strained relationship with Atta, dropped out. They were referred to as the “unhappy couple” and it was said that a divorce would be expensive. Was Moussaoui really slated for a “second wave” of similar attacks on California targets that merely involved the same modus operandi? In an email dated July 31, 2001, he was inquiring about a cropdusting course. Was this just a means of avoiding the need for “muscle hijackers?” (After the first “wave”, it likely would be more difficult for such muscle to get into the country.)

    Relatedly, it’s unknown what role Atta’s roommate, pilot Ramzi Binalshibh, would have played if he had succeeded on one of his four attempts to get into the country. Ramzi Binalshibh was Atta’s former roommate in Germany and was captured in Karachi, Pakistan on September 11, 2002. The government deleted the two allegations regarding cropduster inquiries from the indictment of Moussaoui. Although the move was never explained, it was likely because in his defense he was relying on a July 31, 2001 e-mail seeking to sign up for a cropdusting course that would take 6 months to a year. Moussaoui was attempting to use the e-mail to argue that it demonstrated that he was not part of the 9/11 conspiracy.

    On September 19, 2001, an FBI agent asked a federal judge in Colorado for permission to search an e-mail account named “greenlab@usa.net” that Sufaat had given Moussaoui to use.

    Perhaps the cropdusters related to a chemical or nerve agent. Based on the interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, it now appears that the 9/11 planners lost confidence in Moussaoui’s discretion, and intended to use him only as a fallback. Whatever the reason for any inquiries, perhaps they ran out of pilots (due to Zacarias Moussaoui’s arrest and Ramzi Binalshibh’s inability to get into the country). The prosecution team in the Moussaoui case at one point, in January 2003, argued there was to be a fifth plane targeting the White House. Bin Laden wanted the White House to be targeted. Atta thought it would be too difficult. Or perhaps cropdusters will be used in the future. The FBI is currently looking for a diminutive Saudi Arabian, Adnan Shukrijumah, who, at least according to some reports, was trained as a pilot and was last known to have been in Miami in late 2001. The Saudi Arabian from Florida is said to be at the level of Atta. A federal undercover agent has reported that he saw El-Shukrijumah with Atta. Jdey, also hotly sought by the FBI, was one of two other pilots who for unknown reasons were not still candidates for the first wave.

    And it turns out the CIA and FBI kept secret the fact that Jdey was detained and released — carrying biology textbooks — as the same time as Moussaoui was detained (and his laptop was not accessed notwithstanding his known association with Ibn Khattab).

    • DXer said

      Poisoned Penpal: The Murder of Chechen Rebel Leader Ibn Khattab

      An April 1, 2001 note to FBI Director Freeh, titled “Bin Laden/Ibn Khattab Threat Reporting, read: “Director Freeh: This note is to advise you of recent threat reporting deemed significant and urgent by the United States Intelligence Community.”

      “The U.S. Government has received information indicating that serious operational planning has been underway since late 2000, with an intended culmination in late Spring 2001. These plans are being undertaken by Sunni extremists with links to Ibn al Khattab, an extremist leader in Chechnya and to Usama Bin Laden. There are several planning channels, some with connections to Afghanistan, all within a large shared mujahideen recruitment network.”
      “It is not known whether there are different parallel plans or whether all activity centers on one major operation since all the players are heavily intertwined.”

      Ibn Khattab was killed by a poisoned letter in 2002. The trusted courier had retrieved the contents of a post office box in Baku, Azerbaijan, to include some small presents and money. The man, named Ibragim, brought a coded Sony video-camera, a watch and a letter. After Ibn Khattab opened the envelope, he went into his tent. He came out a half hour later. His face was pale — he was, rubbing his face with the stump of his arm. He then fell into the arms of his bodyguards. Feeling temporarily better, Khattab gave an order to let Ibragim, who, along with five others, had been put under arrest, could go. “He has to get back to Baku.” An hour later Khattab fell ill again. He fell into some bushes, and a short while later was dead. Khattab’s people searched for Ibragim in Baku for a month. His bound body was found in the city outskirts with five bullets in the head. In an interview with the Prima News Service, Shamil Basaev, who reportedly had personally ordered Ibragim’s execution, confirmed his opinion that Khattab had been poisoned by the Russian special services: “They slipped him a poisoned letter,” Basaev told the interviewer.

      What was the motive of the islamist who delivered a poison letter to Bin Laden’s friend, Khattab, in March 2002? The letter was delivered by a messenger who he knew — someone he trusted who had was delivering mail from a P.O. Box in Baku, Azerbaijan sent from the Middle East. Was the islamist who carried the letter that killed Khattab working for the Russian intelligence services? Was he an unwitting dupe? Or was it all an internal feud such as when Zawahiri (some speculate) killed Azzam years ago?

    • DXer said

  7. DXer said

    “I Successfully Achieved The Targets” Assistance Of Pakistan Scientist Rauf Ahmad In 1999 And 2000

    George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says: “Al-Qa’ida spared no effort in its attempt to obtain biological weapons. In 1999, al-Zawahiri recruited Pakistani national Rauf Ahmad, to set up a small lab in Khandahar, Afghanistan, to house the biological weapons effort. In December 2001, a sharp WMD analyst at CIA found the initial lead on which we would pull and, ultimately, unravel the al-Qa’ida anthrax networks. We were able to identify Rauf Ahmad from letters he had written to Ayman al-Zawahiri. … We located Rauf Ahmad’s lab in Afghanistan. We identified the building in Khandahar where Sufaat claimed he isolated anthrax. We mounted operations that resulted in the arrests and detentions of anthrax operatives in several countries.”

    Delivering the James Smart Lecture, entitled “Global Terrorism: are we meeting the challenge?” at the headquarters of the City of London Police, Ms. Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, said: “Western security services have uncovered networks of individuals, sympathetic to the aims of al-Qa’ida, that blend into society, individuals who live normal, routine lives until called upon for specific tasks by another part of the network.” She concluded: “The threats of chemical, biological and radiological and suicide attacks require new responses and the Government alone will not achieve all of it; industry and even the public must take greater responsibility for their own security.”

    In 1999, a scientist from Porton Down had reported to sfam members on a conference in Taos, New Mexico in August that included a talk by Tim Read, (TIGR, Rockville, USA) and concerned the whole genome sequencing of the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The Ames strain may have been a mystery to many after the Fall 2001 mailings, but not to motivated Society for Applied Microbiology (“SFAM”) members, one of whom was part of Ayman Zawahiri’s “Project Zabadi.”

    As described by Dr. Peter Turnbull’s Conference report for SFAM on “the First European Dangerous Pathogens Conference”
    (held in Winchester), at the September 1999 conference, the lecture theater only averaged about 75 at peak times by his head count. There had been a problem of defining “dangerous pathogen” and a “disappointing representation from important institutions in the world of hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms.” Papers included a summary of plague in Madagascar and another on the outbreak management of hemorrhagic fevers.

    Dr Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University presented a paper on multilocus VNTR typing, for example, of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. There were more than the usual no-show presenters and fill-in speakers.

    The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved difficult. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.”

    Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

    Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.”

    Bioinformatics was the field that Ali Al-Timimi, who had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, entered by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia.

    Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

    According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. His only connection with SFAM was a member of the society. He was not an employee. The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

    I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. He explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad
    noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded an earlier handwritten letter from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

    The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

    In earlier cases, such as the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Amer Aziz who treated Bin Laden in the Fall of 2001, the Pakistani government angered the Pakistani public when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. In the case of Amer Aziz, hundreds of doctors, engineers and lawyers took to the streets to demand his release. In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. By then, I had noticed the reporting of his arrest in a local Pakistan news article about the raid of a compound of doctors named Khawaja and published it on my website. According to Pakistani officials, there was not enough evidence showing that he actually succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful. Since then, the Post reports, Rauf has been allowed to return to his normal life. Attempts by the Post to contact Rauf in Lahore were unsuccessful. Initially the government agency had said an interview would be possible but then backpedaled.

    “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” Pakistan’s information minister told the Post. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.” Yazid Sufaat got the job handling things at the lab instead of Rauf Ahmad. More importantly, Zawahiri, if keeping with his past experience, would have kept things strictly compartmentalized — leaving the Amerithrax Task Force much to do.

    • DXer said

      “You are dead! Bang”: Ayman’s Plan To Use Charities And Universities As Cover In Weaponizing Anthrax

      Among the correspondence written by Rauf Ahmad seized in Afghanistan, there are handwritten notes about the plan to use NGOs, technical institutes and medical labs as cover for aspects of the work, and training requirements for the various personnel at the lab in Afghanistan.

      Two Pakistani nuclear scientists founded Ummah Tameer-e-Nau in June 2000. “Reconstruction of the Muslim Ummah,” or “UTN,” an Islamabad-based organization whose stated purpose was to conduct relief and development work in Afghanistan. UTN built a flour mill in Kandahar and purchased land in the Kandahar region. UTN business cards from the organization carry the motto “Build to Help, Help to Build.” After the fall of the Taliban, coalition forces and the media began to search UTN facilities in Kabul. It was in November that it was reported by The Economist that the “House of Anthrax” had been found.

      Documents found by journalists in November 2001 at a villa in Kabul occupied by UTN suggested brainstorming seminars on anthrax had been held to include diagrams suggestive of a plan to use a helium-filled balloon to disperse anthrax across a wide area. The nondescript two-story villa occupied by the Pakistani aid group was in a quiet residential neighborhood of Kabul where a number of international charities were located. One downloaded document had the picture of former Secretary Cohen holding up a 5 pound bag of sugar. There were details about the U.S. military’s vaccination program downloaded from a Defense Department site on the Internet and other Defense Department documents relating to anthrax. There were 10
      copies each of most of the documents. On the floor, there was what appeared to be a disassembled rocket alongside a helium canister, as well as two bags of powder. A detailed diagram scrawled in black felt tip pen on a white board shows what appears to be a balloon rising at various trajectories, alongside a fighter jet that is apparently shooting at the balloon. Beside the jet are the words, “You are dead, bang.”

      There were also pictures of ground missiles linked by lines to the balloon. Mathematical calculations indicated the height at which the balloon would fly, the distance from which it would be shot down and the area over which its contents would be dispersed. Beside one of the balloons is the word “polystyrene” and beside another the word “cyanide.” Loose sheets of paper containing scribbles of missiles and balloons were strewn around the house, indicating those attending the seminar had been taking notes and doing calculations.

      Although people can reasonably disagree on the conclusion to be drawn of the drawing on the white board showing aerial dispersal of anthrax by balloon, the drawings should be understood in the context of Ayman’s research and reading on the subject. One email from Ayman to Atef lists Peace or Pestilence as one of the books he had read. (The author argued that said science should combat disease, not find devious ways to spread it. That book included a description of the Japanese research on anthrax leading up to WW II and the US concern that anthrax was being dispersed by balloons being sent to the US on high hot air currents. Unit 731 experimented extensively with anthrax bombs and hot-air balloons filled with the deadly disease. In late 1944, aerosol scientists at Ft. Detrick (then known as Camp Detrick) were alarmed when news of some large balloons, as large as 150 feet around, had been sighted silently floating over populated areas. Within a few months, over 250 balloons had been discovered in nine western states. The balloons are known only to have been armed with an incendiary device and killed and injured only a very few people.

      A senior CNN producer who visited many UTN and Al Qaeda houses in Afghanistan, found the documents linking UTN to Jaish e Muhammad, the Army of the Prophet Mohammad, the Pakistani militant group that had been listed as a terrorist organization by the US on October 12, 2001. Other documents linked UTN to the Pakistan-based Saudi charity WAFA Humanitarian Organization and Al Rashid Trust, two other non-governmental organizations with ties to al-Qaeda that were designated on September 23, 2001 as supporters of terrorism. The New York Times reported on the search of the home by US personnel. A group of men armed with pistols, reportedly Americans, wearing gas masks, rubber gloves and boots, then came to remove powdered chemicals. The men had instructed the guards posted by National Alliance to not go in the home because the chemicals could be dangerous. The room that had been littered with papers was empty and had been swept or vacuumed by the Americans.

      • DXer said

        Al Qaeda’s 2001 Threat To Use Mailed Anthrax In Connection With Jailed Vanguards Of Conquest No. 2 Leader And Former Bin Laden Sudan Farm Manager Mohammad Mahjoub

        On January 23, 2001, a Canadian court held that the Court did not have jurisdiction to decide the constitutional and Charter issues raised by detainee Mahjoub, thought to be #2 of the Vanguards of Conquest, and dismissed that part of the motion. A letter was received January 30, 2001 at the Citizenship and Immigration Office threatening to use anthrax. It was sent to Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan who had co-signed the detention certificate. Mahjoub had been sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in 1999 by Egyptian authorities for his involvement in Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Now, he was being detained without charges under an order co-signed by Immigration Minister Caplan and threatened with deportation. The postmark has never been publicly identified. Separately, hoax letters were also sent to American businesses and a Walmart in Saanich, British Columbia. Mahjoub had been in regular contact with a man named Marzouk, who had trained the 1998 embassy bombers and was captured in Baku, Azerbaijan in August 1998.

        Suspecting Mahjoub of being a shura member of the Vanguards of Conquest and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Canadian intelligence officials alleged Mahjoub had significant contacts with persons associated with international Islamic terrorism including Osama Bin Laden,
        Ahmad Khadr, Essam Marzouk, Vanguards founder Ahmed Agiza, and Osama Bin Laden’s principal procurement agent for weapons of mass destruction Mubarak Al Duri.

        When the letter was received in January 2001, the letter was sent by Department of National Defence jet to the Canadian Science Center for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg for examination. Authorities also sent the filters from the Jean Edmonds building’s ventilation system. Authorities said they were treating it as a possible terrorist act against the department and noted that it “was the first time a government department has been targeted in this way.” The Ottawa alert came after one of the employees working in the Minister’s office opened a plain white envelope at 11:15 a.m. The employee discovered powder and a piece of paper in the envelope. Police refused to reveal from where it had been mailed. One source said the letter was unsigned and “mostly gibberish.” Indeed, the Fall 2001 letters might be described as mostly gibberish, and certainly the “JLo letter” — talking about Jennifer Lopez’ planned wedding — was. An internal government memo distributed to staff said “an initial analysis of the envelope revealed some traces of bacteria.”

        • DXer said

          September 10, 2001 “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters”

          After the January 2001 anthrax threat, a Canadian research team undertook to assess the risk. The report titled “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters” issued September 2001. The Canadian study found considerable
          exposure to those in the room resulted when such a letter was opened. Bacillus globigii spores (in dry powder form) were donated by the US Department of Defense (Dugway Proving Ground, Utah). Stock concentration powder was -1 x 10 11 cfu/gm. The anthrax sent to the Senators had a smaller particle size –tending toward a uniform 1 micron, subject to clumping that easily broke apart. Bacillus globigii (BG) spores are routinely used as a simulant for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores. “The letter was prepared by putting BG spores in the center of a sheet of paper, folding it over into thirds, placing the folded sheet into the envelope and sealing using the adhesive present on the envelope. The envelope was then shaken to mimic the handling and tumbling that would occur during its passage through the postal system.” The aerosol, produced by opening the BG spore containing envelope, was not confined to the area of the desk but spread throughout the chamber. Values were almost as high at the opposite end of the chamber, shortly after opening the envelopes. 99% of the particles collected were in the 2.5 to 10 µm size range. The report explained: “In addition, the aerosol would quickly spread throughout the room so that other workers, depending on their exact locations and the directional air flow within the office, would likely inhale lethal doses. Envelopes with the open corners not specifically sealed could also pose a threat to individuals in the mail handling system.”

          More than 80% of the B anthracis particles collected on stationary monitors were within an alveolar respirable size range of 0.95 to 3.5 µm. Thus, the simulant performed very well. Those who continue to argue that the Daschle product was so advanced beyond what the US could do are mistaken. The CIA and CSIS apparently feared that the Vanguards of Conquest would use the good stuff.

          The CIA knew EIJ intended to use anthrax — from the proclamations of Jaballah’s friend, the captured military commander Mabruk and Jaballah’s brother-in-law’s former law partner al-Zayat. Authorities knew Al Qaeda was getting technical assistance from scientists — and that many of the senior Egyptian leaders had advanced or technical degrees. The specifications provided by Dugway perhaps involved treated fumed silica and a spraydryer (with a last critical step reserved to be done at Dugway) may have been based on what Al Qaeda might send with a little help from their friends.

          Canadian officials explained they e-mailed the study to the CDC soon after reports of the discovery of anthrax at the American Media Inc. headquarters in Florida. The e-mail, however, was never opened, reports the lead CDC anthrax investigator, who regrets that he never read the email. “It is certainly relevant data, but I don’t think it would have altered the decisions that we made.” At one point, about 2,000 CDC employees were working on the anthrax matter. This Canadian report was perhaps the single most important scientific data point for the CDC to take into account. It certainly was one of the most important reports for the FBI to take into account.

          Bail was denied by decision on October 5, 2001. Then highly potent anthrax was sent the next day just as had been promised. But Ayman apparently had returned to the target of his greatest interest — rather than a Canadian immigration minister, he and Shehata and their colleagues targeted the minister who oversaw the Department of Justice and appropriations to Egypt and Israel, and who gave his name (”the Leahy Law”) to the law that permits continuing appropriations to Egypt in the face of allegations of torture. Zawahiri never makes a threat he doesn’t intend to try to keep.

          Bill Patrick, who often worked with George Mason University students in northern Virginia, had written a report in 1999 for a consultant SAIC at the request of Dr. Steve Hatfill. As one bioterrorism expert commented about the report: “Anytime you pick something up like this, and it seems to layout the whole story for you months or years before the fact, your immediate response is to step back and say ‘whoa, something may be going on here. “Our attacker may very well have used this report as something of a — if not a template, then certainly as a rule of thumb.”

          The Canadian experiments in 2001 showed that if anthrax spores were finely powdered, a letter could release thousands of lethal doses of the bacteria within minutes of being opened. Furthermore, large amounts of material leaked out of sealed envelopes even before they were opened. By then, more than two dozen federal government employees knew of the Canadian studies, which showed that a real anthrax threat letter was a far more dangerous weapon than anyone had believed. Within days, a dozen more people were informed of the now highly relevant experimental findings. Over the course of the next decade, one FBI investigative squad was focused on people who may have known of the study — such as William Patrick’s friend, Dr. Steve Hatfill. Another squad would be focused on the usual suspects and their friends. For the next seven years, the investigation would be shrouded in great secrecy.

        • DXer said

          Taliban Interest In The Anthrax Vaccine Laboratory

          In October 2001, the Taliban emissary to Pakistan denied any involvement in the anthrax mailings, saying “We don’t even know what anthrax is.” The Taliban had long denied having any interest in biological or chemical weapons research. The next month, however, reporters were tipped off by a senior official of the Northern Alliance to check out the Institute of Veterinary Vaccine Production in Kabul run by the Minister of Agriculture. The lab was repeatedly targeted by bombers but the closest of 13 B-52 bombs landed 50 feet away, causing craters. There was a walk-in incubator to develop bacteria. The equipment used to make vaccines was taken away the day before the bombardment began. The cement walls of the building were cracked. Doors were blasted off their hinges. Shards of glass were strewn on the floor. At the end of one corridor on the second floor a reporter and photographer from The Mirror (UK) were led into a small office. The word “anthrax” was scribbled on an unbroken test tube. A sign read “to be safe than sorry” — the word “better” had fallen off. When AP journalist Kathy Gannon and a photographer stood in front of a glass bottle labeled in English “anthrax spore concentrate” in the two-story building, the photographer’s reflection shone back.

          The scientists explained that their work at the lab was intended only to develop animal vaccines. Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the one place where the only vial that had English on it said ‘anthrax’ kind of gives you pause.” Testing showed that it was an avirulent strain used in developing animal vaccines. The scientists complained that much of the anthrax vaccine on hand had expired and that they were having trouble getting the supplies they needed to produce more. Before 9/11, private companies in India and Iran had been their main suppliers. Shipments were halted after Sept. 11, and the laboratories had to rely on their stocks.

          Mullahs oversaw the anthrax vaccine laboratory much to the consternation of the scientist in charge of the lab. The mullahs had ordered that the lab be moved to Kabul so that they could oversee it. According to one British press report, much of the laboratory staff had disappeared some months before 9/11 and their whereabouts were unknown. The Institute once had a staff of 45 and one of Afghanistan’s most modern buildings. The scientists gathered before an AP journalist and photographer pointed to a large clear container that held concentrated anthrax spores. The scientists explained that the Taliban had taken a keen interest in their work. Although he was famed for his ability to recite the koran and not scientifically inclined, the Minister of Agriculture would come and inspect what they were doing. The head of the lab explained, “He and his Taliban superiors were interested in the technical detail of what happened here, although they had no background in science.” The International Committee of the Red Cross and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization provided the scientists technical help. The head of the lab noted that the Taliban could have obtained the knowledge to handle and develop anthrax.

          The Taliban Minister of Agriculture hated the West. “We’d rather have been running the labs on our own,” the lead scientist explained. “But the mullahs were in charge of everything and we couldn’t stop them learning about our activities. There was always a danger information could get into the wrong hands.” The lab was first built in a northern province in 1993 with equipment from India. Scientists infected three sheep to study the results in developing new vaccines. They told a reporter from the Mirror that they buried the carcasses 30 feet down away from any water supplies. “This was very dangerous work, though we knew what we were doing. We developed the technology of how to keep anthrax bacteria and how to develop it for use in vaccines.” “I would be suspicious of the anthrax research and any research during the Taliban (period) because they were under the control of Osama and al-Qaida,” the deputy head of Northern Alliance military intelligence, told the Associated Press. “We have strong evidence of their involvement in chemical weapons,” he added. “We believe that they were using government facilities, like the Ministry of Agriculture, to do their research in terrorism.”

          A source who worked at the factory told the Mirror (UK): “There’s no doubt the Taliban were planning chemical or biological warfare against the West. I believe anthrax might have been first on their list.” It was the American Taliban John Walker Lindh who reported the battlefield rumor that the next wave would be a chemical or biological attack.

  8. DXer said

    Codename “Swift Knight”: Bin Laden’s Plan With Ibn Khattab To Use Charities And Infiltrators In Creating Biological Weapons

    The surest indication that the Administration credited the claims concerning Al Qaeda’s intention to weaponize anthrax for the purpose of using it as a weapon is that Vice President Cheney and his staff allegedly knew to take Cipro on 9/11. That was a full week before the first anthrax letter was mailed. An unclassified CIA report in January 2003 vaguely summarized the information available from open sources: “A senior Bin Ladin associated on trial in Egypt in 1999 claimed his group had chemical and biological weapons. Documents and equipment recovered from al-Qa’ida facilities in Afghanistan show that Bin Ladin has a more sophisticated biological weapons research program than previously discovered.

    Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm wrote:

    “As we researched the information we were slowly gathering from myriad sources, we unlocked a disturbing secret: the group’s interest in WMD was not new. They had been searching for these weapons long before we had been looking for them. As far we know, al-Qa-ida’s fascination with chemical weapons goes back to the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in March 1995 by a group of religious fanatics called the Aum Shinrikyo. Twelve people died in that attack, but had the dispersal devices worked as planned, the death toll would have been higher. Al-Qai’da leaders were impressed and saw the attack as a model for achieving their own ambitions.”

    In Khartoum, Sudan, bin Laden sought to bring together Agiza’s Vanguards of Conquest faction and Saif Adel’s EIJ faction — both of which had splintered off from Zawahiri’s leadership. The Vanguards of Conquest initially had been set up by Ahmed Hussain Agiza, a physician graduated from Cairo Medical School, and split off from Zawahiri. Agiza had a falling out with Zawahiri in 1993 over the arrest of 800 Vanguards members in Egypt. By 1995, Zawahiri was serving as the group’s spokesman in connection with the attempted assassination of President Mubarak in Ethiopia. In 1997, the US State Department named Zawahiri as leader of the Vanguards of Conquest group. (Agiza was extradited from Sweden in December 2001). EIJ has maintained the goal of seizing power in Egypt since the coup planned by Jihad in 1981 despite the Egyptian government’s success in cracking down on the group. At the same time of their developing interest in anthrax, the pro-Bin Laden elements diversified the targets. Al Qaeda would no longer limit its tactics to the blowing up of installations. It launched joint action with other groups and organizations, both local groups and others operating outside their countries.

    Formerly the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Zawahiri assumed the #2 position after Bin Laden upon a merger of some of Islamic Jihad into Al Qaeda. The Vanguards of Conquest called creation of the front “a step forward and in the right direction,” but urged Bin Laden to “expand its membership to include other tendencies on the scene.. [and] all colors of the fundamentalist movement wishing to join such alliance in the Arab and Islamic worlds.” Upon the merger in 1998, the most senior planners in Al Qaeda relating to tactics and biological weapons were Egyptian Islamic Jihad, to include Ayman Zawahiri, Mohammed Atef, and Midhat Mursi aka Abu Khabab. Zawahiri is the real “brains” behind Al Qaeda, not Bin Laden. Egyptian Abu Yasir — known as Taha –the blind sheik’s successor as leader of the Islamic Group, also was a senior member of Al Qaeda. Taha signed the 1998 statement declaring war on the United States along with Bin Laden and Zawahiri. Taha had not conferred with the Egyptian Islamic Group shura council. Moreover, Zawahiri apparently had not obtained the approval of EIJ’s shura council to their great consternation. While the US government views Al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad as having merged in 1998, they had essentially been the same organization, with the merger having occurred some years earlier.

    In a statement in February 1998, the Vanguards of Conquest said that Muslims should unite against the “real enemies of Islam,” the United States and Israel. “The time has come to coordinate..to stop our knee-jerk reactions and killing those who are not the enemy..we have to think strategically,” the group said. Under one view, EIJ by this time was Vanguards of Conquest by another name — with Zawahiri its leader and spokesperson. The Egyptian government claimed that Yasser al- Sirri managed and financed the group Vanguards of Conquest, also known as the New Jihad, from his London home while on the public dole. Zawahiri’s wrath against the United States sharpened in 1998 upon the extradition to Egypt of the islamic jihad members from Albania. The trial of the 107 defendants in the “Albanian returnees” in 1999 was the biggest trial of militant islamists since the assassination of Sadat. Zawahiri was sentenced to death in absentia, as was his brother, Muhammad. Muhammad was responsible for Jihad’s military wing and was a member of its shura council. Muhammad Zawahiri was in charge of contacts with EIJ leaders inside Egypt and traveled with Ayman.

    A 1998 Defense Intelligence Agency document produced to Judicial Watch four years ago confirms Bin Laden’s plans to penetrate US biodefense. It describes OBL’s biological aspirations in association with the late Arab Chechen fighter Ibn Khattab. The means by which a worldwide caliphate was to be established was by terror, “latent penetration,” and control over nuclear and biological weapons. After 9/11, Ibn Khattab was killed by a poison letter.

    The typed document was derived from handwritten documents obtained through a classified intelligence project with the unclassified nickname “Swift Knight.” According to the report, the documents were written during the first two weeks of October 1998. The document stated in part:

    THE NEW PROGRAM INCLUDES TOPICS IN– “DIVERSIONS” WITH THE HELP OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, INCLUDING BACTERIOLOGICAL, AND INCENDIARY MIXTURES

    • DXer said

      Zawahiri’s April/May 1999 Memos To Al Qaeda’s Military Commander Atef and Interest In Anthrax and Pesticides

      George Tenet, in At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, summarized:

      “The most startling revelation from this intelligence success story was that the anthrax program had been developed in parallel to 9/11 planning. As best as we could determine, al-Zawahiri’s project had been wrapped up in the summer of 2001, when the al-Qaida deputy, along with Hambali, were briefed over a week by Sufaat on the progress he had made to isolate anthrax. The entire operation had been managed at the top of al-Qai’da with strict compartmentalization. Having completed this phase of his work, Sufaat fled Afghanistan in December 2001 and was captured by authorities trying to sneak back into Malaysia. Rauf Ahmad was detained by Pakistani authorities in December 2001. Our hope was that these and our many other actions had neutralized the anthrax threat, at least temporarily.”

      In an April 1999 memorandum, Zawahiri wrote that “the destructive power of these [biological] weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapons. *** [D]espite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concern that they can be produced simply.” Demonstrating that Al Qaeda’s knowledge and expertise was still at a very early stage despite the grand statements and
      threats the earlier year, the memorandum read:

      “To: Muhammed Atef
      From: Ayman al-Zawahir

      Folder: Outgoing Mail
      Date: April 15, 1999
      I have read the majority of the book [an unnamed volume, probably on biological and chemical weapons] [It] is undoubtedly useful. It emphasizes a number of important facts, such as:
      1) The enemy started thinking about these weapons before WWI. Despite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concerns that they can be produced simply with easily available materials.
      b) The destructive power of these weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapon

      c) A germ attack is often detected days after it occurs, which raises the number of victims.
      d) Defense against such weapons is very difficult, particularly if large quantities are used.”

      Ayman continued: “I would like to emphasize what we previously discussed—that looking for a specialist is the fastest, safest, and cheapest way [to embark on a biological- and chemical-weapons program].

      Simultaneously, we should conduct a search on our own.*
      ** Along these lines, the book guided me to a number of references that I am attaching. Perhaps you can find someone to obtain them.”

      The memorandum goes on to cite mid-twentieth-century articles from, among other
      sources, Science, The Journal of Immunology, and The New England Journal of Medicine, and lists the names of such books as Tomorrow’s Weapons (1964), Peace or Pestilence (1949), and Chemical Warfare (1921). The April 1999 email to Atef indicated Ayman had read one USAMRIID author’s description of the secret history of anthrax reported by USAMRIID — the book was called Peace or Pestilence. That was 2 1/2 years before the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. Post-9/11, we have had the same history avidly reported to us by critics of the biodefense industry. Ayman, well-aware of USAMRIID’s history with anthrax, may have had an operative or some other sympathizer arrange to obtain the US Army strain that would point the public and authorities to this history — confounding true crime analysis at the same time providing moral justification for the use anthrax under the laws of jihad. His interpretation — alluded to in the repeated citation to a particular koranic verse — was that jihadists should use the weapons used by their enemies.

      In Afghanistan, Zawahiri was assisted by Midhat Mursi (alias Abu Khabab). In his late 1940s, Mursi had graduated from the University of Alexandria in 1975. An Egyptian chemical engineer, he ran the camp named Abu Khabab. Intelligence reportedly indicates that Midhat Mursi had for some time been linked to the Kashmir-based Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to a May 7, 1999 email, the modest amount of $2,000 to $4,000 had been marked for “startup” costs of the program. A letter dated May 23, 1999 written by one of Zawahiri’s aliases mentions some “very useful ideas” that
      had been discussed during a visit to the training camp Abu Khabab. “It just needs some experiments to develop its practical use.” Especially promising was a home-brew nerve gas made from insecticides and a chemical additive that would help speed up penetration into the skin. Midhat Mursi was widely reported and believed to have been killed in a January 2006 bombing raid in Pakistan — at a high-level terror summit at which Zawahiri’s son-in-law was also killed. But a year-and-a-half later, the Washington Post matter-of-factly announced:
      “U.S. and Pakistani officials now say that none of those al-Qaeda leaders perished in the strike and that only local villagers were killed.” Midhat Mursi later was killed in a missile strike in the summer of 2008.

      Al Qaeda’s experimentation with its chemical weapons has been featured on the nightly television news picturing a dog being put to death. Director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies and former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, Jonathan Tucker, an expert retained by the government to determine the chemical used in the video, opined that it was hydrogen cyanide. As journalist John Berger explained of the tapes: “US intelligence said al-Qaida’s chemical weapons programme was centered in Darunta camp. The mastermind behind experiments was allegedly Egyptian Midhat Mursi, who ran a section of the camp known as Khabab, and who worked mainly with Egyptians. Experts said that all but one of the voices on the tapes shown yesterday by CNN spoke in Egyptian accents. KSM had non-pilot hijackers practice how to slit passengers’ throats
      by making the hijackers practice killing sheep, goats, and camels in connection with the planned “Planes Operation.” Did the Amerithrax perpetrators similarly practice killing animals?

      Ahmed Ressam testified at his trial in New York that he participated in experiments using cyanide gas pumped into an office building ventilation system at a training camp run by bin Laden in Afghanistan. Abu Khabab camp was within the Darunta Camp, which also included the Assadalah Abdul Rahman camp, operated by the son of blind cleric Omar Abdel Rahman. Ayman liked the idea to make a home-brew nerve gas from insecticides and a chemical additive that would help speed penetration into the skin. In a June 1999 memo, however, he talked about building labs (with one being closed every three months so it can be moved and replaced by another), and planned to have them covered with oil paint so they might be cleaned with insecticides.

      • DXer said

        Open September 1999 Letter From a London Radical Sheik Calling For Holy Biowar And Bin Laden’s Response

        In early September 1999, the London Sunday Times reported that London Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad, a friend of Abu Hamza, the mullah with metal claws for hands, in an open letter read out in mosques across Britain and published on the internet, called on Osama Bin Laden to use biological weapons against America and its allies. Sheik Omar Bakri posted his open letter to Bin Laden on his own website and read in mosques in Sheffield, Bradford, Leicester and London. When US officials complained, the letter was taken off the internet. “Using any biological weapons in self-defence is, in Islam, permissible, and I believe that we are currently operating under a defensive jihad. Obviously, we regret what could happen to innocent people, but there are always people who are war casualties or, if you like, victims of war.” He recommends that biological weapons be used against the “occupiers” of holy lands.

        Youssef Bodansky, the director of the Congressional United States Task Force on Terrorism, said: “Bakri knows that his letter will be acted upon and that is why he has written it.” He told the Sunday Times Bin Laden had taken encouragement from Bakri’s message and had issued a reply that was read out in mosques in Pakistan and Britain.

      • DXer said

        Targeted Assassination of Individuals in Symbolic Positions

        Contrary to the pundits who just associate Al Qaeda with a “big bang,” a key modus operandi of the Vanguards of Conquest was targeted assassination and it was widely known known that Zawahiri was seeking to weaponize anthrax for use against US targets. The Egyptian Islamic Jihad group specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian government officials, including Cabinet ministers. The group had a “hit list” that included tens of Egyptians to be killed by the group, including journalists. In May 1987, a Major General was shot outside his home in Cairo. Several EIJ members and two Islamist Group members were arrested in connection with the attack. In November 1990, six members of EIJ were arrested in connection with the murders of People’s Assembly Speaker and five security men on October 12, 1990. The EIJ’s military wing, the Vanguards of Conquest, launched a violent campaign in March 1992. Of 223 killed in the first year or two, 67 were policemen, 76 were Islamic militants, 36 were civilian Christian Copts, and three were foreign tourists.

        Prosecutors and policemen would be targeted to avenge torture. By April 1995, 700 had been killed. Al-Jihad has had a role in most foreign terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies over the past 20 years. The group is most well known for its first, the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

        In August 1993, the same year as the bombing of the World Trade Center, al-Jihad attempted to assassinate Egyptian Interior Minister by firing on his motorcade and detonating a homemade bomb. The group also made an attempt that year against Prime Minister with an explosion which occurred about 500 yards from his home as his motorcade passed. A 15-year-old girl standing at a nearby bus stop was killed. EIJ issued a statement claiming the action was to avenge the recent death sentences. In 1992, Islamic Jihad activists murdered an author, Faraj Fodah, who had openly supported Israeli-Egyptian peace. The secular columnist in his last article had suggested that the militants were motivated by sexual frustration more than politics.

        In March 1994 Egypt’s higher military Court passed death sentences in absentia that included Tharwat Salah Shehata, Yasser al-Sirri, and ‘Isam Muhammad ‘Abd-al-Rahman for the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sedki on November 25, 1993. In 1994 al-Jihad militants were linked to two unsuccessful attempts to bomb the Israeli and U.S. embassies in Manila. In June 1995, the Vanguards of Conquest claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attempt to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

        In 1993-1994, hundreds of Cairo-area Vanguards of Conquest members were rounded up and prosecuted while Dr. Hamouda finished up his PhD in microbiology at Cairo Medical in the microbiology department where Heba Zawahiri taught. I asked him which of the defendants he knew but he did not respond.

        In November 1995, an EIJ suicide car bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan killed 17 and injured 59. An Egyptian with Canadian citizenship, Ahmad Saeed Kadr (Khadr), was charged in connection with the bombing. Kadr worked as the regional director of Human Concern International, a Canadian relief agency in Peshawar, and was alleged to have moved money through the aid agency from Afghanistan to Pakistan to pay for the operation. In December 1995, the Vanguards of Conquest sent a communiqué warning Pakistan to stop extraditing militants to Egypt, or “it will pay a heavy price.” That month, Egyptian Security forces arrested 56 terrorists after being tipped off by an EIJ informer. The group was accused of planning to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak on 1995 using 550 pounds of explosives to blow up the President’s motorcade.

        In November 1997 after the killing in Luxor, Egypt, of 58 tourists by Al Gamaa Al Islamiyaa, the Vanguards of Conquest warned that orders had “already been given for attacks on Americans and Zionists not only in Egypt but elsewhere.” In February 1998 Al Jihad was one of the founding signatories involved in the creation of the World Islamist Front for the Jihad against Jews and the Crusaders (World Islamist Front). The Front subsequently issued a fatwa calling for the killing of Americans worldwide and the expulsion of Americans from the holy land and Jews from Jerusalem. Egyptian Islamist sources declared that the release of the statement marked Al Zawahiri’s and Al Jihad’s return to the field of active terrorist groups.

        In June 1998 Egyptian security authorities arrest seventeen members on charges of forming an Al Jihad cell in east Cairo. Resulting confessions revealed that Al Jihad was planning to assassinate a number of public figures and security officers. That month, Jihad members al-Najjar (head of Al Jihad in Albania), and Majed Mustapha were arrested in Albania, reportedly with the aid of the Central Intelligence Agency, and extradited to Egypt in late June 1998. An August 1998 Statement issued by the Information Office of the Jihad Group in Egypt vowed revenge on the United States for the extradition of three Al Jihad members from Albania to Egypt.

        In September 1998, a number of senior EIJ and IG leaders in London were arrested, including the EIJ cell members who had faxed the claim of responsibility for the embassy bombings. In April 1999, after verdicts in the “Returnees from Albania,” the Vanguards of Conquest and Al Jihad issue separate threats of retaliation. Of the 107 accused, 87 defendants were found guilty, including Canadian Mahmoud Mahjoub. The day of the bombing, shortly after the explosions, EIJ military commander Mabruk called Canadian VOC member Jaballah and told him to call the London cell members and tell them he could be reached at Shehata’s residence. Shehata was Jaballah’s brother-in-law. The London cell members then issued a claim of responsibility for the blasts. That year, the group also planned an unsuccessful attack on the U.S. Embassy in Albania.

        Throughout these years, an estimated 70 Egyptian militants were rendered by the US to Cairo prior to 9/11 and the anthrax mailings. The fact that targeted assassination was the modus operandi of the US-based islamists — and that the motivation was retaliation for the detention of senior leaders and to create leverage aimed at their release — was established by the first of a series of terrorist attacks in the US — the assassination of radical rabbi Meir Kahane by Egyptian Nosair. Nosair emigrated from Egypt in 1981. In his address book, Nosair had written the names of some Jewish officials, to include two judges who recently had extradited an Arab terrorist. Nosair’s job had been to protect the blind sheikh in the US. He was a friend of Ali Mohammed who stayed with him when he came to New York. The commentators who argued that Al Qaeda just goes for the “big bang” were overlooking the modus operandi of the Vanguards and what was known about Ayman’s biological program through “open source” materials.

        In his March 2007 confession to a military tribunal, KSM admitted to having been involved in a plot to assassinate a number of former American presidents (including Jimmy Carter), Pope John Paul II and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. In December 2007, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. To suggest that Zawahiri and his colleagues do not use targeted assassination as their modus operandi — indeed, to not appreciate that it is the EIJ’s key modus operandi — totally misses the mark.

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