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

* In his coded message to Ramzi Binalshibh written in German, in August 2001, Atta used codename “Jenny” and discussed attack involving four schools.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 7, 2012

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14 Responses to “* In his coded message to Ramzi Binalshibh written in German, in August 2001, Atta used codename “Jenny” and discussed attack involving four schools.”

  1. DXer said

    In plots involving Adnan El-Shukrijumah, “wedding” was used to refer to a planned attack.

    5 charged as al Qaeda plotters in US and UK
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    July 7, 2010
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/07/07/us.al.qaeda.indictments/

    The charges link a plot against targets in New York to a scheme to attack a target in the United Kingdom, and say both were directed by “senior al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.”

    The cells used similar codes to communicate with their handler, both saying they were planning a “wedding” to mean an attack. …

    The other suspects charged Wednesday are Adnan El Shukrijumah

  2. DXer said

    Afghan doctor with alleged terrorist ties denied bail
    Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
    Last updated: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 1:08 AM

    “Federal prosecutors allege that Dawari lied on his application for U.S. citizenship about his long-standing ties to Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, a group with ties to al-Qaeda that has claimed responsibility for attacks on American forces in Afghanistan. Its founder, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has been designated a “global terrorist” by the Treasury Department.

    FBI agents raided the home in January, seized the package, and later found what prosecutors have described as a “coded message that appears to order some urgent action” glued between two pages of a religious tract.

    “That is not the way that normal people have legitimate conversations,” Williams said.

    She has declined to describe what the message said, citing national security concerns. Instead, she provided short snippets in court. “Please, use the sentence number [#] for the time being,” one read, according to a government motion that did not include the number mentioned in the cipher.

    Tinari described those vague excerpts as “innocuous” and maintained that the government itself doesn’t fully understand what the messages mean.

    “They have not yet decoded the entire message to show whether there’s anything inflammatory or that poses a danger to this country,” he said.

    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140814_Afghan_doctor_with_alleged_terrorist_ties_denied_bail.html#eIGgXzHEuieU0jK8.99

    Comment:

    I discuss Hekmatayar here:

    “Blind sheik Abdel-Rahman spoke to Mary Anne Weaver, author of the seminal A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant Islam in the mid-1990s. Abdel-Rahman first went to Peshawar in 1985. He left from Peshawar for a trip into Afghanistan after being released after three years in an Egyptian prison after Sadat’s assassination. He settled into the back seat of the U.S.-supplied camouflaged truck shortly after prayers, helped into a flak jacket by his friend, Afghan resistance leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar was receiving half of the CIA’s financial support even though he was one of the most anti-US leaders in the resistance against Soviet occupation. Mary Anne Weaver wrote in The Atlantic Monthly in 1996: “They had much in common: both were exceedingly charismatic religious populists; both had committed their lives to jihad, or Islamic holy war; both were fiery orators. They were both given to elliptical, colorful turns of phrase, and their shared message was clear: the imperative to overthrow a secular government — whether in Afghanistan or Egypt — and establish an Islamic state.” Weaver recounts that joining them in the truck was Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin. The 60 CIA and special forces officers in Peshawar considered Abdel-Rahman an asset. In preaching jihad, Abdel-Rahman travelled to Islamic centers in Germany, England, Turkey, and the United States.”

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/laurie-garrett-fbi-did-not-fully-pursue-evidence-that-might-link-the-attacks-to-al-qaida/comment-page-1/

    Islambouli was in a cell with 911 planner KSM. They were planning attacks on the US.

    Is the thought that it was in the nature of a “Vernam cipher” and “one-time pad”?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_pad

    One of my favorite treasure mysteries relates to the Beale Cipher — very possibly a hoax based on a fiction. The Beale Cipher supposedly required finding the appropriate key text. I believe the book would have been one each party would have in the 1820s. So an attempt to crack it involved pouring over scanned texts from the perio. Years ago I was looking at texts from the late 18th Century and early 19th Century scanned on microfiche at the local university library. With the hundreds of thousands of books being scanned, a computer could much more efficiently consider possible texts.

    But the threshold inquiry would relate to whether it was all a creative fiction.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beale_ciphers

    In an age when genealogical research has become so advanced, reading the scholarly exploration and whether there was a Thomas Beale with a treasure — and then dipping into ancestry.com — would be fun.

    The Madison Bouckville antique show is upon us and so old books really come alive.

  3. DXer said

    EXCLUSIVE: Terror suspect linked to Al Qaeda subway bomb plot will act as own lawyer at trial
    Abid Naseer, 28, a Pakistani national, has been linked to the three Queens men who were ready to detonate backpack bombs in crowded subway trains in Manhattan and was allegedly going to carry out an attack in Manchester in 2009.
    BY JOHN MARZULLI NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, July 28, 2014

    Naseer, 28, shared the same email account and Al Qaeda handle as the three Queens men — Najibullah Zazi, Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin — who were ready to detonate backpack bombs in crowded subway trains in Manhattan. Naseer, a Pakistani national, was a member of a terror cell in England and was allegedly going to carry out an attack — referred to in code as “the wedding” — in Manchester in 2009.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/terror-suspect-linked-subway-bomb-plot-act-lawyer-article-1.1882312

  4. DXer said

    Over the past several years, there have continued to be numerous instances where the terror operative used the code word “wedding” to refer to a planned attack. This is surprising given that NSA filters permit analysts to eavesdrop on planned nuptials.

    In Amerithrax, “Jenny” and her planned wedding was integral to the communications. The CDC report, in a peer reviewed publication, found that there were two letters sent to AMI publications containing anthrax. The CDC found that this was discernable from the two routes of anthrax contamination through the post offices. The CDC scientists published their conclusion that there were two letters, not one, containing anthrax sent to AMI (to two different publications) The hardworking FOIA personnel at CDC provided me 2000 pages relating to their study of the issue. One of them was the so-called Jenny letter. The GAO should publish interviews of the CDC scientists.

    “Jenny” was the code name that Atta used for Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, the 911 plotter. I have uploaded the email that Atta wrote Ramzi above. The letter sent to AMI in Florida was on the subject of the planned marriage of Jenny. 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.”

    Stephanie Daley never got sick. (Bianco had inhalational). While the time for cutaneous infection is shorter, the time for inhalational infection tends to be 10 days. See, e.g., Sverdlosk studies. The CDC’s painstakingly reached scientific conclusion is corroborated by the intel.

    But it is fascinating that the Al Qaeda operatives still use the codeword “wedding” given it jumps to the top of the pile of the overworked NSA analysts.

  5. DXer said

    According to a published CDC report, there was thought to be two different letters to AMI publications — the inference was based on the two different routes through the post offices.

    One of the letters involved a planned wedding for Jenny. (Lopez). Wedding in Al-Qaeda-speak means attack. The code word is still used by El-Shukrijumah, such as in the NYC subway plot involving Zazi and another young fellow.

    It was Ramzi Binalshibh in 2002 — not KSM in March 2003 — who first told authorities about El-Shukrijumah.

    Even more dramatic, in June 2001, Ramzi flew to Kuala Lumpur, In Malaysia, home of none other than Al Qaeda’s lab technician.

    (You may recall that KSM had some folks move the crates of equipment to Kandahar in May 2001. According to Chomel, Yazid Sufaat’s wife, he left for Afghanistan in June 2001.)

    Now 911 plotter Ramzi Binalshibh was given $5,000 by lead anthrax planner Mohammed Atef to go to Kuala Lumpur at the start of June. Where did he stay? Yazid Sufaat’s condo?

    Ramzi Binalshibh’s detainee assessment S E C R E T / / N O F O R N I I 2 O 3 I I 2 O 8 states:

    “In June 2001, detainee left Afghanistan and traveled to Karachi, PK, wherehemet KSM at the Mahran Hotel.” KSM had made Abd al-Rahim Gulam Rabbani aka (Abu Rahmah) aka (Sayyid Amin), ISN US9PK-001460DP(PK-1460), responsible for detainee’s travel.3 KSM gave detainee a Saudi passport in the name of Hasan Ali al-Assiri and a ticket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia( MY), where detainee was scheduled to meet Atta. Detainee also received $5,000 USD from Atef for his travel to Malaysia. Detainee arrived in Malaysia approximately 6 June2001.35 While there,h! stayed at the Hotel Corona, applied fora Yemeni passport, and contacted Atta to inform him that detainee was awaiting Atta’s arrival in KualaLumpur. Atta informed detainee that he was unable to travel because he was busy waiting for the arrival of the other 15 Saudi hijackers in the planned attacks against the US. Detainee remained in Malaysia for threeweeks.’ Detainee phoned KSM to advise him that Atta could not make the meeting. KSM instructed detainee to return to Germany.3T”

    • DXer said

      The detainee assessment for Ramzi Binalshibh indicates that he stayed at the Hotel Corona. Who did he see during his 3 weeks there?

  6. DXer said

    In the plot involving bombing NYC subway a few years in which El-Shukijumah, who I suggest as the anthrax mailer, the operatives used “wedding” to refer to event.

    El-Shukrijumah was trained by Ramzi Binalshibh. Ramzi’s code name was Jenny.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90755&page=1#.UYovMM1cr5M

    FBI Hunts ‘Al Qaeda Field Commander’
    March 20

    The FBI is hunting for a suspected terrorist likened to lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta, and ramping up efforts across America to thwart potential terror attacks.

    ***

    Sources described El Shukrijumah as an al Qaeda field commander who trained under alleged terror financier Ramzi Binalshibh.

    So when a communication discusses a planned wedding involving Jenny — with Jenny being code for Ramzi Binalshipbh — the planned wedding is the planned event.

    Charges Unsealed Against Five Alleged Members Of Al-Qaeda Plot To Attack The United States And United Kingdom
    http://www.thestreet.com/story/10800786/1/charges-unsealed-against-five-alleged-members-of-al-qaeda-plot-to-attack-the-united-states-and-united-kingdom.html

  7. DXer said

    A January 3, 2013 press release issued by the US Attorney for the E.D. N.Y. shows Al Qaeda operatives still using the familiar “wedding” to refer to attack. Note the invovlement of Adnan El-Shukrijumah. (A BOLO was issued for him and Jdey at the same time as Aafia).

    “The al Qaeda leaders, including Adnan El-Shukrijumah and Saleh al-Somali, communicated with Zazi about the plot through an al Qaeda facilitator named “Ahmad” in Peshawar, Pakistan. In early September 2009, after Medunjanin, Zazi, and Ahmedzay had selected the New York City subway system as their target,

    ***
    In the messages, Naseer used coded language to refer to different types of explosives. At the culmination of the plot, in early April 2009, Naseer, again using coded language, told “Ahmad” that he was planning a large “wedding” for numerous guests between April 15 and 20, 2009, and that “Ahmad” should be ready. Notably, evidence at Medunjanin’s trial established that “Ahmad” and Zazi had agreed on a similar code to mean the New York City attack was ready to be executed and that Zazi e-mailed Ahmad that “the marriage is ready” just before he drove to New York in early September 2009.”

  8. DXer said

    The intelligence analysis done by the FBI and CIA was especially weak. They concocted a code involving Dr. Ivins by falsely claiming a particular letter was double-lined and then conceiving a very fanciful code they imagined. Instead, they should have relied on an interpretation of a code that was established by the record — such as Ramzi Bin-AlShibh’s use of “Jenny” and Dr. Ayman’s use of “school” in the preceding months.

  9. DXer said

    Fourth Amendment law is an interesting area involving the balancing of interests. My friend once clerked for Chief Justice Warren Burger and dropped a fun footnote in a case involve aerial surveillance and what was in “plain sight”. While I think putting a GPS unit in a trunk (as distinguished from under a car) always involved entirely different question, once the garbage is put out in the street off the landowner’s property, perhaps the fact that the lid is on shouldn’t matter. If an officer is going to have to wake up at 4 a.m. in the morning and put on clothes he can get dirty, he might as well at least know whether the outing is going to be fruitful before he arrives to see whether the lid happens to be on. If landowners want to have fun, they should point a motion detecting camera (with video) at their trash or cars. Then upload the footage to YouTube at the right moment. Also, always put your important papers in with the cat poop.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/02/25/fbi-turns-off-thousands-of-gps-devices-after-supreme-court-ruling/

    • FEBRUARY 25, 2012, 3:36 PM

    FBI Turns Off Thousands of GPS Devices After Supreme Court Ruling

    By Julia Angwin

    The Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices has caused a “sea change” inside the U.S. Justice Department, according to FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann.

    Mr. Weissmann, speaking at a University of San Francisco conference called “Big Brother in the 21st Century” on Friday, said that the court ruling prompted the FBI to turn off about 3,000 GPS tracking devices that were in use.

    These devices were often stuck underneath cars to track the movements of the car owners. In U.S. v. Jones, the Supreme Court ruled that using a device to track a car owner without a search warrant violated the law.

    After the ruling, the FBI had a problem collecting the devices that it had turned off, Mr. Weissmann said. In some cases, he said, the FBI sought court orders to obtain permission to turn the devices on briefly – only in order to locate and retrieve them.

    Mr. Weissmann said that the FBI is now working to develop new guidelines for the use of GPS devices. He said the agency is also working on guidelines to cover the broader implications of the court decision beyond GPS devices.

    For instance, he said, agency is now “wrestling” with the legality of whether agents can lift up the lid of a trash can without committing trespass. The majority opinion in U.S. v. Jones held that the agents had trespassed when placing the GPS device on a car without warrant.

    He said the agency is also considering the implications of the concurring justices – whose arguments were largely based on the idea that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the totality of their movements, even if those movements are in public.

    “From a law enforcement perspective, even though its not technically holding, we have to anticipate how it’s going to go down the road,” Mr. Weissmann said.

  10. DXer said

    The documentary evidence establishes that Ayman Zawahiri — in a June 2001 letter to his supporters — used “school” as code for the Eyptian Islamic Jihad.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that Dr. Ivins did.

    The documentary evidence establishes that the anthrax lab director and Moussaoui used greenlab@usa.com — no evidence that Dr. Ivins used such a name.

    The documentary evidence establishes that CBRN/911 planner Ramzi Binalshibbh used “Jenny” — no evidence that Dr. Ivins ever did.

    The documentary evidence establishes that the operatives — such as Moussaoui and Al-Timimi’s colleagues — regularly spoke of going to paradise by the “green birds.” (see Federal Eagle stamp).

    What we have in the rationalizing of a code for Dr. Ivins is the same speculative nonsense that we saw in 2002 when Dr. Hatfill was connected — speciously — to a Greendale School. When I proved, by contacting the school, that its name was not in fact Greendale School (putting aside the fact that Hatfill had no connection to it), it was speciously claimed that the school was known as that. It was not.

    Moving forward, the people who continue to withhold or spoliate evidence material can be expected to be treated harshly. There is a formal federal district court order forbidding spoliation of evidence relating to Majid Khan and the destruction of any materials would subject the parties to contempt charges.

    • DXer said

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/nyc-accountant-pleads-guilty-to-charge-he-sought-to-use-tech-skills-to-help-al-qaida/2012/06/04/gJQAeR6uDV_story.html

      NYC accountant pleads guilty to charge he sought to use tech skills to help al-Qaida

      • By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, June 4, 3:03 PM
      ***

      The investigation uncovered evidence that Hasanoff and his co-defendant used code words on Internet chats during 2009 about fighting jihad and finding other al-Qaida contacts, prosecutors said. In their coded language, “safari” was used in place of “jihad” and saying a friend was “hospitalized” meant that he was “in prison.”

      Comment: Saying a friend was “hospitalized” to mean he was in prison is the same code that Dr. Ayman used in communicating with the large Yemeni cell in 2000.

      It illustrates that the use of the word “school” had meaning to Dr. Ayman’s supporters precisely because of its familiar use.

  11. DXer said

    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.

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