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

* “Absence of Meglumine and Diatrizoate” in Scientific Approaches Used To Investigate The Anthrax Letters (February 2010)

Posted by DXer on May 10, 2012



3 Responses to “* “Absence of Meglumine and Diatrizoate” in Scientific Approaches Used To Investigate The Anthrax Letters (February 2010)”

  1. DXer said

    “Additional Forensic Investigation of 2001 Anthrax Attacks,” Clinicians’ Biosecurity News, May 25, 2012, by Amesh A. Adalja, MD, FACP, May 25, 2012

  2. DXer said World renown anthrax expert Martin Hugh-Jones posted excerpts of the article on Pro-Med.

    According to Wikipedia, ProMED-mail has more than 50,000 participants in over 185 countries.

    MHJ writes:

    ” The key sentence is the last: ‘The absence of meglumine and diatrizoate on the evidentiary material … was supportive to the investigation in indicating that the evidentiary spore material [in the letters] was not diverted directly from RMR-1029.’

    So Bruce Ivins could not have brewed up these spores working after hours as proposed by the FBI. It had to have been done elsewhere in an institute that did not employ “RenoCal-76(R) or similar products to purify spores.’ ”

    He adds:

    “It is hard to understand why it has taken so long for this information to be published, more than 10 years since the events of October 2001. One can think of various scenarios but Swider and her colleagues, and their superiors, are to be congratulated on their institutional courage as there must have been pressures to not do so.”

  3. DXer said

    Did Martin Hugh-Jones and his co-authors address this issue in their article? I don’t recall if it was mentioned but it was not one of the three featured issues as I recall.

    If not, it seems an unfortunate omission given that it has a significance equal to and close parallels with the so-called Silicon Signature.

    In this instance, it was what was NOT detected in the mailed anthrax but WAS in Flask 1029.

    New York Post editorial:

    Anthrax and the FBI
    Last Updated: 4:24 AM, October 23, 2011
    Posted: October 23, 2011

    It has been 10 long years since envelopes stuffed with anthrax spores terrorized the East Coast — and just one year since the FBI officially closed the case in a not-terribly-convincing way.
    Now a group of eminent scientists have found that the FBI’s conclusions may be shockingly wrong.

    A new paper in the Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense contends that the FBI’s sole suspect, Army scientist Bruce Ivins, might have had an accomplice — or may even have been innocent.
    That’s no small matter: The attacks are the worst case of bioterrorism the United States has ever faced, killing five and sickening 17, including three employees of The Post.

    NY Post anthrax letter

    But the FBI fumbled for about seven years before fixing on Ivins, who committed suicide as investigators closed in.


    But it was never clear that the FBI had brought the case to a proper conclusion. And the new study shows why.

    It turns out the bureau hid from the public its discovery that the anthrax spores were laced with tin and silicon …

    And while the FBI says the new paper is wrong, it clearly can’t be trusted to judge cases that reflect badly on its own conduct. Indeed, its ability to pursue sensitive investigations at all is in doubt.
    To cite just one example, in the months before Nidal Malik Hasan massacred 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009, the FBI intercepted e-mails Hasan had sent to al Qaeda imam Anwar al-Awlaki. But it sat on clear evidence the unhinged Hasan was quickly boiling over — and let the killer-in-waiting go on his fatal shooting spree.

    Given the FBI’s troubled anthrax history, it’s good to see that Congress’ oversight body, the Government Accountability Office, is conducting its own review of the FBI’s work and looking into the possibility that Ivins had help in growing the anthrax or acquired it from another lab.

    We hope the FBI is right about Ivins, and that Americans can sleep soundly. But hope doesn’t cut it in bioterrorism.

    Read more:

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