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

* TOP SECRET – 02/14/2001 – Bin Laden and his associates have experimented by crude means to make and deploy biological agents. Bin Laden has sought to acquire military-grade biological agents or weapons.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 27, 2012

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58 Responses to “* TOP SECRET – 02/14/2001 – Bin Laden and his associates have experimented by crude means to make and deploy biological agents. Bin Laden has sought to acquire military-grade biological agents or weapons.”

  1. DXer said

    Graeme MacQueen* writes at page 129 of his book “2001 Anthrax Deception” (Clarity 2014)

    “In any case, foreknowledge of the anthrax attacks, widely accepted in the fall of 2001 as deriving from a valid process of intelligence gathering, is today a highly visible sign of fraud. The foreknowledge did not derive from valid intelligence gathering, and because we now know this, we are justified in assuming it derived from the perpetrators of the attacks. An intelligence agency with integrity would be able to follow the leads, even today, quickly to their sources.”

    No. To the contrary, Graeme’s failure to have read the article about the announcement of Ayman Zawahiri’s EIJ two detained shura members — and also Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman’s attorney Montasser Al-Zayat — is widely accepted as a sign of his continuing willful ignorance. Now he has compounded his ignorance with libel.

    I had extensive correspondence with Tara O’Toole in 2002 and nothing he says rings true.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/ayman-zawahiri-anwar-awlaki-anthrax-and-amerithrax-the-infiltration-of-us-biodefense/

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  2. DXer said

    Graeme MacQueen* writes at page 122 of his book “2001 Anthrax Deception” (Clarity 2014):

    “(iii) Dark Winter: Osama Bin Laden is on the list of suspects. Reference is made to the possibility of “autonomous groups—specifically Bin Laden.” (An October 23 Washington Post article, describing the Dark Winter terrorist teams, says: “spookily prescient, they are identified as being from al Qaeda.”32)
    Anthrax Attacks: Bin Laden’s group is an immediate and leading suspect and remains so for some time.”

    But why should this be a surprise given the intelligence that existed about Bin Laden’s intent? That is, after all, the entire purpose of the exerciise.

    Note: Unless Lew can save me through a global command, I have spelled Graeme’s last name wrong countless times — my apologies.

  3. DXer said

    In his highly political book, “2001 Anthrax Attacks” (Clarity, 2014), Graeme McQueen writes:

    “Jeanne Guillemin, in her substantial book on the anthrax attacks, notes:
    Anthrax was quickly identified as the most likely ‘second blow’ that al Qaeda would launch against Americans. My phone began ringing with requests from reporters and news stations to outline the basics about the disease. On October 4, when the diagnosis of the first anthrax letter case was announced in Florida, I was in the CBS newsroom, having come to New York, my hometown, to brief reporters.5

    Guillemin goes on to describe the role of the media in spreading anxiety and panic with its reporting of the danger of an anthrax attack6 and gives one of the results of this reporting: “A September 23 Newsweek poll indicated that eight out of ten Americans thought that a biological attack was a least ‘somewhat likely.’” 7 But none of this causes Guillemin to pause to investigate this peculiar foreknowledge and its challenge to the FBI’s narrative of the attacks.

    A second article in the Post on the same day (September 17) had the title: “Bioterrorism: An Even More Devastating Threat.” Anthrax was one of the dangers mentioned, and care was taken, in that connection, to mention Iraq. Journalist Rick Weiss added:

    Biological attacks can be far more difficult to respond to than conventional terrorist attacks. For one thing, they are covert rather than overt; for days, no one would know that one had occurred. That’s a huge problem for a disease like anthrax. Curiously, at the moment Weiss was pondering this possibility the first anthrax letters were being sent out or were about to be sent out (the first letters went out between September 17 and 18).

    Meanwhile, back at The New York Times, an op-ed by Maureen Dowd appeared on September 26 entitled, “From Botox to Botulism.” The article’s theme was that naïve “boomers” were living in the delusion that “they could make life safe.” This generation “that came of age with psychedelic frolicking” was ill prepared, Dowd said, for Muslim martyrs dispersing biological toxins. Upper middle class New York women were carrying Cipro, Dowd claimed, in their “little black Prada techno-nylon bags” due to widespread fears of an anthrax attack.

    Cipro (ciprofloxacin) was the antibiotic recommended at the time against anthrax. It is not surprising that Cipro received a great deal of media attention in October after it was clear that people were contracting anthrax, but it is odd that Cipro received so much attention in the period just prior to the attacks. On September 27, the day after Dowd’s article, The New York Times carried an article with the title, “Anthrax Scare Prompts Run on an Antibiotic.” “‘We can’t keep it in stock,’ says Sebastian Manciameli, ‘a pharmacist at Zitomer Pharmacy on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.’”10

    It eventually came out that some White House staff had been put on Cipro on September 11, 2001. In 2002, the public interest group Judicial Watch filed a series of lawsuits against U.S. government agencies:
    In October, press reports revealed that White House staff had been on a regimen of the powerful antibiotic Cipro since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Judicial Watch wants to know why White House workers, including President Bush, began taking the drug nearly a month before anthrax was detected on Capitol Hill.12

    The strange and seemingly prescient worries about anthrax were not restricted to The New York Times and the Washington Post. An investigator attempting to get a full picture of foreknowledge would want to pay attention not only to other news media, but also to other kinds of published documents14 as well as dramatic representations. Among dramatic representations the investigator would have to deal with the planned NBC mini-series, Terror.15 Work on this series was intense by August of 2001 and filming was supposed to start on September 24. The series was to have had al-Qaeda setting off an explosion in the New York subway. The event would kill 1000 people and would be accompanied by the release of anthrax. There was also a CBS series about the CIA that had been written, apparently, before September 11 and began to be broadcast in late September. One show in the series “involved a planned terrorist attack in the U.S. using anthrax.” The CIA, in this story, discovers that the perpetrator intends to use “a crop duster plane to spray the deadly disease.” The theme of the CBS story is said to have been suggested by a CIA consultant working with CBS.

    How are we to explain all the foreknowledge of the attacks?””

    Comment:

    Perhaps Graeme McQueen wasn’t receiving the same briefing government decision-makers were receiving, to include the Secret Service. Perhaps he wasn’t on the USG list for distribution about Bin Laden’s and Ayman Zawahiri’s desire and announced intention to use anthrax. You think?

    DXer … if we knew what President Bush knew in February 2001, Amerithrax would be seen with entirely different eyes
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 2, 2010
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/dxer-if-we-knew-what-president-bush-knew-in-february-2001-amerithrax-would-be-seen-with-entirely-different-eyes/

    Perhaps Graeme McQueen missed the Blind Sheik’s public and widely available lawyer announcement that Dr. Ayman planned on using anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of his client, Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman.

    DXer: The Blind Sheik’s Lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat Announced In 1999 That Ayman Zawahiri Would Use Anthrax Against US Targets To Retaliate For Imprisonment Of Senior EIJ Leaders, Most Notably Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 3, 2013
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/dxer-the-blind-sheiks-lawyer-montasser-al-zayat-announced-in-1999-that-ayman-zawahiri-would-use-anthrax-against-us-targets-to-retaliate-for-imprisonment-of-senior-eij-leaders-most-notably-blind/

    Perhaps Graeme McQueen missed the New York Times article about Atta’s inquiries about the cropdusters.

    Perhaps he didn’t read the news article in which Ayman Zawahiri’s confidante, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad military commander Mabruk and another EIJ shura member, announced that Dr. Ayman planned to use anthrax against US targets.

    Perhaps Graeme did receive the same information from Egyptian Security services that the CIA did about intel from interrogations.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/ayman-zawahiri-anwar-awlaki-anthrax-and-amerithrax-the-infiltration-of-us-biodefense/

    Perhaps MI5 told the CIA but not Graeme about the equipment that they had found in Rauf Ahmad’s luggage upon leaving one of the Porton Down conferences.

    GAO: On Rauf’s Quest For Virulent Anthrax For Ayman Zawahiri, Was The Second Lab He Visited A BL-3 Lab at Porton Down? Was He Cleared To Go?

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 21, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/gao-on-raufs-quest-for-virulent-anthrax-for-ayman-zawahiri-was-the-second-lab-he-visited-a-bl-3-lab-at-porton-down-was-he-cleared-to-go/

    Given that Graeme did not start reading about the anthrax attacks until 2010, perhaps he did not read the article uploaded at FAS about the Egyptian Islamic Jihad confessions.

    The solution is simply for him and Meryl and Barry and Frances to read more — not to accuse others of wrongdoing based on specious evidence.

    Amerithrax may represent the greatest counterintelligence analysis failure in history, but the CIA’s intel regarding Dr. Zawahiri’s plan to use anthrax against US targets was WAY better than that of Graeme, Meryl, Barry and Frances.

    Islamic Jihad ‘Confessions’ Described
    London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic 6 Mar 99 p 5
    AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT
    Saturday, March 6, 1999

    First of three reports by Khalid Sharaf-al-Din from Cairo: “Surprises in the Trial of the Largest International Fundamentalist Organization in Egypt. Abu-al-Dahab: My Mission Was To Attack the Turah Prison After Dropping a Bomb from a Glider”

    (FBIS Translated Text) In the second-biggest trial of fundamentalist organizations in Egypt, since the Jihad Organization trial of 1981 that followed the assassination of late Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, the leading defendants being tried by the Higher Military Court at Haekstep base north of Cairo gave new information about an international organization whose policies were in accord with what has been attributed to Bin-Ladin, especially in the matter of attacking US interests around the world, particularly US embassies in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

    The Egyptian security services have continued their investigations in the Returnees from Albania case throughout the past four months. More than 20,000 pages of investigation report contain the defendants’ detailed confessions to the nature of their anti-regime activities, violent acts inside Egypt, and plans to threaten the state’s stability.

    The defendants’ confessions brought many surprises and details about the violent groups’ role, the extent of their activities abroad, and the political ambitions they were pursuing through their banned activities.


    Nonconventional Weapons (subhead) The most controversial point in the confessions of the defendants from the Albanian fundamentalist group was the confirmation that pro-Bin-Ladin elements had obtained germ and biological weapons by post at a cheap price. Factories in the former Eastern Europe supply viruses that cause fatal diseases, such as E-Coli and Salmonella, without checking the identities of the purchasers. The important thing for them is payment of the invoice in advance. One of the organization’s members secure an offer to supply samples of anthrax gas (as published) and other toxic gases from a factory in a Southeast Asian country. The germs were offered at a price of $3,685, including shipping costs. A laboratory in Indonesia exported serums to the Islamic Moro Front, which has close ties with pro-Bin-Ladin groups and with Arab Afghans and Balkans (as published). It is believed that the Moro Front has large quantities of toxic gases.

    In another part of the investigation the defendants said that a laboratory in the Czech Republic had agreed to provide samples of the lethal botulinum germ at $7,500 a sample. The laboratory did not query the purpose for which this lethal substance would be used. The security services’ report on this point said that it is possible to use a microscopic quantity of these viruses (as published) to kill hundreds of people by inhaling it or eating contaminated food.

    The security services monitored contacts that elements abroad made with members inside the country to urge them to carry out new operations against police officers with the aim of undermining security. The security authorities exerted great efforts to monitor these elements and succeeded in getting back 12 leading members from Albania, another group from Arab and African countries, in addition to defendants seized in the (Nile) Delta area as they were preparing to carry out new operations, specially the al-Minufiyah group.

    The investigations conducted by the security services and the Higher State Security Prosecution Office with the defendants revealed a number of new changes in the Islamic groups’ ways of action and therefore the means of confronting and monitoring them. The defendants’ confessions showed that the organizations adopted new mechanisms, most noticeably the following: They expanded the scope of their targets. They stopped limiting them to Egyptian and Arab figures and installations and included the interests of the major powers, specially US and French interests, because of their involvement, according to the defendants, in the pursuit of the organization’s members inside and outside their territories. According to defendant Sa’id Salamah’s confessions, targeting these countries’ interests was bound to have a massive media value, and this would confirm the organization’s capabilities, which some quarters had begun to doubt.

    They diversified the targets and did not limit them to the blowing up of installations. This change included the kidnapping of figures and hostages “so as to bargain with the ruling regimes and security services for the release of the detained members of the Islamic Group (IG) or other pro-loyal groups, as defendant Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar said in his confessions.

    They launched joint action with other groups and organizations, both local groups and others operating outside their countries. They sought to reduce the ideological and jurisprudential differences between the various groups that were active in armed action. The defendants’ confessions revealed that coordination was indeed made between the main groups of Jihad, the Vanguards of Conquest, the IG, and the groups that split from it. Meanwhile, this new action was carried out under the umbrella of what was called the Army for the Liberation of Islamic Holy Places, which is reportedly led by Usamah Bin-Ladin, who has become the highest organizational term of reference for all the jihad groups.
    ***

  4. DXer said

    Bin-Ladin had allegedly anthrax from Czech Republic – Czech press
    Prague CTK in English 0558 GMT 26 Oct 01
    CTK
    Friday, October 26, 2001
    Journal Code: 2229 Language: ENGLISH Record Type: FULLTEXT
    Document Type: Daily Report; News
    Word Count: 223
    (FBIS Transcribed Text) Bin-Ladin had allegedly anthrax from Czech Republic – Czech press

    Text of report in English by Czech news agency CTK

    Prague, 26 October: Islamic radical Usamah Bin-Ladin and his group allegedly gained samples of anthrax and bacteria of salmonella and e-coli for 10,000 dollars in Central Europe, including the Czech Republic, the daily Lidove noviny writes today.

    The daily quotes Egyptian Islamic extremist Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar as saying this at a recent trial of more than 100 members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The confession has been published by the US daily New York Post.

    There has already been speculation that terrorists may have obtained anthrax from the Czech Republic, but Czech authorities deny this.

    However, al-Najjar claims the opposite.

    “‘Factories’ in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Eastern Europe supplied deadly bacteria, including e-coli and salmonella, by mail without checking the identities of the purchasers as long as Bin-Ladin’s agents paid 7,500 dollars up front,” Al-Najjar said.

    Bin-Ladin’s group was able to get the anthrax germ from another “factory” in Southeast Asia, he said.

    (Description of Source: Prague CTK in English — principal press agency)

  5. DXer said

    Bin-Ladin Men Reportedly Possess Biological Weapons
    London Al-Sharq al-Awsat (Internet Version) in Arabic 6 Mar 99
    AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT
    Saturday, March 6, 1999
    Journal Code: 1431 Language: ENGLISH Record Type: FULLTEXT
    Document Type: Daily Report; News
    Word Count: 459
    Report by Khalid Sharaf-al-Din in Cairo

    (FBIS Translated Text) Confessions by defendants in the “Albanian Arabs” case, which is being considered by the Egyptian Supreme Military Court at Hykstap Base, northern Cairo, have revealed that elements loyal to Bin-Ladin have obtained germ and biological weapons by post in return for a small sum. Factories in the former (Soviet bloc) eastern countries are supplying to whoever wants them viruses causing deadly diseases, such as Ebola and Salmonella, without verifying the identity of the importer.

    Thus, a member of the organization has managed to obtain an offer for the supply of samples of anthrax and other poisonsfrom a factory in one of the East Asian countries. The germs have been made available at a price equivalent to $3,695 plus freight charges. At another point in the investigation, the defendants pointed out that a laboratory in the Czech Republic agreed to supply samples of the deadly gas, Potolinium (transliterated as published), for a sum equivalent to $7,500 per sample.

    The laboratory did not inquire about the purposes for using the deadly gas.

    Egyptian security agencies have conducted investigations into the case of the “returnees from Albania” over the past four months and compiled a 20,000-page report, parts of which have been examined by Al-Sharq al-Awsat. The defendants made full confessions about the nature of their activities against the Egyptian regime, such as acts of violence in Egypt and plans to destabilize the state. The confessions of the defendants revealed many surprises about the full role being played by the leaders of fundamentalist groups abroad.

    The first defendant in the “Albanian Arabs” case, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar, revealed in his confession, which covers 143 pages of the report on the investigations conducted by the higher state public prosecution before referring the whole case to the military justice, that Ayman al-Zawahiri was declared leader by members of Jihad group abroad several years ago; also, that ‘Abbud al-Zummar, former leader of the group and founder of the Jihad Organization, who is currently serving a life sentence for the assassination of the late Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, is no longer the actual leader of the organization and does not have any organizational authority.

    This information explains the conflicting positions of the imprisoned group leaders and the absconding leaders abroad on the initiative to stop acts of violence, which was announced by the imprisoned leaders and rejected by the absconding ones. Al-Najjar says Jihad’s organizational structure has become very complex since many leaders now live abroad, and those who live in Egypt are careful to not expose themselves to danger.

  6. DXer said

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/its-biological-weapons-that-keep-james-steinberg-up-at-night/259281/

    It’s Biological Weapons That Keep James Steinberg Up at Night

    JUL 1 2012, 6:51 PM ET 3

    The former Deputy Secretary of State rightly notes that they’re arguably more terrifying than even nuclear weapons.

    Reuters

    The panel, “Technology of War: What Does the War of the Future Look Like,” mirrored the larger discussion of those subjects in American media: it focused on drones and cyber-warfare, and understandably so, for those are the cutting-edge weapons actually being deployed in present conflicts, and likely to play an even greater role in future conflicts, especially as more countries use them.

    But James Steinberg, former Deputy Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, says there’s a less discussed threat that sometimes keeps him up at night, and that he sometimes worries about even more than nuclear weapons: a future when someone unleashes a powerful bio-weapon.

    The Spanish flu epidemic killed scores of millions starting in 1918, he pointed out, and a man-made virus could be as deadly, or even more deadly. He isn’t the first to make that observation.

    Notes from the Aspen Ideas Festival — See full coverage
    What I find interesting is something that didn’t come up during the session at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Doesn’t the likely future where bio-weapons will be easier to produce – where they can be conceived and spread by less and less sophisticated actors – suggest a very different strategy in the War on Terrorism than the one we’re now employing? The present approach is to kill as many Al Qaeda members as possible by searching out militant training camps and gatherings.

    But the threat of bio-weapons would seem to make Robert Wright’s notion of avoiding blowback and decreasing the overall hatred of America even more relevant than it is now. Of course, that won’t necessarily work either. It could just be that much of humanity does when some radical loon unleashes a deadly virus 10 or 35 years from now. That’s presumably why Steinberg says it’s the threat that keeps him up at night.

    • DXer said

      In cleaning my desk top, I came across a screen grab of this statement from a book:

      “The paradox remains. How does a former CIA officer maintain the cultural code of the quiet professional and at the same time seek to inform the public, to advance understanding and thereby support for the intelligence mission? I seek to strike the right balance between a retired spy’s honorable discretion and an active citizen’s public responsibility.”

      I don’t specifically recall the book or the author but I think it related to KSM’s capture and I expect that the former CIA author was indicted — perhaps on the grounds that the technology used in tracking him (even though he submitted it for publication review).

      I just saw a horrible movie, THE KILLER ELITE starring Stratham, DeNiro and an equally well-regarded British actor whose name escapes me.

      There were similar themes though I strongly recommend against the movie on the grounds that it sucked and wasn’t enjoyable to watch.

      If the government doesn’t want anyone telling their secrets, then perhaps they should do better in not doing anything that would not make their mother proud.

      Because everyone should assume that their secrets in the end will be told too and you need to start living your life consistent with that assumption.

      Because as DeNiro explained, “everyone can be found.”

      If it means you leave the country, so be it.

      • DXer said

      • DXer said

        Prosecutors unsuccessfully sought to prevent Attorney Cohen from leaving the country.

        Indicted lawyer for accused terrorists says government’s out to silence him
        Published: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:11 PM Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 3:52 PM
        By John O’Brien / The Post-Standard

        Cohen has defended a half-dozen accused terrorists, including the political leader of Hamas. He’s also represented clients in the Northern District of New York, the indictment said. Those clients included Mohawk Indians accused of smuggling $687 million worth of cigarettes and liquor through the Indian reservation into Canada in the mid-1990s.

        In a court appearance this morning, prosecutors did not ask that Cohen be held in jail, but asked U.S. Magistrate David Peebles to order him to get the court’s permission before traveling to a foreign country. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Green asked that before Cohen first disclose his itinerary to the court, along with the names of the clients he’s going to meet with.

        If he’s convicted as charged, Cohen would lose his law license, which would make him a risk of fleeing, Green said. Green also asked Peebles to require Cohen to notify prosecutors in other jurisdictions that he’s facing criminal charges, to prevent any conflicts of interests in those cases.

        Cohen represents 10 clients in the Northern District of New York, along with clients in 12 other states and five foreign countries, said his lawyer, James McLoughlin, who objected to both of the government’s requested conditions of release.
        Peebles denied prosecutors’ request that Cohen get court permission before traveling outside the U.S. The judge asked both sides to submit written arguments on the question of whether Cohen must notify other prosecutors of his charges.

        Comment: What years did Attorney Cohen represent the Blind Sheik? Does he represent any of the members of the London cell? Although accomplished across a wide spectrum of defendants, who does he represent in the salafist-jihadist milieu?

        October 22, 2005
        Leak Prosecutor Is Called Exacting and Apolitical

        By SCOTT SHANE and DAVID JOHNSTON

        WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 – In 13 years prosecuting mobsters and terrorists in New York, Patrick J. Fitzgerald earned a public reputation for meticulous preparation, a flawless memory and an easy eloquence. Only his colleagues knew that these orderly achievements emerged from the near-total anarchy of his office, where the relentless Mr. Fitzgerald often slept during big cases.

        “You’d open a drawer, looking for a pen or Post-it notes, and it would be full of dirty socks,” recalled Karen Patton Seymour, a former assistant United States attorney who tried a major case with him. “He was a mess. Food here, clothes there, papers everywhere. But behind all that was a totally organized mind.”

        That mind, which has taken on Al Qaeda and the Gambino crime family, is now focused on the most politically volatile case of Mr. Fitzgerald’s career. As the special prosecutor who has directed the C.I.A. leak investigation, he is expected to decide within days who, if anyone, will be charged with a crime.

        To seek indictments against the White House officials caught up in the inquiry would deliver a devastating blow to the Bush administration. To simply walk away after two years of investigation, which included the jailing of a reporter for 85 days for refusing to testify, would invite cries of cover-up and waste.

        Yet Mr. Fitzgerald’s past courtroom allies and adversaries say that consideration of political consequences will play no role in his decision.

        ***

        Stanley L. Cohen, a New York lawyer who has defended those accused of terrorism in a half-dozen cases prosecuted by Mr. Fitzgerald, said he never detected the slightest political leanings, only a single-minded dedication to the law.

        “There’s no doubt in my mind that if he’s found something, he won’t be swayed one way or the other by the politics of it,” Mr. Cohen said. “For Pat, there’s no such thing as a little crime you can ignore.”

        Mr. Fitzgerald, 44, whose regular job is as the United States attorney in Chicago, is a hard man to pigeonhole. The son of Irish immigrants – his father, Patrick Sr., was a Manhattan doorman – he graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Law School. Though he is a workaholic who sends e-mail messages to subordinates at 2 a.m. and has never married, friends say the man they call Fitzie is a hilarious raconteur and great company for beer and baseball. Ruthless in his pursuit of criminals, he once went to considerable trouble to adopt a cat.

        ***

        But Mr. Cohen, whose defense work on behalf of Hamas and other groups has provoked controversy, says he has always found Mr. Fitzgerald willing to listen, and to distinguish between militant rhetoric and genuine terrorist plotting. “If I need a straight answer from a federal prosecutor, I call Pat,” Mr. Cohen said.

        Mr. Fitzgerald’s moral grounding began at Our Lady Help of Christians school in his native Brooklyn. He attended Regis High School, a Jesuit institution in Manhattan for gifted students, all of whom attend on scholarship. At Amherst, where he majored in math and economics, he was an unassuming kid with a New York accent who was a stellar student, one others frequently turned to for help, recalled Walter Nicholson, an economics professor.

        At Amherst, he worked part time as a custodian; in the summers during college and law school, his father helped him find work as a doorman.

        After three years in private practice, he joined the United States attorney’s office for the southern district of New York and quickly distinguished himself.

        “I’ve tried a lot of cases, and he’s probably the toughest adversary I’ve ever seen,” said Roger L. Stavis, a New York defense lawyer who faced Mr. Fitzgerald during the 1995 terrorism trial of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Mr. Stavis prided himself on knowing the web of Muslim extremists but was surprised when Mr. Fitzgerald asked a witness about Osama bin Laden, then an obscure figure.

        “I thought, ‘I don’t know who Osama bin Laden is, but he’s in Pat Fitzgerald’s crosshairs,’ ” Mr. Stavis said. In 2001, Mr. Fitzgerald led the team that convicted four men in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa.

        During his time in New York, Mr. Fitzgerald’s hapless bachelor ways became legendary. For months he did not bother to have the gas connected to the stove in his Brooklyn apartment. Once, in a fit of domesticity, he baked two pans of lasagna, recalled Amy E. Millard, a New York colleague. Distracted by work, he left them uneaten in the oven for three months before he discovered them, Ms. Millard said. When he tried to adopt a cat, she remembered, he was turned down because of his work habits and only later acquired a pet when a friend in Florida had to give up her cat and had it flown to him to New York.

        ***

        “Some people may feel he’s independent to a fault, because his independence makes him unpredictable,” Mr. Seymour said. “I think it makes him the perfect person for this job.”

        • DXer said

          The Blind Sheik once said that he would stop using “doves” to send messages the day that the USG stopped relying on secret evidence.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/11/nyregion/11lawyers.html

          NY TImes: Lawyers Take Uneasy Look at the Future

          By WILLIAM GLABERSON

          Lawyers who take politically unpopular cases said yesterday that the conviction of Lynne F. Stewart was a warning that they could be prosecuted, too, though some insisted that they would not bow to what they called the intimidating message of the verdict.

          “I don’t think that there’s a political lawyer in this country who doesn’t believe that the government has a plan to target the lawyers who do what we do and to silence us,” said Stanley L. Cohen, one of the country’s best-known defenders of militants, terror suspects and other unpopular clients.

          “If anything,” Mr. Cohen said of Ms. Stewart’s conviction, “it will make us more determined.”

          But defense lawyers who usually steer clear of such cases said the evidence at Ms. Stewart’s trial had left them believing that her conviction might not have as much effect on their work as they once feared.

          When the charges were announced, many defense lawyers objected that government prosecutors had gathered evidence by invading the privileged setting of attorney-client meetings. Yesterday, though, some lawyers said the evidence indicated that perhaps Ms. Stewart had stepped over a line – that the evidence showed that she seemed to revel in breaking prison rules she had agreed to accept and had passed messages for her client.

          Ronald P. Fischetti, a New York defense lawyer, said yesterday that at first, he had been alarmed by what he saw as the prosecution’s overreaching when it appeared that it had eavesdropped on Ms. Stewart’s prison meeting with the client at the center of the case, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind Islamic cleric.

          But after following the trial, Mr. Fischetti said, he came to believe that “in my mind, she went beyond the bounds of advocacy.”

          “Some of the things she did were based on her own political beliefs,” he said.

          Another New York defense lawyer, Judd Burstein, said the government’s prosecution of any defense lawyer for the way a client is represented raised concerns, but he said, “There has to be some line between aggressive advocacy and improper conduct.”

          During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence showing that Ms. Stewart had called a reporter in Cairo to say that Mr. Abdel Rahman was withdrawing his support for a cease-fire his followers there had adopted.

          The prosecution also showed videotapes of Ms. Stewart saying “good for them” when her client was told in her presence that a militant group in the Philippines had taken hostages. Recordings showed that she seemed to enjoy trying to distract prison guards so they would not know when her translator was giving Mr. Abdel Rahman messages about his followers and their plans.

          After one such incident, according to a prosecution transcript, she said of her performance for the guards, “I can get an Academy Award for it.” When the tape was played during the trial, that remark was difficult to hear clearly in the courtroom.

          Yesterday, Mr. Burstein said reports about the trial had made him think that Ms. Stewart’s case might not represent a broad new assault on defense lawyers by the government. “I would hope,” he said, “that any lawyer I know would have the judgment not to do what she did.”

          Still, there was a sense among some lawyers who have represented politically unpopular clients that the conviction might thin their ranks considerably, as lawyers worry about the consequences of opposing a government that is under intense pressure to win conviction in terrorism-related cases.

          Ronald L. Kuby, a defense lawyer and radio talk show host, said yesterday that Ms. Stewart’s conviction would add to the pressures on defense lawyers in such cases. Mr. Kuby briefly represented the same client, Mr. Abdel Rahman.

          “I know what happens in these cases,” Mr. Kuby said. “Your colleagues shun you. The public hates you. Your own family begins to question what you’re doing. There aren’t many lawyers willing to take these cases, and I think there will be fewer in the future.”

          Gerald B. Lefcourt, a New York defense lawyer who has represented political radicals, said the pressures on lawyers in such cases would be more intense now.

          Mr. Lefcourt also acknowledged, though, that defense lawyers sometimes consider the consequences to themselves. Those consequences increased exponentially with Ms. Stewart’s conviction, he said.

          Some lawyers who count themselves as admirers and friends of Ms. Stewart found it difficult to separate their feelings for her from the effect the verdict might have on their work.

          Roger L. Stavis, who worked alongside Ms. Stewart representing another defendant in the case that led to Mr. Abdel Rahman’s conviction, said it was regrettable that a lawyer could be convicted of a crime “for her zealous representation of a particularly odious client.”

          When asked whether Ms. Stewart’s conviction would make such cases more difficult, he would say only, “Cases of this nature are difficult enough without the government injecting itself into the relationship between an attorney and a client.”

  7. DXer said

    Afghans fear mysterious school ‘poisonings’

    By Quentin Sommerville BBC News, Kabul
    4 July 2012
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18118818

    ***

    But the evidence is far from solid, the facts puzzling.

    There are some here who want to stop girls going to school, but whether they resorted to poisoning is a mystery that, so far, remains unsolved.

  8. DXer said

    The redacted portions discuss Islambouli.

    This document and the December 1998 PDB to the same effect to President Clinton — declassified and referenced in the 911 Commission Report — had reported that the aircraft and other attacks were being planned by the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Mohammed Islambouli. was in a cell with Khalid Mohammed (”KSM”), who by November 2001 had come to lead the cell planning anthrax attacks in the United States. The anthrax was sent on the date of Sadat’s assassination and the date the Camp David Accords were approved. Sadat’s peace with Israel was a key reason the militants killed Sadat.

    Mr. Islambouli personally knows those responsible for the anthrax mailing and would make a fascinating interview.

    While it was interesting to learn that Bruce Ivins did not get a kiss on his prom date, regardless of whether a reporter credits an Ivins Theory, it is time for investigative reporters to obtain key interviews relating to Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning.

    • DXer said

      By the way, Islambouli (with financing by Canadian Khadr as I recalled) planned the Islamabad embassy bombing in the 1990s. Zawahiri denied (falsely) being involved in that bombing just as Bin Laden denied (falsely) being involved in 911. It is silly that people would be misled by Bin Laden’s denial (while snickering) being involved in the anthrax mailings.

  9. DXer said

    http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/06/muskegon_county_officials_prep.html

    Muskegon County officials prepare for disasters with fake anthrax outbreak
    Published: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 10:08 AM

    Six Muskegon County Sheriff’s deputies also participated in the exercise as “security” for the deliveries.
    “In a real event, these products would be worth more than their weight in gold,” Muskegon County Undersheriff and emergency coordinator Dan Stout said.

    Comment: Are authoriites underestimating the number of people who would leave the area? Why would a parent not promptly evacuate their children?

    Pharmacies and toll booths leading out from the city seem a better idea than doctor offices as a point of distribution.

    • Dxer said

      Consider the test done today in St. Louis County involving drive-by distribution. Doctor offices tend to be clustered in the same parts of a city. Pharmacies are much more widely distributed and have fewer parking problems. Moreover, drive-by points of distribution can be set up wherever the logistics favor. In St. Louis County, it was 100 degrees. They attracted 500 with free chicken.

  10. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins Work In the B3 Provably Related To His Work With Animals As He Claimed: The DOJ Wrongfully WIthheld Those Documents And Omitted All Discussion Of His Research With The Rabbits

    Dr. Ivins worked with Ames in a BL-3 lab on the dates preceding the mailings. The documents were withheld by the FBI and produced by the USAMRIID to me under FOIA after two years of wrangling. The documents confirm Dr. Ivins’ claim that he was working with animals — including a couple dozen rabbits.
    For example, an October 5, 2001 email by Dr. Ivins indicates that 12 of 24 rabbits died over the course of 3 days after an October 2, 2001 subcutaneous challenge. The plan for the Covance study was to ship them to USAMRIID for subcutaneous challenge after immunization at the Covance facility in Pennsylvania. It would be a snug fit for 24 rabbit cages in the animal room in Building 1425. His colleague Mara Linscott said in an FBI interview that the work was a on-person job and would take approximately each of those nights and on the weekend. The prosecutors in the Amerithrax Summary claimed that Dr. Ivins was only checking on some mice and have refused to produce the relevant notebook pages under FOIA relating to his work with the rabbits. Thus, for example, the FBI based their Ivins Theory on the false premise Dr. Ivins had no reason to be on the lab on October 2, 3 and 4, 2001 when it says he was making anthrax into a powder. To the contrary, he was obligated to handle many requirements under the strict protocols relating to his research with the rabbits (as well as other protocols relating to other animals). The rabbits and his duties specified by the protocols are nowhere mentioned in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary. The omission rises to the level of prosecutorial misconduct.

    • DXer said

      Here is an exampleo of the type of factual misstatement and innuendo that substitutes for evidence.
      An October 2007 affidavit in support of a search of the home of Ft. Detrick microbiologist Bruce Ivins states:
      “In that same September 26, 2001 email, Dr. Ivins states “Osama Bin Laden has just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans” — language similar to the text of the anthrax letters postmarked two weeks later warning “DEATH TO AMERICA,” “DEATH TO ISRAEL.”
      Bin Laden had decreed that and Dr. Ivins was accurately describing a well- publicized news event.
      One affidavit reads “Ivins sent an email to a friend [redacted] a few days before the anthrax attacks warning [redacted] that “Bin Laden terrorists for sure have anthrax and sarin gas”… Actually, the email was September 26, 2001 a full week AFTER the first anthrax attack. The FBI omitted Ivins’ phrase “I just heard tonight…” and fails to disclose the media accounts appearing that day to include evening broadcast reports repeating Gertz’ column making that point in the Washington Times.
      Bill Gertz had published a September 26 column that morning reporting that Al Qaeda attempting to acquire sarin and anthrax.
      “Intelligence officials say classified analysis of the types of chemicals and toxins sought by al Qaeda indicate the group probably is trying to produce the nerve agent Sarin, or biological weapons made up of anthrax spores.”
      Why is it evidence of a crime for him to know what the CIA knew — and the FBI and DOJ SHOULD have known? That Dr. Zawahiri intended to use anthrax against US targets had been publicly announced in the press.
      His professional field was the protection against anthrax. Would you expect him to be concentrating on his golf game in mid-September 2001?

      • DXer said

        Just before the 1998 embassy bombings, Zawahiri and his Vanguards of Conquest had said that the rendering of the senior EIJ leaders would be answered in “language you can understand.” Before the military tribunal, in March 2007, KSM talked of the language of war — deaths. “Same language you use, I use. That is why the language of any war in the world is killing.” Here, the lethal letters were plainly worded.
        The letter postmarked September 18, 2001 read:

        “09-11-01
        THIS IS NEXT
        TAKE PENACILIN NOW
        DEATH TO AMERICA
        DEATH TO ISRAEL
        ALLAH IS GREAT.”

        From the streets of Cairo to Tehran to Jakarta, on historic anniversaries (such as Jerusalem Day in Iran, the day the Israeli state was created) protesters have gathered on the streets and shouted “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” For the talking heads to profile it as a non-Islamist awkwardly trying to sound muslim is odd. It is in fact the common protest slogan.
        What surer way to avoid giving away clues than to use common short phrases or short sentences using common words. Egyptians such as Islamic Group leader and soft-spoken accountant, Taha — and Egyptian Islamic Jihad #2 Shehata and Shawqi Islambuli, brother of Sadat’s assassin — may very well have watched these protesters shouting these very chants while living in Iran after 9/11.
        The next month, the letter arriving one Friday afternoon at Senator Daschle’s office at Room 509 of the Hart Office Building had garnered little notice. It was routed up to the sixth-floor mailroom. No one opened the letter that afternoon. They were all at a talk on the threat of biochemical attacks sent through the mail. On Monday morning, however, an intern found the innocuous looking letter, postmarked October 9, 2001, at the top of a pile of a stack of mail waiting to be opened. The intern made a slight cut and immediately a small amount of powder spilled out on her skirt, shoes and the floor, as well as an intern standing next to her. She froze. The Capitol Hill officers arriving at the scene opened the letter and read it aloud:
        “09-11-01
        YOU CAN NOT STOP US.
        WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX.
        YOU DIE NOW.
        ARE YOU AFRAID?
        DEATH TO AMERICA.
        DEATH TO ISRAEL.
        ALLAH IS GREAT.”
        Among the piles of papers of documents relating to anthrax in a house associated with a Pakistan charity was a drawing of a jet shooting down a balloon. (There were 10 copies each as if a seminar or brainstorming session was being conducted). The words “YOU ARE DEAD, BANG.” Thus, although some pundits argued that “YOU DIE NOW” in the anthrax letters does not sound like a militant islamist, the physical
        evidence relating to Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning suggests otherwise. Indeed, “WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX” was starkly threatening, just like Atta’s “We have some planes” to the passengers of AA Flight 11 over the intercom.
        Mohammed Islambouli, brother of Sadat’s assassin, may be the final key that unlocks the Amerithrax mystery. Islambouli was part of a cell with KSM. KSM took over from the Al Qaeda military head Atef as head of the anthrax weaponization operation. The Al Qaeda spymaster, Egyptian al-Hakaymah, wrote about Amerithrax. He announced that Islambouli was leading those Egyptian Islamic Group members who have joined Al Qaeda to seek the release of their leader blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Islambouli was expected to send someone to the US to plan the next attack, as described in the December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton that warned of a planned attack involving airplanes and other means. The 9/11 Commission Report contains a copy of the declassified December 1998 PDB which discusses Islambouli. This month a related document has been uploaded by the National Security Archives at GWU on the 7th floor of Gelman library.

        • DXer said

          In a plot hatched with Dr. Ayman and his colleagues were in Khartoum, Al-Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin who was at one point in the cell with KSM, came close to assassinating the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on June 22, 1995. Mubarak was on the way from Addis Ababa International Airport to an African summit in the city. Shawqi and his associates opened fire on the armor-plated limousine destroying most of the escort vehicles. However, Mubarak was saved by the skills of his chauffeur, who raced back to the airport where the presidential plane was waiting.

          Al-Islambouli was deported to Egypt in May 2011 from Iran after having military court in Cairo ordered his release on health grounds in February 2012

          “Egypt military court releases the brother of Sadat’s assassin”. Al-Ahram. 2012-02-27.

          Mr. Islambouli is now available to interview on the issue of the anthrax mailings in the United States.

  11. DXer said

    Anthrax Lab Technician’s Service With Malaysia’s Former Biological Warfare Program

    A March 23, 2012 article reporting on an interview with Yazid Sufaat explained:
    “Among the longest-serving ISA detainees in history, Yazid, currently under travel, asset and arms deals sanctions imposed by the United Nations, believes his incarceration has to do with his “expertise.” Trained as a biochemist on a government scholarship in the United States, this top student of the Royal Military College who retired as a captain with the army was part of a biological warfare programme under the Defence Ministry. Osama Laden, Yazid was hesitant to reveal details about the government’s “secret” programme which was later scrapped, describing it “a long story.”
    “When they (the police) first took me in, I didn’t tell them (about the government programme). I didn’t want them to know, didn’t want the liability to fall on the government, to pass the buck to someone else.”
    “Finally, they managed to get a report from their ‘friend’ and they wanted me to clear things up. I didn’t want to clarify (anything), so they took my wife in,” said the father of four.”
    His wife, Sejahratul Dursina@Chomel Mohamed, was held under ISA for two months and after this was placed under a movement restriction order for six years.
    “If you want to be released from ISA, just follow what they say and admit to all the charges… I refused to do so and they kept me for seven years… because I don’t want to sing (Negara-ku).”
    “I don’t want to sing. Why should I (when) the country had betrayed me?” Yazid asked. …
    ***
    The other two individuals linked to 9/11 who stayed in the Sungai Long condominium were Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi – two of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon.
    The duo, according to the United Nations, had stayed at Yazid’s condominium in January 2000 to attend what the UN termed an “al-Qaeda conference” in Kuala Lumpur.
    “I was not there. At that time I was in Pakistan and Afghanistan, building a hospital there,” Yazid said.
    Next to the hospital, he said, was a laboratory where he is accused of developing biological weapons – an accusation not levelled at him during his detention under the ISA, but earning him the moniker “Anthrax CEO”.
    Favourite bugs
    A leaked Guantanamo Bay document posted on Wikileaks noted that a Yemeni detainee said Yazid had “poor lab techniques”. But Yazid said that he was in fact “successful” in developing some “bugs”, but the laboratory was destroyed when the Northern Alliance forces bombed Kandahar. “I can still find (anthrax) if I want to, but what for? It has no commercial value. Anthrax is only good for sabotaging, it cannot kill. “It’s not my favourite bug, anyway. I’d rather use bacteria or virus yang betul-betul(really) hit you and give you one or two hours before you die.”

    • DXer said

      The Other “Anthrax Weapons Suspect”: White House Chief of Staff’s Former Assistant Ali Al-Timimi

      In a filing unsealed in United States v. Al-Timimi, Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer, Professor and MSNBC commentator Jonathan Turley, explained that his client “was considered an anthrax weapons suspect.” Al-Timimi was a computational biologist who came to have an office 15 feet from the leading anthrax scientist and the former deputy commander of USAMRIID. A motion filed in early August 2008 seeking to unseal additional information in federal district court was denied. The ongoing proceedings were highly classified.
      Dr. Al-Timimi’s counsel summarizes
      “we know Dr. Al-Timimi:* was interviewed in 1994 by the FBI and Secret Service regarding his ties to the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing;
      * was referenced in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”) as one of seventy individuals regarding whom the FBI is conducting full field investigations on a national basis;
      * was described to his brother by the FBI within days of the 9-11 attacks as an immediate suspect in the Al Qaeda conspiracy;
      * was contacted by the FBI only nine days after 9-11 and asked about the attacks and its perpetrator
      *was considered an anthrax weapons suspect;
      [redacted]
      * was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having “extensive ties” with the “broader al-Qaeda network”;
      * was described in the indictment and superseding indictment as being associated with terrorists seeking harm to the United States;
      * was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali; and
      * was associated with the long investigation of the Virginia Jihad Group.
      ***
      The conversation with [Bin Laden’s sheik] Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. ***
      [911 imam] Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy. The 9-11 Report indicates that Special Agent Ammerman interviewed Al-Aulaqi just before or shortly after his October 2002 visit to Dr. Al-Timimi’s home to discuss the attacks and his efforts to reach out to the U.S. government.
      [IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden [redacted].”

      The first week after 9/11, FBI agents questioned Al-Timimi. He was a graduate student in a program jointly run by George Mason University and the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”). Ali, according to his lawyer, had been questioned by an FBI agent and Secret Service agent in 1994 after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He had a high security clearance for work for the Navy in the late 1990s. The defense webpage reported he had once served as the assistant for the White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. (Mr. Card had been Secretary of Transportation in 1992-1993; from 1993 to 1998, Mr. Card later was President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association.) As time off from his university studies permitted, Ali was an active speaker with the Ann Arbor-based charity Islamic Assembly of North America.
      A letter attached as an exhibit notes that in March 2002 Al-Timimi spoke with Al-Hawali about assisting Moussaoui in his defense. Al-Hawali was Bin Laden’s sheik who was the subject of OBL’s “Declaration of War.” Moussaoui was the operative sent by Bin Laden reportedly to be part of a “second wave” who had been inquiring about crop dusters. Moussaoui had been given $35,000 and a $2,500 monthly stipend by Yazid Sufaat. Sufaat says that he formerly was part of the Malaysian Armed Forces biological weapons program and went to Afghanistan to develop biological weapons for Al Qaeda.
      The filing and the letter about Al-Timimi’s connection to Moussaoui each copy defense co-counsel, the daughter of the lead prosecutor in Amerithrax. That prosecutor pled the Fifth Amendment concerning all the leaks hyping a “POI” of the other Amerithrax squad, Dr. Steve Hatfill. His daughter withdrew as Al-Timimi’s pro bono counsel on February 27, 2009.
      ‘Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s Support Committee’ in an email to supporters dated April 5, 2005 explained: “This is a summary of the court proceedings that took place yesterday April 4th 2005. We will send a summary everyday
      inshallah. *** “In his opening statement, Defense attorney Edward B. MacMahon Jr. said that Al-Timimi was born and raised in Washington DC. He has a degree in Biology and he is also a computer scientist, and a mathematician. He worked for Andrew Card, who’s now the White House chief of staff, at the Transportation Department in the early 1990s.”
      In 2002 and 2003, the FBI and CIA may have been concerned that there might have been unauthorized access to the Ames strain. That would explain their aggressive prosecution of various matters related to Al-Timimi’s charity,
      IANA, which was based in Ann Arbor 1 mile from the NanoBio office. IANA promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. Al-Timimi was IANA’s most celebrated speaker. He was in active contact with one of those sheiks, who had been Ali’s religious mentor at university in Saudi Arabia.
      Al-Timimi was a current associate and former student of Bin Laden’s spiritual advisor, dissident Saudi Sheik al-Hawali. Ali Al-Timimi preached on the end of times and the inevitability of the clash of civilizations. He was in active contact with al-Hawali whose detention had been the express subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War. At GMU, Dr. Bailey would publish a lot of research with the “Ames strain” of anthrax. The anthrax used in the anthrax mailings was traced to Bruce Ivins’ lab at USAMRIID, where Ivins, according to a former colleague, had done some work for DARPA.
      Al-Timimi would speak along with the blind sheik’s son at charity conferences. The blind sheik’s son served on Al Qaeda’s WMD committee. Al-Timimi’s mentor Bilal Philips was known for recruiting members of the military to jihad.

      • DXer said

        The United States Government Knew That Al Qaeda Was Seeking Weaponized Anthrax And So It Was Negligent To Allow Ali Al-Timimi Work Alongside the DARPA-funded Researchers

        A laptop evidencing Al Qaeda’s intent on weaponizing anthrax was seized in Baku in July 1998. Two months later, Dr. Ken Alibek, then Program Manager, Battelle Memorial Institute, testified before the Joint Economic Committee on the subject of “Terrorist and Intelligence Operations: Potential Impact on the U.S. Economy” about the proliferation of know-how. Dr. Alibek noted that “[t]here are numerous ways in which Russia’s biological weapons expertise can be proliferated to other countries.” Indeed. Sometimes such proliferation is funded by DARPA and any student who wanted to apply to work in the building could submit an application. One applicant accepted was this Salafist preacher seeing signs of the coming day of judgment and the inevitable clash of civilizations. He had been mentored by the sheik named in Bin Laden’s declaration of war in 1996. In 1999, Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for work for the Navy. His father worked at the Iraqi embassy.

        Dr. Alibek testified before the House Armed Services Committee Oversight Panel on Terrorism again in May 2000 about the issue of proliferation of biological weapons. He explained: “Terrorists interested in biological weapons are on the level of state-sponsored terrorist organizations such as that of Osama bin Laden; on the level of large, independent organizations such as Aum Shinrikyo; or on the level of individuals acting alone or in concert with small radical organizations.”

        Dr. Alibek in 2003 told me he knew Ali was a hardliner. More recently he described Ali as a fanatic. Dr. Alibek explained to the Congressional Committee in May 2000: “When most people think of proliferation, they imagine weapons export. In the case of biological weapons, they picture international smuggling either of ready-made weapons material, or at least of cultures of pathogenic microorganisms. However, this area of proliferation is of the least concern. Even without such assistance, a determined organization could obtain virulent strains of microorganisms from their natural reservoirs (such as soil or animals), from culture libraries that provide such organisms for research purposes, or by stealing cultures from legitimate laboratories.” American Type Culture Collection, the largest microbiologist depository in the world, co-sponsored Ali’s bioinformatics program. Dr. Alibek explained: “The proliferation issue is particularly complex for biological weapons. In many cases, the same equipment and knowledge that can be used to produce biological weapons can also be used to produce legitimate biotechnological products.”

        By 2001, Al-Timimi was allowed access to the American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”), the most diverse microbiological repository in the world and allowed to work alongside staff at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense. The Center for Biodefense personnel were working under the largest biodefense award in history. Delta (avirulent) Ames was supplied by NIH and work with virulent Ames was done at Southern Research Institute in Frederick, Maryland under a subcontract. Raymond H. Cypess, president of the germ bank, said of the Ames strain, “We never Blind Sheik’s publicist Sattar spoke with Taha, the IG head close to the Taliban and Bin Laden, in a three-way call with Cairo attorney Al-Zayat. Sattar also spoke on the telephone with Vanguards of Conquest spokesman Al Sirri (based in London). From the beginning, the weaponization of anthrax for use against US targets was inextricably linked to the detention of senior militant Egyptian leaders, including the blind sheik.

        The lead FBI scientist, Jason Bannan, was the collection scientist for the bacteriology division at ATCC to which Ali Al-TImimi had unfettered access. No vetting was done in allowing access to the largest microbiological collection in the world.

        • DXer said

          Al-Timimi had supervised Cairo-based militants writing for the Pittsburgh-based Assirat and then for IANA. One of them, Kamal Habib, was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and a friend of Ayman Zawahiri. The Cairo-based writers Kamal Habib and Gamal Sultan approached the blind sheik Abdel Rahman about starting a political party in early 1999. On March 1 and 2, 1999, Lynne Stewart and translator Yousry visited Abdel Rahman in prison in Rochester, Minnesota and relayed the proposal. On March 6, 1999, the first press reports about anthrax appeared quoting the blind sheik’s Cairo lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, and detainees in a massive trial al-Zayat was defending. He explained that Ayman likely was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate against the rendering and detention of the Egyptian militants.

          On March 9, 1999 following the visit in prison at which the political idea had been proposed, Abdel Rahman issued a statement rejecting a proposal that the Islamic Group form a political party in Egypt. That day, the Islamic Group military commander Mustafa Hamza spoke with the blind sheik’s liaison, US Post Office employee Abdel Sattar. The next month, the Blind Sheik’s publicist Sattar spoke with Taha, the IG head close to the Taliban and Bin Laden, in a three-way call with Cairo attorney Al-Zayat. Sattar also spoke on the telephone with Vanguards of Conquest spokesman Al Sirri (based in London). From the beginning, the weaponization of anthrax for use against US targets was inextricably linked to the detention of senior militant Egyptian leaders, including the blind sheik.

          Ayman Zawahiri’s brother Muhammad was rendered to Cairo in April 1999. Mamdouh Ismail, Al-Zayat’s co-founder of a key reform party, represented the Al-Zawahiri family in connection with Muhammad’s rendition and detention. Ayman Zawahiri and Muhammad’s sister, Heba, a Pharmacology Professor at Cairo Medical, were concerned that he might be mistreated by Egyptian security services. A recent graduate from the same department, Tarek Hamouda, soon was working alongside Bruce Ivins with virulent Ames at Ft. Detrick.

        • DXer said

          Dead Certain At The Bush White House That Al Qaeda Was Responsible

          Biographer Draper in Dead Certain reports that on October 4, 2001, Bush teared up during a speech at the State Department thanking them for their hard work after 9/11. Back at the White House, Bush motioned Fleischer into the Oval Office. “A Boca Raton tabloid editor had checked into a Florida hospital yesterday, Bush told Fleischer. Anthrax. The veil of resoluteness fell away from the president. His shoulders were hunched. Fleischer had never seen him more upset. Neither man said a word — neither had to: This was it, the second wave.”

          Then, immediately after the October 5 denial of bail of the Vanguards of Conquest #2, someone mailed, on or about October 6, 2001, very fine powdered anthrax to US Senators Leahy and Daschle. Dr. Bruce Ivins would later describe the Daschle powder like “dust in the sunlight.” Dr. Ivins graded the Daschle powder an “A,” Leahy a “B”, and the New York powder a “C.”

          An infant visiting ABC was one of the first affected, which should have been prohibited (haram) in anyone’s book. Five people died, including an elderly woman and a hospital worker.

          The August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief (”PDB”) to the President Bush had explained that Bin Laden planned to hijack some aircraft as part of an effort to free the blind sheik. A little noticed December 1998 PDB to the same effect to President Clinton, however — declassified and included in the 911 Commission Report — had reported that the aircraft and attacks were being planned by the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Mohammed Islambouli. Islambouli was in a cell with Khalid Mohammed (”KSM”), who by November 2001 had come to lead the cell planning anthrax attacks in the United States. The anthrax was sent on the date of Sadat’s assassination and the date the Camp David Accords were approved. Sadat’s peace with Israel was a key reason the militants killed Sadat.

          ‘I think the seminal event of the Bush administration was the anthrax attacks,’ someone close to the president told Jacob Weisberg, the editor-in-chief of the online daily
          magazine, Slate. ‘It was the thing that changed everything. It was the hard stare into the abyss.’”

          “Dick Cheney was the strongest advocate of the possibility of attack and the need to prepare for it.” After 9/11, the Secret Service began monitoring the air inside and outside the White House — the chimneys of bio-detectors were visible from the front lawn. Cheney reportedly began traveling with a biohazard protective suit. At some point, fifty members of the mail-handling staff in the executive office buildings were taking Cipro.

          “By August [2003], Hambali had been captured, and had reportedly gave information leading to the revelation that Al Qaeda had been in the process of producing high-grade anthrax….”

          In any case, it predictably triggered renewed fears in the White House, where Bush and Cheney hammered the Agency for more details and chastised the FBI for doing too little to root out domestic sleeper cells.”

          Jacob Weisberg in the 2008 The Bush Tragedy writes. “Inside the administration, the October bioterror attacks had a greater impact than is generally appreciated — and in many ways greater than 9/11. Without the anthrax attacks, Bush probably would not have invaded Iraq.” He explains: “The anthrax attacks in New York and Washington created a sense of vulnerability that was in many respects greater than the mass murder at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. As horrific as September 11 was, it was a discrete crime, whose perpetrators were quickly identified and pursued. The anthrax letters, by contrast, killed only a few people, but remained unsolved.”

          Cheney in particular was so stricken by the potential for attack that he insisted that the rest of the National Security Council undergo a gruesome briefing on it on September 20, 2001. When the White House sensor registered the presence of such poisons less than a month later, many, including Cheney, believed a nightmare was unfolding. “It was really a nerve-jangling time,” the former official said. In time, the Situation Room alarm turned out to be false. But on October 22, the Secret Service reported it had what it believed to be additional traces on an automated letter-opening device used on White House mail.”

        • DXer said

          The Cell Culture

          The anthrax used in the Fall 2001 was not the one used by the US Army in weaponizing anthrax in the 1950s. William Patrick’s process for weaponizing anthrax involved freeze drying and chemical processing whereas it was the process contemplated by Al Qaeda that involved spraydrying. “We made little freeze-dried pellets of anthrax,” Donald Schattenberg explained, “then we ground them down with a high-speed colloid mill.” The finding cast doubt on the hypothesis that the spores could have been stolen from a lab a long time ago.

          Commenting on the fine powder sent Senator Daschle and Leahy, “Only nations, probably, have figured out how to do this,” Professor Matthew Meselson at Harvard said at the time. But, he adds, this means “how to do it is in the minds of people,” including former employees of weapons programs ….

          Michael Callahan described one official attempt at recreation in Congressional testimony: “It is also important to note that the people who participated in that exercise used all open source information, they used the U.S. Patent Office and they used out of print microbiology textbooks. It is a scary incredible thing, and it is not just theoretical, it has already been capitalized both in laboratory modeling and in actual experience.”

          Dr. John Ezzell, the scientist referenced in an email from Dr. Ivins to Pat Fellows reported by FoxNews, advises me that in making the dried powdered Ames for the Johns Hopkins-Applied Physics Lab researchers at the request of DARPA, he used a lyophilizer. Since 1996, he had been the anthrax specialist for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit and so from the start the FBI knew that dried powdered anthrax had been made at Ft. Detrick. Contrary to the US Attorney Taylor’s premise in announcing his conclusions in early August 2008, Dr. Ivins did not have a lyophilizer avaialble to him in the B3 where he was working with the rabbits those nights. The lyophilizer was in the B2.

          Beginning in August 2008, Dr. Meryl Nass, a thoughtful critic of the health consequences of anthrax vaccine, moderated and led a robust defense by interested scientists and others — asking that the FBI come forward with any evidence to support its accusation. Prominent defenders of Dr. Ivins pointing to the lack of evidence included several former heads of the Bacteriology Division. Like experienced prosecutors Senators Leahy and Specter, they were stunned at US Attorney Jeff Taylor’s conclusions. W. Russell Byrne, who preceded Andrews as the division’s director, said he “never believed Ivins’ could have produced the preparations used in the anthrax letters working in the bacteriology division area of Building 1425.”

          n April 11, 2003, Scott Shane reported that reverse engineering “carried out at the Army’s biodefense center at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, raises the disquieting possibility that al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups could create lethal bioweapons without scientific or financial help from a state.” Quoting one outside bioterrorism expert. “It shows you can have a fairly sophisticated product with fairly rudimentary methods.” According to documents provided the NAS by the FBI, to include a Dugway report on its “reverse engineering” effort, the scientists were not able to recreate the identical product with the same Silicon Signature. The late US bioweaponeer William Patrick took time out from advising GMU grad students and gave it a 7 out of 10 — calling it professionally done but not weapons grade. In an interview with CBS, William Patrick explained that he had been given a polygraph in June 2002 about the anthrax letters. He reports that “The FBI that they wanted me to become a part of their inner circle of–of experts, and that in order to become a part of that inner circle of technical experts, that I’d have to pass a polygraph test.”

          On April 11, 2003, Scott Shane reported that reverse engineering “carried out at the Army’s biodefense center at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, raises the disquieting possibility that al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups could create lethal bioweapons without scientific or financial help from a state.” Quoting one outside bioterrorism expert. “It shows you can have a fairly sophisticated product with fairly rudimentary methods.” According to documents provided the NAS by the FBI, to include a Dugway report on its “reverse engineering” effort, the scientists were not able to recreate the identical product with the same Silicon Signature.

        • DXer said

          Lisa Bronson, deputy undersecretary of defense for technology security policy and proliferation, has said that commercially available equipment used to make powdered milk could be used to make powderized anthrax. A spray dryer is used in chemical and food processing to manufacture such things as dried egg, powdered milk, animal feed and yogurt. Washington State University also has an informative discussion on the web. Making dried milk is not rocket science and doesn’t require a PhD. But, if experience is any guide, Al Qaeda has PhDs and even rocket scientists who are sympathetic to its cause (indeed, even the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb).
          In a Q&A from a March 31, 2003 exchange with Kenneth Alibek, he explained in response to a question I posed to him.

          “Q. Could someone expert in making dried milk make the product used in the Daschle and Leahy letters?
          A. Let me answer in this way — yes, actually, it would be the same technique to make a powderized anthrax, but at the same time we shouldn’t overestimate the complexity of making it. My opinion is this — in order to make this powder there is no need to have sophisticated equipment. Such a small amount, keep in mind that the people who did could have very simple equipment and very simple procedures. There is no need for industrial equipment. It would be enough to have small equipment. But at the same time, when people talk about it being ‘weaponized’ — I can’t say it was that sophisticated. I saw the particles — they were the size of 40 microns. We can’t say anything about the quality of this powder because we saw it after it had gone through mailing sorting machines which create very powerful pressure. There was no coating. What I saw on micrograph was no coating. It was natural spores and for some people they mistakenly thought it wasn’t. Some experts said there was [no] charge because it was fluffy and made a cloud when put on scale. This is another mistake. It did have charge.”

        • DXer said

          http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/emails-reveal-security-lapses-cdc-bioterror-laboratory/story?id=16668649#.T-yxumCwOm0

          By PIERRE THOMAS (@PierreTABC)
          June 28, 2012

          Internal emails have revealed repeated, potentially dangerous security lapses at one of the nation’s top bio-terror labs that houses deadly biological agents like anthrax and the SARS virus.

          ***

          One official said that while walking through a high-security area, he found two doors unlocked and said, “it has become a common failure point,” according to the emails.

          CDC officials told ABC News the public was never at risk and the government agency has addressed the concerns at the Atlanta lab. A spokesperson for the agency told USA Today the doors were just one layer of security at the labs and it would still be “close to impossible” for any intruders to get their hands on the dangerous microbes.

          The CDC is in charge of its own security, an internal review system that Dr. Richard Besser, one of the Centers’ previous heads and current ABC News chief medical editor, said needs to change.

          “I think it’s clear that no laboratory should have oversight of itself,” he said. “You need an independent group looking at them and I think the CDC would go for that.”

          Comment: For example, at USAMRIID, the virulent Ames from Flask 1029 that was in the possession of the scientist collecting samples for the FBI was kept in a tupperware container in her unlocked refrigerator. As an example, as to whether DARPA researcher doing the mass spec work, Joany Jackman, took some with her to Johns-Hopkins, it is hard to tell given the self-reporting that was done.

  12. DXer said

    Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    The man on the telephone was telling me that he was under a gag order and that the FBI likely was wiretapping his telephone. Dr. John Ezzell was the FBI’s anthrax specialist who first examined the finely powderized anthrax sent to the United Senators Leahy and Daschle. It was July 2009. He had returned my call from moments earlier. When he called, I was on the other line continuing a message on his voicemail. He confirmed that he made dry powdered anthrax at USAMRIID’s Ft. Detrick for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins from the infamous Flask 1029. He prepared the dried Ames for research that explored the effect of a Corona Plasma Discharge and Sonicator on Ames spores.

    Dr. Ezzell explained in a blog in response to my description: “The anthrax spores that my lab prepared for DARPA were dead spores. At no time have I ever prepared live virulent dried spores. Secondly.. the spores I prepared were snow white, ultra pure and were light and “fluffy” where as the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters were tan, not ultra pure and were different in their physical characteristics. The spores prepared for DARPA were prepared in accordance with all regulations and were to used to test mass spectrometer detectors for biological threat agents. Neither I nor DARPA did anything wrong or illegal in this matter.”

    Beginning in 1996, Dr. Ezzell also worked for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit. After coming under suspicion, Dr. Bruce Ivins wrote an email to his colleague and friend Patricia Fellows saying that he had heard that the aerosolized anthrax made by Dr. Ezzell for DARPA was the closest match to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001 that Dr. Ezzell had examined.

    Dr. Ivins had emailed a superior on December 18, 2006 about what he heard about the FBI at a party. Ivins expressed concern that something might have been taken or altered from his B3 stocks. Ivins was told by email from the superior to not talk about it — that the FBI situation was under control. But it turned out not to be under control. Dr. Ivins’ colleagues were ordered not to talk to him beginning November 2007. He was removed from the base by armed escort in late July. Bruce Ivins took his life on July 29, 2008. It now has been nearly four years since the FBI said that the geeky dead guy was the sole suspect in the anthrax mailings. The case was officially closed in late February 2010. The trail of evidence that should have led Amerithrax investigators to the infiltration of DARPA and US biodefense and withdrawal from Dr. Ivins’ stock dated back to the time of the mailings. It was discernable from “open source” intelligence.

    Ali Al-Timimi’s current defense counsel, MSNBC commentator and First Amendment scholar Jonathan Turley, says the FBI considered his client an “anthrax weapons suspect.” In 2001, Ali worked alongside researchers at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense who invented a process to concentrate using silanized silica in the culture medium which then was removed from the surface of the spore by repeated centrifugation. Professor Turley wrote: “He has worked with the government, including White House chief of staff Andrew Card…”

    After an October 2001 bombing raid at a Qaeda camp in Darunta, Afghanistan US forces found 100+ printed, typed, handwritten pages of documents that shed light on Al Qaeda’s early anthrax planning. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided me the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents confirmed that it was Zawahiri’s plan to use established specialists and the cover of universities and charities as cover for weaponizing anthrax. From early on, the evidence suggested that charity is as charity does. 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and the disease handbook excerpts. When Vice President Cheney was briefed on the documents in late 2001, he immediately called a meeting of FBI and CIA. “I’ll be very blunt,” the Vice President started. “There is no priority of this government more important than finding out if there is a link between what’s happened here and what we’ve found over there with Qaeda.”

    A June 1999 memo from Ayman to military commander Atef said that “the program should seek cover and talent in educational institutions, which it said were ‘more beneficial to us and allow easy access to specialists, which will greatly benefit us in the first stage, God willing.’ ”Thus, in determining whether Al Qaeda was responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall of 2001, the FBI and CIA had reason to know ,based on the growing documentary evidence available by mid-December 2001, that Al Qaeda operatives were likely associated with non-governmental organizations and working under the cover and talent in universities.

    Sometimes rather than being truly invisible or on the “dark side,” an enemy is merely hiding in plain sight. Sometimes an enemy is hidden by inappropriate redactions or highly classified, compartmentalized, operations intended to avoid embarrassment to decision-makers or to further personal agendas. Most intelligence is “open source.” Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

  13. DXer said

    Dr. Zawahiri accomplished the attack on the US “structure” he intended. With the planes, Al Qaeda struck the US trade dominance (World Trade Center) and its military might (Pentagon). With the anthrax, some US-based supporter(s) of the goals of Zawahiri rounded out the field that they imagine provides support to Israel — the legislative branch and media. Analogous letter bombs were sent in connection with the earlier attack on the World Trade Center and the imprisonment of the Blind Sheikh and militant islamists responsible for that attack and a related plot. Thus, relying on the postal service to send its deadly missives in connection with an earlier attack of the World Trade Center is not only Al Qaeda’s modus operandi, it is its signature.

    The two FBI investigative squads were compartmentalized and not even aware what the other investigative squad was doing, how was there seamless cooperation between the CIA and FBI? How can the investigators on the one squad judge the quality of their analysis? How can the scientists on the third forensics squad know how they are being used in putting out the spin? In light of politicization of the US DOJ, how can one say that the compartmentalization has not been used to serve political or personal or financial interests — rather than a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

    Ayman’s plan established by the documentary evidence seized in Afghanistan was to use the cover of charities and universities. That’s exactly what he did.

    In the Washington, D.C. area, Taliban supporter Ali Al-Timimi worked in the same building as famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey, who had co-invented a process using silanized hydrophobic silica to lead to greater concentration of a biological agent. Dr. Bailey has been a prolific Ames anthrax strain researcher. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had multimillion dollar grants from DARPA funding a contract with USAMRIID with Delta Ames supplied by NIH. NSA intercepts showed that Ali Al-Timimi was working with Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali, who had been the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War and his 1998 claim of responsibility for the embassy bombings. Timimi has been sentenced to life plus 70 years before his conviction was reversed and remanded. Bilal Philips had been Ali’s mentor and the father of Jafar the Pilot had been Bilal Philips’ mentor. Ali Al-Timimi shared a fax machine with famed Russian anthrax bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID deputy commander Charles Bailey, who is listed as an author on various articles reporting biodefense research using virulent Ames strain of anthrax. Dr. Bailey had worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency (”DIA”) for years on threat assessment of biological weapons. Both he and Dr. Alibek had consulted for Battelle, world renown for its expertise on anthrax aerosols. They had co-authored the patent filed in mid-March 2001 on concentrating biological agents using silica in the growth medium that was still confidential as of Fall 2001. Both Dr. Bailey and Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance while working at SRA in 1999. Al-Timimi was doing work on a Navy contract.

    CIA Director Tenet, in a May 2007 book, notes that the CIA was startled to learn that the anthrax planning had been done in parallel with the 9/11 planning. Indeed, it was the laptop of Hawsawi, who was KSM’s assistant who sent and received money from the hijackers, that had the anthrax spraydrying documents on it. In June 2003, a UN report explained that Al-Qaeda “WMD Committee” — Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was one of its three members — “is known to have approached a number of Muslim scientists to assist the terrorist network with the creation and procurement of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.” Al-Timimi was one such scientist but there were others.

    The anthrax operation was likely led by Mohammed Islambouli, who had been in a cell with KSM in connection with the planned attacks on the US using aircraft and other means. Islambouli’s role and his planned visit to the US in preparation for the attacks was the subject of the December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief by the CIA to President Clinton. If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. The job of journalists, however, is news, not analysis. So journalists understandably needed to wait until they are told these things by the government. Unfortunately, they never were. Sometimes the government’s interest in the fruits of intelligence activity causes them to forego explaining what is really going on or in seeking a criminal prosecution. Sometimes it is a bureaucrat’s attempt to cover his ass or a politician’s effort to stay in office. Sometimes it is is just a failure to connect the dots. The solution to Amerithrax, however, has been there for all to see — most intelligence is open source.

    In the Summer 2006, the “911 Imam” Awlaki (Aulaqi) from Falls Church, Virginia was arrested in Yemen and held for 18 months. Awlaki met both in San Diego and in Falls Church with hijacker Nawaf who had been at the planning meeting in January 2000 at the condo of anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat. 911 planner Ramzi Bin-al-Shibh had the telephone number of Awlaki’s mosque. CIA Director Tenet in his 2007 book says authorities were startled to find that the anthrax planning had been done in parallel with the 9/11 planning and that Ramzi Bin-al-Shibh had a CBRN role. The Falls Church “911 Iman” Awlaki would speak alongside fellow Falls Church imam Ali Al-Timimi and Bilal Philips about the signs of the coming day of judgment. In August 2001, he spoke with Ali Al-Timimi in London along with unindicted WTC 1993 conspirator and recruiter Bilal Philips.

    As the FBI’s Ivins Theory stands based on evidence disclosed to date, Amerithrax looks to be a total mess. A former head of FBI counterterrorism used that phrase. There needs to be a full-blown review of the Amerithrax Investigation by either Congress, a Committee or Inspector General. For starters, the FBI and various agencies need to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. If the United States government is so inefficient in producing documents under FOIA, it does not bode well for its efficiency in sharing information internally. Efficiency in sharing of information is critical to “connecting the dots.”

    Perhaps the withholding of information in Amerithrax may be due in part to a profound embarrassment and fear of legal liability, rather than due merely to the confidentiality required in a criminal and national security investigation. History in time will permit us to judge who was part of the problem and who in the end proved part of the solution. It is never too late to do the right thing — even if that is to say: “We don’t know who is responsible.”

  14. DXer said

    Hambali, Anthrax Lab Tech Yazid Sufaat And The Anthrax Bomb Maker

    George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says Sufaat was “the self-described ‘CEO’ of al-Qai’da’s anthrax program.” Tenet reports that “Sufaat had impeccable extremist credentials” and “[i]n 2000 he had been introduced to Ayman al-Zawahiri personally, by Hambali, as the man who was capable of leading al-Qai’da’s biological weapons program.”

    The 9/11 Commission Report explained:

    “Hambali played the critical role of coordinator, as he distributed al Qaeda funds earmarked for joint operations. In one especially notable example, Atef turned to Hambali when al Qaeda needed a scientist to take over its biological weapons program. Hambali obliged by introducing a U.S.-educated JI member, Yazid Sufaat, to Ayman al Zawahiri in Kandahar. In 2001, Sufaat would spend several months attempting to cultivate anthrax for al Qaeda in a laboratory he set up near the Kandahar airport.”

    Participants at a key meeting in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000 included Hambali, two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almidhar, Cole planner Attash aka Khallad, and others. Tawfiq Bin Attash was a long time Bin Laden operative. The Yemeni first went to Afghanistan in 1989. He came to lead Bin Laden’s bodyguards and was an intermediary between Bin Laden and those who carried out the bombing of the Cole in October 2000. Attash also had been a key planner in the 1998 embassy bombings, serving as the link between the Nairobi cell and Bin Laden and Atef. Khalid Almhidhar, one of the 9/11 hijackers, was from Saudi Arabia but was a Yemeni national. Almhidhar was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the indictment against Zacarias Moussaoui. Al-Hindi, who along with Jafar the Pilot would later case the NYC landmarks, had gone to Kuala Lumpur with Attash. While not at the meeting with the hijackers, they met Hambali shortly after.

    Yazid Sufaat says he paid $35,000 to Zacarias Moussaoui (and that was in addition to a $2,500 monthly stipend). The money was paid under the cover of a company managed by his wife named Infocus Tech. After authorities found a letter signed by Yazid Sufaat purporting to authorize Zacarias Moussaoui as its marketing representative, authorities went looking for Sufaat. But by then, he had left for Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to his wife, he went to Pakistan in June 2001 because he wanted to do his doctorate in pathology at the University of Karachi. Dursina had attended Sacramento State with Sufaat. It was her mother who encouraged Yazid’s religious studies. According to his wife, Sejarhtul Dursina, “He had planned to set up a medical support unit in Afghanistan, near Kandahar.” Kandahar is where Al Qaeda established its anthrax lab and where extremely virulent (but unweaponized) anthrax, according to author Suskind, was found at a home identified by Hambali after his capture.

    In a 2 hour filmed interview with a Malaysian publication, Yazid Sufaat explained that while in the Malaysia Armed Forces, from which he retired as Captain, he worked on biological weapons. (Malaysia ratified the Biological Weapons Convention in 1991 and so its program presumably was abandoned by that time.) Sufaat is unrepentant about 9/11 or the offensive use of biological weapons.

    Sufaat graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 1987. He received a bachelors degree in biological sciences, concentrating on clinical laboratory technology, with a minor in chemistry. Sacramento State biological sciences professor Robert Metcalf taught Sufaat a food microbiology class in the spring of 1986. Sufaat joined the Malaysian army, where he was a lab technician in the Malaysian biological weapons program for as much as five years. He says he declined to tell his interrogators of his bioweapons experience because he felt that he had been betrayed by his country by being detained. Out of the Army he formed a civilian company that tested blood for the army.

    In August 1993, he set up his own company, Green Laboratory Medicine. The 9/11 Commission Report notes that Sufaat started work on the al Qaeda biological weapons program after he participated in JI’s December 2000 church bombings. In December 2001, Sufaat was arrested upon returning from Afghanistan to Malaysia where (his wife says) he had been serving in a Taliban medical brigade.

    Malaysian officials sought to minimize the role of the former Captain in its Armed Forces. Sufaat merely was a foot soldier who provided housing and false identification letters and helped obtain explosives. “I would put it this way: If Hambali [Al Qaeda’s point man in Southeast Asia] was the travel agent, Sufaat was the guy at the airport holding up the sign.”

    Sufaat admits to having purchased 4 tons of ammonium nitrate to build a truck bomb for the Singapore cell. The Malaysian officials report that they believe that Sufaat had no knowledge of what the hijackers who stayed at his condominium or Zacarias were planning. That is consistent with the principles of cell security ordinarily followed — also evasion in interrogation. At a minimum, however, the established facts relevant to the Amerithrax investigation show that in the Summer and Fall of 2001 an Al Qaeda supporter who had assisted in the 9-11 operation — and who was a lab technician working with anthrax — was in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Communicating with me by Facebook and chat, Yazid Sufaat tells me he can work magic.

    Was he the fellow perceived as Filipino who the journalist met in Afghanistan in the Fall of 2001 bragging about his ability to manipulate anthrax? According to Sufaat’s attorney, Sufaat gave two FBI agents no fresh evidence during a 30-minute interrogation finally conducted in November 2002 (where they mainly wanted to know how he knew Zacarias). The U.S. has asked for his extradition in connection with hosting of the two 9/11 hijackers, but Malaysia refused. President Bush once emphasized that US officials did not fully appreciate Sufaat’s role in Al Qaeda’s anthrax program until after KSM’s capture in March 2003.

    As described in US News, a former reporter from the Kabul Times actually may have met a Filipino carrying papers from Zawahiri and bragging about his ability to manipulate anthrax. The man may have been Hambali’s lieutenant, Muklis Yunos, who had been Hambali’s right-hand man and was in charge of special operations for the Philippine Moro Islamic Liberation Front (“MILF”). British reporter Philip Smucker explained that the Afghan reporter working with him spoke fluent Arabic and made regular undercover trips into Afghanistan from Pakistan. He had visited three functioning al Qaeda camps at grave risk to his life. Smucker explains that his colleague had landed in a Kabul hotel with a Filipino scientist who had a signed letter from al Qaeda’s number two, Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri, authorizing him to help the network develop biological weapons. The man at the hotel had described his own efforts to develop an “anthrax bomb.” Filipino Muklis Yunos was an explosives expert who had participated with Yazid Sufaat in the December 2000 church bombings. Upon his arrest in May 2003, Philippine intelligence said he had received anthrax training in Afghanistan.
    Perhaps he was who the journalist encountered.

  15. 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 February 2001 report that Al Qaeda had experimented with biological agents and intended to use anthrax as a weapon against US targets 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.”

    It was the Vanguards of Conquest that had announced an intention to use anthrax against US targets.

    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 was 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 have 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 confirmed 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

  16. DXer said

    The CIA had known of Zawahiri’s plans to use anthrax since July 1998, when the CIA seized a disc from Ayman Zawahiri’s right-hand, Ahmed Mabruk, during his arrest outside a restaurant in Baku, Azerbaijan. At the time, Mabruk was the head of Jihad’s military operations. Mabruk was handed over to Egyptian authorities. A close associate and former cellmate in Dagestan in 1996, Mabruk was at Ayman’s side while Ayman would fall to his knees during trial and weep and invoke Allah. Their captors reportedly did not know the true identity of the prisoners. After Mabruk’s capture in Baku, Azerbaijan, the CIA refused to give the FBI Mabruk’s laptop. FBI’s Bin Laden expert John O’Neill, head of the FBI’s New York office, tried to get around this by sending an agent to Azerbaijan to get copies of the computer files from the Azerbaijan government. The FBI finally got the files after O’Neill persuaded President Clinton to personally appeal to the president of Azerbaijan for the computer files. FBI Special Agent Dan Coleman would later describe the laptop as the “Rosetta Stone of Al Qaeda.” O’Neill died on 9/11 in his role as head of World Trade Center security. He died with the knowledge that Ayman Zawahiri planned to attack US targets with anthrax — and that Zawahiri does not make a threat that he does not intend to try to keep.

    At the time, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (”DTRA”) set up a program at Lawrence Livermore to combat the Bin Laden anthrax threat. The CIA also snatched Egyptian Al-Najjar, another senior Al Qaeda member (a shura or policy-making council member) who had been working for the Egyptian intelligence services. Al-Najjar confirmed Ayman’s intent to use weaponized anthrax against US targets in connection with the detention of militant islamists in a sworn lengthy confession. Even Zawahiri’s friend, Cairo lawyer Montasser al-Zayat, who was the blind sheik’s attorney, announced in March 1999 that Bin Laden and Zawahiri were likely to resort to the biological and chemical agents they possessed given the extradition pressure senior Movement leaders faced. That week, and thoughout that year, Al-Zayat was in touch by telephone with US Post Office employee Sattar and Islamic Group leaders about the group’s strategy to free the blind sheik. An islamist who had been a close associate of Zawahiri later would explain that Zawahiri spent a decade and had made 15 separate attempts to recruit the necessary expertise to weaponize anthrax in Russia and the Middle East.

    EIJ military commander Mabruk was in regular contact with Mahmoud Jaballah, who was in Toronto beginning May 1996. Although Mabruk changed his location every few months, Jaballah kept aware of his whereabouts through his contacts with Jaballah’s brother-in-law Shehata. Shehata was in charge of EIJ’s “special operations.” When Mabruk was arrested and imprisoned in Dagestan along with Zawahiri, Jaballah was told on December 13, 1996 that Mabruk was “hospitalized.” That was code for “in jail” and, for example, is the code used by Zawahiri in emails on the same subject. Jaballah raised funds for Mabruk’s release and coordinated these collection efforts with Shehata. Indeed, it was Jaballah’s brother-in-law Shehata who brought the money to Dagestan to arrange for Zawahiri’s and Mabruk’s release.

    Correspondence between Mabruk and Jaballah in 1997 reported on Jaballah’s recruitment efforts. Mabruk, EIJ’s military commander, was pleased. Jaballah confirmed with Shehata and Mabruk his view of the reliability of the individuals he had recruited. His reported that his recruits were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Zawahiri and the Vanguards of Conquest sought to recreate Mohammed’s taking of mecca by a small band through violent attacks on Egyptian leaders. By the late 1990s, Zawahiri had determined that the Egyptian Islamic Jihad should focus on its struggle against the United States and hold off on further attacks against the Egyptian regime.

    The cause of the Egyptian militants had suffered a serious setback with the murder of tourists at Luxor. After the public relations debacle of Luxor, and after the August 1998 US embassy bombings, al-Qaeda actively sought religious and legal opinions from Movement scholars around the world who might help rationalize the killing of innocents. The following letter is an example of such a letter taken from Zawahiri’s computer.
    “Folder: Outgoing Mail
    Date: September 26, 1998
    Dear highly respected _______
    I present this to you as your humble brother concerning the preparation of the lawful study that I am doing on the killing of civilians. This is a very sensitive case—as you know—especially these days.
    It is very important that you provide your opinion of this matter, which has been forced upon us as an essential issue in the course and ideology of the Muslim movement
    [Our] questions are:
    1- Since you are the representative of the Islamic Jihad group, what is your lawful stand on the killing of civilians, specifically when women and children are included? And please explain the legitimate law concerning those who are deliberately killed.
    2- According to your law, how can you justify the killing of innocent victims because of a claim of oppression?
    3- What is your stand concerning a group that supports the killing of civilians, including women and children?
    With our prayers, wishing you success and stability.”

    A February 1999 letter signed by “Army of Suicidals Group 66, Bin Laden Militant Wing” threatened anthrax attacks against Westerners if they stayed in Yemen beyond a 11-day ultimatum ending February 27, 1999. Investigators considered a possible connection to the attempted extradition to Yemen of the London-based Egyptian Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. Memos in the Spring of 1999 from Zawahiri to Egyptian Mohammed Atef, Al Qaeda’s military commander, and former Cairo police sergeant, indicate that Ayman was a close student of the USAMRIID anthrax program. He believed that the Koran instructed that a jihadist should use the weapons used by the crusader. “What we know is that he’s always said it was a religious obligation to have the same weapons as their enemies,” former CIA Bin Laden unit counterterrorism chief Michael Scheuer once explained.

    The most senior Vanguards of Conquest leader in North America was Mohammad Mahjoub. Mahjoub had known Essam Mohamed Hafez Marzouk. Marzouk had trained the 1998 embassy bombers. Marzouk was one of those picked up in Azerbaijan in August 1998. For a time, Marzouk had lived in Canada in British Columbia. After initially denying he knew Marzouk, Mahjoub testified in 2001 that earlier he had lied and said he knew and had been in contact with him. Canadian Vanguards member Jaballah claimed that Mahjoub was in regular contact with Marzouk.

    87 of the 107 defendants in the 1999 “Returnees from Albania” trial in Cairo were Vanguards members. Mahjoub was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 15 years. The group swore that it would seek revenge in retaliation for the convictions in that case.

    In early February 2001, the CIA briefed President Bush on a threat to use mailed anthrax if the bail for Vanguards of Conquest #2 was denied. His bail was denied on October 5, 2001. The anthrax mailer then sent especially deadly anthrax to the people in the symbolic position of appropriations to Egypt and Israel and the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Egyptian Islamic Group leaders.

    • DXer said

      Infiltration played a key role in Amerithrax.

      Among the supporters of these militant islamists were people like US scientist Ali Al-Timimi and Pakistan scientist Rauf Ahmad who blended into society and were available to act when another part of the network requested it. Two letters — one typed and an earlier handwritten one — written by a scientist named Rauf Ahmad detailed his efforts to obtain a pathogenic strain of anthrax. He attended conferences on anthrax and dangerous pathogens such as one in September 2000 at the University of Plymouth co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defense Evaluation and Research Agency. In October 2009, historian Christopher Andrew published an official history of MI5 in which he reported that MI5 had found money and equipment in Rauf Ahmad’s luggage as he left the September 2000 conference.

      A handwritten letter from 1999 is written on letterhead of the oldest microbiology society in Great Britain. The 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces by Rauf describe 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; a conference he attended on dangerous pathogens cosponsored by UK’s Porton Down and Society for Applied Microbiology, and the need for vaccination and containment. Rauf had arranged to take a lengthy post-doc leave from his employer and was grousing to Zawahiri that what the employer would be paying during that 12-month period was inadequate.

      One typed memo reporting on a lab visit, which included tour of a BioLevel 3 facility, where there were 1000s of pathogenic samples. The memo mentioned the pending paperwork relating to export of the pathogens. The documents were provided to me by the Defense Intelligence Agency (”DIA”) under the Freedom of Information Act. In various email exchanges with Rauf over time, he invariably told me little and always ended up asking if there was money available for a sabbatical in the United States.

      Taliban supporter Al-Timimi was a graduate student in the same building where famed Russian bioweapon Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey worked at George Mason University. The three worked at the secure facility at Discovery Hall at the Prince William 2 campus. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey headed a biodefense program funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”). In the US, to infiltrate the military all one needed to do was to go to graduate school. Al-Timimi had a top security clearance and had worked for SRA International doing mathematical support work for the Navy. In 2000 and 2001, Timimi was a graduate student in computational sciences. His field was bioinformatics.

      Al-Timimi tended to travel to give speeches on interpretation of the koran during semester breaks. Al-Timimi’s speeches are widely distributed on the internet and tend to focus on religious rather than political issues. A district court judge would say that Al-Timimi’s later speeches tended to favor violent jihad. After 9/11, they reportedly were removed from the website of the Center he had founded. The night of 9/11, he got in a heated debate with some colleagues. He said while islamically impermissible, the targeting of civilians was not impermissible where they were used as a shield. Others thought that it was reckless to say that so soon after the 9/11 attack when emotions were so inflamed.

      Years earlier, the blind sheik’s son, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was scheduled to come from Afghanistan to speak at the IANA 1993 conference alongside Ali Al-Timimi and former EIJ member Gamal Sultan. Al-Timimi was scheduled to speak alongside the blind sheik’s son again in 1996, the year Bin Laden issued his Declaration of War against the United States. In July and August 2001, Ali was scheduled to speak in Toronto and London alongside “911 imam” Anwar Awlaki and unindicted WTC 1993 “unindicted co-conspirator” Bilal Philips. His wife Ziyana, when I spoke to her by telephone, was very gracious. Absent consent of Ali’s counsel, however, she could not answer the substantive question why Ali had a high security clearance for SRA in 1999 for work for the Navy. He received a letter of commendation from the White House for his work.

      Malaysian Yazid Sufaat, who told his wife he was working for a Taliban medical brigade when he went to Afghanistan, got the job of anthrax lab director instead of Rauf. Yazid Sufaat tells me that what he did was for the love of Islam. He says that the plan “is on the way.” He explains that he was part of the Malaysian biological weapons program before that country signed the nonproliferation treaty. He did not tell interrogators because he felt he had been betrayed by his country.

      • DXer said

        Infiltration Of The ATCC-Sponsored Program At GMU’s Discovery Hall Housing The DARPA-Funded Center For Biodefense

        On March 14, 2001, former USAMRIID deputy commander Ames researcher Charles L. Bailey and famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek filed a patent application for a process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide. Dr. Bailey was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. Ali Al-Timimi, an associate of radical Saudi sheik al-Hawali, considered to be Bin Laden’s spiritual mentor, was a graduate student who worked in the same building. Ali Al-Timimi was the most celebrated speaker of the charity Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”). The IANA website had published the fatwa “Provision of Suicide Operations,” dated June 19, 2001, that stated: “The mujahid [or warrior] must kill himself if he knows this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies or demolishing a center vital to the enemy or its military forces. In this new era, this can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses.” On August 26, 2001, IANA’s website http://www.islamway.com published a propaganda statement that encouraged individuals to join arms against the West titled “An Invitation to Jihad,” stating that “[t]he mujahid brothers will accept you with open arms and within a period of two weeks you will be given commando training and will be sent to the frontline.”

        In mid-December 2001, the US arrested US-based Al Qaeda biochem operative Ali Al-Marri, who had arrived on September 10, 2001 and was nominally a student living in Macomb, Illinois. Al-Marri had lived in Macomb the previous summer and had traveled to New York City to join with UK operative Dhiren Barot to case NYC helicopters and financial institutions. Authorities had learned of calls he made from Illinois to KSM’s assistant al-Hawsawi. He had the imam at the local mosque store the computer in his basement and then ship it to Washington.

        Beginning December 2001, Ali Al-Timimi was on GMU staff and paid $70,000 a year. Officials learned of communications between Al-Timimi and Bin Laden’s spiritual adviser, radical Saudi sheik al-Hawali. Al-Timimi’s attorney, for example, says that Al-Timimi and Al-Hawali spoke on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001. They later spoke in coordinating a letter to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax letters to the Senators and helping Moussaoui with his defense.

        In March 2002, a crude biological weapons site was found in Afghanistan. U.S. forces discovered a site near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar that appeared to be an Al Qaeda biological weapons lab under construction. Zawahiri’s plan, evidenced in the documents found previous in the Fall, was to move the location of the lab every 3 months.

        In February 2011, the National Academies of Sciences reported:

        “In December 2010-January 2011, the FBI first made available to the Committee “AMX
        Weekly Science Updates” and a newly de-classified document that described the collection and analysis of environmental samples from an undisclosed site outside the continental United States (OCONUS) for the presence of B. anthracis Ames (FBI/USDOJ, 2011, FBI Documents, WFO Report). This work was performed as part of the anthrax letters investigation. Few details were
        made available to the committee.

        At least three sample collection missions were conducted by the FBI and/or partners from the intelligence community at an overseas site because of information about efforts by Al Qaeda to develop an “anthrax program” (FBI/USDOJ, 2011). In May 2004, the FBI and partners from the intelligence community visited an overseas location at which they had been told an anthrax program had been operating, and brought back swab and swipe samples to the United States. None of the samples grew B. anthracis after incubation in culture media. However, three swab samples were reported as positive for B. anthracis and for B. anthracis Ames-specific sequences by PCR, including swabbings from the outside of an unopened medicine dropper package, a sink, and a sink drain hose. Repeat testing of these three positive samples as part of a group of 15 blinded samples, including soil samples, water blanks and non Ames Bacillus species, again yielded positive results for two of the three same samples (and for none of the other samples).

        However, not all replicates of the DNA extracts from the positive samples gave positive results. Apparently, an earlier collection mission to this site, prior to May 2004, by others in the intelligence community had also yielded samples with positive PCR results for B. anthracis DNA and negative culture results. As a result of these findings, a third collection mission was conducted in November 2004 and this time large portions of the site were returned intact to the United States, including the entire sink, drain, and associated plumbing that had been the source of the positive March 2004 samples. These items were extensively sampled, and again tested for both viable B. anthracis and for B. anthracis DNA. This time, according to the June 2008 declassified document, all the tests were negative (FBI Documents, WFO Report). The committee was provided only fragmentary information about and limited primary data from this work and received them very late in our study. We consider these data to be inconclusive regarding the possible presence of B. anthracis Ames at this undisclosed overseas site. Several scientific and technical issues should be explored in more detail, such as the performance characteristics of the assays, whether or not the assays were validated for use with these sample types, the degree to which samples or sample locations gave repeatedly positive results, interpretation of inconsistent positive results, whether or not the Ames geneticmutations in the anthrax letters were detected in any of these overseas samples, and the natural distribution of B. anthracis strain types in this overseas geographic region.”

        As he described to ABCNEWS, Dr. Alibek and other scientists in March 2002 took lie detector tests. He had to answer questions including “Did you do it?” and “Do you know who did it?” Alibek reports that he passed the test. Although Dr. Alibek offered his services to the FBI Director in a letter, the response was that they already had a large group working on it. In late June 2002, quoting unnamed law enforcement officials, the Associated Press reported that up to 200 polygraph tests had been given to current and former employees of the Battelle Institute and of Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, where scientists have developed a powdered form of anthrax for testing biological defense systems. It was Dugway that provided the simulant used in testing after the 2001 threat letter relating to the detention of Mahjoub, the former manager of Bin Laden’s farm in Sudan. The DARPA-funded Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had both worked for Battelle as consultants. Dr. David Franz advises that in 2001, if a researcher wanted to test a biodefense project, if it was inside, it could be done at either West Jefferson, Ohio facilty or at the Dugway facility managed by Battelle in Utah. But if it was an outside testing, it would be done in Utah.

        In August 2002, Afghan police found a store of chemicals in a house in Kabul formerly occupied by a Saudi non-governmental organization, the WAFA Humanitarian Organization. Local media reports called it a terrorist laboratory. “Some containers and documents have been found by the police authorities,” a spokesman for international peacekeepers said. One local report said that the discovery included 36 types of chemicals, explosive materials, fuses, laboratory equipment and some “terroristic guide books.” It said the laboratory was found in a residence in the diplomatic area of Kabul in a building that had been used by an Arab national who headed the group prior to 9/11. WAFA was a militant supporter of the Taliban. Documents found in WAFA’s offices in Afghanistan revealed that the charity was intimately involved in assassination plots against U.S. citizens as well as the distribution of “how to” manuals on chemical and biological warfare. U.S. officials have described WAFA as a key component of Bin Laden’s organization.

        In 2002, a man named Singh tried to purchase over the internet a wireless video module and a control module for use in an unmanned aerial vehicle (”UAV”). He chose an airborne video system with a camera and transmitter able to transmit video images from a UAV back to a receiver from as far as 15 miles away. The video camera could be used in military reconnaissance and in helping aim artillery and other weaponry across enemy lines. Singh placed his order from England, but the company was unable to confirm Singh’s overseas credit card. Two young men from Northern Virginia, Chapman and Khan, who were among the group later known as the “Virginia Paintball Defendants,”assisted him in completing the purchases. As the FourthCircuit Court of Appeals later explained, the pair “attended the Dar al Arqam Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia where Ali Timimi, a primary lecturer, spoke of the necessity to engage in violent jihad against the enemies of Islam and the ‘end of time’ battle between Muslims and non-Muslims.” In the summer of 2002, Singh visited Virginia, staying first with one of them and then with the other. Ali Timimi was unindicted co-conspirator number 1 in the Virginia Paintball Case, and was only later identified by Prosecutors (and then separately indicted).

        Ali Timimi drafted a letter from dissident Saudi sheik Hawali dated October 6, 2002. He had it hand delivered it to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq. Although drafted by Al-TImimi, the letter was sent from Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali and warned of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Rm 154A in George Mason’s Discovery Hall (down from former USAMRIID head Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B) would be Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to a newly constructed, adjacent building). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface. A faculty member who would consult with Ali suggests that it instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite.

        • DXer said

          The “Federal Eagle” Stamp

          The “Federal Eagle” stamp used in the anthrax mailings, on pre-stamped envelopes, was a blue-green. It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” In the very interview in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, the masterminds used the Jenny code and 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.” A FAQ on the Azzam Publications website explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside. The mailer’s use of “Greendale School” as the return address for the letters to the Senators is also revealing. A May 2001 letter that Zawahiri sent to Egyptian Islamic Jihad members abroad establish that Zawahiri used “school” as a code word for the Egyptian militant islamists.

          Green symbolizes Islam and was the Prophet Mohammed’s color. By Greendale School, the anthrax perp likely was being cute, just as my Facebook Friend, Yazid Sufaat, was being cute in naming his lab Green Laboratory Medicine. “Dale” means “river valley.” Greendale likely refers to green river valley — i.e., Cairo’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Islamic Group. The mailer probably is announcing that the anthrax is from either Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Group or Jihad-al Qaeda, which is actually the full name of the group after the merger of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda. At the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they were washed. In a Hadith the Messenger of Allah explains that the souls of the martyrs are in the hearts of green birds that fly wherever they please in the Paradise.

          The “4th grade” in the return address “4th Grade, Greendale School, is American slang for “sergeant.” That was the rank of the head of Al Qaeda’s military commander Mohammed Atef, who along with Zawahiri had overseen Project Zabadi, Al Qaeda’s biochemical program.

          The business-size sheet of stationery containing the anthrax to the National Enquirer was decorated with pink and blue clouds around the edges. 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.”

        • DXer said

          The Mid-February 2003 Capture of Al Qaeda WMD Committee Member Mohammed Abdel-Rahman And Related Capture Of KSM

          Authorities closed in on KSM in Spring 2003. When arrested, US citizen and NYC resident Uzair Paracha said he had met in February 2003 a chemistry professor who was supposed to help Al Qaeda with biological and chemical weapons. It was a big break, therefore, when the son of the imprisoned blind sheik, Abdel Rahman, was captured in Quetta, Pakistan in mid-February 2003. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman from Afghanistan spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1996. The blind sheik’s son Mohammed Abdel-Rahman had recently had been in contact with Khalid Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s #3. Two weeks after Mohammed’s capture, authorities raided microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse in Alexandria, VA, and searched the residence of a couple of PhD level drying experts in Idaho and Upstate NY, along with various others associated with IANA. Anthrax spray drying documents were found, both on a computer and in hard copy.

          In June 2003, a UN report explained that Al-Qaeda has a “WMD Committee,” which according to the report, “is known to have approached a number of Muslim scientists to assist the terrorist network with the creation and procurement of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.” Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a member of the 3-member WMD committee, knew Ali Al-Timimi. Ali Al-Timimi conducted a summer camp at a park in Frederick, Maryland over the years. The kids liked the outdoors and ponds. Ironically, the FBI searched the park’s ponds more than once claiming that Dr. Hatfill had once suggested that someone could weaponize anthrax and discard the equipment in a pond.

        • DXer said

          March 2003 Arrest Of Bacteriologist Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan

          On March 1, 2003, authorities announced that Khalid Mohammed had been captured 400 miles from Quetta, in Islamabad. According to one version of the story, a walk-in to the CIA, the Egyptian (in another version he was from Balochistan) said he was upset that Al Qaeda had attacked the United States. The man reportedly received $25 million for providing the information about Khalid Mohammed. Authorities said he had been in the car that drove KSM to a safe house that night. Under one version of the story, agents quickly raced him back through the streets as he made out landmarks, leading them to KSM, who was being harbored in the home of bacteriologist Abdul Qadoos Khan. Under another version of the story, the CIA used high-tech equipment that is classified.

          Khalid Mohammed had hands-on responsibility for planning 9-11. Reports of the arrest described his role in various operations over the years, including the thwarted “Operation Bojinka” in the Philippines in 1995. At that time, Philippine authorities searching a seized laptop computer found a letter signed by “Khalid Shaikh Bojinka” that threatened to attack American targets “in response to the financial, political and military assistance given to the Jewish state in the occupied land of Palestine by the American government.” The letter, apparently written by Mohammed and his associates, threatened to not only attack aircraft, the principal plot underway, but threatened to launch a chemical attack if an imprisoned co-conspirator was not released from custody. Khalid Mohammed reportedly played a substantial role in trying to build Al Qaeda’s expertise in biological and chemical weapons. It turned out that he knew quite a bit about the process for weaponizing anthrax.

          The Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan ran a respected cardiology institute called Hearts International. Dr. Khan and his wife, according to early accounts, had been at a wedding in Lahore. The family reports that at 3 a.m on Saturday, a squad of around 20 officers burst into the home.

          The day after the raid of the Khan’s home, authorities also detained another of the microbiologist’s sons for questioning, a major in the Pakistan Army, though he was not arrested. Pointing at a large cage of blue and green budgies on the patio, Mrs. Khan, Ahmad’s mother, said: “These are his life. Ahmed is a very simple person. He had no job, he hardly went out, just to the mosque to pray. He never traveled and his main thing was pets. He loved pets. “Ahmed can’t be a terrorist,” a neighbor who was a Colonel in the Army said. “He’s a goof, simple in the head.” The son reportedly receives a stipend from the UN’s Farm and Agriculture Organization for having a low IQ due to lead poisoning.

          Ahmed Qadoos’ mother was an activist for the ladies’ wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s biggest religious party. Ramzi Binalshibh, the 9/11 plotter arrested in Karachi, and Abu Zubaydah, were both found in houses belonging to JI members.

          The bacteriologist’s father’s role came to be all the more important when the documents relating to the processing of anthrax for use as a weapon were found on Khalid Mohammed’s laptop computer (which allegedly had been seized at the microbiologist’s home). On March 28, 2003, the father, at a hospital receiving treatment for his heart condition, was granted “pre-arrest bail,” which was confirmed the next day in court upon his arrest. Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan, a bacteriologist with access to production materials and facilities, previously worked in Sudan for the UN’s World Health Organization. According to his family, he retired in 1985 after heart bypass surgery. “His career speaks about his honesty, and he has never been involved in any clandestine activities,” his counsel successfully argued in seeking pre-arrest bail. Al Qaeda was based in Sudan from 1992-1996. The 78-year-old microbiologist was reported in Pakistani press to be a leader of the Jamaat-i Islami, a fundamentalist group in Pakistan.

          Documents in UTN’s “House of Anthrax” in Kabul indicated a connection to Jamaat-I-Islam. Jamaat is part of the United Action Council, the coalition of fundamentalist religious groups that controls the provincial government of the Northwest Frontier Province and about one-fifth of the seats in the Federal parliament.

          There has been no mention of the arrest of Abdul Qadoos Khan or the disposition of his legal matter since he was granted pre-arrest bail.

        • DXer said

          The Capture Of Al-Hawsawi With Anthrax Spraydrying Documents On His Laptop

          The documents indicated that Al Qaeda leaders may already have manufactured some of them. The documents at the Qadoos home reveal that Al Qaeda had a feasible production plan for anthrax. Confronted with scanned handwritten notes on the computer, Mohammed reportedly began to talk about Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program. KSM, however, denies that it was his computer. He says it was the computer of his assistant, Mustafa Hawsawi, who was captured at the home the same day. In 2001, before departing for the UAE, Al-Hawsawi had worked in the Al Qaeda media center Al Sahab (Clouds) in Kandahar. The letter containing the first anthrax went to the American Media in Florida had blue and pink clouds on it.

          Hawsawi worked under KSM who in turn worked for Zawahiri. Al-Hawsawi was a facilitator for the 9/11 attacks and its paymaster, working from the United Arab Emirates. He sent thousands of dollars to Bin Al-Shibh the summer of 2001. After 9/11, he returned to Afghanistan where he met separately with Bin Laden, Zawahiri and spokesman Abu Ghaith. KSM worked closely with al-Hawsawi. The fact that the anthrax spray drying documents were on that computer, however, and that Al-Hawsawi had worked for Al Sahab in Kandahar in 2000, serves to suggest that the undated documents predated 9/11, particularly given that extremely virulent anthrax was later found in Kandahar. Al-Hawawi in turn worked with Aafia Siddiqui’s husband-to-be, KSM’s nephew Al-Baluchi, in the UAE in the summer of 2001. The two provided logistical support for the hijackers.

          Hawsawi worked as a financial manager for Bin Laden when he was in Sudan. Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura leader Mahjoub was Bin Laden’s farm manager in Sudan. Mahjoub was the subject of the anthrax threat in January 2001 in Canada, upon announcement of his bail hearing. The day after Mahjoub’s bail was denied on October 5, 2001, the potent stuff was sent to US Senators Daschle and Leahy.

          The Washington Post explained that “What the documents and debriefings show, the first official said, is that “KSM was involved in anthrax production, and [knew] quite a bit about it.” Barton Gellman in the Post explained that Al Qaeda had recruited competent scientists, including a Pakistani microbiologist who the officials declined to name. “The documents describe specific timelines for producing biochemical weapons and include a bar graph depicting the parallel processes that must take place between Days 1 and 31 of manufacture. Included are inventories of equipment and indications of readiness to grow seed stocks of pathogen in nutrient baths and then dry the resulting liquid slurry into a form suitable for aerosol dispersal.” The documents are undated and unsigned and cryptic about essential details.

          In addition to establishing him as paymaster for the hijackers, Al-Hawsawi’s computer disks reportedly also included lists of contributors worldwide, to include bank account numbers and names of organizations that have helped finance terror attacks. In press accounts, one unnamed government official confirmed that the information has yielded the identities of about a dozen suspected terrorists in the US. In his substituted testimony in the Moussaoui case, Al-Hawsawi says he became part of Al Qaeda’s media committee in Afghanistan in about July 2000. Hawsawi lived at the media office. For about 4-5 months in 2000, Hawsawi worked as a secretary on al Qaeda’s media committee. Hawsawi’s role “was to copy compact discs and reprint articles for the brothers at the guesthouse in Qandahar. After 2000, Hawsawi worked at the direction of Sheikh Mohammed, transferring funds, and procuring goods.” KSM joined the committee in February 2001.

          The first time that Hawsawi was asked to become involved in operational activities was about March 2001, when he took his second trip to the UAE. Although Sheikh Mohammed did not use the word “operation,” Sheikh Mohammed told Hawsawi that he would be purchasing items, receiving and possibly sending money, and possibly meeting individuals whom Hawsawi would contact or who would contact him.

          Khalid Sheik Mohammed told Hawsawi that Hawsawi would be in contact with individuals called ‘Abd Al-Rahman (Muhammad Atta) and the “Doctor” (Nawaf al-Hazmi). Atta called Hawsawi four times while in the US. Hawsawi says he was never in contact with Hani or Nawaf while in the US. On September 9, Ramzi bin Shibh told him the date of the planned operation and urged that he return to Pakistan. He flew out on 9/11 and after a night in Karachi, flew on to Quetta. Hawsawi stated repeatedly that he never conducted any activity of any type with or on behalf of Moussaoui and had no knowledge of who made Moussaoui’s travel arrangements.

          Documents, however, reportedly show that al-Hawsawi worked with the Dublin cell to finance Moussaoui’s international travel. Hamid Aich was an EIJ operative there who once had lived with Ressam, the so-called millennium bomber, in Canada. The indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui named al-Hawsawi as an unindicted co-conspirator. Moussaoui unsuccessfully tried to call KSM and Hawsawi as witnessses.
          Microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi had spoken with Bin Laden’s sheik about helping with Moussaoui’s defense.

          Hawsawi has said that it was Qahtani who was to have been “the 20th hijacker” rather than Moussaoui. Qahtani, Hawsawi said, had trained extensively to be one of the “muscle hijackers.” Atta went to pick Qahtani up at the Orlando airport but immigration officials turned Qahtani away. Al-Hawsawi said he had seen Moussaoui at an al-Qaeda guesthouse in Kandahar, Afghanistan, sometime in the first half of 2001, but was not introduced to him and had not conducted any operations with him. At Moussaoui’s trial, the government pointed to FAA intelligence reports from the late 1990s and 2000 that noted that a hijacked airliner could be flown into a building or national landmark in the U.S. Such an attack was
          viewed “as an option of last resort” given the motive of the attack was to free blind sheik Abdel Rahman. Flying a plane into a building would afford little time to negotiate.

          Zacarias Moussaou was in Karachi with anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat on February 3, 2001 when they bought air tickets through a local travel agency for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They left on a flight for KL on February 8, 2001. Moussaoui began at the Norman, Oklahoma flight school on February 26, 2001. KSM says that Moussaoui’s inquiries about cropdusters may have related to Hambali and Sufaat’s work with anthrax.

          Another reason not to overlook Hawsawi’s possible role in an anthrax operation is his contact with al-Marri. Al-Marri, who entered the country on September 10, 2001, was researching chemicals in connection with a “second wave.” Al-Marri was also drafting emails to KSM. Although al-Marri denies being in contact with Hawsawi, phone records show otherwise. E-mail evidence also confirms messages drafted by al-Marri to KSM. An article by Susan Schmidt in the Washington Post on al-Marri notes that al-Marri picked up $13,000 in cash from al-Hawsawi. Al-Marri made the mistake of opening the briefcase containing the money in bundles and peeling off a few hundred dollars to pay his bail after being stopped on a traffic charge a couple days after 9/11.

          In applying to school, he would not provide a home address or sign the application. “He was a very pugnacious individual,” the administrator told the Post. He was calling students. A number of people reported him as acting suspicious in the heightened sensibilities after 9/11. One student from whom he sought help was the local mosque imam, graduate student Jaloud. Jaloud curiously reports that he did not remember him as the fellow he had taken to the airport 90 minutes away in the summer of 2000, or the fellow he had argued about shipping the computer, or the fellow who had then put him to the expense of shipping the computer to Washington. Jaloud reports when questioned in 2005, he told the Saudis that he did not remember the address in Washington where he sent the computer.

        • DXer said

          2003 Capture Of Hambali And Sufaat’s Assistants And The Reported Seizure Of “Extremely Virulent” Anthrax

          Muklis Yunos was arrested on May 25, 2003. Agents reportedly became suspicious when an ambulance pulled over and delivered Yunos, who was wearing a plaster cast on a leg as part of a disguise. According to other reports, he was also wearing facial bandages. An Egyptian missionary accompanying him, Al Gabre Mahmud, was apparently on an international terrorist watchlist. Authorities became suspicious when the two went to the wrong gate (and did not go to the one typically used for medical transport). The pair then objected when officials wanted to remove some of the mummy-like bandages. AP reported that a police intelligence dossier describes him as “a fanatic of the extreme fundamentalist movement” who received training in an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, including lessons on the use of anthrax as a biological weapon. He is described as about five foot three and with the features of a Japanese-Korean. According to one report, Yunos initially was cooperating with authorities over a bucket of spicy Kentucky Fried Chicken, complaining about the arrogance and unhelpfulness of MILF leadership.

          Hambali was arrested in mid-August 2003 in Thailand. Hambali had fled Malaysia with his wife, Lee, not long after 9/11. His wife and her sister had studied at the school of Bashir, JI’s religious leader. He told his mother they were moving to Thailand. Hambali worked and his wife studied Arabic. Over the next two years, he also spent time in Cambodia and Myanmar. Soft-spoken and polite, the neighbors said he kept to himself in the apartment building.

          His wife, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian who converted to Islam, was also detained. After being shipped to Jordan, where he was harshly interrogated, Hambali eventually began providing information about Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program. He told interrogators that the terror network had what author Ron Suskind describes as an “extremely virulent” strain of anthrax before the September 11 attacks. In the autumn of 2003, Suskind claims, U.S. forces in Afghanistan found a sample of the virulent anthrax at a house in Kandahar. Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind writes: “One disclosure was particularly alarming: al Qaeda had, in fact produced high-grade anthrax. Hambali, during interrogation, revealed its whereabouts in Afghanistan. The CIA soon descended on a house in Kandahar and discovered a small, extremely potent sample of the biological agent.”

          Suskind wrote:

          “Ever since the tense anthrax meeting with Cheney and Rice in December 2001, CIA and FBI had been focused on determining whether al Qaeda was involved in the anthrax letter attacks in 2001 and whether they could produce a lethal version that could be weaponized. The answer to the first was no; to the second, ‘probably not.’ Though the CIA had found remnants of a biological weapons facility — and blueprints for attempted production of anthrax — isolating a strain of virulent anthrax and reproducing it was viewed as beyond al Qaeda’s capabilities.”

          Suskind continued:

          “No more. The anthrax found in Kandahar was extremely virulent. What’s more, it was produced, according to the intelligence, in the months before 9/11. And it could be easily reproduced to create a quantity that could be readily weaponized.”

          “Alarm bells rang in Washington. Al Qaeda, indeed, had the capabilities to produce a weapon of massive destructiveness, a weapon that would create widespread fear.

          Based on the additional information being provided in 2003, authorities also captured two mid to low level technicians — an Egyptian and a Sudanese. President Bush has explained that these mid-to low level technicians were part of a Southeastern Asian based cell that was developing an anthrax attack on the United States.

          In Fall of 2006, President Bush explained:

          “KSM also provided vital information on al Qaeda’s efforts to obtain biological weapons. During questioning, KSM admitted that he had met three individuals involved in al Qaeda’s
          efforts to produce anthrax, a deadly biological agent — and he identified one of the individuals as Yazid. KSM apparently believed we already had this information, because Yazid had been captured and taken into foreign custody before KSM’s arrest. In fact we did not know about Yazid’s role in al Qaeda’s anthrax program. Information from Yazid then helped lead to the capture of his two principal assistants in the anthrax program.”

        • DXer said

          Use of Code

          The document provided the National Security Archives demonstrates the CIA’s knowlege that “marriage” was code for a planned event.

          The CIA’s December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief about Islambouli: The Ghost Of Sadat’s Assassin Visits the United States to Plan the Attacks Using Aircraft and Other Means
          https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/368937-1998-12-04-bin-ladin-preparing-to-hijack-us.html

          And so when the letter on “Clouds” stationery (signifying KSM and al-Hawsawi’s media group) with the powder and Star of David came talking about Jenny’s planned marriage, they did not need to know that Atta was using “Jenny” as Ramzi Binalshibh’s code name to know that trouble might be brewing in Al Qaeda anthrax lab.

          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.

        • DXer said

          KSM and Clouds (As Sahab)

          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.

        • DXer said

          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 4, 1998 CIA document 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 found). 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 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.

        • DXer said

          ”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.

        • DXer said

          “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.

      • 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. In various email exchanges over the years always ended with Dr. Ahmad asking if there was money for a sabbatical in the United States.

        With Lew’s tremendous help over the months, 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 Developing Anthrax As A Weapon Against US Targets

          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

        Profile Of An Angry Man: Ayman

        Who did Dr. Ayman know to recruit as part of his anthrax project?

        Given the importance of knowing your enemy, it is important to walk in his shoes and come to know the man. It’s part of what is known as “Red Teaming.” Tenet in his memoirs said that after 9/11, they set up a small team of analysts — he wanted them not to think just “out of the box.” He wanted them to do their thinking from an entirely different zip code. It was called the “red cell.”

        Al-Zawahiri’s family has its roots in a small town in Saudi Arabia “where the first battle between Prophet Muhammad and the infidels was fought and won by the Prophet.” With 9/11 and the anthrax mailings, he essentially is seeking to recreate the taking of Mecca by a small band. Al-Zawahiri’s great grandfather came to the Nile Delta in the 1860s to a city where there is a mosque that still bears his name. His grandfather on his mother’s side was president of Cairo University and the Egyptian ambassador to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. His grandfather was known for being pious and nicknamed “the devout ambassador.” Two of Ayman’s sisters are on the faculty at Cairo University Medical School. His sister Heba is a professor of pharmacology who researches antimicrobials. His uncle was the Dean of Cairo’s medical school at one point. His father, who passed away in 1995, was Professor of Pharmacy. Including in-laws, he has 40 doctors of various sorts in his family.

        Born June 1, 1951, he grew up in Cairo’s Al-Ma’adi neighborhood. He graduated cum laude from Cairo University’s medical school in 1974 with an MD degree. He received a master’s degree in surgery in 1978 and was married the next year to Izzat Ahmad Nuwair who had graduated with a degree in philosophy from Cairo University. His wife and children were killed in a bombing raid in Afghanistan and an obituary mourning their loss appeared in Cairo. He has a younger brother Hassan, an engineer, and had an older brother Muhammad. (Muhammad was in Al Qaeda until being extradited to Egypt pursuant to a death sentence imposed in the “Albanian returnees” case; Hassan was once extradited but released). Without his family, Zawahiri is a fanatic guided only by his faith and his literal interpretation of a book written many years ago that he memorized as a child.

        Al Qaeda’s spymaster al-Hakaymah wrote “The History of the Jihadist Movements in Egypt.” When asked why Al-Zawahiri started his group, he explained that Al Zawahiri thought of Sayyid Qutb as a coroner who dissects a body with a high degree of professionalism and talent that suits someone who knows it inside out. In his youth, Zawahiri was influenced by Sayyid Qutb, one of the spiritual leaders of Islamic religious groups. After a two year stay in the United States where Qutb gained a contempt for American culture, the secular writer Qutb returned to his religious roots and wrote extensively supporting violence against Christians and Jews, and even muslim leaders deemed infidel. The introduction of Milestones linked at IANA’s Islamway website states: “I have written Milestones for this vanguard, which I consider to be a waiting reality about to be materialized.” Zawahiri traces the origin of the modern islamist movement to the hanging of Qutb in 1966. It was Sayyid Qutb’s brother, Muhammad, who supervised the research of the masters thesis of Saudi dissident sheik Safar Al-Hawali.

        Ayman and his young colleagues would go to the Al-Kikhya mosque in Abidin area in Cairo and read books from the Salafist library at the mosque, such as books by Ibn Taymiyah, whose religious rulings greatly influenced him. The group felt ashamed by Egypt’s defeat in the 1967 war with Israel and attributed the defeat to Egypt’s failure to follow Shariah rule.

        George Mason University microbiology grad student Al-Timimi years later would invoke both Sayyid Qutb and Ibn Taymiyah in an eloquent speech upon his indictment for sedition. Muhammad Qutb spoke alongside GMU microbiology graduate Al-Timimi at the 1993 conference along with the blind sheik’s son Mohammad Abdel-Rahman (from Afghanistan). Former EIJ member and current Cairo activist Gamal Sultan was also a speaker. Al-Hawali was Al-Timimi’s religious mentor at university.

        In 1968, Zawahiri’s group in high school brought together Nabil al-Bura’i, Ismail Tantawi, Sayyid Imam and others. They were all in the last year of high school in the Cairo suburb of Maadi. Sayyid Imam, who issued revisions in November 2007, was thought to be more charismatic than Ayman, who tended to be shy.

        Zawahiri later would form a military wing under the guidance of Al-Qamari, an Egyptian army officer. Zawahiri formed his first cell from students at Maadi High school and other schools. By 1974, the year he graduated from medical school, it had 40 members. Ayman deemed infiltrating the military the most effective and least costly means of seizing power. Known for their extreme secrecy, the group avoided growing beards like most Islamists and were thus known as “the shaven beards.” Ayman’s friend Kamal Habib, who later would contribute to the quarterly journal of the Ann Arbor-based slamic Assembly of North America, explained to CNN through a translator: “We thought at the time that the goal to apply the laws of Islam can’t be achieved with ways other than violence.” It would remain Zawahiri’s tactic to recruit members of the Egyptian army because of their training and expertise. After graduating medical school in 1974, he served three years as a surgeon in the Egyptian Army, at a base outside Cairo, before establishing a clinic at the same duplex he shared with his parents. He got his masters in surgery in 1978 based on book learning, according to his mentor Sayyid Imam. At a Saudi clinic, Sayyid Imam reports that he needed to cover for Ayman’s lack of clinical experience.

        During the 1975-1979 period, radical but not revolutionary study groups spread quickly through the Cairo, Ayn Shams and al-Azhar universities and elsewhere. Al-Jihad began as such a student organization. The student groups were one of the main targets of Sadat’s crackdown in 1979. Hundreds were arrested and their campus groups dissolved. The revolutionary ideas of Qutb influenced these student groups, which were known as jam’iyat. Courses of study in Egyptian universities are narrow, preventing many from acquiring a liberal education as they acquired technical skills. Thus, many fundamentalists are highly educated in technical fields but do not have a broader educational background. Life as a student in Egypt is hard and job prospects are poor. In the late 1970s, an estimated 85% of al-Jihad’s members were students.

        At Cairo Medical School, while a postgraduate, Ayman spoke fervently to members of Islamic Group, which operated openly within the school and had great influence among the students. A former student there, Tawfiq Hamid, explains that Jamaah Islamiyah, then approved by both the Egyptian government and the university, was not classified as a terrorist organization until a few years later. The group “built a small prayer room in our medical school that later developed into a mosque with an associated library.” He reports that “The mosque was behind the physiology and biochemistry departments, and members of Jamaah came there daily before science classes to lecture us on Islam. They warned us about the punishments awaiting us after death if we did not follow Islam strictly and were effective in advancing Islamism among many of the students, including me. He continued: “Our fear of being punished after death was exacerbated by our work in the cadaver room, where we dissected dead bodies. Seeing death regularly during anatomy and physiology courses made us feel that the life of this world was meaningless compared to ‘real’ life after death.”

        One of Dr. Hamid’s medical schoolmates and childhood friends was Tarek Hamouda, who Bruce Ivins supplied virulent Ames for a DARPA project on nanoemulsions. Dr. Hamouda was in the same class as Dr. Hamid’s older brother, and they graduated in December 1982. Hamouda as a child would go with both Hamid brothers to the comic store when he visited from Khartoum, Sudan, where his mother was an accounting professor. The older brother, an MD in St. Louis, will now not talk with his brother given his consultation with US government intelligence agencies. When Dr. “Tawfik” Hamid called Dr. Hamouda once from abroad to ask him about patents (before 911), Dr. Hamouda said it was all in the marketing. The first name “Tawfik” is an alias used for security reasons — but this man has the courage to state the truth and urge nonviolence.

        Dr. Hamid met Zawahiri, “Dr. Ayman” as he was known, at an afternoon prayer session. He was one of the fiercest speakers he had ever heard. Ayman fervently condemned the West for the freedom of its women. Ayman, Dr. Hamid explains, was exceptionally bright, one of the top postgraduate students in the medical school. When they met him, Zawahiri greeted him warmly through his coke bottle glasses.

        Dr. Hamid explains that one of Ayman’s achievements was to personalize jihad—that is, to have transformed it from a responsibility of the Umma, the Islamic collective, to an individual duty of Muslims. Within several months of meeting Dr. Ayman, he was invited to travel to Afghanistan to join other young Muslims in training for jihad. It was fairly common, he said, to be recruited after the end of Friday prayers. Dr. Hamid explains: “We viewed both the Soviets and the Americans as enemies.”

        “The Soviets were considered infidels because they did not believe in the existence of God, while the Americans did not follow Islam. Although we planned to fight the Soviets first, our ultimate objective was to destroy the United States—the greatest symbol of the infidel’s freedom. ” Prophet Mohammed served as their role model. The harshest edicts of the koranic verses were to be followed and criticism of those verses was punishable by death. Dr. Hamid explains: “I passed through three psychological stages to reach this level of comfort with death: hatred of non-Muslims or dissenting Muslims, suppression of my conscience, and acceptance of violence in the service of Allah.”

        In 1979, while working at a Muslim Brotherhood clinic, Al-Zawahiri was asked if he wanted to go to Afghanistan and he jumped at the opportunity. Even then, Afghanistan represented a possible secure base from which to wage jihad. He would later write: “It is as if 100 years were added to my life when I came to Afghanistan.” He spent 4 months in Peshawar, Pakistan.

        Three hundred al-Jihad activists were arrested after Sadat’s assassination. Almost all of those arrested were between the ages of 20 and 28. Most were medical, law or pharmacy students at either the Universities of Asyut or al-Minya. Of those prosecuted for Sadat’s assassination, five were sentenced to life, twelve were given long prison terms and two were acquitted, including the blind sheik, who had purported to authorize the assassination on the basis of Islamic doctrine. According to Professor Fawwaz Gerges, who conducted extensive interviews with Mr. Habib, IANA writer Kamal Habib played a key operational role in the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

        Zawahiri was imprisoned for a few years after Sadat’s assassination in 1981 and allegedly tortured. Attorney Al-Zayat maintains that after his arrest in connection with the murder of President Sadat, Al-Zawahiri was tortured by the Egyptian police, and disclosed where his close friend and ally Al-Qamari was hiding. Zawahiri has burned with bitterness over the humiliation ever since. In the long run, torture merely tends to lead to more terrorism. “They don’t seem to understand the cult of pain they’re creating,” al-Zayat has said. After being released from prison in 1984, he went to Saudi Arabia in 1986, returning to Pakistan by the next year.

        One co-defendant who said of him: “While in prison, I used to meet him in court during the trial sessions. He is a very calm person and polite and has more of a strategic thought than being an intellectual or the owner of jurisprudence interpretations or even a student in search of knowledge.” Attorney al-Zayyat, who was in prison for three years along with Ayman, had a similar view. Even back then, Zawahiri placed great weight on the religious authority of the blind sheikh, Abdel-Rahman.

        A powerful 5 minute excerpt from the PBS/Frontline, “Looking for Answers” shows Zawahiri delivering an impassioned speech (in English) from jail. His statement sheds light on the motive underlying the anthrax mailings (and the reason the two dates of mailing were chosen). The choice of targets related to US appropriations to Egypt and Israel, the extradition or “rendering” of Egyptian Islamic Jihad members pursuant to the “Leahy Law,” retaliation for the detention and alleged mistreatment of the Blind Sheikh and others, and what Ayman views as “lies” about these issues in the media. The two mailing dates were (1) the signing of the agreement between Egypt and Israel and (2) the assassination of Sadat for signing the agreement. The choice of mailing dates was not surprising when one realizes that the subject of the December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton was Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin. The PDB described the plan to attack the US using aircraft and other means. Islambouli was part of a cell with Khalid Mohammed who not only led the “planes operation,” but would come to lead the effort to attack the US with weaponized anthrax upon Atef’s death in November 2001.

        Al-Zayyat continues:

        “Despite all that he had suffered physically, what was really painful to Zawahiri was that, under the pain of torture, he was forced to testify against his fellow members in the case against ‘Esam al-Qamari and other officers. Zawahiri was taken from the Tora prison to the Higher Military Court to give testimony against other jihadi members from the army. Under these conditions, he admitted that they formed a movement inside the army to topple the regime and institute an Islamic government.”

        After he was arrested on October 15, 1981, Zawahiri informed the authorities of Qamari’s whereabouts. He had taken a refuge in a small mosque where he used to pray and meet Zawahiri and other members of the group. It was this painful memory which was at the root of Zawahiri’s suffering, and which prompted him to leave Egypt for Saudi Arabia. He stayed there until he left for Afghanistan in 1987. During the three years following his arrival in Afghanistan, his leadership among jihadi Islamists became more prominent, as he worked to regroup the disoriented group members.

        Zawahiri left Egypt in late 1985 after he filed a lawsuit and obtained a stay of a decision of the minister of interior banning his travel. He spent a year working at a medical clinic in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al-Zawahiri started the Islamic Jihad Bureau in 1987. He published a monthly magazine called “al-Fath” [conquest]. When Bin Laden’s spiritual leader Azzam was assassinated, al-Zawahiri assumed the role. In Afghanistan and later Sudan, Zawahiri would control Bin Laden by surrounding him with members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad group. As a result, Bin Laden’s financial support flowed to Egyptian Islamic Jihad but not the Egyptian Islamic Group.

        Zawahiri opposes democracy because then people could choose their own religion rather than adhere to the religious beliefs he was taught as a young boy before he reached the Age of Reason. He thinks democracy must be overcome through violence. He knows best based on words written many years before — words he learned by rote memory. Although soft-spoken and outwardly calm, he is a fanatic. The humiliation he felt upon betraying his former mentor al-Qamari still rages within him. He is not constrained by what most would view as ethical limits. Beware the quiet, deep thinker who thinks he knows best, particularly after you’ve killed his wife and child. In Bitter Harvest, he was very critical of the Muslim Brotherhood for its growing accommodation of secular rulers, though he softened his views somewhat in Prophets under the Banner. Zawahiri’s friend, IANA magazine writer Kamal Habib, says that, in contrast to Zawahiri, he has renounced violence and embraced democracy as a pragmatic means of establishing sharia law.

        In the mid-1990s, Al-Zawahiri sought to coordinate the activities of the various Islamic terrorist movements to carry out sabotage activities against the United States. A series of meetings included representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah. In a meeting held in Khartoum in April 1995, one direction Al-Zawahiri charted was to develop the effectiveness of the Islamic networks in London and New York, especially Brooklyn, where he visited the Blind Sheik’s Services Organization.

        Zawahiri visited the US in 1995 and visited mosques with Ali Mohammed and San Jose physician Ali Zaki. Apparently, however, it was the planned visit by a representative from Saudi Arabia sent by Mohammed Islambouli several years later that more recently that may had lay groundwork for the planned attacks using aircraft and other means. The planned visit was the subject of the CIA’s December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton.

        Islambouli, brother of Sadat’s assassin, was in a cell with KSM, who upon Atef’s death assumed leadership of the cell planning to attack the US with weaponized anthrax. Islambouli was head of the blind sheik’s Services Organization in Peshawar. In addition to his numerous videotaped messages and his October 2001 book “Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet,” Zawahiri announced in 2007 that Islambouli was head of the Islamic Group members who had joined Al Qaeda.

        Islambouli may know the identity of the mailer even though KSM does not.

        • DXer said

          The CIA’s December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief about Islambouli: The Ghost Of Sadat’s Assassin Visits the United States to Plan the Attacks Using Aircraft and Other Means

          Here now, produced under FOIA by the CIA, is the document:

          https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/368937-1998-12-04-bin-ladin-preparing-to-hijack-us.html

          Former CIA agent Robert Baer in See No Evil first publicly reported that in 1996 KSM was in a cell with Mohammed Islambouli, the younger brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, the militant who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. Baer’s source was a local police chief.

          ABC’s Brian Ross has reported that “the FBI tracked Mohammed to Doha, and was within hours of capturing him.” Ross’s source was Jack Cloonan, in the New York Office Bin Laden Squad. Cloonan told Ross that “a specially equipped government executive jet complete with blackout windows, was standing by to transport Mohammed.” As recounted by author Peter Lance in Triple Cross, Cloonan said that “somebody had leaked the information to Khalid Shaikh and he left.” Brian Ross identified the collaborator as none other than the Qatari religious affairs minister. The FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue team found that he had already fled to the Czech Republic. Mohammed’s work at the water department is worth noting given the later plans and research relating to poisoning water supplies. The head national security person at the time at the DOJ, Daniel Seikaly, would later serve as the lead Amerithrax prosecutor who was leaking sensationalized stories diverting public attention to Hatfill.

          The “Presidential Daily Brief” on December 4, 1998 to President Clinton, titled “Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks,” states: “1. Reporting [ redacted ] suggests Bin Ladin and his allies are preparing for attacks in the US, including an aircraft hijacking to obtain the release of Shaykh Umar ‘Abd al-Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, and Muhammad Sidiq Awda.'” Awda was al-Hawali’s fellow radical Saudi sheik who was detained from 1994 through 1998. Sheik Abdel-Rahman, Awda and al-Hawali were all expressly the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war against the US. US Sheik Al-Timimi drafted a letter for al-Hawali and had it hand-delivered to members of Congress on the first anniversary of anthrax letters to Senators.

          The December 1998 PDB continued: “One source quoted a senior member of Gama’ at al-Islamiya (IG) saying that, as of October, the IG had completed planning an operation in the US on behalf of bin Ladin, but that the operation was on hold. A senior Bin Ladin operative from Saudi Arabia was to visit IG counterparts in the US soon thereafter to discuss options — perhaps including an aircraft hijacking.” The December 4, 1998 PDB stated: “IG leader Islambouli in late September was planning to hijack a US airliner during the “next couple of weeks” to free ‘Abd al-Rahman and the other prisoners, according to what may be a different source.” Islambouli was the brother of Sadat’s assassin. Islambouli is still at large and is working with Zawahiri. He can be thought of as the leader of those IG members who support Al Qaeda.

          The younger brother of Sadat’s assassin, Mohammed, had gone to Pakistan where he had joined Al Qaeda and run a camp. Islambouli operated in Afghanistan and had good connections in Pakistan. He worked for Maktab al-Khidmat (Bureau of Services) in Peshawar. When the blind sheik visited Peshawar, he would stay at a large house outside of Peshawar with both Islambouli and Ayman. Islambouli had an Algerian passport. He left Peshawar, Pakistan for Afghanistan in Spring 1993 upon a crackdown on foreign fighters. In more recent years he reportedly spent some time living in Algeria.

          In his introduction on an August 2006 tape, Al-Zawahiri said the Egyptian group was led by Mohammed al-Islambouli. It had been his brother Mohammed’s detention that motivated the assassin Khalid Islambouli to seize an opportunity presented to kill Sadat on October 6, 1981. Sadat was killed during the annual Armed Forces parade celebrating Egypt’s successful attack on Israel in 1973. The militants objected to his signing the Camp David Agreement establishing a peace between Israel and Egypt. The assassin was promptly tried, sentenced to death, and executed. The anthrax mailer appears to have chosen the dates of the approval of that agreement and Sadat’s assassination to send the anthrax letters.

          The Al Qaeda spymaster Al-Hakayma appeared on a tape in 2006 claiming that IG had joined formally with Al Qaeda. In front of a grove of palm trees, Al-Hakayma said former members had decided to revive the group and rejected the imprisoned leaders’ adherence to a truce. He vowed loyalty to Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. This was a controversial announcement because the shura members of the group had denounced violence against innocents and dissolved their military wing.

          The person making the announcement, Al-Hakayma, was the Al Qaeda spymaster, an Egyptian Islamic Group member himself, who had summarized the Amerithrax investigation in a 2002 treatise on US intelligence apparatus. Al-Hakayma says in the interview that a group of hardliners from Al Jamaa Al Islamiya had joined Al Qaeda, “to help our great scholar, His Eminence the unshakable Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, languishing in the dungeons of the American prisons.”

      • DXer said

        The Cairo Medical School Dropout Trained To Recruit US Operatives And Make Booby-Trapped Letters (1989-1998)

        Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an eye-opening profile of Khalid Dahab, a Cairo Medical School drop-out who recruited US operatives for Al Qaeda. He was trained by Bin Laden’s head of intelligence, former US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed. Ali Mohammed had recruited him while he was student at Cairo Medical in the early 1980s. The article was based on statements made in a Cairo court proceeding.

        Williams reports that Bin Laden personally congratulated Dahab, an Egyptian- born US Citizen, a Silicon Valley car salesman and member of Zawahri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest, for recruiting Islamist Americans into al Qaeda. The account of Dahab’s confession was first published in the October 10, 2001 edition of the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. Ali Mohamed was also a Silicon Valley resident. Ali Mohamed had traveled to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s to report to Bin Laden on the success the two were having in recruiting Americans. Bin Laden told them that recruiting terrorists with American citizenship was a top priority.

        Ali Mohamed has admitted role in planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, killing more than 200 people.

        Williams wrote: “Dahab’s confession supports the view of many terrorism experts that al Qaeda has “sleeper” operatives on station in the United States for future terrorist attacks.” Khaled Duran, an author and terrorism expert who has written about the Silicon Valley cell, said the recruits would be expected to “fade into the woodwork” until the organization needed them, he said.

        Handsome and outgoing, Dahab spoke excellent English. He said he was from a wealthy Alexandria family. His mother was a physician and he was planning a career in medicine.

        “But Dahab told acquaintances he had been radicalized by a tragedy that happened when he was a schoolboy: his father, he claimed, had been among 108 people killed in the 1973 crash of a Cairo-bound Libyan Arab Airlines plane that was shot down by Israeli fighter jets when it strayed over the Sinai Peninsula, which at the time was occupied by Israel. He claimed that his father’s death — and Egypt’s failure to avenge it — had turned him against the Egyptian government and against Israel and the United States, as well. He said he was drawn toward Islamic Jihad, a radical movement that had assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981 in an effort to remake Egypt into a fundamentalist Muslim state.”

        Williams reports that it was while a medical student in about 1984, according to his confession, that Dahab met Mohamed, who then was an officer in the Egyptian commando forces and a Jihad operative planning to emigrate to the United States. Dahab came to the United States in 1986, obtaining a student visa by saying he wanted to study medicine. He rented an apartment in Santa Clara, where Ali Mohamed now lived with his American wife. He dropped the name Dahab, calling himself Khaled Mohamed or Ali Mohamed, the same name used by the man who had recruited him.

        “In 1995, using a fake passport and identity documents, Dahab and Ali Mohammed smuggled Zawahiri into the US from Afghanistan for a covert fund-raising tour. Dahab reports that part of the money financed the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan. Dahab also said that at Mohamed’s direction he had gone to terrorist camps in Afghanistan in 1990 and trained guerrilla fighters to fly hang gliders. He said Islamic Jihad was planning a hang glider assault to liberate imprisoned Jihad leaders, some of whom had been locked up since the assassination of Sadat.”

        Jihad later canceled the attack, Dahab said in his confession.

        Williams continues: “Meanwhile, Dahab said Mohamed gave him military training and taught him how to make letter bombs. Dahab said he had also worked as an al Qaeda communications specialist, aiding terrorists inside Egypt by patching through their calls to other operatives in Afghanistan and the Sudan. This helped the terrorists plan operations while avoiding electronic surveillance by Egyptian security forces who routinely wiretapped calls between Egypt and countries that harbored jihad terrorists.

        Also in the 1990s, Dahab said, he and Mohamed were told to begin recruiting U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern heritage. Dahab said the recruitment project had first been outlined to him by an al Qaeda fighter named Abdel Aziz Moussa al Jamal, who, according to Arabic press accounts, surfaced in Islamabad, Pakistan, serving as translator for Taliban envoy Abdul Salam Zaeef. On another visit to Afghanistan, Dahab said, he and Mohamed discussed the project with Zawahiri and bin Laden.” “Dahab told Egyptian authorities he and Mohamed had found 10 recruits, all of them naturalized U.S. citizens who had been born in the Middle East. The account of the confession did not name the recruits or provide other details about them.”

        In August 1998, Dahab was in Egypt when al Qaeda mounted suicide attacks on the embassies in East Africa. Back in the U.S., Ali Mohamed was arrested for complicity in the attack and pled guilty. .

        In October 1998, the Egyptian military moved to crush Islamic Jihad by arresting more than 70 of the organization’s leaders. Dahab decided to flee, and on Oct. 28 booked a flight to the United States. According to Dahab acquaintances, Egyptian security police boarded the plane shortly before takeoff and took him away in handcuffs. Dahab confessed his involvement with al Qaeda and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.”

        Sleepers, the former head of Bin Laden’s intelligence (and a former US Army sergeant) Ali Mohammed testified, “don’t wear the traditional beards and they don’t pray at the mosques.” An Al Qaeda encyclopedia, Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants, advises sleepers to “have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation,” and for men not to wear a beard. The book also instructs sleepers not to denounce unjustice faced by the ummah, and not to use common Islamic expressions such as “peace be on you,” nor to go to Islamic locations, such as mosques.

        Consider the example of another “sleeper” or operative, Tarik Hamdi of Herndon, Virginia. ABC News employed him to help secure an interview with bin Laden in early 1998. ABC News transported Hamdi to Afghanistan, unaware that his real purpose in going there was to carry a replacement battery to bin Laden for the satellite telephone he would later use to order the embassy bombings in East Africa. ABC was also unaware that the CIA had planted a listening device in the phone. The successful CIA operation, however, did not serve to prevent the planning of the embassy operation. Ironically, it facilitated it.

        If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

        • DXer said

          The Cairo Medical School Alum Who Was Zawahiri’s Tour Guide On His Last US Tour

          In 1995, Ayman came once again to the United States where he was accompanied by US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed on his travels to California, then Brooklyn, then the Washington, D.C. area. Who did he visit in Washington,
          D.C.? Zawahiri traveled to the US in 1991 and 1995 under an alias (though the dates are disputed). Zawahiri sometimes was accompanied by two brothers, a New Jersey pharmacist and a California doctor, Ali Zaki (a fellow Cairo Medical alum who denies knowing who Zawahiri was). They were joined by a former US Army sergeant and key Al Qaeda operative, Ali Mohammed. In Santa Clara, Ayman reportedly stayed at the home of Ali Mohammed, even though Mohammed had recently been subpoenaed to testify about what he knew about Bin Laden’s activities. Dr. Zaki says he was a good friend of Ali Mohammed and that it was widely known that Ali Mohammed was a liaison between the islamists in Afghanistan and the CIA. In one of his trips, he also reportedly went to Texas. One of the most important starting points of the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation should have been to trace the contacts that al-Zawahiri made on his last trip to the United States. He met with supporters associated with the Maktab Khidmat al-Mujahidin (the Al-Mujahidin services office) in the US.

          The troubles of Cairo Medical School graduate (’71), San Jose physician Ali Zaki, over taking Ayman Zawahiri and Bin Laden’s head of intelligence around the US in 1995 had just about faded from memory. In January 2000, a new problem then reared its head. In 1999, he had prescribed $164,000 in prescriptions for Viagara, a syringe of a drug for renal insufficiency and a vial for hypogonadism. (Bin Laden suffered from renal insufficiency.) The California Board governing physicians found that Dr. Zaki violated regulations because no patient was named and he had kept no records. The drugs were ordered ostensibly for a fictitious business MedChem. When an investigator went to check out the listing it was the address at 550 Bevans Drive it turned out to have been a recently closed deli called Landmark Gourmet Delicatessen. Owned by Hasan Ibrahim, the business had been evicted.

          According to the decision, the drugs reportedly were for resale abroad. If they were intended for Afghanistan, someone must have expected a lot of action with some virgins. Elzahabi in the September 2009 interview with journalist Colin Freeze was confident that God would find the time to provide him with the 72 virgins to which he felt he was entitled. He had earned the perk for keeping quiet about the 3 individuals whose picture he was shown. Perhaps erectile dysfunction was common tin Afghanistan because of the cold, harsh conditions and the stress in that line of work. One of the allegations in the January 21, 2000 “Accusation” alleged that “On or about June 15, 1999, respondent ordered 100 bottles of Viagara, 30 tablets per bottle, at 100 milligram strength.” Cost: $164,000. Memories: Priceless. The public reprimand issued in August 2001 and is available online at the State agency’s website.

    • DXer said

      Al Qaeda’s anthrax production plans on Khalid Mohammed’s computer seized in the early Spring of 2003, according to an unnamed source relied upon by the Washington Post, did not evidence knowledge of advanced techniques in the most efficient biological weapons. At least according to the public comments by bioweaponeer experts William Patrick and Kenneth Alibek, under the optimal method, there is no electrostatic charge. In the case of the anthrax used in the mailings, there was an electrostatic charge according to a November 2001 Batelle report declassified by FBI scientist and section chief David Wilson. (According to what the technical representative for Bucchi told me, a static charge is unavoidable with their mini-spraydryer). Although there was a dominance of single spores and a trillion spore concentration, there were clumps as large as 40 – 100 microns. (Spores must be no bigger than 5 microns to be inhalable.) The sophistication and effectiveness of the product perhaps lay not in just its concentration, but in its crumbliness and how it floated right out of the envelope.
      ‘The New York Times explained in early December: “William Patrick’s February 1999 report focused on what kinds of contamination terrorist anthrax would cause when a letter was opened and what the requirements for decontamination were. *** In his report, Mr. Patrick said the American program had achieved a concentration of one trillion spores per gram — what scientists today say is near the theoretical limit of how many of the microscopic spheres can be packed into a tiny space.”‘The “trillion spore” issue was an aspect of the mistaken theory that state sponsorship was necessarily indicated. Many point to the trillion spore concentration as extraordinary. It is far simpler, however, to achieve a trillion spore concentration in the production of a few grams than in industrial processing typical of a state sponsored lab. ‘I don’t think they’re manufacturing this in caves,” Dr. Alibek told the New York Times of the terror anthrax. ”It’s coming from another source.” The product had electrostatic charge — and indeed perhaps even a unipolar charge added. The FBI now describes what it calls a “silicon signature” and reports it does not know the reason for it.
      In contrast, though not necessarily inconsistently, an FBI Lab scientist on composition of powders from the Hazardous Materials Response Unit published the comment in 2006: “Individuals familiar with the composition of the powders in the letters have indicated that they were were comprised simply of spores purified to different extents. However, a widely circulated misconception is that the spores were produced using additives and sophisticated engineering supposedly akin to military weapon production. The issue is usually the basis for implying that the powders were inordinately dangerous compared to spores alone. The persistent credence given to this impression fosters erroneous preconceptions, which may misguide research and preparedness efforts and generally detract from the magnitude of hazards posed by simple spore preparations.” Harvard professor Matthew Meselson consulted with the author on the article.
      In the affidavit regarding the investigation of Ft. Detrick scientist Ivins, the investigator refers to a finding of silicon (as distinguished from silica) but does not explain why silicon would point to Dr. Ivins, given that no silicon was detected in the Ivins flask. At a mid-August 2008 briefing on the science, the FBI’s WMD head explained the silicon dioxide could have been in the culture medium.
      Contamination with a genetically distinct bacillus subtilus was found in the Post and Brokaw letters. “”Phenotypic and genotypic analyses demonstrate that the RMR-1029 does not have the Bacillus subtilus contaminant found in the evidentiary spore powders, which suggests that the anthrax used in the letter attacks was grown from the material contained in RMR-1029 and not taken directly from the flask and placed in the envelopes. Since RMR-1029 is the genetic parent to the evidentiary spore powders, and it is not known how the Bacillus subtillus contaminant came to be in the Post and Brokaw spore powders, the contaminant must have been introduced during the production of the Post and Brokaw spores.”

    • DXer said

      Motive: The Need To See Things Through Your Adversary’s Eyes

      On the issue of motive and the reason Senators Daschle and Leahy would have been targeted — they are commonly simplistically viewed as “liberals.” Zawahiri likely targeted Senators Daschle and Leahy to receive anthrax letters, in addition to various media outlets, because of the appropriations made pursuant to the “Leahy Law” to military and security forces. That money has prevented the militant islamists from achieving their goals. Al Qaeda members and sympathizers feel that the FBI’s involvement in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines undermines their prospects of establishing a worldwide Caliphate. The Fall 2001 letter from Al Qaeda spokesman al- Kuwaiti, directed to the American public — but which was not released until 2006 — claimed that the green light had been given for a US bio attack (1) from folks who were US-based, (2) above suspicion, and (3) who had access to US and UK government and intelligence information. He explained: “There is no animosity between us. You involved yourselves in this battle. The war is between us and the Jews. You interfered in our countries and influenced our governments to strike against the Moslems.”

      Senator Leahy was Chairman of both the Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI and Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of foreign aid to these countries. In late September 2001, it was announced that the President was seeking a blanket waiver that would lift all restrictions on aid to military and security units in connection with pursuing the militant islamists. This extradition and imprisonment of Al Qaeda leaders, along with US support for Israel and the Mubarak government in Egypt, remains foremost in the mind of Dr. Zawahiri and men like Islamic Group leaders Mohammed Islambouli and Rafa Taha. At the height of the development of his biological weapons program, Zawahiri’s brother was extradited pursuant to a death sentence in the “Albanian returnees” case. It’s hard to keep up with the stories about billion dollar appropriations, debt forgiveness, and loan guarantees to countries like Egypt and Israel and now even Pakistan. Those appropriations pale in comparison to the many tens of billions in appropriations relating to the invasion of Iraq. Salafist-Jihadi supporters had a motive.

      The anthrax that infected the first victim, Bob Stevens, is thought by some to have been contained in a letter to AMI, the publisher of tabloids — in a goofy love letter to Jennifer Lopez enclosing a Star of David and proposing marriage. A report by the Center for Disease Control of interviews with AMI employees (as well as detailed interviews by Rutgers Professor Leonard Cole) supports the conclusion that there were not one, but two, such mailings containing anthrax. (The letters were to different AMI publications — one to the National Enquirer and another to The Sun).

      Just because Al Qaeda likes its truck bombs and the like to be effective does not mean they do not see the value in a deadly missive. As Brian Jenkins once said, “terrorism is theater.” A sender purporting to be islamist sent cyanide in both early 2002 and early 2003 in New Zealand and ingredients of nerve gas in Belgium in 2003. There’s even a chapter titled “Poisonous Letter” in the Al Qaeda manual. A former leader of an armed Islamic group in Libya, Numan Bin Uthman, recently wrote an open letter Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2007 indirectly revealing that the purpose of the anthrax in the first place was deterrence against the invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Uthman, alluding to a Summer 2000 meeting over several days in Kandahar at which these issues discussed, argued that the strategy of using nonconventional WMD to deter an invasion of Afghanistan was a misguided and failed strategy. Use of such weapons, he explained to Zawahiri, merely contributed to both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq

      On the issue of motive and the reason Senators Daschle and Leahy would have been targeted — they are commonly simplistically viewed as “liberals.” Zawahiri likely targeted Senators Daschle and Leahy to receive anthrax letters, in addition to various media outlets, because of the appropriations made pursuant to the “Leahy Law” to military and security forces. That money has prevented the militant islamists from achieving their goals. Al Qaeda members and sympathizers feel that the FBI’s involvement in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines undermines their prospects of establishing a worldwide Caliphate. The Fall 2001 letter from Al Qaeda spokesman al- Kuwaiti, directed to the American public — but which was not released until 2006 — claimed that the green light had been given for a US bio attack (1) from folks who were US-based, (2) above suspicion, and (3) who had access to US and UK government and intelligence information. He explained: “There is no animosity between us. You involved yourselves in this battle. The war is between us and the Jews. You interfered in our countries and influenced our governments to strike against the Moslems.”

      Senator Leahy was Chairman of both the Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI and Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of foreign aid to these countries. In late September 2001, it was announced that the President was seeking a blanket waiver that would lift all restrictions on aid to military and security units in connection with pursuing the militant islamists. This extradition and imprisonment of Al Qaeda leaders, along with US support for Israel and the Mubarak government in Egypt, remains foremost in the mind of Dr. Zawahiri and men like Islamic Group leaders Mohammed Islambouli and Rafa Taha. At the height of the development of his biological weapons program, Zawahiri’s brother was extradited pursuant to a death sentence in the “Albanian returnees” case. It’s hard to keep up with the stories about billion dollar appropriations, debt forgiveness, and loan guarantees to countries like Egypt and Israel and now even Pakistan. Those appropriations pale in comparison to the many tens of billions in appropriations relating to the invasion of Iraq. Salafist-Jihadi supporters had a motive.

      The anthrax that infected the first victim, Bob Stevens, is thought by some to have been contained in a letter to AMI, the publisher of tabloids — in a goofy love letter to Jennifer Lopez enclosing a Star of David and proposing marriage. A report by the Center for Disease Control of interviews with AMI employees (as well as detailed interviews by Rutgers Professor Leonard Cole) supports the conclusion that there were not one, but two, such mailings containing anthrax. (The letters were to different AMI publications — one to the National Enquirer and another to The Sun).

      Just because Al Qaeda likes its truck bombs and the like to be effective does not mean they do not see the value in a deadly missive. As Brian Jenkins once said, “terrorism is theater.” A sender purporting to be islamist sent cyanide in both early 2002 and early 2003 in New Zealand and ingredients of nerve gas in Belgium in 2003. There’s even a chapter titled “Poisonous Letter” in the Al Qaeda manual. A former leader of an armed Islamic group in Libya, Numan Bin Uthman, recently wrote an open letter Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2007 indirectly revealing that the purpose of the anthrax in the first place was deterrence against the invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Uthman, alluding to a Summer 2000 meeting over several days in Kandahar at which these issues discussed, argued that the strategy of using nonconventional WMD to deter an invasion of Afghanistan was a misguided and failed strategy. Use of such weapons, he explained to Zawahiri, merely contributed to both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq

      • DXer said

        The March 1999 Public Announcement Of Zawahiri’s Quest To Use Anthrax As A Weapon Against US Targets

        An April 1, 1999 email shows Ayman Zawahiri was in active email contact with Egyptians in a Yemen cell engaged in operational planning. In 1999, Zawahiri created some computer documents describing his biological and chemical program, which he code-named Zabadi or “Curdled Milk.” It is milk curdled by bacteria. It’s made using a spraydryer. Like the FBI, Zawahiri has a penchant for suggestive code names, which sort of defeats the purpose. (Indeed, the US Army reportedly used Zabadi and “bad cow” as code names for Iraqi soldiers upon invading Iraq.) The project apparently included work on a pesticide/nerve agent that used a chemical to increase absorption (and was tested on rabbits and dogs). Was Ayman’s code-name al-Zabadi, meaning yogurt? Or was it instead al-Zubaidy, referring to the inventor of an aerosol spraying device used in adapting cropdusters? I have relied on a landmark article in the Wall Street Journal about the documents on Ayman’s computer in suggesting that Zabadi means “yogurt.”
        Later that month, a vitriolic message, signed by “Army of Suicidals Group 66, Bin Laden Militant Wing,” threatened anthrax attacks against Westerners if they stayed in Yemen beyond a 11-day ultimatum ending February 27, 1999. Egyptians, Algerians and Tunisians, all veterans of the Afghan war, were part of a group calling itself the Islamic Army of Aden and Abyan. Investigators considered a possible connection to the attempted extradition to Yemen of the London-based Egyptian islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. At a news conference on January 20, 1999, Abu Hamza, who was the leader of the London-based Supporters of Sharia (Islamic law), had warned that westerners should leave Yemen. Both his son and stepson were being held by authorities. Abu Hamzi al-Masri would later be arrested in May 2004. The anthrax threat, however, was a bluff. Ayman was still researching the subject.
        Richard Clarke once said in testimony, “All too often we ignore open sources. If we don’t pay for it or steal it, we don’t believe it.” There is a wealth of public information about the Vanguards of Conquest and Zawahiri’s quest to use anthrax as a weapon against US targets.
        On March 6, 1999, the report first appeared about Al Qaeda and anthrax in Arabic newspapers in connection with the confession of a senior Egyptian islamist militant, Ahmad al-Najjar. Al-Najjar had served and then betrayed Zawahiri in Yemen. Joined by Mabruk, the military commander and the blind sheik’s lawyer, Montasser Al-Zayat, Al-Najjar explained that Dr. Zawahiri was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders. Al-Najjar also revealed the EIJ’s wing in the United States centered on Ali Mohammed — the man that taught Cairo Medical alum and ultalight-flying Dahab to make lethal letters.

        • 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.” (I asked Yazid Sufaat about a bottle with a brown slurry that had been harvested in early June 2001 but he politely declined to answer). 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.

      • 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 letter and Dr. Ayman’s background reading 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?

        When I asked Yazid Sufaat about Abu Khabab’s tests involving animals in August 2001 he politely declined to answer.

        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. Why the FBI would not take into account that the labs had been decontaminated is an issue that the GAO will need to take up with the FBI scientists. It was not something that needed to be classified and yet was not disclosed to the NAS committee.

        Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in the history of intelligence analysis — and that failure was led by the FBI and CIA scientists whose job it was to integrate the scientific and investigative information.

        • 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.

          Source:

          http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/Sunday-Times/stinwenws02012.html?99


          September 5 1999 BRITAIN

          London-based Muslim calls for holy war
          Mark Macaskill and Nicholas Rufford

          A MUSLIM cleric is running the risk of being deported after calling for
          attacks with biological weapons on western targets. Omar Bakri Muhammad, a
          refugee and father of seven living in north London, has emerged as the
          extreme voice of international Muslim fanaticism. He is a friend of Abu
          Hamza, the mullah with metal claws for hands, who was linked to the Britons
          imprisoned in Yemen on terrorist charges.

          In an open letter read out in mosques across Britain and published on the
          internet, Bakri called on Muslims to rise up in a jihad, or holy war,
          against America and its allies.

          Bakri, who has claimed disability benefit and income support, addressed his
          call to Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist suspected of bombing two American
          embassies and murdering 256 people. Bakri invited Bin Laden to “aim your
          weapons at occupying forces”. “May Allah protect you and grant you victory,”

          he said. He later advocated the use of germ agents against westerners
          occupying holy lands. The letter was taken off the internet after American
          officials complained.

          David Lidington, shadow Home Office minister, said Bakri’s “grotesque”
          remarks would cause offence to most people, including British Muslims, and
          called on the government to take appropriate action.

          The Home Office was studying a copy of Bakri’s letter last night. “We do not
          discuss individual cases, but the home secretary has powers under the
          Immigration Act to refuse entry or deport nationals if he is satisfied that
          a person’s presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good,” it said.

          Bakri, 41, the founder of Al-Muhajiroun – the Emigrants – came to Britain
          from Saudi Arabia in 1985, where he was threatened with arrest after
          preaching jihad. He was granted asylum. He uses an orange disability badge
          in his car and has a free public transport travel permit.

          Last week Bakri said that civilian casualties were inevitable in a holy war:
          “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.”

          War cry: Bakri advocates germ warfare against the West

          His open letter to Bin Laden was posted on his own website and read in
          mosques in Sheffield, Bradford, Leicester and London. Yossef Bodansky,
          director of the United States Task Force on Terrorism, said: “Bakri knows
          that his letter will be acted upon and that is why he has written it.” It
          amounted to an incitement to violence.

          Bodansky said Bin Laden had taken encouragement from Bakri’s message and had
          issued a reply that was read out in mosques in Pakistan and Britain. The
          American government is offering a reward of $5m for information leading to
          the capture of Bin Laden, who is blamed for terrorist attacks on American
          embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, last year.

          Bakri first came to the attention of the British government in 1991, when he
          allegedly called for the assassination of John Major for Britain’s part in
          the Gulf war. He says the British are a legitimate target “because London
          called for the destruction of the Khalifate [the international Islamic
          state]”. He reserves his harshest words for America and for the “terrorist,
          blaspheming, Jewish, murdering, pirate state of Israel”.

          He works from an office in a business park in Tottenham, north London. The
          office is registered as Info 2000 Software Ltd, but when The Sunday Times
          called last week he admitted the name was a cover. He spends his days using
          the internet to rally support for his holy war and is planning a rally at
          the Albert Hall later this month.

          British Muslims backed calls for action against him. Ahmed Versi, editor of
          Muslim News, a national publication, said: “We are concerned by the
          statements he is making. They damage our position in the community and
          create a negative image of Muslims.”

          Ahmed & Co, Bakri’s solicitor, said Bakri “strongly takes issue with the
          wild and erroneous interpretations placed by Bodansky on the contents of his
          open letter to Bin Laden”. He also “publicly condemns” terrorism, it said.

          oOne of the three suspects held in Britain in connection with the American
          embassy bombings was accused yesterday of swearing allegiance to the Al
          Quade group, headed by Bin Laden. Washington is seeking extradition of
          Khalid Al Fawwaz, 36, a leading member of the London-based Advice and
          Reformation Committee, which the FBI claims was a front for Al Quade.

      • 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.”

        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.”

        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.– or, for example, with a former member of the Malaysian bioweapons program as their lab director.

        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

      In late July 2008, Ft. Detrick vaccine reearcher Bruce Ivins died — an apparent suicide due to an overdose of Tylenol with codeine and valium. The United States Department of Justice has not yet come close to proving its case against Dr. Bruce Ivins. Based, however, only on the “open source” material, it appears that the solution to the Amerithrax case does not lie at the intersection of Bin Laden and Saddam streets among those cubicles at Langley with desktop PCs. Nor does the answer lie with the girls of Kappa Kappa Gamma as the FBI now suggests. Instead, it lies with a Zawahiri Task Force at Langley which hopefully has an intersection of Ayman Avenue and Rahman Road. If not, we might be looking at a different crossroads altogether.

      The FBI appointed two agents to take over leadership of the case in 2006. Vincent Lisi, a supervisory agent, and Edward Montooth, an
      inspector in the case, helped lead a team that re-examined all the evidence. The new team concluded that a man who was depressed and focused — obsessed, the FBI says — on a campus sorority from his school days was responsible. As the narrative about Ft. Detrick anthrax scientist Bruce Ivins evolved, stories made him as crazy as he needed to be fit the FBI’s profile. The FBI leakers had done the same with Hatfill when it served their purpose.For example, even though contemporaneous news accounts indicated he had moved to Frederick from Gaithersburg by January 2001, the Associated Press reported that he had moved down the block from a Kappa Kappa Gamma member to be close to her. (He in fact had moved out of Gaithersburg before she arrived). As with “The Hatfill Theory”, such a bell is hard to unring.

      The FBI’s profile included a US-based supporter of the militant islamists. Attorney General Ashcroft once explained that an “either-or” approach is not useful. The media tended to overlook the fact that when the FBI uses the word “domestic” the word includes a US-based, highly-educated supporter of the militant islamists. In November 2007, in a speech, FBI Director Robert Mueller pointed specifically to the problem of spies at universities and access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information. Michael Mason, former assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office during a portion of the investigation and later a senior official at FBI headquarters, said in August 2008, “the bureau, for its efforts, owes an apology to no one. This is the most complex investigation the bureau has ever had.” Bruce Ivins killed himself, leaving the US DOJ the lesser burden of proving its case through leaks and innuendo rather than putting on admissible evidence that would withstand cross-examination. The investigators signing the affidavits in support of searches had 18 months and 3 years of experience — there had been lulls in public announcements about the investigation longer than that.

      In 2002 and 2003, a “bioevangelist” theory was fueled by leaks by the lead criminal prosecutor, whose law firm’s online biography indicates he was born in Haifa [Palestine] in 1948. He was head of the criminal division at the US Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia. The attorney had moved over from the CIA in late September 2001. He received regular briefings on the investigation and was the one who would have supervised presentment of any indictment in Amerithrax to a grand jury. His family members are Palestinian activists who wrote and lectured publicly in 2001 and 2002 –and his daughter came to represent a key anthrax weapons suspect, Ali Al-Timimi, pro bono.

      During the course of a speech marking the sixth anniversary after 9/11, Bin Laden referenced the 62nd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (observed August 6, 1945), as occurring only a few days prior to his speech. It’s another example supporting the significance of the mailing dates of the anthrax to the senior Egyptian militant, Mohammed Islambouli, who the CIA reports was in the cell with KSM planning the attacks on the
      US. Islambouli was the brother of Sadat’s assassin. The letters were mailed on the anniversary of the Sadat assassination and Camp David Accord in conveying a message — “we have this anthrax.” Now with the Islamists’ recent success in the Egyptian election, Dr. Zawahiri is encouraging that Egypt cancel that peace treaty with Israel.

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