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

* Will Star Amerithrax Reporter Scott Shane Obtain Evidence of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman’s Concerns About An Awlaki-Al-Timimi-Anthrax Connection In His Federal Civil Suit Under FOIA?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 18, 2012

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57 Responses to “* Will Star Amerithrax Reporter Scott Shane Obtain Evidence of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman’s Concerns About An Awlaki-Al-Timimi-Anthrax Connection In His Federal Civil Suit Under FOIA?”

  1. DXer said

    Was it information along these lines that was redacted?

    “The agents reached an alarming conclusion: “Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden” who was leading a group “training for jihad,” the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.

    On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/archive/politics/2006/09/03/hardball-tactics-in-an-era-of-threats-span-classbankheadto-the-government-they-were-a-terrorist-risk-in-the-washington-area-to-local-muslims-they-were-unfairly-singled-out-for-prosecution-and-severe-sentences-in-a-post-911-worldspan/cf2963cd-72bc-4971-9e12-8bd262c742e1/?resType=accessibility

    Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats To the government, they were a terrorist risk in the Washington area. To local Muslims, they were unfairly singled out for prosecution and severe sentences in a post-9/11 world.
    By Mary Beth Sheridan September 3, 2006

    ***

    The zealous salafis weren’t impressed by the efforts of big mosques in the area — such as Dar al-Hijrah in Falls Church and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society — to integrate into American society.

    Those mosques “kind of gave you the mushy middle. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make people mad,” said Umar Lee, a former Falls Church resident who attended Dar al-Arqam. The young people, he said, “wanted authenticity.”

    From Georgetown to Saudi ArabiaLaw enforcement officials would eventually trace the rise of the jihad network to two men: Timimi, the lecturer at Dar al-Arqam, and Randall “Ismail” Royer, a public relations professional.

    Neither started out as religious Muslims.

    The son of an Iraqi lawyer, Timimi had grown up in Northwest Washington and attended the elite Georgetown Day School. When he was 15 years old, his family moved temporarily to Saudi Arabia, where he became an observant Muslim. Timimi spent another year in the kingdom in the late 1980s on a Saudi scholarship, studying with one of the “awakening sheikhs” who would inspire bin Laden with their anti-Western speeches.

    His supporters at Dar al-Arqam bristle at prosecutors’ assertions that he was spouting radical politics; his speeches, they say, focused on spiritual subjects. But they also reflected an alienation from his own culture.

    In one of his taped lectures available on the Internet, Timimi warned Muslims not to become too friendly with non-Muslim “disbelievers” or even work for them if other jobs were available. “A Muslim should never allow the disbeliever to have the upper hand,” he said.

    And he echoed the widespread perception in the Muslim world that the West is an enemy in a clash of civilizations.

    “The greatest power in the world inimical to Islam is the United States,” he declared in a lecture cited by prosecutors.

    Not all his followers in the Washington suburbs shared such extreme views. But they were dazzled by Timimi, a man who could both translate 7th-century Koranic Arabic and joke about the Redskins.

    Increasingly, some of Timimi’s students were also pulled by country and faith. Many were U.S. citizens, but their faith emphasized Muslims’ responsibility for one another. And the battles over control of Chechnya, the Palestinian territories and Kashmir were flowing into the D.C. suburbs on TV and the Internet. Web sites boasted of young men doing something about the suffering of their fellow Muslims: waging jihad.

    “In those days, young men [in the D.C. area] were very interested in jihad and martyrdom,” Timimi told the FBI in a voluntary interview before his arrest in 2004, according to an agent’s report. Chandia, he said, “used to ask hundreds of questions regarding jihad.”

    Dabbling in Jihad Since the Sept. 11 attacks, authorities have assiduously tracked down and prosecuted Americans who traveled abroad to train with Islamic militant groups, fearing they could return and form terrorist sleeper cells. But many Muslims say that supporting such groups was not always the same as backing bin Laden.

    Royer, a blue-eyed convert, was studying at American University in the early 1990s when he became aghast at TV footage showing Serb savagery against Bosnian Muslims.

    “I felt an obligation, in the same way if you were to see a neighbor being beaten or raped you would feel compelled to step in,” he recalled in a telephone interview in 2003. He said he fought in Bosnia for six months.

    Royer was among thousands of youths from Europe, South Asia and the Middle East who took up arms to defend Muslims in the 1990s, spurred by the horrors they had glimpsed on al-Jazeera or CNN.

    “It became a very, very romantic movement,” said Fawaz Gerges, an expert on Islamic militancy at Sarah Lawrence College. But some of the youths gradually became radicalized by a culture of martyrdom. And a small number began to see the United States as the enemy to target.

    Long after he returned home, Royer maintained his idealistic view of armed jihad. By 2000, he and other Muslims in Northern Virginia had formed a group that played paintball in the woods near Fredericksburg, donning camouflage gear and learning maneuvers from Muslim U.S. military veterans. Royer would regale them with his stories from Bosnia.

    “What was really going on was a group of young men dabbling with the idea of jihad, basking in its aura, dipping their toes in it,” Royer wrote recently from a federal prison in Pennsylvania. But officials would later note what they called alarming signs. The men watched bloody videos of holy warriors in Chechnya, Bosnia and Kashmir. Several bought AK-47-style rifles, like those used by the guerrillas.

    And starting with Royer, the men began going to Pakistan to train with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group fighting to drive India from the disputed border area of Kashmir. Royer later said he didn’t think his actions were illegal since the group wasn’t on the U.S. terrorist list at the time.

    “Neither I nor anyone else had the idea ‘I’m doing something against America,’ ” Royer said.

    The Impetus to FightFive days after the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings, Royer and several other young Muslims met Timimi at the Fairfax home of a Dar al-Arqam regular, 25-year-old Yong Ki Kwon, and anxiously asked the lecturer’s opinion of the attacks.

    Timimi urged the men to keep their conversation secret. He suggested that a global war between Muslims and non-Muslims was beginning, according to later testimony. He urged the men to “go be with the mujaheddin anywhere in the world,” as Royer would recall. According to three men at the dinner, Timimi urged them to defend the Taliban against an imminent U.S. attack; Timimi and two others denied that.

    Four of the men promptly set out for a Lashkar camp, using Royer’s contacts. The men were hoping to get weapons training, Kwon later testified, to defend their “brothers and sisters in Afghanistan.”

    The young men who once dreamed of bravely fighting distant enemies now had widened their idea of jihad: Some were prepared to fight U.S. soldiers, according to court testimony.

    But their plans soon fell apart. With the Taliban crumbling, Timimi’s followers gave up after a few weeks and left the Pakistani camp. On their way out, two said, they saw Chandia at a Lashkar office.

    Agents Take No ChancesIn late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running “an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam” that had “conducted military-style training,” FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit. Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

    The agents reached an alarming conclusion: “Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden” who was leading a group “training for jihad,” the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.

    On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.

    There was, in the end, nothing related to that in the house. And yet, as the investigation proceeded, officials learned that some of Timimi’s followers had indeed been practicing for possible armed jihad during their paintball games.

    Of greater interest to prosecutors were the men’s trips to the Lashkar camp. Searches of their homes turned up semiautomatic rifles and radical literature from the Internet, including “The Terrorists’ Handbook.” And agents would make a chilling discovery in Chandia’s house: audiotapes praising bin Laden. On the front seat of Chandia’s Dodge Neon, FBI agents found a CD showing the planes smashing into the World Trade Center. Voices in the background chanted “Allahu Akbar” — God is great.

    McNulty acknowledged that simply attending a guerrilla camp “may not have been seen as threatening or as significant prior” to Sept. 11. But after the al-Qaeda attacks, authorities were taking no chances.

    Prosecutors hit the men with a barrage of charges. They accused them of violating the Neutrality Act, a decades-old, seldom-enforced law that bans Americans from fighting a nation at peace with the United States — such as India, the main target of Lashkar’s guerrillas. And prosecutors stacked multiple gun charges carrying “mandatory minimum” sentences, based on the few times the men fired weapons at a Lashkar camp.

    The hardball tactics worked. Three of the men accused of going to the Lashkar camp after Sept. 11 pleaded guilty and testified against their friends. They served about three years and are now free.

    In contrast, Masaud Khan of Gaithersburg, who traveled with them, pleaded not guilty and was convicted. On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld his sentence: life plus 45 years.

    Looking for Links to LashkarAt the federal courthouse in Alexandria this summer, witnesses recounted the latest act of the jihad network story.

    Prosecutors accused Chandia of attending the Lashkar camp in fall 2001, at Timimi’s urging. Chandia’s attorney and other witnesses said he simply flew to Pakistan in November 2001 to organize his brother’s wedding.

    Chandia’s real trouble began three months later, after he had returned home. At a friend’s request, he went to Reagan National Airport to pick up Mohammed Ajmal Khan, a Lashkar official. By then, the group was on the U.S. terrorist list.

    Over the next year, two of the local men who had trained at the Lashkar camp helped Khan place orders with U.S. companies for 50,000 paintballs — which are sometimes used in military training — as well as equipment for a small, remote-controlled glider, according to court testimony.

    Chandia’s role was apparently smaller. Prosecutors said he allowed the Lashkar official to use his computer. And when Khan visited again in March 2003, Chandia helped him take 21 boxes of Pakistani-bound goods, including the paintballs, to a shipping company in Sterling, according to testimony. Chandia paid the shipping bill — $761.84, according to testimony.

    To the teacher’s supporters at the trial, his acts seemed far short of terrorism.

    “He mailed something,” said Muddasar Ahmed’s wife, Keryn, a homemaker whose sons were in Chandia’s class. “So what?”

    But the U.S. government has grown increasingly concerned about Lashkar, which it designated a terror group in December 2001. Although the group is not known to target Americans, Abu Zubaida, an al-Qaeda official, was seized at a Lashkar safe house in March 2002, raising questions about their ties.

    “I’m conceding that it’s small types of support” the men provided, McNulty said in the interview. “But a relationship [was] established . . . and that could become more significant in the future.”

    Legal experts say there is nothing new in charging suspects to head off an attack. In 1995, for example, a federal jury convicted 10 people, including Omar Abdel Rahman — the “blind sheikh” — of planning a terrorism rampage in New York. But in that case, the FBI taped the men’s conversations about bomb plots and caught several mixing chemicals.

    “The paradigm has shifted,” said Wayne McCormack, a professor at the University of Utah and author of a textbook on anti-terrorism law. The Justice Department, he said, is “moving much earlier than what would have been true before.”

    In doing so, he added, the government risks “prosecuting people who, left to their own devices, would never do anything.”

    In the Chandia case, prosecutors tried to demonstrate his extremism by presenting the material seized in his home and car. Chandia’s friends testified that some of the items were for academic research on radical Islam.

    “And he is not on trial for what he believes,” defense attorney Marvin Miller told the jury. “He is on trial for you to decide whether or not he did anything.”

    The jury found Chandia guilty of three counts of conspiracy and providing material support to Lashkar. He was acquitted of a charge that he attended a training camp.

    Yet even one of the jurors who convicted him said Chandia hardly seemed a security risk. The case “shouldn’t have been brought at all,” Robert Stosch told The Washington Post.

    Anger Among Muslims SimmersToday, the group of ardent salafis who once gathered in Falls Church has dispersed. Dar al-Arqam has closed. Timimi was sentenced to life in prison for urging the men to help the Taliban. One of the local men who ordered equipment for Lashkar got 65 years. Royer, who pleaded guilty to weapons charges, received 20.

    The Justice Department has described the jihad network case as one of a string of successes in the war on terrorism. But officials say the threat persists.

    “As we approach the fifth anniversary of September 11. . . terrorists and their supporters are growing more sophisticated,” McNulty said in his recent speech, noting that the groups are using the Internet to recruit and raise money.

    At some local mosques, the trials have left a legacy of distrust of the justice system. Dar al-Hijrah is financially assisting the families of some of those convicted. To raise money for the defendants, a worshiper printed T-shirts with the slogan “Free Our Unjustly Detained Brothers — Political Pawns in the War on Terror.”

    Members of Dar-us-Salaam, the mosque connected with the school where Chandia teaches, helped organize a fundraiser and Web site for him.

    Authorities “are trying to send a message to every Muslim” with the long imprisonments, said Keryn Ahmed. “But they’re just making us mad.”

    The government has strenuously denied targeting Muslims based on their faith. But prosecutors agree that they are trying to send a message — of zero tolerance for terrorism-related activities.

    In the end, officials acknowledge that they will never know how dangerous the local men were.

    “Did we break something up? Yeah, we think we did,” said a law enforcement official involved in the case, speaking on condition of anonymity under Justice Department rules. “But we would not profess to say we had anything more than the potential for it.”

    Tomorrow: Two young Muslims follow different paths after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Staff writers Jerry Markon and Timothy Dwyer and news researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

  2. DXer said

    Now reading the DOJ’s brief filed on November 5, 2015, the Opposition to Dr. Al-Timimi’s Motion to Compel, I see Attorney Kromberg invokes the “need to know”. He argues that even if counsel has the necessary security clearance, he has no “need to know.” This blog tends to favor getting people on the same page.

    The AUSA writes:

    “Classified materials are not to be disclosed to an individual merely because he has a security clearance; to the contrary, they are to be disclosed only to cleared individuals who have a Aneed to know. In this case, Timimi=s counsel has no need to know the redacted portions of the Squad IT-3 Document or the Ammerman Memo because there is nothing discoverable in them. Allowing Timimi=s counsel access to the unredacted versions of these documents would not only provide him discovery to which he is not entitled, but also defeat the protections to national security created by the document classification system.”

    What AUSA Kromberg calls tippy top secret, I often view as old-fashioned, inside the beltway cover your ass. But not knowing what is being withheld, I cannot say for sure.

    Anthrax, Awlaki, Ayman Zawahiri and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  3. DXer said

    The NYT’s Scott Shane and FoxNews’ Catherine Herridge that so far there is not a lot to hang a Anwar Aulaqi news article on:

    “Sometime after 9/11/2001, Aulaqi appeared at Timimi’s house in the middle of the night. Timimi invited Aulaqi in for tea and provided him with a small gift, possibly perfume, in an effort to be hospitable. Aulaqi had provided a lecture at the Dar al Hijrah earlier in the same night he visited Timimi. Someone else brought Aulaqi to TImimi’s house. Timimi could not remember who this third person was. Aulaqi told Timimi that he relocated to Yemen because the FBI Agents had threatened him and told him that they intended to plant drugs in his house.FN Aulaqi asked TImimi whether he thought the FBI would do such things. Timimi told Aulaqi that it was possible. Timmy has not had any contact with Aulaqi since this one visit to Timimi’s house. Aulaqi did not mention anything about his alleged connections to some of the 9/11 hijackers.”

    FN/FBI Agents would not have planted drugs in his house. They might have charged with transporting a prostitute across state lines, that sort of thing. That’s because Anwar had an expensive habit frequenting prostitutes while the FBI was surveilling him. He had faced trouble in San Diego for the same thing.

    As for whether Aulaqi was an informant, beats me. As I recall, in one of the 302s the FBI asked him to be an informant in about 1993 but he declined. I figure the FBI had the meeting under electronic surveillance, whatever the details.

    • DXer said

      In an October 5, 2015 Opposition to Motion to Compel, Gordon D. Kromberg writes:

      “I. The Documents in Question Were Previously Filed with the Court

      In July 2013, Al-Timimi (hereinafter “Timimi”) moved to compel discovery regarding Anwar Al-Aulaqi (hereinafter “Aulaqi”). At that time, he suggested that a) in October 2002, Aulaqi may have been a government agent controlled by FBI Special Agent (“SA”) Ammerman; (b) in October 2002 – – and perhaps at the behest of SA Ammerman – – Aulaqi solicited Timimi to recruit young Muslim men for jihad; (c) Timimi refused Aulaqi’s solicitation; and (d) the government possessed information documenting Timimi’s refusal of Aulaqi’s solicitation; but (e) the government failed to provide it in discovery in order to protect itself from the embarrassment it would suffer if it became known that it had used Aulaqi as an informant. Docket ##300, 301, 307. In April 2014, this Court ruled that the government had not violated its discovery obligations with respect to information regarding Aulaqi, and denied Timimi’s motion.

      Now, Timimi claims that the unredacted copies of the so-called “Squad IT-3” Document and the memorandum for the record of the 9/11 Commission regarding its interview of FBI SA Ammerman (hereinafter “the Ammerman Memo”) will corroborate his suggestions about the relationships between Aulaqi, Timimi, and SA Ammerman. Because unredacted copies of both documents were filed with this Court in this very litigation years ago, however, the Court already knows that neither document supports Timimi’s speculations in any way.”

      • DXer said

        errata – I meant in the November 5, 2015 Opposition to Motion to Compel.

        AUSA Kromberg continues;

        “Now, Timimi claims that the unredacted copies of the so-called “Squad IT-3” Document and the memorandum for the record of the 9/11 Commission regarding its interview of FBI SA Ammerman (hereinafter “the Ammerman Memo”) will corroborate his suggestions about the relationships between Aulaqi, Timimi, and SA Ammerman. Because unredacted copies of both documents were filed with this Court in this very litigation years ago, however, the Court already knows that neither document supports Timimi’s speculations in any way.

      • DXer said

        Rather, here is the next paragraph:

        “By order of August 14, 2015, this Court directed the United States to provide to the Court an unredacted copy of the Squad IT-3 Document. The United States did so that same day. At that time, however, undersigned counsel had forgotten that he had filed a copy of that same unredacted document with this Court in this same case more than eight years earlier. Indeed, that same document was filed with this Court on February 20, 2007, as Attachment 10 to Docket #212, the Government’s Ex Parte and Under Seal Classified Filing Regarding Documents from the NARA Database. Moreover, the Ammerman Memo was previously provided to the Court on that same date, as Attachment 32 to that pleading. In short – – and regardless of any other reason – – Timimi’s argument today that evidence about his meeting with Aulaqi was withheld from him before 2005 should be rejected because the Court considered the significance of that very evidence in 2007, and recognized it at that time to be irrelevant to Timimi’s defense.”

      • DXer said

        “II. Procedural History
        If government counsel had recognized before Timimi moved to remand the case again that the Squad IT-3 Document and the Ammerman Memo had both been filed with this Court in 2007, it is possible that the second remand never would have happened; for that lapse government counsel apologizes to the Court and to Timimi (who had no way of knowing that the documents had been filed with the Court eight years earlier). Nevertheless, the fact that government counsel failed to recognize in early 2015 that the documents that Timimi now seeks had been produced to the Court in 2007 is a manifestation of the difficulties faced by the parties in litigating today allegations about what occurred more than a decade ago.”

    • DXer said

      The November 5, 2015 Motion to Compel states:

      “II. The Facts Before the Court Are the Same Now as They Were Before

      At the hearing in this case on October 4, 2013, undersigned counsel stated in response to allegations that the government improperly withheld discovery regarding the meeting between Timimi and Aulaqi in October 2002:

      Mr. Turley has no right to know whether there was an asset in to Aulaqi at that time. He has no right to know whether Aulaqi was a government asset at that time, but you asked me eight years ago whether we had a recording of what happened, and I said no. We still don’t.

      Transcript of Hearing, October 4, 2013, at p. 8. We reiterate those words now.”

      • DXer said

        This Court carefully considered Timimi’s arguments regarding the alleged discovery materials involving Aulaqi, and rejected them. In April 2014, this Court wrote:

        Defendant seeks “surveillance evidence, field reports, and recordings” of a brief meeting in October 2002 between himself and Anwar al-Aulaqi, an American-born cleric killed by a drone strike in Yemen more than two years ago. Dkt. No. 301, at 3. Defendant contends that the meeting “could not have happened without the government’s knowledge or facilitation” because al-Aulaqi was the subject of intense FBI scrutiny at the time. . . . Defendant goes so far as to suggest that at the time of their meeting al-

        Aulaqi may have been a government “asset” or, at the very least, was accompanied to defendant’s residence by someone who was an asset.

        Defendant argues that any information regarding what was said that night, if it exists, must be disclosed under Brady or Rule 16 for two reasons. First, it would impeach the testimony of FBI Special Agent Wade Ammerman, who led the criminal investigation and testified at trial that the investigation only began after receipt of an anonymous tip in November 2002, one month after the meeting with al-Aulaqi took place, implying that Ammerman lied to obscure the existence of illegal surveillance. Second, the evidence sought would be exculpatory to the extent it shows that defendant turned down al-Aulaqi’s entreaty to recruit young men at Dar al- Arqam for violent jihad against the United States. Id. at 18. The government curtly responds that defendant “has been provided with all information to which he is entitled by law.” Dkt. No. 304, at 2. In its public position, the government neither concedes nor denies that such evidence exists.

        In a highly classified document to which only the Court, and none of the Court’s cleared staff, has been allowed access, the government has provided sufficient information to satisfy the Court that the government has not violated its obligations under either Brady or Rule 16. See Dkt. Nos. 185, 331 (classified). Moreover, the government’s position- that defendant cannot compel disclosure “of the extent and nature of the government’s investigative tools or tactics” in this instance – has merit. Dkt. No. 304, at 1. Under Rovario, it appears to the Court that disclosing whether or not agents were listening in on the meeting or had an asset listening in for

        them “would endanger the secrecy of that information.” 353 U.S. at 59-60. This concern is only heightened by the government’s legitimate interest in preserving the integrity of ongoing counterterrorism operations. Defendant cannot make a correspondingly weighty showing – in this context, that a record likely exists of defendant making an explicitly exculpatory statement to al-Aulaqi. Short of that, the balance between defendant’s need for any information relating to al-Aulaqi and the government’s interest in nondisclosure favors the latter. See id. at 60-61.

  4. DXer said

    Circuit court remands terrorism case on grounds FBI withheld info of al-Awlaki investigation

    By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/09/26/circuit-court-remands-terrorism-case-on-grounds-fbi-withheld-info-on-al-awlaki/

    On his website, Turley said his public comments were limited by the ongoing litigation, adding “On behalf of Dr. Al-Timimi and the entire defense team, we are deeply appreciative to the Fourth Circuit and look forward to presenting this matter to Judge Brinkema in the United States District Court for Northern Virginia.”

    ***

    According to Timimi’s trial attorney, Edward MacMahon Jr., knowledge of a previous government investigation “would have had a profound impact on his strategy and examinations.”

    ***

    Mueller did not dismiss it. ” I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset — that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so,” Mueller said.

    Comment;

    Three words: Anthrax, anthrax, and anthrax.

    Attorney MacMahon merely confused things at the time of his representation of Ali Al-Timimi when he claimed that his client barely knew Awlaki. To the contrary, Al-Timimi had spoken alongside his fellow Falls Church, VA imam in July and August 2001 in Canada and England alongside a Syracuse doctor. The doctor and his and Al-Timimi’s Ann Arbor, MI charity was subject to an ongoing investigation involving numerous agencies and (by Feb 2003) 30 warrant extensions.

    Although I’m rooting for Ms. Herridge in her efforts to obtain additional insights and documents, for a tamer description of the reason the arrest warrant against Awlaki was dropped, see Scott Shane’s book TROY (September 2015). The index of the substantial tome will bring you to the relevant page.

    Al-Timimi shared a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers who had co-invented a patent to increase the concentration of the anthrax using silica in the growth culture.

    Ms. Herridge is onto a story far more exciting and important than she seems to realize.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Review: Scott Shane’s ‘Objective Troy,’ on Killing the American Jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki
      SEPT. 20, 2015
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/books/review-scott-shanes-objective-troy-on-killing-the-american-jihadist-anwar-al-awlaki.html?_r=0

      Mr. Awlaki came to the attention of the F.B.I. because two of the Sept. 11 hijackers passed through his mosques. That fact has raised questions about Mr. Awlaki’s possible role in the attacks on New York and Washington. Yet Mr. Awlaki said repeatedly that he had never met the hijackers, and documented remarks he made in the fall of 2001 indicate that he did not endorse Al Qaeda’s violence at that time. Mr. Shane helpfully sorts and weighs the conspiracy evidence like a lawyer arguing both sides of a trial. In the end, Mr. Shane finds the allegation that Mr. Awlaki collaborated with the Sept. 11 plotters “unpersuasive.”

      Mr. Awlaki preached rectitude but conducted his private life on other terms. He should have known that after Sept. 11, the F.B.I. was watching him, yet he remained a cheerful and persistent customer of Washington-area prostitutes. The F.B.I. photographed him clandestinely and interviewed the women who served him.

      ***

      Mr. Shane’s account exposes that complacency. While assessing the vital constitutional issues and trade-offs with as much detail as the record available allows — the Obama administration has resisted transparency, citing national security

      ________

      Steve Coll is a staff writer at The New Yorker and dean of the Columbia Journalism School.

      Objective Troy

      A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone

      By Scott Shane

      Illustrated. 396 pages. Tim Duggan Books. $28.

  5. DXer said

    I do not follow issues relating to the Pulitzer Prize except in passing, but it seems that this USA Today series is a clear contender by any standard.

    CDC to review oversight of bioterror labs after USA TODAY investigation
    Alison Young, USA TODAY6:25 p.m. EDT July 21, 2015
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/21/cdc-review-oversight-bioterror-labs-after-usa-today-investigation/30458589/

    The network’s ongoing investigation has raised questions about whether lax oversight and enforcement played a role in allowing an Army biodefense facility to mistakenly ship live anthrax for more than a decade to dozens of labs in the U.S. and abroad. USA TODAY reported in June that the CDC in 2007 referred the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground facility for potential federal enforcement action for failures to deactivate live anthrax with chemicals and for ignoring tests indicating the kill process was ineffective. But no fines were levied, and over the years CDC’s inspectors apparently never detected that similar failures continued at Dugway in its routine use of radiation to kill anthrax.

    Separately, though, a Pulitzer would be due to a reporter who comes to do the reporting relating to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

    ProPublica, McClatchy and Frontline came close but then found it difficult to chase after the 52 bunnies running around the yard. DOJ’s withholding of documents on the subject made it confusing to parse out the different experiments involving rabbits.

    A Pulitzer for investigative reporting relating to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings may turn out to require just the right interview (e.g., Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Michael Hayes, Ali Al-Timimi) or the right documents that may be forthcoming. Potential sources for documents include the Shukrijumah Bulldog FOIA litigation, Al-Timimi brief on appeal in October, civil discovery in Lambert v. US, pending DOJ FOIA requests etc.

  6. DXer said

    Even Anwar was worried about what Scott knew or would find out. ; )

    How Former Muslim Radical Helped U.S. Nab One of World’s Top Terrorists
    Morten Storm claims he enabled the U.S. to kill al Qaeda in Yemen’s leader, Anwar al Awlaki.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140911-al-qaeda-osama-bin-laden-yemen-anwar-al-awlaki-booktalk/

    “One day, after traveling in and out of Yemen a couple of times, Awlaki asked me if I could help him find out about what the New York Times and the West knew about his plot to extract ricin poison and make weapons of mass destruction with the minimum of resources. When he asked me that, I knew that this guy has to be taken out, no matter what.

    I told Awlaki that I would gather information for him and leave it on a USB stick with a person that he and I both knew and trusted. In Yemen, I delivered the USB stick with a tracking device installed in it.

    Three weeks later, I was watching the news, and the headline comes up: Anwar al Awlaki has been killed in a drone attack. Minutes later, I got a call from my handler in Danish intelligence. He said, Did you see the news? And I said, Yeah, is it true? Is he dead? Was it from us? He said, I don’t know, but I’ll find out. He called back later and said, Sorry, the Americans say it was not your intel.

    They were scamming me out of five million dollars!”

    Comment:

    I have no idea what difference his intel made, but he apparently got angry and went public at the thought that he was being cheated out of money due him.

  7. DXer said

    US Justified Drone Killings by Citing Al-Qaida Law
    NEW YORK — Jun 23, 2014, 12:13 PM
    By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/drone-killing-memo-released-ny-court-fight-24263799

  8. DXer said

    There don’t seem to have been any public disclosures yet relating to Anwar Awlaki and Ali Al-Timimi. But here is what I understand to be the background based on open sources. The Sheiks, Bioweaponeers and DARPA An article in George Mason University Gazette, in “CAS Holds Terrorism Briefing on Capitol Hill,” dated October 16, 2001 stated: “On Friday, October 12, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) hosted a legislative briefing on terrorism, bioterrorism, and extremist movements on Capitol Hill. The briefing provided legislators and their staffs with comprehensive background information on Islam, al-Qaeda and the Taliban, bioterrorism, and information security. Ken Alibek, affiliate faculty member at George Mason and president of Advanced Biosytems Inc., addressed chemical and biological warfare issues. Alibek served as first deputy chief of defense of the civilian branch of the Soviet Union’s offensive biological weapons program.” Ali Al-Timimi was knowledgeable about Islam, the Taliban and information security. Indeed, he was actively recruiting for the Taliban and was communicating with Bin Laden’s sheik and the so-called fellow Falls Church “911 imam” Anwar Awlaki at the time. Did Ali attend the briefing? The briefing of Senators and Congressman had about 100 people present including a lot of media. a. The “Teflon Terrorist” And Risk Of Infiltration In 2000, IANA radio ran an item “CIA to Monitor Foreign Students.” The item as published on the IANA website read: “American anti-terrorism policies are ‘seriously deficient according to the US National Commission on Terrorism, a body created by Congress after the bombing of 2 US embassies in East Africa.\'” “Al Qaeda is tremendously patient and thinks nothing about taking years to infiltrate persons in and finding the right personnel and opportunity to undertake an attack. And we cannot become complacent, because you look around the world, and whether it’s London or Madrid or Bali or recently Casablanca or Algiers, attacks are taking place.” In November 2007, FBI Director Mueller gave a speech in which he warned against the need to guard against spies at universities, who for example, may have access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information. Infiltrator Ali Mohamed was the “Teflon terrorist.” Ali Mohammed, an EIJ member who was associated with the unit that killed Sadat, had an alibi for the Sadat assassination. He was at an officer exchange program studying at the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina., Green Beret and Delta Force officers trained there. After he was forced out of the Egyptian Army for his radical beliefs, he went to work at Egyptair. As a security advisor, where he learned how to hijack airliners. He then joined the CIA and the US Army. He was a supply sergeant at the US Army’s Fort Bragg. He lectured Green Beret and Delta Forces on the middle east. He stole high resolution maps from the map shack and brought them to Zawahirii in Afghanistan. In 1989, Ali Mohamed traveled from Fort Bragg to train men that would later commit WTC 1993. When Ali Mohammed traveled to Brooklyn, he stayed with Islamic Group and Abdel-Rahman’s bodyguard Nosair, the man who would assassinate Rabbi Kahane in 1990. After Nosair’s arrest, the FBI did not bother to translate or study the dozens of boxes of materials seized from Nosair’s home. The documents included maps and cables from the Joint Chiefs stolen by Ali Mohammed. In 1991, when Bin Laden wanted to move from Afghanistan to Sudan, Ali Mohammed served as his head of security and trained his bodyguards. Along with a former medical student, Khalid Dahab, Ali Mohamed recruited ten Americans for “sleeper cells.” After the 1998 embassy bombings, when FBI agents secretly swarmed his California residence, they found a document “Cocktail” detailing how cell members should operate. Even Al Qaeda central would not know the identity of members and different cells would not know each other’s identity. It was Ali Mohamed who was the source for the December 4, 1998 PDB to President Clinton explaining that the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Islambouli, was planning attacks on the US. In November 2001, did the Quantico profilers know of this egregious history of infiltration and harm flowing from treating the Nosair case as a “lone wolf” rather than an international conspiracy? One man’s “lone wolf” experiencing howling loneliness is another man’s Salafist operating under strict principles of cell security and “need-to-know.” A former FBI agent in the New York office who asked not to be identified, told author Peter Lance: “Understand what this means. You have an Al Qaeda spy who’s now a U.S. citizen, on active duty in the U.S. Army, and he brings along a video paid for by the U.S. government to train Green Beret officers and he’s using it to help train Islamic terrrorists so they can turn their guns on us. By now the Afghan war is over.” Steve Emerson once said of the former US Army Sergeant who was Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence: “Ali Mohamed is one of the most frightening examples of the infiltration of terrorists into the infrastructure of the United States. Like a [character in a] John Le Carre thriller, he played the role of a triple agent and nearly got away with it.” Those officials who sought to minimize the security breach would have to explain away the classified maps of Afghanistan he stole from the map shack, and the classified cables and manuals found in such places as the home of Nosair, the assassin of Rabbi Kehane. Not even Ali Mohammed, however, could boast the letter of commendation from the White House once given Ali Al-Timimi, previous work for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, or a high security clearance. Ali Mohammed did not even have a security clearance but was merely a supply sergeant at the base where Special Operations was located. ‘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.” There was an elephant in the rooom no one talked about. A colleague of famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey, a prolific Ames strain researcher, has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years in prison. He worked in a program co-sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection and had access to ATCC facilities, as well as facilities of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense at George Mason University then run by Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. The bionformatics grad student once had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. I spoke to William Livingstone, one of the officers of ExecutiveAction, in advance of the group’s release of the monograph they wrote for Pharmathene titled “Spores: The Threat of a Catastrophic Anthrax Attack on America.” I asked him, “How much more obvious does a case of infiltration have to be — does he need to be sitting on Dr. Ken Alibek’s lap?” Many commentators have long held strong and divergent opinions of what has been published in the media about Amerithrax, what they knew and their political views. But it turns out that they apparently have just been seeing the elephant in the living room from a different angle. Actually, they’ve just been in a position to see the elephant’s rump from outside the living room door. One US law professor, Francis Boyle, who has represented islamists abroad, first publicized the theory that a US biodefense insider was responsible. He has served as legal advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Separately the theory was adopted by professor Barbara Rosenberg. But Professor Boyle and Rosenberg were not so far from the truth — just incorrect as to motive. We need to stop seeing such important issues through political lenses that lead to knee-jerk reactions rather than careful factual analysis. For example, the lawyer advocating for islamist clients, Professor Boyle, tells me that he assumes that the correspondence between Ayman Zawahiri and Rauf Ahmad provided me by the Defense Intelligence Agency under FOIA were forgeries. That is a baseless supposition. If that were true, Ayman Zawahiri who appears on television more often than Wolf Blitzer would ridicule the United States government for the fraud. Instead, the documentary shows that Zawahiri’s plan was to infiltrate the US and UK biodefense establishment, and the evidence shows that is exactly what he did. In a June 2005 interview in a Swiss (German language) weekly news magazine, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Ken Alibek addresses the anthrax mailings: A. “What if I told you Swiss scientists are paid by Al Qaeda? You could believe it or not. It has become somewhat fashionable to disparage Russian scientists. Americans, Iraqis, or whoever could just as well be involved with Al Qaeda. Why doesn’t anyone speculate about that?” Q. “But could one of your students build a biological weapon in the garage?” A. “Let me reply philosophically: Two hundred years ago, it was unthinkable to believe that people would be using mobile telephones, wasn’t it? Everything changes. Our knowledge grows, and technology develops incredibly quickly. These days even high-school kids can breed recombinant microbial strains. I am not saying that a student is in a position to build a biological weapon all by himself. But the knowledge needed to do it is certainly there.” No one who responded to my inquiries ever knew Al-Timimi to ever have been involved in any biodefense project. For example, former Russian bioweaponeer Sergei Popov did not know of any such work by Al-Timimi. Anna Popova had only seen him in the hall on a very rare occasion. Dr. Alibek thought of him as a “numbers guy” rather than a hands-on type. Given that the FBI knows what Al-Timimi had for dinner on September 16, 2001 and lunch on September 17, it is very likely that the past years have involved a continued search for the mailer and/or processor. His attorney emphasizes that while they searched for materials related to a planned biological attack when they searched his townhouse in late February 2003, they came up empty. DOD official Peter Leitner, who also taught at GMU, supervised a 2007 PhD thesis by a graduate student that explores biosecurity issues at GMU. The PhD biodefense thesis on the vulnerability of the program to infiltration explains: “As a student in the biodefense program, the author is aware that students without background checks are permitted to work on grants, specifically Department of Defense, that has been awarded to NCBD under the Department of Molecular and Microbiology at GMU. Students are also permitted to do research separately from work in the lab for their studies. Work and studies are separate, but related by the lab. Thus, student access, research and activities go unchecked and unmonitored. Students have access to critical information and technology.” The author explains: “A principal investigator (PI) may hire a student based on a one on one interview, post doctoral or masters interest, technical abilities, publications, previous work and lab experience, whether student qualifications match the principal interrogators current research, whether there is a space, and if the timing is right. There is no formal screening process or background check that the author is aware of for teaching or research assistantships.” Other students took a “red cell” approach that have corroborated the findings of the thesis. The thesis points to a pretty big iceberg indeed. Proliferation leads to great risk of infiltration. LSU researcher Martin Hugh-Jones explained: “There were no more than ten labs in the nation working with the organism, and now it’s about 310—and they all want virulent strains. In the old days virtually everyone was paid by Department of Defense to do their research because that’s the only place where money came from because the organism wasn’t thought to be of economic importance. Now that it’s a bioterrorist threat and money’s available for research, experts have come out of the walls. The whole damn thing is bizarre.”A 2004 Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services report: “Serious weaknesses compromised the security of select agents at the universities under review. Physical security of select agents at all 11 universities left select agents vulnerable to theft or loss, thus elevating the risk of public exposure.” How good is the United States government at ferreting out moles or sympathizers who out of personal bias assisted terror suspects under investigation by the FBI? Let’s consider the recent example of the Fairfax, VA police sergeant who tipped off a terror suspect. Weiss Rasool, age 30, a Sergeant with the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department, was sentenced to two years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to a criminal information charging him with unauthorized computer access. In June 2005, he accessed the federal database at the request of a friend from his local mosque. He checked his own name and the names of others to determine if those names were registered within the Violent Crime and Terrorist Offender File. The target was arrested and deported in November 2005. The Washington Post reports: “Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanine Linehan said that the target and his family were already dressed and destroying evidence at 6 a.m. when agents arrived to make the arrest, indicating that they had been tipped off. The target’s name and the charges against him have not been disclosed.” “His acquaintance had asked him to run some license plates to see if the cars were part of FBI surveillance. Sergeant Rasool told his acquaintance on the phone he could only tell him if the three license plates traced back to an individual or not. If they didn’t, that was a tip-off they related to government surveillance. Mohammad Weiss Rasool is from Afghanistan, having immigrated in 1983. The man and the target were not good friends. The transcript of the conversation reads: “This is Weiss. You spoke to me after the Juma prayer today; I’m the police officer. Umm, as I told you, I can only tell you if it comes back to a person or not a person and all three vehicles did not come back to an individual person. So, I just wanted to give you that much. Uhh, okay. Hope things work out for you. Enshullah!” Rasool wept upon sentencing, saying: “If I could turn back time, I would maybe do things different,” he said. “It was an error in judgment. I never intended for things to turn out this way. I don’t know what to say to you or anyone. . . . I admit I made errors of judgment. But I never intended to put anybody’s life at risk.”When confronted in October 2007, Rasool denied knowing the man. He confessed only when they played a recording of him agreeing to check the databases. Rasool’s supervisor says his unauthorized database was not as bad as the unauthorized access by other police officers. Dr. Leitner in a letter to the Fairfax County Police Department notes: “Now we see that Sergeant Rasool was the subject of a several-year long investigation – in fact, he was under investigation at the time he lodged his complaints against us — and was recently convicted of a very serious security breach involving misusing FBI databases to assist another person under FBI investigation for Federal terrorism charges.” Rasool has sought to stop the trainig work being done by Dr. Leitner, who taught biosecurity work at George Mason University’s Center for Biodefense. b. Hardball Tactics In An Era Of Threats The Washington Post, in an article “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” dated September 3, 2006 summarized events relating to George Mason University computational biology graduate student Ali Al-Timimi: “In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit. Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden. The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks. On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.” Al-Timimi had rock star status in Salafist circles and lectured in July 2001 (in Toronto) and August 2001 (in London) on the coming “end of times” and signs of the coming day of judgment. He spoke alongside officials of a charity, Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) promoting the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. Another speaker was Ali’s mentor, Bilal Philips, one of the 173 listed as unindicted WTC 1993 conspirators. Bilal Philips worked in the early 1990s to recruit US servicemen according to testimony in that trial and interviews in which Dr. Philips explained the Saudi-funded program. According to Al-Timimi’s attorney, Ali “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.” The NSA was intercepting communications by Fall 2001 without a warrant. The month before they searched Ali’s townhouse, they questioned Umar Lee. Police arrested Mr. Lee, an American-born Muslim in St. Louis, in mid-February 2003 on an unrelated charge and questioned him about whether he was planning any attacks against the U.S. government. Bret Darren Lee, whose Muslim name is Umar ben-Livan (and for simplicity he shortens it to “Umar Lee”), said that he was stunned by the questions asked by the FBI agents: “I just looked at them. I didn’t think they’d asked me anything worth responding to.” Mr. Lee said he was sleeping in his apartment about 5 a.m. Sunday when he was woken by loud knocking on his door. But rather than a Muslim neighbor waking him for prayers, it was several police officers with weapons drawn. They put Lee up against a wall and asked whether he had any weapons in the apartment. The National Rifle Association sticker affixed to the apartment’s front door was a cheap version of an alarm system. While he was down at the station house, the FBI agents spent a half-hour questioning his wife about whether he was a terrorist and his thoughts about the Taliban. Umar tells me that the suspicion reported in the Washington Post that Ali was involved in the anthrax mailings is nonsense. On his popular blog, he clarified a quotation of his that appeared at the time in the Post’s”Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats.” Two weeks later, at the same time the FBI was searching the townhouse of PhD candidate Ali Timimi, searches and arrests moved forward elsewhere. In Moscow, Idaho, FBI agents interviewed Nabil Albaloushi. (The FBI apparently searched his apartment at the same time they searched the apartment of IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen, who they had woken from bed at 4:00 a.m.) Albaloushi was a PhD candidate expert in drying foodstuffs. His thesis in 2003 was 350 pages filled with charts of drying coefficients. Interceptions showed a very close link between IANA’s Sami al-Hussayen and Sheikh al-Hawali, to include the setting up of websites, the providing of vehicles for extended communication, and telephone contact with intermediaries of Sheikh al-Hawali. Al-Hussayen had al-Hawali’s phone number upon the search of his belongings upon his arrest. Former Washington State University animal geneticist and nutrition researcher Ismail Diab, who had moved to Syracuse to work for an IANA-spin-off, also was charged in Syracuse and released as a material witness to a financial investigation of the IANA affiliate “Help The Needy.” After the government failed to ask Dr. Diab any questions for nearly 3 months, the magistrate bail restrictions and removed the electronic monitoring and curfew requirements. In Moscow, Idaho, the activities by IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen that drew scrutiny involved these same two radical sheiks. U.S. officials say the two sheiks influenced al Qaeda’s belief that Muslims should wage holy war against the U.S. until it ceases to support Israel and withdraws from the Middle East. Sami Hussayen, who was acquitted, made numerous calls and wrote many e-mails to the two clerics, sometimes giving advice to them about running Arabic-language websites on which they espoused their anti-Western views. According to witness testimony in the prosecution of the Virginia Paintball Defendants, after September 11, 2001, “Al-Timimi stated that the attacks may not be Islamically permissible, but that they were not a tragedy, because they were brought on by American foreign policy.” The FBI first contacted Timimi shortly after 9/11. He met with FBI agents 7 or 8 times in the months leading up to his arrest. Al-Timimi is a US citizen born in Washington DC. His house was searched, his passport taken and his telephone monitored. Ali Al Timimi defended his PhD thesis in computational biology shortly after his indictment for recruiting young men to fight the US in defending against an invasion of Afghanistan. Communications between Al-Timimi with dissident Saudi sheik Safar al-Hawali, one of the two fundamentalist sheikhs who were friends and mentors of Bin Laden, were intercepted. The two radical sheiks had been imprisoned from September 1994 to June 1999. Al-Hawali’s detention was expressly the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War against the United States and the claim of responsibility for the 1998 embassy bombings. He had been Al-Timimi’s religious mentor at University. ABC reported in July 2004 that FBI Director Mueller had imposed an October 1, 2004 deadline for a case that would stand up in court. The date passed with no anthrax indictment. Al-Timimi was not indicted for anthrax. He was indicted for sedition. Upon his indictment, on September 23, 2004, al-Timimi explained he had been offered a plea bargain of 14 years, but he declined. He quoted Sayyid Qutb. He said he remembered “reading his books and loving his teaching” as a child, and that Qutb’s teaching was prevented from signing something that was false by “the finger that bears witness.” He noted that he and his lawyers asked that authorities hold off the indictment until he had received his PhD, but said that unfortunately they did not wait. On October 6, 2004, the webmaster of the azzam.com website Babar Ahmad was indicted. It was not until 2007 that the North Brunswick, NJ imam who mirrored the azzam.com website was indicted (on the grounds of income tax evasion). The indictment against the paintball defendants alleged that at an Alexandria, Virginia residence, in the presence of a representative of Benevolence International Foundation (”BIF”), the defendants watched videos depicting Mujahadeen engaged in Jihad and discussed a training camp in Bosnia. His defense lawyer says that the FBI searched the townhouse of “to connect him to the 9/11 attacks or to schemes to unleash a biological or nuclear attack.” Famed head of the former Russian bioweaponeering program Ken Alibek told me that he would occasionally see Al-Timimi in the hallways at George Mason, where they both were in the microbiology department, and was vaguely aware that he was an islamic hardliner. When what his defense counsel claims was an FBI attempt to link Al-Timimi to a planned biological attack failed, defense counsel says that investigators focused on his connections to the men who attended his lectures at the local Falls Church, Va. In the end, he was indicted for inciting them to go to Afghanistan to defend the Taliban against the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan. During deliberations, he reportedly was very calm, reading Genome Technology and other scientific journals. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 70 years. At his sentencing, Dr. Al-Timimi spoke in clear and measured tones: “I will not admit guilt nor seek the Court’s mercy. I do this not out of any disrespect to the Court. I do this simply because I am innocent. My claim of innocence is not because of any inherent misunderstanding on my part as to the nature of the crimes for which I was convicted nor is it because my Muslim belief recognizes sharia rather than secular law. It is merely because I am innocent. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. I declare the government’s recitation poor as it stripped those words of their meaning. *** Imprisonment of any term, as this Court well knows, is a crisis for the incarcerated and his or her loved ones. I am no exception to that. But the real crisis brought on my imprisonment, I sincerely believe is America’s. For if my conviction is to stand, it would mean that two hundred and thirty years of America’s tradition of protecting the individual from the tyrannies and whims of the sovereign will have come to an end. And that which is exploited today to persecute a single member of a minority will most assuredly come back to haunt the majority tomorrow.” KSM invoked George Washington in his statement to a military tribunal in March 2007. That was far less compelling because he was admitting to many serious crimes. The evidence presented at Al-Timimi’s trial, however, was offered only to show that Dr. Al-Timimi was guilty of nothing other than exhorting some young men to go abroad and defend their faith. It seems that, under the government’s case, his only crime was to put his religion before his nation-state. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 70 years. As one Washington Post reporter said of such cases, the government seemed to be engaged in shadow boxing. As Al-Timimi explained in his eloquent statement upon sentencing, he was convicted out of fear. The former head of the DARPA Biological Countermeasures Program, Dr. Stephen S. Morse, in an interview airing on Charlie Rose on October 10, 2001, explained that there was no need for the public to fear. He noted that maybe the mailer had a personal reason — there was no reason to assume the Florida death related to terrorism or a large group. Dr. Morse urged that we put it into perspective and inform the public so as to remove the mystery. He explained we should not allow ourselves to feel fear. As reiterated in other interviews that week, he said mailed anthrax was not a great danger. As those words aired, however, more letters were en route from that mailbox at 10 Nassau St. in Princeton. The anthrax mailer asked a pointed question in the letter containing a much more highly refined product — product that aerosolized much more readily. The new batch of letters asked: “Are you afraid?” The answer was clearly yes. To use the technical Army expression with such a biohazard, it had “major pucker factor.” After the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology detected silica, former USAMRIID Deputy Commander Charles Bailey, identified as a scientist at Advanced Biosystems Inc. at George Mason University, declined to comment on the purpose of the silica. He told one reporter: “I don’t think I want to give people — terrorists — any information to help them.” Dr. Timimi’s attorney was understandably annoyed that they kept moving Al-Timimi between prisons and did not let him consult privately with his client. George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley, his counsel on appeal, explained that last year they were playing a game of “Where’s Waldo?”, preventing him from consulting with his client. Ali’s supporters include Kashif Nasir in the UK and Ali’s brother in the US. c. The Education of Ali Al-Timimi Milton Viorst, who knew Ali as a teenager, wrote a fascinating and sympathetic yet balanced portrait in “The Education of Ali Al-Timimi” that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, June 2006. In Saudi Arabia, Al-Timimi had been mentored by a Saudi-trained Canadian imam Bilal Philips. Philips was Al-Timimi’s Islamic Studies teacher at Manaret Riyadh High School in the early 1980s. Al-Timimi adopted Philips’ view that “The clash of civilizations is a reality,” and “Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam.” Between 1991 and 1993, Philips relocated to the Mindinao, Philippines, where he taught at an islamic school. In 1993, according to an interview he gave in a London-based Arabic-language magazine interview, Philips ran a program to convert US soldiers to Islam stationed in Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War. Philips was made a proselytization official by the Saudi Air Force. Philips followed up in the US, with telephone calls and visits intended to recruit the veterans as potential members of Bin Laden’s network. He enlisted assistance from others based in the U.S. and members of Islamic centers all over the US. These conversion specialists financed pilgrimages for US veterans and would later send Muslim clerics in the United States to their homes. Bilal Philips encouraged some converts from this program to fight in Bosnia in the 1990s. He enlisted WTC plotter Clement Rodney Hampton-El to help him with the program. Hampton-El was associated with the Al-Kifah center in Brooklyn. Hampton-El in trial testimony described a meeting at the Saudi embassy in 1992 at which Philips gave him a list of US Army personnel to approach. Bilal Philips was named along with Osama bin Laden and Bin Laden brother-in-law Khalifa (and many others) as unindicted co-conspirators in the Day of Terror trial that sent the “blind sheik” to prison. Bilal Philips explained these recruitment efforts to a London newspaper in Arabic (translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service) in an article titled “Jamaican-Born Canadian Interviewed on Islamic Missionary Work Among US Troops”: “[redacted] used to coordinate with US intelligence. And, when Croatia closed its borders to Arab volunteers, there were a group of black Americans who completed their training and knew Islam through me. [Redacted] contacted Shaykh Umar Abd-al-Rahman and offered to use this group for sabotage acts inside the United States. The offer was made on the telephone, which apparently was tapped by US intelligence. Shaykh Umar replied by saying: ‘”Avoid civilian targets.’” Bilal Philips was a good friend of Adnan El-Shukrijumah’s father. Philips wrote in his guestbook on the family website his son created about learning Arabic: “He was one of my first teachers in Arabic and is a dear friend, though geography and world politics has separated us. Tell him that, as always, I love him for the sake of Alla h. Was salaam, Bilal.” Adnan’s family website also contained a picture of another “unindicted co-conspirator” of the ’93 bombing, Siraj Wahhaj, who would speak as the same Falls Church mosque as Al-Timimi. Siraj Wahhaj once hosted Sheik Abdel-Rahman at Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn where two of the WTC bombers worshipped. Wahhaj was a character witness for Sheik Abdel-Rahman at his 1995 trial. In a November 30, 2004 letter of appeal circulated in sympathetic circles in the US and the UK, Bilal Philips encouraged Muslims to assist Al-Timimi “financially, morally or politically.” The letter urged that “whatever the charges against him [Al-Timimi] may be, from an Islamic perspective they are false and contrived in order to silence the Da’wah to correct Islam.” After completing his religious education in Saudi Arabia in Medina, Ali Al Timimi returned to the United States and received a second bachelor’s degree — this time in computer science at the University of Maryland, while also studying software programming at George Washington University. Timimi spoke at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1994. A senior al Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman Dosari, also spoke at three IANA conferences in the early 1990s. In December 1993, Al-Dosari (a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke on ‘Jihad & Revival” and exhorted young men to fight for their faithjust as Al-Timimi would later be accused of doing privately with young men in Virginia. At the first annual IANA conference in 1993, scheduled speakers included Bilal Philips, Mohammed Abdul-Rahman from Afghanistan, Mohammad Qutb from Cairo, Gamal Sultan from Cairo, and Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ (Bosnia). Mohammad Abdul-Rahman was the blind sheik’s son. The blind sheik soon was sentenced for terrorism relating to WTC 1993 and the “Day of Terror” plot directed at NYC landmarks. In 2000, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was sitting alongside Bin Laden and Zawahiri and was videotaped encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.” Mohammad Qutb was Sayyid Qutb’s brother. Egyptian Mohammad Qutb, a renown scholar and activist, taught Bin Laden at university in Saudi Arabia, having emigrated to Saudi Arabia. In the 1970s, bin Laden was taught by Sayyid Qutb’s brother, Dr. Mohammad Qutb, and a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood member, Dr. Abdullah Azzam. Azzam’s ideas of non-compromise, violent means, and organizing and fighting on a global scale were central to Al Qaeda methods. Qutb, as al-Hawali’s teacher, also strongly influenced al-Hawali. Al-Hawali was sent to prison in 1994. Gamal Sultan was a former EIJ member who would seek to start a political party in 1999 with the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. They sought to chart a nonviolent course (given the practical reality that the movement had been so infiltrated by the security forces). The blind sheik declined to endorse the venture. In 2000, on a trip to Pittsburgh, Gamal Sultan and his colleagues thought Pittsburgh reminded them of Kandahar given its rolling hills. Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ was a well-known holy warrior and fundraiser from Saudi Arabia. In 1994, Abdel Aziz glorified jihad and praised the Pittsburgh magazine Assirat for its interest in holy war. He asked Assirat readers and in a 1995 update, to donate money for holy war. He lauded Dr. Abdullah Azzam, the founder of al-Qaeda. He explained jihad will continue till the day of judgment.” In 1996, he was detained as the primary suspect in the attack on the Dhahran barracks, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed. Expert Evan Kohlmann explains: Barbaros was “one of the key individuals responsible for LeT’s formation and development.” He “was a Saudi Al-Qaida member.” Kohlmann writes “In the fall of 1992, a former Al-Qaida lieutenant-turned-government informant attended secret meetings in Croatia chaired by Abu Abdel Aziz (“Barbaros.”). During those meetings, Abu Abdel Aziz talked about his directives from Usama Bin Laden and indicated that Al-Qaida was seeking to use regional jihads such as those in Bosnia and Kashmir as a “a base for operations… against al Qaeda’s true enemy, the United States.” In 1995 Ali Al Timimi headed an IANA delegation to China together with IANA President Bassem Khafagi and Syracuse oncologist and IANA Vice Chairman Rhafil Dhafir. The IANA condemned the UN women’s rights conference as “an attack on Islam.” They urged Imams worldwide to tell Muslims about “the hidden agenda of this UN Conference, and how to foil the libertine and Westernization movements in the Islamic world.” Salafist commentator Umar Lee has explained that in the early 1990s “the most dynamic part of the salafi movement in the DC-area were the students Sheikh Ali al-Timimi who in the 1990’s co-founded a very small group with a small office for an organization called the Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah. In early July 1994, cooperation with Al-Timimi’s Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah, Washington, D.C., IANA held its first annual summer camp in English in Frederick, MD (where the ponds were drained in the Amerthrax investigation). The theme of the camp was “Living the Shahadah in America.” This is what Sheikh Ali was teaching kids at the 1st Annual IANA Summer Camp at a Frederick, MD park: “Reflections on the Meaning of Our Testimony of Faith: ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” by Ali Al-Timimi. *** “6 Wage Jihad in the Path of Allah *** “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and practice not the true religion (Islam), being of those who have been given the Scripture (the Jews and the Christians) — until they pay tribute readily and have been brought low. (The Qur’an 9:29) The Prophet has said: I am commanded to fight mankind till they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayers and pay the charity. When they do that they will keep their lives and their property safe from me.” Author Milton Viorst, the father of a boy who knew Al-Timimi as a young teen, wrote: “Dozens of his talks are available on the Internet in text and in audio format. They contain little about Arab concerns with the Arab-Israeli wars, the rivalries between the Arab states, the problems faced by Muslims living in the West, or even the war in Iraq. Rather, they reveal a man who reflects deeply on the Islamic vision of Judgment day, prophecy, the nature of the divine, and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) — subjects with which he grappled in Medina and in his private reading.” Al Timimi’s lectures (in English after Arabic opening) include “The Negative Portrayal Of Islam In the Media,” “Signs Before the Day of Judgement,” “Advice to the UK Salafis” and “Crusade Complex: Western Perceptions of Islam.” In one of his taped talks available online, al-Timimi warned Muslims not to become too friendly with non-Muslim “disbelievers” or even work for them if other jobs were available. “A Muslim should never allow the disbeliever to have the upper hand.” According to the webpage of his first defense committee (which disbanded when they felt under pressure due to their support), in 1996 he worked for Andrew Card for 2 months (this would have apparently been when Andrew Card was head of the association of automobile manufacturers). Al-Timimi’s increasing computer skills got him a job at SRA International where Ali worked as a “bioinformatics software architect” providing information technology to the government. Some of his jobs required that Ali obtain a high-level security clearance. One job resulted in a letter of recommendation from the White House. He then enrolled in a PhD program in computational biology at George Mason University. In 1999, Battelle consultant and former USAMRIID Charles Bailey also worked at SRA By 2000, Ali Al-Timimi was already taking advanced courses at Mason in computational sciences. Dr. Bailey became co-Director of the DARPA-funded Center of Biodefense there in the Spring of 2001. Timimi once explained his research: “I am currently a research scientist at the Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics, George Mason University. I am involved in the analysis of the microarray data generated by the CTRF Cancer Genomics Project. Likewise, I am developing new computational approaches and technologies in support of this project.” The webpage for Timimi’s program at the time explained: “Faculty members and graduate students in the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology participate in numerous collaborative efforts including but not limited to the following Laboratories and Research Centers: Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics (GMU) , Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Biocomplexity (GMU) and Center for Biodefense (GMU). Beginning the Spring of 2002, GMU hired Ali to develop a computer program that coordinated the research at several universities, letting him go only after he came under suspicion by the FBI. In Spring 2002, according to salary information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, GMU hired him for $70,000 a year. In 2002, the employment was through the School of Computational Sciences and in 2003, it was through Life Sciences Grants & Contracts. The School of Computational Sciences at George Mason is a joint venture between the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”) and George Mason. The joint venture is an effort to maximize research efforts by combining the academic and applied approaches to research. The School’s first activity was to teach an ATCC course in DNA techniques adapted for George Mason students. The ATCC is an internationally renown non-profit organization that houses the world’s largest and most diverse archive of biological materials. The Prince William Campus shares half of Discovery Hall with ATCC. ATCC moved to its current state-of-the-art laboratory at Discovery Hall (Prince William II) in 1998. ATCC’s 106,000-square-foot facility has nearly 35,000 square feet of laboratory space with a specialized air handling system and Biosafety Level 2 and 3 containment stations. The ATCC bioinformatics (BIF) program carries out research in various areas of biological information management relevant to its mission. BIF scientists interact with laboratory scientists in microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology at ATCC and other laboratories throughout the world. ATCC has strong collaborations with a large number of academic institutions, including computational sciences at George Mason University. Through these partnerships, the George Mason Prince William Campus offers George Mason microbiology students an opportunity for students to be involved in current research and gain access to facilities and employment opportunities at ATCC and other partner companies. While I did not find any reference directly confirming Timimi’s room number, the person who inherited his old telephone number (3-4294) is Victor Morozov in the Center for Biodefense. Dr. Morozov, upon joining the faculty and inheriting the phone number was in Rm. 154A, very near Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B. One faculty member who consulted with Al-Timimi suggested to me that Ali instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite. GMU Information Services helpfully looked up the listings from 2001 directory. As of October 2001 (when the directory is published according to GMU Information Services), judging from the directory, Al-Timimi was still just a graduate student. Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames strain anthrax researcher Charles Bailey, in Rm 156B, was given a Gateway desktop computer in mid-March 2001 (upon his arrival) — serial number 0227315480. It was like the one Dr. Alibek would get the next year in 156D. One way to think of proximity analysis — a form of true crime analysis — is the number of feet or inches between 154B and 156B/156D. Another way is to think of it is in terms of the number of feet or inches to the hard drives. You can judge the distance for yourself from a First Floor plan that is available online, clicking upon 154-156 area to enlarge. The December 2007 biodefense PhD thesis explains: “Although computers are password protected, anyone can access the computers located throughout the labs. Research results can be recorded on lab computers. Someone wanting to access research results would first have to understand what the numbers meant. Research results are also kept in a lab notebook that is kept in the lab or office. This enables other students to repeat what was already done or to see results.” In April 2007, at a talk at Princeton University, Dr. Alibek noted that he felt that “[u]nfortunately, the likelihood is very high” of a follow-up to the anthrax mailings of 2001. “And the agent very likely is still anthrax.” “The biggest part of my life now is devoted to cancer and cardiovascular (research). If you work in the biodefense community, good luck to you. I hope you succeed.” Dr. Alibek explained that he had been scrutinized and consulted, and given a polygraph after the anthrax mailings. He said that anthrax likely would be the pathogen favored by terrorists because it is relatively easy to grow and transport. Dr. Alibek suspects it it was “a person who knew from some source how the U.S. manufactured anthrax years and years ago.” He said, “It’s not rocket science.” In a separate appeal, the conviction of Al-Timimi’s assistant Chandia affirmed but the 15 year sentence was vacated and remanded for resentencing because of failure to making findings warranting terrorism enhancement. The conviction was reaffirmed by the District Court. He was alleged to have helped a Pakistan group buy components of a UAV. d. Al-Timimi’s Connection to AQ WMD Comm. member Mohammed Abdel-Rahman While Al-Timimi was recruiting for the Taliban, he was also connected to one of the principals on Al Qaeda’s WMD Committee, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman. The CIA and FBI apparently have known this for years but have kept it secret as part of their ongoing confidential national security and criminal investigation. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke at the first conference of the Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) in 1993 and was noted to be from Afghanistan. Mohammed Abdelrahman spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi again, for example, in 1996 in Toronto and again that December in Chicago at the annual conference. The December conference was held after blind sheik Abdel-Rahman was indicted. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was closely involved in the financing and promotion of IANA activities. Al-Buthi of Al-Haramain was in contact with Bin Laden’s sheiks and also his brother-in-law Khalifa who had funded the KSM-led Bojinka operation. Global Relief Foundation participated in and sponsored a number of annual conferences. GRF sent money to IANA to offset the conferences’ costs. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was close to bin Laden and was engaged in planning key operations. OBL considered him like a son. Mohammed was on the three member WMD committee with Midhat Mursi. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman ran a training camp that was part of the larger complex of several camps. He was an explosives trainer. The “Superseding Indictment” in United States of postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar and others explains that on February 12, 1997, with Mohammed Abdelrahman back in Afghanistan, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “The Islamic Group declares all American interests legitimate targets to its legitimate jihad until the release of all prisoners, on top of whom” is Abdel Rahman. Three months later, on May 5, 1997, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “If any harm comes to the [S]heikh [,] al-Gama al-IsIalamiy[y]a will target [] all of those Americans who participated in subjecting his life to danger.” The statement also said that “A1-Gamaa al-Islamiyya considers every American official, starting with the American president to the despicable jailer [] partners endangering the Sheikh’s life,” and that the Islamic Group would do “everything in its power” to free Abdel Rahman. The same person who posted notice of the 1996 conference where Al-Timimi, Bilal Philips and Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke, then posted notice of a protest titled “STOP RAILROADING OF SHEIKH OMAR ABDEL RAHMAN – PROTEST US POLICIES AGAINST ISLAM.” The Rally was to take place on June 20, 1997 in front of the US Bureau of Prisons in Washington DC. An FBI affidavit, drafted in support of a warrant for the search of Post Office employee Sattar’s Staten Island apartment, explains that Sattar was the communications hub to and from the imprisoned Abdel-Rahman. The 42-year-old postal worker worked as a paralegal during the blind terrorist’s federal trial for attorneys Lynne Stewart and Stanley Cohen. Sattar was in frequent contact with IG leaders worldwide, including Rifa’i Taha Musa (”Taha”) and WMD Committee member Abdel-Rahman’s son Mohammed. Al Qaeda continued to seek religious approval from blind sheik Abdel-Rahman for its attacks. The US indictmentof the Post Office worker in contact with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman alleged: “On or about June 19, 2000, one of Abdel Rahman’s sons, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, spoke by telephone with SATTAR and asked SATTAR to convey to Abdel Rahman the fierceness of the debate within the Islamic Group about the initiative, and said that “even if the other side is right,” SATTAR should tell Abdel Rahman to calm the situation by supporting “the general line of the Group.” The indictment of the US Post Office worker Sattar further alleges: “On or about June 20, 2000, SATTAR spoke by telephone with Mohammed Abdel Rahman and advised him that a conference call had taken place that morning between Abdel Pahman and some of his attorneys and that Abdel Rahman had issued a new statement. The press release issued in Abdel-Rahman’s name containing additional points which made clear, among other things, that Abdel Rahman was not unilaterally ending the initiative, but rather, was withdrawing his support for it and “stating that it was up” to the “brothers” in the Islamic Group now to reconsider the issue. The indictment of the US Post Office employee Sattar further alleges: “On or about September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised a meeting of Usama Bin Laden (leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization), Ayman al Zawahiri (former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and one of Bin Laden’s top lieutenants), and Taha. Sitting under a banner which read, “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman,” the three terrorist leaders pledged “to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. During the meeting, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was heard encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.” In December 2001, the blind sheik’s lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat — the fellow in touch with US Post Office employee Sattar who claimed in March 1999 that Zawahiri was going to use weaponized anthrax against US targets — claimed that Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, 29, had died from wounds received during the bombardment of the Tora Bora caves in eastern Afghanistan. He said his information came from an Islamic activist in London. The report was false. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was arrested in mid-February 2003 and Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse was searched two week later. e. “The Straight Path”: Connecting the Dots Al-Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “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 described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008: “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] 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.” Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assiratalso. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage. Wadih al Hage was Ali Mohammed’s friend and served as Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.” Kamal Habib had been a founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and had spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the late 1970s, the cell run by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. In Egypt he formed the Islah (“Reform”) party with Gamal Sultan. While contributing to Al Manar al Jadeed, the Ann Arbor-based IANA’s quarterly journal, the pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999. They were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group. They were just hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless, at the same he withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group. In early April 2001, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rented an apartment in Falls Church, Virginia, for about a month, with the assistance of a man they met at the mosque. Nawaf Al-Hazmi had been at the January 2000 meeting at Yazid Sufaat’s Malaysian condominium in January 2000. Yazid Sufaat came to be Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab director. He says he had been part of a secret Malaysian biological weapons program. My onetime Facebook Friend, Yazid Sufaat never denied being responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings to me. He pled “the Fifth Amendment.” I’ve always thought if you suspect someone of doing something bad, you need to give them a chance to address the issue if you are going to raise the matter publicly. I reached out to him when upon being released in December 2008 from prison by the Malaysians, he started bragging about his work in the Al Qaeda anthrax program. I had surmised his role as early as February 2002 and so it was not as if he was telling me anything I didn’t already strongly suspect. I still follow the twitter feed of his thoughtful and pious daughter who is grappling with coming of age with a father she loves in prison on terrorism charges. His next court appearance is next month, in July 2014. Hijackers Nawaf and Hani Hanjour, a fellow pilot who was his friend from Saudi Arabia, attended sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Al-Timimi was located until he established the nearby center. The FBI reports that at an imam named Awlawki who had recently also moved from San Diego had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. Police later found the phone number of the Falls Church mosque when they searched the apartment of 9/11 planner Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. In his 2007 book, Center of the Storm, George Tenet noted that Ramzi bin al-Shibh had a CBRN role. Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes: “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied. Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group. Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.” A man named Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque Sept. 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God. “He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America.” Kwon said Al-Timimi told the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen — preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion. After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September 16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group and gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch with two of the group on September 19, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting. Al-Timimi’s lawyer explains that Al-Timimi was in telephone contact with Al-Hawali on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001: “The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.” Al-Timimi was urging the young men go defend the Taliban against the imminent US invasion. A recent open letter to Ayman Zawahiri from a senior Libyan jihadist, Bin-Uthman, now living in London, confirms that Ayman Zawahiri and Atef, at a several day meeting in Kandahar in the Summer of 2000, viewed WMD as a deterrent to the invasion of Afghanistan. Kwon, who had just become a U.S. citizen in August 2001, went to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001. Kwon practiced with a semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher, but he was not able to join the Taliban. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training. His trainers suggested that he instead go back to the United States and gather information for the holy warriors. Kwon told jurors at al-Timimi’s trial how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago and then found that Al-Timimi lectured locally near his home in Northern Virginia. “Russian Hell” — a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war — was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed. “They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration,” Kwon told the jurors. In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League. Al Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website: “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.” In addition to the lucidly written October 6, 2002 letter, drafted by Al-Timimi, Hawali had sent a lengthy October 15, 2001 “Open Letter” to President Bush in which he had rejoiced in the 9/11 attacks. One Al-Hawali lecture, sought to be introduced in the prosecution of the IANA webmaster, applauded the killing of Jews and called for more killing, praised suicide bombings, and
    • DXer said

      … and said of Israel that it’s time to “fight and expel this hated country that consists of those unclean, defiled, the cursed.” Bin Laden referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 Declaration of War on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik al-Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime. This past month, one of blind sheik’s sons is seeking information about his the blind sheik’s health through Abdel-Rahman’s attorney, Stanley Cohen. Amerithrax, even though the DOJ closed the case, should not be left unsolved in the minds of so many leading scientists. The country can ill afford a mistaken analysis in Amerithrax. Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said: “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.” As Ali later explained to NBC, “To have a space shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there’s a divine hand behind it.” f. GMU Center for Biodefense: Discovery Hall Ali Al-Timimi worked at George Mason University’s Discovery Hall throughout 2000 and 2002 period. TheMason Gazette in “Mason to Pursue Advanced Biodefense Research” on November 17, 2000 had announced: “The School of Computational Sciences (SCS) and Advanced Biosystems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hadron, Inc., of Alexandria, are pursuing a collaborative program at the Prince William Campus to enhance research and educational objectives in biodefense research. The article noted that the program was funded primarily by a grant awarded to Advanced Biosystems from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). A 2007 GMU PhD thesis explains that the “An Assessment of Exploitable Weaknesses in Universities” by Corinne M. Verzoni offices and research located in Discovery Hall, making this an attractive building on the Prince William Campus to target for information and technology.” The 2007 PhD student biodefense student explained: “Discovery Hall currently has BSL 1, 2 and 2+ labs in which students work with attenuated and vaccine strains of Fracella tularemia, anthrax and HIV. GMU will eventually have new biological labs featuring a BSL-3 lab which will have anthrax and tularemia.” Instead of starting a center from scratch, GMU chose to join forces with Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey’s existing research firm, Hadron Advanced Biosystems Inc. Hadron was already working under contract for the federal government, having received funding from DARPA. Dr. Alibek told the Washington Post that he and Bailey had spent their careers studying an issue that only recently grabbed the country’s attention, after the anthrax mailings the previous fall. Dr. Bailey and Alibek met in 1991, when a delegation of Soviet scientists visited the USAMRIID at Ft. Detrick. Dr. Bailey explained that the purpose of the tour was to show the Soviets that the US was not developing offensive biological weapons. Bailey said he tried to engage Alibek in conversation but Alibek remained aloof. Alibek, for his part, explains that he was suspicious of this American smiling so broadly at him. A year later, Alibek would defect to the US and reveal an illegal biological program in the Soviet Union of a staggering scope. Alibek says that one reason he defected was that he realized that the Soviet intelligence was wrong — that the US research was in fact only defensive. Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames researcher Bailey coinvented, with Ken Alibek, the process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide so as to permit greater concentration upon drying. He was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. The patent application was filed March 14, 2001. Rm 154A was Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to the newly constructed Bull Run Hall). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface. One ATCC former employee felt so strongly about lax security there the scientist called me out of the blue and said that the public was overlooking the patent repository as a possible source of the Ames strain. ATCC would not deny they had virulent Ames in their patent repository pre 9/11 (as distinguished from their online catalog). The spokesperson emailed me: “As a matter of policy, ATCC does not disclose information on the contents of its patent depository.” Previously, though, the ATCC head publicly explained that it did not have virulent Ames. George Mason University, Department Listings, accessed August 17, 2003, shows that the National Center For Biodefense and Center for Biomedical Genomics had the same mail stop (MS 4ES). The most famed bioweaponeer in the world was not far from this sheik urging violent jihad in an apocalyptic struggle between religions. Dr. Alibek’s office was Rm. 156D in Prince William 2. The groups both shared the same department fax of 993-4288. Dr. Alibek advises me he had seen him several times in the corridors of GMU and was told that he was a religious muslim hard-liner but knew nothing of his activities. At one point, Timimi’s mail drop was MSN 4D7. Charles Bailey at 3-4271 was the former head of USAMRIID and joined the Center in April 2001. He continued to do research with Ames after 9/11. Dr. Alibek reports that shortly after the mailings, he wrote FBI Director Mueller and offered his services but was advised that they already had assembled a large group. A 2004 report describes research done by Dr. Alibek and his colleagues using Delta Ames obtained from NIH for a research project done for USAMRIID. There were two grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2001. One $3.6 million grant dated to July 2001 and the other was previous to that. Ali Al-Timimi had the same telephone number that Dr. Victor Morozov of the Center for Biodefense would later have when he joined the faculty and occupied the newly constructed Bull Run Building, which opened in late 2004 (Rm. #362). Dr. Morozov focuses on the development of new bioassay methods for express analysis, high-throughput screening and proteomics. He has recently developed a new electrospray-based technology for mass fabrication of protein microarrays. Dr. Morozov is currently supervising a DOE -funded research project directed at the development of ultra-sensitive express methods for detection of pathogens in which slow diffusion of analytes is replaced by their active transport controlled and powered by external forces (electric, magnetic, gravitational or hydrodynamic). His homepage explains that: “A variety of projects are available for students to participate in 1. Develop methods for active capturing of viruses and cells. 2. AFM imaging of macromolecules, viruses and cells. 3. Develop active immunoassay. 4. Analyze forces operating in the active assay of biomolecules and viral particles. 5. Develop immobilization techniques for antibodies and other biospecific molecules. 6. Study crystallization dynamics and morphology of organic and inorganic crystals in the presence of protein impurities. 7. Develop software to analyze motion of beads. 8. Develop software to analyze patterns in drying droplets. 9. Develop an electrostatic collector for airborne particles.” Al-Timimi obtained a doctorate from George Mason University in 2004 in the field of computational biology — a field related to cancer research involving genome sequencing. He successfully defended his thesis 5 weeks after his indictment. Curt Jamison, Timimi’s thesis advisor, coauthor and loyal friend, was in Prince William II (Discovery Hall) Rm. 181A. The staff of Advanced Biosystems was in Rm. 160, 162, 177, 254E and several others. Computational sciences offices were intermixed among the Hadron personnel on the first floor of Prince William II to include 159, 161, 166A, 167, 181 B and 181C. Rm. 156B was Charles Bailey, former commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who was head of the Center for Biodefense. Defense contractor Hadron had announced the appointment of Dr. Bailey as Vice-President of Advanced Biosystems in early April 2001. “Over 13 years, Dr. Bailey had served as a Research Scientist, Deputy Commander for Research, Deputy Commander and Commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute. As a USAMRIID scientist, he designed and supervised the construction of BL-3 containment facilities. His hands-on experience with a wide variety of pathogens is chronicled in 70 published articles. During his 4 years with the Defense Intelligence Agency, he published numerous articles assessing foreign capabilities regarding biological weapons.” When I asked Dr. Bailey to confirm Al-Timimi’s room number relative to his own, his only response was to refer me to University counsel. Counsel then never substantively responded to my inquiry regarding their respective room numbers citing student privacy. Ali’s friend and thesis advisor, Dr. Jamison never responded to an emailed query either. GMU perhaps understandably was very nervous about losing the $25 million grant for a new BL-3 regional facility to be located very near our country’s capitol. The reports on the study on the effectiveness of the mailed anthrax in the Canadian experiment was reported in private briefings in Spring and Summer of 2001. An insider thus was not dependent on the published report later that Fall. (The date on the formal report is September 10, 2001). Dr. Charles Bailey for DIA wrote extensively on the the biothreat posed by other countries (and presumably terrorists). He shared a fax number with Al-Timimi. What came over that fax line in Spring and Summer of 2001? At some point, Dr. Al-Timimi, Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey also shared the same maildrop. It certainly would not be surprising that the two directors who headed the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense — and had received the biggest defense award in history for work with Delta Ames under a contract with USAMRIID — would have been briefed on the threat of mailed anthrax. The 1999 short report by William Patrick to Hatfill at SAIC on the general subject was far less important given that it did not relate to actual experimental findings. Plus, it is common sense that while someone might use as a model something they had surreptitiously learned of — they would not use as a model something in a memo that they had commissioned. Thus, it was rather misdirected to focus on the 1999 SAIC report commissioned by Dr. Hatfill rather than the 2001 Canadian report. The Canadian report related to the anthrax threat sent regarding the detention of Vanguards of Conquest #2 Mahjoub in Canada. Mahjoub had worked with al-Hawsawi in Sudan (the fellow with anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop). (Al-Hawsawi this past month, through counsel, has asked that his trial at Guantanamo be separated from the trial of others; he is tired of the delays). The anthrax threat in late January prompted the still-classified Presidential Daily Brief (“PDB”) in early February 2001 by the CIA to President Bush on the subject. In Fall 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”) had detected silicon dioxide (silica) in the attack anthrax — with a characteristic big spike for the silicon. No silica was observable on the SEMs images that Dr. Alibek and Dr. Matthew Meselson saw. The Daschle product was “pure spores.” Was silicon dioxide used as part of a culture medium. Was it used prior to drying to permit greater concentration? As explained in a later related patent by Alibek and Bailey in March 2001, the silica could be removed from the surface of the spore through repeated centrifugaton or an air chamber. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had filed a patent application in mid-March 2001 involving a microdroplet cell culture technique that used silicon dioxide in a method for concentrating growth of cells. The patent was granted and the application first publicly disclosed in the Spring of 2002. Weren’t the SEMS images and AFIP EDX finding both consistent with use of this process in growing the culture? It’s been suggested informally to me that perhaps the silicon analytical peak was due to silanol from hydrolysis of a silane, used in siliconizing glassware. But didn’t the AFIP in fact also detect oxygen in ratios characteristic of silicon dioxide? Wasn’t the scientist, now deceased, who performed the EDX highly experienced and expert in detecting silica? Hasn’t the AFIP always stood by its report. In its report, AFIP explained: “AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica.” Perhaps the nuance that was lost — or just never publicly explained for very sound reasons — was that silica was used in the cell culture process and then removed from the spores through a process such as centrifugation. The applicants in March 2001 for an international patent relating to vaccines were a leading aerosol expert, Herman R. Shepherd, and a lonstanding anthrax biodefense expert, Philip Russell. Dr. Morozov is co-inventor along with Dr. Bailey for a patent “Cell Culture” that explains how the silicon dioxide can be removed from the surface. Perhaps it is precisely this AFIP finding of silicon dioxide (without silica on the SEMs) that is why the FBI came to suspect Al-Timimi in 2003 (rightly or wrongly, we don’t know). The FBI would have kept these scientific findings secret to protect the integrity of the confidential criminal/national security investigation. There was still a processor and mailer to catch — still a case to prove. After 9/11, intelligence collection was deemed to takes precedence over arrests. As Ron Kessler explains in the new book, Terrorist Watch, many FBI officials feel that they are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Outside observers are constantly second-guessing them about how to proceed rather than trusting that they are in the best position to balance the competing considerations of national security, intelligence gathering, the pursuit of justice, and the safeguarding of civil liberties. Above all, in disclosing the theory of access to know-how, the FBI has needed to protect the due process rights of Al-Timimi while he defended himself on other charges. Of course, on the other hand, sometimes people just want to cover their ass and avoid being criticized for reaching a mistaken conclusion in analysis associated with a man’s suicide. An example from October 2006 of equipment that went missing from GMU’s Discovery Hall was a rotissery hybridization oven belonging to the Center for Biomedical Genomics. “This equipment can be used to manufacture biological agents and genetically modified agents, which could potentially be used as biological weapons,” Corinne Verzoni explained in her PhD 2007 thesis. “Upon hearing about instances or missing equipment in Discovery Hall, the author contacted campus security who was unaware of instances of missing equipment. Missing equipment should be reported to the equipment liaison. Missing equipment may not be reported to campus security because labs tend to share equipment. Equipment also would go missing because it was not inventoried if it is under $2,000. One of her other examples was equally dramatic: “A DI system is a de-ionized water system, which removes the ions that are found in normal tap water. The assistant director for operations noticed the DI system in Discovery Hall was using the entire 100 gallons in two days, which is an enormous amount of water for the four DI taps in the whole building. According to the assistant director for operations, it is difficult to calculate the reason for that much water since no leak was found. A large amount of water used over a short period of time for unknown reasons could indicate that the research is being conducted covertly.” “A student with legitimate access to Discovery Hall,” she explained, “has easy accessibility to equipment. A student with access to the loading dock could steal equipment on the weekend when campus security is not present in Discovery Hall. A student could also walk out of the entrance with equipment on the weekend without security present.” She concluded: “The events at GMU demonstrate opportunity to create a clandestine lab, the ability to sell items illegally, or the ability to exploit school equipment.” In a late September 2001 interview on NPR on the anthrax threat, Dr. Alibek said: “When we talk and deal with, for example, nuclear weapons, it’s not really difficult to count how much of one or another substance we’ve got in the hands. When you talk about biological agents, in this case it’s absolutely impossible to say whether or not something has been stolen.” A spokesman at the GMU “Office of Media Relations” emailed me in mid-December 2007 noting: “While working toward a doctorate in bioinformatics here at George Mason University, Mr. Al-Timimi had no access to any sensitive or secure materials or matter. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.” When I emailed him questions, he did not know any of the answers and then never got back to me. William Clark, author of Bracing for Armaggedon (2008) describes the Dark Winter exercise from Summer 2000 “In what looks like a potential coup, the FBI has worked with Russian police and intelligence agencies to arrange a ‘sting’ operation that netted a senior Al-Qaeda operative as he was attempting to purchase fifty kilograms of plutonium in Russia. This individual had also made inquiries about obtaining certain biological warfare weapons produced some years earlier by Soviet Union laboratories. The United States needs to craft a careful plan about how much of this to make public and how much to keep under wraps. The Russians are already beginning to leak information that many on the U.S. side want kept classified.” *** “The security advisor signals for the TV to be turned off. He sits down, and the President stands up and looks around the table. “In view of the potential extreme urgency of the situation, I am setting tonight’s agenda temporarily aside. I talked just a few minutes ago with Secretary of the Health and Human Services, who confirms that we do indeed have smallpox in Oklahoma City. In fact the latest word I have is that there may be cases up in Pennsylvania and in Georgia as well, although these cases have not yet been confirmed to me by the Secretary. *** We are considering this a bioterrorist attack on the United States.” Question: Did Ali Al-Timimi know the Dark Winter exercise scenario by reason of being at Discovery Hall of the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense. Presently, Al-Timimi’s prosecution is on remand while the defense is given an opportunity to discover any documents that existed prior to 9/11 about al-Timimi and to address an issue relating to NSA intercepts after 9/11. Ali’s defense counsel explained to the federal district court, upon a remand by the appeals court, that Mr. Timimi was interviewed by an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent as early as February 1994 in connection with the first World Trade Center attack. The agents left their business cards which the family kept. Defense counsel Johnathan Turley further explained that “We have people that were contacted by the FBI and told soon after 9/11 that they believed that Dr. Al-Timimi was either connected to 9/11 or certainly had information about Al Qaeda.” The federal prosecutor, Mr. Kromberg responded: “I’d like to clarify something. [Timimi’s earlier defense counsel] never said that the document that he saw showed that there was electronic surveillance. If there was an interview of Ali Timimi in 1994 and he did not say anything exculpatory about what happened in 2001, it’s hard to imagine how that, how that conceivably could be discoverable in 2003 or 2004.” Kromberg continued: “The same thing with the interview after 9/11. The government never denied that the FBI interviewed Al-Timimi nine days after 9/11. Our position was that there was nothing discoverable about that interview.” The court, for its part, weighed in: “Yes, but I think, I think most prosecutors err on the side of caution on that one, because who determines what is relevant? I mean, again, that’s why we have an adversary system.” According to Al-Timimi’s defense counsel in a court filing, Ali “was described to his brother by the FBI within days of the 9-11 attacks as an immediate suspect in the Al Qaeda conspiracy.” At a conference on countering biological terrorism in 1999 sponsored by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Alibek was introduced by a former colleague of Dr. Bailey: “Dr. Llewellyn: This is rather strange because I just met Dr. Alibek today. He was introduced to me by Dr. Charlie Bailey, who now works for SRA. But Charlie and I were associated with the Army Medical Research and Development Command Defense Program for over 20 years.” Isn’t SRA who Al-Timimi worked for 1999 where he had a high security clearance for work for the Navy? See Milton Viorst’s article “The Education of Ali Al-Timimi. Did Dr. Bailey also work there at SRA in 1999? Did they work together? When I emailed Dr. Bailey in December 2007 to confirm Ali had the room right near his at Discovery Hall he politely referred me to counsel and took no questions. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov have told me that Ali is not known to have worked on any biodefense project. Dr. Popova told me I should direct any such questions to Dr. Bailey. Dr. Bailey told me I should direct any questions to University counsel. University counsel declined to answer any questions. This is one of those uncomfortable questions that Condoleeza Rice in 1999 in writing about bioterrorism the public might have to ask about intelligence matters relating to bioterrorism. Unfortunately, it is easier to ask the question than get any answers from our recent Administrations. g. September 2001 Hadron webpage excerpt “Innovative Intelligence and Biodefense Solutions Hadron, Inc., headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, is a leading information technology, engineering services and medical research company specializing in national security. Hadron focuses on developing innovative technical solutions for the intelligence community, analyzing and supporting defense systems and developing medical defenses and treatments for toxic agents used in biological warfare and terrorism. Hadron is recognized for more than three decades as a high quality provider of: * Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Technical Solutions * Network Engineering, Logistics, and Systems Integration * Hardware / Software Design and Development of Electronic Warfare Systems Hadron’s expanded scope includes: * Development of Pharmaceuticals used against Biological Warfare Agents * Analysis of Bio-Warfare and Bio-Terrorism Threats Hadron consistently provides analytical depth and program management which exceed customer’s expectations for quality and value. Hadron is publicly traded under the symbol HDRN. Laboratories Advanced Biosystems George Mason University 10900 University Blvd-MSN 4E3 Manassas, VA 20110 Telephone: (703) 993-8410 Fax: (703) 993-8447” In November 2007, Hadron held a biodefense seminary. A November 7 press release, “Hadron Advanced Biosystems Sponsors ‘Biological Weapons -Threat and Defense\'” explained: DATELINE: ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 7 Dr. Ken Alibek, President of Hadron Advanced Biosystems, today announced that following the completion of the two-day seminar, “Biological Weapons – Threat and Defense,” a news media briefing will be held to answer questions on the topics covered by the seminar (for further information, please visit http://www.biodefense.net ). WHO / WHAT: Several featured seminar speakers will make brief statements regarding their seminar presentations, and will be available for questions. Those planning to be present at this briefing include Dr. Ken Alibek; Dr. Charles Bailey; Dr. David Franz; Dr. Don Huber; Dr. C.J. Peters and Dr. Serguei Popov (information on the speakers can be found at http://www.biodefense.net ). WHEN: Friday, November 9, 2001 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. WHERE: George Mason University – Prince William Campus PW II Building 10900 University Boulevard Manassas, VA 20110 *** Hadron specializes in developing innovative biodefense and intelligence solutions in support of our Nation’s security. In biodefense, Hadron Advanced Biosystems, led by Dr. Ken Alibek, is developing medical defenses against and treatments for diseases caused by toxic agents used in biological warfare and terrorism. The Company’s stock trades on the OTC Electronic Bulletin Board under the symbol HDRN. Did Ali Al-Timimi attend? i. Ali and The Islamic Ruling On The Peace Process Establishing a center for Islamic education, al-Timimi contacted Egyptian-born Salafi Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Khaliq and translated his works into English. A London charity, JIMAS, at whose conferences Ali would speak, published the translation of al-Khaliq’s book. He would give talks such as “Our Need for a Fiqh Suitable to Our Time and Place” at the 1997 conference in London or his “Cure for the Cancer of Globalization” or “The Position of Palestine in Allah’s Revelation” at a JIMAS conference in London. (Fiqh relates to the principles of islamic jurisprudence to include those governing warfare). The UK Islamic charity published the book calling on Muslims worldwide to “overthrow” peace treaties between Arab states and Israel. Sheikh Abdur Rahman Abdul Khaliq’s book published by JIMAS, The Islamic Ruling on The Peace Process, argued that “the Jews are the enemies of the Islamic ummah (nation).” The US government’s National Commission for investigating the 9/11 attacks listed the book as one of a number of texts “espousing violence and hatred towards the west and reinforcing the victimization of Muslims at the hands of the infidels.” “The Jews have been the enemies of the Islamic ummah since the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, began his call to Allah; and their hostility to this ummah will continue till the Day of Resurrection.” The 911 Commission’s website quoted from the book. “War or Jihad is an obligatory duty which remains in force till the Day of Resurrection.” According to another version of the book made available by a separate jihadist website (currently offline), Muslims are completely prohibited from making peace with non-Muslims “except when the kafir (infidel) is humbled and surrenders”– which is exactly what Al-Timimi taught his young wards at summer camp at the Frederick, Maryland park. Any peace made by Muslim countries with Israel contravenes the Quran and must be reversed, the book argues. The author commands Muslims to “firmly believe in the invalidity” of peace agreements with Israel, and calls on them “to work towards overthrowing these treaties.” The letters to the news organizations were mailed — coincidentally or not — on September 17 or September 18, either the day the Camp David Accord was signed in 1978 or the next day when it was approved by the Israeli knesset. Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik, in the early 1980s, said: “We reject Camp David and we regret the normalization of relations with Israel. We also reject all the commitments that were made by the traitor Sadat, who deviated from Islam.” He continued: “As long as the Camp David Agreement stands, this conflict between us and the government will continue.” The letters to the Senators were mailed on the date Sadat was assassinated, October 6, for entering the peace treaty with Israel. Al-Timimi had hand-delivered the letter from Bin Laden’s sheik to every member of Congress on October 6, 2002, the first anniversary of the mailing to Senator Leahy and Senator Daschle. The government’s indictment alleged that after the space shuttle disaster in February, Timimi said the United States “was the greatest enemy of Muslims.” When pundits rely on the targeting of Senator Leahy as pointing away from militant islamists as responsible for mailing, it may be that they were just unaware that he had the single most important role in appropriations to Egypt and Israel as head of the relevant Senate subcommittee overseeing the appropriations. Moreover, anyone who still doesn’t know of his important role on issues such as torture as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was not paying attention to the repeated tense exchanges between him and former Attorney General Gonzales on the subject. j. Ali On The Need for a Fiqh Suitable to Our Time and Place Ali spoke “Our Need for a Fiqh Suitable to Our Time and Place” at the JIMAS 1997 Conference: “Establishing Islam in the West.” He said: “It brings great pleasure to my heart to be once again with my brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom. This being my second participation at a JIMAS conference here in Leicester having been here four years ago.” “With that being said, we do have today’s lecture before us and it has been entitled “Our Need for a Fiqh Suitable to Our Time and Place.” Now as we take a moment to think about the title of this lecture, even though it is a bit lengthy, it is important that we do not forget the conference theme to which this lecture is one part, specifically, “Establishing Islam in the West in the Way of the Pious Predecessors.” The title lecture and the conference theme are such that they are inseparable.” *** “Should the military expedition prepared for Byzantium sent forth? The Prophet had prepared an army to go forth toward Syria to fight the Byzantine Christians. The army was ready to leave Medina when the Prophet died. The question the Companions faced was should the army continue forth or should it be diverted to deal with the apostates.” *** “Yet while all these crises occurred at one time… our pious forefathers… found solutions to them and were able to deal effectively deal with them. Even though with many of these cases there were not direct texts from the Qur’an and the Sunna to show how to deal with these issues.” **** “So therefore issues regarding jihad, how are the shares to be divided between the mujahidin. The classical books will discuss the share of a person riding a horse versus the share of a person on foot deriving those rulings from the Sunna of the Prophet. But you will find not find them discussing the share of a fighter pilot or a person riding in a tank because these issues, of course, did not exist in time. Modern warfare did not exist during those times when they wrote those classical books of fiqh.” *** “One illustration is the application of the hudud on the battlefield, like whipping the one who drinks alcohol. We know that the punishment for intoxication is lashing.” *** “Yet the scholars have understood that on the battlefield, the hudud are not to be applied.” “Why? Not because we are negligent with Allah’s sharia; but because the greater benefit [establishing a Worldwide Caliphate] dictates otherwise. If you are on the battlefield and attempt to apply the hudud on your sinful soldiers; they might out of anger (as they are now an object of punishment because of their crime) decide to go to the ranks of enemies.” Having been questioned by the FBI and Secret Service a couple years earlier in connection with WTC 1993, Ali can appreciate that anyone questioned might cooperate with the FBI if they get upset at the powers-that-be. k. The 2006 Arrest Of Falls Church “911 Imam” And Fellow Salafist Lecturer Awlaqi In March 2002, fellow Falls Church iman Anwar Aulaqi — known as the “911 imam” — suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). Upon a return visit in Fall 2002, “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” In the event Anwar Aulaqi responds to my emails, I will add any insights he wants to share. He recently was released from prison in Yemen, over US objections, where he says he was subject to interrogation by the FBI. Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008: “[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.” Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi), who met with hijacker Nawaf, reportedly was picked up in Yemen by Yemen security forces at the request of the CIA in the summer of 2006. British and US intelligence had him and others under surveillance. Al-Timimi would speak alongside fellow Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi) at conferences such as the August 2001 London JIMAS and the August 2002 London JIMAS conference. They would speak on subjects such as signs before the day of judgment and the like. Dozens of their lectures are available online. Unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post in 2008 that “they have come to believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaida networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia.” One official said: “There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies.” “Some believe that Aulaqi was the first person since the summit meeting in Malaysia with whom al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi shared their terrorist intentions and plans,” former Senate Intelligence committee chairman Bob Graham wrote in his 2004 book “Intelligence Matters.” Awlaqi was hired in early 2001 in an attempt by the mosque’s leaders to appeal to younger worshipers. Born in New Mexico and raised in Yemen, he had the total package. He was young, personable, fluent in English, eloquent and knowledgeable about Middle East politics. Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Al Hazmi worshiped at Aulaqi’s mosque for several weeks in spring 2001. The 9/11 commission noted that the two men apparently showed up because Nawaf Hazmi had developed a close relationship with Aulaqi in San Diego. In 2001, Awlaqi came to Falls Church from San Diego shortly before Nawaf did. Awlaqi told the FBI that he did not recall what Nawaf and he had discussed in San Diego and denied having contact with him in Falls Church. The travel agent right on the same floor as Al-Timimi’s Dar Arqam mosque organized trips to hajj in February 2001. San Francisco attorney Hal Smith was his roommate. Smith tells me that he was very extreme in his views when speaking privately and not like his smooth public persona. “Aulaqi is deep into hardcore militant Islam. He is not a cleric who just says prayers and counsels people as some of his supporters have suggested.” Sami al-Hussayen uncle checked into the same Herndon, VA hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn, on the same night — September 10, 2001 as Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and another hijacker. Hussayen had n seizure during an FBI interview and although doctors found nothing wrong with him was allowed to return home. During his trip to the US, al_Hussay had visited both “911 imam” Aulaqi and Ali Al-Timimi. The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states “Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmi’s personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.” In March 2002, Awlaqi suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). “Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims,” according to a court filing by Al-Timimi’s attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those “entreaties were rejected.” The Washington Post explains that “After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. His CD “The Hereafter” takes listeners on a tour of Paradise that describes “the mansions of Paradise,” “the women of Paradise,” and “the greatest of the pleasures of Paradise.” In London, after leaving the United States, he spoke at JIMAS and argued that in light of the rewards offered to martyrs in Jennah, or Paradise, Muslims should be eager to give his life in fighting the unbelievers. “Don’t think that the tones that die in the sake of Allah are dead — they are alive, and Allah is providing for them. So the shaheed is alive in the sense that his soul is in Jennah, and his soul is alive in Jennah.” He moved to Yemen, his family’s ancestral home, in 2004.” Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in San’a run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations. In court documents in New York filed in 2004, the United States alleged that while in the US, Aulaqi served as vice president of a charity alleged to be a front that sent money to al-Qaeda. The Washington Post reports that tax records show that in 1998 and 1999, while in San Diego, Aulaqi served as vice president of the now-defunct Charitable Society for Social Welfare, Inc., the U.S. branch of a Yemeni charity founded by Zindani. Documents filed in 2004 in Alexandria, Va., recount that in 2002, Aulaqi returned briefly to Northern Virginia where he visited Al-Timimi and asked him about recruiting young Muslims for “violent jihad.” Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: “Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqi’s charity as its Yemeni partner. In what is another seminal article by Susan Schmidt, the Washington Post explains: “The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.” He then was released. What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? The Washington Post reports that in a taped interview posted on December 31, 2007 on a British Web site, “Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers.” “I don’t know if I was held because of that or because of the other issues they presented,” Aulaqi said. Aulaqi said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so “until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.” Awlaki was then killed by a missile from a US drone for reasons the Administration is reluctant to disclose fully. At last report, the Administration wants to classify some material from the legal opinion that a reviewing court had required be released pursuant to FOIA. l. Ali Al-Timimi’s Attorney On What The US Knew And When Eric Lichtblau writes in BUSH’S LAW: The Remaking of American Justice (2008): “Over the past two and a half years, a team of NSA technicians, analysts, and translators working round-the-clock out of cubicles at an open office the size of a small newsroom at Fort Meade had eavesdropped without warrant on the phone calls and e-mails of several thousand people in the United States suspected of ties to terrorists. An Islamic charity in Oregon had apparently been monitored. So had a woman in Baltimore [Fowzia Siddiqui] whose sister [Aafia] was suspected of being an al Qaeda ‘facilitator, an imam [Aref] at a mosque in Albany with suspected ties to militants in Iraq, and a truck driver in Cleveland [Faris] who talked of taking a blow torch to the Brooklyn Bridge.” In United States v. Ali Al-Timimi, attorneys have wrangled about the government’s failure to produce law enforcement interviews of Al-Timimi after WTC 1993 and after 9/11 — as well as failure to produce NSA intercepts from 2002. Al-Timimi’s original attorney was the first to tell us in 2003 that the FBI raided Ali’s townhouse on February 26, 2003 because they feared he was part of a planned WMD attack. Al-Timimi’s townhouse was raided two weeks after the blind sheik’s son, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman — a member of Al Qaeda’s 3-member WMD committee — was captured in Quetta, Pakistan. Al-Timimi’s attorney, Edward McMahon, in the Moussaoui case, stipulated to a timeline of events in 2001 related to what the US knew about a planned attack. Over this same period the United States government was failing to disrupt the coming attacks, microbiologist Al-Timimi was publicly lecturing on the signs of the coming day of judgment. In both July and August 2001, in Toronto and then London, Al-Timimi was lecturing on the end of times alongside the man known as the “911 imam.” “911 imam”, Awlaqi, was a fellow Falls Church iman who counseled key hijackers first in San Diego and then in Falls Church. Before that, in 1993 and twice in 1996, the man joining Al-Timimi at the podium was none other than Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik’s son. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman would serve on Al Qaeda’s WMD committee and recruit scientists. Al-Timimi was granted a high security clearance and allowed to work alongside top anthrax bioweaponeers at the same time law enforcement and intelligence memos were flying fast and furious about Al Qaeda’s interest in biological weapons and the planned attack known to relate, in part, to the detention of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Although the timeline by Al-Timimi’s defense attorney begins on February 6, 2001, I have added some notes from the first week in February 2001 that set the stage. In February 2001, the CIA briefed the President in a Presidential Daily Brief (”PDB”) on “Bin Laden’s Interest in Biological and Radiological Weapons” in a still-classified briefing memorandum. Like the PDB on Bin Laden’s threat to use planes to free the blind sheik, the February 2001 PDB would illustrate the wisdom that most intelligence is open source. There was little about Ayman’ s plan to use anthrax against US targets in retaliation for rendering of EIJ leaders that was not available to anyone paying attention. The blind sheik’s attorney in Cairo had announced that Zawahiri likely would use weaponized anthrax to protest the detention of senior Egyptian militants. The previous military commander of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, then on trial, had made the same claim, along with yet another EIJ shura member. In September 1999, a London cleric even had a dialogue with Bin Laden, in open letters read at mosques in Pakistan and London, in which the cleric called for a holy biowar against the United States and Bin Laden responded. The timing of the specific PDB on Al Qaeda’s biological weapons in early February 2001, however, was due to anthrax threat letters sent in late January 2001 to the Immigration Minister in Canada and the Justice Minister. The letters were sent upon the announcement of bail hearing for a detained Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader who had managed Bin Laden’s farm in Sudan. Canada announced on January 18, 2001 that an Egyptian Islamic Jihad Shura member, Mahjoub, would have a January 30 bail hearing. Someone sent an anthrax threat letter to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Minister Caplan had signed the security certificate authorizing Mahjoub’s detention. After arriving in Canada in 1996, Mahjoub continued to be in contact with high level militants, including his former supervisor in Sudan, al-Duri, an Iraqi reputed to be Bin Laden’s chief procurer or weapons of mass destruction. Beginning on February 6, 2001, another former colleague of al-Duri in Sudan, Jamal Ahmad Al-Fadl, began his testimony in the Southern District of New York in United States v. Bin Laden about his own early efforts on Bin Laden’s behalf to obtain WMD. Then Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was the prosecutor. (The United States has been required to produce 900 pages of transcripts of video conferences between FBI agents and al-Fadl.) Al Duri, while living in Tucson, Arizona, was acquainted with Wadi al Hage. Wadi al Hage was another witness cooperating with authorities in connection with the prosecution of Bin Laden in Spring 2001 relating to the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Africa. On February 6, 2001, a Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (”SEIB”) indicated a heightened threat of Sunni extremist terrorist attacks against United States facilities, personnel, and other interests. (A SEIB, once called the National Intelligence Daily, is a CIA-produced intelligence summary similar to the President’s Daily Brief; it must be returned to the CIA within 5 days. In March and April 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency disseminated a series of reports warning that Abu Zubaydah was planning an operation in the near future. On April 13, 2001, the FBI sent an all-office message summarizing the intelligence reporting to date on the Sunni extremist threat. On April 20, 2001, a Senior Executive Intelligence Brief indicated that that Osama Bin Laden was planning multiple operations. On May 3, 2001, a SEIB indicated Bin Laden’s “public profile may presage attack.” On May 23, 2001, a SEIB reported a possible hostage plot against Americans abroad to force the release of prisoners, including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was serving a life sentence for this role in the 1993 plot to blow up landmarks in New York City. (The anthrax letters followed the pattern of letter bombs mailed in late 1996 to NYC and DC newspaper offices, along with people in symbolic positions associated with the detention with Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and the WTC bombers. That is, the modus operandi of the anthrax letters was not just the modus operandi of The Friends of Abdel-Rahman, it was their signature). On May 26, 2001, a SEIB indicated that Bin Laden’s plans were advancing. In June 2001, over the course of a week, Yazid Sufaat briefed Ayman Zawahiri and Hambali on his efforts at cultivating anthrax). On June 19, 2001, a CIA report passed along biographical information on several terrorists mentioned, in commenting on Khalid Mohammed, that he was recruiting people to travel to the United States to meet with colleagues already there so that they might conduct terrorist attacks on Bin Laden’s behalf. (An early December 1998 PDB to the same effect to President Clinton — declassified and included in the 911 Commission Report — 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 December had come to lead the cell planning anthrax attacks in the United States.) On June 21, 2001, after a press report from a journalist reporting from Bin Laden’s entourage, United States embassies raised the force protection condition for United States troops in six countries to the highest possible level, Delta. The embassy in Yemen was closed. (In February 1999, militants had threatened to attack with anthrax if Americans did not promptly leave the country; the militants were thought to be connected to Abu Hamza in London; Ayman Zawahiri was in contact with a cell in Yemen). The unclassified portion of “Daily UBL/Radical Fundamentalist Threat Update” for June 22, 2001 under “Newly Reported Threats and Incidents” (recently uploaded to intelwire.com) states: “State notified all embassies and the national security community of a terrorist threat warning on 6/22/01. ‘The State Department has been made aware of the following uncorroborated threat information indicating a possible near term strike against U.S. interests (NFI). Usama Bin Laden reportedly intends to strike against U.S. interests within the next two days according to the information held by an Arab in Kabul, Afghanistan on 6/21/01. The Arab in Kabul was sure that the strike, whose location he did not disclose, would generate an American response. The DOD European also put out a similar warning to all military commands.” On June 22, 2001, the CIA notified all its station chiefs around the world about intelligence suggesting a possible al Qaeda suicide attack on a United States target over the next the few days. The same day, the State Department notified all embassies of the terrorist threat and updated its worldwide public warning. On June 23, 2001, the title of a SEIB warned, “Bin Laden Attacks May be Imminent.” On June 25, 2001, a SEIB titled Bin Laden and Associated Making Near-Term Threats reported that multiple attacks were being planned by Bin Laden and his associates over the coming days, including a ’severe blow’ against United States and Israeli “interests,” during the next two weeks. (Senator Leahy is in charge of the subcommittee that oversees appropriations to Egypt and Israel). Also, on June 25, 2001, an Arabic television station reported Bin Laden’s pleasure with al Qaeda leaders who were saying that the next few weeks “will witness important surprises” and that the United States and Israeli interests will be targeted. At the end of June 2001, an Qaeda intelligence report warned that something “very, very, very, very” big was about to happen, and most of Bin Laden’s network was reportedly anticipating the attack. In late June 2001, a CIA terrorist threat advisory indicated a high probability of near-term “spectacular” terrorist attacks resulting in numerous casualties. On June 30, 2001, a SEIB titled “Bin Laden Planning High-Profile Attacks,” repeated that Bin Laden operatives expected near-term attacks to have dramatic consequences of catastrophic proportions. The SEIB contained an article titled “Bin Laden Threats Are Real.” The intelligence reporting at the end of June consistently described the upcoming attacks as occurring on a calamitous level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil and that they would consist possibly of multiple — but not necessarily simultaneous — attacks. Threat reports surged in June and July 2001. On July 2, 2001, a SEIB indicated that the planning for Usama Bin Laden’s attacks continue, despite delays. Also on July 2, 2001, the FBI issued a National Law Enforcement Telecommunications (”NLETS”) message concerning potential anti-United States attacks. The message summarized the information regarding the threats from Bin Laden and warned that there was an increased volume of threat reporting. The message indicated a potential for attacks against United Statets targets abroad from groups “aligned or sympathetic to Usama Bin Laden.” The message further stated, “The FBI has no information indicating a credible threat of terrorist attack in the United States.” The message asked recipient to “exercise extreme vigilance” and “report suspicious activities” to the FBI. (Later that summer, when a flying school instructor reported Zacarias Moussaoui and it was known he was associated with Bin Laden’s colleague Ibn Khattab, who intelligence showed was related to Bin Laden’s CBRN aspirations, FBI HQ denied the request that a FISA warrant be sought for his laptop.) On July 5, 2001, the CIA briefed the Attorney General on the al Qaeda threat, warning that a significant attack was imminent. In addition, the Attorney General was told by the CIA that preparations for multiple attacks were in late stages or already complete and that little warning could be expected. The briefing addressed only threats outside United States. On July 13, 2001, a SEIB indicated that Bin Laden’s plans had been delayed, maybe for as long as two months, but not abandoned. On July 19, 2001, one of the items mentioned by the Acting FBI Director in a conference call with his special agents in charge, was the need, in light of increased threat reporting, to have evidence response teams ready to move at a moment’s notice, in case of an attack. The Acting Director did not task FBI field offices to try to determine whether any plots were being considered within the United States or to take any action to disrupt any such plots. On July 25, 2001, a SEIB stated that one Bin Laden operation was delayed, but that others were ongoing. On August 1, 2001, the FBI issued an advisory that in light of the increased volume of threat reporting and the upcoming anniversary of the bombings of the U.S. embassies in East Africa (which occurred on August 7, 1998), increased attention should be paid to security planning. The advisory noted that while most of the reporting indicated that the potential for attacks were on U.S. interests abroad, the possibility of an attack in the United States could not be discounted. On August 3, 2001, the CIA issued an advisory concluding that the threat of impending al Qaeda attacks would likely continue indefinitely. The advisory suggested that al Qaeda was lying in wait and searching for gaps in security before moving forward with the planned attacks. An article in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (”PDB”) titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S” was the 36th PDB item in 2001 relating to Bin Laden or al Qaeda and the first devoted to the possibility of an attack in the United States. The PDB again mentioned the detention of the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman as motivating the attack. On August 7, 2001, a SEIB indicated that Osama Bin Laden was determined to strike in the United States. On August 23, 2001, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet received a briefing on Zacarias Moussaoui, titled “islamic Extremist Learns to Fly.” (Both Zacarias Moussaoui and Mohammed Atta had made cropduster inquiries during the summer). On August 24, 2001, a foreign intelligence service reported that Abu Zubaydah was considering mounting terrorist attacks in the United States to Attack Targets in the United States. The Stipulation ended just before the most interesting pre-911 data point. The Stipulation did not include the data point I found most interesting. Adnan El-Shukrijumah was also living with KSM on 9/11 just like anthrax Al Qaeda Yazid Sufaat. Shukrijumah called his mother and told her he was coming to the United States. She protested that he would be arrested but he insisted. Shukrijumah is now head of Al Qaeda’s external operations. These are not circumstances that allow us to fall short in vetting the relevant intelligence and true crime analysis. A report titled “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters” issued on September 10, 2001. It was a study of the mailed anthrax threat in January 2001. In contrast to a 1998 study by William Patrick that had been requested by Dr. Hatfill’s employer SAIC, 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) had been donated by the US Department of Defense (Dugway Proving Ground, Utah). “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 mm 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.” The authors of the study emailed the study to the head of the CDC’s investigation of the anthrax mailings but he did not open or read the email. The lead CDC investigator explained: “It is certainly relevant data, but I don’t think it would have altered the decisions that we made.” In the week after 9/11, only an estimated 16 individuals in the United States knew of the report). Question: Was Ali-Al-Timimi one of the 16 who knew of the Canadian report on the danger of anthrax aerosols from mailed anthrax? Was the Canadian report faxed to the Alibek/Bailey/Timimi fax number or sent to his mail drop? On October 5, 2001, bail was denied for Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura member Mahjoub. The anthrax mailer then rushed to mail the potent anthrax to the author of “Leahy Law” — that allows continued appropriations to security units in the event of “extraordinary circumstances.” The postmark was Tuesday, October 9, but Monday was a holiday, leaving the possibility the anthrax was mailed as early as October 6. In March 2003, the FBI questioned people in Ann Arbor, MI and asked them if they knew of any conspiracies against the United States. Homam Albaroudi, co-founded the Islamic Association of North America in 1993, reports he was among those the FBI sought to question. He had been a member of the Ann Arbor Muslim Community Association (“MCA”) since 1999. He served on its board for 3 years. He organized the Free Rabih Haddad Committee in December 2001 and sought to garner support for Mr. Haddad in connection with the closed proceedings relating to his immigration status. The Muslim Community Association (“MCA”) runs the Michigan Islamic Academy which is right across from the University of Michigan North Campus. In 2001, Dr. Albaroudi was head of its PTO. As the American Civil LIberties Union explained in a suit against the United States Department of Justice in 2003, approximately 1000 people attend services at the mosque each Friday. MCA employs about 20 people and has about 700 registered, dues-paying members. Approximately 200 students were enrolled at the Michigan Islamic Academy which offered classes from pre-K through 11th grade. In addition to the standard academic curriculum used in state public schools, the ACLU explained, the school offers classes in Arabic language, Quranic recitation and Islamic Studies. The mission of the school is to provide students with the basic knowledge require to preserve their basic Islamic heritage, religion and cultural identity. Rabih Haddad, founder of the Global Relief Foundation, taught as a volunteer at the school twice a week. Bassem Khafagi, the Chairman who had been questioned about Ali Al-Timimi before 9/11 lived in Ann Arbor. The MCA held numerous rallies and fundraisers supporting Rabih Haddad in connection the closed proceedings on his immigration status. The ACLU has noted that Dr. Albaroudi stepped down from the IANA becaue of personal differences with other IANA leaders. The ACLU reports that after the FBI raided IANA’s offices in February 2003 and Al-Timimi’s residence in Northern Virginia, the FBI sought to question him notwithstanding he no longer was associated with IANA. The ACLU explains: “The FBI contacted Mr. Albaroudi again in or about March 2003. On this occasion, the FBI agents who contacted him said they had not singled him out but rather were interviewing many people in the area to find out whether anyone had learned of any conspiracies against the United States Mr. Albaroudi explained to the FBI that he would have contacted them of his own accord if he had learned of any conspiracies against the United States. The FBI then asked Mr. Albaroudi about another co-founder of IANA [Bassem Khafagi], who had recently been arrested for an overdraft check and then detained on immigration charges. The FBI did not pursue did not pursue efforts to speak with Mr. Albaroudi after he informed them he did not feel comfortable speaking without an attorney present.” According to Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer, Bassem Khafagi was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest.” Given that, according to his counsel, Al-Timimi was an “anthrax weapons suspect,” it appears that much of the investigation of former and present charity officials related to that suspicion about IANA’s celebrated speaker Al-Timimi. Whatever the US knew, it appears they wanted to know more. The day and minute that the FBI raided Al Al-Timimi’s townhouse, 100 law enforcement officers simutaneously interviewed 150 people in Syracuse, New York. Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com http://movieclips.com/5bqd-the-untouchables-movie-here-endeth-the-lesson/
  9. DXer said

    Feds to release 2011 terror memo
    Paper explains policy of killing U.S. suspects.

    By THE WASHINGTON POST
    Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/feds-to-release-terror-memo/article_d698feaa-e102-11e3-9f75-10604b9f1ff4.html

    The Justice Department will publicly release a secret 2011 memo that provided the legal justification for the killing of American terrorist suspects overseas, a U.S. official said, after extensive pressure on the administration to do so.

  10. DXer said

    In a transcript from last October 2013 that I uploaded last week, the federal court judge noted that if his clerk could not read a particular sentence in filing 185 then defense counsel could not read it either. But I can provide some background. Most intelligence is “open source.”

    After the date of the planning documents for Dr. Ayman Zawahir’s anthrax program, a leading Salafist imam and Salafist charity speaker came to share a water fountain, fax and maildrop with leading anthrax scientist Ken Alibek and former deputy USAMRIID Commander and Ames anthrax researcher Charles Bailey. He was mentored by Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali and was actively coordinating with 911 imam Anwar Aulaqi. Ali Al-Timimi worked in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”). In a filing unsealed in 2008, 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 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 are classified and still have not been resolved as of 2014. Not even Professor Turley or the District Court’s clerk were allowed to see the government’s ex parte briefing of certain issues before the Judge.

    Dr. Al-Timimi’s counsel in earlier briefing had summarized:

    “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 perpetrators;
    * 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 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 to be part of a “second wave” who had been inquiring about crop dusters. The filing and the letter exhibit each copy defense co-counsel, the daughter of the lead prosecutor in Amerithrax. That prosecutor has 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.

    Bruce Ivins had supplied the Ames strain of anthrax to Ann Arbor researchers. One of the researchers, Dr. Hamouda, had obtained his PhD in microbiology from Cairo Medical in 1994. He and his wife came to the United States to settle that year. By 1998, he was working on a DARPA-funded project involving nanoemulsions and a biocidal cream. In December 1999, he and two colleagues travelled to a remote military installation in Utah to test its effectiveness in killing aerosolized anthrax surrogates. An April 2001 report describing testing at Dugway concluded that the best performing decontamination agents were University of Michigan, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLNL). 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 charity in Ann Arbor. 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 was his former mentor at university in Saudi Arabia.

    IANA speaker Ali Al-Timimi worked in the same building as two other DARPA-funded researchers — famed Russian bioweapons scientist Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey. 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 the sheik 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. 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 that in 1996, for two months had worked 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 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 charity Islamic Assembly of North America. His father worked at the Iraqi embassy in DC, which was located in a residence.

    Two months before a laptop evidencing Al Qaeda’s intent on weaponizing anthrax was seized in Baku in July 1998, Dr. 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 wants to apply to work in the building can submit an application. One applicant accepted was this Salafist preacher seeing signs of the coming day of judgment and the inevitable clash of civilizations. In 1999, Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for work for the Navy.

    Dr. Ken Alibek testified before the House Armed Services Committee Oversight Panel on Terrorism again on May 23, 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. Interviewed for the movie “Anthrax War,” Dr. Alibek did not want to explain to authors why he had abruptly left the country.

    Dr. Alibek continued: “Although these groups will produce biological weapons with varying levels of sophistication, they all can potentially cause great damage. *** Furthermore, there is no doubt that we will see future uses of biological weapons by terrorist groups, as there have been several attempts already.” 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 ***”
    Dr. Alibek concluded: “To protect ourselves from the threat of biological weapons, we must increase our awareness and understanding of the threat, strengthen current international agreements and increase transparency ***”

    By 2001, Al-Timimi was allowed access to 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 beginning at some point was being supplied by NIH. Raymond H. Cypess, president of the germ bank, said of the Ames strain, “We never had it,’ and we can say that on several levels of analysis.” ATCC refuses to confirm to me whether its patent repository, as distinguished from its online category, had Ames, but we can assume government scientists, including Scott Decker who has drafted a new “behind the scenes” book on the Amerithrax forensics, would have ensured that the patent repository was considered at the same time as the online catalog and excluded as a source of the Ames. Dr. Bailey, who may be under a gag order similar to that imposed on USAMRIID personnel, refuses to confirm Ali was not much more than 15 feet from both Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. Like Scott Decker, PhD, through the university counsel, Charles Bailey, former USAMRIID Commander, similarly has failed to address this issue of access to virulent Ames.

  11. DXer said

    To sum up: Things don’t seem to be going well for Ali Al-Timimi in his pending motions relating to Al-Timimi’s meeting with Awlaki in 2002. But given the judge’s protectiveness as to a single sentence in filing 185, perhaps anything produced relating to the Awlaki memo can be expected to be redacted.

    Some issues were outlined in October 2013 conference call in the Ali Al-Timimi case. (see transcript below) Attorney Turley appears not to know how authorities knew what they knew (which may have been very little) about a meeting with Aulaqi and Al-Timimi — or if they knew much of anything about the conversation that conducted by Aulaqi and Al-Timimi in privacy. I’m rooting for AUSA Kromberg. If Attorney Turley were really so curious about what authorities were doing, he should have long ago appreciated based on public domain evidence that they were pursuing a red hot lead in connection with Amerithrax. Special Agent Wade Ammerman, who AUSA Kromberg explains is one of the finest in the country, told the Washington Post that he and his colleague were pursuing an anthrax lead. Most intelligence is open source.

    Does the single sentence in filing 185 relate to anthrax? It is tippy top secret.

    “THE COURT: Look, if a judge’s law clerk can’t get access — and Mr. Kromberg, as I recall, didn’t have access, I think, until 2008 — there’s no way in which private counsel is going to get it. That is the way it is. If I ran the world, it might be different, but I don’t run the world. I have to work within the rules that are given to me, but I will tell you that for what it’s worth, because I know one of your discomforts is the concept that the government — that the prosecution would be the sole arbiter of what is discoverable or not discoverable. At least in this case, you’ve got an Article III judge looking at it, you’ll have a Court of Appeals looking at it, so there’ll be another entity with no stake in the case looking at the material, and that’s all I can tell you.”

    Let’s hope they used the correct technique in blacking it out. But the overclassification in the case for the most part is misleading and resulted from some press leaks. There actually is very little that is classified that is being discussed. AUSA Kromberg did not even know the one sentence in filing 185 until 2008. The judge notes that if his clerks couldn’t know it, counsel should expect to know it.

    OTOH, I for one cannot keep a secret.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda, and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefence
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    Case 1:04-cr-00385-LMB Document 340 Filed 11/13/13 Page 1 of 30 PageID# 655
    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
    ALEXANDRIA DIVISION
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs.
    ALI AL-TIMIMI,
    . Criminal No. 1:04cr385 . . Alexandria, Virginia . October 4, 2013
    . 11:00 a.m.
    . Defendant. . .
    ………..
    TRANSCRIPT OF HEARING BEFORE THE HONORABLE LEONIE M. BRINKEMA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
    APPEARANCES: FOR THE GOVERNMENT:
    FOR THE DEFENDANT:
    ALSO PRESENT:
    GORDON D. KROMBERG, AUSA United States Attorney’s Office 2100 Jamieson Avenue Alexandria, VA 22314
    and JOHN T. GIBBS, ESQ. Counterterrorism Section Criminal Division United States Department of Justice 601 D Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004
    JONATHAN TURLEY, ESQ. The George Washington University Law School 2000 H Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052
    and V. MANU KRISHNAN, ESQ. Bryan Cave LLP 1155 F Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004
    SA SARAH LINDEN

    OFFICIAL COURT REPORTER: ANNELIESE J. THOMSON, RDR, CRR U.S. District Court, Fifth Floor
    401 Courthouse Square Alexandria, VA 22314 (703)299-8595

    PROCEEDINGS (Defendant present.)
    THE CLERK: Criminal Case 04-385, United States of America v. Ali Al-Timimi. Would counsel please note their appearances for the record.

    MR. KROMBERG: Good morning, Your Honor. Gordon Kromberg for the United States. With me at counsel table is John Gibbs, my cocounsel on the trial, and standing in as the case agent, FBI Special Agent Sarah Linden, whose testimony you heard in this case in 2007 involving the National — search at the National Archives.

    THE COURT: Good morning.

    MR. TURLEY: Good morning, Your Honor. Jonathan Turley representing the defendant, who is with me at table, Dr. Ali Al-Timimi. With me is our new local counsel, Manu Krishnan, who is also at the law firm of Bryan Cave.
    THE COURT: All right. Well, we have on the docket today several motions. One of the problems we have in this case right now is that there’s been some real difficulty in how things have been filed, and I just want you to know that I’m going to be meeting with our court information security officers, and we are going to probably re-docket a fair number of items.
    Things that were filed initially under seal because they had not yet been cleared, many of them are now completely public. Others, I believe, are public with some redactions, and we need to get the docket in shape. So you may find pleading numbers changing, and so I alert you to watch the docket as it, as it shifts.
    All right, I’ve had a chance to go through these motions, and the one motion, Mr. Kromberg, that I don’t think I’ve got an adequate response to, all the other ones I think the government fully answered to my satisfaction, is the motion No., docket No. 300 to compel discovery related to Anwar al-Aulaqi. As I understand it, what the defense is trying is information about the meeting that Mr. Aulaqi had with Dr. Timimi at which Mr. Gharbieh was also present. Is that correct?
    MR. TURLEY: Yes, Your Honor.
    to get
    THE COURT: All right. Now, didn’t Gharbieh testify at your trial — at the trial?
    MR. KROMBERG: He was the first witness, Judge.
    THE COURT: He testified in both trials. I know he — I remember he testified clearly in the Royer case.
    MR. KROMBERG: That’s when the lights went out in the middle of his testimony. But no, he was — I believe he was the first witness —
    THE COURT: The first witness.
    MR. KROMBERG: — the first cooperator witness in the Timimi case. He might have been the first witness altogether.
    THE COURT: All right. So, Mr. Turley, why was
    Mr. Gharbieh not asked the kinds of questions you’re trying to get out by asking the government for further evidence about Mr. Aulaqi?
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, we have submitted a declaration from the former lead trial counsel, Mr. MacMahon, who states that he was never given any information that has come out since quite recently about the involvement of the Department of Justice not only in bringing Aulaqi into the country but specifically the involvement of Mr. Ammerman.
    THE COURT: But that’s beside the point. My point is your concern, as I understand it, is that that meeting could be critical to your defense because you believe that there may have been a discussion in which your client objected to Aulaqi’s request that he help recruit people to take up arms against the United States in essence. Isn’t that really what you’re saying?
    MR. TURLEY: Yes, Your Honor. What occurred is that Mr. Aulaqi suddenly came to Dr. Al-Timimi’s house and encouraged him to recruit and to — he actually raised issues of possible terrorist acts, and Dr. Al-Timimi said consistently throughout, “I told him that I would not do that.”
    THE COURT: Well, was Gharbieh present at that meeting?
    MR. TURLEY: Our understanding is that this conversation might have occurred in Arabic, and Mr. Gharbieh does not speak that language. The — he left — and this is what Mr. Al-Timimi made clear, is that he left at the critical moment when that conversation began. So he was not a witness necessarily to what was said, and even if he was there, he might not have understood it.
    But what Mr. MacMahon has said is that, you know, much of what he did at trial was based on assurances that he received from the prosecutors, and they said they didn’t have information on that meeting, that it was a dry hole.
    THE COURT: But unless — I’m sorry, but unless that meeting had been surreptitiously tape-recorded, that is, either Gharbieh or Aulaqi was wearing a wire, how else would you have access to what that meeting was about?
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, we believe that that information should have been turned over for a number of reasons.
    THE COURT: No, no, no. I’m asking you, what, so that they didn’t have a wire? You’re trying to find out what went on at that meeting. Either Gharbieh was present and was wearing a wire, in which case you would have a transcript available of an in Arabic possibly conversation, or Aulaqi was cooperating at that point and he was wearing a wire, but there’s none of that in this — there’s no evidence of that.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, what we have in terms of recent evidence is an indication that there was a government asset involved during that period, the specific period of the meeting directly connected to Anwar Aulaqi. It was never revealed that the government had that, had an asset involved with Aulaqi during that time. That asset still has not been disclosed to counsel in either classified or unclassified fora.
    We believe that clearly should have been revealed, and we have no idea who that asset is. We don’t know if it’s Aulaqi, we don’t know if it’s Gharbieh, we don’t know if it’s someone else, but we do know that there is a report that makes reference to an asset in Aulaqi during that time that we’ve never seen.
    And what Mr. MacMahon says in his declaration is that none of that was revealed to him any more than the Abu Khalid or the pre-2003 FISA, and that had a material impact on his
    inquiries before trial. It also questioning at trial.
    THE COURT: All right. respond to that?
    MR. KROMBERG: I don’t just talked about, so there’s no
    THE COURT: I’m sorry?
    MR. KROMBERG: I don’t understand what he just said.

    THE COURT: Well, you need to try to understand what he said.
    MR. KROMBERG: He’s suggesting that the government had an asset in to Mr. Aulaqi? Assuming that were true, what does that have to do with whether we know what happened at a private meeting between Timimi and Aulaqi?
    Mr. Turley has no right to know whether there was an asset in to Aulaqi at that time. He has no right to know whether Aulaqi was a government asset at that time, but you asked me eight years ago whether we had a recording of what happened, and I said no. We still don’t.
    I don’t know what happened at that meeting, and we don’t — and he doesn’t get to find out the status of the government’s coverage of Aulaqi other than to know that the government has no recording of the meeting between Aulaqi and Timimi.
    I’d also note that Gharbieh wasn’t a government cooperator at that time. His house was searched the same day Timimi’s house was searched in February 2003, and he decided to cooperate after that point, and that’s when we learned that there had been a meeting between Aulaqi and Timimi, but he wasn’t a cooperator before that time, and we didn’t, we didn’t know about it at the time it happened.
    THE COURT: All right.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, may I be heard in response?
    THE COURT: Yes, yes.
    MR. TURLEY: Thank you, Your Honor. First of all, I’m a little surprised — I guess we’re both surprised with each other into what we’re arguing, but I’m surprised to hear that the government can have an asset that may have been involved in a critical meeting with the defendant, have pretrial inquiries as to evidence as to that meeting, and not disclose that there was an asset.
    Mr. Kromberg says, “I just don’t know. I don’t know who was the asset. For all we know, Aulaqi’s the asset.”
    What if Aulaqi was an asset? The government specifically told defense counsel that there was no evidence that they had on this. If the government engineered the meeting, if the government’s asset engineered the meeting, that obviously is quite relevant, but we also want to note Ammerman testified as to his, when he first became aware of Ali Al-Timimi.
    That testimony stands in direct contradiction to much of the new evidence that we had found, and had we known his role with Aulaqi, that evidence also would have been material to his testimony. We would have been able to impeach him on that.
    And I just want to also note, Your Honor, in terms of government’s responses, I assume Your Honor is referring to the public motions as to the government’s response. The government response on Aulaqi says virtually nothing about the factual statements or representations in Aulaqi, but I just want to note that the government as far as I know has not responded to at least five or six motions in the SCIF, and I’ve never been in a case where we just file motions and the government just leaves it up to the Court to respond. Those motions have been pending for years, and the government just has never responded to them, so we have no response at all.
    THE COURT: Well, which ones are those? Just give us the numbers. We will see, because there are no gavels showing.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, I — the record that I have in the SCIF shows no response on the classified motions from 2008 that I could find. These include docket 265, 273, 277, and 287.
    And I believe that the two — of the two classified filings done recently, the government chose to respond to one of them in a public filing by making reference to an ex parte letter, and I do not believe they responded to the other, but at least five of these motions from my records have had no response at all from the government.
    THE COURT: Mr. Kromberg?
    MR. KROMBERG: Judge, I’m sorry, but you should give very short shrift to that. 265, defendant’s motion for a finding of materiality regarding his intercepted communications with an individual that we talked about at length in 2008, and
    as this Court said in 2008, “I will say at this point so far what this Court has seen — and I recognize, Mr. Turley, you’re at a disadvantage because you haven’t seen it all — I don’t think there has been anything that the government has revealed to this Court that would be of such a nature as to have made a material difference to the outcome of your case. In the end, it’s got to be the final thing the Court looks at. I will say at this point I haven’t seen it.”
    Back in 2007, you said on January 24, 2007, in an order, you wrote that the in camera pleadings, 48, 66, 185, and 200, establish either that the defendant has not been the subject of any investigations other than the one which resulted in this trial or that any other investigations in which he was a subject or during which he was referenced contained no information that would constitute Brady material or which was required to be produced under the discovery orders entered in this case.
    He makes the same motion again and again and again. We’ve answered them. I think — as far as I can tell, he’s made the same motion three times just since July. We only answer them once, and he says, well, we haven’t answered each motion. Every — I divide them up into Aulaqi, Ajmal Khan, FISA, presidential surveillance, I think there was one more, but I tried to respond to each group of motions even if I didn’t file one that’s classified merely because remember,
    Judge, the reason his are filed with the court security officer is because in 2008, we filed an ex parte TS pleading, and the Court encouraged us to file it under CIPA to make redactions so that he could see it.
    We did that, and then it turned up in the newspaper. After it turned up in the newspaper, he was directed to file everything in this case through the court security officer. That’s why there are so many classified pleadings at this time even though at this point, as you can tell from what we’re talking about, we’re not talking generally about classified materials.
    THE COURT: All right.
    MR. TURLEY: First of all, Your Honor, I would like to incorporate Mr. Kromberg’s argument in our own response. What he just read to you was not a ruling on any motion. It was an observation of the Court. It was obviously that.
    The way that at least I’ve practiced in the past is you file a motion, the government files a response. As usual, Mr. Kromberg just blithely names one and says the rest of them are repetitive. That’s not how my understanding of this works. You are supposed to respond on the record so we can keep the record.
    I’m also very surprised to hear Mr. Kromberg quoting from the Court in terms of previous investigations. One of our motions, of course, deals with the FISA business, and I believe
    he’s quoting from the same, same hearing. Mr. Kromberg stood here in our last go-round and said that he didn’t have any pre-2003 evidence, and this Court stated it was your understanding, as it was the record, that there wasn’t pre-2003 investigations, but more importantly, Mr. Kromberg says now, “Well, except for these pre-2003 investigations,” and says, “I actually did reveal that to counsel.”
    We have a respected defense attorney in this jurisdiction saying that is absolutely untrue. We have a second defense attorney who repeats basically the same type of representation in his case from Mr. Kromberg, but more importantly, we have Mr. Kromberg. We have a letter from Mr. Kromberg on November 19, 2004, in terms of the material he now says is FISA, telling counsel then all of this is non-FISA derived.
    And then quite recently, he made reference to some CDs and said, “You know, I really — I know before we talked about pre-2003, but now I’m saying that we did reveal 2003.”
    And so we went to former counsel, who, of course, gave us his declaration, we went through all the files, and we believe we found the CDs that Mr. Kromberg was referring to. There’s actually two sets of CDs. One of them is composed of 30-something telephone intercepts that are clearly identified as FISA by Mr. Kromberg.
    None of those, as we put in a custodial affidavit,
    none of those is pre-2003. None of them involve any e-mails, but then we have the second CD, and on that CD, we have material that is referenced in that letter, November 19, 2004, where Mr. Kromberg expressly says this is non-FISA derived.
    That happens to include the 4G series and includes 4G7, which is the very document that we opposed being introduced at trial that Mr. Kromberg introduced, and now Mr. Kromberg says, “Oh, well, of course that was FISA derived,” when he told the defense it was not.
    We see the same pattern with Abu Khalid, and yet Mr. Kromberg continually comes in here and expresses disbelief of where the confusion comes from, and when I read the transcript from 2008, it’s like a different Mr. Kromberg.
    THE COURT: Mr. Kromberg, do you want to respond?
    MR. KROMBERG: I know that Mr. Turley has worked very hard to reconstruct what happened years ago, but he hasn’t worked hard enough. In his materials, he included government discovery letter No. 8 but not discovery letter No. 9, which I’ll pass up to the Court, which says, “Here are the e-mails and phone calls that I can now provide to you that were collected by FISA, “and in Mr. Turley’s materials, he has the e-mail from me to Mr. MacMahon asking if he received them, and Mr. MacMahon said, “I don’t know. I’ll have to count them. I gave them to my client this morning.” That was January 5, 2005.
    The reason that happened that way, first we gave materials to him unclassified that we got from the search warrant. Then we gave him the materials classified that we got from the FISA, because we didn’t have use authority until the end of December 2004 to give him the classified ones.
    So when we had the FISA in 2003 that had these e-mails, we had to replicate that because we didn’t have use authority. We went with a criminal search warrant back to Yahoo!, got the same things, and we didn’t need use authority for that anymore. So we gave that to him first.
    The next month, well, six weeks later, we gave him the FISA ones. He says he doesn’t find them. Well, I have the message from MacMahon that Mr. MacMahon says he got them.
    We’ve talked about this multiple times in open court, once, once in the first trial and once in the second trial, and those materials are, are before you now.
    The — and the next fundamental misunderstanding — so the first misunderstanding is from the first set of pleadings is, oh, well, if there was an intelligence investigation pre-2003, that means there must have been FISA pre-2003.
    So we explained just because there’s an intelligence investigation doesn’t mean that investigation was using the tool of a FISA intercept or FISA search.
    Well, now Mr. Turley comes back, “Okay. Well, I
    1understand that, but you have FISA collection from 2001 in these Chapman e-mails.”
    Well, that’s because he misunderstands that a FISA search of an e-mail account will take whatever is in that e-mail account in 2003, when it was executed, and that includes e-mails from 2001. So yes, we did obtain through FISA evidence from 2001, but the FISA was executed in 2003.
    Mr. Turley’s motion, oh, we didn’t turn over to him information about Ajmal Khan, well, except for the 302s from Kwon and Hasan, the two main witnesses in the case who identified Ajmal Khan as Abu Khalid with a johninformation e-mail address. But for that, we didn’t tell him that we knew Ajmal Khan was Abu Khalid.
    Well, okay. And, “All right. Well, maybe you buried it in there. We weren’t looking at those Kwon and Hasan 302s.”
    Mr. MacMahon cross-examined Kwon about that 302. I don’t — I mean, in some sense, it’s understandable that Mr. Turley doesn’t know this, because you’d have to really go over the record with a fine-toothed comb to see where Mr. MacMahon asks Hasan about the 302, excuse me, asked Kwon about the 302, but it’s there.
    I could go on, but each one of these allegations about things that weren’t turned over, were turned over, it turns out they were turned over.
    THE COURT: All right.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, I have to disagree with my esteemed colleague. On the letter No. 9 referenced in the document from January 3, 2005, we believe that that refers to that first set of FISA, those 30-something FISA-generated 2003 and later telephone intercepts.
    What’s, what’s disconcerting here is obviously we have very clear contradictions in the factual record. We have Mr. MacMahon saying quite clearly, “I kept asking for pre-2003 and was told there was no pre-2003.”
    But we also have hearings before this Court in which you yourself expressed your view that there was not any significant pre-2003 FISA interceptions. That is also what Mr. MacMahon understood.
    This letter that is being referred to, we believe, is that first CD, not the second one with the 4G series in it.
    But as for the statement about Abu Khalid, we’ve already argued this, and I don’t see how this is even a close question. If the government — the government does not deny that it knew the identity of Abu Khalid.
    THE COURT: But they’re also saying you got access to that through the 302s that were given pretrial to defense counsel, that you had Kwon’s statement and Hasan’s statement. Plus, the government also argues, I think quite wisely, that even if you had gotten the name, I mean, you had the name, but with the name, what you were going to do with it, that man was,
    I don’t know whether he was in custody at that point or not, but he was facing and, I guess, has been convicted in England of certain charges, and the odds of him sitting down and talking to you-all would have been — you’re a defense attorney — highly unlikely.
    So No. 1, from this record, I’m satisfied that defense counsel had the information; No. 2, it wouldn’t have done you any good because it was highly unlikely he was ever going to talk to you; and No. 3, what he said might have made it even worse because the evidence about his interaction with those two coconspirators was pretty straightforward, well-documented, and I don’t see how that would have been in any respect exculpatory.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, where I would respectfully disagree is that we do not believe that having two documents from third parties giving their view of who the identity is is the same as the government confirming the identity of Abu Khalid, and this is why:
    The record as it stood was actually in confusion. A year before, in the Khan trial, the government clearly stated that Abu Khalid was an individual named Pal Singh; and the government’s own expert at that time said that in his expertise, that was true; it was Pal Singh.
    And so the official record, including Your Honor’s own statement about the identity of who Abu Khalid, said it was
    1a totally different person. If the defense was going to assume anything, it would likely be that it was Pal Singh, who was acquitted in the English proceedings in terms of the terrorism charges, but then the government is saying, “Well, I can’t imagine where the confusion is coming from. We’ve cited to the record, where we’ve had hearings with Mr. MacMahon saying, ‘I don’t know who this is. I don’t know where this e-mail is coming from. How can we introduce it at trial?'”
    Mr. Kromberg sat through those hearings. He didn’t stand up and say, “Oh, well, you’re mistaken. We actually did identify Abu Khalid.”
    Through the entire trial, he never said that they understood who Abu Khalid was, and in fact, it was different from what the government previously identified at the behest of the government testimony, that it was an entirely different person.
    I would find it strange that, that a prosecutor can go through these hearings where the identity of a key party is raised, defense counsel says, “I don’t know who this is,” and to say, “Well, we had no obligation to give you that information. ”
    But my other point is that in addition to speaking with the real Abu Khalid, we would have been able to seek things like travel records, and in fact, those travel records were introduced at another trial. Why? Because his identity
    was, was confirmed by the government at a different trial. THE COURT: But how would those travel records have
    helped you? MR. TURLEY: Well, the reason they would help is that
    we understand that Abu Khalid came in in March 2003, and during that period, Mr. Al-Timimi was under FISA, was under investigation, and he had been searched.
    We — had we known the movements of Abu Khalid, we could have pressed this point of here’s this guy, this mysterious figure who’s trying to obtain remote-operated aircraft technology, something that is clearly going to be prejudicial with the jury and is being introduced at trial, and we would have been able to say, “Well, we know who this guy is, and here’s his travel records,” and we would have been able to press the government witnesses.
    Here he is a few miles away from Al-Timimi. Here he is in the country. Was there any calls made during that period? Was there any context? These are standard examination questions. They’re also the type of basis that allows us to make — ask questions pretrial, but Mr. Kromberg denied that to us by going — first of all, having a record that says it’s an entirely different person, and then sitting through hearings with you, where he doesn’t say, “We actually know who Abu Khalid is,” who by the way they then turn around and identify the real Abu Khalid.
    Now, that may be discovery for the purposes of the government. It’s not discovery as I understand it.
    I will note that, you know, the Abu Khalid matter was not only raised at trial over the objections of the defense, this was an issue that was heavily contested by Mr. MacMahon, but when we had, I believe, a motion 29 proceeding to try to — a motion to try to knock out some of the counts, and who is it the government references? Abu Khalid.
    So here’s this integral part of the trial and the posttrial, and Mr. Kromberg is sitting on his identification, just leaving it uncertain as to who he is. That clearly had a material impact on us. It also once again had a material impact on the government witnesses.
    We have direct contradictions in this new evidence to what people like Mr. Ammerman testified on the stand, direct contradictions, and this is the type of information that would have allowed a cross-examination with knowledge of Agent Ammerman.
    THE COURT: All right. Mr. Kromberg, do you want to add anything to that?
    MR. KROMBERG: I’m curious on what the direct contradiction with Agent Ammerman — with Special Agent Wade Ammerman, who’s one of the finest agents and most respected in the country, and I’d be surprised to find out what the direct contradiction that Mr. Turley has identified, and you’d think in the mounds of pleadings, he would have identified it by now.
    THE COURT: All right, let’s move on to the next
    motion.
    MR. TURLEY: Should I answer that, Your Honor?
    THE COURT: No, I don’t need to hear any more on it. In terms of the FISA evidence, I think Mr. Kromberg the first time has made it crystal clear why there
    today for does appear to be this discrepancy between 2003 and 2001 because he has just said that a FISA warrant in 2003 for e-mail could among other things pull in 2002, 2001, whatever is in that e-mail box, if I understand you correctly, Mr. Kromberg.
    MR. KROMBERG: In fact, it’s very — okay. I don’t know if I should — I don’t know how much I can say, but the results tend to be similar to what happens when you do a criminal search warrant of an e-mail account.
    THE COURT: In other words, it’s thorough. Whatever is there gets picked up.
    MR. KROMBERG: Correct.
    THE COURT: All right. And that would clearly explain the discrepancy — or not the discrepancy but the way in which these dates seem to at first blush be inconsistent.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, we don’t believe it explains it for the following reason: First of all, this indicates that there was FISA captures in 2001.
    THE COURT: No, no. It indicates that there are FISA captures in 2003 of 2001 information. That’s what it indicates.
    MR. TURLEY: Well, I’m working, obviously, in the blind because we have not been able to see the type of supporting evidence for that, but the most important thing is that we have representations before trial that there was not pre-2003 FISAs.
    Now, the government here is making —
    THE COURT: Well, that — wait a minute. There’s nothing inconsistent with what Mr. Kromberg has just said. Listen to what he said. He said that a FISA warrant in 2003, issued in 2003 would capture whatever was in that e-mail box.
    Now, I would assume if it was a brand new e-mail box that was opened in 2003, right, there wouldn’t be any 2002 or 2001 messages picked up that way. I’m assuming therefore that this mailbox had been in place or this e-mail address had been used for some period of time, and evidently, whatever was there was picked up.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, where we disagree is that first of all, we’ve put into the record various sources that indicate 2001 FISA on the Virginia Jihad, and we included in that the Wainwright MFR in 2003 that said that once this wall went down between the FISA collection in terms of intelligence and the criminal side in terms of prosecutions, that the Virginia Jihad investigation came out of that, and this is a
    reference to 2002 in terms of that wall coming down. We also have a second MFR that specifically says that when that wall came down, the Eastern District of Virginia U.S.
    Attorney’s Office was specifically noted as going to look at that FISA material. So we know that there’s FISA material before 2003 and these MFRs we just recently learned of. So you have these MFRs citing, yeah, a wall came down. The Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office went there and looked at the FISA material. We have statements that that’s what prompted the Virginia Jihad, which the government is claiming was headed by Dr. Al-Timimi, and that would not fit the narrative expressed by Mr. Kromberg, and we also have the previous objection to that letter in terms of what that is referring to, but the other thing that I want to note, Your Honor, is that we don’t have any record at all in terms of where or what of this evidence was used.
    What we do have is testimony from Mr. — from Special Agent Ammerman saying, “You know, I first looked into Dr. Al-Timimi because of a confidential informant call in 2003, and I went to the Internet and looked up his name,” and now we find out that there was this pre-2003 FISA material that was reviewed by the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office, we know now that Ammerman was involved with Aulaqi, who happened to just go to Al-Timimi’s house, that was pre-2003, and what stands in contradiction is this account by Ammerman of how he learned of Al-Timimi. So we have this complete contradiction coming out of
    the Department of Justice. You’ve got some agents saying this Virginia Jihad investigation was the result of the wall coming down and the Eastern District of Virginia prosecutors going to see that.
    Now, I don’t know if Mr. Kromberg was one of those prosecutors, but I would be surprised because when we were here before you last time, Mr. Kromberg said, “Look, I can’t be expected to know programs that I don’t know of, evidence that I’ve not been, had not been disclosed to me.”
    So I don’t know who from the Eastern District of Virginia saw that evidence, but it couldn’t possibly be Mr. Kromberg, but the fact is that’s referring to FISA material.
    THE COURT: Well, you’re not sure about that. are other ways — as Mr. Kromberg pointed out in one of his responses, there are other ways of getting intelligence besides FISA.
    There
    MR. TURLEY: There are, Your Honor, but the problem is we don’t know. I mean, we can’t — we have no record. The government has chosen not to disclose a single document to cleared counsel. It has not produced any actual document of evidence in terms of material that was not disclosed before. We have no record because the government won’t give us a
    record, and I don’t understand. This is rather old material. We, we have Mr. Ammerman giving media interviews on this case, and yet the government continues to classify as much as they can, to say that they’re not going to give defense counsel these documents.
    We don’t know, and I think that it’s incumbent to create that record in light of the new material that we found, material evidence, and I will simply note without getting into the SCIF stuff, the motions in the SCIF include material evidence that was withheld.
    THE COURT: All right. Well, these have been extensively briefed. I’m going to look with care — obviously, I’m not going to try to speak a decision today because I don’t want to bump into anything that may be considered classified.
    Mr. Kromberg, I — you are satisfied that you’ve responded to everything?
    MR. KROMBERG: I believe I’ve responded to every topic. I’m not sure whether I’ve responded — there were multiple motions that I was getting partly because of docketing issues —
    THE COURT: Right.
    MR. KROMBERG: — that I would get them and I’d go, is this the same one I already got?
    THE COURT: Because there are some duplicative
    motions.
    MR. KROMBERG: Right. I thought I responded to every topic. If there’s a topic I haven’t responded to, I’ll be happy to do so.
    THE COURT: All right. We will also have to go back through, we’re actually going to try to audit the file this afternoon, and if we find that there hasn’t been in our view an adequate response from the government, we’ll direct you to fill it out, all right?
    But other than that, you’ll need to wait for our decision, and as you know, Mr. Kromberg, part of the logistical problem for the Court has been the limitation that’s even been put on the Court’s resources in terms of handling this matter. I have finally figured out a way, having been back through the pleadings that only I can see, how to handle that.
    MR. KROMBERG: I’m glad to hear that, Judge.
    THE COURT: Yeah.
    MR. KROMBERG: We’ve tried — I’ve tried in writing
    the TS pleadings that your clerks are cleared for, to refer to one particular sentence of one particular pleading or maybe two different pleadings, but I think it’s a very, very limited task that — and I think the Court’s point has been made over the last years, and I think that it would be — it’s time to —
    THE COURT: It’s time, I agree. I will let you know, and you can go back and audit your stuff to tell me if I’m wrong on this, but I think the most seminal and most pivotal
    piece of evidence in the record is something which defense counsel can’t see because my clerks can’t even see it, is 185.
    MR. KROMBERG: Absolutely.
    THE COURT: All right.
    MR. KROMBERG: And, Judge, there’s one sentence, I
    believe, in 185 that is the most seminal part in that.
    THE COURT: Well, but that, that is — essentially,
    that portion of my opinion is probably just going to say for the reasons in 185, whatever my ruling is. I can’t do more than that, and so — and I’m doing it that way because my resources have been restrained in that respect.
    But I will say for the public record that 185 does satisfy me significantly on all — almost all of these issues. So unless I find that there’s still something that’s missing, I’ll resolve this matter on what’s been filed to date, and that’s how it is. That’s how it is.
    MR. TURLEY: I understand, Your Honor. I just want to voice our objection that we’ve made before, that we don’t see why these ex parte communications need to be barred entirely from cleared counsel.
    THE COURT: Look, if a judge’s law clerk can’t get access — and Mr. Kromberg, as I recall, didn’t have access, I think, until 2008 — there’s no way in which private counsel is going to get it. That is the way it is.
    If I ran the world, it might be different, but I don’t run the world. I have to work within the rules that are given to me, but I will tell you that for what it’s worth, because I know one of your discomforts is the concept that the government — that the prosecution would be the sole arbiter of what is discoverable or not discoverable. At least in this case, you’ve got an Article III judge looking at it, you’ll have a Court of Appeals looking at it, so there’ll be another entity with no stake in the case looking at the material, and that’s all I can tell you.
    But there are things that this Court will have seen that you will not have seen that will certainly feed into the decision.
    MR. TURLEY: Your Honor, just two small points, and I hate — I’m sorry to delay you further: One is at one point, you had stated your intention to require the government to certify all of the representations that have been made as to the record.
    THE COURT: I think that’s been done adequately. If people are filing declarations under the penalty of perjury, that’s sufficient certification.
    MR. TURLEY: Okay. And, Your Honor, regardless of how you may rule on these motions, our final motion is likely to be a formal motion for a new trial. We’ve already actually asked for and we’ve been talking about a new trial, but to complete the record, we would like to bring all of this material into a motion for a new trial. THE COURT: I think I’m not sure I’m going to permit
    that. I thought you already had filed one.
    MR. TURLEY: Well, we have, but this is mainly for
    the convenience of the Court and potentially the Court of Appeals to bring in this most recent evidence that we’ve discovered, which we find very troubling.
    THE COURT: Well, we’ll face that when we face it. There’ve been enough motions filed in this case. We need to get this case back down to Richmond, which I hope will be fairly soon, all right?
    All right, if there’s nothing further, we’ll recess court for the day.
    MR. KROMBERG: Thank you. MR. TURLEY: Thank you, Your Honor.
    (Which were all the proceedings had at this time.)
    CERTIFICATE OF THE REPORTER I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript of
    the record of proceedings in the above-entitled matter.
    /s/ Anneliese J. Thomson

    • DXer said

      “The Straight Path”: Connecting the Dots

      Al-Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “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 described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:

      “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] 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.”

      Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assirat also. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage. Wadih al Hage was Ali Mohammed’s friend and served as Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.”

      Kamal Habib had been a founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and had spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the late 1970s, the cell run by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. In Egypt he formed the Islah (“Reform”) party with Gamal Sultan. While contributing to Al Manar al Jadeed, the Ann Arbor-based IANA’s quarterly journal, the pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999. They were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group. They were just hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless, at the same he withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group.

      In early April 2001, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rented an apartment in Falls Church, Virginia, for about a month, with the assistance of a man they met at the mosque. Nawaf Al-Hazmi had been at the January 2000 meeting at Yazid Sufaat’s Malaysian condominium in January 2000. Hijackers Nawaf and Hani Hanjour, a fellow pilot who was his friend from Saudi Arabia, attended sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Al-Timimi was located until he established the nearby center. The FBI reports that at an imam named Awlawki who had recently also moved from San Diego had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. Police later found the phone number of the Falls Church mosque when they searched the apartment of 9/11 planner Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. In his 2007 book, Center of the Storm, George Tenet noted that Ramzi bin al-Shibh had a CBRN role.

      Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:

      “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.
      Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.
      Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

      A man named Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God. “He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America.” Kwon said Al-Timimi told the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen —preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.

      After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September
      16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group and gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch with two of the group on September 19, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting.

      Al-Timimi’s lawyer explains that Al-Timimi was in telephone contact with Al-Hawali on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001:
      “The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.”

      Al-Timimi was urging the young men go defend the Taliban against the imminent US invasion. A recent open letter to Ayman Zawahiri from a senior Libyan jihadist, Bin-Uthman, now living in London, confirms that Ayman Zawahiri and Atef, at a several day meeting in Kandahar in the Summer of 2000, viewed WMD as a deterrent to the invasion of Afghanistan.

      Kwon, who had just become a U.S. citizen in August 2001, went to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001. Kwon practiced with a semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher, but he was not able to join the Taliban. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as
      U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training. His trainers suggested that he instead go back to the United States and gather information for the holy warriors. Kwon told jurors at al-Timimi’s trial how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago and then found that Al-Timimi lectured locally near his home in Northern Virginia. “Russian Hell” — a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war — was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed. “They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration,” Kwon told the jurors.

      In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League.

      Al Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:
      “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

      In addition to the October 6, 2002 letter, drafted by Al-Timimi, Hawali had sent a lengthy October 15, 2001 “Open Letter” to President Bush in which he had rejoiced in the 9/11 attacks. One Al-Hawali lecture, sought to be introduced in the prosecution of the IANA webmaster, applauded the killing of Jews and called for more killing, praised suicide bombings, and said of Israel that it’s time to “fight and expel this hated country that consists of those unclean, defiled, the cursed.”

      Bin Laden referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 Declaration of War on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik al-Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime.

      Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:
      “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

      As Ali later explained to NBC, “To have a space shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there’s a divine hand behind it.”

    • DXer said

      5 years later, Fla.-Va. terrorism case in limbo
      http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com/news/national/article_7786e3fd-cded-56a8-84a4-755cef184a94.html

      ***

      Brinkema suggested afterward that she can’t trust what government agencies say about classified evidence in terror cases. She said she might order a new trial in another high-profile terror case — northern Virginia Islamic scholar Ali al-Timimi, convicted of soliciting treason for urging followers to join the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks. Unlike in the Al-Arian case, though, the judge has continued to hold hearings and issue rulings in that case.

      Comment:

      I did not get the sense from the tenor of the dialogue at the October 2013 conference — which became available a few months later —that the District Court is going to order a new trial.

      But predicting what a District Court will do ranks right up there with predicting what the stock market will do. A NYT reporter called into chambers, I believe, to ask when a decision in the Ali Al-TImimi case could be expected and there was no estimate given.

      My take-home from that transcript is that neither counsel knows how the FBI knew what transpired at the meeting at the Fall 2002 meeting. FBI Agent Wade Ammerman told the Washington Post that he was pursuing a hot Amerithrax lead. It would not have been surprising if they had it covered with microphones in the room rather than an informant. For example, the prosecutor says that the man who drove Awlaki to the meeting only began cooperating after the arrests in late February 2003. (That was when 100 agents came here and simultaneously interviewed 150 people as part of “Operation Imminent Horizon”; they came the very minute Ali’s townhouse was raided) For example, Al-TImimi’s charity’s board (he was the lead speaker) met in the DC area for a meeting in a hotel about that time and it was the subject of electronic surveillance. Perhaps it was a spike mike in the wall. I don’t remember offhand. I think there may also have been film.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  12. DXer said

    White House to show secret drone strike memos to Senate

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/05/06/white-house-awlaki-drone-justification-memos/8766949/

  13. DXer said

    Scott Shane in a recent NYT article about MH 370 mentioned Yazid Sufaat’s experiment with biological weapons before 9/11. (Although writing a book on Awlaki, he happened to catch weekend duty the week following when the plane went missing. Mr. Shane wrote: “Yazid Sufaat, a Malaysian who studied biochemistry at California State University and experimented with biological weapons for Al Qaeda before Sept. 11, proposed crashing a commercial airliner into a passing American warship, the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, according to a local intelligence report cited in Mr. Conboy’s book on Jemaah Islamiyah,” The Second Front.”
    Will his probing and well-crafted FOIA request turn up the Administration’s concern about anthrax as part of the factual evidence relied upon in targeting Awlaki?

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  14. DXer said

    Big win for Scott Shane in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    Court orders U.S. to release memo on drones, al-Awlaki killing
    BY JONATHAN STEMPEL
    NEW YORK Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:02pm EDT
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/21/us-nytimes-dronestrikes-lawsuit-idUSBREA3K0QC20140421

  15. DXer said

    Here are 2000 pages from FOIA relating to Anwar Awlaki via the wonderful resource, Intelwire.

    I thought a 9/15/2001 302 was interesting — and the details of his many trysts with prostitutes salacious.

    He didn’t mention speaking in Canada (alongside Ali Al-TImimi and the Syracuse doctor) in July 2001. (He did mention the UK in August).

    Moreover, he finessed not going upstairs to get his passport.

    But at 357 MB, I make it available via dropbox only for the completist.

    The more interesting news IMO relates to the numerous classified issues still pending before the federal court judge in the Ali Al-Timimi matter involving Awlaki.

    Coincidentally, it as James Baker (see Germ Wars) who was reviewing at the decision to charge him with a crime relating to use of prostitutes.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nftjxgb5q00b9on/Intelwire-Awlaki-Binder1.pdf

  16. DXer said

    Appeals court rules that opinion on FBI phone surveillance can remain secret

    By Sari Horwitz, Friday, January 3, 3:11 PM E-mail the writer
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/appeals-court-rules-that-opinion-on-fbi-phone-surveillance-can-remain-secret/2014/01/03/0f3ace8e-74a5-11e3-8def-a33011492df2_story.html

    “The case is significant because it is the first time that the D.C. Circuit had taken up the issue of whether such Justice Department legal opinions are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.”

    Comment:

    Although I have not been following and am not up-to-date on this NYT lawsuit, it seems that this decision by the Court of Appeals in a surveillance case does not bode well for the NYT case seeking the legal opinion regarding the targeting of Anwar Awlaki. Separately, it may have implications for the decision on the motion that I believe is pending in the Ali Al-TImimi case.

    I understand that there are important issues of due process and collateral damage (which then fuels terrorism) and due process involved in the use of drones. But it is crazy for the issue to be raised by those representing Al Qaeda responsible for 9/11. IMO, it undermines the effectiveness of those seeking to promote peace and justice who view the drone an extension of the club.

    It is hypocritical for Mr. Cohen to defend the fellow promising a storm of planes used against civilians to complain about the targeted use of drones to stop that storm of planes.

    Those promoting peace should steer clear of those promoting and/or defending the wanton murder of civilians.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  17. DXer said

    In the Al-Timimi court matter, I am waiting for the federal court judge’s motion on Ali Al-Timimi’s motion in which the defendant claims that Brady material was withheld.

    The focus in the motion is whether Aulaqi was wearing a wire and/or was an informant.

    The FBI had been conducting surveillance of Awlaki and knew he was frequenting prostitutes at a hotel — and had interviewed the prostitutes. I can imagine wanting him to be cooperative.

    As quoted in a 2013 book, however, the suggestion in DIRTY WARS by Scahill is that it was the man who drove Aulaqi who was cooperating with the government

    http://books.google.com/books?id=z9RErd_U_WEC&pg=PT34&lpg=PT34&dq=%22Nabil+Gharbieh%22++%22Aulaqi&source=bl&ots=2w2Q-n0Pmi&sig=cqKzxRVe1Cv82uhIHe8AoQtN66s&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yOSlUtKOE4blsAS924CADQ&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Nabil%20Gharbieh%22%20%20%22Aulaqi&f=false

    Of course, installing the FBI has been known to be able to install a bug covertly or use other technological means in eavesdropping

    I will leave it to the judge and counsel to figure out whether any material that was withheld violated the “Brady requirement” to produce exculpatory information. Defendant reasons, for example, he would have been able to cross-examine FBI Agent Wade Ammerman as to his claim he did not suspect Ali Al-Timimi until February 2003.

    The defendant’s counsel finds that it very dubious given the interest in the October 2002 meeting between Aulaqi and Al-Timimi. The FBI had wanted to learn more about Al-Timimi’s outreach to Congress. That “outreach” involved a letter from Bin Laden’s sheik, Al-Hawali, that as I recall it threatened dire consequences if Iraq was invaded. Ali had arranged it to be hand-delivered, as I recall, and had used Al-Hawali’s name because of the Sheik’s stature.

    At the same time Al-Timimi’s townhouse was raided — to the minute — 100 agents came here and simultaneously questioned 150 people. The doctor here had spoken alongside Aulaqi and Al-Timimi in Canada and UK in July and August 2001. That certainly wasn’t a lead that first arose in February 2003.

    When I called the FBI on September 11, 2002, the agent acted like it was a big breach of security. (No one ever tells me anything.) It was only on February 26, 2003 that I learned numerous agencies had long been investigating the charity here led by an Iraqi doctor and there had been 30 extensions of warrants.

    Ali and his wife Ziyana had travelled to China with the doctor here in 1995 and they knew each other well. Ali was the lead speaker for the Ann Arbor-based charity IANA and the doctor here led a money-making-machine spin-off here called HELP THE NEEDY. (I think proceeds commonly were about $10,000 a day).

    As much as I admire AUSA Gordon Kromberg’s work, I have to agree that the FBI suspected Ali Al-Timimi being a supporter of terrorists in October 2002.

    They first questioned him 9 days after 9/11. Heck, they asked the head of the charity IANA, Bassem Khafagi, about Ali Al-Timimi and who he knew BEFORE 9/11. Then 9 days after 9/11 they told his brother that Ali was an immediate suspect because of his extensive ties to a broader Al Qaeda network.

    If FBI Agent Wade Ammerman and FBI Agent John Wyman did not find it worrisome that Ali Al-Timimi shared a suite with the leading Ames anthrax researchers, then that is surprising given that in 2002 the rumor in Amerithrax internet circles was already strong that there was an undercover operation in the mosque there.

    I find it amusing that the defense and the author would quote the Washington Post article about John Wyman and Wade Ammerman “pouncing” on the internet leads they allegedly deduced from surfing the internet.

    The Washington Post article expressly says it related to Ali Al-TImimi as an anthrax suspect — and defendant more forthrightly admitted as much in an earlier filing.

    If no one wants to talk about the elephant in the room, I understand their respective motives. But it doesn’t seem fair to Dr. Ivins.

    It is named the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. Where is the justice for Bruce if this sort of compartmentalization of information led to such a botched result?

    If the elephant ever decides to sit on you, don’t pretend to be surprised.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      The Other “Anthrax Weapons Suspect”: Ali Al-Timimi

      One supporter of the detained Vanguards of Conquest leader Mohammad Mahjoub was Ali Al-Timimi, a microbiologist who worked in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”). In a filing unsealed this Spring, 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. A renewed motion is pending.

      Dr. Al-Timimi’s counsel summarized years ago

      “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 perpetrators;

      * 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 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 to be part of a “second wave” who had been inquiring about crop dusters. The filing and the letter exhibit 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.”

      Bruce Ivins had supplied the virulent Ames strain of anthrax to Ann Arbor researchers. One of the researchers, Dr. Hamouda, obtained his PhD in microbiology from Cairo Medical in 1994. He and his wife came to the United States to settle that year. By 1998, he was working on a DARPA-funded project involving nanoemulsions and a biocidal cream. In December 1999, he and two colleagues travelled to a remote military installation in Utah to test its effectiveness in killing aerosolized anthrax surrogates. An April 2001 report describing testing at Dugway concluded that the best performing decontamination agents were from University of Michigan, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLNL). 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 charity which was 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. IANA speaker Ali Al-Timimi worked in the same building as two other DARPA-funded researchers — famed Russian bioweapons scientist Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey.

      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 the sheik 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. 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 hadonce 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 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 charity Islamic Assembly of North America.

      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 wants to apply to work in the building can 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 on May 23, 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 continued: “Although these groups will produce biological weapons with varying levels of sophistication, they all can potentially cause great damage. *** Furthermore, there is no doubt that we will see future uses of biological weapons by terrorist groups, as there have been several attempts already.” 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 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. Raymond H. Cypess, president of the germ bank, said of the Ames strain, “We never had it,’ and we can say that on several levels of analysis.” ATCC refuses to confirm to me whether its patent repository, as distinguished from its online category, had Ames, but we can assume government scientists would have ensured that the patent repository was considered at the same time as the online catalog and excluded as a source of the Ames. Dr. Bailey, who may be under a gag order similar to that imposed on USAMRIID personnel, refuses to confirm Ali was not much more than 15 feet from both Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. Through the university counsel, he similarly has failed to address this issue of access to virulent Ames.

      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 appeared quoting the blind sheik’s Cairo lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, and detainees in a massive trial al-Zayat was defending, stating that Ayman likely was going to use weaponized 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 development of anthrax as a weapon for use against US targets was inextricably linked to the detention of senior militant Egyptian leaders, including the blind sheik.

    • DXer said

      Ali Al-Timimi shared a suite with the former leading DIA threat assessment person, the former acting USAMRIID commander, Charles Bailey. Dr. Bailey for years had an office at USAMRIID while he did DIA threat assessment. And suite Alibek suitemate told me he had always known Ali Al-TImimi was a hardliner. Surely given GMU’s focus on biothreat assessment someone thought to be suspicious of Ali Al-TImimi. Ali was the buddy of Bin Laden’s sheik Al-Hawali walking the halls and sharing computers and a maildrop with the leading Ames anthrax researchers who had just invented a process for inventing a process that concentrated anthrax using silica. The work with virulent Ames was done at downtown Frederick at Southern Research Institute where the B3 came to be lead by Ivins’ former assistant, Patricia Fellows.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      The Washington Post, in an article “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” dated September 3, 2006 summarized events relating to George Mason University computational biology graduate student Ali Al-Timimi:

      “In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.

      Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

      The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.

      Comment:

      I don’t know how I can make it any planner. What AUSA Kromberg is so shy in telling you about is that Agent Wyman and Agent Wade Ammerman were working a lead relating to the fact that Ali Al-TImimi shared a suite with the leading Ames anthrax researchers. (They had the biggest mult-million dollar DARPA grant to date).

      • DXer said

        Project Jefferson was a DIA project fueled by defector Ken Alibek’s report that the Russians had developed a vaccine resistant strain of anthrax. Ken’s new (as of 2001) co-principal in Hadron was the lead DIA biothreat person, Charles. Both had been Battelle consultants in 1999. They received a multi-million dollar grant from DARPA. Why on earth did they allow a committed salafist, who supported the jihadis, to share the suite with them? Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in counterintelligence analysis in the history of the United States. Just because Ali had a security clearance while at SRA for a Navy project in 1999 was no reason for them to permit him to share their space given his not-so-private association with Al Qaeda members and Bin Laden’s sheik Al-Hawali.

        Condi Rice and the President were relieved that the anthrax had not been genetically manipulated. Condi in 1999 or so had written about biosecurity and lamented the associations that were sometimes necessary in gaining intelligence. (It was an essay in a book) But can you imagine the excitement there would have been if there were a recommendation in GMU files from Andrew Card in support of Al-Timimi’s grad school application? It was Mr. Card who held the door open for FBI Director Mueller each time he came to report to the President the status of the anthrax investigation. The NSA wiretapping of Al-Timimi’s network — that Mr. Comey thought needed to be tweaked in order to be legal — was focused on his network because Al-Timimi (to borrow his counsel’s phrase) was an anthrax weapons suspect. For example, the NSA was wiretapping Aafia Siddiqui’s sister at Johns-Hopkins, Fowzia.

        If Al-Timimi’s conviction is reversed and a new trial is ordered, let’s have Ali interviewed again on MSNBC. This time let’s have him interviewed about the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings and the lead FBI Agent Wyman and Ammerman were so brilliantly working. Because of Professor Turley’s role as an MSNBC spokesman and the pendency of his trial, the network gave him softball questions the first time around. Catherine Herridge, consider that it was the driver who was cooperating and not Aulaqi. Don’t be too quick to buy into defense counsel’s spin in his briefs.

        http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Al-Timimi’s Connection to AQ WMD Comm. member Mohammed Abdel-Rahman

      While Al-Timimi was recruiting for the Taliban, he was also connected to one of the principals on Al Qaeda’s WMD Committee, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman. The CIA and FBI apparently have known this for years but have kept it secret as part of their ongoing confidential national security and criminal investigation. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke at the first conference of the Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) in 1993 and was noted to be from Afghanistan. Mohammed Abdelrahman spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi again, for example, in 1996 in Toronto and again that December in Chicago at the annual conference. The December conference was held after blind sheik Abdel-Rahman was indicted. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was closely involved in the financing and promotion of IANA activities. Al-Buthi of Al-Haramain was in contact with Bin Laden’s sheiks and also his brother-in-law Khalifa who had funded the KSM-led Bojinka operation. Global Relief Foundation participated in and sponsored a number of annual conferences. GRF sent money to IANA to offset the conferences’ costs. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was close to bin Laden and was engaged in planning key operations. OBL considered him like a son. Mohammed was on the three member WMD committee with Midhat Mursi. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman ran a training camp that was part of the larger complex of several camps. He was an explosives trainer.

      The “Superseding Indictment” in United States of postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar and others explains that on February 12, 1997, with Mohammed Abdelrahman back in Afghanistan, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “The Islamic Group declares all American interests legitimate targets to its legitimate jihad until the release of all prisoners, on top of whom” is Abdel Rahman. Three months later, on May 5, 1997, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “If any harm comes to the [S]heikh [,] al-Gama al-IsIalamiy[y]a will target [] all of those Americans who participated in subjecting his life to danger.” The statement also said that “A1-Gamaa al-Islamiyya considers every American official, starting with the American president to the despicable jailer [] partners endangering the Sheikh’s life,” and that the Islamic Group would do “everything in its power” to free Abdel Rahman.

      Al Qaeda continued to seek religious approval from blind sheik Abdel-Rahman for its attacks. The US indictment of the Post Office worker in contact with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman alleged: “On or about June 19, 2000, one of Abdel Rahman’s sons, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, spoke by telephone with SATTAR and asked SATTAR to convey to Abdel Rahman the fierceness of the debate within the Islamic Group about the initiative, and said that “even if the other side is right,” SATTAR should tell Abdel Rahman to calm the situation by supporting “the general line of the Group.” The indictment of the US Post Office worker Sattar further alleges: “On or about June 20, 2000, SATTAR spoke by telephone with Mohammed Abdel Rahman and advised him that a conference call had taken place that morning between Abdel Pahman and some of his attorneys and that Abdel Rahman had issued a new statement. The press release issued in Abdel-Rahman’s name containing additional points which made clear, among other things, that Abdel Rahman was not unilaterally ending the initiative, but rather, was withdrawing his support for it and “stating that it was up” to the “brothers” in the Islamic Group now to reconsider the issue.

      The indictment of the US Post Office employee Sattar further alleges: “On or about September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised a meeting of Usama Bin Laden (leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization), Ayman al Zawahiri (former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and one of Bin Laden’s top lieutenants), and Taha. Sitting under a banner which read, “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman,” the three terrorist leaders pledged “to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. During the meeting, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was heard encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

      Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was arrested in mid-February 2003 and Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse was searched two week later.

    • DXer said

      “The Straight Path”: Connecting the Dots

      Al-Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “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 described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:

      “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] 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.”

      Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assirat also. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage. Wadih al Hage was Ali Mohammed’s friend and served as Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.”

      Kamal Habib had been a founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and had spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the late 1970s, the cell run by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. In Egypt he formed the Islah (“Reform”) party with Gamal Sultan. While contributing to Al Manar al Jadeed, the Ann Arbor-based IANA’s quarterly journal, the pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999. They were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group. They were just hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless, at the same he withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group.

      In early April 2001, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rented an apartment in Falls Church, Virginia, for about a month, with the assistance of a man they met at the mosque. Nawaf Al-Hazmi had been at the January 2000 meeting at Yazid Sufaat’s Malaysian condominium in January 2000. Hijackers Nawaf and Hani Hanjour, a fellow pilot who was his friend from Saudi Arabia, attended sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Al-Timimi was located until he established the nearby center. The FBI reports that at an imam named Awlawki who had recently also moved from San Diego had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. Police later found the phone number of the Falls Church mosque when they searched the apartment of 9/11 planner Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. In his 2007 book, Center of the Storm, George Tenet noted that Ramzi bin al-Shibh had a CBRN role.

      Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:

      “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.

      Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.
      Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

      A man named Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque Sept. 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God. “He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America.” Kwon said Al-Timimi told the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen —preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.

      After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September 16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group and gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch with two of the group on September 19, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting.

      Al-Timimi’s lawyer explains that Al-Timimi was in telephone contact with Al-Hawali on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001:

      “The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.”

      Al-Timimi was urging the young men go defend the Taliban against the imminent US invasion. A recent open letter to Ayman Zawahiri from a senior Libyan jihadist, Bin-Uthman, now living in London, confirms that Ayman Zawahiri and Atef, at a several day meeting in Kandahar in the Summer of 2000, viewed WMD as a deterrent to the invasion of Afghanistan.

      Kwon, who had just become a U.S. citizen in August 2001, went to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001. Kwon practiced with a semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher, but he was not able to join the Taliban. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training. His trainers suggested that he instead go back to the United States and gather information for the holy warriors. Kwon told jurors at al-Timimi’s trial how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago and then found that Al-Timimi lectured locally near his home in Northern Virginia. “Russian Hell” — a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war — was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed. “They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration,” Kwon told the jurors.

      In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League.

      Al-Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:

      “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

      In addition to the October 6, 2002 letter, drafted by Al-Timimi, Hawali had sent a lengthy October 15, 2001 “Open Letter” to President Bush in which he had rejoiced in the 9/11 attacks. One Al-Hawali lecture, sought to be introduced in the prosecution of the IANA webmaster, applauded the killing of Jews and called for more killing, praised suicide bombings, and said of Israel that it’s time to “fight and expel this hated country that consists of those unclean, defiled, the cursed.”

      Bin Laden referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 Declaration of War on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik al-Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime.

      Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:

      “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

      As Ali later explained to NBC, “To have a space shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there’s a divine hand behind it.”

    • DXer said

      The Education of Ali Al-Timimi

      Milton Viorst, who knew Ali as a teenager, wrote a fascinating and sympathetic yet balanced portrait in “The Education of Ali Al-Timimi” that appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, June 2006. In Saudi Arabia, Al-Timimi had been mentored by a Saudi-trained Canadian imam Bilal Philips. Philips was Al-Timimi’s Islamic Studies teacher at Manaret Riyadh High School in the early 1980s. Al-Timimi adopted Philips’ view that “The clash of civilizations is a reality,” and “Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam.” Between 1991 and 1993, Philips relocated to the Mindinao, Philippines, where he taught at an islamic school. In 1993, according to an interview he gave in a London-based Arabic-language magazine interview, Philips ran a program to convert US soldiers to Islam stationed in Saudi Arabia during the first Persian Gulf War. Philips was made a proselytization official by the Saudi Air Force. Philips followed up in the US, with telephone calls and visits intended to recruit the veterans as potential members of Bin Laden’s network. He enlisted assistance from others based in the U.S. and members of Islamic centers all over the US. These conversion specialists financed pilgrimages for US veterans and would later send Muslim clerics in the United States to their homes. Bilal Philips encouraged some converts from this program to fight in Bosnia in the 1990s. Bilal Philips explained these recruitment efforts to a London newspaper in Arabic (translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service) in an article titled “Jamaican-Born Canadian Interviewed on Islamic Missionary Work Among US Troops”:

      “[redacted] used to coordinate with US intelligence. And, when Croatia closed its borders to Arab volunteers, there were a group of black Americans who completed their training and knew Islam through me. [Redacted] contacted Shaykh Umar Abd-al-Rahman and offered to use this group for sabotage acts inside the United States. The offer was made on the telephone, which apparently was tapped by US intelligence. Shaykh Umar replied by saying: ‘”Avoid civilian targets.’”

      After completing his religious education in Saudi Arabia in Medina, Ali Al Timimi returned to the United States and received a second bachelor’s degree — this time in computer science at the University of Maryland, while also studying software programming at George Washington University. Timimi spoke at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1994. A senior al Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman Dosari, also spoke at three IANA conferences in the early 1990s. In December 1993, Al-Dosari (a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke on ‘Jihad & Revival” and exhorted young men to fight for their faithjust as Al-Timimi would later be accused of doing privately with young men in Virginia.

      At the first annual IANA conference in 1993, scheduled speakers included Bilal Philips, Mohammed Abdul-Rahman from Afghanistan, Mohammad Qutb from Cairo, Gamal Sultan from Cairo, and Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ (Bosnia).

      Mohammad Abdul-Rahman was the blind sheik’s son. The blind sheik soon was sentenced for terrorism relating to WTC 1993 and the “Day of Terror” plot directed at NYC landmarks. In 2000, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a/k/a “Asadallah,” who is a son of Abdel Rahman, was sitting alongside Bin Laden and Zawahiri and was videotaped encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

      Mohammad Qutb was Sayyid Qutb’s brother. Egyptian Mohammad Qutb, a renown scholar and activist, taught Bin Laden at university in Saudi Arabia, having emigrated to Saudi Arabia. In the 1970s, bin Laden was taught by Sayyid Qutb’s brother, Dr. Mohammad Qutb, and a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood member, Dr. Abdullah Azzam. Azzam’s ideas of non-compromise, violent means, and organizing and fighting on a global scale were central to Al Qaeda methods. Qutb, as al-Hawali’s teacher, also strongly influenced al-Hawali. Al-Hawali was sent to prison in 1994.

      Gamal Sultan was a former EIJ member who would seek to start a political party in 1999 with the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. They sought to chart a nonviolent course (given the practical reality that the movement had been so infiltrated by the security forces). The blind sheik declined to endorse the venture. In 2000, on a trip to Pittsburgh, Gamal Sultan and his colleagues thought Pittsburgh reminded them of Kandahar given its rolling hills.

      Abu Abdel Aziz ‘Barbaros’ was a well-known holy warrior and fundraiser from Saudi Arabia. In 1994, Abdel Aziz glorified jihad and praised the Pittsburgh magazine Assirat for its interest in holy war. He asked Assirat readers and in a 1995 update, to donate money for holy war. He lauded Dr. Abdullah Azzam, the founder of al-Qaeda. He explained jihad will continue till the day of judgment.” In 1996, he was detained as the primary suspect in the attack on the Dhahran barracks, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed. Expert Evan Kohlmann explains: Barbaros was “one of the key individuals responsible for LeT’s formation and development.” He “was a Saudi Al-Qaida member.” Kohlmann writes “In the fall of 1992, a former Al-Qaida lieutenant-turned-government informant attended secret meetings in Croatia chaired by Abu Abdel Aziz (“Barbaros.”). During those meetings, Abu Abdel Aziz talked about his directives from Usama Bin Laden and indicated that Al-Qaida was seeking to use regional jihads such as those in Bosnia and Kashmir as “a base for operations… against al Qaeda’s true enemy, the United States.”

      In 1995 Ali Al Timimi headed an IANA delegation to China together with IANA President Bassem Khafagi and Syracuse oncologist and IANA Vice Chairman Rhafil Dhafir. The IANA condemned the UN women’s rights conference as “an attack on Islam.” They urged Imams worldwide to tell Muslims about “the hidden agenda of this UN Conference, and how to foil the libertine and Westernization movements in the Islamic world.”

      Salafist commentator Umar Lee has explained that in the early 1990s “the most dynamic part of the salafi movement in the DC-area were the students Sheikh Ali al-Timimi who in the 1990’s co-founded a very small group with a small office for an organization called the Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah. In early July 1994, cooperation with Al-Timimi’s Society for the Adherence to the Sunnah, Washington, D.C., IANA held its first annual summer camp in English in Frederick, MD (where the ponds were drained in the Amerthrax investigation). The theme of the camp was “Living the Shahadah in America.” This is what Sheikh Ali was teaching kids at the 1st Annual IANA Summer Camp at a Frederick, MD park:

      “Reflections on the Meaning of Our Testimony of Faith: ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” by Ali Al-Timimi.
      ***
      “6 Wage Jihad in the Path of Allah
      ***
      “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and practice not the true religion (Islam), being of those who have been given the Scripture (the Jews and the Christians) — until they pay tribute readily and have been brought low. (The Qur’an 9:29)
      The Prophet has said:
      I am commanded to fight mankind till they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayers and pay the charity. When they do that they will keep their lives and their property

      Author Milton Viorst, the father of a boy who knew Al-Timimi as a young teen, wrote: “Dozens of his talks are available on the Internet in text and in audio format. They contain little about Arab concerns with the Arab-Israeli wars, the rivalries between the Arab states, the problems faced by Muslims living in the West, or even the war in Iraq. Rather, they reveal a man who reflects deeply on the Islamic vision of Judgment day, prophecy, the nature of the divine, and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) — subjects with which he grappled in Medina and in his private reading.” Al Timimi’s lectures (in English after Arabic opening) include “The Negative Portrayal Of Islam In the Media,” “Signs Before the Day of technologies in support of this project.” The webpage for Timimi’s program at the time explained: “Faculty members and graduate students in the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology participate in numerous collaborative efforts including but not limited to the following Laboratories and Research Centers: Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics (GMU) , Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Biocomplexity (GMU) and Center for Biodefense (GMU). Beginning the Spring of 2002, GMU hired Ali to develop a computer program that coordinated the research at several universities, letting him go only after he came under suspicion by the FBI. In Spring 2002, according to salary information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, GMU hired him for $70,000 a year. In 2002, the employment was through the School of Computational Sciences and in 2003, it was through Life Sciences Grants & Contracts.

      The School of Computational Sciences at George Mason is a joint venture between the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”) and George Mason. The joint venture is an effort to maximize research efforts by combining the academic and applied approaches to research. The School’s first activity was to teach an ATCC course in DNA techniques adapted for George Mason students. The ATCC is an internationally renown non-profit organization that houses the world’s largest and most diverse archive of biological materials. The Prince William Campus shares half of Discovery Hall with ATCC. ATCC moved to its current state-of-the-art laboratory at Discovery Hall (Prince William II) in 1998. ATCC’s 106,000-square-foot facility has nearly 35,000 square feet of laboratory space with a specialized air handling system and Biosafety Level 2 and 3 containment stations. The ATCC bioinformatics (BIF) program carries out research in various areas of biological information management relevant to its mission. BIF scientists interact with laboratory scientists in microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology at ATCC and other laboratories throughout the world. ATCC has strong collaborations with a large number of academic institutions, including computational sciences at George Mason University. Through these partnerships, the George Mason Prince William Campus offers George Mason microbiology students an opportunity for students to be involved in current research and gain access to facilities and employment opportunities at ATCC and other partner companies.

      While I’ve not yet found any reference directly confirming Timimi’s room number, the person who inherited his old telephone number (3-4294) is Victor Morozov in the Center for Biodefense. Dr. Morozov, upon joining the faculty and inheriting the phone number was in Rm. 154A, very near Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B. One faculty member who consulted with Al-Timimi suggested to me that Ali instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite. GMU Information Services helpfully looked up the listings from 2001 directory. As of October 2001 (when the directory is published according to GMU Information Services), judging from the directory, Al-Timimi was still just a graduate student. Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames strain anthrax researcher Charles Bailey, in Rm 156B, was given a Gateway desktop computer in mid-March 2001 (upon his arrival) — serial number 0227315480. It was like the one Dr. Alibek would get the next year in 156D. One way to think of proximity analysis — a form of true crime analysis — is the number of feet or inches between 154B and 156B/156D. Another way is to think of it is in terms of the number of feet or inches to the hard drives. You can judge the distance for yourself from a First Floor plan that is available online, clicking upon 154-156 area to enlarge.

      The December 2007 biodefense PhD thesis explains:
      “Although computers are password protected, anyone can access the computers located throughout the labs. Research results can be recorded on lab computers. Someone wanting to access research results would first have to understand what the numbers meant. Research results are also kept in a lab notebook that is kept in the lab or office. This enables other students to repeat what was already done or to see results.”

      In April 2007, at a talk at Princeton University, Dr. Alibek noted that he felt that
      “[u]nfortunately, the likelihood is very high” of a follow-up to the anthrax mailings of 2001. “And the agent very likely is still anthrax.” “The biggest part of my life now is devoted to cancer and cardiovascular (research). If you work in the biodefense community, good luck to you. I hope you succeed.” Dr. Alibek explained that he had been scrutinized and consulted, and given a polygraph after the anthrax mailings. He said that anthrax likely would be the pathogen favored by terrorists because it is relatively easy to grow and transport. Dr. Alibek suspects it it was “a person who knew from some source how the U.S. manufactured anthrax years and years ago.” He said, “It’s not rocket science.”

      In a separate appeal, the conviction of Al-Timimi’s assistant Chandia affirmed but the 15 year sentence was vacated and remanded for resentencing because of failure to making findings warranting terrorism enhancement. The conviction was reaffirmed by the District Court. He was alleged to have helped a Pakistan group buy components of a UAV.

      At a Peace group get-together yesterday, once again they were pitching a resolution to ban drones. I just wish they showed a greater interest in understanding the history of Al Qaeda’s interest in drones.

    • 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 Ann Arbor-based charity Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”). Its lead writer was Kamal Habib, founder of Egyptian Islamic JIhad, who had been in the first cell with Ayman Zawahiri decades earlier and spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. 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 and Adnan El-Shukrijumah — who I have alleged was the anthrax mailer — to case NYC helicopters and financial institutions. Authorities had learned of calls he made to KSM’s assistant al-Hawsawi, who worked with Dr. Ayman Zawahiri and KSM in Al Qaeda’s media organization “As Sahab” (or “The Clouds”). Al-Hawsawi was the fellow with anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop. 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 genetic mutations 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. But ask yourself: Where was Project Jefferson done?

      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. The recently leaked Detainee Assessments, uploaded to this blog, provide rich detail on WAFA’s role.

      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 Fourth Circuit 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. The letter was from al-Hawali (not Timimi), 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.

      On October 10, 2002, Anwar Awlawki arrived at JFK in the early morning hours. Catherine Herridge, in her book, says FBI Special Agent Wade Ammerman was central to the dropping of the arrest warrant pending against Awlaki for a visa fraud issue. Anwar Awlaki was headed to Falls Church to meet with Ali Al-Timimi. And Wade Ammerman was a lead agent suspecting that Ali Al-Timimi had been involved in the anthrax mailings. Ali Al-Timimi, according to his original defense counsel Edward McMahon thought that Anwar Awlaki might be wiretapped. Defense counsel sought all recordings made but prosecutors objected on the ground that there was no authority for the request.

      The AUSA prosecutor handling the Al-Timimi matter was Gordon Kromberg. I think AUSA Kromberg has been doing very important work. Unlike defense counsel, the prosecutor is not likely to be mistaken about whether Ali Al-Timimi and Anwar Awlaki knew each other prior to that meeting. He likely is not confused about whether they knew each other leading up to 9/11. But although I’m a big fan, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the district court judge made AUSA Kromberg share a little more with the public about what he knows.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      The lead investigator at the time, Agent Lambert, explained at deposition in the civil suit brought by Steve Hatfill that after recurring leaks, the Amerithrax investigation was compartmentalized into three squads over his strong objection to FBI Director Mueller. He was afraid that as the result of the compartmentalization, investigators would not be able to connect the dots.

      In Northern Virginia, GMU microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi had been questioned by the FBI agent and Secret Service agent in connection with WTC 1993. Al-Timimi was a graduate student and employee in bioinformatics at George Mason University who shared a department fax with famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID deputy commander and anthrax researcher Charles Bailey. On February 26, 2003, authorities searched Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse. The Washington Post later summarized: “The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.”

      That same morning, they arrested Sami al-Hussayen, who funnelled money from Saudi Arabia to the Islamic Assembly of North America and maintained websites for radical Saudi Sheiks who inspired Bin Laden. Sami al-Hussayen was in regular contact with Sheik al-Hawali. At the same time they searched Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse, in Virginia and arrested Sami al-Hussayen in Moscow, Idaho, the FBI searched the home of two PhD level food production experts. One was in Moscow, Idaho and one was in Syracuse, New York.

      100 agents came to Syracuse, NY that day as part of “Operation Imminent Horizon” and simultaneously interviewed 150 people. The animal geneticist and food researcher in Syracuse, Ismail Diab, mixed with silica in making animal feedstuffs. Dr. Diab was not questioned. He had been in Syracuse in Fall 2001 but then returned to Pullman, Washington until the FBI began investigating there in August 2002. At the same time, the FBI interviewed and searched the apartment of Sami’s friend Nabil Al-Baloushi, a doctoral student in food engineering at the University of Idaho. His PhD thesis in 2003 on drying had 350 pages of drying coefficients.

      Authorities trumpeted checks years earlier exchanged between the Syracuse, NY charity with GRF and BIF as if important evidence. Help The Needy was a dba and spin-off affiliated with the Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America. Sami was President of the Muslim Student Association and Nabil Albaloushi was Vice-President. Nabil’s 350-page thesis was filled with charts relating to drying coefficients that may have made the FBI think that they had found someone who was cutting edge in drying technique. The fact that Battelle ran the nearby Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (”PNNL”), which granted access to facilities to Washington State University students and shared library facilities with WSU, may have made the FBI peevish about access to cutting-edge drying or aerosol technology.

      The Pakistan government, at a press conference, announced that Khalid Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s #3, was captured on March 1, 2003. According to the Pakistan government officals, Mohammed allegedly was hiding in the home of the Pakistani bacteriologist Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan. The family of the bacteriologist claimed that KSM was not there at the home upon the early March raid but had been captured at a different location.

      Handwritten notes and files on a laptop seized upon the capture of KSM, Al Qaeda’s #3, included a feasible anthrax production plan using a spray dryer and addressed the recruitment of necessary expertise. Although the details of the documents on Mohammed’s computer may (or may not) point to possible difficulties in aerial dispersal, they are consistent with the product used in the anthrax mailings. Al Qaeda had both the means and opportunity. Mohammed told his interrogators that Moussaoui was not going to be part of 9/11 but was to be part of a “second wave.” KSM explained that Moussaoui’s inquiries about crop dusters may have been related to the anthrax work being done by US-trained biochemist and Al Qaeda operative, Malaysian Yazid Sufaat. Zacarias Moussaoui once told the judge at his trial in a filing that he wants “anthrax for Jew sympathizer only.” Al-Timimi and Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali spoke by telephone about how they might help in connection with Moussaoui’s defense.

      In early March 2003, a man named Saud Memon, who was in the textiles business, was captured in South Africa. He had fled there after Daniel Pearl was killed on his property. Memon reportedly gave information on Al Qaeda’s anthrax work that he allegedly was helping to finance. After four years in detention at an undisclosed location, he was left in front of his home in Karachi on April 28, 2007 in very poor health. He died a couple weeks later. The cause of death was reported to be meningitis and tuberculosis. Memon’s lawyer said he had been in the custody of Pakistani intelligence officials.

      Bacteriologist Abdul Qadoos Khan was charged along with his son, Ahmed, for harboring the fugitives. As of March 28, 2003, he was in a hospital for a cardiac problem and had been granted “pre-arrest bail.”

      A man named Muklis Yunos, who reportedly received training on use of anthrax as a biological weapon in Afghanistan according to Philippine intelligence reports, was arrested on May 25, 2003. He reportedly cooperated with authorities over a bucket of spicy Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yunos had been Hambali’s right-hand man and was in charge of special operations of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (”MILF”).

      In early June 2003, a Central Intelligence Agency (”CIA”) report publicly concluded that the reason for Mohammed Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. It had long been known Osama Bin Laden was interested in using cropdusters to disperse biological agents (since the testimony of millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam). An early September 2003 Newsweek article included a rumor by a Taliban source that at a meeting in April 2003 Bin Laden was planning an “unbelievable” biological attack, the plans for which had suffered a setback upon the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He had been captured the previous month in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Tenet in his May 2007 At The Center Of The Storm wrote: “And in early 2003, al-Qaida canceled a planned cyanide attack on the New York City subway, Al-Zawahiri recalled the operatives in New York because ‘we have something better in mind.’” Tenet noted that the CIA still does not know what al-Zawahiri meant but adds that the cyanide attack ‘was not sufficiently inspiring’ for al-Qaida.”

      The attorney for White House staffer Scooter Libby revealed that Libby in July 2003 was preoccupied with many national security issues, including the possibility al-Qaida had brought anthrax into the United States. President Bush had first nicknamed him “Germ Boy” after his office in the Spring 2001 took charge of the issue of the possibility of an WMD attack using biological weapons.

      Anthrax lab coordinator Hambali was arrested in August 2003 in the quiet city of Ayuttullah, Thailand, which is about half way between Bangkok and Chang Mai. He was sent to Jordan. In an unconfirmed report by author Ronald Suskind, in Autumn 2003, extremely virulent (but unweaponized) anthrax reportedly was found at a house in Kandahar — after regional operative Hambali was harshly interrogated. Sufaat’s two principal assistants — Barq and al-Sudani — were also captured in 2003 and are in custody. They had been assisting Sufaat prior to 9/11. Judging from his comments in a March 2012 interview, his assistants apparently were PhDs.

      Sufaat had been part of the Malaysian biological weapons program. I have asked him if he was involved in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings and he pleads the Fifth Amendment — but does not deny it. Now charged with terrorism, his next court date is May 17, 2013.

      In connection with defending a civil rights claim by former USAMRIID scientist Steve Hatfill, the FBI described the anthrax probe as “unprecedented in the FBI’s 95-year history.” By late November 2003, agents had spent 231,000 hours. The head of the investigation said that the investigation was “active and ongoing” and said agents’ time was divided between checking into individuals who might be connected to the attacks and a scientific effort to determine how the spores themselves were made using “cutting-edge forensic techniques and analysis.”

      In mid-April 2004, Patrick Hughes, Lieutenant General (Retired), Assistant Secretary for Information Analysis, Homeland Security Department testified before the 9/11 Commission. He explained that interrogations and other evidence revealed that Al Qaeda wanted to strike the US with a nonconventional weapon, most notably anthrax.

      Palestinian Marwan Jabour had gone to Pakistan as a student. In May 2004, he was arrested by authorities in Lahore, Pakistan. “He was in touch with top Al Qaeda operational figures and was strongly linked to Al Qaeda chemical and biological efforts and had provided
      some funding for an Al Qaeda [biological weapons] lab,” one anonymous counterintelligence official was quoted in the press as saying. After dinner with a Professor at Lahore University, some men on the street approached him and asked him about his friend, before forcing him into a car. The men also arrested the Professor and another friend who had joined them for dinner. The men took them to the local station of the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (”ISI”).

      In a statement issued June 16, 2004, the 9/11 Commission Staff concluded that “Al Qaeda had an ambitious biological weapons program and was making advances in its ability to produce anthrax prior to September 11. According to the 2004 statement by the Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet to the 911 Commission, al Qaeda’s ability to conduct an anthrax attack is one of the most immediate threats the United States is likely to face.” On August 9, 2004, it was announced that in the Spring of 2001, a man named El-Shukrijumah, also known as Jafar the Pilot, who was part of a “second wave,” had been casing New York City helicopters. Photographs from a seized computer disc included the controls and the locks on the door between the passengers and pilot. In a bulletin, the FBI noted that the surveillance might relate to a plot to disperse a chemical or biological weapon.

      The first inhalational anthrax victim in New York City, Kathy Nguyen, had died at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, where a former BIF employed worked as an intern and then as a resident in internal medicine. She worked in the stockroom of a nearby hospital that was a subsidiary of Lenox Hill. In late June 2004, when US authorities much later charged the doctor with immigration violations, he was represented by Stanley L. Cohen, the partner of the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman’s lawyer Lynne Stewart. Faraj lived in Brooklyn where he had moved in 1999 from Falls Church.

      Attorney Cohen recently was indicted on tax charges in June 2012 in Syracuse, New York that he says were related to suspicions relating to terrorism. Cohen represented Ismail Royer a central figure in the Virginia Paintaball case involving Ali Al-Timimi.

      Authorities had received information, for example, from at least one detainee at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that there was an anthrax storage facility in the Kabul area. Amerithrax Agents checked the Kabul area in May 2004 but came up empty. The Washington Post explained that “[b]ecause the deadly letters contained the Ames anthrax spores, manufactured in the United States, authorities entertained the possibility that they had been removed from a U.S. lab and transported overseas.” Then in November 2004, on further information, agents spent several weeks unsuccessfully searching an area in the Kandahar mountains, several hundred miles outside of Kabul. In 2005, an internal report was prepared summarizing the status of the investigation.

      On March 31, 2005, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, in its “Report to the President of the United States,” concluded “al-Qai’da’s biological program was further along, particularly with regard to Agent X [anthrax], than pre-War intelligence indicated. The program was extensive, well-organized, and operated for two years before September 11, but intelligence insights into the program were limited. The program involved several sites around Afghanistan. Two of these sites contained commercial equipment and were operated by individuals with special training.”

      In June 2005, President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf told CNN in a filmed interview: “These people were involved in the .. production of anthrax.” That year, FBI agents visited Asia, Africa and Afghanistan in the course of the Amerithrax investigation. In the opening argument of the Uzair Paracha trial in November 2005, the Assistant United States Attorney claimed that MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui was willing to help with an anthrax attack. She had been associated with the Maktab Khidmat (Bureau of Services) branch in Boston, which in 1993 was renamed Care International.

      The hyped intentional leaks about Steve Hatfill distracted the world’s press attention. A federal district court judge hearing a civil rights claim against the Department of Justice stated there was not a “scintilla of evidence” against Hatfill. The CIA continued to work quietly building a case that the anthrax mailings were an international plot. Some argued that a US-based Al Qaeda operative is behind the earlier Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in the US, and that the mailings served as a threat and warning — intended to deter invasion of Afghanistan.
      Princeton islamist scholar Bernard Lewis explained that while islamists may disagree about whether killing innocents is sanctioned by the laws of jihad, extremists like Zawahiri agree that notice must be given before biochemical weapons are used. “The Prophet’s guidance,” says Michael Scheuer, an al-Qaeda analyst retired from the CIA who once headed its Bin Laden unit, “was always, Before you attack someone, warn them very clearly.”

      The anthrax mailings followed the pattern of letters they sent in January 1997 to newspaper branches in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as symbolic targets. The letter bombs were sent in connection with the detention of the blind sheik Abdel Rahman and those responsible for the earlier World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

    • DXer said

      WMD And The Hunt For Moles

      Raymond Zilinskas, who was researching a history of the Soviet bioweapons program, once told The Baltimore Sun that “his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.” The Sun quoted him saying: “It was clear there was somebody at Fort Detrick” who worked for Soviet intelligence. Alexander Kouzminov, a biophysicist who says he once worked for the KGB, had first made the claim in a book, Biological Espionage: Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West. Initially, Dr. Zilinskas had dismissed the memoir because the Russian had made separate fanciful inferences about the US program being offensive and some specific claims unrelated to infiltration of the US program.

      The Sun article explained that then “another former Soviet scientist told the Sun that his lab routinely received dangerous pathogens and other materials from Western labs through a clandestine channel like the one Kouzminov described.” A second unnamed “U.S. arms control specialist” told the Sun he had independent evidence of a Soviet spy at Fort Detrick.”

      The Baltimore Sun, in the 2006 article, also relied on Serguei Popov, who was “a scientist once based in a Soviet bioweapons lab in Obolensk, south of Moscow.” Dr. Popov “said that by the early 1980s his colleagues had obtained at least two strains of anthrax commonly studied in Detrick and affiliated labs. They included the Ames strain, first identified at Detrick in the early 1980s.” Ames was used for testing U.S. military vaccines and was the strain used in the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five people and infected 23 in the U.S. Dr. Popov is now at George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Disease in Fairfax, Va.

      “If you wanted ’special materials,’ you had to fill out a request,” he said. “And, essentially, those materials were provided. How and by whom, I can’t say.” One colleague, Popov told the Sun, used this “special materials” program to obtain a strain of Yersinia pestis, a plague bacterium being studied in a Western lab. But he didn’t know whether that particular germ came from Ft. Detrick. Former KGB operative and author Kouzminov says the KGB wanted specific items from Western labs — including Detrick — that were closely held and were willing to pay for the privilege. The Soviets also wanted the aerosol powders U.S. scientists developed for testing during vaccine tests.

      Raymond Zilinskas, the bioweapons expert with the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and two colleagues had written a scathing review of Biological Espionage in Nature, a British scientific journal, but he later told The Sun “that his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.”

      Expert William C. Patrick III, a retired Ft Detrick bioweapons expert, and famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek agree. Patrick’s suspicions arose when he debriefed defector Alibek in the early 1990s. Alibek emigrated to the U.S. upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Patrick and Alibek both recognized that the Soviet and American programs had moved in a curious lock step during the 1950s and ’60s. “Anything we discovered of any import, they would have discovered and would have in their program in six months,” Patrick told the Sun. After his talks with Alibek ended: “For the next two weeks I tried to think, ‘Who the hell are the spies at Detrick?’”

      Both former Russian bioweaponeers Ken Alibek and Serge Popov worked with Ali Al-Timimi at George Mason University. Dr. Al-Timimi has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years. Popov and Alibek worked at the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”). At one point, Al-Timimi worked not much more than 15 feet (as I look at the floor plans) from both Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey.

    • DXer said

      Ali Al-Timimi apparently has been on restrictions for the past couple years on correspondence. I expect there are lots of interesting stories and perspectives sitting in prison waiting to come out.

      His twitter feed (which I am guessing is done by his brother) states:

      Free Ali al-Timimi · 1,421 like this
      July 5 at 3:28am ·
      • Update: It has been more than two years since Sh Ali al-Timimi was sanctioned by the prison. The sanctions involved visitor restrictions and restrictions on correspondence. They have not yet been lifted.

      We still not aware as to why these measures were put in place. We are asking everyone here to make du’a for the sanctions to be lifted as soon as so that he is allowed more visitors and mail from the outside world.
      JazakumAllahu khayran.

    • DXer said

      The head of the Amerithrax prosecution Daniel Seikaly pled the Fifth Amendment about leaking the hyped Hatfill stories that derailed the Amerithrax investigation for 7 years. His daughter later came to represent “anthrax weapons suspect” (to borrow defense counsel’s phrase) Ali Al-Timimi pro bono. GAO: Was an apparent conflict of interest avoided on the grounds that her representation began after her father left DOJ? Or was there a continuing appearance of a conflict of interest?

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 3, 2011

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/the-head-of-the-amerithrax-prosecution-daniel-seikaly-pled-the-fifth-amendment-about-leaking-the-hyped-hatfill-stories-that-derailed-the-amerithrax-investigation-for-7-years-his-daughter-later-ca/

    • DXer said

      The GMU Center for Biodefense and ATCC researchers shared office space. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey invented a process in spring 2001 to concentrate anthrax by adding silica to the growth medium where it then would be absorbed.

      JB, the collections scientist at the ATCC bacteriology division –where Ali Al-Timimi had unfettered access (to the repository that went far beyond the online catalogue) — played a key role in interpreting scientific results. A woman who had a PhD / JD and BL-4 experience was fired by ATCC within two weeks of being hired when she complained of lax security. She was so alarmed by Al-Timimi’s access that she called me out of the blue.

      Dr. Majidi at the science press conference said the silica could have been in the growth medium. That forensic finding pointed to Al-Timimi’s access to the know-how of his suitemates and was exculpatory of Dr. Ivins.

      While presuming everyone’s good faith, once an apparent conflict of interest arises, a scientist or prosecutor should be sure to avoid the effects of the conflict.

      “Attempts to grow fresh spores with silicon to determine whether it also would locate within the spore coat led to “variable” results, Bannan adds. “We don’t understand why there is a varying degree of silicon from one batch to another.”

      I understand that JB, after Dr. Ivins’ suicide, did tests (never published) that involved heat-shocking the spores to see how it affected absorption,

      Given the Alibek/Bailey patent, such research might best have been done by some other FBI scientist.

      http://forms.asm.org/microbe/index.asp?bid=65708

      “Despite that painstaking analysis and the unequivocal conclusions put forth by FBI officials, doubts linger over some matters that are mainly scientific as well as others that intersect with the broader thrust of the investigation. For instance, none of the microbiologists, including Bannan and similar specialists at FBI, was privy to other evidence, including lab records from USAMRIID, that their FBI colleagues collected. “I know nothing of that information,” he says. “I’m a microbiologist, and was not involved in the seizure of evidence.”

      Other lingering questions focus on more purely scientific issues, some of them pertaining to how the lethal bacteria were handled. For example, USAMRIID held B. anthracis in aqueous suspensions, not as spores. Presumably, the spores sent via letters were produced in at least two separate batches, contaminated with B. subtilis at least once, but when and how remain unknown. “We don’t know the process used,” Bannan says. “We never found the equivalent B. subtilis at USAMRIID in any of the evidence that we had.” Efforts to trace the source of that bacterial contaminant “didn’t lead anywhere,” adds Keim.

      Early reports suggested that the spores were “weaponized,” possibly with “silica.” However, later analysis determined that the spores were not coated with silica, although silicon was found within—not outside—the coat of spores used in the attacks, according to Joseph Michael of Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M. About two-thirds of the spores contain that silicon “signature,” he says. Attempts to grow fresh spores with silicon to determine whether it also would locate within the spore coat led to “variable” results, Bannan adds. “We don’t understand why there is a varying degree of silicon from one batch to another.”

      Other questions regarding physical properties of the spores similarly remain unexplained. Asked whether the spores were milled, Bannan points out that B. anthracis spores in letters went through rollers in automated postal sorting equipment that subjected them to high pressures. “It’s a high-energy process, and [spore] plumes went up 30 feet [about 10 m] from the mail sorters,” he says. How those spores looked beforehand or whether they were pulverized after being dried and before being inserted into envelopes is not known.”

    • DXer said

      So under one scenario, I could see the FBI gaining leverage over Awlaki due to his frequenting of prostitutes. */

      But there is no evidence that the FBI did that.

      And if they did that, would that be exculpatory of Ali Al-TImimi?

      Ali’s conviction did not hinge on anything said at the October 2002 meeting. His counsel said he suspected the October 2002 meeting was wiretapped and thus was not drawn into discussion of recruiting young men to jihad (which he in fact had been doing all along, to include the week after 9/11).

      The defense reasons that use of Awlaki for this purpose would have led to a fruitful line of cross-examination of Agent Ammerman, who in an affidavit said that the anthrax lead occurred to the agents in early 2003.

      In October 2002, might the FBI have been fishing more broadly for jihad recruiters?

      Stupid question:

      Was Agent Ammerman and Agent Wyman, although of the DC FIeld Office, on the Amerithrax Task Force?

      If they were, wouldn’t that pretty much clinch what lead they were pursuing?

      */
      http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/us/fbi-al-awlaki-prostitution/

      Anwar al-Awlaki visited prostitutes, FBI documents say
      By Carol Cratty, CNN Senior Producer
      updated 6:48 AM EDT, Thu July 4, 2013

      Al-Awlaki lived in a Washington suburb at the time of the terror attacks and for several months afterward. The FBI documents say he visited prostitutes at least seven times and paid up to $400 for sex. The documents show the cleric paid a total of $2,320 for the visits and always paid in cash.
      Al-Awlaki’s use of prostitutes has been reported previously, but the FBI documents show that agents interviewed the escorts, obtained detailed information about the encounters, and the FBI even reviewed the possible legal charges that might be brought against him.

      One prostitute said al-Awlaki visited her on February 4, 2002 …

      The 9/11 Commission report said al-Awlaki had contact with two of the hijackers — Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar — the year before the attacks when he served as an imam at a San Diego mosque. He also may have had contact with one of those men and a third hijacker, Hani Hanjour, when he served at a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, in 2001.

      A December 2006 FBI memo that was part of the FOIA release said the cleric was interviewed in September 2001 after the terror attacks and recognized a picture of one of the hijackers. But the memo said al-Awlaki was never thoroughly questioned about his relationship with any of the hijackers, and “their exact relationship remains unclear.”

    • DXer said

      http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2013/12/if-awlaki-was-ours-whyd-we-kill-him.html

      Monday, December 02, 2013
      If Awlaki was ours, why’d we kill him?

      ***

      The Politico story focused on a biologist named Ali Al-Timimi. After he was cleared of involvement with the anthrax attacks, the government convicted him on a separate beef — “inciting terrorism.” Timimi says that he was screwed over by none other than Anwar al-Awlaki, previously known as the cleric to the World Trade Center terrorists. (Bizarrely, he was also the guest of honor at a post-9/11 Pentagon luncheon).

      The story becomes clearer. Uncle had hold of Timimi but couldn’t make the anthrax charge stick. Nevertheless, the feds — for whatever reason — were determined to put the guy behind bars. So they brought Awlaki, Anwar Awlaki, into the country for a special “get Timimi” mission. They greased his way in and, once his mission was accomplished, they greased his way out.

      Comment:

      Note the reference by the erudite blogger: “After he was cleared of involvement with the anthrax attacks, the government convicted him on a separate beef — “inciting terrorism” would date to the 2003-2005 period.

      How again was he cleared of involvement in the anthrax mailings?

      Because the father of his defense lawyer was convinced that Hatfill was guilty and had publicly, to great effect, publicly leaked the report of the anthrax smelling bloodhounds? (And then pled the Fifth Amendment to avoid criminal prosecution)?

      El-Shukrijumah was in the wind and so he wasn’t around for the FBI to interview.

      The blogger writes:

      “The story becomes clearer. Uncle had hold of Timimi but couldn’t make the anthrax charge stick. Nevertheless, the feds — for whatever reason — were determined to put the guy behind bars. So they brought Awlaki, Anwar Awlaki, into the country for a special “get Timimi” mission. They greased his way in and, once his mission was accomplished, they greased his way out.”

      But is there any reason not to think the FBI was not fully capable of planting a surreptitious bug? The NSA was wiretapping his telephone. Had Ali unplugged his phone and all the cell phones like he did the week after 911 when he met to discuss the young men leaving to fight abroad?

      And didn’t Ali’s defense counsel McMahon say that it was the driver who was cooperating? See DIRTY WARS (2013) by Scahill.

    • DXer said

      I wrote this in 2006:

      http://www.globalpolitician.com/print.asp?id=2676

      The Faithful Spy: Amerithrax Spoiler Alert

      By Ross E. Getman, Esq.

      New York Times correspondent Alex Berenson has written a spy thriller called Faithful Spy. The hero, John Wells, has been undercover so long that the CIA is no longer sure where his loyalties lie. Only the mid-level CIA analyst at Langley, Jennifer Exley, believes in him. But as Zawahiri’s plan to unleash the most devastating bioterrorist attack in history unfolds, Wells and Exley know they must stop him, with or without the help of the ass-covering bureacrats at Langley. Spoiler alert: our hero gets the girl.

      Vahid Majidi, a former Los Alamos chemist who heads the FBI Directorate of Weapons of Mass Destruction, last week commented to the New York Daily News of these Jack Bauer (from the tv show “24”) scenarios. “Al Qaeda also developed anthrax, but Majidi said the lack of attacks since 2001 indicates they don’t have the capability.” Dr. Majidi or FBI Director Mueller would have to clarify the statement. Is that because Al Qaeda had the capability but a cell planning to attack the United States was captured?

      The President mentioned that Yazid Sufaat’s two principal assistants had been captured in 2003. They had been helping him prior to 9/11. One man was Sudanese — another was [Palestinian]. Ron Suskind in the One Percent Solution reported, without naming a source, that “extremely virulent” anthrax was found at a house in Kandahar in Autumn 2003 (that had existed prior to 9/11). He says authorities knew it could be readily weaponized. As intriguing as that vague report is, however, isotopes of the anthrax used in the attacks indicate that the anthrax was grown in the Northeastern United States, not Afghanistan.

      The Washington Post, in an article “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats,” dated September 3, 2006 summarized events relating an American scientist Ali Al-Timimi:

      “To the government, they were a terrorist risk in the Washington area. To local Muslims, they were unfairly singled out for prosecution and severe sentences in a post-9/11 world.

      ‘In late 2002, the FBI’s Washington field office received two similar tips from local Muslims: Timimi was running ‘an Islamic group known as the Dar al-Arqam’ that had ‘conducted military-style training,’ FBI special agent John Wyman would later write in an affidavit.

      Wyman and another agent, Wade Ammerman, pounced on the tips. Searching the Internet, they found a speech by Timimi celebrating the crash of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to the affidavit. The agents also found that Timimi was in contact with Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, a Saudi whose anti-Western speeches in the early 1990s had helped inspire bin Laden.

      The agents reached an alarming conclusion: ‘Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden’ who was leading a group ‘training for jihad,’ the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.”

      On a frigid day in late February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.

      His defense lawyer says that the FBI searched the townhouse of “to connect him to the 9/11 attacks or to schemes to unleash a biological or nuclear attack.” Unlike in the Berenson’s riveting fictional account Faithful Spy, there was no basement lab — there was no evidence at all found that even remotely hinted at a planned biological attack. When that effort failed, defense counsel says, investigators focused on Al-Timimi’s connections to the men who attended his lectures at the local Falls Church, Va.

      Ali Al-Timimi was a graduate student at George Mason University. In November 2000, GMU announced that the School of Computational Sciences and Advanced Biosystems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hadron, Inc., of Alexandria, was pursuing a collaborative program at the Prince William Campus to enhance research and educational objectives in biodefense research. The program was funded primarily by a grant awarded to Advanced Biosystems from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It was located at GMU’s Discovery Hall on Prince William 2 campus.

      Ali Al-Timimi worked at George Mason University’s Discovery Hall throughout 2000 and 2002 period He drafted an October 6, 2002 in the name of dissident Sheik al-Hawali, Bin Laden’s former religious instructor, just before the US Congress vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The letter warned of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:

      “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

      Bin Laden had referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 declaration of war on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime and agreed to limit himself to urging the destruction of the United States and Israel.

      Instead of starting a center from scratch, GMU chose to join forces with Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey’s existing research firm, Hadron Advanced Biosystems Inc., which was already working under contract for the federal government, having received funding from DARPA. Dr. Alibek told the Washington Post that he and Bailey had spent their careers studying an issue that only recently grabbed the country’s attention, after the anthrax mailings the previous fall. Dr. Bailey and Alibek met in 1991, when a delegation of Soviet scientists visited the USAMRIID at Ft. Detrick. Dr. Bailey explained that the purpose of the tour was to show the Soviets that the US was not developing offensive biological weapons. Bailey said he tried to engage Alibek in conversation but Alibek remained aloof. Alibek, for his part, explains that he was suspicious of this American smiling so broadly at him. A year later, Alibek would defect to the US and reveal an illegal biological program in the Soviet Union of a staggering scope. Alibek says that one reason he defected was that he realized that the Soviet intelligence was wrong — that the US research was in fact only defensive.

      In Saudi Arabia, Al-Timimi had been mentored by a Saudi-trained Canadian imam Bilal Philips. Philips was Al-Timimi’s Islamic Studies teacher at high school in Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s. Al-Timimi adopted Philips’ view that “The clash of civilizations is a reality,” and “Western culture led by the United States is an enemy of Islam.”

      After completing his religious education in Saudi Arabia in Medina, Ali Al Timimi had returned to the United States and received a second bachelor’s degree — this time in computer science at the University of Maryland, while also studying software programming at George Washington University. Timimi spoke at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1994. A senior al Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman Dosari, also spoke at three IANA conferences in the early 1990s. In December 1993, Al-Dorsari (a.k.a. Shaykh Abu Abdel Aziz “Barbaros”) spoke on ‘Jihad & Revival” and exhorted young men to fight for their faith as Al-Timimi would later be accused of doing privately with young men in Virginia.

      One author, the father of a boy who knew Al-Timimi as young teen, wrote: “Dozens of his talks are available on the Internet in text and in audio format. They contain little about Arab concerns with the Arab-Israeli wars, the rivalries between the Arab states, the problems faced by Muslims living in the West, or even the war in Iraq. Rather, they reveal a man who reflects deeply on the Islamic vision of Judgment day, prophecy, the nature of the divine, and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) — subjects with which he grappled in Medina and in his private reading.” Al Timimi’s lecturers (in English after Arabic opening) include “The Negative Portrayal Of Islam In the Media,” “Signs Before the Day of Judgement,” “Advice to the UK Salafis” and “Crusade Complex: Western Perceptions of Islam.”

      Al-Timimi’s increasing computer skills got him a job at SRA International where Ali worked as a “bioinformatics software architect” providing information technology to the government. Some of his jobs required that Ali obtain a high-level security clearance. One job resulted in a letter of recommendation from the White House. He then enrolled in the PhD program in computational biology at George Mason University.

      By 2000, Ali Al-Timimi was already taking advanced courses at Mason in computational sciences. Timimi once explained his research: “I am currently a research scientist at the Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics, George Mason University. I am involved in the analysis of the microarray data generated by the CTRF Cancer Genomics Project. Likewise, I am developing new computational approaches and technologies in support of this project.” The webpage for Timimi’s program at the time explained: “Faculty members and graduate students in the Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology participate in numerous collaborative efforts including but not limited to the following Laboratories and Research Centers: Center for Biomedical Genomics and Informatics (GMU) , Laboratory for Microbial and Environmental Biocomplexity (GMU) and Center for Biodefense (GMU).

      Beginning the Spring of 2002. GMU hired Ali to develop a computer program that coordinated the research at several universities, letting him go only after he came under suspicion by the FBI. In Spring 2002, according to salary information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, GMU hired him for $70,000 a year. In 2002, the employment was through the School of Computational Sciences and in 2003, it was through Life Sciences Grants & Contracts.

      The School of Computational Sciences at George Mason is a joint venture between the American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”) and George Mason. The joint venture is an effort to maximize research efforts by combining the academic and applied approaches to research. The School’s first activity was to teach an ATCC course in DNA techniques adapted for George Mason students. The ATCC is an internationally renown non-profit organization that houses the world’s largest and most diverse archive of biological materials. The Prince William Campus shares half of Discovery Hall with ATCC. ATCC moved to its current state-of-the-art laboratory at Discovery Hall (Prince Willam II) in 1998. ATCC’s 106,000-square-foot facility has nearly 35,000 square feet of laboratory space with a specialized air handling system and Biosafety Level 2 and 3 containment stations. The ATCC bioinformatics (BIF) program carries out research in various areas of biological information management relevant to its mission. BIF scientists interact with laboratory scientists in microbiology, cell biology, and molecular biology at ATCC and other laboratories throughout the world. ATCC has strong collaborations with a large number of academic institutions, including computational sciences at George Mason University.

      Through these partnerships, the George Mason Prince William Campus offers George Mason microbiology students an opportunity for students to be involved in current research and gain access to facilities and employment opportunities at ATCC and other partner companies.

      If the FBI suspected Al-Timimi, there may have been something in the forensic findings that encouraged their suspicion. In mid-March 2001, former USAMRIID head and Ames researcher Bailey and Ken Alibek filed a patent involving a process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide so as to permit greater concentration upon drying. He was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. Victor Morozov later was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface.

      One ATCC former employee felt so strongly about lax security there the scientist called me out of the blue and said that the public was overlooking the patent repository as a possible source of the Ames strain. ATCC does not deny they had virulent Ames in their patent repository pre 9/11 (as distinguished from their online catalog). The spokesperson emailed me: “As a matter of policy, ATCC does not disclose information on the contents of its patent depository…”

      Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem, an international Arabic language magazine that published out of Pittsburgh. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assirat also. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh reportedly had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage who served a Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.”

      After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. Besides forming the Islah (“‘Reform) party wth Gamal Sultan, Mr. Kamal Habib contributed to Al Manar al Jadeed, IANA’s quarterly journal. The pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999 — although they were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group, they were hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless. At the same, Sheik Abdel-Rahman withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group.

      Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence international Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive and an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:

      “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.

      Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.

      Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

      Al-Timimi was not friends with the Virginia defendants – at least he did not regularly associate with them outside his classes they attended. But they reportedly were awed by Timimi, a man who could both translate 7th-century Koranic Arabic or joke about the Redskins. The prosecutor argued that the paintball defendants “couldn’t figure out how to tie their shoelaces without asking al-Timimi.” The group looked up to Al-Timimi and sought his advice on all sorts of questions – to include whether it was permissible to pray in a moving car and whether one could cut short his prayers due to an approaching scorpion.

      After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September 16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he has read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch, Al-Timimi with two of the group, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting.

      Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:

      “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

      In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. Al Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali. Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government. Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League.

      \Al-Timimi met with FBI agents 7 or 8 times in the months leading up to his arrest. Al-Timimi is a US citizen born in Washington DC His house was searched, his passport taken and his telephone monitored. His communications with Sheik al-Hawali were intercepted.

      Al-Hawali, was one of the original incorporators of Mercy International. Mercy, as a front for Al Qaeda, was deeply involved in planning the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The two radical sheiks had been imprisoned from 1994-1999. Ali Al Timimi received his PhD in computational biology shortly after his indictment for recruiting young men to fight the US.

      Upon his indictment, in September 2004, al-Timimi explained he had been offered a plea bargain of 14 years, but he declined. He quoted Sayyid Qutb. He said he remembered “reading his books and loving his teaching” as a child, and that Qutb’s teaching was prevented from signing something that was false by “the finger that bears witness.” He noted that he and his lawyers asked that authorities hold off the indictment until he had received his PhD, but said that unfortunately they did not wait.

      The indictment against the paintball defendants alleged that at an Alexandria, Virginia residence, in the presence of a representative of BIF, the defendants watched videos depicting Mujahadeen engaged in Jihad and discussed a training camp in Bosnia.

      Famed head of the former Russian bioweaponeering program Ken Alibek told me that he would occasionally see Al-Timimi in the hallways at George Mason, where they both were in the microbiology department, and had been vaguely aware that he was an islamic hardliner. In the end, Al-Timimi was indicted for inciting the young men to go to Afghanistan to defend the Taliban against the United States. During deliberations, he reportedly was very calm, reading Genome Technology and other scientific journals.

      At the same time the FBI was searching the townhouse of PhD candidate Ali Timimi, searches and arrests moved forward elsewhere. In Moscow, Idaho, the activities by IANA webmaster Sami al-Hussayen that drew scrutiny involved the same radical sheik. Interceptions showed a very close link between IANA’s Sami al-Hussayen and Sheikh al-Hawali, to include the setting up of web sites, and the providing of vehicles for extended communication. Al-Hussayen had al-Hawali’s phone number upon the search of his belongings upon his arrest. Sami Hussayen made numerous calls and wrote many e-mails to al-Hawali, sometimes giving advice to him and another dissident Saudi sheik about running Arabic-language Web sites on which they espoused their anti-Western views. Sami al-Hussayen was acquitted of all charges.

      George Mason University, Department Listings, accessed August 17, 2003, shows that the National Center For Biodefense and Center for Biomedical Genomics had the same mail stop (MS 4ES). The most famed bioweaponeer in the world — the former head of the Russian bioweapons program (to include anthrax ) — was not far from this sheik urging violent jihad in an apocalyptic struggle between religions. Dr. Alibek’s office was Rm. 156D in Prince William 2. The groups both shared the same department fax of XXX-4288. Dr. Alibek reports that shortly after the mailings, he wrote Director Mueller and offered his services but was advised that they already had assembled a large group.

      Dr. Alibek advises me he only had ever seen Al-Timimi several times in the corridors of GMU.

      Charles Bailey, the former head of USAMRIID, formally joined the Center in April 2001. He continued to do research with the Ames anthrax strain after 9/11. Over 13 years, he had served as a Research Scientist, Deputy Commander for Research, Deputy Commander and Commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Instiute. As a USAMRIID scientist, he designed and supervised the construction of BL-3 containment facilities. His hands-on experience with a wide variety of pathogens is chronicled in 70 published articles. During his 4 years with the Defense Intelligence Agency, he published numerous articles assessing foreign capabilities regarding biological weapons.” When I asked Dr. Bailey to confirm Al-Timimi’s room number relative to his own, his only response was to politely refer me to University counsel. Counsel then never responded to my inquiry regarding their respective room numbers.

      In Fall 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (“AFIP”) had detected silicon dioxide (silica) in the attack anthrax – with a characteristic big spike for the silicon. The reason for the silicon dioxide/silica claimed to have been detected by AFIP has never been explained (and it’s been nearly a half decade). Dr. Alibek and Dr. Matthew Meselson (of Sverdlosk fame) report that no silica was observable on the SEMS images that they saw. The Daschle product was “pure spores.” But while the spores were not coated with silica, was silicon dioxide used as part of a microdroplet cell culture process used prior to drying to permit greater concentration? (Is that why it was detected by the EDX?)

      Dr. Alibek and the former head of USAMRIID, Ames anthrax research Charles Bailey, had filed a patent application in mid-March 2001 involving a microdroplet cell culture technique that used silicon dioxide in a method for concentrating growth of cells. The patent was granted and the application first publicly disclosed in the Spring of 2002. Weren’t the SEMS images and AFIP EDX finding both consistent with use of this process in growing the culture? It’s been suggested informally that perhaps the silicon analytical peak was more likely due to silanol from hydrolysis of a silane, used in siliconizing glassware.

      But didn’t the AFIP in fact also detect oxygen in ratios characteristic of silicon dioxide? Wasn’t the scientist, now deceased, who performed the EDX highly experienced and expert in detecting silica? Hasn’t the AFIP always stood by its report, in which it explained: “AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica?” Perhaps the nuance that was lost – or just never publicly explained for very sound reasons – was that silica was used in the cell culture process and then removed from the spores through a process such as repeated centrifugation.

      Dr. Morozov is co-inventor along with Dr. Bailey for a patent “Cell Culture” with co-inventor Bailey that explains how the silicon dioxide can be removed from the surface. Perhaps it is precisely this AFIP finding of silicon dioxide (without silica on the SEMS) that is why the FBI came to suspect Al-Timimi in 2003 (rightly or wrongly, we don’t know). The FBI would have kept these scientific findings secret to protect the integrity of the confidential criminal/national security investigation. There was still a processor and mailer to catch – still a case to prove, particularly given that their investigation had not produced any evidence against Al-Timimi.

      Last year, FBI microbiologist Dr. Doug Beecher commented in a publication that it undermines biodefense preparations to underestimate the danger of simple spore preparations. He provided me a copy when I wrote him as the designated corresponding author. I then distributed it to reporters. The paper reportedly had been reviewed by Professor Meselson at Harvard. Dr. Beecher is right that there is no reason to view it as akin to “militarization” or requiring state sponsorship. The two sentences by Beecher actually did not address the precise issue presented at all. They just go to illustrate and confirm Dr. Alibek’s point that a sophisticated product can result from a relatively simple method. Perhaps the United States biodefense establishment should not let officials commercialize and disclose such dual use technology, whether the patent is assigned to a DARPA-funded program or not — and whether deemed “biofriendly” or not. (The 2001 patents I’ve described, which was not classified, has been assigned to George Mason University). Richard Ebright is right: proliferation of facilities increases the risk of access to know-how. Given that biodefense spending is fueled by the usual politics-driven pork-barrelled spending, it’s a recipe for disaster.

      The many bloggers and commentators who have long held strong and divergent opinions may have just been seeing the elephant in the living room from a different angle. Actually, they’ve just been in a position to see the elephant’s rump from outside the living room door.

      Ali Al-Timimi has a very substantial appeal pending in a case that involves a sentence that seems way out of proportion to the crime of exhorting young men to go abroad and defend their faith. In a November 30, 2004 letter of appeal circulated in sympathetic circles in the US and the UK, Bilal Philips encouraged Muslims to assist Al-Timimi “financially, morally or politically.” The letter urged that “whatever the charges against him [Al-Timimi] may be, from an Islamic perspective they are false and contrived in order to silence the Da’wah to correct Islam.”

      In a June 2005 interview in a Swiss (German language) weekly news magazine, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Ken Alibek addresses the anthrax mailings:

      A. “…What if I told you Swiss scientists are paid by Al Qaeda? You could believe it or not. It has become somewhat fashionable to disparage Russian scientists. Americans, Iraqis, or whoever could just as well be involved with Al Qaeda. Why doesn’t anyone speculate about that?”

      Q. “But could one of your students build a biological weapon in the garage?”

      A. “Let me reply philosophically: Two hundred years ago, it was unthinkable to believe that people would be using mobile telephones, wasn’t it? Everything changes. Our knowledge grows, and technology develops incredibly quickly. These days even high-school kids can breed recombinant microbial strains. I am not saying that a student is in a position to build a biological weapon all by himself. But the knowledge needed to do it is certainly there.”

      Al-Timimi’s attorney emphasizes that while they searched for materials related to a planned biological attack when they searched his townhouse in late February 2003 — what he calls Plan A — they came up empty.

      He explains that it was only then they turned to Plan B. No one who responded to my inquiries ever knew Al-Timimi to ever have been involved in any biodefense project. For example, former Russian bioweaponeer Sergei Popov did not know of any such work by Al-Timimi, and Anna Popova had only seen him in the hall on a very rare occasion.

      Dr. Alibek thought of him as a “numbers guy” rather than a hands-on type. Given that the FBI knows what Al-Timimi had for dinner on September 16, 2001, it is very likely that the past years have involved a continued search for the mailer and/or processor – with all theories explored and no stone left unturned.

      At his sentencing, Dr. Al-Timimi spoke in clear and measured tones:

      “I will not admit guilt nor seek the Court’s mercy. I do this not out of any disrespect to the Court. I do this simply because I am innocent.

      My claim of innocence is not because of any inherent misunderstanding on my part as to the nature of the crimes for which I was convicted nor is it because my Muslim belief recognizes sharia rather than secular law. It is merely because I am innocent.

      We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

      I declare the government’s recitation poor as it stripped those words of their meaning.

      Imprisonment of any term, as this Court well knows, is a crisis for the incarcerated and his or her loved ones. I am no exception to that.

      But the real crisis brought on my imprisonment, I sincerely believe is America’s. For if my conviction is to stand, it would mean that two hundred and thirty years of America’s tradition of protecting the individual from the tyrannies and whims of the sovereign will have come to an end. And that which is exploited today to persecute a single member of a minority will most assuredly come back to haunt the majority tomorrow.”

      He was sentenced to life in prison plus 70 years. Dr. Timimi has very substantial pending appeals relating to warrantless wiretapping and the First Amendment. Dr. Timimi’s attorney likely is understandably annoyed that they keep moving Al-Timimi between prisons. KSM invoked George Washington in his statement to a military tribunal in March 2007. That was far less compelling because he was admitting to many serious crimes. Dr. Al-Timimi, on the other hand, was guilty of nothing other than exhorting some young men to go abroad and defend their faith. It seems that his only crime was to put his religion before his nation-state.

      As Al-Timimi explained in his eloquent statement upon sentencing, he was convicted out of fear.

      The anthrax mailer had asked: “Are you afraid?” The answer was yes.

      As one Washington Post reporter said of such cases, the government seems to be engaged in shadow boxing. The onlly way to get rid of the shadows is to turn on the lights.

      Ross E. Getman is an attorney who exposed that some soft drinks contain benzene. His website can be found at [ http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com ]

    • DXer said

      GMU Center for Biodefense: Discovery Hall

      Ali Al-Timimi worked at George Mason University’s Discovery Hall throughout 2000 and 2002 period. The Mason Gazette in “Mason to Pursue Advanced Biodefense Research” on November 17, 2000 had announced: “The School of Computational Sciences (SCS) and Advanced Biosystems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hadron, Inc., of Alexandria, are pursuing a collaborative program at the Prince William Campus to enhance research and educational objectives in biodefense research. The article noted that the program was funded primarily by a grant awarded to Advanced Biosystems from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). A 2007 GMU PhD thesis explains that the “An Assessment of Exploitable Weaknesses in Universities” by Corinne M. Verzoni offices and research located in Discovery Hall, making this an attractive building on the Prince William Campus to target for information and technology.” The 2007 PhD student biodefense student explained: “Discovery Hall currently has BSL 1, 2 and 2+ labs in which students work with attenuated and vaccine strains of Fracella tularemia, anthrax and HIV. GMU will eventually have new biological labs featuring a BSL-3 lab which will have anthrax and tularemia.”

      Instead of starting a center from scratch, GMU chose to join forces with Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey’s existing research firm, Hadron Advanced Biosystems Inc. Hadron was already working under contract for the federal government, having received funding from DARPA. Dr. Alibek told the Washington Post that he and Bailey had spent their careers studying an issue that only recently grabbed the country’s attention, after the anthrax mailings the previous fall. Dr. Bailey and Alibek met in 1991, when a delegation of Soviet scientists visited the USAMRIID at Ft. Detrick. Dr. Bailey explained that the purpose of the tour was to show the Soviets that the US was not developing offensive biological weapons. Bailey said he tried to engage Alibek in conversation but Alibek remained aloof. Alibek, for his part, explains that he was suspicious of this American smiling so broadly at him. A year later, Alibek would defect to the US and reveal an illegal biological program in the Soviet Union of a staggering scope. Alibek says that one reason he defected was that he realized that the Soviet intelligence was wrong — that the US research was in fact only defensive.

      Former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Ames researcher Bailey coinvented, with Ken Alibek, the process to treat cell culture with hydrophobic silicon dioxide. He was in Room 156B of GMU’s Discovery Hall at the Center for Biodefense. The patent application was filed March 14, 2001. Rm 154A was Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to the newly constructed Bull Run Hall). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface.

      One ATCC former employee felt so strongly about lax security there the scientist called me out of the blue and said that the public was overlooking the patent repository as a possible source of the Ames strain. ATCC would not deny they had virulent Ames in their patent repository pre 9/11 (as distinguished from their online catalog). The spokesperson emailed me: “As a matter of policy, ATCC does not disclose information on the contents of its patent depository.” Previously, though, the ATCC head publicly explained that it did not have virulent Ames.

      George Mason University, Department Listings, accessed August 17, 2003, shows that the National Center For Biodefense and Center for Biomedical Genomics had the same mail stop (MS 4ES). The most famed bioweaponeer in the world was not far from this sheik urging violent jihad in an apocalyptic struggle between religions. Dr. Alibek’s office was Rm. 156D in Prince William 2. The groups both shared the same department fax of 993-4288. Dr. Alibek advised me he had seen him several times in the corridors of GMU and was told that he was a religious muslim hard-liner but knew nothing of his activities. At one point, Timimi’s mail drop was MSN 4D7.

      Charles Bailey at 3-4271 was the former head of USAMRIID and joined the Center in April 2001. He continued to do research with Ames after 9/11. Dr. Alibek reports that shortly after the mailings, he wrote FBI Director Mueller and offered his services but was advised that they already had assembled a large group. A 2004 report describes research done by Dr. Alibek and his colleagues using Delta Ames obtained from NIH for a research project done for USAMRIID. There were two grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2001. One $3.6 million grant dated to July 2001 and the other was previous to that.

      Ali Al-Timimi had the same telephone number that Dr. Victor Morozov of the Center for Biodefense would later have when he joined the faculty and occupied the newly constructed Bull Run Building, which opened in late 2004 (Rm. #362). Dr. Morozov focuses on the development of new bioassay methods for express analysis, high-throughput screening and proteomics. He has recently developed a new electrospray-based technology for mass fabrication of protein microarrays. Dr. Morozov is currently supervising a DOE -funded research project directed at the development of ultra-sensitive express methods for detection of pathogens in which slow diffusion of analytes is replaced by their active transport controlled and powered by external forces (electric, magnetic, gravitational or hydrodynamic). His homepage explains that: “A variety of projects are available for students to participate in “*** 7. Develop software to analyze motion of beads. 8. Develop software to analyze patterns in drying droplets. 9. Develop an electrostatic collector for airborne particles.”

      Al-Timimi obtained a doctorate from George Mason University in 2004 in the field of computational biology — a field related to cancer research involving genome sequencing. He successfully defended his thesis 5 weeks after his indictment. Curt Jamison, Timimi’s thesis advisor, coauthor and loyal friend, was in Prince William II (Discovery Hall) Rm. 181A. The staff of Advanced Biosystems was in Rm. 160, 162, 177, 254E and several others. Computational sciences offices were intermixed among the Hadron personnel on the first floor of Prince William II to include 159, 161, 166A, 167, 181 B and 181C. Rm. 156B was Charles Bailey, former commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who was head of the Center for Biodefense. Defense contractor Hadron had announced the appointment of Dr. Bailey as Vice-President of Advanced Biosystems in early April 2001. “Over 13 years, Dr. Bailey had served as a Research Scientist, Deputy Commander for Research, Deputy Commander and Commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute. As a USAMRIID scientist, he designed and supervised the construction of BL-3 containment facilities. His hands-on experience with a wide variety of pathogens is chronicled in 70 published articles. During his 4 years with the Defense Intelligence Agency, he published numerous articles assessing foreign capabilities regarding biological weapons.” When I asked Dr. Bailey to confirm Al-Timimi’s room number relative to his own, his only response was to refer me to University counsel. Counsel then never substantively responded to my inquiry regarding their respective room numbers citing student privacy. Ali’s friend and thesis advisor, Dr. Jamison never responded to an emailed query either. GMU perhaps understandably was very nervous about losing the $25 million grant for a new BL-3 regional facility to be located very near our country’s capitol.

      The reports on the study on the effectiveness of the mailed anthrax in the Canadian experiment was reported in private briefings in Spring and Summer of 2001. An insider thus was not dependent on the published report later that Fall. (The date on the formal report is September 10, 2001).

      Dr. Charles Bailey for DIA wrote extensively on the the biothreat posed by other countries (and presumably terrorists). He shared a fax number with Al-Timimi. What came over that fax line in Spring and Summer of 2001? At some point, Dr. Al-Timimi, Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey also shared the same maildrop. It certainly would not be surprising that the two directors who headed the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense — and had received the biggest defense award in history for work with Delta Ames under a contract with USAMRIID — would have been briefed on the threat of mailed anthrax. The 1999 short report by William Patrick to Hatfill at SAIC on the general subject was far less important given that it did not relate to actual experimental findings.

      Plus, it is common sense that while someone might use as a model something they had surreptitiously learned of — they would not use as a model something in a memo that they had commissioned. Thus, it was rather misdirected to focus on the 1999 SAIC report commissioned by Dr. Hatfill rather than the 2001 Canadian report. The Canadian report related to the anthrax threat sent regarding the detention of Vanguards of Conquest #2 Mahjoub in Canada. Mahjoub had worked with al-Hawsawi in Sudan (the fellow with anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop). The anthrax threat in late January prompted the still-classified Presidential Daily Brief (“PDB”) in early February 2001 by the CIA to President Bush on the subject.

      In Fall 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”) had detected silicon dioxide (silica) in the attack anthrax — with a characteristic big spike for the silicon. No silica was observable on the SEMs images that Dr. Alibek and Dr. Matthew Meselson saw. The Daschle product was “pure spores.” Was silicon dioxide used as part of a microdroplet cell culture process used prior to drying to permit greater concentration? As explained in a later related patent, the silica could be removed from the surface of the spore through repeated centrifugaton or an air chamber.

      Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had filed a patent application in mid-March 2001 involving a microdroplet cell culture technique that used silicon dioxide in a method for concentrating growth of cells. The patent was granted and the application first publicly disclosed in the Spring of 2002. Weren’t the SEMS images and AFIP EDX finding both consistent with use of this process in growing the culture? It’s been suggested informally to me that perhaps the silicon analytical peak was due to silanol from hydrolysis of a silane, used in siliconizing glassware. But didn’t the AFIP in fact also detect oxygen in ratios characteristic of silicon dioxide? Wasn’t the scientist, now deceased, who performed the EDX highly experienced and expert in detecting silica? Hasn’t the AFIP always stood by its report. In its report, AFIP explained: “AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica.” Perhaps the nuance that was lost — or just never publicly explained for very sound reasons — was that silica was used in the cell culture process and then removed from the spores through a process such as centrifugation. The applicants in March 2001 for an international patent relating to vaccines were a leading aerosol expert, Herman R. Shepherd, and a lonstanding anthrax biodefense expert, Philip Russell.

      Dr. Morozov is co-inventor along with Dr. Bailey for a patent “Cell Culture” that explains how the silicon dioxide can be removed from the surface. Perhaps it is precisely this AFIP finding of silicon dioxide (without silica on the SEMs) that is why the FBI came to suspect Al-Timimi in 2003 (rightly or wrongly, we don’t know). The FBI would have kept these scientific findings secret to protect the integrity of the confidential criminal/national security investigation. There was still a processor and mailer to catch — still a case to prove. After 9/11, intelligence collection takes precedence over arrests. As Ron Kessler explains in the new book, Terrorist Watch, many FBI officials feel that they are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Outside observers are constantly second-guessing them about how to proceed rather than trusting that they are in the best position to balance the competing considerations of national security, intelligence gathering, the pursuit of justice, and the safeguarding of civil liberties. Above all, in disclosing the theory of access to know-how, the FBI has needed to protect the due process rights of Al-Timimi while he defended himself on other charges.

      There is no shortage of other hypotheses that need to be explored in assessing the origin of the Silicon Signature — not the least of which is the lesser Silicon Signature in flask 1030. What was the cause of that? Use of an antifoaming agent? Encapsulation for the purpose of genetic studies? June and July 2001 correspondence shows that Dr. Ivins hoped to get a new contract started for production of new Ames spores.

      An example from October 2006 of equipment that went missing from GMU’s Discovery Hall was a rotissery hybridization oven belonging to the Center for Biomedical Genomics. “This equipment can be used to manufacture biological agents and genetically modified agents, which could potentially be used as biological weapons,” Corinne Verzoni explained in her PhD 2007 thesis. “Upon hearing about instances or missing equipment in Discovery Hall, the author contacted campus security who was unaware of instances of missing equipment. Missing equipment should be reported to the equipment liaison. Missing equipment may not be reported to campus security because labs tend to share equipment. Equipment also goes missing because it is not inventoried if it is under $2,000.”

      One of her other examples was equally dramatic:

      “A DI system is a de-ionized water system, which removes the ions that are found in normal tap water. The assistant director for operations noticed the DI system in Discovery Hall was using the entire 100 gallons in two days, which is an enormous amount of water for the four DI taps in the whole building. According to the assistant director for operations, it is difficult to calculate the reason for that much water since no leak was found. A large amount of water used over a short period of time for unknown reasons could indicate that the research is being conducted covertly.”

      “A student with legitimate access to Discovery Hall,” she explained, “has easy accessibility to equipment. A student with access to the loading dock could steal equipment on the weekend when campus security is not present in Discovery Hall. A student could also walk out of the entrance with equipment on the weekend without security present.” She concluded: “The events at GMU demonstrate opportunity to create a clandestine lab, the ability to sell items illegally, or the ability to exploit school equipment.” In a late September 2001 interview on NPR on the anthrax threat, Dr. Alibek said: “When we talk and deal with, for example, nuclear weapons, it’s not really difficult to count how much of one or another substance we’ve got in the hands. When you talk about biological agents, in this case it’s absolutely impossible to say whether or not something has been stolen.”

      Presently, in connection with Al-Timimi’s prosecution, there is a renewed motion in which the defense counsel argues that the prosecution withheld potentially exculpatory information relating to Anwar Awlaki. Ali’s defense counsel earlier explained to the federal district court, upon a remand by the appeals court, that Mr. Timimi was interviewed by an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent as early as February 1994 in connection with the first World Trade Center attack. The agents left their business cards which the family kept. Defense counsel Johnathan Turley further explained that “We have people that were contacted by the FBI and told soon after 9/11 that they believed that Dr. Al-Timimi was either connected to 9/11 or certainly had information about Al Qaeda.”

      Al-Timimi worked for SRA in 1999 where he had a high security clearance for work for the Navy. At a conference on countering biological terrorism in 1999 sponsored by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Alibek was introduced by a former colleague of Dr. Bailey:

      “I just met Dr. Alibek today. He was introduced to me by Dr. Charlie Bailey, who now works for SRA. But Charlie and I were associated with the Army Medical Research and Development Command Defense Program for over 20 years.”

      When I emailed Dr. Bailey in December 2007 to confirm Ali had the room right near his at Discovery Hall and whether he had worked with Al-Timimi at SRA he politely referred me to counsel and took no questions. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov have told me that Ali is not known to have worked on any biodefense project. Dr. Popova told me I should direct any such questions to Dr. Bailey. Dr. Bailey told me I should direct any questions to University counsel. University counsel declined to answer any questions.

  18. DXer said

    Even if the legal rationale justifying the targeted killing of drones is disclosed, will underlying factual justification be redacted?

  19. DXer said

    FBI trailed Al-Awlaki to hookers, NPR, Bertucci’s
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2013/07/fbi-trailed-alawlaki-to-hookers-npr-bertuccis-167520.html

    By JOSH GERSTEIN

    The November 15, 2001 notes describe Al-Awlaki going to NPR to appear on “Talk of the Nation.” “2PM parked on Mass. Ave…2:08 NPR radio station…2:38 off the air – Islam?” the notes say. Al-Awlaki then drove back to the mosque he was heading up at the time in Falls Church, Va.

    The heavily-redacted records, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the investigation underway in 2001 related to Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden.

    Judicial Watch highlights that the day before Al-Awlaki was a guest at a February 5, 2002 Pentagon Muslim outreach luncheon, the FBI was already referring to him as a “terrorist organization member” and warning law enforcement to “approach [him] with caution.”

    The documents also allege that Al-Awlaki paid prostitutes for their services on at least seven occasions in later 2001 and early 2002, frequenting high-end escorts who charged several hundred dollars. One prostitute commented to the FBI that “she thought to herself that he looked like Osama bin Laden.”

    Al-Awlaki’s use of prostitutes isn’t much of a shock. It’s been known for years that in 1996 and 1997 he was charged with soliciting prostitution. It appears from the documents that prosecutors were considering bringing a federal case against him for interstate travel relating to prostitution. Al-Awlaki left the U.S. for England later in 2002 and moved to Yemen in 2004.

    • DXer said

      On a bipartisan basis, the committee rejected Giuliano’s explanations as not believable, because after the cleric was released from federal custody at JFK on the say-so of Agent Ammerman, the cleric then turned up in Ammerman’s investigation in Virginia of Ali al-Timimi, who was later convicted of inciting terrorism. While Timimi’s case is on appeal, court records show he thought al-Awlaki was wired.

      Wolf suggested the FBI agent wanted the cleric in the U.S. to facilitate his case.

      “While there may have been a reasonable argument for allowing him (the cleric) into the U.S. at the time the decision was made in October 2002, the FBI has, thus far, failed to publicly explain its rationale and its role,” Wolf writes in his letter. “More troubling, the documents surrounding the release of Aulaqi do not match the bureau’s public statements on this incident….

      “During the hearing, I raised the question of whether the FBI requested that Aulaqi be allowed into the country, without detention for the outstanding warrant, due to a parallel investigation regarding Aulaqi’s former colleague al Timimi, a radical imam who was recruiting American Muslims to terrorism. Notably, the Timimi case was being led by the same WFO (Washington Field Office) agent who called the U.S. attorney’s office and customs on the morning of October 10. Did WFO (the FBI Washington Field Office) want Aulaqi released to assist in its investigation of Timimi?”

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/16/lawmaker-accuses-fbi-official-faulty-testimony-on-how-bureau-handled-al-awlaki/#ixzz2Xvezqa6v

  20. DXer said

    Matt Connolly writes today about former FBI agent John Connolly in the Whitey Bulger matter.

    He raises the question about whether the FBI complies with the rules and regulations governing Top Echelon informants — and whether the rules are so vague as to permit what later in construed as misconduct.

    The FBI should not let John Connolly die in prison
    http://www.enterprisenews.com/blogs/theenterprise/x1843774058/The-FBI-should-not-let-John-Connolly-die-in-prison

    “To date, almost fifteen years from the time Judge Wolf first started his hearings the issue of what can an FBI agent do to protect his top echelon informant is left open. The FBI hierarchy has not been called upon to come into court to explain its boundaries.”

    ***

    “My post here does not consider those issues. I’m dealing with the big white elephant in the room that no one seems to see. I am suggesting that when the rules and regulations are deliberately vague and FBI agents are allowed to freelance with informants, just because this becomes public knowledge and the FBI is embarrassed, the FBI should not run away from an agent when it knew exactly what he was doing and allowed him to think he was doing his job.”

    ***

    The FBI has all its rules and regulations to cover itself — but it operates in a manner totally different than that.

    “It’s time some of the top brass come forward and tell us what it was like. It’s time to get over Hoover’s first commandment that all that matters is not to embarrass the FBI. It has a guy who worked for it for 20 years and who retired with honor and great acclaim. The Boston jury gave him a pass on what he did as an FBI agent with the gangsters understanding instinctively that was part of his job. The FBI hierarchy did not help him when he was in the fight but now it can at least work to show that he was doing what he was supposed to be doing and that providing information to his informants was part of his job.”

  21. DXer said

    Whistleblower and Liability Protections for Scientific Laboratory Employees
    JS Gonzalez, V Sutton – … of Biosecurity, Biosafety and Biodefense Law, 2012 – degruyter.com

    … The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) determined that Bruce Ivins, a career research scientist
    at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
    laboratory, was the person most likely to have mailed the anthrax letters. …Whistleblower and Liability Protections for Scientific Laboratory Employees
    JS Gonzalez, V Sutton – … of Biosecurity, Biosafety and Biodefense Law, 2012 – degruyter.com

    Comment:

    A JD-PhD with BL-3 and BL-4 was let go from ATCC shortly after starting upon complaining of the incredibly lax security there. (She called me out of the blue and said everything I was writing about Al-TImimi’s access to the patent repository at ATCC was right on the mark.) If whistleblowers at ATCC were promptly terminated and given 2 weeks severance, what did that bode for the FBI’s science effort shedding light? The former collection scientist Jason B. came to lead the Amerithrax science effort. Who was the FBI scientist who submitted ATCC’s sample to the FBI? JB? Was he responsible for or involved in the whistleblower’s termination? GAO: the scientist is available to interview.

  22. DXer said

    In briefing this month in the case, the government argued that “zero plus zero will always equal zero.” 1/

    Is that true? Or does a zero plus zero sometimes spell an aerial attack on aircraft carriers?

    Can aircraft carriers be defended using hot air? 2/

    A recent study used prolonged temperatures of 77ºC (170.60ºF ) My sauna is 180ºF. While I haven’t read the study yet, does that mean if one is exposed to aerosolized anthrax, one could fruitfully go and hang out in a sauna and save oneself by listening to DOJ justifications for withholding the legal rationale for concealing what they know about the Awlaki-Al-Timimi-Anthrax lead? (…when the reality just relates to those famous “political sensitivities”)

    Would taking in the hot humid air tend to protect oneself from the attack?

    What’s the downside of at least declassifying the legal reasoning?

    1/
    Government Files Further Briefing in SDNY FOIA Cases
    By Wells Bennett
    Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 1:59 PM
    http://www.lawfareblog.com/2012/08/government-files-further-briefing-in-sdny-foia-cases/

    2/
    J Appl Microbiol. 2012 Aug 16. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05423.x. [Epub ahead of print]
    Test method development to evaluate hot, humid air decontamination of materials contaminated with Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam spores.
    Buhr TL, Young AA, Minter ZA, Wells CM, McPherson DC, Hooban CL, Johnson CA, Prokop EJ, Crigler JR.
    Source

    CBR Concepts and Experimentation Branch (Z21) and Sensor Technology Branch (Q31), Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, VA.

    Abstract
    AIMS:

    To develop test methods and evaluate survival of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure to hot, humid air.

    METHODS AND RESULTS:
    Spores (>7 logs) of both strains were dried on six different test materials. Response surface methodology was employed to identify the limits of spore survival at optimal test combinations of temperature (60, 68, 77°C), relative humidity (60, 75, 90%) and time (1, 4, 7 days). No spores survived the harshest test run (77°C, 90% RH, 7 days) while >6.5 logs of spores survived the mildest test run (60°C, 60% RH, 1 day). Spores of both strains inoculated on nylon webbing and polypropylene had greater survival rates at 68°C, 75% RH, 4 days than spores on other materials. Electron microscopy showed no obvious physical damage to spores using hot, humid air, which contrasted with pH-adjusted bleach decontamination.

    CONCLUSIONS:
    Test methods were developed to show that hot, humid air effectively inactivates B. anthracis ∆Sterne and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam spores with similar kinetics. © 2012 The Authors Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  23. DXer said

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/07/26/48735.htm

    Thursday, July 26, 2012Last Update: 11:56 AM PT
    DOJ Can’t Shelve Third Suit Over Drone Strike
    By ANNIE YOUDERIAN

    In its December 2011 complaint, The New York Times and two reporters seek “copies of all Office of Legal Counsel opinions or memoranda since 2001 that address the legal status of targeted killing, assassination, or killing of people suspected of ties to Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups by employees or contractors of the United States government.”
    The Times also wants a copy of “all Office of Legal Counsel memorandums analyzing the circumstances under which it would be lawful for United States armed forces or intelligence community assets to target for killing a United States citizen who is deemed to be a terrorist.”
    The complaint from the ACLU and its foundation seek records related to the “legal authority and factual basis for the targeted killing” of al-Awlaki and two other U.S. citizens.

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