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

* Excerpt on Abu Khabab from 2012 Georgetown thesis

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 1, 2012

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12 Responses to “* Excerpt on Abu Khabab from 2012 Georgetown thesis”

  1. DXer said

    This paper refers to Abu Khabab as only having studied chemical engineering as an undergrad — and not the PhD I had suggested.

  2. DXer said

    The Al Qaeda manual chapter on “Poisonous Letters” instructs the mailer to use a silicone sealant on the inside of the letter so as to avoid killing the mailman.

    Ask yourself: who wrote that manual?

    Who read that manual?

    Who followed those instructions?

  3. DXer said

    The thesis cites copious sources. Consider the sources as they existed in November 2002 (that I linked in this November 2002 article on Cryptome).

    In November 2002, the FBI had not yet interviewed Yazid Sufaat even though he had been captured in December 2001 and was known to have been a member of the Malaysian biological weapons program.

    Why did the FBI not interview Yazid in January 2002?

    http://cryptome.org/alqaeda-anthrax.htm

    NOTES

    1Jonathan Rauch, “Does Al Qaeda Have Anthrax? Better Assume So,” National Journal, June 1, 2002.
    “The Anthrax Trail,”Al Qaeda is still a bioterrorist threat,” Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2002.
    David Tell, “Remember anthrax? Despite the evidence, the FBI won’t let go of it’s ‘lone American’ theory,” Weekly Standard, April 29, 2002.
    Jack Kelly, “Their Faraway eyes”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 14, 2002.
    Reed Irvine, “Notes from the Editor’s Cuff”, AIM Report, August 28, 2002.
    “Anthrax probe ignoring foreign links?: Critics question FBI’s emphasis on homegrown scientist,”WorldNetDaily.com, October 8, 2002.
    “Al Qaeda’s Anthrax: Is Osama behind the mail attacks?” MIT Technology Review, April 16, 2002.
    “Biodefense,” at Biodefense Sprectrum, Inc. website.
    Phil Brennan, “Alibek Doubts FBI Claims on Hatfill,” Newsmax, October 3, 2002.
    Littwin: “Anthrax trail on wrong path?” Rocky Mountain News, September 5, 2002.
    Cliff Kincaid, “Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda, Anthrax West Nile Virus, and a Scapegoat named Hatfill.”
    Ely Karmon, “The Anthrax Campaign: An Interim Analysis,” ICT.org October 30, 2001.
    “Cheney: ‘Reasonable’ to assume anthrax cases linked to terrorists,” CNN, October 12, 2001.
    “Gorbachev: Terrorist using anthrax, ” CNN, dated October 16, 2001.
    “CIA Officer Warns of Terrorist Strikes in U.S.,” NewsMax.com, November 25, 2002 .
    Bob Woodward, Bush at War, at 248 (2002).
    Jennifer Barrett, “Newsweek Poll: Bin Laden to Blame For Anthrax,” MSNBC.com

    3 Laurie Garrett, “Clash of agencies hampered inquiry into anthrax mystery, ” Newsday, July 23, 2002.
    See also Dan Eggen, “FBI Working to Replicate Type of Anthrax Used in Last Year’s Deadly Mailings,” Washington Post, November 1, 2002.

    4 David Johnston and William J. Broad, “Anthrax in Mail Was Newly Made, Investigators Say,”New York Times, June 22 2002. See also Judith Miller, Fox News interview, July 2, 2002.

    5 Eleanor Clift , “Still Looking For Suspects,” Newsweek (June 24, 2002 issue).

    6. Yousef Bodansky, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America, at 326.

    7. “Osama bought a batch for 10G,” The New York Post, October 24, 2001.
    “Bin Laden Bought Anthrax, E-Coli and Salmonella, Aide Tells Court,” The Mirror, October 25, 2001.
    Simon Reeve, The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism, at 262 (1999).

    8. “Did Bin Laden buy bioterror: trial testimony says he did,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2001.

    9. “FBI & Bush Administration Sued Over Anthrax Documents,” Judicial Watch Press Release,June 7, 2002.

    10. “Islamic Jihad ‘Confessions’ Described” FAS.org, March 6, 1999.

    11. Ibid.

    12. Scott Baldauf, “The ‘cave man’ and Al Qaeda: A Pakistani journalist who repeatedly interviewed bin Laden says he’s not the terror group’s main force,” Christian Science Monitor, October 31, 2001.
    “Arab elite warms to Al Qaeda leaders,” Christian Scientist Monitor, July 30, 2002

    13. Peter Bergen, Holy War, Inc., at 205-207 (2001) (paperback)

    14. Betsy Hiel, “Egyptian Islamic Jihad linked to bin Laden,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,September 15, 2002.
    Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, at 26 (2002).

    15. “The Man Behind Bin Laden,” New Yorker, September 16, 2002.

    16. Alan Cullison and Andrew Higgins, “Computer in Kabul holds chilling memos,” Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2001.

    17. Judith Miller, “Holy Warriors: Killing for the Glory of God, in a Land Far From Home,” New York Times, January 16, 2001.

    18. Ibid.

    19. “Disturbing scenes of death show capability with chemical gas,” CNN, dated August 19, 2002.
    “Bin Laden Paid For Bali Bombing,” FoxNews, October 20, 2002.
    Judith Miller, “Qaeda Videos Seem to Show Chemical Tests,” New York Times, August 19, 2002.
    “Tapes shed new light on bin Laden’s network,” CNN, August 19, 2002.
    UK: Three Charged Over Terror Plot, CNN, November 17, 2002

    20. “Bush Cancels Iraqi Strike,” ABCNEWS August 20, 2002.

    21. “U.S. Monitors Kurdish Extremists”, Foxnews, August 21, 2002.

    22. “Bush Cancels Iraqi Strike,” ABCNEWS August 20, 2002.

    23. Reuters, “Al Qaeda tested germ weapons,” New Zealand Herald, January 1, 2002.

    24. CBSNews, ” Weapons Worries,” July 18, 2002.

    25. Judith Miller, “Lab Suggests Qaeda Planned to Build Arms, Officials Say,” New York Times, September 14, 2002.
    Agence France-Presse, “US finds Al-Qaeda lab built to produce anthrax: report,” March 23, 2002.
    “Al-Qaeda might have stockpiled anthrax spores,” Times of India, December 10, 2001.
    Tabassum Zakaria, “US: Al Qaeda Tried for Bio Weapons in Afghanistan,” Reuters, July 17, 2002.
    Jonathan Weisman, “Possible anthrax lab unearthed near Kandahar, USA Today, March 25, 2002.
    “Al Qaeda: Alive and Killing,” Newsweek, November 25, 2002.

    26 “Al-Qaeda: Anthrax Found in Al-Qaeda home,” Global Security Newswire, December 10, 2001.

    27. Judith Miller, “Lab Suggests Qaeda Planned to Build Arms, Officials Say,” New York Times, September 14, 2002.

    28. Gary Jones, Mirror, November 19, 2001.

    29 Kathy Gannon, “Taliban Showed Interest In Anthrax Research Lab. Scientists Say An Official Paid Frequent Visits” in The Boston Globe, November 22, 2001 (photo caption).

    30. “US biological attack imminent – Taliban”, iafrica.com, December 12, 2001.
    “Walker Lindh: Al Qaeda planned more attacks,” CNN, October 3, 2002

    31. Peter Waldman et al., “Sergeant Served U.S. Army and bin Laden, Showing Failings in FBI’s Terror Policing,” Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2001.
    Dale Kasler, “Terrorist ruse hurt giving by Muslims” Sacramento Bee, October 25, 2001.
    “Ex US soldier admits embassy bombings,” BBC News, October 20, 2000.

    32. John Sullivan and Joseph Neff, “An al Qaeda operative at Fort Bragg,” Raleigh News & Observer, November 14, 2001.
    Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us , 55-60 (2002)

    33. Andrew Higgins, Alan Culli, “Saga of Dr. Zawahri Sheds Light On the Roots of al Qaeda Terror,” Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2002.

    34. http://www.kreindler.com (trillion dollar 9/11 complaint against Iraq recounts Zawahiri’s visits to Iraq)

    35. Jeffrey Bartholet, “Terrorist Sleeper Cells: A U.S.-Based Al Qaeda ‘Sleeper Cell’ Was Poised to Launch a Post-Sept. 11 Attack on a Major Washington Target; Would-Be Terrorists Went Underground or Fled U.S. Evidence Indicates Al Qaeda Had Russian Help Developing Anthrax; Al-Zawahiri Believed Involved in Bin Laden’s Biological Weapons Program.” Newsweek, December 9, 2001.
    See also Ken Alibek, with Stephen Handelman, Biohazard: The Chilling True Story Of The Largest Weapons Program In The World — Told From Inside By The Man Who Ran It, at 272 (1999) (paperback).

    36. “Bravado–and blood–in Taliban territory” US News and World Report, November 12, 2001.

    37. “Russia, Iraq and Other Potential Sources of Anthrax, Smallpox and Other Bioterrorist Weapons,” Hearings Before the Committee On International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, First Session, December 5, 2001.

    38. Ibid. See “Iraqis ‘infiltrated UK germ labs'”, BBC News, November 16, 2002

    39. Richard O. Spertzel, “U.S. Policy in Iraq: Next Steps”, Hearings Before the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services,” March 1, 2002.
    Wendy Orent, “Anthrax in America,” The New Republic, October 17, 2001

    40. Milton Leitenberg, Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism in the First Years of the 21st Century (rev. July 10, 2002)” at pp. 23-33.

    41. “Anthrax probe hits genetic dead end: Despite promise, gene analysis failing to help investigation,” Associated Press, June 19, 2002.
    The Institute For Genomic Research, Press Release.

    42. Timothy D. Read, et al., “Comparative Genome Sequencing for Discovery of Novel Polymorphisms in Bacillus anthracis,” Science, 296: 2028-2033 (May 9, 2002).

    43. Dr. C.J. Peters, August 30, 2002 on PBS’ “Searching for Clues.”

    44. Mark Schoofs, Gary Fields and Maureen Tkacik, “The Anthrax Probe Ranges Far and Wide As Investigators Scour Tips, Quotes & Research Trash for Leads,” Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2001

    45. Guy Gugliotta, Gary Matsumoto, “FBI’s Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted, Attacks Not Likely Work Of 1 Person, Experts Say,” Washington Post, October 28, 2002.
    Rick Weiss and Dan Eggen, “Anthrax spores were doctored to be deadlier,” The Washington Post, October 25, 2001.

    46. John J. Fialka and Gary Fields, “Static Electricity Present in Anthrax Letters Made Spores Cling, May Have Saved Lives,” The Wall Street Journal, dated December 3, 2001.
    Guy Gugliotta, Gary Matsumoto, “FBI’s Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted, Attacks Not Likely Work Of 1 Person, Experts Say,” Washington Post, October 28, 2002.

    47. Jonathan Rauch, “Does Al Qaeda Have Anthrax? Better Assume So,” National Journal, June 1, 2002.
    Scott Shane, “Anthrax powder from attacks could have been made simply: single maker a possibility, scientists now theorize”, Baltimore Sun, November 3, 2002.
    Guy Gugliotta, Gary Matsumoto, “FBI’s Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted, Attacks Not Likely Work Of 1 Person, Experts Say,” Washington Post, October 28, 2002.
    “Powder Used in Anthrax Attacks ‘Was Not Routine,’ The Washington Post, April 09, 2002.

    48. David Johnston and William J. Broad, “Anthrax Sent Through Mail Gained Potency by the Letter,” New York Times, May 7, 2002. See also Richard Preston, The Demon In The Freezer, at 165, 171-172 (2002).

    49. PBS: Online Newshour, “Camp David Accord” (September 17, 1978)

    50. Egypt State Information Service, ” October 6, 1973: The Battle of the Crossing.”

    51. FBI Homepage, 2001 Press Releases, (Anthrax Letters photos).

    52. Statement of October 7, 2001 following September 11 attack.
    See also “Statement Attributed to Al Qaeda Warns of More Attacks on New York, Washington”,FoxNews, November 17, 2002
    “Full text: bin Laden’s ‘letter to America’,” Guardian Unlimited, November 24, 2002.
    “Interview with Osama bin Ladin,” Frontline. May 1998.
    “Interview with Mujahid Usmah bin Ladin.” Nida’ul Islam, Oct/Nov 1996.
    “Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, World Islamic Front Statement,” February 23, 1998.
    Statement of September, 1996 after return to Afghanistan.
    Al Jazeera TV interview, about October 25, 2001.
    Video tape with visiting sheikh, Kandahar area, mid-November, 2001 (www.september11news.com/OsamaSpeeches.htm)
    Videotape, December, 2001.

    53. Senator Patrick Leahy’s homepage, Committee Assignments.

    54. Ibid; see also “Figures on US Aid,” September 10, 2000.
    PBS, Interview Ahmed Sattar, (1999).

    55. “Congress asked to waive curbs on ‘rogue states’ Dawn , September 25, 2001. See ” Leahy Law”.
    See Ayman Zawahiri, “Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner,” (2001).

    56. Palestinian Hamas newspaper, al-Risala, Translation by Middle East Media Research Institute, report no. 247, (November 7, 2001);

    57. Susan Sachs, “An Investigation in Egypt Illustrates Al Qaeda’s Web,” New York Times, November 21, 2001.
    See also
    Roland Jacquard, In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, 108, 248 (2002)

    58. PBS video excerpt.

    59. “Fighting An Unholy War,” Washington Times, August 18, 2002.

    60. Summer 2001 Al Qaeda videotape.

    61. “US Bypasses Law in Fight Against Terrorism,” Washington Post, March 12, 2002.

    62. Andrew Higgins, Alan Culli, “Saga of Dr. Zawahri Sheds Light On the Roots of al Qaeda Terror,” Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2002.

    63. Ayman Zawahiri, “Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner,” (2001).

    64. Diplomatic Security Service, Department of State, “Letter Bomb Incidents”.

    65. Robert H. Reid, Associated Press, “Mail bombs sent to Arab newspaper”, January 14, 1997.

    66. Susan Sachs, “An Investigation in Egypt Illustrates Al Qaeda’s Web,” New York Times, November 21, 2001.
    ENN Daily Intelligence Report, January 13, 1997.

    67. “Letter bombs found in Washington area and federal prison in Kansas:FBI considers link to World Trade Center bombing,” CNN January 2, 1997.

    68. Paul De Armond, “Insider Diversion: profiling the anthrax attacks,” (June 2002 rev.) online.

    69. ” Evidence suggests al Qaeda pursuit of biological, chemical weapons,” CNN, November 14, 2001.
    BBC, dated October 28, 2001 (remarks of Vice President Cheny on training and manuals relating to these kinds of substances).

    70. “9/11 mastermind invited to Cairo Islamic seminar,” Reuters, September 2, 2002.

    71. Phil Brennan, “FBI Rejects Link Between Anthrax, 9-11 Terrorists, Newsmax, August 16, 2002.

    72. Kathy Bushounse, and Kevin Krause, “FBI scouts back issues of tabloids in search for anthrax motive,” Sun-Sentinel, August 30, 2002.

    73. Guy Gugliotta, Gary Matsumoto, “FBI’s Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted, Attacks Not Likely Work Of 1 Person, Experts Say,” Washington Post, October 28, 2002.

    74. Editorial, “Still Waiting For Answers, New York Post April 29, 2002.
    Editorial, “The Deepening Anthrax Mystery,” The New York Times, May 11, 2002
    Wall Street Journal, dated September 5, 2002 (“The FBI persists in pursuing the yellow brick road theory of a lone madman laid out by Barbara Hatch Rosenberg of the Federation of American Scientists.”)
    Robert Bartley, “The Hatfill Case: Essential Background,” Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2002.
    Editorial, “Al Qaeda is still a bioterrorism threat,” Wall Street Journal, dated March 26, 2002.
    FBI Profile Disputed,” Global Security Newswire, dated December 6, 2001.
    Edward Jay Epstein, “FBI Overlooks Foreign Sources of Anthrax,” Wall Street Journal,

    75. November 9, 2001, Amerithrax Press Briefing.
    See also anthrax-profiler.com .

    76. “Anthrax attacks linked to US extremists,” Washington Post, October 28, 2001.

    77. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Press Conference, October 18, 2001.

    78. Ron Martz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Experts doubt anthrax a domestic plot,” October 19, 2001.
    See also Brian Levin: Militias and bioterrorism, CNN, October 17, 2001.

    79. “Did Bin Laden buy bioterror: trial testimony says he did,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2001.

    80. “Who’s Behind the Anthrax Attacks,” Newsmax, November 19, 2002

    81. “Al Qaeda-Anthrax Link?”, CBS News, March 23, 2002

    82. “Memo on Florida Case Roils Probe,” The Washington Post, March 29, 2002, Friday, Pg. A03;
    See Cutaneous anthrax images.
    Thomas W. McGovern, MD, Cutaneous Manifestations of Bioterrorism: Anthrax

    83. Sarah El Deeb, “Hijacker farewell video found,” Associated Press, April 15, 2002.

    84. Map showing distribution of Brown Recluse Spider.

    85. “Memo on Florida Case Roils Probe,” The Washington Post, March 29, 2002, Friday, Pg. A03.
    “Hijacker’s lesion deepens mystery: U.S. official cautions against linking anthrax and Sept. 11 attacks,” Baltimore Sun, March 24, 2002.

    86. “Report Linking Anthrax and Hijackers Is Investigated,” The New York Times, March 23, 2002.

    87. “Coz: Mohamed Atta Spotted With Possible Anthrax Symptoms,” Newsmax , October 12, 2001.

    88. Michael Y. Park, “Bioterror Threat: Myth or Reality?” Foxnews, September 25, 2001.

    89. “Bin Laden’s Biological Threat,” BBC, October 28, 2001.

    90. “Face to face with Atta,” ABCNews.

    91. Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs, October 2002.

    92. Report: Moussaoui tied to 9/11 plot, CNN, November 20, 2002
    “Moussaoui’s 9/11 Role Doubted?” CBSNews, July 20, 2002.
    Toni Locy, “Moussaoui case doesn’t hinge on role in 9/11,” USAToday
    Edward Jay Epstein, Question of the Week, online.

    93. “FBI Overlooks Iraq’s Connection to Anthrax Attacks,” Newsmax
    “Following the trail of powder,” f2 network, October 20, 2001.

    94. Edward Jay Epstein, “The Fog of Scoops.”
    “Mohammed Atta in Prague FAQ”
    “Czechs retract Iraq terror link,” UPI, October 20, 2002.
    “Prague Discounts an Iraqi Meeting,” New York Times, October 21, 2002.

    95. Bob Drogin, Paul Richter and Doyle McManus, “White House says Sept. 11 skyjacker had met Iraqi agent,” Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2002.

    96. Pearle warns: ‘Powerful’ evidence of Iraq-Al Qaida WMD ties World Tribune.com, July 15, 2002.

    97. “Blair’s statement to MPs on Iraq,” CNN, September 24, 2002.
    Sebastian Rotella, “Allies Find No Links Between Iraq, Al Qaeda,” Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2002

    98. http://www.kreindler.com (trillion dollar 9/11 complaint against Iraq recounts Zawahiri’s visits to Iraq)

    99. Mark Schoofs and Gary Fields, “Anthrax Probe Was Complicated By Muddled Information, FBI Says,” Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2002.

    100. Transcript, “Ask The FBI: The anthrax investigation,” USA Today, March 26, 2002.
    See also Dan Eggen and Guy Gugliotta, FBI Secretly Trying to Re-Create Anthrax From Mail Attacks,” Washington Post, November 2, 2002.

    101. “FBI’s use of bloodhounds in anthrax probe disputed. Techniques: The three California handlers brought in by the bureau are viewed skeptically by many in their field,” Baltimore Sun, October 29, 2002.

    102. Hatfill’s First Statement .
    Hatfill’s Second Statement.
    Victor Glasberg’s statement and Q and A session

    103. Robert Bartley, “The Hatfill Case: Essential Background,” Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2002.
    “Circle of suspicion: Is the ‘evidence’ against an undeclared anthrax suspect just coincidences and a colorful past?” US News, August 26, 2002.
    Rachel Smolkin, AJR, “Into The Spotlight”, November 2002.
    Editorial: “Person of Interest”, Sacramento Bee, August 15, 2002.
    Editorial, Blacklisting Steven Hatfill, Washington Post, September 5, 2001.
    David Tell, “Remember Anthrax?” Weekly Standard April 29, 2002.
    Fred Reed, “Steve Hatfill, Anthrax, and Bushwah,” online.

    104. “FBI Ignored Letter in Anthrax Probe,” Newsmax August 15, 2002.

    105. National Enquirer. .

    106. Phil Brennan, “FBI Rejects Link Between Anthrax, 9-11 Terrorists,” Newsmax, August 16, 2002.

    107. “FBI Ignored Letter in Anthrax Probe,” Newsmax August 15, 2002.

    108. Larry M. Bush, Barry H. Abrams, M.D., Anne Beall, B.S., M.T., and Caroline C. Johnson, M.D., “Index Case of Fatal Inhalational Anthrax Due to Bioterrorism in the United States,” New England Journal of Medicine, 345:1607-1610, November 29, 2001.

    109. MS Traeger et al., ” First case of bioterrorism-related inhalational anthrax in the United States, Palm Beach, Florida, 2001,” Emerg Infect Dis , October 2002.

    110. Kathy Bushouse, and Kevin Krause, “FBI scouts back issues of tabloids in search for anthrax motive,” Sun-Sentinel, August 30, 2002.

    111. John Murawski, “Anthrax at AMI traveled via copiers,” Palm Beach Post, September 15, 2002.

    112. David Tell, “Who is Syed Athar Abbas,” Weekly Standard, July 17, 2002.
    Rocco Parascandola, “Guilty Plea in Fraud Case But Feds Fear Pakistani’s Purpose for buying Food Mixer,” Newsday , July 15, 2002.

    113. Air Force Journal, May 2002.
    Guy Gugliotta, Gary Matsumoto, “FBI’s Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted, Attacks Not Likely Work Of 1 Person, Experts Say,” Washington Post, October 28, 2002.
    Timothy P. Carney, “Milling Anthrax: Just a Click Away?” Human Events, October 29, 2001.
    “Tracking Anthrax,” PBS, October 17, 2001.

    114. Hannah Bloch, “Some More Spores?: Suspicious packages raise prospect that Pakistan may be the latest target of bioterrorists”, TIME, November 12, 2001.
    “Pakistan, other US allies grapple with anthrax scares,” Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 2001.
    “Anthrax attacks in Pakistan as US strikes raise tensions,” Middle East Times November 2, 2001.
    “Anthrax Found in Pakistan News Office, ” ABCNews, November 2, 2001.
    “US Firm in Pakistan Gets Anthrax Letter,” rediff.com October 24, 2001.
    “Pakistan reports anthrax exposures,” CNN, November 2, 2001.
    “Pakistan to test 3 people for anthrax exposure, ” CNN, November 3, 2001.
    Ghulam Hasnain, “Lethal Weapon: With three confirmed cases of anthrax exposure so far, offices in Karachi begin to gear up to face the new threat” Newsline (November 2001).
    “No anthrax in Pakistan: minister,” Dawn.com (reporting on 100 hoaxes and confirming that three cases at issue had not yet been retested; urging no need to panic).

    115. Ayman Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner, (2001).

    116. “‘Why We Fight America’: Al-Qa’ida Spokesman Explains September 11 and Declares Intentions to Kill 4 Million Americans with Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch Series – No. 388 June 12, 2002 No.388.

    117. “Federal advisers say U.S. unprepared for biological attack,” By Laura Meckler, Associated Press, August 27, 2002.

  4. DXer said

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

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

    Ahmed Ressam testified at his trial in New York that he participated in experiments using cyanide gas pumped into an office building ventilation system at a training camp run by bin Laden in Afghanistan. Abu Khabab camp was within the Darunta Camp, which also included the Assadalah Abdul Rahman camp, operated by the son of blind cleric Omar Abdel Rahman. Ayman liked the idea to make a home-brew nerve gas from insecticides and a chemical additive that would help speed penetration into the skin. In a June 1999 memo, however, he talked about building labs (with one being closed every three months so it can be moved and replaced by another), and planned to have them covered with oil paint so they might be cleaned with insecticides. It was not something that needed to be classified and yet was not disclosed to the NAS committee.

    Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in the history of intelligence analysis.

    • DXer said

      At the same time in early October 2001 that Bruce Ivins was in the B3 killing the 52 rabbits — inexcusably nowhere mentioned by the AUSAs in their Amerithrax Investigation Summary in which they argued he had no reason to be in the lab those nights — Abu Khabab and his students were similarly killing rabbits.

      JTF-GTMO Detainee Assessment
      wikileaks.org/gitmo/pdf/ti/us9ti-000257dp.pdf

      Masri, aka (Midhat Mursi al-Sayyid Umar), and members of the Taliban. ….. during his training, he poisoned rabbits and also saw a video depicting a dog …

      “Detainee told KU-568 he trained at a a base in Kabul with other Tajiks and Russians from his country. Detainee received poisons training in a class taught by Abu Khabab al-Masri after the 11 September 2001 terrorrist attacks and before the fall of Kabul during Operation Enduring freedom. Detainee stated during his training, he poisoned rabbits and also saw a video depicting a dog placed in a room with “smoke” which killed the dog. … (Analyst Note: Abu Khabab al-Masris is an an Egyptian national and known senior al-Qaida explosives and poison expert. He reportedly fled Afghanistan in October 2001.

      Abu Khabab is generally linked to Derunta Camp, which is located oustide of Jalabad, AF. Detainee’s poison training is assessed to be similar to the experimentation with cyanide described by GZ-10015.”

      Ravil Mgazazov… reported he received explosives and poisons training from an Egyptian national known as Khabab at a camp outside of Kabul. RS-702 and about 10 other students were taught fabrication of improvised explsoive devices from common items such as fertilizer and ammonia. RS-702 reported the instruction included lessons on poisons that could be inhaled, ingest, or absorbed through the skin. RS-702 specifically stated students fabricated poisons and tested them on live rabbits. This camp closed one week after RS-702’s arrival due to commencement of the US and Coalition terrorizing campaign.”

      • DXer said

        “Set our brothers free. Bastards”: Continuing Practice of Sending Poisonous Letters as Threats

        Sending poisonous letter bombs is also fairly understood as consistent with Al Qaeda’s modus operandi in that the Al Qaeda operations manual, a version on CD-ROM, had a chapter on “Poisonous Letter.” As with the insertion of biologicals into food, the key is mass panic, not mass casualty.

        The Belgian Prime Minister and the US, British and Saudi Arabian embassies have been sent letters containing hydrazine and an arsenic derivative used in nerve gas in May 2003. From a student of Midhat Mursi perhaps?

        A similar modus operandi was followed in New Zealand with cyanide in early 2002 and early 2003 by a sender purporting to be islamist — another student of Midhat Mursi perhaps?

        Some argue that islamists would never merely send lethal substances through the mail (though the risk of significant casualty is low) to send a message or warning. One of the ingredients is hard to obtain, suggesting one Health Ministry spokesman to remark that “We’re not dealing with a small-time joker.” A trial of 23 suspected al-Qaeda members was in its third week. “Set our brothers free. Bastards.” Couldn’t be a threat by islamists because they only go for mass casualties — not threats. Right? One of the defendants in that trial allegedly sought hydrazine for use in producing a bomb. A 45- year old Iraqi man was arrested.

        A December 2004 report on terrorism in the European Union noted that in July 2004, eight letters arrived at several official locations in Brussels that contained an ochre-coloured chemical substance that caused itchy eyes and breathing problems. Tests indicated that the substance was adamsite (phenarsasine). Some of the letters included “a threat letter written in (very poor) English, demanding that two recently convicted Islamic extremists are released within that month.”

        Zawahiri feels that in the usual case, the best way to get a lot of people watching is to kill the maximum number of people. But he wouldn’t disagree with the comment by Brian Jenkins that “Terrorism is theater.” Just those 10 grams cost an estimated $6 billion and have been the subject of thousands of news stories and the focus of widespread bioterrorism preparations. They were fully adequate to do the job even within the constraints of small batch production.

        The anthrax sender may not have intended to harm anyone. Stevens’ death was reported late on October 5. Whether the mailer knew of the death might depend on whether the mailing was made Saturday, October 6 — or whether it was made as late as Tuesday, October 9, the day it was postmarked after a long holiday weekend.

        Al Qaeda’s shura or policy-making council is concerned with handling its efforts in such a way as to develop and maintain the Arab hatred of the US and Israel. That requires a delicate balance and choice of suitable targets and methods. For example, as explained by the spokesperson in mid-February, Abu al Bara’a Al-Qarshy, Al Qaeda will not use WMD in a muslim country, particularly the home of Mecca and Medina. Terrorism involves public relations. Zawahiri divines from his religious texts that it is moral to kill American civilians on the grounds that they stood silent as taxpayers while US-bought weapons were used on Palestinians. In 1998, in an interview that appeared in TIME Magazine, Bin Laden himself explained that it was Al Qaeda’s “religious duty” to obtain chemical and biological weapons, but it was up to them how to use them.

        As Dr. Jane A. Alexander of DARPA once explained at DARPA Tech, 1999:

        “Small scale attacks may be adequate to immobilize national will with panic unless reasonable defenses are available. Terrorists do not need the technological sophistication of a military offensive biological warfare program. A military offensive BW program strives for predictable effect so that military operations can be planned. Terrorists could actually benefit from the variation of the onset and outcome of the illnesses creating added panic in the public.”

        The Ann Arbor NanoBio researchers thanked Dr. Alexander for her support of the DARPA research they were doing involving the Ames strain supplied by USAMRIID’s Bruce Ivins.

        The Al Qaeda shura (policy-making council) may deem that Al Qaeda needs to choose the methods of attack carefully so that they are both are effective and calculated to gain the support of others. (Gassing the Kurds ultimately was a public relations debacle for Saddam once the world stopped looking the other way).

      • DXer said

        Consider that the manuals that gave instruction — such as the one Midhat Mursi helped draft — were often used by jihadists as how-to manuals in actual planned operations.

        An obvious point, perhaps.

        But given that is the case, you would think that the chapter titled “Poisonous Letters” first seized in Manchester would have prevented the talking heads from opining that deadly letters were not AQ’s/EIJ’s modus operandi.

        http://www.theblaze.com/stories/terror-suspect-plotted-to-poison-spanish-water-supply/

        TERROR SUSPECT PLOTTED TO POISON SPANISH WATER SUPPLY
        August 23, 2011

        “Kill the enemies in the heart of Europe and the USA … attack their houses, poison their water, set off explosives in their markets and the places where they meet.” That is the statement made by al-Qaeda terror suspect Abdellatif Aoulad Chiba revealing his intention to poison the Spanish water supply.

        The jihadist-hopeful, who resides in Spain, reportedly plotted to poison tourists’ water supplies to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden. Police reportedly arrested Chiba on Wednesday in the town of Linea de la Concepcion.

        Undhimmi reports:

        Abdellatif Aoulad Chiba, a 36-year-old Moroccan, had gone so far as to obtain manuals on poisons, toxins and explosives on jihadist websites, the judge said.Police swooped soon after the suspect appeared to be saying farewell to his wife.
        Chiba’s online comments on jihadist websites “expressed a clear desire to carry out an attack against ‘infidels’ by poisoning human water supplies”, he said in a written ruling. The online comments indicated that he wanted to strike “at camp sites and tourist resorts”, most likely in Spain, said the judge of the National Court, Spain’s highest authority for hearing terrorist cases.
        “The risk increased after he entered in contact with other users of the forum who supplied him with manuals on how to make and use poisons, toxins and explosives.”
        Undhimmi adds that in one online post uncovered by police, Chiba swore allegiance to al-Qaeda’s North African branch, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

        The suspect had “expressed his intention to continue the organisation’s efforts to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden and other key members of Al-Qaeda,” the court stated.

        “It is considered probable that all the actions carried out by Abdellatif Aoulad could be the steps taken according to a plan whose goal could be to carry out a terrorist act,” the judge said.

        According to reports, Chiba’s online ravings called for attacks to be carried out in Europe and the United States but the court said the plot to poison water supplies “probably concerned Spain since that is where he lives.”

        On this occasion another plot has, hopefully, been foiled. Sadly, however, there will surely be another on its heels to take its place.

  5. DXer said

    Officials: Al Qaeda’s Mad Scientist [Abu Khabab] Killed
    September 10, 2009 1:34 PM
    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-224_162-4301490.html

    “Al-Masri, an Egyptian national, became notorious for developing chemical and biological weapons for al Qaeda. He was known to have used a variety of animals, including dogs, cats and frogs in brutal experiments which often left the animals dead.

    The Western security official, who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity, said al-Masri’s animal experiments were filmed and used by al Qaeda to train new volunteers in the use of chemical and biological weapons.”

    Comment:

    What role, if any, did Abu Khabab, have in Al Qaeda’s anthrax program? I asked Yazid Sufaat what experiments with animals Abu Khabab conducted in August/September 2001 timeframe with animals but Yazid declined to say. … leaving Allah to guide him on whether to write a book.

    Yazid, did he really experiment with cats and frogs (as well as dogs)? Using which agent?

    I think of Abu Khabab as associated with cyanide (such as the filmed experiments, I recall, according to one analyst who was asked to give his assessment). (J.M. Berger once told me that those are Egyptians speaking in the background).

    I also associate Abu Khabab also with [pesticide (based on reported intel that he had an idea to use saponin, a detergent, to increase absorption into the skin.

    And with aspirations to use a nerve agent.

    He was a chemist, not microbiologist. He was expert in explosives, not bacteria.

    But KSM or Yazid or any number of others could speak to the question and enlighten us.

    Did he ever experiment with animals using anthrax? Did he do the experiments at Kandahar?

    He trained Zacarias Moussaoui

    U.S. Strike Killed Al Qaeda Bomb Maker
    Jan. 18, 2006
    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1517986#.UEFIIWCwOm0

    For a long while, the FBI had posted the wrong photo of him.

    U.S. posts wrong photo of ‘al-Qaida operative’
    After year and a half, wrong man’s photo removed from wanted page
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11042211/#.UEFH9mCwOm0

    • DXer said

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

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

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

    • DXer said

      Abu Khattab was associated with Jafar the Pilot (Adnan El-Shukrijumah). A BOLO and reward for $5 million was issued along with the BOLO for Aafia Siddiqui and Jdey, the fellow that was detained at the same time as Moussaoui (and we learned a decade later was released).

      Here is a letter Jafar the Pilot (Adnan El-Shukrijumah) wrote Abu Khattab:

      Peshawar Islamic Center
      In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Praise to the Lord of worlds and peace to the Imam of Mujahdeen, Prophet Muhammad, as well as to his companions. Dear Abu Khabab: Salaam, God’s mercy and blessings to you. Happy Ramadan Holiday. May God accept your fasting. Dear Brother: I would like to advise you that Zubair (Zubayr) is a member of our group. He is from Qatar, trained in Al-Badr Camp, and intends to go to Kashmir. But because of snow over there, he could not go, so we appeal to you to accept him. He is trustworthy, and we hope that you can help him take a vocational training course. You have a lot of new things [trades that Zabair may be trained to do]. Thanks,

      Yours truly, Ja`far At-Tayyar (Al-Tayyar) [At-Tayyar means the pilot]

    • DXer said

      Now that the supporters of the salafi-jihadists will be receiving the billions in aid from the US, I don’t think Abu Khabab’s successors will be so hard up for cash. Here is a letter from Abu Hafs (a name I associate with the military commander Atef, Dr. Ayman’s boss) to Abu Khabab demanding that he remit the difference between what they advanced him and the cost of his airfare to Egypt for him and his family on a visit.

      Mohammed Al-Zawahiri says the US is seriously mistaken to consider his brother, Dr. Ayman, defeated.

      Isn’t Al-Zawahiri correct? Doesn’t the MB takeover of Egypt represent a harbinger of Dr. Zawahiri’s victory over the United States?

      No? Why not?

      Just watch Morsi pardon Shehata, Hamza and Taha in the upcoming trial and ask yourself what influence the US actually has over Egypt.

      “In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

      Honorable brother Abu Khabab, may God be with you Salaam and God’s mercy and blessing be unto you May God bless you and grant you reunion, and we also pray that you will be blessed with good offspring, Amen. When I came back from my trip, I heard about some of the incidents that took place between you and the brothers. I was very upset about what you did. I am going to mention some of these matters, and I hope that you can explain your point of view with respect to these issues by writing a detailed letter because I won’t be able to see you.

      1- Regarding the tickets: I obtained 75,000 rupees for you and your family’s trip to Egypt. I learned that you did not submit the voucher to the accountant, and that you made reservations for 40,000 rupees and kept the remainder claiming that you have the right to do so. We believe that you do not have the right to do that and a brother should take only what he needs for the trip. I would like you to know that we have never given such an amount to any one else at all. Abu Obaida [Obayda] issued this amount for you under great legal [Shari`a] stress. Accordingly, I hope that you meet with the accountant and give him a copy of airplane tickets as well as the remaining amount.

      2- Also with respect to the air conditioning unit, you have not been charged 20,000 rupees for it, and I believe that we won’t be able to get together until next summer. As you may know the furniture used by brothers in Al-Qaeda is not considered a private property for anyone, but rather a trust. This is the adopted norm; brothers are allowed to use the furniture until they leave, at which time they should return it.

      3- Regarding the salary, you may also know that you added an amount of 3000 rupees to the salary for three months during your sick-leave period. I met you and told you that you are not entitled for that, and that you have to check with Abu Obaida on that. You told me that you were in need of money. I responded by telling you to send the money back to us, and we will help with whatever we can. Immediately, thefollowing day, as I recall, I sent 15,000 rupees as an aid provided that you remit the amount that was added to the salary. I waited but you did not send us the money back, so please explain this issue with the accountant or with brother Othman. Page 22

      4- I also heard that you went to the Shari`a Institute and took the memos pertaining to the specialization [courses]. You have no right to do that; these [memos] belong to the work assets of the institute whether they were photocopies or [originals] assigned to you during work. We would like you to explain this issue as well.

      5- Please turn over the car to brother Othman at Al-Qaeda guesthouse. This is an order since you are one of Al-Qaeda personnel. Moreover, turn the memos back to where they belong, at the institute. You know very well – may God have mercy on you and us – that we are both equally responsible for the aforementioned amounts of money.
      I would like to remind you that you pledged allegiance in front of me to Abu Obaida. I would like to remind you and myself of the punishment for any violation whether in allegiance or in concealed intentions. I pray to God to grant you and me sincerity.

      6- I learned that brother Othman made an independent judgement that I do not have to be present. I would like in this regard to advise you of what is taking place at the present time. I learned that you talked to him in a threatening manner. This should not have been done because we are all brothers in the eyes of God, and if you believe that you were treated unjustly, all that you have to do is to check with official brothers about you feelings.
      God knows that we should be very careful not to do any injustice to anyone. We also pray to God to guide us all to the right path.

      Your brother Abu Hafs”

    • DXer said

      I picked up a vintage Jet Fogger today free for use with insecticide. Circa 1970, I think. Operates by pumping and you light the propane. Think of what Bin Laden and Atef could have done if they had Afghanistan Craigslist free stuff. The hadiths, IMO, prohibit this sort of thing.

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