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

* Laurie Garrett: FBI did not fully pursue evidence that might link the attacks to al-Qaida

Posted by DXer on September 22, 2012



139 Responses to “* Laurie Garrett: FBI did not fully pursue evidence that might link the attacks to al-Qaida”

  1. DXer said

    Health analyst Laurie Garrett is “terrified” of the Covid death toll in the coming months

  2. DXer said

    In his e-book marketed to his contacts on Linked-In, Vahid Majidi disagrees. He says that the FBI, for example, interviewed all of the people known to have contact with Mohammed Atta and was able to exclude them as mailer. Okay, Vahid. How did you exclude Atta’s lead accomplice Adnan El-Shukrijumah — given that you didn’t know where he was and yet knew that he had come from KSM’s house to the United States sometime after September 1, 2001. And why didn’t the FBI provide the documents relating to El-Shukrijumah to the 911 Commission?

    If you can’t answer that, then just sit over in the corner.

  3. DXer said

    It’s 10 o’Clock — Do You Know Where Your Bubonic Plague Is?
    Spilled smallpox, missing SARS, and rogue scientists with mutant H1N1. If you’re not scared, you should be.

    • JULY 10, 2014


    Of course, USAMRIID would prove to be the first lab compromised, as its Maryland facility came under scrutiny for possible culpability in the anthrax mailings of 2001. As the FBI bore down upon the Army lab, it was revealed that dozens of dangerous pathogen samples were unaccounted for; researchers were in the habit of taking samples with them as they traveled or relocated to other facilities, and record-keeping was sloppy, at best. Eventually, the FBI concluded that the mailings of anthrax were executed by a USAMRIID biologist, Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide on July 29, 2008. As I detailed in my 2011 book, I Heard the Sirens Scream, controversy continues to shroud every aspect of the FBI investigation except, perhaps, one: The fact that USAMRIID was incapable of providing reasonable biosecurity.


    I was at a book sale once and a customer highly praised Laurie Garrett’s book on plague. She is a very well-regarded, award-winning public health writer.

    But I also am a big fan of the scientists at USAMRIID who stood tall in defense of Bruce Ivins when it might have been easier for them to shy away from the matter.

    In 1997 and 1998, folks were just getting used to the new CDC regulation relating to transfer of Ames — and transfers of Ames within RIID to other researchers, as Bruce explained, were never recorded.

    We all should be slow not to appreciate the difficulty of inventory control in the case of pathogens where even a smidgeon surreptitiously taken can then be grown.

    The FBI’s 4 morph analysis — based as it was on an illusory process of elimination starting with up to 300 (and not merely 100) — and that was just at USAMRIID — was always a crock.

    • DXer said

      Report on the Potential Exposure to Anthrax Centers for Disease Control Prevention

      Click to access Final_Anthrax_Report.pdf

      —A laboratory scientist in BCFB laboratory noticed small flakes of material on the MALDI-TOF plate and took it to a chemical hood in that room and used a nitrogen air stream to blow off the flakes. This is regarded as a potential for aerosolization of the material.

      —Preparation of the MALDI-TOF plate included vortexing the extract material, which is a potential for aerosolization of the material. he vortexing is high-powered spinning of the liquid to prepare for further testing.

  4. DXer said

    Dr. Vahid Majidi dismisses the opinion of this leading, Pulitzer Prize-winning health journalist. Heck, she must believe that the moon landing was fake, right? It couldn’t be that the gaps in evidence are so huge that people aren’t persuaded. It couldn’t be that he has — in black and white pages of his book — proved he is clueless about the dating analysis that was done by 2002.

  5. DXer said

    The FBI should disclose to GAO the documents and the FBI’s findings relating to Shukrijumah’s before and after 9/11.

    Florida Terror Mom: My Son a ‘Good Boy’; ‘A Force for Good’
    Mother of Adnan Shukrijumah Says al Qaeda Only Trying to ‘Wake Up’ US with Attacks

    Sept. 10, 2010

    The Florida mother of one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, Adnan Shukrijumah, says her son is a “good boy” and that al Qaeda attacks are justified as a “wake-up” to America for its failure to respect God.

    “Is okay for anybody to do something to wake up a nation or a person when they see them go wrong,” Zurah Adbu Ahmed told ABC News.

    “The intention is to alarm America,” she said, “to recognize that America has forgot about God Almighty and he is the one in rule and control.”

    US law enforcement and intelligence officials say her 35-year old son fled his Broward County, Florida home one month before the 2001 terror attacks and has since emerged in Pakistan as a top commander for al Qaeda.

    The United States has posted a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts and he was recently added to the FBI’s most wanted terror list.

    Shukrijumah’s mother said she is not bothered if her son is part of al Qaeda because it is a “force for good.”

    In July, Shukrijumah was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York for his alleged role in “a terrorist plot against New York city’s subway system” and other targets in the US and the United Kingdom.

    US officials said Shukrijumah met with Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad in Pakistan and other “Western operatives.”

    Shukrijumah’s mother, 49, who still lives in the Broward County city of Miramar, says she has not seen or heard from her son since he left the United States but is confident he is being falsely accused by the FBI.

    “They want to do mischief in the land and they stick it on my son,” she said.

    Says US Was Behind 9/11 Attacks

    She said her son was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up there before the family moved to Florida in 1996, when Adnan was 21.

    He attended a community college in Broward County but became upset with the way women dressed, his mother said.

    “He said, ‘The woman’s body is something very treasureable. You’re not supposed to let it open so anybody and everybody could look to it.'”

    In 2001, several of the 9/11 hijackers attended a Broward County mosque run by her now-deceased husband, according to US law enforcement officials. Her son Adnan was reported to have spent time with hijack team leader Mohammed Atta prior to the attack.

    Mrs. Abdu Ahmed disputes any connection with her son and, in fact, denies al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks.

    “I think the USA itself did it,” she told ABC News.

    She said she wants to tell fellow Muslims and others in her community to stand up for al Qaeda.

    “You should not believe that al Qaeda or my son is a terrorist. This is something to scare you and make you hide under the table.”

  6. DXer said

    With each message, Zawahiri reminds us that he is not a moral person. In urging the kidnapping of innocents, he brings great shame to his sister, Heba, the microbiology professor, and his mother.

    First Published: 2012-10-27

    Zawahiri: Egyptian government corrupt, pro-American
    Qaeda leader urges Egyptians to restart their revolution to press for Islamic law, calls on Muslims to kidnap Westerners.

    Middle East Online

    Zawahiri said liberating Omar Abdul Rahman, an Egyptian cleric jailed in the United States for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and inmates at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay was an “obligatory duty for every Muslim.”

    Comment: I have long argued that this relates strongly to the motive in the anthrax mailings.

    The extradition of Egyptian islamists has been one motive for Zawahiri’s crimes over the past quarter-century. In 1993, Abdel Sattar was 33. The US Post Office employee was a member of the board at Abu Bakr mosque in Brooklyn. He was already a close associate of Abdel-Rahman. In talking to a Washington Post reporter, he took a zigzag ride to a place chosen at random at the last minute. He explained that bad things likely would happen if the blind sheik was not released. In December 1994, Algerian Islamic militants seized control of an Air France jetliner in Algiers in an unsuccessful bid to crash it into Eiffel Tower on Christmas Day. The hijackers demanded the release of the blind sheik.

    The United States State Department, on its webpage, explains that the Egyptian Islamic Jihad “[h]as threatened to retaliate against the United States for its incarceration of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman and, more recently, for the arrests of its members in Albania, Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom.” As one informant would later testify, Al Qaeda leadership, then in Khartoum, Sudan, found the blind sheikh’s arrest “very sad and.. very bad.” They concluded they had “to do something.. They talk about what we have to do against America.”

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

    Weaver explained that Sheikh Omar’s closest friend in Peshawar was Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a highly respected Palestinian. He was killed by a car bomb in 1989. Azzam established the Service Office, which he led until November of 1989, which like its sister office at the Alkifah Refugee Center, on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue, recruited Arab volunteers. Islambouli headed the office after Azzam’s death. Mohammed Islambouli had been a student of Sheikh Omar’s at the Upper Egyptian University of Asyut. WTC 1993 prosecutor McCarthy explained in a 2008 book: “In Peshawar, both in 1985 and several times thereafter, Abdel Rahman would enjoy the august company of his former student Mohammed Shawky al-Islambouli, a fixture there. A rising jihadist star in his own right, Shawky’s prominence owed much to his mythogenic brother…”

    By the time Weaver wrote her article for the Atlantic Monthly, Mohammed Islambouli had joined a cell with KSM in planning the aircraft and other attacks on the US and was with him in Doha, Qatar.

    In December 1995, the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad was attacked by a devastating car bomb following threats from militant Egyptian Islamist groups who demanded that the government of Pakistan stop extraditing their members who had stayed in Peshawar when the war came to an end. The groups also demanded that the United States release Sheikh Abdel-Rahman who had been imprisoned in connection with a plot to blow up New York City landmarks.

    In a booklet written by al Zawahiri, distributed among his colleagues in Pakistan and Afghanistan, al Zawahiri discussed the reasons that led to Egyptian Islamic Jihad to blow up the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad. He criticized all branches of the Egyptian government from the Minister of Information, to the army and police forces, the justice system, the public prosecutor’s office, and the religious scholars. But his harshest criticism was directed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was responsible for pursuing jihad members abroad and kidnapping and extraditing them. In September 2000, in an interview with an Arabic-language television station, Usama Bin Laden called for a “jihad” to release the “brothers” in jail “everywhere.” In the book he wrote at the time of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, he explained that the reason for the attack on the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan in 1995 was because Egypt had been extraditing fundamentalists from Pakistan. When surveillance of the US embassy showed that it was perhaps too difficult a target, the Egyptian embassy was targeted as a symbol. Zawahiri wrote in the Fall 2001 that : “It left the embassy ruined as an eloquent and clear message.”

    An FBI 302 memo dated December 30, 1996 relating to intelligence gathered from the jailed WTC 1993 plotter Ramzi Yousef — the one associated with the subtilis expert in 1993 by telephone records — reflected the same warning of a hijack-of-an-aircraft-to-free-the-blind sheik plot.

    Bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war on the United States complained of the arrests of Sheik al-Hawali and another colleague. In an interview, Bin Laden conducted with CNN’s Peter Arnett in 1997, Bin Laden told Arnett: “When the Saudi government transgressed in oppressing all voices of the scholars and the voices of those who call for Islam. I found myself forced, especially after the government prevented Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali and some other scholars, to carry out a small part of my duty of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.” The views of these two sheiks were promoted by the US-based charity, Islamic Assembly of North America (“IANA”).

    In a public relations debacle for the islamists, on or about November 17, 1997, six terrorists shot and stabbed a group of tourists visiting an archaeological site in Luxor, Egypt. Fifty-eight tourists were killed along with four Egyptians. The terrorists left leaflets explaining their support for the Islamic Group and calling for the blind sheik’s release. The torso of one was slit and a leaflet inserted: “No to tourists in Egypt.” It was signed “Omar Abdul Rahman’s Squadron of Havoc and Destruction — the Gama’a al-Islamiya, the Islamic Group.” Intelligence concluded that Bin Laden had financed the operation and that Luxor was ordered by Egyptian Islamic Group military commander Mustafa Hamza.

    Dale Watts, Chief of the FBI’s International Terrorism Section, explained in a 1998 Statement Before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee: “There is an indication that the November 1997 attack on foreign tourists in Luxor, Egypt, was apparently an example of this type of interwoven violence. The ambush appears to have been carried out in an attempt to pressure the United States into releasing Sheik Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in federal prison for his part in planning attacks against the president of Egypt and several sites in New York City. ”

    In 1998, the blind sheik issued a fatwa directing that Americans be killed to avenge his imprisonment. During the trial relating to bombing the U.S. embassies in Africa, one witness testified that Abdel Rahman smuggled a flier from prison calling on Muslims to avenge indignities he sustained as a prisoner. “Oh people, oh men of Allah, rise up from your deep slumber. .. Rise up and see justice done,” the sheik wrote in a letter smuggled out of prison.

    Zawahiri gave the same motivation for the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. In 1998, the “Information Office of the Jihad Group in Egypt” issued a statement — a copy of which was received by Al-Hayat — entitled “About the extradition of three of our brothers.” It said that “the US government, in coordination with the Egyptian government, arrested three of our brothers in some East European states.” The statement said: “The accusation leveled at our three brothers was participation in a group declaring jihad against the United States and Israel and their trade, and cooperation with the mujahidin in Kosovo outside US influence.” It continued: “We are interested in briefly telling the Americans that their message has been received and that the response, which we hope they will read carefully, is being [prepared], because we — with God’s help — will write it in the language that they understand.”

    Three days later, 220 people at the embassies, mostly Africans, were killed. Zawahiri deemed many were working on intelligence matters against islamists in the region. In response to a retaliatory cruise missile strike after the embassy bombings, Zawahiri told a Pakistan journalist by satellite phone that “The war has only just begun.” The phone had been bought by a charity worker in Columbia, Missouri who later lived with the father of the leader of the Virginia Paintball defendants Royer.

    In the Spring and Fall of 1999, the Blind Sheik’s assistant, Sattar, was in telephone communication with Deputy Military Commander Mustafa Hamza, the blind sheik’s successor Taha, Yassir al-Sirri, and al-Zayat. They spoke on conference calls about the blind sheikh’s withdrawal of his support for the cease fire. Although suspecting his phone was wiretapped, Post Office employee Sattar continued to talk vaguely in code about these issues with these people, all of whom were closely connected to al-Zawahiri. This was the period Zawahiri moved forward his anthrax planning and there was a public dialogue between Bin Laden and a London cleric’s call for a holy biowar.

    On September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised an interview with Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri, and Islamic leader Abu Yasser (of the Islamic Group and Al Qaeda), and Mohammed Abdel Rahman (the blind sheik’s son), during which they pledged jihad to free Abdel Rahman. They urged that his followers avenge the “insult” paid him by his imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder. Bin Laden vowed “to work with all our power to free our brother, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and all our prisoners in America, Egypt, and Riyadh. Bin Laden told his followers to remember Nosair, the man who assassinated Rabbi Kahane. In an audio overlay, Mohammed was heard saying “avenge your sheik” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

    When Abdel-Rahman visited Peshawar in the late 1980s and early 1990s Abdel-Rahman stayed in a large house outside of Peshawar with Mohammed Islambouli and Zawahiri. Al-Timimi would speak alongside Abdel-Rahman’s son at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1996. Alarm bells should have gone off when Al-Timimi in the late 1990s first started walking down the hallways with famed Russian bioweaponeer and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey. There is no indication that they did. Indeed, Ali Al-TImimi received a letter of commendation from the White House for his classified work in 1999 for the Navy while at SRA with Charles Bailey, the former USAMRIID acting commander.

    Zawahiri wrote in Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet published at the time of the second anthrax mailing that he agreed with the supporter of the “blind sheik” who said: “the Egyptian Government is guilty of a major shortcoming by not intervening to safeguard the shaykh, guarantee his humanitarian rights inside the US jail, and find a solution to his case because, in the final count, he is an Egyptian national, a Muslim scholar, and a professor at Al-Azhar university. Finally he is a blind and sick old man. His continued detention and the inhuman way in which he is treated will continue to be a source of tension on all levels.

    The ruling shura (council) of Egyptian Islamic Jihad in the mid-1990s had 14 members, including three in London. Two of those three, Adel Abdel Bari and Ibrahim Eidarous, at the time of the anthrax mailings, were the ones who had announced that the 1998 embassy bombings were in retaliation for the detention of the blind sheik and Sheik al-Hawali. They were in Belmarsh prison fighting extradition to the United States for alleged involvement in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Ahmed and Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, two of the Egyptian sheikh’s 13 children, were named as co-conspirators in the September 11 attacks.

    In late May 2000, Post Office employee Sattar had telephone conversations with Islamic Group leaders in which he explained that Abdel Rahman (1) did not object to a return to “work” (terrorist operations); (2) agreed that the IG should escalate the issues in the media; (3) advised the IG to avoid division within the IG’s leadership; and (4) instructed the IG to hint at military operation even if the group was not ready for military action.

    On October 4, 2000, US Postal employee Sattar called the Vanguards of Conquest publicist in London, Al-Sirri, and read to him a fatwa to be issued under Abdel Rahman’s name entitled, “Fatwah the Killing of Israelis Everywhere,” which Al-Sirri agreed to distribute. The next day, the fatwa appeared on a web-site operated by Al-Sirri.

    On or about November 21, 2000, Al Jazeera featured a meeting of Bin Laden, Zawahiri and Taha under a banner that read “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman. The three pleaded “jihad to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. Mohammed Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik’s son, was heard urging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.” But the blind sheik’s plight was also of concern to alleged Al Qaeda operatives in the US.

    Members of an alleged Detroit, Michigan terror cell had an angry conversation in June 2001 about Abdel Rahman’s imprisonment. Similarly, the Government’s Indictment of the Buffalo defendants explained that one of the reasons motivating the terrorists actions was that “al Qaeda opposed the United States Government because of the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of persons belonging to Al Qaeda or its affiliated terrorist groups or those with whom it worked.”

    IANA writer Kamal Habib, the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, was in charge of the “National Campaign to Release Detainees.” It perhaps was inevitable that IANA would be caught in the crossfire just as was Abdel-Rahman’s attorney Lynne Stewart. Al Al-TImimi had been on the board for the publication in Pittsburgh for which Kamal Habib had written.

    As a source, the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the U.S.” mentions “a senior EIJ member” living in California. The reference is to former US sergeant Ali Mohammed, Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence. The references in the PDB to the threat of aircraft hijacking in an attempt to free blind sheik Abdel-Rahman were perhaps underscored a month later when, the week before 9/11, the Taliban government offered to exchange eight Christian missionaries in exchange for Sheik Abdel-Rahman. Whether viewed as blackmail or retaliation, the detention of the blind sheikh and numerous other detainees in custody prior to 9/11 figured as an important part of the motive for all the terrorist attacks by the Salafist-Jihadis for years leading up to the anthrax mailings.

    Zawahiri should have realized long ago that his immoral crimes relating to the detention of Abdel-Rahman have been precisely been reason that the blind sheik could not be released. He seems to be using the issue only for PR purposes given that his actions have the opposite effect.

    In April 2005, Moussaoui confessed to a plot to fly a 747 into the White House if the United States government refused to free the blind sheikh. Bin Laden had considered hijacking a plane in an attempt to flee the blind sheikh but determined it was impractical.

    In the Amerithrax Third Squad’s testing of the theory that a supporter of the Salafist-Jihadis mailed the anthrax, concern for detention of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman should have been a major factor. Instead, new investigators cobbled together a complicated, nebulous theory of motivation based on subsidiary items that misrepresented the evidence — such as incorrectly identifying the letters that were double-lined. A forensic report not yet disclosed using magnification at 200X or 400X would have shown that a letter necessary to their imagined code was not in fact double-lined. By simply focusing on a scientific issue as simple as examination of handwriting under 400X magnification, the GAO could expose the FBI’s complicated and ever-changing theory as to motivation to be mistaken.

    Inference as to motivation is most reliably inferred based on the express statements of an individual as to his motivation. Here, the psychiatrists relied on — as their central witness — his counselor for a few sessions in July 2000 who imagined herself controlled by an alien who had implanted a microchip in her butt and gave her instructions each night.

    In my opinion, Amerithrax is the greatest failure in the history of intelligence analysis. It will be the legacy of all these United States officials who have continued to stand in the way of a sounder analysis.

    FBI officials seem mainly focused on moving on to higher paying jobs in the private sector.

    • DXer said

      Whether paintings or people, giving into the demands of extortionists only leads to more thefts and kidnappings.


      Opinion | October 25, 2012

      No Transfer for the Blind Sheik

      In last month’s Wall Street Journal, Michael Mukasey — the last of President George W. Bush’s three attorneys general, and, before that, a federal judge — wondered ominously:

      Are senior Obama administration officials considering transferring to Egypt a poisonously influential Islamist cleric serving a life term in federal prison for trying to unleash a war of urban terrorism in the United States? That’s the impression several officials have given over the past three months, apparently out of fear that if the cleric dies in U.S. custody, American outposts in the Middle East could be overrun by vengeful mobs.

      The Islamist in question is Omar Abdel Rahman, or the “Blind Sheik,” as he is better known. As a district judge, Mukasey presided over the latter’s trial, and imposed a life sentence for the Blind Sheik’s role in a conspiracy that included, among other things, the murder of a conservative New York rabbi and the World Trade Center bombing.

      Lifetime incarceration has not diminished the Blind Sheik’s status among Islamists. As Mukasey notes, while in jail, the Sheik issued a fatwa that bin Laden later cited as justification for the 9/11 attacks. He still has backers in his U.S.-designated terrorist group, Gama al Islamiyah, and Egypt’s new President, Mohammed Morsi, also reportedly has called for the Sheik’s release. But contrary to speculation by Mukasey and others, all this suggests that Rahman won’t be leaving his federal pen in North Carolina. Another reason is that the Secretary of State has denied any talk or consideration of a transfer. Ditto spokespeople for the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

      Skeptics like Mukasey are not persuaded. They note, for example, that one member of Gama al Islamiyah – who now is a member of Egypt’s parliament – was allowed to travel to the White House and urge the Sheik’s transfer. That seems to worry Andrew McCarthy, the man who prosecuted the Blind Sheik. In a column last week for the National Review, McCarthy batted away the Administration’s denials, and hinted that our feckless White House nevertheless might arrange for a handoff, sometime between election day and the next Administration’s swearing in.

      So neither the Blind Sheik’s sordid biography nor White House denials are enough to discredit the rumors of an ill-advised transfer? Then here is another, more fundamental reason to credit the Administration’s position, and to dismiss alarmist claims by McCarthy, Mukasey, and their ilk: the law. Close your eyes and try to imagine for a moment that, in an election year, the president has opened up backchannel talks with the Egyptian government. Assume further that these are not diplomatic dangles, and that the President truly wishes to whisk the Blind Sheik away, immediately after votes have been tallied in November. How can he do that, exactly?

      Certainly not through the Department of Justice’s international prisoner transfer program. Federal statutes authorize the attorney general to transfer federal prisoners to foreign jails, provided that a transfer treaty has been concluded between the United States and the receiving state. (Different rules apply to wartime detainees, like the men held at Guantanamo, but the Blind Sheik doesn’t fall into that category.) But no U.S-Egypt transfer treaty exists, and Egypt is not party to either of the two major multilateral transfer agreements which the United States has signed. Thus, if he wishes to adhere to longstanding practice, President Obama first would have to negotiate a treaty with Egypt; persuade two thirds of the Senate to bless the deal; and then ship the Islamist preacher off to live out his days in an Egyptian prison. That is a nonstarter for obvious reasons.

      Could the White House avoid the usual regime for international transfers—that is, by claiming the unilateral power to relocate the Blind Sheik, notwithstanding the absence of a treaty or authorizing legislation? Maybe, though the President’s authority here is unsettled. The executive branch has discretion over where prisoners may be held, but that doesn’t obviously include the discretion to move a convict from a domestic jail to a foreign one. And in any case, a unilateral transfer would mean gutting a longstanding policy for the sake of an especially noxious jihadist, and justifying the departure to a skeptical public and an equally skeptical Congress.

      That brings us to the president’s authority to issue pardons and to commute sentences. Though legally unbounded, the power’s exercise is subject to severe political constraints, of which this Administration is acutely aware. And suffice it to say that the politics of pardoning a convicted terrorist, upon the request of an Islamist radical, and in the name of placating Islamists abroad, are really, really bad – bad enough to make any president balk.

      But that’s only if we accept the premise behind Mukasey’s and McCarthy’s claims – that an irresponsible transfer could happen any day now, our national security be damned. Again, there are good reasons to doubt that premise. And when we consider the legal rules – which Mukasey and McCarty must know well, given their prior jobs – the truth seems pretty clear: the premise is false.

      The Blind Sheik, a duly convicted prisoner and member of a far-reaching terrorist conspiracy, isn’t going anywhere.

      • DXer said

        Al Qaeda Leader Calling for Kidnappings to Secure Blind Sheik’s Release
        By Elizabeth Murphy | October 31, 2012 2:27 pm

        Ayman al-Zawahiri appears in the two-hour video posted on several jihadist websites, saying the kidnappings are necessary so as not to “spare any efforts” to free the cleric, who was an ally of Osama bin Laden and whose followers were convicted in the 1993 attempted bombing of the World Trade Center.

        The Barack Obama administration and the Justice Department recently refuted speculation that they were considering transferring the convicted cleric to Egypt to appease new President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who called for his release. The cleric “will serve the rest of his life in prison,” a joint DOJ-State Department letter to eight GOP lawmakers recently said.

  7. DXer said

    The manual I cited in the past states: “Write a letter to the victim mentioning very exciting and very interesting news,” it reads. “Wipe the envelope from the inside with silicone sealant,” it goes on, “so it would not kill the mailman.”

    Kurt spends 4 pages of the densely packed discussion of the Manchester Manual in the endnotes in support of his point that Cheney’s statement was mistaken. His argument, however, is a straw man argument — Cheney’s statement, as phrased, is 100% correct and would refer to Volume 11 of the Encyclopedia of Afghanistan Resistance.

    A new volumes, number 11, was devoted solely to chem-bio and it was that volume 11 of the Encyclopedia Resistance that gave the instruction on poisonous letters and instructed that the inside of the envelope be covered with a silicone sealant to avoid killing the mailman. – Transcripts
    It turns out that the Al Qaeda terrorists already have a dreadful recipe book on … “Wipe the envelope from the inside with silicone sealant,” it goes on, …

    Target: Terrorism: Look at Al Qaeda’s Dreadful Recipe Book

    Aired November 15, 2001 – 09:42 ET


    PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Just this morning comes word that Taliban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar in an interview with the BBC said a plan is already under way to destroy America. It turns out that the Al Qaeda terrorists already have a dreadful recipe book on how to do just that.

    Chapter and verse now on this exclusive report from Mike Boettcher.


    MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The extent of Al-Qaeda’s operational knowledge was once contained in these, the never before seen 10-volume Encyclopedia of Afghan Resistance, which the intelligence service of an anti-terrorism coalition partner allowed CNN to videotape.

    In the foreword to each volume this: “To the beloved brother Osama bin Laden, who fought in Afghanistan with his should and his money, who still resists there and presses forward with the Jihad until now.” Inside platitudes give way to precise instruction in a variety of lethal techniques. “Killings from Close Range” the title of one, with a section on ambushes, complete with diagrams. Another volume is called “bomb and land mines.” The explosive volume contains directions on how to set detonators into blocks of TNT and plastic explosive.

    (on camera): Since the mid 1990s, the Encyclopedia of Jihad has been the guidebook for Al Qaeda operations.

    But now CNN has learned a new and even more frightening volume has been added to the collection. The recently publish 11th book in the collection, distributed on CD-ROMs to Al Qaeda cells, is a how-to manual on chemical and biological terrorism. CNN was permitted by an intelligence agency that intercepting the volume to inspect the entire almost 500-page document, and was given three chapters of the manual, in order to prove it’s existence.

    It is currently analyzed by Western intelligence agencies. It’s not known how many copies of the CD were produced. Precise, deadly formulas packed with new volume. All can be made from ingredients readily available to the public. For example, a chapter entitle “Purifying Manure” describes a clear-cut goal — quote — “To acquire pure forms of ammonium nitrate without any foreign substances in order to prepare RDX,” a powerful explosive compound.

    The poisonous letter is the title of one section … Write a letter to the victim mentioning very exciting and very interesting news,” it reads. “Wipe the envelope from the inside with silicone sealant,” it goes on, “so it would not kill the mailman.”

    In the chapter called “Science of Explosives,” precise chemical formulas are followed by step-by-step instructions in the manufacture of lethal weapons of mass destruction.

    Biological warfare sections of the new volume give exact formulas for the production of deadly toxins botulinum and ricin. But there was no evidence of instructions on how to make or distribute anthrax.


    BOETTCHER: Have they been utilizing the formulas, well, coalition sources tell CNN that within the past two years, at least six complete laboratories that could be used to make chemical or biological weapons have been purchased by Al Qaeda. Half of them sent from the United Arab Emirates, and the other half from the Ukraine, and the most recent three purchases were made earlier this year — Paula.

    ZAHN: Mike, how long the U.S. government been aware of the existence of these manuals?

    BOETTCHER: Well the Encyclopedia of Afghan Resistance, or sometimes it referred to as the Encyclopedia of Jihad, has been around for quite a few years, and it’s been held in the vaults of intelligence services. It’s a complete how-to manual, contains a lot of various things, as you saw there, also first aid. But as they have progressed in their knowledge, they have come out with specific new volumes, and this number 11 devoted solely to chem-bio.

    • DXer said

      Evidence suggests al Qaeda pursuit of biological, chemical weapons

      November 14, 2001 Posted: 11:58 p.m. EST (0458 GMT)

      From Mike Boettcher

      (CNN) — Coalition intelligence agencies say they have discovered evidence of transactions involving sophisticated laboratory equipment, along with a new bioterrorism manual distributed to cells of the al Qaeda terrorist network.

      The extent of al Qaeda’s operational knowledge was once contained in the 10-volume Encyclopedia of Afghan Resistance, which has been the template for actual and planned terrorism attacks against a variety of targets worldwide. (View pages from the manuals)


      Also drawing scrutiny is a camp outside Jalalabad, Afghanistan, that coalition intelligence sources tell CNN was bin Laden’s main chemical and biological training facility.

      Called abu-Khabab after the Egyptian chemical-biological weapons expert who directed it, the camp is one of seven that spies have been monitoring that once formed the heart of al Qaeda’s terrorist training.

      After September 11, large trucks were seen coming and going from the complex and were presumed to be moving equipment to new, unknown locations, CNN has learned. The camps are now believed to be mostly abandoned.

      CNN has been told al Qaeda does have new equipment to work with: at least six new laboratories that could be used to make chemical and biological weapons, according to a coalition intelligence agency.

      That agency said that three labs were purchased earlier this year by the Wafa Humanitarian Organization, whose U.S. assets were frozen after the government included it among several groups it identified as supporters of terrorism.

      The laboratory equipment was shipped from the United Arab Emirates to Afghanistan, according to the coalition intelligence agency.

      A second al Qaeda acquisition of sophisticated scientific equipment took place in 1999, according to the same sources. In that transaction, three labs were purchased from the Ukraine and sent to Afghanistan, the sources said.


      Still other evidence comes from a 1999 boast by a terrorism suspect alleged to be a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a radical group with links to Bin Laden’s al Qaeda network. Jihad was responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

      On April 19, 1999, in a chaotic Egyptian courtroom, Ahmed Salamah Mabrouk spoke before his sentencing hearing to Egyptian reporter Mohammed Salah, considered to be his country’s top al Qaeda expert.

      Through a caged-in section of the courtroom where defendants are kept, Mabrouk — who was charged in a terrorism conspiracy — admitted al Qaeda’s success in obtaining chemical and biological weapons.

      “He told me that Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri have access to chemical and biological weapons,” Salah said.

      Although Mabrouk didn’t specify what those weapons were, he said they came from countries in Eastern Europe, Salah said.

      “He also said that these chemical and biological weapons are already in the possession of some of the members of the organization, but (bin Laden lieutenant Ayman Al-Zawahiri) and bin Laden issued strict orders that they’ll never be used except in extreme emergency situations,” he said.

      Comment: Note that Mabruk, al-Najjar and Montasser Al-Zayat expressly said that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax — to retaliate for the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders.

      Thus, Kurt’s mistake on this — although a 4 page digression in his book limited to discussing only the “Manchester Manual” — goes to the heart of the failure in intelligence analysis relating to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

  8. DXer said

    October 13, 2012
    Franklin County marshals forces for anthrax drill

    ST. REGIS FALLS — Minor computer glitches were all that slowed a anthrax-exposure drill Friday that tested the preparedness of Franklin County Public Health staff.

    The state plans to evaluate how well counties have benefited from state-issued disaster-preparedness funding provided following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

    Comment: That’s an amazing amount of money in rural areas wasted on anthrax drills when it would have cost just one dollar to copy the pages showing that Dr. Ivins was doing the scheduled research that involved killing the 52 rabbits on those nights.

    • DXer said

      Mass Vaccination Drill in Rochester [MN]

      (ABC 6 NEWS) — Events like Hurricane Sandy often leave large amounts of people needing help. So Thursday, hundreds filled RCTC’s Field House to prepare for a mass vaccination.

      “We’re using a scenario where there was an anthrax exposure,” said Pete Giesen, with Olmsted County Public Health.

      More than a thousand employees from Olmsted, Wabasha, and Filmore counties were bussed in to participate in the simulation.

      First, the participants would fill out paperwork, then receive a bottle of antibiotics, and get a vaccination.

      And since Thursday was just practice, the pill bottles were filled with candy. The vaccines were flu shots.

  9. DXer said

    Here is the full-text of the earlier (from June 2012, I think)

    “Have We ‘Met the Enemy’ “? in Science by David A. Relman. He was the Vice-Chairman of the NAS panel reviewing the FBI’s science.

    Click to access 540.full.pdf

  10. DXer said

    A Mathematical Model of Bioterrorist Attack Risk Assessment
    Radosavljevic Vladan1,2, Belojevic Goran3 and Jovanovic Larisa4*
    1Headquarters of The Serbian Medical Corps, Serbia
    2Military Academy, Belgrade, Serbia
    3Institute of Hygiene and Medical Ecology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia
    4University Alfa, Belgrade, Serbia

    *Corresponding author: Jovanovic Larisa, PhD
    University ALFA, Palmira Toljatija 3, Belgrade, Serbia

    Received April 17, 2011; Accepted July 10, 2012; Published July 16, 2012

    The model is applied on the US anthrax attack in 2001. Mathematical modeling is also proposed to express the risk of human losses in a bioterrorist attack. The model may be helpful in predicting and preventing bioterrorist attacks.

    This paper presents a mathematical model of BTRA that includes vulnerability analysis of targets and feasibility analysis of perpetrators, agents and means/media of delivery. It is also used to express the risk of human losses in a bioterrorist attack. The model may helpful in predicting and preventing BAs.

    Comment: Let’s instead get back to 2 + 2.

  11. DXer said

    • DXer said

      The YouTube video above is a trailer to the new Ben Affleck movie about the CIA’s effort to craft a reality to accomplish the mission.

      Has that been done in Amerithrax?

      If so, does the CIA think any of the targets have been fooled by the Ivins fairy-tale? Why?

      From Fall 2001 onward, wouldn’t any US-based targets of surveillance have been so hard to be impenetrable? With people like Sufaat and Rauf Ahmad key opportunities to push the door open in a highly compartmentalized operation? How can Director Mueller claim that he did all he could in March 2002 when he went to Malaysia to gain access to Sufaat given that the funds continued to flow to Malaysia and yet the FBI did not even obtain its interview until November 2002? With any country, absent cooperation, shouldn’t the appropriations spigot be turned off?

      Wouldn’t any deception solely serve the purpose of CYA relating to the death of a USAMRIID scientist and the various egregious conflicts of interest that were allowed to continue?

  12. DXer said

    The Senate report asks the question: To what extent have the local fusion centers (and their undercover informants) been part of the problem rather than part of the solution? To what extent have they actually undermined effective counterterrorism efforts through shoddy intelligence analysis? To what extent have they violated First Amendment rights? I don’t know the answer and don’t have a view on the question overall. In fact, I don’t know where the line is drawn between work done exclusively by the Amerithrax Task Force and the work done by the local fusion centers. (My sense is that the Task Force kept its insights and opinions very closely held). I only have the opinion that the analysis in Amerithrax was shoddy (e.g., to not interview Yazid Sufaat prior to November 2002 and to not know of his involvement in Al Qaeda’s anthrax program; to not obtain the 16 pages until March 2005; to rely on a key witness, Judith McLean, who received her instructions from an alien each night who had implanted a microchip in her butt; and to intentionally and misleadingly omit all mention of the 52 rabbits as the reason Dr. Ivins had to be in the lab those nights etc.)

    An action under Section 1983 for damages, both compensatory and punitive, lies for violation of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.*/

    */ The right to petition the government is separate from the right of free expression.

    Copyright (c) 1986 University of Cincinnati Law Review.
    University of Cincinnati


    54 U. Cin. L. Rev. 1153

    LENGTH: 21021 words


    NAME: Norman B. Smith *

    * LL.B., Harvard Law School, 1965; Senior Partner, Smith, Patterson, Follin,
    Curtis, James & Harkary. Research and editorial assistance of Theresa M.
    Munson, student of the Vermont Law School, is gratefully acknowledged.

    … The right of petitioning is an ancient right. … Under the Petition of
    Right, parliament used petitioning to gain popular rights from the king. …
    Part VI traces the development of the petition clause in the first amendment and
    discusses the popular reaction to the suppression of petitioning, speech, and
    press rights under the Sedition law. … … In our
    representative democracy with universal adult suffrage and constitutional
    guarantees of free speech and press, the separate and vital right of petitioning
    is often overlooked or is assumed not to differ from speech and press rights.
    … Petitioning historically and textually is a separable right from speech and
    press, and the interests served by petioning go to the very heart of the
    principle of popular sovereignty. …



    Petitioning historically and textually is a separable right from speech and
    press, and the interests served by petioning go to the very heart of the
    principle of popular sovereignty. For these reasons, petitioning must be
    regarded as an extremely valuable right. Exceptions imposed on free speech and
    press must be critically examined before being held applicable to petitioning.
    However, only the core petitioning activities of drafting, circulating, and
    presenting petitions are subject to the higher degree of protection; other
    conduct, including holding public assemblies and publicizing the contents of
    petitions, should be judged under the less exacting standards that apply to
    speech, press, and assembly.

    • DXer said

      It cracks me up that every guy handed a bomb to blow up a building it turns out that it was an undercover.

      I’d let an undercover do graphics for a website (if he was willing to not charge me for looking at my zoo photos) but the minute he handed me a dud, I’d say thanks but no thanks.

      Bangladeshi man arrested after allegedly trying to blow up Fed building in NYC

      Read more:

      The 21-year-old suspect, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, attempted to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb in front of the Fed building on Liberty Street, but the device was a fake supplied to him by undercover FBI agents who had been tracking his activity, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force said Wednesday afternoon.

      A federal law enforcement official told Fox News that there was no evidence Nafis was directed by Al Qaeda to carry out this attack, though he appears to have thought he was working for the terrorist group.

      Read more:


      Man accused of plotting to blow up Federal Reserve Bank of New York

      Last Updated: 19 minutes ago

      • By: CNN Wire
      NEW YORK – Federal authorities running a sting operation arrested a 21-year-old Bangladeshi national with alleged al Qaeda ties who, they say, was planning to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb, officials said Wednesday.

      Read more:

    • DXer said

      Just as punitive damages are available in an action under Section 1983 for violation of the First Amendment, punitive damages would be available for violation of clearly established standards relating to the lawyer-client relationship.

    • DXer said

      And understand the purpose of the NSA warrantless wiretapping. The Bush White House cut the DOJ out of the loop (including the Amerithrax Task Force) and engaged in warrantless wiretapping of Ali Al-Timimi and his network and charity contacts — the lawlessness prevented an effective investigation of Amerithrax.

    • DXer said

      Although not licensed in New York State, she understands that the statute of limitations is tolled for so long as she is out of the country in Afghanistan.

    • DXer said

      Now who sent these people and why? Was it an agency of the Bush Administration? I regularly had explained that the Bush Administration would not have won a second term if had it been known that it was Andrew Card’s former assistant, Al-Timimi — not Saddam — who had been given unfettered access to the largest microbiological repository in the world.

      The bacteriological section of that repository had been supervised by the man, a collection scientist Jason Bannan, who became the FBI’s lead scientist in Amerithrax.

      It was the FBI’s other lead scientist who had made a dried powder out of Ames out of Flask 1029 — not Bruce Ivins. The multi-million dollar genetics effort narrowing the field at USAMRIID from 700 to 300 was just an expensive dog-and-pony show.

      The lead prosecutor’s daughter came to represent Al-Timimi pro bono.

      The government would argue that conflicts of interest were unavoidable because of the small field. (Don’t look now but there are lots of lawyers in D.C.)

      Al-Timimi had been given a letter of recommendation for classified work for the Navy while at SRA with Charles Bailey in 1999.

      So did the Bush Administration take advantage of the fact that they had special insights into Al-Timimi’s charity given Mr. Card’s personal connection? No. They cut the DOJ out of the loop and engaged in warrantless NSA wiretapping. See 9th circuit court decisions.

      Simultaneously, they tried to take a wrecking ball to or gain leverage over all those who dared point out that they had allowed US biodefense to be infiltrated by allowing Al-Timimi to share a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers. They sought — in the most outrageous ways possible — to gain leverage over those who would dare say that the Emperor had no clothes.

      Well, the Emperor still is buck naked. And I like to think of myself as swinging a ping pong paddle a lot harder than Tom Hanks or Bruce Ivins. Moreover, as I have often said, they have no secrets and never did.

    • DXer said

      Consider the recent Berkeley study of terrorism by the numbers — concerning use of undercovers and informants.

      Now picture those same tactics in support of a hide-the-ball operation motivated by CYA (and collecting a paycheck) that went way beyond withholding key documents under FOIA.

      There are undercover operations and there are undercover operations. A couple of rules of thumb:

      First, never target the whistleblower. That may get you into a lot of trouble and may lead to a multimillion dollar judgment for punitive damages under Section 1983 and also whistleblower laws. Certainly it is worth an article proposed to Mother Jones. Check your mail each day for the complaint drafted off the grid. Although litigation is uncertain, it is a lot more satisfying and is more likely to make up financially for the years of harm you have caused than hearing a constant stream of transparent lies known to be false.

      Two, never actually get under the covers.

      Because if the government is so lousy at intelligence analysis — as it seems to be — then you probably don’t actually understand what’s going on — any more than the government did before 9/11. Open source intelligence analysis and document examination was what was needed in Amerithrax. If the Bush Administration could cut DOJ out of the loop with NSA wiretapping, it is only those actually responsible who should suffer the consequences.

      And if the public and busy reporters find it hard to process elaborate factual backgrounds — and they do — any aerosol attack with anthrax will prompt people to look for answers and to understand the missteps in analysis that led to the mess known as Amerithrax. (It was the head of FBI counterterrorism who wrote me and described it as a mess.) And I of course keep all emails. As well as audio and video.

    • DXer said

      A bio explains that David Wise is the coauthor of The Invisible Government, the book about the Central Intelligence Agency that became the number-one best seller in the United States and has been widely credited with bringing about a reappraisal of the role of the CIA in a democratic society. He is also the author of Cassidy’s Run: The Secret Spy War Over Nerve Gas, (Random House 2000), Molehunt: The Secret Search for Traitors that Shattered the CIA (Random House, 1992), The Spy Who Got Away (Random House, l988), a book about the CIA’s first defector to the Soviet Union, The American Police State (Random House, 1976), and The Politics of Lying (Random House, 1973). What does Mr. Wise think about the recent study of the use of undercovers and informants reported in Mother Jones?

    • DXer said

      In my opinion, Amerithrax represents a scandal way bigger than Watergate.

      Watergate just involved some unlawful wiretapping of a political opponent.

      Amerithrax represented some unlawful wiretapping that served to obstruct justice (for political reasons) in connection with an existential threat faced by the country.

      The Administration clearly had authority to conduct wiretapping of Al-Timimi and his network under FISA — but they resorted to warrantless NSA wiretapping as part of playing hide-the-ball with respect to the dropped ball on the anthrax threat that would have kept the Bush Administration from winning a second term.

      Ask yourself: In the argument between Mueller and Card about NSA wiretapping, the NYT Lipton in his book BUSH LAW, as I recall it, said that there was a related aspect that had not come out yet.

      Isn’t this it? The motivation for the NSA warrantless wiretapping of Al-Timimi and his charity network?

    • DXer said

      With respect to other constitutional violations, note that an action against federal agencies is actual what is known as a Bivens action rather than Section 1983 claim — although the same law applies. A Bivens action is governed by the same statute of limitations as 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 actions. See Kurinsky v. United States, 33 F.3d 594, 599 (6th Cir.1994), cert. denied, — U.S. —-, 115 S.Ct. 1793, 131 L.Ed.2d 721 (1995); Industrial Constructors Corp. v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, 15 F.3d 963, 968-69 (10th Cir.1994); Van Strum v. Lawn, 940 F.2d 406, 410 (9th Cir.1991); Bieneman v. City of Chicago, 864 F.2d 463, 469-70 (7th Cir.1988), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1080, 109 S.Ct. 2099, 104 L.Ed.2d 661 (1989); Chin v. Bowen, 833 F.2d 21, 23-24 (2d Cir.1987). A Bivens action as “the federal law analogous to Sec. 1983,” Vennes v. An Unknown Number of Unidentified Agents, 26 F.3d 1448, 1452 (8th Cir.1994), cert. denied, — U.S. —-, 115 S.Ct. 721, 130 L.Ed.2d 627 (1995. “[A]n action under Bivens is almost identical to an action under section 1983, except that the former is maintained against federal officials while the latter is against state officials,” Christian v. Crawford, 907 F.2d 808, 810 (8th Cir.1990) (per curiam). Because of the similarities between section 1983 and Bivens actions, Bivens actions are governed by the same statute of limitations as section 1983 actions.

      The limitations period for a section 1983 action is governed by the statute of limitations for personal injury actions in the state in which the claim accrues. See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 280, 105 S.Ct. 1938, 1949, 85 L.Ed.2d 254 (1985).

  13. DXer said

    If and when Ayman Zawahiri attacks America with an aerosolized anthrax attack on a major city, there needs to a full-bore criminal investigation of the obstruction of justice relating to Amerithrax — by a Special Prosecutor.

    • DXer said

      The man on the telephone was telling me that he was under a gag order and that the FBI likely was wiretapping his telephone. Dr. John Ezzell was the FBI’s anthrax specialist who first examined the finely powderized anthrax sent to the United Senators Leahy and Daschle in the Fall of 2001. It was July 2009. He had returned my call from moments earlier. When he called, I was on the other line continuing a message on his voicemail. He confirmed that he made dry powdered anthrax at USAMRIID’s Ft. Detrick for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins from the infamous Flask 1029.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • DXer said

      Vanguards of Conquest

      The February 2001 PDB From The CIA To President Bush: The Late January 2001 Threat To Use Mailed Anthrax In Retaliation For The Detention Of Senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad/ Vanguards of Conquest Leader Mahjoub

      In late January 2001, the Immigration Minister in Canada and the Justice Minister received an anthrax threat in the form of anthrax hoax letters. The letters were sent upon the announcement of bail hearing for a detained Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Mohammad Mahjoub. Mahjoub had managed Bin Laden’s farm in Sudan. 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, reputed to be Bin Laden’s chief procurer of weapons of mass destruction. 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 illustrated Richard Clarke’s suggestion that most intelligence is open source. The PDB likely will be found to address the detention of Mohammad Mahjoub, his status in the Vanguards of Conquest/ Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and threats of revenge relating to the conviction and sentencing of senior militant Egyptians. 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.

      A February 14, 2001 memo from the CIA, produced in April 2012 to the National Security Archives under FOIA, explains: “Bin Ladin and his associates have experimented by crude means to make and deploy biological agents…Bin Ladin has sought to acquire military-grade biological agents or weapons,” said one of the documents dated 2001. CIA Director Tenet testified that by 9/11, seventy senior Egyptian militants had been rendered. Ayman Zawahiri’s brother Muhammad had been rendered to Cairo from Yemen. The documents show that Ayman’s anthrax planning moved forward in earnest that month. Muhammed in interviews this month — to include CNN — says that there is no ideological difference between him and his brother.

      On October 5, 2001, Mahjoub’s bail was denied. Someone then rushed to carry out the earlier threat. They mailed a finely powdered anthrax to the two United States Senators they perhaps deemed most responsible for the rendition of Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders and appropriations to Egypt and Israel. The Government Accountability Office should ask for an unredacted copy of the February 14, 2001 CIA memo on the planned use of anthrax in retaliation of rendering and detention of IG and EIJ leaders. Amerithrax would be seen with entirely new eyes.

    • DXer said

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

      Al Qaeda’s former lab director Yazid Sufaat is on Facebook. He accepted my “friend” request. He tells me that what he did was for the love of Allah. He says the plan is on the way. He tells me that he realizes that by addressing these issues he may “jack” himself up. Hank Crumpton, a former CIA officer and top counterterrorism official, says Yazid Sufaat’s “mission was bio-attacks against American targets.”

      A March 23, 2012 article reporting on an interview with Yazid Sufaat explained:

      “Among the longest-serving ISA detainees in history, Yazid, currently under travel, asset and arms deals sanctions imposed by the United Nations, believes his incarceration has to do with his “expertise.” Trained as a biochemist on a government scholarship in the United States, this top student of the Royal Military College who retired as a captain with the army was part of a biological warfare programme under the Defence Ministry. Yazid was hesitant to reveal details about the government’s “secret” programme which was later scrapped, describing it “a long story.”

      “When they (the police) first took me in, I didn’t tell them (about the government programme). I didn’t want them to know, didn’t want the liability to fall on the government, to pass the buck to someone else.”

      “Finally, they managed to get a report from their ‘friend’ and they wanted me to clear things up. I didn’t want to clarify (anything), so they took my wife in,” said the father of four.

      His wife, Sejahratul Dursina@Chomel Mohamed, was held under ISA for two months and after this was placed under a movement restriction order for six years. It was his wife who graciously noted to his other friends that I was an attorney who thought Al Qaeda was behind the anthrax mailings. While courteous, Yazid declined to answer the many substantive questions I posed noting his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid incriminating himself.

      ” ‘If you want to be released from ISA, just follow what they say and admit to all the charges… I refused to do so and they kept me for seven years… because I don’t want to sing (Negara-ku).’

      ” ‘I don’t want to sing. Why should I (when) the country had betrayed me?’ Yazid asked. …”

      “The other two individuals linked to 9/11 who stayed in the Sungai Long condominium were Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi – two of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon.”

      “The duo, according to the United Nations, had stayed at Yazid’s condominium in January 2000 to attend what the UN termed an “al-Qaeda conference” in Kuala Lumpur.”

      ” ‘I was not there. At that time I was in Pakistan and Afghanistan, building a hospital there,’ Yazid said.”

      “Next to the hospital, he said, was a laboratory where he is accused of developing biological weapons.”

      A leaked Guantanamo Bay document posted on Wikileaks noted that a Yemeni detainee said Yazid had “poor lab techniques”. But Yazid said that he was in fact “successful” in developing some “bugs.” He says the laboratory was destroyed when the Northern Alliance forces bombed Kandahar. “I can still find (anthrax) if I want to, but what for? It has no commercial value.

      • DXer said

        What is the root problem reflected in the recent Senate report on fusion centers and the violation of First Amendment rights?

        Is the problem that, for example, the local officers who meet and talk freely upstairs in the private room at Rocky’s on North Salina didn’t turn in their homework as students?

        Does local law enforcement select for good analysts? Or people who like walking around their old neighborhood with a gun.

        I have no idea. But in Amerithrax, I saw crap analysis, lies and out-of-control hide-the-ball and shredding of documents with respect to the study involving 52 rabbits that explained why Dr. Ivins was in the lab in late September and the first week of October 2001.

        If the DOJ and US Attorney would make such a grossly misleading argument — claiming Ivins had no reason to be in the lab the first week of October — what is the limit of the lies they think justified? What is the limit of the lies that they think can get away with? If two AUSAs in DC don’t think the Constitution requires that they turn over 302s of witnesses (on the grounds that they are not prior statements), what are the Consttitutional standards followed by the office? If there was widespread cheating on the open book about how to lawfully conduct an investigation, might that result in a situation where the investigators should have been more scrupulous in doing and turning in their homework on compliance with the United States Constitution?

        Life is a matter of keeping a series of agreements.

        The Congressional report needs study– to include a good case study in which the documents are obtained in civil litigation. … before they are shredded (such as the civil deposition of Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott was shredded).

        US intel effort named citizens, not terrorists
        By: EILEEN SULLIVAN | Associated Press
        Published: October 03, 2012

        WASHINGTON (AP) A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a U.S. Senate report concludes. It portrays an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone’s ability to control.

        What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found.

        “The … investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot,” the report said.

        When the program did address terrorism, it sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The fusion centers have made headlines for circulating information about the American Civil Liberties Union, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights.

        One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group’s list of book recommendations. Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting.

        The bipartisan report is a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. Much of this money went for ordinary local crime-fighting.

        Homeland Security says the report is outdated, inaccurate and too focused on information produced by the program, ignoring benefits to local governments from their involvement with federal intelligence officials.

        Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don’t know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent.

        Despite that, Congress is unlikely to stop the funding. That’s because, whether it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state and local governments.

        A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 unclassified reports over a one-year period and concluded that most had nothing to do with terrorism.

        No evidence of criminal activity was contained in those reports. The government did not circulate them, but it kept them on government computers. The federal government is prohibited from storing information about First Amendment activities not related to crimes.

        “It was not clear why, if DHS had determined that the reports were improper to disseminate, the reports were proper to store indefinitely,” the report said.


      • DXer said

        What strain of anthrax does the US imagine Yazid Sufaat to have been using?

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

      By 2001, Al-Timimi was allowed access to the American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”), the most diverse microbiological repository in the world and allowed to work alongside staff at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense. The Center for Biodefense personnel were working under the largest biodefense award in history. Delta (avirulent) Ames was supplied by NIH and work with virulent Ames was done at Southern Research Institute in Frederick, Maryland under a subcontract.

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

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

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

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

      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, Dugway, 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 first was faxed the 16 pages describing the research on March 2005.

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • DXer said

        في ذكرى أفظع جريمة إرهابية

        وصف تشرشل القرن الماضي بالقرن الفظيع، ولا يبدو أن القرن الحالي سيكون أقل فظاعة إذا حكمنا عليه بما استهل به من حادث 11 سبتمبر، وتداعياته الرهيبة التي لا يبدو لها في الأفق نهاية.
        ولا يساوي فظاعة هذا الحدث الإجرامي إلا غرابته، وغموضه، وبقاء الأسئلة التي يثيرها التفسير الرسمي، الذي قدم له، معلقة دون جواب، وذلك بالرغم من مرور عشر سنوات على وقوعه.
        وليست الغرابة ناشئة عن مجرد عجز دولة كالولايات المتحدة الأمريكية عن الكشف عن حقيقة جريمة خطيرة وقعت على أرضها، فاغتيال الرئيس كيندي، ومحاولة اغتيال الرئيس ريجان مثلان شاهدان على أن الغموض في مثل هذه الجرائم لا يعتبر أمرا غير عادي.
        كما أن الغرابة ليست ناشئة عن العجز عن الوصول إلى أسرار جريمة منظمة كهذه الجريمة، فالجرائم المنظمة في العادة يراعى في التخطيط لها، وفي تنفيذها، أقصى درجات السرية والخفاء، وإذا وقعت هذه الجرائم بمساهمة قوة ذات نفوذ بالغ، فمن الطبيعي أن تبذل مثل هذه القوة ذات النفوذ أقصى ما تستطيعه للتعمية على الجريمة، والحيلولة دون الكشف عن أسرارها، وأن لا تقل قدرتها في ذلك عن قدرتها على تنفيذ الجريمة.
        أما حين تكون الجريمة من الجرائم التي تقع تحت ما يسمى (إرهاب الدولة)، أي حينما تكون الجهة المسؤولة عن ملاحقة الجريمة وكشفها هي نفسها مسؤولة عن ارتكابها، فإن عدم الكشف عن حقيقتها أو تقديم صورة زائفة عنها يكون حينئذ هو الأمر الطبيعي المعتاد.
        وليست الغرابة في حدث 11 سبتمبر فيما حفل به التفسير الرسمي، المقدم له، من تناقضات ومحالات منطقية، بل الغرابة في سهولة قبول الناس للتفسير الوحيد الذي قدم للحادث، والذي يتلخص في أن شخصاً على بعد آلاف الأميال، (وكانت اتصالاته وحركاته، منذ وقت سابق ليس بالقصير، تحت سيطرة المجاهر الاستخبارية لعدة دول متعاونة تستخدم أبلغ وأحدث تقنيات التجسس) استطاع أن يحيّد الدفاعات لأقوى دولة في التاريخ، وأن تخدمه عشرات الصدف فيستطيع التخطيط للحادث وتنفيذه، والتعمية على آثاره بدون مساعدة قوة محلية ذات نفوذ عال وبالغ.
        حينما نستبعد الاحتمال الميتا فيزيقي، إذ لا يتصور أن تعين المعجزة أو الكرامة أو خرق العادة على ارتكاب الجرائم، فإن لاعقلانية التسليم بالتفسير المقدم من الإدارة الأمريكية للحادث، أوضح من لاعقلانية التفسير ذاته.
        وفيما يلي بعض المعلومات التي قد تعين على الإجابة عن الأسئلة التي أثارها التفسير الرسمي المقدم للحادث والتي لم يُجب عنها حتى الآن:
        1- منذ عهد مكيافيلي لم يعد غريبا على الحكومات والأنظمة السرية في أوروبا وأمريكا ممارسة ما يسمى (بالحرب القذرة dirty war)، ولكن رعاية للجانب الغير أخلاقي لهذه الممارسات، فإنها كانت دائما تحاط بأبلغ درجات السرية والإخفاء، ولذلك فإن إعلان رئيس دولة تصريحا تتناقله وكالات الأنباء بأنه سوف يمارس “الحرب القذرة” في حربه القائمة اعتبر سابقة تميز بها القرن الحالي.
        2- تحت مادة Terrorism وعند الكلام على ما يسمى (بإرهاب الدولة) أشارت الإنسايكلوبيديا البريطانية Encyclopedia Britannica إلى الاتهامات المتبادلة بين طرفي الحرب الباردة (الاتحاد السوفيتي والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية) من قيام كل طرف بتنفيذ عمليات إرهابية، أو المساعدة على تنفيذها، ضد الطرف الآخر أو الحكومات الموالية له، وذلك طوال مدة الحرب الباردة بين الطرفين.
        3- وعندما صدر في عام 2004 كتاب NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe لمؤلفه العالم والكاتب السويسري) دانيل جانسر(Ganser Daniele ، كشف عن حقائق كانت خفية أظهرتها فيما بعد الوثائق، فعند بداية الحرب الباردة بين “العالم الحر” والاتحاد السوفيتي، كانت الاستخبارات الأمريكية، والاستخبارات البريطانية تعاونتا على إنشاء تنظيم مليشيات تُزوّد بالتدريب والأسلحة والذخائر والمتفجرات، وكان الهدف في البداية أن تكون حركات مقاومة في المدن فيما لو قامت حرب وهاجم حلف وارسو إحدى المدن في غرب أوروبا، وجد هذا التنظيم تحت اسم جلاديو Gladio وتألفت من هذا التنظيم شبكة في كل بلدان حلف الأطلسي، بل تجاوزت الشبكة ذلك إلى البلدان المحايدة كسويسرا والسويد، وفيما بعد استخدم هذا التنظيم بالاتفاق مع الحكومات في القيام بأنشطة إرهابية شملت تفجيرات وأعمال عنف في إيطاليا وبلجيكا وفرنسا، كان الهدف منها أن تنسب للحركات اليسارية فتشوه سمعتها وتفقدها تعاطف الجمهور، وكان من أبرزها عملية تفجير قنبلة في غرفة الانتظار في محطة بولونيا Bologna في عام 1980 وقتل فيها 85 شخصا، ونسبت في وقتها إلى تنظيم ”الألوية الحمراء“ وصارت معروفة بها لمدة طويلة قبل أن تكتشف حقيقتها، وقد حققت هذه العملية هدفها، وهو فقدان الحركة اليسارية في إيطاليا تعاطف الجمهور معها.
        وكما جاء في تقرير برلمان روما بنتيجة التحقيق في عمليات “جلاديو”: [إن هذه المذابح والتفجيرات وعمليات العنف كانت منظمة أو بمشاركة ودعم شخصيات من داخل المؤسسات الحكومية الإيطالية، وكما ظهر مؤخراً من قبل رجال من استخبارات الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية].
        4- وقبل شهر تقريبا من حادث 11 سبتمبر 2001 صدر كتاب (جيمس بامفوردJames Bamford ) المعنون Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency وقد كشف الكتاب، بناء على الوثائق خططا كان قد قدمها الجيش الأمريكي بعد فشل عملية خليج الخنازير إلى وزير الحرب الأمريكي روبرت مكنمارا، إذ كان الجيش الأمريكي في ذلك الوقت متلهفاً على إيجاد مبرر يقنع الرأي العام المحلي والدولي بغزو كوبا، كان من ضمن هذه الخطط قصف سفينة حربية أمريكية في جوانتنامو، أو قصف مدينة أمريكية على الساحل الشرقي للولايات المتحدة أو ضرب مركبة رائد الفضاء الأمريكي (غلين) عند عودته، أو إسقاط طائرة مدنية أمريكية، تطير فوق كوبا، ويعلن فيما بعد بأنها تحمل طلابا في رحلة مدرسية، بحيث تنسب هذه الأعمال إلى الحكومة الكوبية، وتبرر عملية عسكرية ضدها، ولكن أيا من هذه الخطط لم تنفذ لسبب غير معروف.
        5- بعد حادث 11 سبتمبر مباشرة تحدث الخبراء العسكريون عن دقة ومهارة المناورات التي قام بها الطيارون المختطفون للطائرات الأربع، ولا سيما الطائرة التي هاجمت مبنى البنتاجون إذ حسب الوصف الحكومي للهجوم كانت الطائرة قادمة من جهة البيت الأبيض، واستطاع الطيار أن يتجه إلى مبنى البنتاجون، ولكن بدلاً من أن يهاجم الجناح الذي أمامه، والذي كان مشغولاً بالمكاتب أو يسقط الطائرة فوق المبنى، وكلا الهدفين كان أيسر نسبياً، لجأ الطيار إلى تحقيق هدف أصعب فتجاوز مبنى البنتاجون، ثم دار راجعا بزاوية 272 درجة ونزل رأسياً من ارتفاع شاهق حتى قارب مستوى الأرض، وهاجم الجناح الخالي من المكاتب والذي كان تحت الصيانة، وهكذا لم يخسر البنتاجون سوى عسكري واحد.
        أكد الخبراء في ذلك الوقت أن مثل هذه العملية لا يستطيع أن يقوم بها إلا طيار حربي عالي التدريب، بالغ الكفاءة.
        6- لم تمض ثلاثون ساعة على الحادث إلا وكانت الصور الكاملة للأخوين أمير وعدنان بخاري، الطيارين السعوديين، تملأ شاشات التلفزيونات في الولايات المتحـدة وفي العالم، ويتكرر عرضها بإلحاح يوم الأربعاء التالي ليوم الحادث، وعرف العالم كله أن الإدارة الأمريكية تمكنت من التعرف على هوية إثنين من الطيارين الانتحاريين، ولكن بعد ما ظهر أن أحد الأخوين الطيارين لا يزال على قيد الحياة وأن الآخر كان مات قبل أكثر من سنة، لم يعرف ذلك إلا النادر من الناس.
        ولم يعرف الناس أنه في يوم الأربعاء نفسه، عندما كان التلفزيون يلح في فترات متقاربة على إظهار صورة الأخوين بخاري، والتأكيد بأنهما الطياران اللذان هاجما مبنى التجارة، كانت المباحث الأمريكية قبضت على الطيار عدنان بخاري، وبقي رهن التوقيف والتحقيق عدة أيام، وكان مصدر في الخطوط السعودية أخبر جريدة الشرق الأوسط بعد خمسة أيام من القبض عليه بأن الخطوط السعودية تتابع التحقيقات التي تجري مع عدنان، ولكن ليس هناك ما يدل على أن أحداً تمكن من الاتصال بعدنان بعد القبض عليه، وأثناء التحقيق معه.
        وبعد القبض على الطيار عدنان بخاري كانت الاستخبارات الفلبينية بالتعاون مع الاستخبارات الأمريكية تستقبل في مطار مانيلا الطائرة السعودية في رحلتها 780 القادمة من جدة، وتقبض على قائد الطائرة محمد عمر بخاري ولم يفرج عنه إلا بعد أربعة أيام وبعد أن كانت صور الأخوين أمير وعدنان بخاري قد اختفت عن الظهور في التلفزيون الأمريكي.
        السؤال: هل يمكن أن يكون ما حدث خطأ غير مقصود؟
        (العبرة) أن الإعلام القوي في نطقه، كما هو في سكوته، استطاع بصورة مدهشة أن ينسي العالم هذا الحادث، وكأنه لم يحدث.
        بعد فترة قصيرة من الحادث نشرت الإدارة الأمريكية صور تسعة عشر شخصا مسلماً قيل إنهم هم المتهمون باختطاف الطائرات الأربع، ونشرت كامل هوياتهم؛ الصورة، والاسم، وتاريخ الميلاد، في الصحف وعلى حوائط المباني العامة وعلى جدران المطارات العالمية.
        لم يسأل أحد فيما بعد لماذا غاب الطياران الأخوان بخاري عن هذه القائمة؟.
        وقيل: إن الإدارة الأمريكية اهتدت إلى تعيين هوية المتهمين بالاختطاف، وأن من بينهم أحد عشر شخصاً من الجنسية السعودية، بينهم أربعة طيارين، وفي الأيام التالية بعد نشر هذه القائمة ظلت الصحف السعودية يومياً تتلقى إعلان واحد أو أكثر من المشمولين في القائمة يصرحون بأنهم لا يزالون أحياء، وأنهم وقت الحادث كانوا خارج الولايات المتحدة وقبل أن تمضي أيام على الحادث صرح وزير الداخلية في المملكة العربية السعودية أنه حتى وقت التصريح ظهر أن سبعة من المتهمين “الانتحاريين”، بينهم الأربعة الطيارين، لا يزالون أحياء، وبعد صدور هذا التصريح بيومين نشرت الصحف السعودية إعلان شخص ثامن من المشمولين في القائمة بأنه لا يزال حياً.
        وفيما بعد أعلنت الإدارة الأمريكية عن وجود جواز سفر سعودي لأحد الخاطفين قرب ركام البرجين المتهدمين نجا “بمعجزة” من الحريق، ولما سخر العالم من هذا التفسير توقفت الإدارة الأمريكية عن تكرار قصة معجزة الجواز، ولكن لم يسأل أحد فيما بعد عن حقيقة هذا اللغز: كيف وصل جواز سفر شخص مفقود إلى الإدارة الأمريكية؟، ولماذا؟، وبأي وسيلة؟.
        وقد بقيت صور الانتحاريين (الأحياء) معروضة للجمهور مدة طويلة دون أن تمحى من قائمة المتهمين، كان من هؤلاء الأحياء أربعة طيارين من السعوديين.
        7- بعد أن فقدت قوائم الاتهام الطيارين السعوديين الستة، لم يبق بين الذين لم يعلن عن وجودهم أحياء طيارٌ مؤهل لأن يقوم بالمناورات التي قامت بها الطائرات، ولاسيما الطائرة التي قيل أنها صدمت مبنى البنتاجون.
        وقد كان الرئيس حسني مبارك وهو طيار سابق للطائرات المقاتلة، قال في وقت الحادث: إنه لا يمكن أن يقوم بهذه المناورات، حسب الرواية الرسمية، إلا طيارٌ حربي طويل الخبرة وعالي التدريب، وكذلك قال مثل هذا القول الرئيس بوش الصغير عند اجتماعه بفريق من المسلمين الأمريكان بعد الحادث[1]، فأصبحت الرواية الرسمية للحادث تتحدث عن أمر لا تفسير له إلا أن يكون قضية ميتافيزيقية أو قضية خرافية.
        لقد قيل أن أربعة من المتهمين قد التحقوا بمعهد تدريب للطيران، ولكن مستوى معرفتهم باللغة الإنجليزية وتدربيهم في معهد التدريب لم يرتق بهم إلى إمكانية الإقلاع بطائرة التدريب الصغيرة، كما صرح بذلك مدير معهد الطيران، وقد ظلت تكرر معلومة أن هؤلاء المتدربين كانوا يعبرون عن عدم حاجتهم للتدريب على الإقلاع والهبوط، وإنما التدريب على قيادة الطائرة وتوجيهها في الجو، ظلت هذه المعلومة تكرر مدة طويلة حتى نفاها المسؤولون عن التدريب.
        إن قيام هؤلاء الأشخاص بمستوى تأهيلهم المذكور بمناورات الطيران والهجوم بحسب ما جاء في وصف الروايات الرسمية واحدة من العديد من خوارق العادة التي صاحبت حادث 11 سبتمبر، كما وردت في الروايات الرسمية، ولكن غرابة هذه الخوارق لم تكن بأعجب من سهولة تصديق الناس بوقوعها في هذا العصر الموصوف بعصر العلم والعقلانية والتحيز ضد الغيبيات والميتافيزيقيات صحيحها وباطلها.
        8- لم يكن الهجوم على برجي التجارة ومبنى البنتاجون كافيا لإدخال الخوف من الإرهاب الإسلامي على قلب الرجل العادي في أمريكا، فلم يمض شهر بعد حادث 11 سبتمبر حتى شغل العالم كله برسائل توجه داخل الولايات المتحدة إلى رجال الكونجرس وكبار الصحفيين تحمل هذه العبارة “الموت لأمريكا، الموت لإسرائيل، الله أكبر” مصحوبة داخل المظروف بمسحوق وباء الجمرة الخبيثة Anthrax، وتسبب ذلك في إصابة وموت عدد من المواطنين الأمريكيين، ودخل الرعب كل بيت في أمريكا الشمالية، وأقبل الناس على التطعيم ضد (الجمرة الخبيثة) وشحت الطعوم في مخازن الأدوية، وتعاقدت الحكومة الكندية مع إحدى الشركات لإنتاج تطعيمات ضد الجمرة الخبيثة بمبلغ مليون دولار، وتغيرت إجراءات تداول البريد ليس في أمريكا وحدها بل في العالم، وكان حديث الإعلام وكبار السياسيين طوال ذلك الوقت عن الإرهابيين المسلمين الذين وصلوا إلى إنتاج السلاح البيولوجي واستعماله.
        وبعد أكثر من شهر عندما كشفت خبيرة السلاح البيولوجي الدكتورة (باربرا روزمبرج Dr. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg) أن المسحوق الذي استعمل في الرسائل من إنتاج معامل الجيش الأمريكي ومخزونها، وأن التقنية التي وصلت إلى إنتاج هذا النوع من المسحوق بدرجة من النقاء تبلغ ترليون جرثومة في الجرام الواحد، هذه التقنية لم توجد لدى دولة أخرى غير الولايات المتحدة.
        بعد هذا الكشف سكتت الضجة، ونسي الناس الرعب الذي ظل يلفهم، كما نسوا قضية الأموات والمصابين، وكان التفسير البديل الذي قدم للناس: أن المسؤول عن هذا العمل هو في الغالب شخص وطني!! مخلص!!، أراد أن ينبه الأمة بصورة عملية عن خطر امتلاك الإرهابيين المسلمين للسلاح البيولوجي.
        وفي شهر أغسطس 2008 تناقلت مصادر الأخبار[2] أن وزارة العدل الأمريكية وجهت الاتهام بالمسؤولية عن إرسال الرسائل وما نتج عنها إلى العالم (senior biodefense researcher) العامل في مختبرات الجيش الأمريكيUnited States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID (بروس. إى. آيفنز) Bruce Edwards Ivins وذلك بعد مضى بضعة أيام على موته.
        أغرب ما في الحكاية، أن ما كشفت عنه خبيرة السلاح البيولوجي، بعد أكثر من شهر، كان لابد معروفا للإدارة الأمريكية من اليوم الأول – إن لم تكن هي نفسها متورطة في العملية- ولكن الدولة الديمقراطية لم تُسئل من قبل البرلمان، ولم تُحاسب عن وضع الشعب في حالة فزع ورعب من الإرهابيين المسلمين لمدة أكثر من شهر، وعن تغييب الحقيقة، وتزييفها، عن طريق الإعلام وتصريحات السياسيين.
        9- بالرغم من الجهود المبذولة طول السنوات الماضية في محاربة الإرهاب الإسلامي، والتي ليس من أقلها الشحنات الكبيرة والمستمرة من المشتبه فيهم الذين يختطفون ويرسلون إلى ما يسمى بالمواقع السوداء Black Sites حيث مراكز التعذيب في دول الاتحاد السوفيتي السابقة – بما فيها أشنع مركز للتعذيب في العالم في أوزبكستان وبعض الدول في الشرق الأوسط، وذلك تحت عذر الحاجة للحصول على معلومات فإن أسرار حادث 11 سبتمبر لا تزال في المرحلة التي وصفها مدير المباحث الفيدرالية الأمريكية بعد عدة أشهر من الحادث بقوله[3]: [إن الخاطفين لم يتركوا أي أثر يظهر صلتهم بالغير، ولم نجد في أمريكا أو في أفغانستان قصاصة ورق تدل على شيء من ذلك].
        إن شحنات المرشحين للتعذيب التي ترسل للمواقع السوداء، والتي تتوقف في المطارات الأوروبية وتغض الحكومات الأوروبية النظر عنها، لا تؤشر فقط إلى المستوى الأخلاقي الذي بلغته الدولة المتحضرة في أمريكا وأوروبا فيما يتعلق بالقيم الكونية بل تكشف عن غرائب ما كان يمكن أن تصدق لولا أنها وقعت، وإلاّ من كان يصدق بأن الإدارة الأمريكية بالتعاون مع الجهات الأمنية الكندية تختطف مواطناً كنديا من أصل سوري ثم تشحنه إلى سوريا (محور الشر كما تسمى) ليتم استجوابه تحت إمكانيات التعذيب، ولما تأكدت الأجهزة السورية المختصة بأن ليس لدى الرجل ما يمكن أن يكون موضع اهتمام الحكومة السورية أو الحكومة الأمريكية أطلقت سراحه، مما اضطر معه رئيس الحكومة الكندية إلى الاعتذار، والاعتراف بأن هذه العملية نقطة سوداء في تاريخ الحكومة الكندية، وأن تعوض الحكومة الكندية الرجل عن البلاء الذي تعرض له جسميا ونفسيا بمبلغ عشرة ملايين دولار كندي.

        بقية المقال في الحلقة القادمة بإذن الله

    • DXer said

      Zawahiri’s Planned Use of Charities And Universities As Cover

      On August 20, 2001, Saleh Hussayen, who would soon be appointed minister of the Saudi government and put in charge of its two holy mosques, arrived in the United States to meet with some of this country’s most influential fundamentalist Sunni Muslim leaders. In Ann Arbor, he met with officials of the Global Relief Foundation and Islamic Assembly of North America. IANA promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. On the night before September 11, Hussayen stayed at a Herndon, Virginia hotel where three of the Saudi hijackers stayed.

      As a Detroit Free Press headline explained in 2004, “Unproven weapons claim led to Islamic charity raid in [mid-December] ‘01.” Global Relief Founder (”GRF”) co-founder Rabih Haddad was associated with Bin Laden’s Makhtab al-Khidamat, which was headed by Mohammed Islambouli in Peshawar. The government froze the assets of the GRF on December 14, 2001, saying it was a financial conduit to terrorists. The 911’s Terrorist Financing Monograph notes that GRF’s newsletter openly advocated a militant interpretation of Islam and armed jihad. The 911 Commission reports that the FBI suspected the Executive Director of being affiliated with the blind sheik’s Egyptian Islamic Group. The 911 Commission explains: . “In early 2000, Chicago informed Detroit that GRF’s executive director, Chehade, had been calling two Michigan residents. One of these subjects was considered GRF’s spiritual leader and the other, Rabih Haddad, was a major GRF fund-raiser.”

      Its Chairman, Ann Arbor, Michigan community leader Rabih Haddad, was arrested in mid-December 2001 for overstaying his visa. Haddad taught twice a week at an Ann Arbor school and was an assistant to the leader at Ann Arbor’s mosque. He was an imam there. Rabih Haddad was a fundraiser for the mosques in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and for the Ann Arbor chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

      Congressman John Conyers, Jr, of Michigan joined several newspapers in suing to force the government to open the hearings. After a visit by Congressman Conyers in March 2002, Mr. Haddad was removed from solitary confinement and placed with the general prison population.” Mr. Haddad’s lawyer, Ashraf Nubani, of Northern Virginia, said at the time that his client travelled mostly to Pakistan as part of his relief efforts. Haddad refused to testify before a grand jury unless granted full immunity.

      The New York Times reported that “Prosecutors said they were keeping some evidence secret to protect terrorism investigations.” Haddad’s lawyer arranged the pro bono representation for the Virginia Paintball defendants, including Al-Timimi, who came to be represented pro bono by the daughter of the former lead Amerithrax prosecutor Daniel Seikaly.

      The FBI had a better relationship with the CIA in the investigation of BIF than with GRF. The 9/11 Commission noted that “[t]he Chicago agents believed the CIA wanted to shield certain information from the FBI because of fears of revealing sources and methods in any potential criminal litigation in the United States.” Chicago agents benefited from the New York Office files on the two charities but the New York FBI office personnel were overwhelmed and working their own leads. The Illinois-based investigations remained an intelligence gathering exercise with no thought given to a criminal prosecution to disrupt the financing of Al Qaeda until after 9/11.

      In mid-October 2001, Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones of Louisiana State University told an NPR reporter that an insider could have taken some anthrax from a lab. ” ‘If I were to guess,’ he says, ‘it was probably some summer intern talking to a friend in a local bar. The friend said, “Could you get me some?”‘ Hugh-Jones noted that various groups had been scouting for anthrax for years.

      In January 2003, the Chairman of Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America, which promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks, was arrested for bouncing a $6,000 check. Dr. Bassem Khafagi operated International Media Group out of his home. Before 911, according to the counsel for Falls Church scientist Ali Al-Timimi, Ann Arbor resident Khafagi was asked about Al-Timimi “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. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden — [redacted]” Khafagi was a good friend of microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi and his personal papers were later found in Al-Timimi’s residence.

      Dr. Tarek Hamouda at NanoBio in Ann Arbor thanked Louisiana State University researchers for making space available for the research. The LSU researchers had provided four characterized strains while Bruce Ivins had provided virulent Ames. After the anthrax mailings, “We’ve had subpoenas left, right and center. We were inspected twice by the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. Hugh-Jones told a reporter. “The FBI is frequently calling in. We’re cooperating closely.”

      The Ann Arbor researchers in December 1999 went to Dugway, a military installation in the remote Utah desert to demonstrate the effectiveness of their biocidal cream on an aerosolized anthrax surrogate.

      In late August 2001, NanoBio moved in to its new offices from less impressive digs in the basement of a bank. Bruce Ivins had supplied its University of Michigan researchers Ames strain three years earlier for DARPA-funded biodefense research.

    • DXer said

      Infiltration of the Military and Biodefense

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

      A handwritten letter from 1999 is written on letterhead of the oldest microbiology society in Great Britain. The 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces by Rauf describe the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; a conference he attended on dangerous pathogens cosponsored by UK’s Porton Down and Society for Applied Microbiology, and the need for vaccination and containment. Rauf had arranged to take a lengthy post-doc leave from his employer and was grousing to Zawahiri that what the employer would be paying during that 12-month period was inadequate.

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

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

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

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

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

      • DXer said

        Kurt Eichenwald in 500 DAYS (2012) refers to Alawi’s claim that Sufaat had poor lab techniques even though the detainee assessment emphasizes that Alawi regularly lied and refused to cooperate on the subject of anthrax. Alawi was a charity worker helping Sufaat with financing from Karachi. Kurt nowhere mentions that Sufaat was part of Malaysia’s biological program. Yazid, in contrast, tells me that he could work magic.

    • DXer said

      EIJ Military Commander’s Claims About Ayman’s Anthrax Plans

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

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

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

      Correspondence between Mabruk and Jaballah in 1997 reported on Jaballah’s recruitment efforts. Mabruk, EIJ’s military commander, was pleased. Jaballah confirmed with Shehata and Mabruk his view of the reliability of the individuals he had recruited. His reported that his recruits were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Zawahiri and the Vanguards of Conquest sought to recreate Mohammed’s taking of mecca by a small band through violent attacks on Egyptian leaders.

      The cause of the Egyptian militants had suffered a serious setback with the murder of tourists at Luxor. After the public relations debacle of Luxor, and after the August 1998 US embassy bombings, al-Qaeda actively sought religious and legal opinions from Movement scholars around the world who might help rationalize the killing of innocents.

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

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

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

      In early February 2001, the CIA briefed President Bush on what was known about Al Qaeda’s anthrax plans. The bail for Vanguards of Conquest #2 was denied on October 5, 2001. The anthrax mailer then sent especially deadly anthrax to the people in the symbolic position of appropriations to Egypt and Israel and the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Egyptian Islamic Group leaders.

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

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

      In February 2011, the National Academies of Sciences reported:

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

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

      However, not all replicates of the DNA extracts from the positive samples gave positive results. Apparently, an earlier collection mission to this site, prior to May 2004, by others in the intelligence community had also yielded samples with positive PCR results for B. anthracis
      DNA and negative culture results. As a result of these findings, a third collection mission was conducted in November 2004 and this time large portions of the site were returned intact to the United States, including the entire sink, drain, and associated plumbing that had been the source of the positive March 2004 samples. These items were extensively sampled, and again tested for both viable B. anthracis and for B. anthracis DNA. This time, according to the June 2008 declassified document, all the tests were negative (FBI Documents, WFO Report).
      The committee was provided only fragmentary information about and limited primary data from this work and received them very late in our study. We consider these data to be inconclusive regarding the possible presence of B. anthracis Ames at this undisclosed overseas site. Several scientific and technical issues should be explored in more detail, such as the performance characteristics of the assays, whether or not the assays were validated for use with these sample types, the degree to which samples or sample locations gave repeatedly positive results, interpretation of inconsistent positive results, whether or not the Ames 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. I did not think to ask Dr. Franz about testing at SRI (of which he had been Vice-President) — when I asked him if SRI had virulent Ames in Fall 2001 he declined to respond.

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

      In 2002, a man named Singh tried to purchase over the internet a wireless video module and a control module for use in an unmanned aerial vehicle (”UAV”). He chose an airborne video system with a camera and transmitter able to transmit video images from a UAV back to a receiver from as far as 15 miles away. The video camera could be used in military reconnaissance and in helping aim artillery and other weaponry across enemy lines. Singh placed his order from England, but the company was unable to confirm Singh’s overseas credit card. Two young men from Northern Virginia, Chapman and Khan, who were among the group later known as the “Virginia Paintball Defendants,” assisted him in completing the purchases. As the 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. Although drafted by Al-Timimi, the letter was sent from Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali and warned of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Rm 154A in George Mason’s Discovery Hall (down from former USAMRIID head Dr. Bailey in Rm 156B) would be Victor Morozov’s room number when he first assumed Timimi’s phone number in 2004 (and before he moved to a newly constructed, adjacent building). Morozov was the co-inventor with Dr. Bailey of the related cell culture process under which the silica was removed from the spore surface. A faculty member who would consult with Ali suggests that it instead was Rm. 154B, in the middle of the office suite.

    • DXer said

      Former Jama’a al-Islamiya leader wants pardon, not retrial

      Al-Masry Al-Youm
      September 7, 2012

      Tahseen Bakr
      Former Jama’a al-Islamiya leader Ahmed Refa’i Taha told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper Friday that he wanted to be pardoned, rather than released pending a ruling in a case in which he is accused of terrorist activities outside and inside Egypt.

      The Beni Suef Criminal Court decided to release Wednesday four Jamaa al-Islamiya leaders pending a ruling in the case of the “Returnees from Albania.”

      A military court had formerly sentenced the defendants to death.

      The case was referred to a civilian court after Parliament amended the military judiciary law and canceled the president’s power to refer civilians to military courts.

      The Returnees from Albania are accused of being jihadists who flocked to the Balkans after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 under the pretext of supporting the resistance. Some returned to Egypt while others moved in the early 1990’s to allegedly fight with the Muslim residents of Balkan countries.

      The Egyptian authorities charged the defendants with attempting to overthrow a regime, killing civilians, and targeting tourism and Christians.

      Along with Taha, Jama’a al-Islamiya Shura Council member Osman al-Samman, group leader Mostafa Hamza, and brother of former President Mohamed al-Sadat’s assassin Showky al-Islambouli were released. The Beni Suef Criminal Court adjourned the case until Wednesday, 5 November to give the defendants’ lawyers time to study the case.

      Taha expressed dissatisfaction with his release pending retrial.


      Mohammed Al-Islambouli Finally Surfaces

      Kenneth Katzman in “Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2001,” CRS Report for Congress, September 10, 2001 explained that past plotting by the bin Laden network suggests that “the network wants to strike within the United States itself.” Mr. Katzman explained in the September 10, 2001 report to Congress:

      “The following Egyptian Islamist figures have been named SDT’s: (1) Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, who was acquitted in 1984 of inciting Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s assassination, is in a medical detention facility in Missouri following his October 1995 conviction for planning terrorist conspiracies in the New York area; (2) Ayman al-Zawahiri, about 50, who is a top lieutenant of bin Ladin (see below) and was convicted in Egypt for the Sadat assassination, (3) Rifa’i Taha Musa, about 47, another top aide of bin Ladin; … and (6) Muhammad Shawqi Islambouli, about 46, the brother of the lead gunman in the Sadat assassination. Islambouli, a military leader of the Islamic Group, also is believed to be associated with bin Ladin in Afghanistan.”

      Muhammad Islambouli is connected to both Midhat Mursi (aka Abu Khabab) and blind sheik’s son Mohammed. Islambouli was a former student of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. The CIA and FBI knew all of this on September 10, 2001. The IANA charity was promoting the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks who had been expressly the subject of the 1996 Declaration of War. Handing over the “keys to the kingdom” to a scientist working with Bin Laden’s sheik and actively supporting the Taliban — or even storing them in the same building — was not a good idea.

      In October 2006, the Al Qaeda spymaster Al-Hakayma, who had written about the Amerithrax investigation, announced that the Egyptian Islamic Group had joined Al Qaeda. In his introduction on the tape, Al-Zawahiri said the Egyptian Islamic Group was led by Mohammed al-Islambouli, the younger brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, the militant who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. Islambouli fled Egypt in 1988. Mohammed al-Islambouli worked for Maktab al-Khidmat (Bureau of Services) in Peshawar. Maktab al-Khidmat was established by Azzam, Bin Laden’s mentor, and financed by Bin Laden. The blind sheik would stay with Islambouli and Zawahiri in a large house outside Peshawar when he visited from Brooklyn. Islambouli was deputy leader of the Islamic Group. Islambouli told the press that the group would continue its holy war against the Egyptian government.

      In early 1993 he moved 100 miles west to Jalabad, Afghanistan from Peshawar upon a crackdown on Arab fighters. In 1993, the US and Egypt was putting pressure on ISI to deal with the same militants everyone had welcomed repelling the Soviets from Afghanistan. Islambouli was sentenced to death in absentia in 1993. The CIA noted in a December 4, 1998 President Daily Briefing to President Clinton that Islambouli was involved in planning the attacks on the US involving aircraft and other attacks in retaliation for the detention of the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. According to the PDB, someone from Saudi Arabia was expected to travel to the United States to meet with other Egyptian Islamic Group members to discuss options. At one point, Islambouli was thought to have spent much of his time in Algeria under the assumed name Mahmoud Youssef.

      In January 2007, Muhammad Hanif, a spokesman for the Taliban, spoke quietly to the camera. Taliban leader Mullah Omar, he said, was living in Quetta under the protection of the Pakistan ISI. In a press conference, the governor of the province on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan reported that they had found packets of powdered anthrax in his home upon his arrest. As reported by Afghan Islamic Press news agency and translated by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, the Governor said: “A biological substance, anthrax, was also seized from those arrested. They planned to send the substance in envelopes addressed to government officials.” The claim has not been confirmed or corroborated.

      In March 2007, Khalid Mohammed confessed before a military tribunal that “I was directly in charge, after the death of Sheikh Abu Hafs [Atef] of managing and following up on the cell for the production of biological weapons, such as anthrax and others, and following up on dirty-bomb operations on American soil.

      In late March 2007, islamist attorney Mamdouh Ismail was arrested. Egyptian authorities accuse Mamdouh Ismail, a prominent defender of islamists and former EIJ member who had been imprisoned for 3 years after Sadat’s assassination, of working with Ayman as a key liaison with Iraqi and Yemeni jihadis. The prosecution claimed that Attorney Ismail linked the Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan with networks in Algeria, Iraq and Yemen. Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution also charged Ismail with leading what officials termed al Qaeda’s “Egyptian Project,” an effort to revive al Qaeda in Egypt. Ismail was the attorney for Egyptian biochemist al-Nashar, a polymerization expert who owned keys to the bomb flat of the 7/7 London subway bombers. Al-Nashar had been a student in North Carolina in 2000 where Al-Timimi’s group had a branch.

      But it’s a new day. Now the President of Egypt can be expected to pardon Taha and Islambouli. Maybe if FBI had not messed up Amerithrax, the Salafists supporting the jihadis had not won a democratic election in Egypt.

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

      Just because Al Qaeda likes its truck bombs and the like to be effective does not mean they do not see the value in a deadly missive. As Brian Jenkins once said, “terrorism is theater.” A sender purporting to be islamist sent cyanide in both early 2002 and early 2003 in New Zealand and ingredients of nerve gas in Belgium in 2003. There’s even a chapter titled “Poisonous Letter” in the Al Qaeda manual.

      A former leader of an armed Islamic group in Libya, Numan Bin Uthman, recently wrote an open letter Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2007 indirectly revealing that the purpose of the anthrax in the first place was deterrence against the invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Uthman, alluding to a Summer 2000 meeting over several days in Kandahar at which these issues discussed, argued that the strategy of using nonconventional WMD to deter an invasion of Afghanistan was a misguided and failed strategy. Use of such weapons, he explained to Zawahiri, merely contributed to both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    • DXer said

      Zawahiri’s April/May 1999 Memos To Al Qaeda’s Military Commander Atef and Interest In Anthrax and Pesticides

      George Tenet, in At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, summarized:

      “The most startling revelation from this intelligence success story was that the anthrax program had been developed in parallel to 9/11 planning. As best as we could determine, al-Zawahiri’s project had been wrapped up in the summer of 2001, when the al-Qaida deputy, along with Hambali, were briefed over a week by Sufaat on the progress he had made to isolate anthrax. The entire operation had been managed at the top of al-Qai’da with strict compartmentalization. Having completed this phase of his work, Sufaat fled Afghanistan in December 2001 and was captured by authorities trying to sneak back into Malaysia. Rauf Ahmad was detained by Pakistani authorities in December 2001. Our hope was that these and our many other actions had neutralized the anthrax threat, at least temporarily.”

      In an April 1999 memorandum, Zawahiri wrote that “the destructive power of these [biological] weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapons. ***[D]espite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concern that they can be produced simply.” Demonstrating that Al Qaeda’s knowledge and expertise was still at a very early stage despite the grand statements and threats the earlier year, the memorandum read:

      “To: Muhammed Atef
      From: Ayman al-Zawahir
      Folder: Outgoing Mail
      Date: April 15, 1999
      I have read the majority of the book [an unnamed volume, probably on biological and chemical weapons] [It] is undoubtedly useful. It emphasizes a number of important facts, such as:
      1) The enemy started thinking about these weapons before WWI. Despite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concerns that they can be produced simply with easily available materials.
      b) The destructive power of these weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapon
      c) A germ attack is often detected days after it occurs, which raises the number of victims.
      d) Defense against such weapons is very difficult, particularly if large quantities are used.”
      Ayman continued: “I would like to emphasize what we previously discussed—that looking for a specialist is the fastest, safest, and cheapest way [to embark on a biological- and chemical-weapons program].

      Simultaneously, we should conduct a search on our own.*

      ** Along these lines, the book guided me to a number of references that I am attaching. Perhaps you can find someone to obtain them.”

      The memorandum goes on to cite mid-twentieth-century articles from, among other sources, Science, The Journal of Immunology, and The New England Journal of Medicine, and lists the names of such books as Tomorrow’s Weapons (1964), Peace or Pestilence (1949), and Chemical Warfare (1921). The April 1999 email to Atef indicated Ayman had read one USAMRIID author’s description of the secret history of anthrax reported by USAMRIID — the book was called Peace or Pestilence.

      That letter and Dr. Ayman’s background reading was 2 1/2 years before the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. Post-9/11, we have had the same history avidly reported to us by critics of the biodefense industry. Ayman, well-aware of USAMRIID’s history with anthrax, may have had an operative or some other sympathizer arrange to obtain the US Army strain that would point the public and authorities to this history — confounding true crime analysis at the same time providing moral justification for the use anthrax under the laws of jihad. His interpretation — alluded to in the repeated citation to a particular koranic verse — was that jihadists should use the weapons used by their enemies.

      In Afghanistan, Zawahiri was assisted by Midhat Mursi (alias Abu Khabab). In his late 1940s, Mursi had graduated from the University of Alexandria in 1975. An Egyptian chemical engineer, he ran the camp named Abu Khabab. Intelligence reportedly indicates that Midhat Mursi had for some time been linked to the Kashmir-based Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to a May 7, 1999 email, the modest amount of $2,000 to $4,000 had been marked for “startup” costs of the program. A letter dated May 23, 1999 written by one of Zawahiri’s aliases mentions some “very useful ideas” that had been discussed during a visit to the training camp Abu Khabab. “It just needs some experiments to develop its practical use.” Especially promising was a home-brew nerve gas made from insecticides and a chemical additive that would help speed up penetration into the skin. Midhat Mursi was widely reported and believed to have been killed in a January 2006 bombing raid in Pakistan — at a high-level terror summit at which Zawahiri’s son-in-law was also killed. But a year-and-a-half later, the Washington Post matter-of-factly announced:

      “U.S. and Pakistani officials now say that none of those al-Qaeda leaders perished in the strike and that only local villagers were killed.” Midhat Mursi later was killed in a missile strike in the summer of 2008.

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

      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.

      In my opinion, although I appreciate that reasonable people can disagree, Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in the history of intelligence analysis (because it presents an existential threat and the missteps should have been traced and corrected).

    • DXer said

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

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

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

    • DXer said

      “I Successfully Achieved The Targets” Assistance Of Pakistan Scientist Rauf Ahmad In 1999 And 2000

      George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says: “Al-Qa’ida spared no effort in its attempt to obtain biological weapons. In 1999, al-Zawahiri recruited Pakistani national Rauf Ahmad to set up a small lab in Khandahar, Afghanistan, to house the biological weapons effort. In December 2001, a sharp WMD analyst at CIA found the initial lead on which we would pull and, ultimately, unravel the al-Qa’ida anthrax networks. We were able to identify Rauf Ahmad from letters he had written to Ayman al-Zawahiri. … We located Rauf Ahmad’s lab in Afghanistan. We identified the building in Khandahar where Sufaat claimed he isolated anthrax. We mounted operations that resulted in the arrests and detentions of anthrax operatives in several countries.”

      Delivering the James Smart Lecture, entitled “Global Terrorism: are we meeting the challenge?” at the headquarters of the City of London Police, Ms. Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, said: “Western security services have uncovered networks of individuals, sympathetic to the aims of al-Qa’ida, that blend into society, individuals who live normal, routine lives until called upon for specific tasks by another part of the network.” She concluded: “The threats of chemical, biological and radiological and suicide attacks require new responses and the Government alone will not achieve all of it; industry and even the public must take greater responsibility for their own security.”

      In 1999, a scientist from Porton Down had reported to sfam members on a conference in Taos, New Mexico in August that included a talk by Tim Read, (TIGR, Rockville, USA) and concerned the whole genome sequencing of the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The Ames strain may have been a mystery to many after the Fall 2001 mailings, but not to motivated Society for Applied Microbiology (“SFAM”) members, one of whom was part of Ayman Zawahiri’s “Project Zabadi.”

      As described by Dr. Peter Turnbull’s Conference report for SFAM on “the First European Dangerous Pathogens Conference” (held in Winchester), at the September 1999 conference, the lecture theater only averaged about 75 at peak times by his head count. There had been a problem of defining “dangerous pathogen” and a “disappointing representation from important institutions in the world of hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms.” Papers included a summary of plague in Madagascar and another on the outbreak management of hemorrhagic fevers.

      Dr Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University presented a paper on multilocus VNTR typing, for example, of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. There were more than the usual no-show presenters and fill-in speakers.

      The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved difficult. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.”

      Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

      Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.”

      Bioinformatics was the field that Ali Al-Timimi, who had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, entered by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia.

      Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

      According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. His only connection with SFAM was a member of the society. He was not an employee. The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

      I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. He explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded an earlier handwritten letter from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

      The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

      In earlier cases, such as the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Amer Aziz who treated Bin Laden in the Fall of 2001, the Pakistani government angered the Pakistani public when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. In the case of Amer Aziz, hundreds of doctors, engineers and lawyers took to the streets to demand his release. In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. By then, I had noticed the reporting of his arrest in a local Pakistan news article about the raid of a compound of doctors named Khawaja and published it on my website. According to Pakistani officials, there was not enough evidence showing that he actually succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful. Since then, the Post reports, Rauf has been allowed to return to his normal life. Attempts by the Post to contact Rauf in Lahore were unsuccessful. Initially the government agency had said an interview would be possible but then backpedaled.

      “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” Pakistan’s information minister told the Post. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.” Yazid Sufaat got the job handling things at the lab instead of Rauf Ahmad. More importantly, Zawahiri, if keeping with his past experience, would have kept things strictly compartmentalized — leaving the Amerithrax Task Force much to do.

    • DXer said

      “You are dead! Bang”: Ayman’s Plan To Use Charities And Universities As Cover In Weaponizing Anthrax

      Among the correspondence written by Rauf Ahmad seized in Afghanistan, there are handwritten notes about the plan to use NGOs, technical institutes and medical labs as cover for aspects of the work, and training requirements for the various personnel at the lab in Afghanistan.

      Two Pakistani nuclear scientists founded Ummah Tameer-e-Nau in June 2000. “Reconstruction of the Muslim Ummah,” or “UTN,” an Islamabad-based organization whose stated purpose was to conduct relief and development work in Afghanistan. UTN built a flour mill in Kandahar and purchased land in the Kandahar region. UTN business cards from the organization carry the motto “Build to Help, Help to Build.” After the fall of the Taliban, coalition forces and the media began to search UTN facilities in Kabul. It was in November that it was reported by The Economist that the “House of Anthrax” had been found.

      Documents found by journalists in November 2001 at a villa in Kabul occupied by UTN suggested brainstorming seminars on anthrax had been held to include diagrams suggestive of a plan to use a helium-filled balloon to disperse anthrax across a wide area. The nondescript two-story villa occupied by the Pakistani aid group was in a quiet residential neighborhood of Kabul where a number of international charities were located. One downloaded document had the picture of former Secretary Cohen holding up a 5 pound bag of sugar. There were details about the U.S. military’s vaccination program downloaded from a Defense Department site on the Internet and other Defense Department documents relating to anthrax. There were 10 copies each of most of the documents. On the floor, there was what appeared to be a disassembled rocket alongside a helium canister, as well as two bags of powder. A detailed diagram scrawled in black felt tip pen on a white board shows what appears to be a balloon rising at various trajectories, alongside a fighter jet that is apparently shooting at the balloon. Beside the jet are the words, “You are dead, bang.”

      There were also pictures of ground missiles linked by lines to the balloon. Mathematical calculations indicated the height at which the balloon would fly, the distance from which it would be shot down and the area over which its contents would be dispersed. Beside one of the balloons is the word “polystyrene” and beside another the word “cyanide.” Loose sheets of paper containing scribbles of missiles and balloons were strewn around the house, indicating those attending the seminar had been taking notes and doing calculations.

      Although people can reasonably disagree on the conclusion to be drawn of the drawing on the white board showing aerial dispersal of anthrax by balloon, the drawings should be understood in the context of Ayman’s research and reading on the subject. One email from Ayman to Atef lists Peace or Pestilence as one of the books he had read. The author argued that said science should combat disease, not find devious ways to spread it. That book included a description of the Japanese research on anthrax leading up to WW II and the US concern that anthrax was being dispersed by balloons being sent to the US on high hot air currents. Unit 731 experimented extensively with anthrax bombs and hot-air balloons filled with the deadly disease. In late 1944, aerosol scientists at Ft. Detrick (then known as Camp Detrick) were alarmed when news of some large balloons, as large as 150 feet around, had been sighted silently floating over populated areas. Within a few months, over 250 balloons had been discovered in nine western states. The balloons are known only to have been armed with an incendiary device and killed and injured only a very few people.

      A senior CNN producer who visited many UTN and Al Qaeda houses in Afghanistan, found the documents linking UTN to Jaish e Muhammad, the Army of the Prophet Mohammad, the Pakistani militant group that had been listed as a terrorist organization by the US on October 12, 2001. Other documents linked UTN to the Pakistan-based Saudi charity WAFA Humanitarian Organization and Al Rashid Trust, two other non-governmental organizations with ties to al-Qaeda that were designated on September 23, 2001 as supporters of terrorism. The New York Times reported on the search of the home by US personnel. A group of men armed with pistols, reportedly Americans, wearing gas masks, rubber gloves and boots, then came to remove powdered chemicals. The men had instructed the guards posted by National Alliance to not go in the home because the chemicals could be dangerous. The room that had been littered with papers was empty and had been swept or vacuumed by the Americans.

    • DXer said

      September 10, 2001 “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters”

      After the January 2001 anthrax threat, a Canadian research team undertook to assess the risk. The report titled “Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters” issued September 2001. The Canadian study found considerable exposure to those in the room resulted when such a letter was opened. Bacillus globigii spores (in dry powder form) were donated by the US Department of Defense (Dugway Proving Ground, Utah). Stock concentration powder was -1 x 10 11 cfu/gm. The anthrax sent to the Senators had a smaller particle size –tending toward a uniform 1 micron, subject to clumping that easily broke apart. Bacillus globigii (BG) spores are routinely used as a simulant for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores. “The letter was prepared by putting BG spores in the center of a sheet of paper, folding it over into thirds, placing the folded sheet into the envelope and sealing using the adhesive present on the envelope. The envelope was then shaken to mimic the handling and tumbling that would occur during its passage through the postal system.” The aerosol, produced by opening the BG spore containing envelope, was not confined to the area of the desk but spread throughout the chamber. Values were almost as high at the opposite end of the chamber, shortly after opening the envelopes. 99% of the particles collected were in the 2.5 to 10 µm size range. The report explained: “In addition, the aerosol would quickly spread throughout the room so that other workers, depending on their exact locations and the directional air flow within the office, would likely inhale lethal doses. Envelopes with the open corners not specifically sealed could also pose a threat to individuals in the mail handling system.”

      More than 80% of the B anthracis particles collected on stationary monitors were within an alveolar respirable size range of 0.95 to 3.5 µm. Thus, the simulant performed very well. Those who continue to argue that the Daschle product was so advanced beyond what the US could do are mistaken. The CIA and CSIS apparently feared that the Vanguards of Conquest would use the good stuff. Yazid Sufaat tells me on Facebook that he could perform magic.

      The CIA knew EIJ intended to use anthrax — from the proclamations of Jaballah’s friend, the captured military commander Mabruk and Jaballah’s brother-in-law’s former law partner al-Zayat. Authorities knew Al Qaeda was getting technical assistance from scientists — and that many of the senior Egyptian leaders had advanced or technical degrees. The specifications provided by Dugway perhaps involved treated fumed silica and a spraydryer (with a last critical step reserved to be done at Dugway) may have been based on what Al Qaeda might send with a little help from their friends.

      Canadian officials explained they e-mailed the study to the CDC soon after reports of the discovery of anthrax at the American Media Inc. headquarters in Florida. The e-mail, however, was never opened, reports the lead CDC anthrax investigator, who regrets that he never read the email. “It is certainly relevant data, but I don’t think it would have altered the decisions that we made.” At one point, about 2,000 CDC employees were working on the anthrax matter. This Canadian report was perhaps the single most important scientific data point for the CDC to take into account. It certainly was one of the most important reports for the FBI to take into account.

      Bail was denied by decision on October 5, 2001. Then highly potent anthrax was sent the next day just as had been promised. But Ayman apparently had returned to the target of his greatest interest — rather than a Canadian immigration minister, he and Shehata and their colleagues targeted the minister who oversaw the Department of Justice and appropriations to Egypt and Israel, and who gave his name (”the Leahy Law”) to the law that permits continuing appropriations to Egypt in the face of allegations of torture. Zawahiri never makes a threat he doesn’t intend to try to keep.

      Bill Patrick, who often worked with George Mason University students in northern Virginia, had written a report in 1999 for a consultant SAIC at the request of Dr. Steve Hatfill. As one bioterrorism expert commented about the report: “Anytime you pick something up like this, and it seems to layout the whole story for you months or years before the fact, your immediate response is to step back and say ‘whoa, something may be going on here. “Our attacker may very well have used this report as something of a — if not a template, then certainly as a rule of thumb.”

      The Canadian experiments in 2001 showed that if anthrax spores were finely powdered, a letter could release thousands of lethal doses of the bacteria within minutes of being opened. Furthermore, large amounts of material leaked out of sealed envelopes even before they were opened. By then, more than two dozen federal government employees knew of the Canadian studies, which showed that a real anthrax threat letter was a far more dangerous weapon than anyone had believed. Within days, a dozen more people were informed of the now highly relevant experimental findings. Over the course of the next decade, one FBI investigative squad was focused on people who may have known of the study — such as William Patrick’s friend, Dr. Steve Hatfill. Another squad would be focused on the usual suspects and their friends. For the next seven years, the investigation would be shrouded in great secrecy.

      Then in grand fashion, in early August 2008, the United States Attorney Taylor stood up at the podium and in effect announced that the FBI had screwed the pooch — and the pooch liked it.

      In spinning the cotton candy “Ivins Theory” and arguing that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab that first week in October 2001, the United States Attorney and AUSAs had to stuff 52 rabbits down a hat.

    • DXer said

      Taliban Interest In The Anthrax Vaccine Laboratory

      In October 2001, the Taliban emissary to Pakistan denied any involvement in the anthrax mailings, saying “We don’t even know what anthrax is.” The Taliban had long denied having any interest in biological or chemical weapons research. The next month, however, reporters were tipped off by a senior official of the Northern Alliance to check out the Institute of Veterinary Vaccine Production in Kabul run by the Minister of Agriculture. The lab was repeatedly targeted by bombers but the closest of 13 B-52 bombs landed 50 feet away, causing craters. There was a walk-in incubator to develop bacteria. The equipment used to make vaccines was taken away the day before the bombardment began. The cement walls of the building were cracked. Doors were blasted off their hinges. Shards of glass were strewn on the floor. At the end of one corridor on the second floor a reporter and photographer from The Mirror (UK) were led into a small office. The word “anthrax” was scribbled on an unbroken test tube. A sign read “to be safe than sorry” — the word “better” had fallen off. When AP journalist Kathy Gannon and a photographer stood in front of a glass bottle labeled in English “anthrax spore concentrate” in the two-story building, the photographer’s reflection shone back.

      The scientists explained that their work at the lab was intended only to develop animal vaccines. Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the one place where the only vial that had English on it said ‘anthrax’ kind of gives you pause.” (I asked Yazid Sufaat about a bottle with a brown slurry that had been harvested in early June 2001 but he politely declined to answer). The scientists complained that much of the anthrax vaccine on hand had expired and that they were having trouble getting the supplies they needed to produce more. Before 9/11, private companies in India and Iran had been their main suppliers. Shipments were halted after Sept. 11, and the laboratories had to rely on their stocks.

      Mullahs oversaw the anthrax vaccine laboratory much to the consternation of the scientist in charge of the lab. The mullahs had ordered that the lab be moved to Kabul so that they could oversee it. According to one British press report, much of the laboratory staff had disappeared some months before 9/11 and their whereabouts were unknown. The Institute once had a staff of 45 and one of Afghanistan’s most modern buildings. The scientists gathered before an AP journalist and photographer pointed to a large clear container that held concentrated anthrax spores. The scientists explained that the Taliban had taken a keen interest in their work. Although he was famed for his ability to recite the koran and not scientifically inclined, the Minister of Agriculture would come and inspect what they were doing. The head of the lab explained, “He and his Taliban superiors were interested in the technical detail of what happened here, although they had no background in science.” The International Committee of the Red Cross and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization provided the scientists technical help. The head of the lab noted that the Taliban could have obtained the knowledge to handle and develop anthrax.

      The Taliban Minister of Agriculture hated the West. “We’d rather have been running the labs on our own,” the lead scientist explained. “But the mullahs were in charge of everything and we couldn’t stop them learning about our activities. There was always a danger information could get into the wrong hands.” The lab was first built in a northern province in 1993 with equipment from India. Scientists infected three sheep to study the results in developing new vaccines. They told a reporter from the Mirror that they buried the carcasses 30 feet down away from any water supplies. “This was very dangerous work, though we knew what we were doing. We developed the technology of how to keep anthrax bacteria and how to develop it for use in vaccines.” “I would be suspicious of the anthrax research and any research during the Taliban (period) because they were under the control of Osama and al-Qaida,” the deputy head of Northern Alliance military intelligence, told the Associated Press. “We have strong evidence of their involvement in chemical weapons,” he added. “We believe that they were using government facilities, like the Ministry of Agriculture, to do their research in terrorism.”

      A source who worked at the factory told the Mirror (UK): “There’s no doubt the Taliban were planning chemical or biological warfare against the West. I believe anthrax might have been first on their list.” It was the American Taliban John Walker Lindh who reported the battlefield rumor that the next wave would be a chemical or biological attack.

      An Unclassified Summary of Evidence for the Administrative Review Board for Guantanamo detainee Sangaryar summarized: “The detainee was in possession of anthrax powder and an unspecified liquid poison that he planned to distribute to Al Qaida and Taliban operatives in preparation for future attacks on the United States and Coalition forces. The poison attacks were to target water sources, to include reservoirs.”

    • DXer said

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

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

      The 9/11 Commission Report explained:

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

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

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

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

           Sufaat graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 1987.  He received a bachelors degree in biological sciences, concentrating on clinical laboratory technology, with a minor in chemistry.  Sacramento State biological sciences professor Robert Metcalf taught Sufaat a food microbiology class in the spring of 1986.  Sufaat joined the Malaysian army, where he was a lab technician in the Malaysian biological weapons program for as much as five years.  He says he declined to tell his interrogators of his bioweapons experience because he felt that he had been betrayed by his country by being detained.  In August 1993, he set up his own company, Green Laboratory Medicine that tested blood for the army.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • DXer said

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

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

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

    • DXer said

      March 2003 Arrest Of Bacteriologist Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan

      On March 1, 2003, authorities announced that Khalid Mohammed had been captured 400 miles from Quetta, in Islamabad. A walk-in to the CIA, the Egyptian said he was upset that Al Qaeda had attacked the United States. An unnamed Egyptian reportedly received $25 million for providing the information about Khalid Mohammed. Authorities said he had been in the car that drove KSM to a safe house that night. Agents quickly raced him back through the streets as he made out landmarks, leading them to KSM, who was being harbored in the home of bacteriologist Abdul Qadoos Khan.

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

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

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

      Ahmed Qadoos’ mother was an activist for the ladies’ wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s biggest religious party. Ramzi Binalshibh, the 9/11 plotter arrested in Karachi, and Abu Zubaydah, were both found in houses belonging to JI members. The father’s role came to be all the more important when the documents relating to the processing of anthrax for use as a weapon.

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

      Hambali, during interrogation, revealed its whereabouts in Afghanistan. The CIA soon descended on a house in Kandahar and discovered a small, extremely potent sample of the biological agent.”

      Suskind wrote:

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

      Suskind continued:

      “No more. The anthrax found in Kandahar was extremely virulent. What’s more, it was produced, according to the intelligence, in the months before 9/11. And it could be easily reproduced to create a quantity that could be readily weaponized.”
      “Alarm bells rang in Washington. Al Qaeda, indeed, had the capabilities to produce a weapon of massive destructiveness, a weapon that would create widespread fear.
      Based on the additional information being provided in 2003, authorities also captured two mid to low level technicians — an Egyptian and a Sudanese. President Bush has explained that these mid-to low level technicians were part of a Southeastern Asian based cell that was developing an anthrax attack on the United States.

      In Fall of 2006, President Bush explained:

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

      Information from Yazid then helped lead to the capture of his two principal assistants in the anthrax program.”

    • DXer said

      Despots, Democracy and the Cease-Fire Initiative After the Luxor Massacre

      Although the proposal in the Spring 1999 by IANA writers Kamal Habib and Gamal Sultan to channel their activities into nonviolent activities was rejected by the blind sheik, they were not deterred. “There is something new that is trying to storm and overcome old, traditional ideas and play a political and social role in society, ‘ Kamal Habib told author Anthony Shadid in 1999. Shadid is the author of the 2002 Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats, and the New Politics of Islam. Violence, Habib explained to the author, was understandable where Sadat had left no room for participation it did not sanction. Sadat had visited and made peace with Israel. The month before Sadat was gunned down Sadat had ordered the arrest of 1500 people. Over twenty years, the lesson learned by these sons of the Movement was that violence had not led to power. The “attacks hurt not only the not only the Islamic movement but also Islam itself as da’wa and as a religion.” In prison, their goal in interpreting the koran turned to deciding “what to take, what to leave, what to build on and what to add to.”

      Former militants, in particular, were responding to the public revulsion over the 1997 murder of 58 tourists at Luxor. Kamal Habib and Gamal Sultan sought to form the Reform Party while the lawyers al Zayat and Mamdouh Ismail sought to form the Islamic Party. “We have been through a violent clash between the state and members of the Islamist groups and saw the negative consequences of this violence. We have learned from bitter experience that we must reorder our priorities.” Shariah would be the law of the land — but it would be brought about by democratic, nonviolent means.

      The Cairo-based Kamal Habib wrote for the “The Straight Path” (Assirat) out of Pittsburgh and then for IANA’s quarterly journal. Kamal Habib was Ayman’s friend. Habib had founded the Egyptian Islamic Jihad by bringing together several cells, including Ayman’s cell which by then had as many as 40 members. One of the members of the advisory board of Assirat was Ali Al-Timimi. Al-Timimi was a colleague of famed Russian anthrax head Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey, a prolific anthrax researcher (judging by the publications bearing his name as a co-author) who worked with the Ames anthrax strain.

      IANA’s quarterly publication, Al Manar al-Jadeed (in Arabic) was written by EIJ and IG founders and other deep thinkers of the movement during the 1998-2001 period. Its pages in Arabic chronicled a running dialogue on this question of the role of violence. (Two of the three main contributors were IG and EIJ founders respectively). The editor, Gamal Sultan, was behind the proposal in 1999 to renounce violence involving an attempt to form the Reform Party. Sultan viewed his effort as a pragmatic recognition that the militants had been so infiltrated by the intelligence services that it wasn’t practical to engage in violence. But, more broadly, it was in recognition of the fact that violence had not worked. Others took a different approach. They just tightened their application of the principles of cell security.

      The US-based charity IANA, as the result of the Cairo-based talent that they had writing for their main journal, was in the middle of the issue of conditions of the blind sheiks’ detention and a public debate by former members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad as to whether the violent means favored by jihadists could be channeled into nonviolent means. In January 1999, Gamal Sultan and Kamal Habib wrote the blind sheik, through his paralegal Sattar, seeking a fatwa agreeing to participation in a political party by Movement members. In addition to key supporter Kamal Habib, Gamal Sultan’s main partner in seeking to found the Reform Party was Salah Hashem, founder of the Egyptian Islamic Group and a chief proponent of the cease-fire initiative.

      In March 1999, upon the visit by attorney Lynne Stewart, the blind sheik indicated that he thought the effort pointless and rejected the idea of a political party. At the same time he withdrew support for the cease-fire initiated by the imprisoned Islamic Group members in 1997. In his opening argument in the prosecution of US postal employee Sattar, the federal prosecutor explained: “What was Abdel Rahman’s view on an Islamic Group political party? He flatly rejected the idea. In other words, we will prove to you that Abdel Rahman from prison and while subject to the SAMs, with the assistance of these defendants, directed the Islamic Group to remain outside the law, to remain a terrorist organization.”

      The co-founder of the other proposed party, Cairo lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat, deferred to the blind sheik’s pronouncement. Al-Zayat later explained that any political participation, let alone in parliamentary elections, was sinful. Al Zayat then promptly announced in March 1999 that Ayman likely was going to use weaponized anthrax against US targets to retaliate against the rendering of EIJ leaders. Abdel-Rahman’s Cairo lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, announced the intention to use anthrax in the press on March 6, 1999.

      Zawahiri in April 1999 pressed the current Islamic Group leader Taha for news and the implications and details of the ceasefire initiative and the proposal to establish a political party. Taha had been maintaining contact with the blind sheik’s paralegal Sattar, as had Cairo attorney Al-Zayat and Islamic Group military commander Mustafa Hamza. In public and in private teleconference calls set up by US Post Office employee Sattar, Cairo lawyer Al-Zayat played “good cop” to the “bad cop” played by IG leader Taha in faraway Afghanistan.

      In a letter to Taha, Ayman discussed the party sought to be cofounded in 1999 by IANA editor Gamal Sultan and IANA writer Kamal Habib.

      Zawahiri in his letter to the Islamic Group head Taha wrote:

      “I also want to ask you about your personal stance on this issue. Abu Khalid (Mohammed Islambouli, brother of President Sadat’s killer) tells me he has resigned because he doesn’t want to face the consequences of this latest initiative. I am also informed, by Abu Hazim (the current leader of Islamic Jihad’s Shura Council) that the outcome of this proposal will hinge on solving the disagreements between our brothers in jail on how to run Islamic Jihad. He also told me this declaration sought to calm matters so our imprisoned brothers do not contradict those outside and complicated matters further. In effect, they have continued to issue announcements while you remain silent. This is why I am interested in finding out your position on this matter.”

      There were close parallels between the debate raging among Ayman and the EIJ shura members in secret emails dating to 1998 and 1999 and the content of IANA’s Cairo-based quarterly publication Al Manar al Jadeed (in Arabic). Leading lights in the Movement contributed to the dialogue that extended from 1998 through 2000. The publication Al Manar al-Jadeed was funded by the Ann Arbor-based IANA which in turn got most of its funding from sources in Saudi Arabia. Al-Timimi was IANA’s most celebrated speaker and the colleague of two of the world’s leading anthrax researchers.

      Al-Timimi had been on the advisory board of the related publication Assirat for which IANA writers Sultan and Habib were the leading writers. Al-Timimi thus was close to the intellectual and tactical debates raging in 1999 about cease-fire declared in Egypt, nonviolence and democracy, the release of the blind sheik and other detainees, and the “near” vs. “Far” enemy issue. He was similarly close to the announcement of the intent to use anthrax to retaliate for the rendition of the blind sheik and other detainees.

      When the FBI searched Al-Timimi’s townhouse, they found Khafagi’s personal papers. Some pretty weighty and focused tactical matters involving Egyptian politics were discussed in the Arabic-language Al Manar al Jadeed — to include the role of violence and whether democracy could be a vehicle for imposing shariah.

      IANA’s webmaster Sami al-Hussayen once pleaded by email that Al-Manar Jadeed was out of control, printing what they wanted and then sending IANA the bill, while risking getting IANA officials in trouble (which then, in fact, happened). For example, IANA websites published a fatwa in June 2001 saying it was a duty to kill as many as possible, such as by flying a plane into a building. IANA websites prominently distributed the views of Sheik al-Hawali who was working closely with both Sami and with GMU computational biologist Ali Al-Timimi.

      In late March 2007, al-Zayat’s co-founder of the Islamic Party, Mamdouh Ismail, was arrested. The Egyptian government
      alleged Ismail was the conduit between Ayman Zawahiri and jihadists in Yemen, Iraq and Egypt. The alleged intermediary between Zawahiri and Mamdouh Ismail was the Al Qaeda’s spymaster, Al-Hakayma, who had written the 2002 treatise on intelligence. That treatise included a description of the Amerithrax investigation and was dedicated to those who are up at late night working to bring victory to Islam. Mamdouh Ismail was the attorney who volunteered to represent the expert in functionalized polymers.

      Ironically, although Zabadi was Ayman’s program, the anthrax letters — in showing some restraint — represented a compromise between his desire to attack the “Far Enemy” and the wishes of the many who opposed him and thought that EIJ should remain focused on Egypt and should avoid the targeting of civilians. The anthrax letters confirmed abandonment of the cease-fire while escalation in the media just as blind sheik Abdel-Rahman had urged. The anthrax letters followed the same modus operandi as the al Hayat letters to newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic positions relating to detention of the WTC plotters. Thus, the one thing that seems clear is that the anthrax mailer and processor likely are supporters of the blind sheik. While they know and respect Zawahiri, they may view Zawahiri as a murderous fanatic and view democracy as a viable vehicle for imposition of shariah. Perhaps among the 300,000 telephone calls intercepted with blind sheik supporters in Florida or the 85,000 conversations involving Sattar in New York, the authorities already have taped phone calls made with the anthrax plotters.

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • DXer said

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

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

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

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

    • DXer said

      Hallmark Greetings: Egyptian Islamists’ Earlier WTC Letter Bombs To Washington DC And New York City Newspapers And Symbolic Targets

      A memo seized in the 1995 arrest proposed flying an explosive laden plane into CIA headquarters. Anyone reading the Washington Post in the mid-1990s read about the plan to fly a plane into CIA headquarters over their morning coffee. The earlier plot to fly an airliner into the Eiffel tower by some Algerians connected to Bin Laden was also notable. Condi Rice professes not to have imagined the threat even though it was publicly known and even a threat at the G-8 conference.It’s important that as a country we learn from our mistakes and not pay short shrift to the evidence on the issue of modus operandi relating to Zawahiri’s planned use of anthrax.

      This was not the first time the Egyptian islamists sent letter bombs to newspaper offices in connection with an attack on the World Trade Center. NPR set the scene. It was January 2, 1997, at 9:15 a.m. at the National Press Building in Washington, D.C. The employee of the Saudi-owned newspaper Al Hayat began to open a letter. It was a Christmas card — the kind that plays a musical tune. It was white envelope, five and a half inches by six and a half inches, with a computer-generated address label attached. It had foreign postage and a post mark — a postmark appearing to be from Alexandria, Egypt. It looked suspiciously bulky, so he set it down and called the police. Minutes later they found a similar envelope. These were the first two of four letter bombs that would arrive at Al Hayat during the day. A fifth letter bomb addressed to the paper was intercepted at a nearby post office. They all looked the same. Two similar letter bombs addressed to the “parole officer” (a position that does not exist) arrived at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. It seemed evident how some Grinch had spent the holidays in Egypt.

      Egyptian Saif Adel (Makawwi), thought to be in Iran, was involved in military planning. Adel was a colonel in the Egyptian Army’s Special Forces before joining Al Qaeda. He helped plan the 1998 attacks on the welcome any Muslim who wants to join us, and if Makkawi wants to [join us], he will be welcomed to the Vanguards march, but through the organizational channels. But if words are not coupled with actions, we tell him: Fear God, and you can use a different name other than the Vanguards to speak on its behalf.” The spokesman denounced Makkawi’s authority to speak for the group, referring to the January 5th statement it had made denying responsibility. The spokesperson for the Vanguards of Conquest apparently was Post Office employee Sattar’s friend, Al-Sirri, based in London.

      The FBI would not speculate as to who sent the letters or why. But this was your classic “duck that walks like a duck” situation. As NPR reported at the time, “analysts say that letter bombs are rarely sent in batches, and when they are it’s generally prompted by politics, not personal animus.” Al Hayat was a well respected and moderate newspaper. It was friendly to moderate Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. That, without more, was accurately discerned by observers at the time as sufficient to make the newspaper outlet a target of the militant islamists. The newspaper, its editor explained, does not avoid criticizing militant islamists. The Al Hayat Editor-in-Chief explained: “We’ve been opposed to all extremists in the Arab world, especially the fundamentalists.” Mohammed Salameh, a central defendant in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sent to Leavenworth in 1994. The other three Egyptian extremists convicted in the bombing were sent to prisons in California, Indiana and Colorado. Like the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman, Salameh had complained of his conditions and asked to be avenged. The Blind Sheik was particularly irked that the prison officials did not cut his fingernails.

      Abdel-Rahman was convicted in 1995 of seditious conspiracy, bombing conspiracy, soliciting an attack on an U.S. military installation, and soliciting the murder of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. His followers were indicted for plotting to bomb bridges, tunnels and landmarks in New York for which Rahman allegedly had given his blessings. The mailing of deadly letters in connection with an earlier attack on the World Trade Center was not merely the modus operandi of militant islamists, it was the group’s signature. It’s their calling card. Khaled Abu el-Dahab, a naturalized American, from Silicon Valley, in a confession detailed in an Egyptian defense ministry document dated October 28, 1998, explained that he was trained to make booby-trapped letters to send to important people, as well as asked to enroll in American aviation schools to learn how to fly gliders and helicopters. He was a friend of Ali Mohammed, the former special forces officer in the Egyptian army and former US Army Sergeant. The modus operandi of these militant supporters of the blind sheik was known to be planes and booby-trapped letters.

      The Al Hayat reporters and editor were not expressing an opinion — though the owner did lay out various possibilities (e.g., Iraq, Iran etc.). The owner of the paper had commanded Saudi forces during the Persian Gulf War, when Bin Laden was so upset about American troops on the Arabian peninsula. Moreover, al Hayat had recently opened up a Bureau in Jerusalem, giving it a dateline of Jerusalem rather than al Quds, which some thought blasphemous. But none of the other possibilities would plausibly explain why the letter bomb was sent to Leavensworth where three of the WTC 1993 defendants were imprisoned, including Ramzi Yousef’s lieutenant who had asked that his mistreatment be avenged. (That was the criminal genius who returned to Ryder to reclaim his deposit after blowing up the truck at WTC). Egyptian security officials argued that the letters were sent from outside of Egypt, the stamps were not available in Egypt, and that the postmark was not Alexandria as reported. Whatever the place of mailing, the sender likely was someone who was upset that KSM’s and Ramzi Yousef’s associates had been imprisoned, to include, most notably, the blind sheik. Whoever is responsible for the anthrax mailings, it is a very good bet that they are upset the blind sheik is detained. That should be at the center of any classified profile of the crime.

      On December 31, 1996 Mohammed Youssef was in Egypt — having gone to Egypt months before. The al Hayat letter bombs related to the detention and alleged mistreatment of the blind sheikh and the WTC bombers were sent 10 days earlier — on the Day of Measures. In 2006, he was named as co-defendant with Hassoun, Daher, Padilla and Jayyousi. Youssef was born in Alexandria. Kifah Jayyousi’s “Islam Report” over the years — distributed by Adham Hassoun in Florida and Kassem Daher in Canada — expressed outrage at detention/extradition due to terrorism law and also what he perceived as attacks on his religion by some newspapers. His headlines on the internet groups blazed “Just In! First Muslim Victim of New Terrorism Law!: US Agents Arrest Paralegal Of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman Without Charge Prepares To Hand Him To Egyptian Regime,” soc.religion.islam, dated April 27, 1996 and “Islam Report (Newspaper Attacks Our Religion! Act Now!,” soc.religion.islam, Apr. 16, 1996.

      After the Al Hayat letter bombs to newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic positions, in January 1997, both the Blind Sheikh and his paralegal, Sattar, were quoted in separate articles in Al Hayat (in Arabic) denying that they or their supporters were responsible. The Blind Sheikh commented that al Hayat was fair and balanced in its coverage and his supporters would have no reason to “hit” them.

      The same sort of counterintuitive theory was raised in connection with the earlier letter bombing of newspapers to DC and New York City and people in symbolic positions. Sattar noted that the bombs were mailed on December 20, one day before the brief in support of the blind sheik on appeal. He questioned whether someone (like the FBI) was trying to undermine the appeal’s prospects. This time, Mr. Sattar did not need any help making the argument with respect to the anthrax letters. Numerous people with political or other agendas rushed to do it for him. In accusing Dr. Ivins on the occasion of his death, the FBI embraced the same sort of theory — that is, when it was not grasping at other untenable theories relating to college sororities, incorrectly perceived anti-abortion views, or imagined financial motive.

      In September 2006, in a Sahab Media production called “Knowledge is for acting,” there is a clip in which Al Quds editor Atwan refers to his visit with Bin Laden in 1996 (see also his 2006 book The Secret History of al Qaeda). He says that Bin Laden was planning to attack America “and America prisons in particular.” That was an apparent reference to the Al Hayat letter bombs sent to newspapers and prisons in January 1997. There were recurrent references to Abdel-Rahman in the tape.

    • DXer said

      Use of Code

      In planning 9/11, Atta used code in instructing Ramzi Binalshibh to send “the skirts” to “Sally”. The 9/11 Commission Staff explained that the coded reference to “Sally” referred to sending money to Zacarias Moussaoui. (Ramzi then sent Zacarias $14,000). Former CIA Director Tenet in his 2007 book Center of the Storm included Ramzi Binalshibh along with KSM and Hambali as among al-Qa’ida’s leadership “linked to the group’s highly compartmentalized chemical, biological, and nuclear networks.”

      Atta and Ramzi Binalshibh used coded phrases as they approached 9/11 to include:

      Faculty of Fine Arts/arts = Pentagon
      Faculty of Town Planning/architecture = World Trade Center
      Faculty of Law / law = The Capitol
      politics = White House
      White Meat = Americans
      Terminal = Indonesia
      Market = Malaysia
      Hotel = Philippines
      Village = Egypt

      The CSIS has explained that EIJ operative Jaballah used code in discussing operational or sensitive matters. For example, in a discussion with a Pakistan-based contact, with whom he was discussing acquiring false documents, he requested help in acquiring a “green outfit.” In describing Mabruk’s detention in Dagestan, and seeking funds to get him out, he told Florida cell member in Alberta, Canada, that the “medicine” needed was expensive and that it would cost $15,000. Daher commented that when the “patients” were Arab it seemed a lucrative trade. Similarly, US supporters of Abdel-Rahman in the 1990s used “Food and Beverage Industry” to refer to the FBI. It is worth considering, then, whether code was used in the anthrax letters. In the conversations that the blind sheikh’s spokesman, Sattar, had with people like the blind sheik’s successor Taha, EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest al-Sirri, and the blind sheikh’s son, they used the same language found in emails between Zawahiri and the Yemeni cell in email. If a brother was in the hospital, it meant he was in prison. If he had an accident, it meant perhaps that Egyptian security services had killed him.

      KSM and Clouds (As Sahab)

      The letter sending the first anthrax reportedly had clouds pictured on it. The flagship of American Media, Inc., National Enquirer, described the letter sent AMI as follows:

      “Bobby Bender came around the corner with this letter in the upturned palms of his hands,” said photo assistant Roz Suss, a 13-year Sun staffer. “It was a business-size sheet of stationery decorated with pink and blue clouds around the edges. It was folded into three sections, and in the middle was a pile of what looked like pink-tinged talcum powder.”

      In admitting that he had taken over supervising the development of anthrax for use against the US upon Atef’s death (in November 2001), KSM separately noted that “I was the Media Operations Director for As-Sahab or ‘The Clouds,’ under Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

    • DXer said

      Jennifer Lopez Letter and Atta’s “Jenny” Code

      The letter sent to AMI in Florida sought to dissuade Jennifer Lopez from a planned marriage. A wedding or marriage is well-known Al Qaeda code for an attack. The sender said how much he loved her and asked her to marry him. Stevens noted at the time it was especially off the wall given that the Sun did not deal with celebrities, which was the subject of the sister-paper Globe. Stevens’ fellow photo editor Roz Suss was looking over his shoulder: “With that Bob says to me,” Hey, I think there’s something gold in here. It looks like a Jewish star sticking out of the powder.” I walked up behind him and reached over his shoulder. I pulled this little star out of what looked like a mound of powder in this letter. I remember it as a fine white powder.” “It looked like something from a Cracker Jacks box,” she says. She picked it out of the powder and tossed it in her wastebasket. Stevens’ colleague Bobby Bender has a different recollection. He says he opened a letter to Jennifer Lopez, recalls handling a large envelope to Jennifer Lopez, care of the Sun. In it was a cigar tube containing a cigar, a small Star of David charm, and something that seemed like soap powder. Hambali and two al-Qaeda minions considered attacking an Israeli restaurant, with a Star of David above it, in the Khao San Rd. backpacker area in Bangkok.

      A December 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton explained: “An alleged Bin Ladin supporter late last month remarked to his mother that he planned to work in ‘commerce’ from abroad and said his impending ‘marriage,’ which would take place soon, would be a ’surprise.’” The December 1998 PDB continued: “‘Commerce’ and ‘marriage’ often are code words for attacks.” Of course, sometimes, a young man just wants to tell his mom he’s got a job or warn her that she may not approve of the woman he intends to marry. Similarly, sometimes folks who write to tabloids are merely commenting on JLo’s impending nuptials.

      Jennifer Lopez’s fame had withstood a number of under performing movies, to include the movie “The Cell” in the year 2000. In the movie, following a trail of bodies, an FBI agent tracks down and captures a disturbed serial killer. Before the killer can reveal the whereabouts of his next victim (a woman trapped in a cell on the verge of drowning), he falls into a coma. Enter beautiful FBI psychologist Lopez, who uses a radical link to the killer’s brain that could destroy her own sanity. “Her mission: Find the cell’s location before time runs out, and avoid getting trapped inside the killer’s head.” According to an early National Enquirer, Stevens held it up to his face and then put it down on the keyboard (where traces of anthrax were found). The publisher’s wife was the real estate broker who rented to two of the hijackers.

      The heaviest concentration was in the mailroom on the first floor, with positive findings in many cubicles throughout the first floor. The second floor had positive traces mainly in the hallways. The third floor had the fewest positive traces. The FBI has a theory that the spores were distributed on copy paper, perhaps having fallen onto an open ream of paper in the mailroom where it was stored. Perhaps instead spores could have been spread by a vacuum cleaner and collected at copier machines because of the electrostatic charge and the fans on the machines.

      Mrs. Stevens recently explained: “They get strange letters sometimes, and the consensus seems to be that if Robert wasn’t wearing his glasses and if it was something funny, he would hold the letters up to his face. They think perhaps that’s how he got it. Just bad luck.” The key expert evidence on this issue of the Jennifer Lopez letter thus far is the New England Journal of Medicine in which Stevens’ doctor concludes that the letter, opened 9/19 and resulting in symptoms appearing 9/30, evidenced an incubation period consistent with inhalational anthrax.

      A CDC report discusses a second letter of possible interest thought to have been opened on September 25 by a different woman who was exposed. The jury will have to remain out unless and until there is more information on the letter(s) that transmitted the anthrax to AMI. The FBI went back to AMI in August 2002. A February 2003 article in Esquire says the “cops and the doctors” have concluded that there were two letters, following two different paths, with one having been mailed to an old address of the National Enquirer before being forwarded. If there were two different letters, were they to two different AMI publications? That would make sense — with one directed to the Sun and one directed to the National Enquirer.

      What does the J.Lo letter tell us about the sender, or senders? J.Lo is what they used to call a “sex bomb” — and the biggest one at the time. She had international fame. The vehicle had a “weird” love letter, a Star of David, maybe a cigar. Who had “issues” and weird obsessions with women, sex (with a cigar being a crude symbol) and Jewish symbolism? Atta, for example, had strict instructions in his will about what women would be allowed to do at his funeral. Follow the anomalies.

      Two of the hijackers had subscriptions to AMI publications, as did Al Qaeda operative al-Marabh. Boston cab driver Al-Marabh had been in contact with the hijackers, to include Alghamdi who rented an apartment from the wife of the AMI publisher. Atta was seen at the apartment of Al-Marabh and his uncle (the co-founder with Jaballah of an islamic school in Toronto in the Spring of 2001. After coming to Canada in 1996, Jaballah spoke with Ayman regularly on Ayman’s satellite phone.

    • DXer said

      ”In The Hearts Of Green Birds” (Inside Green Birds)

      It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” The stamp’s image of a green-blue colored bird was designed by artist Michael Doret. Mr. Doret provided me “a file made directly from the original art [he] created, so the color is an accurate representation of the printed envelope.” Michael advises me that the color of the eagle is a “teal” or greenish-blue.

      In the very interview with Al-Jazeera in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, KSM and Ramzi Binalshibh admitted to the Jenny code, the code for representing the date 9/11, and used the symbolism of the “Green Birds.” Osama Bin Laden later invoked the symbolism in his video “The 19 Martyrs”, describing a hijacker as “A man of worship who enjoined good and forbade evil. His body was on earth but his heart roamed with the green birds that perch beneath the Throne of the Most Merciful.”

      A FAQ on Al Qaeda’s website, the Azzam Publications website, explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside. The actual Arabic word used in the Hadith is not Qalb (heart) but it is Jowf which can mean any of interior, inside, or heart (as in center). There was a video based on the hadith with the title “In The Hearts of Green Birds” about foreign mujahideen who had been martyred in Bosnia. The audiocassette was created in August 1996 and its 3rd edition was released in January 1997. The website selling the “In the Hearts of Green Birds” audiocassette was shut down after 9/11 because authorities thought it might contain codes and instructions to militants. British and US intelligence sources reportedly suspected that some of’s jihad photos and graphics contain messages embedded with a technology known as steganography. The code instead perhaps was there for all to see on the stamps of the lethal missives being sent.

      In early Fall 2001, the website was mirrored by someone who lived 6 miles from the mailbox where the anthrax was mailed. He was indicted in Spring 2007 for income tax invasion. To the left of the advertisement for the “Green Birds” video, you’ll see the description of al-Hawali’s imprisonment. The imprisonment of al-Hawali and certain other scholars was the “Cover Theme” (which includes a related article on the torture of prisoners in Saudi prisons). GMU computational biology grad al-Timimi drafted a letter for al-Hawali and had it hand-delivered to every member of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailings.

      Of course, given that the symbolism used in this regard in the anthrax mailings had an origin in religious writing, there is no direct tie with the website — the tie could be with the hadith. The London webmaster once said that the FBI allowed it to remain up (while it moved from server to server) for another year hoping to get leads on supporters.

      Even Zarqawi invoked the imagery in a 60-minute audio message:

      “The martyrs rejoice in the bounty provided by God. Their souls are inside the bodies of green birds that fly in heaven.”
      Bin Laden was using “Green Birds” in the same way he used the repeated phrase “Looming Tower” to hint of what was to come with the planes attack on the World Trade Center. He would say

      “Wherever you are, death will find you
      even in the looming tower.”

      In a prerecorded tape aired October 7, 2001, at the time of the anthrax mailing to the Senators, Bin Laden said “The winds of faith have come.”

      An advertisement for “In The Hearts of Green Birds” sold by Al Qaeda’s website read: “In the Summer of 1996, Azzam Recordings released the first audio tape of its kind to be produced in English. The name of this tape was: ‘In the Hearts of Green Birds.’ It outlined some of the stories of these men. This tape was so successful, that it spread, by the Will of Allah, throughout many Muslim homes in the UK, North America and Australia. Due to popular demand, in the Summer of 1997, Azzam Recordings produced the sequel to this tape: ‘Under the Shades of Swords.’ The Virginia Paintball defendants really liked videos like “In the Hearts of Green Birds” and found them inspirational.

    • DXer said

      “Greendale School”

      ”Greendale School” is the return address of the anthrax letters to Senators Daschle and Leahy. In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The letter was found on Al Zawahiri’s computer. The letter was designed to look innocent. It was dated 3 May 2001 and signed “Dr. Nour, Chairman of the Company.” Nour is one of Zawahiri’s aliases. In this context, it was Egyptian Islamic Jihad, not Al Qaeda, of which he was Chairman.

      “We have been trying to go back to our main, previous activities. The most important step was the opening of the school. We have made it possible for the teachers to find openings for profitable trade.”
      The letter read
      “To: Unknown
      From: Ayman al-Zawahir
      Folder: Letters
      Date: May 3, 2001

      The following is a summary of our situation: We are trying to return to our previous main activity. The most important step was starting the school, the programs of which have been started. We also provided the teachers with means of conducting profitable trade as much as we could. Matters are all promising, except for the unfriendliness of two teachers, despite what we have provided for them. We are patient. (This refers to an internal dispute with two senior London Egyptian islamists).

      As you know, the situation below in the village [Egypt] has become bad for traders [jihadis]. Our Upper Egyptian relatives have left the market, and we are suffering from international monopolies. Conflicts take place between us for trivial reasons, due to the scarcity of resources. We are also dispersed over various cities. However, God had mercy on us when the Omar Brothers Company [the Taliban] here opened the market for traders and provided them with an opportunity to reorganize, may God reward them. Among the benefits of residence here is that traders from all over gather in one place under one company, which increases familiarity and cooperation among them, particularly between us and the Abdullah Contracting Company [bin Laden and his associates]. The latest result of this cooperation is the offer they gave. Following is a summary of the offer: Encourage commercial activities [jihad] in the village to face foreign investors; stimulate publicity; then agree on joint work to unify trade in our area. Close relations allowed for an open dialogue to solve our problems. Colleagues here believe that this is an excellent opportunity to encourage sales in general, and in the village in particular. They are keen on the success of the project. They are also hopeful that this may be a way out of the bottleneck to transfer our activities to the stage of multinationals and joint profit. We are negotiating the details with both sides.”

      The full message, decoded, is thought to say:

      “We have been trying to go back to our military activities. The most important step was the declaration of unity with al-Qaeda. We have made it possible for the mujahideen to find an opening for martyrdom. As you know, the situation down in Egypt has become bad for the mujahideen: our members in Upper Egypt have abandoned military action, and we are suffering from international harassment.”

      “But Allah enlightened us with His mercy when Taliban came to power. It has opened doors of military action for our mujahideen and provided them with an opportunity to rearrange their forces. One benefit of performing jihad here is the congregation in one place of all mujahideen who came from everywhere and began working with the Islamic Jihad Organization. Acquaintance and cooperation have grown, especially between us and al-Qaeda.”

      In December 2002, the Arabic paper London Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that correspondence on Zawahiri’s computer (which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal) shows Zawahiri uses “school” as code for “Al Qaeda.”

      Dr. Jean Rosenfeld, a researcher associated with the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion, and an expert on the symbolism of religious extremist movements, wrote me: “Greendale’ to me signified a conscious choice to use the symbolic color of Islam.” She continued: “The franked eagle on the envelope of the anthrax letters was identical to the one I caught on a documentary that showed a one-second shot of the site where Sadat was assassinated –- the huge eagle above the podium where he was when he died. That assassination was of great significance to Egyptian Jihad and produced the pamphlet by Faraj that justifies “fard ‘ayn”/individual duty as the basis of jihadist doctrine.” She explained that Al Qaeda “is rooted in Egypt and Salafism, not Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism. Al-Zawahiri, I believe, is intensely nostalgic for the Nile Valley.”

      The CIA factbook explains that the color green — such as used by anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat in naming his lab “Green Laboratory Medicine,” and by the mailer who used the return address “Greendale School” – is the traditional color of islam. Green symbolizes islam, Mohammed and the holy war. In its section on Saudi Arabia, and the “Flag Description,” the CIA “Factbook” explains that the flag is “green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber … ; green is the traditional color of Islam.”

      An intelligence document first released in 2007 involves an operation by EIJ members headed by Atef and including Saif Adel in which the group headed to Somalia to work at developing a new base of operations. The group was called The Green Team. “Greendale School” was used as the return address in the letters and likely is code referring to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The stamp on the prestamped envelopes was of a green bird. For a video depicting the Green Bird’s point of view and invoking Allah’s guidance to “the straight path,” see this video “The 3D Kabah – A green birds eye view.” The koranic “Green Birds” reference is from the sentence relating to being set on “The Straight Path.” Timimi, the graduate student who had access to the Alibek/Bailey patent about concentration using silanized hydrophobic silica, advised the EIJ founder Kamal Habib in writing for the publication called Assirat Al-Mustaqeem (“The Straight Path”).

      Likely for the same reason, Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat and Zacarias Moussaoui used the name Green Laboratory Medicine as the name of the company that he used, for example, to buy 4 tons of ammonium nitrate, and that he used to cover his anthrax production program. Green dale refers to green “river valley” — Egypt, Cairo, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and/or Egyptian Islamic Group. Put it all together and you have their new official name (though the American press does not use it) — Qaeda al Jihad. At the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they would be washed.

      Given that using the same address helps the second recipient receiving the letter to identify it and avoid opening it, the perp would have no reason to use the same address unless he was communicating something and wanted to draw attention to it.

      Adham Hassoun and Kassem Daher used “school” as code. Canadian businessman Daher is an associate of EIJ member Jaballah, who was detained in Canada and had maintained regular contact with Ayman by satellite telephone after coming to Canada in 1996. “Is there a school over there to teach football?” Hassoun asked, using what the FBI says is code for jihad.

      The Amerithrax Task Force explanation of Greendale is as follows:

      “The investigation into the fictitious return address on envelopes used for the second round of anthrax mailings, “4th GRADE,” “GREENDALE SCHOOL,” has established a possible link to the American Family Association (AFA) headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi. In October 1999, AFA, a Christian organization, published an article entitled “AFA takes Wisconsin to court.” The article describes a lawsuit filed in federal court, by the AFA Center for law and Policy (CLP), on behalf of the parents of the students at Greendale Baptist Academy. The articles focuses on an incident that occurred on December 16, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy. The article focuses on an incident that occurred on December 1, 1998, in which case workers of the Wisconsin Department of Human Services went to the Greendale Baptist Academy in order to interview a fourth grade student. The case workers, acting on an anonymous tip that Greendale Baptist Academy administered corporal punishment as part of its discipline policy, did not disclose to the staff why they wanted to interview the student. The case workers interviewed the student in the absence of the student’s parents and informed the school staff that the parents were not to be contacted. The AFA CLP filed suit against the Wisconsin Department of Human Services, citing a violation of the parents’ Fourth Amendment rights.”

      [D]onations were made to the AFA in the name of “Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Ivins” on eleven separate occasions beginning on December 31, 1993. After an approximate two year break in donations, the next donation occurred on November 11, 1999, one month after the initial article referencing Greendale Baptist Academy was published in the AFA Journal. It was also discovered that the subscription to the AFA Journal, in the name of ‘Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Ivins,’ … was active until March 2005.”

      The logical fallacy is that Ivins would have had no reason to use the same address unless he was sending a message he wanted to be received. There was no audience that reasonably would have perceived the message being sent. He had no reason to send such a message. The theory was fine for an affidavit in support of a search of a residence — but not on which to close a case.

    • DXer said

      Allusion to Both Atta and Genomic Sequencing of Ames Strain

      The writing of the text of the letter is also interesting in that the “As” and “Ts” are double-lined — to suggest ATTA, the lead hijacker.

      When the US Centers for Disease Control first identified that the Ames strain had been used in the mailing to Florida in October 2001, Keim and his colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) had nearly finished a project to sequence Bacillus anthracis— specifically, the chromosome of an anthrax isolate from a laboratory in Porton Down, U.K.Ayman had a microbiologist attending Porton Down-sponsored conferences at which presentations were made about the sequencing of Ames. The letter writer appears to have even double-lined A’s and T’s in the letters accompanying the anthrax possibly to simultaneously allude to Atta and the genomic sequence.

      As explained at the Porton Down conferences attended by Ayman’s operative Rauf Ahmad, Keim’s research team eventually discovered 60 new ‘markers’ in the Bacillus anthracis genome—DNA sequences that may vary from one isolate to another. These include insertions or deletions of DNA, and short sequences that are repeated at different lengths in the genome known as VNTRs (variable-number tandem repeats). A decade earlier, it had been determined that one of three proteins comprising anthrax toxin, and the first nucleotide sequence to be reported from B. anthracis (by USAMRIID authors no less), had a consensus TATAAT sequence located at the putative -10 promoter site. It is greek to us but apparently something with meaning to the person who drafted the letter. Perhaps the sender was saying that the bacteria was pathogenic unlike what had been sent to the Canadian immigration minister six months earlier.

      When authorities determined that the anthrax had not been genetically modified so as to be resistant to antibiotics, Condi Rice told the President: “That’s the best news you’ve had as president.” Years later, at trial for sedition, GMU microbiology grad student Ali Al-Timimi read “Genome Technology.”

      The coded e-mail Faris wrote back to KSM suggesting that the idea of removing bolts from the span of the Brooklyn Bridge was not a viable idea was but one of many examples of the simple codes used by Al Qaeda operatives. Sometimes the code might be as simple as Adham Hassoun’s “stuff” for the local soccer team in places like Bosnia or his references to a young man who wanted to go out and get some “fresh air” [go join the jihad]. Sometimes it might be Iyman Faris’ reference to the weather or Ramzi Binalshibh’s “shirts” for Sally. Sometimes it might be a reference to Greendale School or a marriage proposal to Jenny such apparently in the case of the anthrax mailings. The CIA reports that wedding is Al-Qaeda-speak for an event. That, according to New York Times journalists, is why the CIA got so anxious to have the Buffalo boys arrested. Apart from an email about a “big feast,” the young men from Buffalo had started talking about a planned wedding. Interpreting such code is not without risk. The CIA kicked down the door in Bahrain and dragged him away from the altar to the horror of his bride-to-be.

      But putting aside this question of nuptials, impending or annulled, the fact remains that the sender of the anthrax letters would have had no reason to use the same address on the second letter unless he was communicating something. That identical return address, in fact, helped authorities locate and intercept the letter to a Senator. All of the coding together may have served to tell the world, for example, that Mohammed Atta and the others were going to fly to paradise in a green bird and that the anthrax was courtesy of the Vanguards of Conquest. If you mistreat our prisoners or continue appropriations to Israel and Egyptian regimes, we may attack Washington, D.C. and New York City with aerosolized anthrax. You act at your peril. Zawahiri simultaneously framed the US Army by using the “Ames strain” while telling them who did it. Now that 911 imam Anwar Aulaqi has formally urged that it would be islamically permissible to kill a million civilians, this is not the time to be distracted by a bag of stained panties found in the basement of the residence of some USAMRIID scientist.

      In contrast, not even the expert the FBI consulted as to its theory of the code thought that its theory passed the “giggle test.” As suggested by the expert (who authored the book relied upon), the agent who contrived the theory relied upon as part of an Ivins Theory, had to treat a letter that was not in fact doublie-lined as if it were. Agent Steele thus divined that the message was PAT FNY. Dr, Ivins threw out a code book after there was questioning on the issue for the same reason the average reasonable person might throw out things that the FBI might misconstrue or use in concocting a mistaken theory. Or that they might use to smear him. For the same reason, in spring of 2008 he threw out semen stained panties. As with the hide-the-ball played by the DOJ in hiding the documents relating to the work with the 52 rabbits on those critical nights — pretending that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab — on this subject there seems to be no limit to how the DOJ prosecutor will be allowed to spin evidence and selectively present and withhold documents.

      • DXer said

        The only expert interviewed by the FBI about the code in the letters for which documents were produced disagreed with the FBI’s theory of code in the letters and that all the letters needed for the FBI’s interpretation of the code were NOT in fact double-lined. Once this understood, one realizes what a crock of a case the FBI concocted.

    • DXer said

      Summer 2001 Inquiries About Cropdusters and Helicopters

      Expert Kohlmann reports that “The LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba] has also displayed persistent efforts at aimed at obtaining remote control drone aircraft, presumably in order to gather reconnaissance on enemy positions. Kohlman quotes a November 2000 Taiba Bulletin that quotes a LeT representative boasting “Lashkar-e-Taiba also made a remote control aeroplane that was caught in Occupied Kashmir. We are developing the modern technology.”

      Authors Schwartz and University of Minnesota Professor Osterholm explained in December 2000: “Dozens of Websites offer information on new and used crop-dusting planes and equipment that can be fitted to almost any plane or even trucks. Most of the equipment can be found on those sites produce a highly controlled mist spray, with nozzles that can set the droplet size precisely.”

      “A quick call to the toll-free number for a state university’s agricultural service (listed, naturally on its Website) revealed that powder dispersal systems, while less popular than wet systems, are still available. One Website even provides a handy guide to the area one would expect to cover using various particle sizes, wet and dry — from thousand micron particles to half-micron particles capable of drifting almost four hundred miles.”

      It was no small irony that by the time the paperback version came out in September 2001 just a few miles away Zacarias Moussaoui had in fact downloaded such materials onto his laptop.

      President Bush, at a press conference on October 11, 2001 said: “We received knowledge that perhaps an al-Qaeda operative was prepared to use a crop-duster to spray a biological weapon or a chemical weapon on American people, and so we responded. We contacted every crop dust location, airports from which crop-dusters leave. We notified crop-duster manufacturers to a potential threat. We knew full well that in order for a crop-duster to become a weapon of mass destruction would require a retrofitting, and so we talked to machine shops around where crop-dusters are located.”

      Mohammed Atta and Zacarias Moussaoui reportedly made inquiries about cropdusters and a cropdusting manual was found among Moussaoui’s belongings. Ahmad Ressam, an Al Qaeda terrorist caught in the United States, revealed that Bin Laden was personally interested in using low flying aircraft to disperse biological agents. In early June 3, 2003, a CIA report concluded that the reason for Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was in fact for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. Moussaoui, however, has confessed only to a plot to fly a 747 into the White House if the United States government refused to free the blind sheikh. On August 13 and 15, 2001, Moussaoui was getting practice on a 747 simulator in Minneapolis and thus the evidence has always remained ambiguous.

      in an interview with ABC News, Johnelle Bryant, a USDA employee, provided this very dramatic account of a meeting with Atta in connection with a loan he wanted for $650,000 to start a cropdusting business. Anthrax likely can be delivered using the nozzle setup that some USDA official says Atta imagined (as explained by Secretary Cohen some years ago). Secretary Cohen’s remarks were found in the Kabul home with papers relating to the aerial delivery of anthrax.

      Some investigators on the team prosecuting Zacarias Moussaoui thought he wasn’t expected to take part in the 9/11 plan as such or fly into the White House as prosecutors would allege in January 2003, but that instead he was expected to use a cropduster. In an e-mail dated July 31, 2001, after receiving $14,000 from Ramzi Binalshibh, Moussaoui inquired of a Minnesota school concerning a 6 month or year long cropdusting course. Although French intelligence suggests that there was a separate hijacking plot (of an international airline) to occur later, in light of the e-mail, use of a cropdusting plane may have been an alternative plan at least as of the end of July 2001. Khalid Mohammed reportedly has told his interrogators that Moussaoui was to be part of a second wave of attacks. He said that Moussaoui’s interest in cropdusters may have related to Yazid Sufaat’s work on anthrax.

      In a coded communication in the summer of 2001, KSM told Ramzi Binalhibh to send the “skirts” to “Sally”, apparently referring to sending funds to Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui may have been considered as a substitute if one of the pilots, who had developed a strained relationship with Atta, dropped out.

      It’s unknown what role Atta’s roommate, pilot Ramzi Binalshibh, would have played if he had succeeded on one of his four attempts to get into the country. Ramzi Binalshibh was Atta’s former roommate in Germany and was captured in Karachi, Pakistan on September 11, 2002. The government deleted the two allegations regarding cropduster inquiries from the indictment of Moussaoui. Although the move was never explained, it was likely because in his defense he was relying on a July 31, 2001 e-mail seeking to sign up for a cropdusting course that would take 6 months to a year. Moussaoui was attempting to use the e-mail to argue that it demonstrated that he was not part of the 9/11 conspiracy.

      On September 19, 2001, an FBI agent asked a federal judge in Colorado for permission to search an e-mail account named “” that Sufaat had given Moussaoui to use. The address on the letters to the Senators was Greendale School.

      The FBI is currently looking for a diminutive Saudi Arabian, Adnan Shukrijumah, who, at least according to some reports, was trained as a pilot and was last known to have been in Miami in late 2001. The Saudi Arabian from Florida is said to be at the level of Atta. A federal undercover agent has reported that he saw El-Shukrijumah with Atta. Jdey, also hotly sought by the FBI, was one of two other pilots who for unknown reasons were not still candidates for the first wave.

    • DXer said

      Target Acquired: Al Qaeda’s Spymaster on Amerithrax

      As explained by author Peter Lance in Triple Cross, after the 1998 embassy bombings, a ten-member federal team secretly entered the California residence of Ali Mohamed, Zawahiri’s former head of intelligence. They copied Mohamed’s hard drives and removed a series of CD-ROM and floppy disks. A memo titled “Cocktail” appeared to be a draft manual on sleeper cell structure.
      The file on cell structure read in part:

      “Every member knows how to do everything.
      Every member has a legal job as a cover (Student, worker, trade).
      Safety is the main concern, so the contingency plan is very important. Before working on the target you have (to) specify a rally point to meet in case of separation for any reason.
      The communications between the different groups are conducted through the dead drop only.
      Each group does not know anything about the other group, even Majmouat (the word means “the collected” or “the collection”). Al-qeyada does not know how many group(s) under its leadership. Only the group know each other because the members of one group only working with each other.”

      Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim took on Ali Mohammed’s role. His alias is easier to remember — Abu Jihad al-Masri. Al Masri means the Egyptian. Also known as Al-Hukaymah, he was the author of the description of the Amerithrax investigation in 2002. Born in 1961, Abu Jihad al-Masri joined the Egyptian Islamic Group in 1979. He was arrested in 1981 after Sadat’s assassination. He once was arrested alongside the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Hukaymah is reportedly connected to the blind sheikh’s successor Taha, the Islamic Group head who was in close touch in 1999 and 2000 with the NY-based US postal employee Sattar, the blind sheik’s “surrogate.” Al-Hukaymah dedicated the treatise “[t]o the pious and the hidden who are not known when they come and who are not missed when they disappear — To those whom their God will answer when they pray to Him. To all the eyes that are vigilant late at night to bring victory to this religion.”

      The introduction of the 152-page book starts:
      “The Manhattan raid led to a radical change in the perception of American Security. After the northern half of the continent had been isolated from the rest of the world and its threats by two oceans, it now came from inside. The surprise hit the symbols of American power in its economic and security dimensions.”

      Published at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website ( by the one-time EIJ shura member al-Sibai, the section on the anthrax investigation appears to have been written in 2002.
      “The Anthrax Scandal:
      Over many months, there was an excited search for the person responsible for the worst biological terror attack on American soil. Six letters sent by mail to Leahy, Daschle, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, The New York Post and of the Amerithrax investigation in 2002. Born in 1961, Abu Jihad al-Masri joined the Egyptian Islamic Group in 1979. He was arrested in 1981 after Sadat’s assassination. He once was arrested alongside the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Hukaymah is reportedly connected to the blind sheikh’s successor Taha, the Islamic Group head who was in close touch in 1999 and 2000 with the NY-based US postal employee Sattar, the blind sheik’s “surrogate.” Al-Hukaymah dedicated the treatise “[t]o the pious and the hidden who are not known when they come and who are not missed when they disappear — To those whom their God will answer when they pray to Him. To all the eyes that are vigilant late at night to bring victory to this religion.”

      The introduction of the 152-page book starts:

      “The Manhattan raid led to a radical change in the perception of American Security. After the northern half of the continent had been isolated from the rest of the world and its threats by two oceans, it now came from inside. The surprise hit the symbols of American power in its economic and security dimensions.”

      Published at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website ( by the one-time EIJ shura member al-Sibai, the section on the anthrax investigation appears to have been written in 2002.
      “The Anthrax Scandal:
      Over many months, there was an excited search for the person responsible for the worst biological terror attack on American soil. Six letters sent by mail to Leahy, Daschle, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, The New York Post and from his wife’s foreign inheritance, and the CIA never required meaningful corroboration. So we should not be that surprised when an “Islamic hardliner” (to borrow Dr. Alibek’s description to me) is given access to Center for Biodefense and ATCC facilities, to include a DARPA program funded by DARPA involving virulent Ames. Perhaps the focus should not be on more money for biodefense but on doing a better job at maintaining security. Perhaps focus should be on avoiding proliferation of know-how.

      Al-Hukaymah reportedly was Ayman’s connection to Mamdouh Ismail, an Egyptian defense attorney and a former member of “the Jihad group” who since the 1980’s has represented various Egyptians accused of terrorism offenses in Egypt. Mamdouh Ismail represented al-Nashar, the biochemist who was an expert on polymerization and had a key to the 7/7 bomber’s flat. Ismail was one of several hundred rounded up following the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. He served three years. He represented Ayman Zawahiri’s family in connection with the rendition and detention of Ayman’s brother Muhammad in the Spring of 1999. Ismail was arrested on March 29, 2007.

      In 1999, Ismail was refused permission to establish an Islamist political party with the help of fellow lawyer attorney al-Zayat. After the blind sheik said in March 1999 that an attempt through a political party should not be attempted, Al-Zayat and Mamdouh Ismail deferred the blind sheik’s decision. Attorney Ismail publicly objected to a reconciliation between Cairo and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

      The two had worked with EIJ shura member al-Sibai before he took refuge in the UK. Mamdouh Ismail then was accused by the Mubarak regime of complicity in an “Egyptian project” of al-Qaeda, taking his orders from Ayman al-Zawahiri via al-Qaeda propaganda chief al-Hukaymah and the UK-based EIJ publicist Hani al-Sibai. Both al-Hukaymah and Al-Sibai denied the charge. Al Sibai considers himself historian of the movement and published his diaries in Al Hayat in 2004. He is at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website that published the treatise that included the discussion of Amerithrax.

      Al-Hukaymah was apparently killed in a missile strike in late October 2008. Cairo-based IANA writer Kamal Habib says that the man was a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad that had assassinated Sadat but was part of a second generation, not part of the first generation responsible for the assassination. Al-Hukaymah (also known as Abu Jihad al-Masri) was said by US authorities to operate in Iran as the head of media and propaganda for al-Qaeda, and to also maybe “be the Chief of External Operations for al Qaeda”.

      Al-Hukaymah appeared in an August 2006 as-Sahab (al-Qaeda) video to announce the merger of al-Qaeda with part of the Egyptian Islamic Group. Ayman al-Zawahiri introduced him. The video claimed that al-Hukaymah joined al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in 1979 and was arrested in connection with the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Al Sadat in 1981. He subsequently rearrested several times in various countries. Zawahiri claimed in that video that Muhammad al-Islambouli (brother of assassin Khalid al-Islambouli) had joined al-Qaeda with al-Hukaymah.

      In addition to the analysis of the American intelligence community, the next month al-Hukaymah wrote a short piece entitled Towards A New Strategy in Resisting the Occupier that appeared on a jihadist website. Abu Jihad Al-Masri emphasized the need to consider public opinion in planning operations. The Taliban attempted to kill a 14 year-old young woman in Afghanistan this week who had been advocating for the right of girls to attend school. Although unsuccessful, the spokesman said the group would do it all over again. They apparently did not get the memo about concerning oneself with public relations.

    • DXer said

      Zawahiri’s Booklet On “Covert Operations”

      Mark A. Gabriel, PhD, once taught at Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote a very lucid book Journey Into The Mind Of An Islamist Terrorist. He discusses a booklet Zawahiri wrote titled COVERT OPERATIONS which is available online in Arabic. The Nigerian underpants bomber Abdulmutallab wrote his father asking “when is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?”

      If you want to know how Zawahiri views deceit on such issues as battle plans and spying, read his own words online.
      Gabriel explains:

      “Ayman al-Zawahiri leads a busy terrorist organization, and he must solve practical problems. For example, he may want some Al-Qaeda members to blend in and live in the United States. If these men wore full beards and went to ultraconservative mosques to pray, they they would arouse suspicion and get put on a watch list. Instead, al-Zawahiri would want these operatives to go undercover and blend into society. However, these devout Muslims will not go undercover unless they believe they have permission to do so from the teachings of Islam. As a result, al-Zawahiri wrote a booklet titled COVERT OPERATIONS, which goes deep into Islamic teaching and history to describe how deceit can be a tool in Muslim life.”

      The entire book by al-Zawahiri is posted in the Arabic language website for al-Tawheed Jihad (The Pulpit of Monotheism and Jihad). Zawahiri concluded that “hiding one’s faith and being secretive was allowed especially in time of fear from prosecution of the infidels.” Indeed, his student group in Cairo in the 1970s was known as the “shaven beards.” The founder of one of the cells merged with Ayman’s to form the Egyptian Islamic Jihad then wrote for Al-Timimi’s charity IANA.

      Al-Zawahiri discussed two specific ways Muhammad used deceit in battle: (1) keeping battle plans secret, and (2) spying. The author writes: “Al-Zawahiri specifically gave radicals permission not to pray in the mosque or attend Friday sermons if it would compromise their position.” He noted that Al-Zawahiri sealed his argument with a very important quote from Ibn Taymiyyah (who was quoted by Al-Timimi upon his his indictment). Ever the practical man, Muhammad approved lying in three circumstances (1) during war, (2) to reconcile between two feuding parties, and (3) to a spouse in order to please her.

      Ali Al-Timimi’s former fellow Falls Church imam Anwar al-Aulaqi in “44 Ways To Support Jihad” similarly urges that a lot of jihad work by its nature is secret and clandestine in nature. He advises that everything should be on a need-to-know basis (in other words, don’t tell your wife). Secrecy and cell compartmentalization was a key organizing principle of how the anthrax mailings were accomplished.

    • DXer said

      Sailing The Good Ship Anthrax

      USAMRIID released some emails by Bruce Ivins discussing the difficulties of planning the Fourth International Conference on Anthrax in Annapolis. The first of the emails was from September 1998, upon his return from the conference at Plymouth. In June 2001, the good ship anthrax sailed in Annapolis, Maryland, the “sailing capital of the world.” The 4th International Conference on Anthrax was held at St. John’s College in historic Annapolis, Maryland, June 10 – 13, 2001. The conference was organized by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The 74-foot classic wooden schooner was named WOODWIND. Martin Hugh-Jones had convened the conference along with Peter Turnbull, the Porton Down scientist who had led the UK conferences attended by Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist, Rauf Ahmad. Reports of livestock and national park outbreaks were followed by a summary by Dr. Turnbull. Other anthrax notables who spoke included senior USAMRIID scientist Dr. Ezzell, who had one of the first looks at the Daschle product, and Dr. Paul Keim, who would play a key role in the genetic investigation.

      Theresa Koehler from the Houston Medical School gave a talk titled “The Expanding B. anthracis Toolbox” while Timothy Read from The Institute of Genome Research summarized research on The B. Anthracis Genome. Houston Medical School, the UK’s biodefense facility Porton Down, and Pasteur Institute each fielded three presenters. UK scientists presented on the characteristics of the exosporium of “the highly virulent Ames strain.” Researchers from Columbus, Ohio and Biological Defense Research Directorate (BDRD) of the Navy Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, assisted by Porton Down scientists from the UK, demonstrated that inoculated mice survived a challenge with b.anthracis spores. Researchers used b.anthracis containing a plasmid with a mutated lethal factor.” Dr. Phil Hanna from University of Michigan presented, as he did at the conference attending with Rauf Ahmad.

      A Kazakhstan Ministry of Health scientist presented on the re-emergence of anthrax in Kazakhstan. Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union the first job offer Ken Alibek fielded was the position of Minister of Health in Kazakhstan. He protested when he realized that his new employer just wanted to do what the Soviets had been secretly doing in an illegal and massive bioweapons program he had supervised as its First Deputy. After the KGB asked to meet with him, he asked to schedule the meeting in two weeks, so that he might visit his parents, and then found a secret expedited way of coming to the United States.

      Pakistan Rauf Ahmad had been the predator looking for the Ames strain and consulting on weaponization techniques at the UK conferences in 1999 and 2000. In January 2002, FBI Assistant Director Van Harp told the 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology that it was “very likely that one or more of you know this individual.” They very likely did.

      Over the years, when I have made email contact with Dr. Ahmad, the exchange drops each time it becomes clear I’m not in a position to offer him money for a sabbatical in the United States. Unlike Yazid Sufaat, who tells me he was motivated by religion, Dr. Ahmad was motivated by money.

      • DXer said

        My friend from DIA who at the D.C. conference spoke on the compartmentalization of Al Qaeda’s anthrax program — who was not authorized to say where he worked currently — once told me that Rauf Ahmad visited England each year. (You’ll recall that in addition to the correspondence we have between Rauf Ahmad and Dr. Zawahiri I’ve uploaded, the MI5 official history explains that they found equipment in his luggage as he was leaving one of those conferences.)

        Who did Rauf Ahmad know and visit in London?

        Was he in contact with members of the EIJ cell (before they were arrested)? What do the phone records show?

        If the FBI did not interview Yazid Sufaat for nearly the full first year after his capture, when did they first interview Rauf Ahmad?

        Why does the US give billions in aid to countries who do not cooperate with such witnesses?

        Radical Islamist Abu Hamza al-Masri pleads not guilty
        From Richard Roth and Olivia Smith, CNN
        updated 5:07 PM EDT, Tue October 9, 2012

        • DXer said

          My friend also says that Rauf Ahmad attended other conferences around Europe. What is the full list of conferences attended by Rauf Ahmad?

          Who did Rauf Ahmad know at USAMRIID? Why isn’t that part of the public record upon the disclosure in Amerithrax? For example, why don’t we know whether Bruce Ivins, who attended the England conferences, knew Rauf Ahmad.

          Rauf Ahmad wrote Dr. Zawahiri and said he had made an internet contact and that he had learned some tricks in processing.

        • DXer said

          An undercover in the background of the al-Hamza saga also has a story to tell.

          A forgotten Hamzanama

          Hassaine was attacked and beaten up by Qatada’s men after they found out he was spying on him. He wants to sue MI5 for £1million for dropping him “like a hot stone” and failing in its “duty of care” to him after his cover was blown. More significant, however, is why he thinks MI5 dumped him: because it did not want to prosecute Qatada.

          “I gave the British authorities everything they could possibly want about Abu Qatada — and for what?” he asked in a newspaper interview.

          Hamza and Qatada are not the only ones with whom MI5 had cosy links. Two other alleged extremists — Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary — extradited to the U.S. along with Hamza have also revealed their contacts with the agency. One analyst wrote that the two men “benefited from the reluctance of the British authorities to clamp down on the growing number of Islamist extremists who were using London as a base to advocate violent confrontation with the West.”

          Khaled al-Fawwaz’s lawyer told the High Court during a hearing on his appeal against extradition that he was in regular contact with MI5 in the mid-1990s. He said when his client asked MI5 if he would be breaking the law by remaining in contact with Osama bin Laden after his 1996 declaration of war on the U.S., he was told it would be okay so long as the two did not discuss any criminal conduct.

          The cloak-and-dagger world of spooks has always fascinated writers and film-makers. British novelist Ian McEwan’s new book, Sweet Tooth, is a brilliant spoof on the workings of MI5 — the cynical ploys it gets up to, the ruses it is capable of pulling off, the webs of deceit it can weave — and how for all the bluster and swagger it can often get it disastrously wrong. While McEwan’s story is about MI5’s Cold War shenanigans, perhaps one day someone would offer a literary take on its Hamza project. Suggested title: Sour Taste.

      • DXer said

        I’ve uploaded Rauf Ahmad’s notes and handwritten letter (he was one of the scientists working for Ayman Zawahiri).

        The typed correspondence from a later visit by Rauf Ahmad indicating that he had successfully achieved the targets. (And, no, Milton L. did not systematically refute the matter in discussing the correspondence in his book – he avoided quoting this critical language altogether!)

    • DXer said

      Ali Al-Timimi: Ken Alibek’s Suitemate
      An article in GMU 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 Biosystems 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 Aulaqi at the time.   

    • DXer said

      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.'”

      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.
      “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.”

      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.

      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 terrorists so they can turn their guns on us. By now the Afghan war is over.”

      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 room no one talked about. A colleague of famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander 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.

      Many commentators have long held strong and divergent opinions of what has been published in the media about Amerithrax 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. 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, 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. … 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 investigator’s 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. 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.”

      Dr. Leitner in a letter to the Fairfax County Police Department wrote:

      “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.” Fairfax County Police Department Sergeant Rasool sought to stop the training work being done by Dr. Leitner, who taught biosecurity work at George Mason University’s Center for Biodefense.

    • DXer said

      Who does Ismail Diab think is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    • 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 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 and certainly the FBI has operated under that understanding.

      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 “*** 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.

      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 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). 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.

      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 (such as Hatfill commissioned the SAIC study). 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 — 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.

      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.”

      Al-Timimi’s prosecution was remanded 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.”

      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:
      “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.”

      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.

    • DXer said

      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.” After 18 months in prison in Yemen in 2006 and 2007, he was released over US objections, where he says he was subject to interrogation by the FBI. By 2010, when the United States announced that there was authorization to attempt to kill Anwar Aulaqi, he had long since gone into hiding after acknowledging his role in the Ft. Hood shooting and attempt to bring down an airliner flying into Detroit.

      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 Aulaqi’s roommate. Mr. 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 a 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-Hussayen 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. ”

      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 ones 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.

      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 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. ”

      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 ones 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.

      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. A Washington Post article explained: “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 and came to be at the center of a controversy concerning what the FBI should have known and shared about Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. The next month he was alleged to have been involved with the planned bombing of a airliner flying into Detroit.

      Awlaki eventually was killed pursuant to an order of the President of the United States.

      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?

      • DXer said

        WIRED has had some interesting articles about an undercover agent that was aimed at targeting Awlaki — Awlaki, according to this man’s claims, was set up to marry a wife who would be carrying a bugged cosmetics case. And it got pretty far. It was only at the last minute that Anwar put a further restriction on what she could bring.

        Wired notes that the story is not corroborated but I tend to credit it.

        And I know I was being crabby about undercover agents and professional informants (like “Mo” in Austen who collected $344,000 over 5 years) but I appreciate that they do an important and difficult job.

        It’s hard to debate merits or policy on a subject about which so little is known or can be publicly verified.

        It seems that the key difference is that an undercover agent knows what is going on whereas an informant is not told the big picture — or pretty much anything — by the law enforcement agent.

        A professional informant thus can cause a lot of unnecessary disruption that is not warranted — like being blindfolded in the china shop of someone else’s personal life.

        Alleged CIA Mole Says He Played Matchmaker for al-Qaida Propagandist
        By Robert Beckhusen
        October 15, 2012

      • DXer said

        Anwar Aulaqi was coordinating with Ali Al-Timimi who shared a suite with the two leading Ames researchers.

      • DXer said

        While the US government focused on Anwar Al-Aulaqi, the media continued to overlook Aulaqi’s connection to fellow Falls Church imam, a scientist sharing the suite with the leading bioweapons Ames anthrax researchers with whom defense counsel says Aulaqi was coordinating.

        Ali Al-Timimi had unfettered access to the largest microbiological repository in the world where the bacteriology collection scientist was the future head of the Amerithrax science investigation who would guide the NAS review and the production of documents from the FBI to NAS. …

    • DXer said


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

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

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

      In the Washington, D.C. area, Taliban supporter Ali Al-Timimi worked in the same building as famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey, who had co-invented a process using silanized hydrophobic silica to lead to greater concentration of a biological agent. Dr. Bailey has been a prolific Ames anthrax strain researcher. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey had multimillion dollar grants from DARPA funding a contract with USAMRIID with Delta Ames supplied by NIH.

      NSA intercepts showed that Ali Al-Timimi was working with Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali, who had been the subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War and his 1998 claim of responsibility for the embassy bombings. Timimi has been sentenced to life plus 70 years before his conviction was reversed and remanded. Bilal Philips had been Ali’s mentor. The father of Jafar the Pilot (Adnam El-Shurijumah ) in turn had been Bilal Philips’ mentor. Ali Al-Timimi shared a fax machine with famed Russian anthrax bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID deputy commander Charles Bailey. They are listed as authors on various articles reporting biodefense research using virulent Ames strain of anthrax. Dr. Bailey had worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency (”DIA”) for years on threat assessment of biological weapons. Both he and Dr. Alibek had consulted for Battelle, world renown for its expertise on anthrax aerosols. They had co-authored the patent filed in mid-March 2001 on concentrating biological agents using silica in the growth medium that was still confidential as of Fall 2001. Both Dr. Bailey and Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance while working at SRA in 1999. Al-Timimi was doing work on a Navy contract.

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

      The anthrax operation was likely led by Mohammed Islambouli, who had been in a cell with KSM in connection with the planned attacks on the US using aircraft and other means. Islambouli’s role and his planned visit to the US in preparation for the attacks was the subject of the December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief by the CIA to President Clinton. If we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. The job of journalists, however, is news, not analysis. So journalists understandably needed to wait until they are told these things by the government. Unfortunately, they never were. Sometimes the government’s interest in the fruits of intelligence activity causes them to forego explaining what is really going on or in seeking a criminal prosecution. Sometimes it is a bureaucrat’s attempt to cover his ass or a politician’s effort to stay in office. Sometimes it is is just a failure to connect the dots. The solution to Amerithrax, however, has been there for all to see — most intelligence is open source. And in the case of the correct analysis of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, failure is not an option.

      Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    • DXer said

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

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

      Anyone not part of the solution is part of the problem.

    • DXer said

      Former lead investigator Agent Lambert once expressed in a memo to Director Mueller that the compartmentalization of the investigative squads ordered by Director Mueller would prevent investigators from connecting the dots. But early on she had written for Newsday about the difficulties of coordinating a complex investigation between agencies.

    • DXer said

      “Waly Samar” who was a microbiologist connected to the WTC 1993 participants (including Ramzi Yousef) based on phone records and reportedly lived in the Trenton area in 2001 — an estimated 20 miles from the mailbox. I called and left a message last week but hadn’t hear back.

    • DXer said

      Ayman Zawahiri had an extensive recruiting network for his anthrax planning and the announcement of his plans in March 1999, including the blind sheik’s son who spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi and was on Al Qaeda’s 3-member WMD society. Did the blind sheik’s son recruit Ali Al-Timimi?

  14. DXer said

    Court testimony revealed Mo [Mohammed] has been paid more than $340,000 since taking the assignment. Agent Holstead says he remains on government payrolls.
    Updated 10/01/2012 11:01 PM

    Federal agents used Yassine cousin in money laundering case
    By: John A. Salazar


    The issue of the use of paid informants in Amerithrax has not been told yet — but it may very well be.

    But if Amerithrax is the greatest failure in the history of intelligence, one can ask: were the paid informants part of the problem or part of the solution?

    If the Bush Administration and DOJ is guilty of a botching Amerithrax for the purpose of CYA, weren’t the paid informants just people they sent out to ensure that they were successful?

    If DOJ’s informants were only half as good as my informants, they would have solved Amerithrax in 2002.

  15. DXer said

    This is a case where an FBI agent was promised a large amount of money for causing an investigation to be shut down.

    There would be no basis for telling an Amerithrax prosecutor that she could not interview a jihadi in jail because a deal had been cut in another, unrelated matter because that deal would not legitimately prevented inquiry into Amerithrax.

    This is why we have GAO. GAO needs to address whether AUSA Lieber’s discretion in this matter was curtailed by a supervisor.

    Lured by Promises of Wealth, F.B.I. Agent Was Drawn Into Fraud Scheme, Prosecutors Say
    Published: October 1, 2012

  16. DXer said


  17. DXer said

    Terrorist Threats, Past And Future

    I Heard The Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded To The 9/11 And Anthrax Attacks By Laurie Garrett Seattle (WA): Amazon, 2011 533 pp.; $5.99 (e-book)
    Julio Frenk1,* and
    Octavio Gómez-Dantés2

    1Julio Frenk ( is dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts. From 2000 to 2006 he served as the minister of health of Mexico, where he led a reform effort aimed at enhancing health security in a comprehensive way.
    2Octavio Gómez-Dantés ( is a senior researcher at the National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He has written on global health topics since the 1990s.

  18. DXer said

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


    GAO got off to a very late start and a reporter says one should not expect much from it.

    Given that GAO did not have the resources to delve too deeply into the science, the priority should have been on obtaining and disclosing documents — at the very least, conducting detailed interviews on things such as examination of the rabbits, photocopy toner, etc. and releasing the interviews.

    The science did not narrow the field dramatically in any event but the science and available evidence relating to the research with the rabbits was exculpatory in major ways but concealed by the DOJ/FBI.

    • DXer said

      Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 12:50 PM PDT

      NYT Falsely Claimed Ivins Anthrax Killer

      In today’s New York Times International Herald Tribune, Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, considers the modern “Living in the Era of Megaterror.” In this article Graham falsely claimed that federal employee Bruce Ivins was responsible for the anthrax killings that terrorized the U.S. in 2001. ***

      Ultimately, the FBI’s case against Ivins was confirmed to lack evidence.

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