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

* 9/11 Energy & Commerce Committee Statement On GAO Report On Anthrax Detection – We Must Remain Vigilant To Ensure That Another Anthrax Attack Doesn’t Happen

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 6, 2012

******

******

Advertisements

8 Responses to “* 9/11 Energy & Commerce Committee Statement On GAO Report On Anthrax Detection – We Must Remain Vigilant To Ensure That Another Anthrax Attack Doesn’t Happen”

  1. DXer said

    David Willman has an article today, “Anti-terrorism expert [Tara O’Toole] advises against BioWatch upgrade
    A Homeland Security Department undersecretary has told Janet Napolitano she has doubts about a new version of the nation’s troubled system for detecting a biological attack.”

    Tara O’Toole was the expert who advised that the leg lesion on the hijacker coming from Kandahar in June 2001 pointed to exposure to anthrax. CIA Director Tenet explained that no one was dismissing the report. Although the FBI said that it found no anthrax in Florida where the hijackers had been, with respect to this leg lesion (and given that he had just recently arrived from Kandahar), the FBI’s focus in early 2002 should have been on whether he had been exposed to anthrax from Kandahar. Kandahar, in fact, was where Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat had his lab. The FBI did not get around to interviewing Yazid until November 2002. There is no reason not to credit the hijackers explanation to the doctor that he had gashed his leg with a suitcase — and the open would led to a leg lesion upon exposure to anthrax. Yazid , a very approachable fellow who went to Sac State and had been part of Malaysia biological weapons program, could be asked whether he knew the hijacker.

  2. DXer said

    November 8, 2012
    1984 attack offers food for thought
    By Jeff Mullin, columnist
    Enid News and Eagle

    http://enidnews.com/opinion/x691735391/1984-attack-offers-food-for-thought

    Do you ever get so sick of the news these days you just want to scream?

    Do you ever think that if you hear the word anthrax one more time you will lose your mind?

    Would you just like to get into bed, pull the covers over your head and stay there until this whole mess blows over?

    You can’t, of course, but it’s a lovely idea nonetheless, the possibility of bed sores notwithstanding. We have to live our lives, despite the daily flood of dispatches about bombs raining on Afghanistan, mail suspected of containing a deadly virus and the possibility the terrorists may attack us again any day.

    At the end of the day, we can return to our home, gather our family around us and give thanks for the food we are about to enjoy. In food, at least, we can find solace.

    ***

    There is a bronze statue of an antelope in The Dalles. It was a give from the people of the town of Antelope. The plaque affixed to the statue read, “In order for evil to prevail, good men should do nothing.”

    “That’s kind of our ongoing message — that you can’t just stand by,” Susan Hun-tington, director of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce, told the Associated Press. “We certainly survived it, and I think the nation also needs to hear that. It’s a great American message.”

    So what do we do, stop eating? I, for one, could stand to lose a few pounds, but my stomach would never forgive me.

  3. DXer said

    Kessler: FBI Investigation Led to Petraeus Resignation
    Friday, 09 Nov 2012 04:43 PM
    By Ronald Kessler
    http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/petraeus-resigns-cia-affair/2012/11/09/id/463573

    Comment: The FBI is making the point here that if you have a top secret clearance and you have an adulterous affair, it makes you subject to compromise.

    The FBI, part of the DOJ, is correct, isn’t it?

  4. DXer said

    This article below about an interview of the former head of the Egyptian Islamic Group is of note. He was taped in numerous calls to postal employee Abdel-Sattar and the blind sheik’s attorney, Montasser Al-Zayat, about the need of an operation to free the Blind Sheik. Who does Taha think was responsible for the anthrax mailings?

    By way of some background, Cairo -based writers of the charity Islamic Assembly of North America (“IANA”) , 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. On March 9, following that visit, 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. In March, Cairo attorney Montasser Al Zayat told the press that Ayman likely was going to use anthrax as a weapon against US targets to retaliate against the rendering and detention of the Egyptian militants.

    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 use of anthrax as a weapon against US targets was inextricably linked to the detention of senior militant Egyptian leaders, including the blind sheik.

    In April, Ayman Zawahiri wrote Taha and asked him about the proposal by Sultan and EIJ founder Habib to form a political party: “What are the facts regarding report alleging that Salah Hashim (One of Islamic Jihad’s founders and imprisoned at the time of the letter) has called for the formation of a new political party?” (Salah Hashim sought to co-found the party, along with IANA writers Habib and Sultan). Ayman specifically noted that Mohammed Islambouli (Abu Khalid), the brother of Sadat’s assassin, had withdrawn from the Islamic Group to protest the cease-fire announced by the IG shura members imprisoned in Egypt. Ayman asked Taha what was Montasser al-Zayat’s opinion on the issue.

    Then in September 1999, the blind sheik again addressed the cease-fire initiative that had been launched two years earlier by imprisoned IG leaders in Egypt. In a telephone call with Taha on September 20, US Postal employee Sattar explained, on the blind sheik’s behalf, that the initiative should be ignored if necessary to accomplish IG’s goals. Abdel-Rahman and Sattar thought the cease-fire was not working because it had not secured the release of the IG leaders from prison. Sattar was coming around to Taha’s aggressive views that there might be a need for another Luxor.

    It likely was a happy coincidence for Ayman and IG leaders Rifai Taha, Mustafa Hamza and Mohammed Islambouli, that an active supporter of the Taliban — and associate of Bin Laden’s spiritual advisor, dissident Saudi Sheik al-Hawali — was a US biodefense insider. Ali Al-Timimi was a graduate student in the same building where famed Russian bioweapon Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey worked at George Mason University. The three worked at the secure facility at Discovery Hall at the Prince William 2 campus. Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey headed a biodefense program funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”). Al-Timimi had a top security clearance and had previously 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 only during semester breaks.

    Al-Timimi spoke in very moderate, measured tones in the UK, Canada, and Australia — once even in China. He spoke against feminism, about the unfavorable treatment of islam in the secular media, about signs of the coming day of judgment and the correct interpretation of the koran and hadiths, and the destruction of the Buddha statutes by the Taliban. Locally, he spoke regularly at the Falls Church center that also housed offices of the charity, the Muslim World League. Timimi was associated with the charity Islamic Assembly of North America (“IANA”), based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His speeches are widely distributed on the internet and tend to focus on religious rather than political issues. 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. In July and August 2001, Al-Timimi spoke in Toronto and London alongside “911 imam” Awlaki and unindicted WTC 1993 conspirator Bilal Philips.

    US-trained Malaysian biochemist Yazid Sufaat met with 9/11 plotters and two hijackers in January 2000. Sufaat was a member of Al Qaeda and a member of Jemaah Islamiah (“JI”). JI has ties with the Moro Front. Sufaat used his company called Green Laboratory Medicine to buy items useful to Al Qaeda. Zacarias Moussaoui, who had a crop dusting manual when he was arrested, stayed at Sufaat’s condominium in 2000 when he was trying to arrange for flight lessons in Malaysia. Yazid Sufaat provided Moussaoui with a letter indicating that he was a marketing representative for Infocus Technologies signed “Yazid Sufaat, Managing Director.” Sufaat had given Moussaoui an e-mail greenlab@usa.net that was accessed by authorities on September 19, 2001. The crop dusters were to be part of a “second wave.” Al Qaeda’s regional operative, Hambali, was at the key January 2000 meeting and supervised Sufaat. Khalid Mohammed’s involvement dates back to Bojinka, as did Hambali’s.

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

    By: Ahmad Rahim. Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab).

    Rifai Taha, the former president of Gamaa Islamiyya’s Shura council in Egypt, said that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri should be praised and called on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to allow Zawahiri’s return to Egypt.

    The former president of Gamaa Islamiyya’s Shura council in Egypt praised al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Rifai Taha said that Zawahiri should be allowed to return to the country and that Islamic law should be implemented there by Al-Azhar scholars.

    Publisher: Al-Hayat (Pan Arab)

    Rifai Taha to Al-Hayat: Al-Zawahiri Should Be Praised

    Published on: Thu, Nov 8, 2012
    Translated on: Fri, Nov 9, 2012

    In an interview with Al-Hayat, Taha spoke of his relationship with late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Taha said that bin Laden refused to target Americans in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Bin Laden said to some of his companions — among them Taha — who were preparing a strike against the United States to force it to release Gamaa Islamiyya’s “emir,” Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman, that “preserving security and stability in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Arab states serves Islam and the nature of the battle with the United States.” Taha considers al-Qaeda members mujahideen [holy Islamic warriors].

    Taha rejects any armed action in Egypt “at this stage.” He criticized what happened in the Sinai and refused to call the perpetrators of the recent attacks “jihadists.” He called on all Islamists to rally behind President Morsi so that the Islamic project is achieved. He said that Morsi “will implement God’s rule on Earth.”
    Taha insisted on the application of Shariah [Islamic] law in Egypt and divided the liberals who refused Shariah into two groups. The first reject Sharia because they don’t know what it is, he said. For those, Taha said there is a duty to introduce them to Shariah.

    The second group know that Shariah law is right. He called the latter group “recalcitrants who have deviated from God’s religion,” but that dialogue should be held with them before such a judgment is passed. He said Al-Azhar scholars should be the ones responsible for implementing Shariah.

    He criticized relations with Israel as “abnormal,” but chose to leave the matter to public opinion.

    Taha led the armed struggle against Hosni Mubarak’s regime in the 1980s and 1990s. Taha said that imprisoning Mubarak is better than killing him and that the decision to kill late President Anwar Sadat was proper.

    Taha said that Syrian intelligence arrested him in 2001, after US intelligence intercepted a telephone conversation he conducted from Syria with his wife in Iran and gave her the phone number at which he could be reached. Seven hours later, Syrian authorities arrested him and handed him over to Egypt.

    Taha traveled to Afghanistan — during the “Afghan jihad” — and also to Sudan, Yemen and other countries. He is one of Gamaa Islamiyya’s founders and led its military wing and Shura council for years. He rejected Gamaa Islamiyya’s new manifesto and resigned from the Shura council’s presidency. A few weeks ago, he was released from prison pending investigation into several cases that carry the death penalty.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/11/former-gamaa-islamiyya-cadre-supports-zawahiris-return-to-egypt.html#ixzz2BlIOCEZm

    • DXer said

      Wave of Islamist extremism linked to alumni of infamous Tora Prison in Egypt
      Bradley Hope
      Nov 3, 2012

      Some of the prisoners had been held since 1981, when Anwar Sadat was assassinated by extremists. Abboud El Zomor is one of them. He was implicated in the assassination and was sentenced to life in prison before his release in March 2011.

      Lawyers have successfully appealed for the release of more prisoners, including Mohammed Al Zawahiri, the brother of Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri, and Rifai Taha, who was indicted by the US as a co-conspirator in the attacks on US Embassies in 1998 and is considered a former confidante of Osama bin Laden. Mr Taha said in an interview with the London-based Asharq Awsat newspaper published on September 24th that his group, Gama’a Islamiyya, considered the US “an enemy”.

      He also appeared to backtrack from what was widely seen as an agreement from leading Islamist groups to renounce of violence in 1996, saying that the Egyptian government did not hold up its end of the deal because it did not release or compensate prisoners.

      Asked if the Arab Spring revolutions would have a negative effect on Al Qaeda, he said: “On the contrary, Arab revolutions will provide a better opportunity to move around, but there is no more justification for [Al Qaeda’s] existence in many places.

      “For example, the Egyptian revolution overthrew the regime and brought a president affiliated to the Islamic Movement. So, why would it operate in Egypt? And the same goes for Tunisia as well.”
      Some security analysts, such as former FBI investigator Ali Soufan, warned earlier this year of the ramifications of releasing so many alleged extremists into Egypt at a time when the country was still struggling to regain stability.

      There are, however, growing signs that Mr Soufan’s prediction of unintended consequences has some merit.

      The attack on the Benghazi consulate has been linked by US officials to fighters who were in contact with a former prisoner of Tora in Egypt, Muhammad Jamal Al Kashef, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on October 1. Ansar Sharia, a militia suspected of leading the attack on the consulate, counts former detainees of Abu Salim prison among its members.
      Egyptian military officials have said that former prisoners of Tora are involved with militant groups in North Sinai, a lawless region in which dozens of bombings and attacks on government offices, gas pipelines and border camps have taken place since last year.

      ***

      Tora, a complex of six prisons on the southern edge of Cairo, has long been a dark place to send alleged extremists accused of everything from belonging to a banned group – such as Mr Morsi, a former high-ranking official of the Muslim Brotherhood – to people accused of masterminding attacks on officials in Egypt and abroad.
      It was a choice destination for the Central Intelligence Agency to send suspects believed to be involved with extremist groups from around the world, as part of its campaign of “extraordinary renditions”.

      The signs of violent extremism related to former prisoners of Tora has rekindled a question that historians and scholars of violent Islamist groups have grappled with for years: does imprisonment moderate views of these men or sharpen their fury?

      Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian Islamist thinker whose ideas inspired generations of militants, was radicalised in part by the years he spent in Tora prison where he was tortured in the late 1950s and early 1960s, said John Calvert, the author of a biography of Qutb and professor at Creighton University in the US state of Nebraska.

      Ayman Al Zawahiri, too, emerged from Tora in the 1980s with a much more extreme worldview that eventually helped shape the apocalyptic doctrine of Al Qaeda.
      But other prisoners at the same time as Qutb did not espouse more violent views after leaving prison, such as the then General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan Al Hudaybi, Mr Calvert said.
      After Mubarak’s resignation, there appears to be two groups of Islamist extremists. There are those, like Mr El Zomor, who are content to work within the democratic system to push for their goal of an Islamist state. And there are others who “never accepted the revisionism of the leaders” of their groups, Mr Calvert said.

      “These individuals see the Arab spring as an opportunity to reignite the jihad, or to at least have an influence on the direction of change,” he said. “Not only are the politics of Egypt and other countries in the region in flux, the security situation has not been resolved in favour of the state. … We may expect such individuals to form or join small, radical jihadi groups or else, act individually.”

      Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/wave-of-islamist-extremism-linked-to-alumni-of-infamous-tora-prison-in-egypt#ixzz2BoE1mRR2

  5. DXer said

    The full-text of Biosurveillance: A Review and Update is provided at
    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/apm/2012/301408/

    It in turn has a lot of useful hyperlinked references.

    Review Article
    Biosurveillance: A Review and Update
    Nicholas E. Kman1 and Daniel J. Bachmann2
    1Ohio Task Force 1-FEMA Urban Search and Rescue, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University Medical Center, 4813 Cramblett Hall, 456 West Tenth Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
    2Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University Medical Center, 4734 Cramblett Hall, 456 West Tenth Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

    Received 30 April 2011; Revised 18 September 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

    Academic Editor: Zygmunt F. Dembek

    Copyright © 2012 Nicholas E. Kman and Daniel J. Bachmann. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

    Abstract

    Since the terrorist attacks and anthrax release in 2001, almost $32 billion has been allocated to biodefense and biosurveillance in the USA alone. Surveillance in health care refers to the continual systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data. When attempting to detect agents of bioterrorism, surveillance can occur in several ways. Syndromic surveillance occurs by monitoring clinical manifestations of certain illnesses. Laboratory surveillance occurs by looking for certain markers or laboratory data, and environmental surveillance is the process by which the ambient air or environment is continually sampled for the presence of biological agents. This paper focuses on the ways by which we detect bioterrorism agents and the effectiveness of these systems.

  6. DXer said

    Queen’s to tackle anthrax threat

    Published Thursday, 08 November 2012

    Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast are aiming to help counteract the threat of bioterrorism by undertaking new research to develop a vaccine against anthrax.

    A team at Queen’s will contribute to the NATO-funded project. (© Pacemaker)

    ***
    The US postal attacks in 2001 highlighted the vulnerability of civilian populations and brought home the need to develop effective, rapid, robust medical countermeasures to combat the threat posed by terrorist use of this organism.

    [Dr Rebecca Ingram, Queen’s University Belfast] continued: “We at Queen’s will be working with lead investigator Professor Les Baillie from Cardiff University and colleagues in the US, Turkey and Georgia to develop effective vaccines to tackle the problem.

    “Within the study we will be testing the antibodies and immune cells from the blood of people who have been exposed to anthrax. Either people known to have been previously infected who live in endemic regions of Turkey and Georgia, or people who have been vaccinated with the licensed UK, US or Georgian vaccines.

    “This research will allow identification of key protective targets for the immune system on the bacteria helping to underpin the development of future vaccines capable of conferring broad-spectrum, rapid, robust protection following minimal dosing.”

    Professor Les Baillie from Cardiff University and who leads the multi-national research collaboration said: “It is the growing concern over the threat posed by bioterrorism that has prompted world authorities like NATO through its Science for Peace and Security Programme to support efforts to develop more effective vaccines and medical countermeasures.

    “Such vaccines would impact on two levels, locally they would directly improve the lives of workers at risk of contracting anthrax such as farmers in Georgia and Turkey, and globally they would contribute to the protection of citizens from the use of anthrax as an agent of bio-terrorism.”

    Comment: Les Baillie would be an interesting interview regarding his views of Amerithrax — both because Rauf Ahmad attended the conferences he organized for Porton Down in 1999 and 2000 and because of his work in 2001 for the Navy in Maryland. At the same time, Peter Turnbull worked from Norfolk for the Navy. If either served on the FBI’s “Red Team” given their undisputed expertise, they would be important interviews for GAO, especially as to the Red Team’s recommendation that the reason for the silicon not be pursued.

  7. DXer said

    Biologist outlines plan for emailing vaccines

    Published on October 29, 2012 by Paul Tinder

    Craig Venter

    Craig Venter, a biologist and entrepreneur, announced an idea at a recent New York health conference to use 3D biological printers to print out biological molecules for vaccines via email.

    Venter, a scientist who helped to sequence the human genome and created synthetic life with homemade genes, said the process could revolutionize healthcare. The emails would contain a sequence of DNA that a 3D printer could use to synthesize a vaccine, New Scientist reports.

    DNA vaccines are not currently used in commercial vaccines for safety reasons, but the vaccines typically work well in experiments.

    Debora MacKenzie, a Brussels correspondent for New Scientist, said that the bio printer could theoretically distribute vaccines for both civilian and military uses.

    “Venter’s bio-printer, in theory, could both make and distribute a macromolecular vaccine fast,” MacKenzie said, according to New Scientist. “If everyone, or maybe every local clinic, had a bio-printer, a mass email of the vaccine specs should take care of a novel pandemic, or bioterror attack – or maybe even measles – in minutes. Simply print, and inject.”

    MacKenzie also theorized the idea going terribly wrong, putting forth a scenario in which a terrorist intercepts a vaccine email and uses it to get the victims to inject themselves with a biological weapon.

    Venter made the announcement at the Wired Health Conference in New York earlier in October. He also put forth a plan to sequence DNA from Mars and send the results back to Earth, New Scientist reports.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: