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

* Amerithrax Science Update (B3D1, p. 270) States that Missions By FBI Personnel Detected DNA from the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis on both the May 2004 and November 2004 Missions; Samples From The First Mission Were Processed By NBFAC and Samples From the Second Mission Were Processed At Aberdeen Proving Ground

Posted by DXer on November 24, 2012



31 Responses to “* Amerithrax Science Update (B3D1, p. 270) States that Missions By FBI Personnel Detected DNA from the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis on both the May 2004 and November 2004 Missions; Samples From The First Mission Were Processed By NBFAC and Samples From the Second Mission Were Processed At Aberdeen Proving Ground”

  1. DXer said

    Super Bowl national security docs left on plane – CNN…left…/index.html
    29 mins ago – The travel itinerary and boarding pass accompanying the documents was in the name of Michael V. Walter. Walter, a microbiologist, has been the program manager of BioWatch since 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile. “I am responsible for developing and operating a budget that has ranged up to 90 …

    Super Bowl anti-terrorism documents left on plane
    The Department of Homeland Security documents critiquing the response to a simulated anthrax attack on Super Bowl Sun…

    Recipients of the draft “after-action” reports were told to keep them locked up after business hours and to shred them prior to discarding. They were admonished not to share their contents with anyone who lacked “an operational need-to-know.”

    But security surrounding the December 2017 reports suffered an embarrassing breach:

    A CNN employee discovered copies of them, along with other sensitive DHS material, in the seat-back pocket of a commercial plane. The reports were accompanied by the travel itinerary and boarding pass of the government scientist in charge of BioWatch, the DHS program that conducted the anthrax drills in preparation for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

    In addition to requesting that CNN not publish prior to the Super Bowl, DHS officials argued that disclosure of some material contained in the draft reports could threaten national security, regardless of when it was published. Based on that concern, CNN is withholding some details contained in the documents.

    BioWatch’s chief aim is off-target, U.S. security officials say
    BioWatch, which has cost more than $1 billion so far, is designed to detect large-scale biological attacks. But Homeland Security officials say small-scale attacks are more likely to occur.
    June 18, 2013| By David Willman, Los Angeles Times

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  2. DXer said

    Has former National Security Michael Flynn been indicted with the indictment still under seal?

    In his book, The Field of Fight, Flynn reports that one letter in the bin Laden set of documents reveals that al Qaeda was working on chemical and biological weapons in Iran.

    With the CIA website still down, has someone uploaded a copy of the letter?

  3. DXer said

    The labs and samples were discovered in 2002 and 2003. Why didn’t the FBI also submit those samples to the NAS?

  4. DXer said

    For example, transparency is needed on the strain of anthrax that certain detainees say that Al Qaeda was using. The test results from 2002 and 2003 need to be disclosed.

    “In Have We “Met the Enemy”?, Science 3 February 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6068 pp. 540-541, Dr. David Relman, who had been vice-chairman of the NAS Committee, explains:”

    See also

    Before his recent arrest, Yazid Sufaat declined to tell DXer the strain of the “anthrax spore concentrate” harvested July 4, 2001

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 29, 2013

    What did Al Qaeda anthrax lab head Yazid Sufaat discuss at the meeting in Kandahar with Adnan El-Shukrijumah and KSM before Adnan set off to return to the United States shortly after 9/11?

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 7, 2013

    Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech says he had been part of Malaysian Armed Forces biological weapons program

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 23, 2012

    Soraya Yazid, Sufaat’s daughter, did not provide a copy of Yazid’s handwriting as I had requested and hoped. I had urged that the handwriting would be sufficient to exclude him as having written the letters.

    A Maple Leaf ‏@NaivePoet Jan 21

    We often have many, to write for,
    but just one, to make us write.

    I saw the movie “Her” last night and was disappointed. I much preferred the rousing action of “Gravity.”

  5. DXer said

    Click to access us9ly-010017dp_merged.pdf

    (S/A{F) In August 2001, detainee had conversations with Muhammad Atef, and learned that al-Qaida was pursuing the development of anthrax related technologies to use in operations. Abu Harith al-Malaysi aka(Abu Haris) asked detainee in the summer of 2001to move crates containing biological laboratory equipmentf rom Karachi to Kandahar. This further convinced detainee of an al-Qaida effort to produce anthrax. After his discussions with Muhammad Atef, detainee said he assumed the special laboratory near Tamak Farm was related to anthrax development efforts and the equipment he was asked to transfer from Karachi to Kandahar,circaMay 2001,wasfor that laboratory.4l
    (S//I{F) Detainee was present in CNN videotape showing al-Qaida’s chemical testing on dogs and was reportedly in regular consultations with noted
    poison and explosives expert Abu Khababal-Masri.
    (S/AIF) Immediately prior to the fall of Kandahar in late 2001, JI member Yazid Sufaat stayed at detainee’s home for six days. Yazid told detainee he was developing anthrax for al-Qaida, and was happy in his work. Yazid was giving biology lessons to two al-Qaida operatives, detained Abu Bakr al-Filistini aka (Samir Hilmi al-Barq) and al-Hud al-Sudani. When detainee queried Yazid about the danger of his research Yazid indicated there was little to worry about since he (Yazid), Bakr, and al-Hud all had anthrax vaccines. As al-Qaida was leaving Afghanistan,Yazid planned to reinstitute the anthrax program in Pakistan.


    The take-home seems to be:

    1) Anyone arguing that Yazid was not working with virulent anthrax was uninformed.

    2) Anyone who does not know where al-Hud al-Sudani is uninformed. Is he languishing in an 8 x 10′ cell in Jordan? Was the USG’s approach to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings to ship prisoners off to Jordan and then never let them face trial because they were tortured?
    Then engage in a $100 million game of hide-the-ball for 13 years?

    3) Anyone who does not know why the FBI did not submit the anthrax samples from 2002 and 2003 to the NAS is uninformed.

    I would add a fourth:

    4) Anyone who does know that Al Qaeda was working with virulent Ames is uninformed.

    Sufaat is a fool not to bring the CIA’s deception crashing down by disclosing the strain he was using. Al-Hud Al-Sudani and Samer Al-Barq long ago cooperated.

    • DXer said

      Note: Abu Harith, the fellow who asked the detainee to help move the crates for the bio lab to Kandahar, is an al-Qaida and Jemaah Islamiya facilitator. He is the son of religious emir Abu Bakir Bashir.

  6. DXer said

    Timeline of Selected Events in Biosecurity Policy
    Gigi Kwik Gronvall

    The select agent program launched by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which prohibited the transfer of some “select” agents from one laboratory to another without registration with the CDC.1 Congress passed the law in response to the difficulties in prosecuting Larry Wayne Harris, a member of the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, who in 1995 legally obtained Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, from American Type Culture Collection, a biological services company.2

    After the anthrax letter attacks, a gap in the select agent program was exposed: the CDC maintained a registry of laboratories that had transferred samples of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, but they could not defini tively state that those were the only laboratories doing legitimate research on
    that pathogen.

  7. DXer said

    “We will engage the detainees to tell them it is possible to lead an honest life without resorting to crime to survive. Life is full of opportunities.”

    As it was now a borderless world, he said police also had to forge strong bonds of friendship with their counterparts around the world for better intelligence gathering to combat transnational crime, such as terrorism, human and drug trafficking.

    Ismail said the recent arrest of former army captain and Internal Security Act detainee Yazid Sufaat and two militant accomplices was a good example of how police had cooperated with their foreign counterparts.

    Yazid, housewife Halimah Hussin and cafeteria helper Muhammad Hilmi Hasim, were recently charged under section 130G of the Penal Code for promoting terrorism in Syria.
    “Whatever changes the country undergoes, we will adapt accordingly and we will continue to maintain our professionalism.”

    Read more: ‘Cops will adapt, but no compromise on security’ – General – New Straits Times

    Comment: I still think Yazid holds the keys to his prison cell. It’s as simple as announcing (so long as there is some sort of corroboration) of the genetic strain of anthrax he was using. (He and his two assistants, he told KSM, were vaccinated and so could safely handle it).

    To hear the FBI scientists, they seem to be saying that they don’t know — and if they do know it is classified because they do not want to embarrass another country.

    I think it is going to be confirmed anyway as the result of GAO’s efforts and the declassification of materials and so Yazid might as well be ahead of the curve.

  8. DXer said

    Even if Hilmi and his mom aren’t interested in the $5 million U.S., the Malaysian questioners would be eligible.

    The lawyer, who is doing a superb job on behalf of Yazid, emphasizes in press that authorities want to turn Hilmi into a witness against Yazid (and Chomel’s relgious instructor).

    In the US, the system contemplates representation of Hilmi by someone who will zealously represent HILMI’S INTEREST — regardless whether it is contrary to Yazid’s interest.

    As a practical matter, the lawyer quoted below surely must know a colleague with whom she works well together who can be recruited to zealously represent Hilmi’s interests.

    And yes, then under the US system it would be that lawyer’s professional duty to focus solely on Hilmi’s interests notwithstanding good relations with Yazid’s counsel.

    I personally think it is in the interest of Hilmi and his mother interest to cash in the $5 million reward US and let Yazid and Chomel’s religious instructor seek their reward in paradise.

    Monday, 18 February 2013 18:14
    Family of SOSMA detainee claims law ‘unconstitutional’

    The lawyers argued that SOSMA is unconstitutional since it allows evidence which does not follow provisions in the Evidence Act.

    “Anyone can easily be convicted,” she said, explaining that the law is against Article 8 of the Constitution which guarantees equal protection of the law for every person.

    “It’s very clear that they just want to turn him into a witness against Yazid and Halimah,” Fadiah stressed.

    • DXer said

      Updated: Monday February 18, 2013 MYT 2:24:23 PM

      Cafe worker files habeas corpus application over detention under new security law

      Police refute wrongful detention claims, say all procedures were followed

      KUALA LUMPUR: A Jalan Duta Court Complex cafeteria worker, arrested for alleged terrorist activity, has filed a habeas corpus application for wrongful detention.

      Muhammad Hilmi Hasim, 33, filed the application through his adoptive mother Rahamah Abdul Majid, at the High Court criminal registry here Monday.

      On Feb 9, it was reported that Muhammad Hilmi was being held under the new Special Offences (Security Measures) Act 2012 until Bukit Aman concludes its investigations into his suspected links with terror activities.

      Muhammad Hilmi was detained together with ex-Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat and religious teacher Halimah Hussein.

      Meanwhile, police have refuted allegations that Muhammad Hilmi was wrongfully detained.

      Federal special task force (operations and counter terrorism) director Comm Datuk Mohamad Fuzi Harun said he was detained in accordance with the law.

      “We followed every procedure to the hilt.

      “We even informed his family and the National Legal Aid Foundation on the day he was detained. There is no such thing as wrongful detention,” he said when contacted.

      Comm Mohamad Fuad explained that under the new law, police had 21 days from Muhammad Hilmi’s detention on Feb 7 to complete investigations.

      “We expect to complete the investigations by the end of the month.

      “We will forward the investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers once completed,” he added.

  9. DXer said

    I have asked Aizat Mokhtar what strain Yazid was using.

    I write to him on Facebook:


    I am an attorney in the US who has been following the fascinating constitutional issues that arise in these matters — and I have been blogging about the true crime mysteries relating to Al Qaeda’s anthrax program since Yazid was first detained in December 2001.

    In the US, the charges against Yazid would present fascinating “First Amendment” issues. Under longstanding precedent, it was held that speech is protected unless it presents a “clear and present” danger. So, for example, historically, one could advocate that the government should be toppled so long as one’s speech did not present a “clear and present” danger of violence. In the US, there are many cases from over a century ago involving men on soapboxes on the square. Clarence Darrow was a famed lawyer for such defendants.

    The closest parallel post-911 in the US perhaps is the case involving Ali Al-Timimi. He shared a suite with leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers. Famed first amendment scholar Jonathan Turley, a professor at GWU, defended Ali. In his case, there was a lunch conversation before the young men left to the airport and it was argued that Al-Timimi’s practical advise crossed the line. But the decision in favor of that view was very controversial here among First Amendment scholars. Chomel has said that at lunch there was just the usual type of advice given travelers leaving abroad — bring enough money, keep safe etc. I assume from the specificity of the charges as to location and time that there must have been eavesdropping devices in the home (at which conversations were held between 8ish and 10ish).

    Putting the interesting legal issues aside — and best of luck to the legal team — I think as a practical matter Yazid could garner favor and leverage simply by clearing up some factual details dating back to 2001 and his work with anthrax. He told KSM that he and his two assistants that they were vaccinated for anthrax and so there was no need to worry. But he has not yet mentioned the genetic strain that he was using — or where they got it. If he did that, I think it would give him huge leverage — and he would be known as a truth-teller. He has already served 7 years for any crimes during that period.

    I can’t meaningfully speak to the legal issues under Malaysian law but the lawyers are doing important work in thinking hard about the issues under the statute. Yazid’s affability and love for his wife and family is an inspiration to all, regardless of their politics or religion.

  10. DXer said

    If you want to appreciate how Yazid likes causing someone to smile, check out his Facebook photo.

    He is standing next to a sign that says ISA MOTEL, with an arrow. (ISA was the name of the statute under which he was detained in December 2001.)

  11. DXer said

    Comment on todays’ article below:

    Zawahiri used to say that 90% (as I best recall) of the battle was public relations. Heeding that wisdom, government officials should clone Yazid’s son’s thesis (and notes or necessary materials) and get it back to him so he can stay on course with his studies. Yazid’s son is right that Yazid is good-natured. He was also very circumspect in his daily post on Facebook. He counseled keeping one’s mouth shut about matters relating to jihad — keeping it between the ears. He and Chomel can assume that the house had spike microphones and so that it was private conversations that authorities are using as a basis for the arrest. But it’s important to understand the real reason for what is happening — and the real impetus for his arrest. IMO, the real impetus may be Abu Ghaith’s answers to questions in Turkey about Al Qaeda’s anthrax program.

    I think the best public relations approach is to point out that if the charges relating to Yemen are true, there seems to be no difference between what he is alleged to have done and what numerous parties worldwide are doing in connection with Syria. If most Malaysians are like most Americans, they wouldn’t be able to find Syria on a map. It should be noted by defense counsel that the real reason for his infamy relates to his withholding about Al Qaeda’s anthrax program. He should voluntarily disclose the details of his work in the laboratory — to include the strain (PCR analysis indicated Ames strain) — so that the world respects him both for his good-naturedness (which I have always emphasized) AND for truth-telling. As a general rule, I find Yazid to tell the truth when he chooses to address an issue — but he has chosen to plead the Fifth Amendment about the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings and that is why he is prison now (in my opinion as an outsider). There are some issues that I consider unsubstantiated — for example, I don’t know how Yazid could have known Al-Attash but not Nawaf Al-Hazmi, as Al-Attash arrived ahead of Nawaf at the condo for the terrorism planning meeting by just one day. But I don’t recall offhand where I have found a conflict between documents and what Yazid describes. He just declines to answer a question. So I think the opportunity presents itself for him to win the hearts and minds of the world — to emerge not just as a nice guy and loving father and loving husband, but as a truth teller and honest man.

    A smile and integrity that is just on the face and not in the heart, at the end of the day, does not fool anyone.

    Man on terror charge a ‘smart and witty’ father

    To his 20-year-old son, Zufar Arif (right), Yazid Sufaat is a kind-hearted and good-tempered father.
    The Star/Asia News Network
    Saturday, Feb 09, 2013
    PETALING JAYA – Many might presume ex-ISA detainee Yazid Sufaat to be a dangerous man, having been an active member of Islamist militant organisation Jemaah Islamiyah
    for nearly a decade.

    But to his 20-year-old son, Zufar Arif, Yazid is a kind-hearted and good-tempered father.

    “He is very smart and very witty,” said Zufar, who rushed back from his university in Terengganu upon hearing of his father’s arrest.

    Yazid was a national scholar, graduating from California State University in Sacramento with a degree in biochemistry and his son is now in his final semester of chemical engineering.

    Zufar said he was saddened by Yazid’s arrest and hoped court proceedings would be settled swiftly.

    “I hope they don’t drag it on,” said the youth who will soon graduate from his course.

    “I have to try and focus and make sure this doesn’t interrupt my studies,” he said, adding that the police had taken a laptop containing parts of his thesis as well as the internet modem when they raided Yazid’s house.

    Zufar is the second of Yazid’s four children with wife Chomel Mohamad, 48.

    Chomel, meanwhile, swears her husband is “a good man” and fears that her family would have to go through what they faced in 2001, when Johor-born Yazid was arrested under the ISA.

    Yazid, 49, is being held at the Kamunting detention centre under the now repealed Internal Security Act until 2008.

    The former army captain maintained that he has not been involved in any armed activities but in religious classes.

    However, he is believed to have been one of the al-Qaeda’s main anthrax developers and is wanted for questioning by the US government in relation to the Sept 11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.

    • DXer said

      08 February 2013| last updated at 06:25PM
      Former ISA detainee charged with promoting violence

      By Jennifer Gomez |

      AMPANG: A former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee was charged at the magistrate’s court here with promoting an ideology which was intended to incite the people of Syria.

      Yazid Sufaat, 49, who was dressed in orange lock-up clothes, appeared calm and even smiled when he was brought into the courtroom just after noon today.

      His friend, Halimah Hussein, a 52-year old housewife, who was dressed in a black jubah and looked equally calm, was charged with abetting Yazid.

      They were separately charged with committing the offences at Yazid’s house in Taman Bukit Ampang between August 1 and October 20 last year.

      Yazid, who operates a drinks stall with his wife at the Jalan Duta court complex cafeteria, was picked up from the stall, along with one of his workers, Mohd Hilmi Hasim, at about noon on Thursday. Hilmi, however, was not charged.

      No pleas were recorded from Yazid and Halimah.

      Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria told the court that there was no provision for bail. He also made an application to transfer both cases to the Shah Alam High Court.

      Magistrate Zulyana Zollkapli allowed the transfer.

      The charges under Section 130G (a) of the Penal Code carries a maximum jail sentence of 30 years and a possible fine, if found guilty.

      When the charge was first read out to Yazid today, defence lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad asked the prosecuting team for some clarification if the amendment to the particular section of the Penal Code had come into force.

      “We know that the amendment was gazetted in 2003, but we need some clarification whether it has been enforced by way of gazette,” he asked the court.

      At this juncture, the court was stood down to allow the prosecution to check on the matter.

      When court resumed, Hanafiah informed the magistrate that Section 130 was enforced on March 6, 2007.

      Outside court, lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, who was assisting Amer, informed reporters that the two, who were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, will have their plea recorded at the High Court.

      The Security Offences Act facilitates the authorities to charge them under Section 130G (a) of the Penal Code which basically states: “inciting, promoting, or soliciting of property for the commission of terrorist acts”.

      “When they are detained under the Security Offences Act, they can be charged under security offences under the Penal Code.

      There is no provision for bail and the cases are to be heard at the High Court”, Fadiah told reporters.

      On Hilmi’s situation, Amer Hamzah said his legal team would be filing a “habeas corpus” application to secure his release.

      He said under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, the authorities have the right to hold a detainee up to 28 days without trial.

      Read more: Former ISA detainee charged with promoting violence – Latest – New Straits Times

      Comment: A middle school social studies teacher this week asked me what my favorite constitutional provision was in the Bill of Rights. I told him the First Amendment. I described Archibald Cox’s thoughtful approach to balancing the competing interests. If he were alive and the statute at issue was in the US, he might argue that the above provision was unconstitutional if there was no “clear and present” danger. In the case of Ali Timimi, who was ably represented by a prominent First Amendment scholar at GWU, the court found it significant that Ali gave the recruit advice how to avoid suspicion at the airport.

  12. DXer said


    So while am not entirely sure, it would make sense that the “Dr Amin” is the one you mention.

    Dr. Amin al-Haq was the security coordinator for Usama bin Laden. He was designated an individual associated with bin Laden about March 7, 2001.

    The relative from California you mention is Ahmadullah Sais Niazi. The California relative was indicted in 2008 because he did not disclose that he had travelled to visit his family, to include Dr. Amin al-Haq

    HIG you mention is Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (“HIG”), designated as a terrorist organization.

    AH HAQ, Dr. Amin (a.k.a. AL-HAQ, Amin; a.k.a. AMIN, Muhammad; a.k.a. UL-HAQ, Dr. Amin) was born 1960 in Nangahar Province, Afghanistan (individual).

  13. DXer said

    GAO may find useful the learning in this new article by NIST researchers on the general issue of the validation of sampling methods and the reliability of negative results. But it is more important that they obtain a copy of the “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study” involving the USAMRIID lab technician working with virulent Ames anthrax.

    The aim of the new December 2012 study was to develop a method to calculate the performance, and isolate error contributions occurring in a microbial surface sampling protocol: “The approach used in this study pointed out the need for a closer analysis of the complex interaction between spores and wipe material since a substantial percentage of spores were lost to the wipe. ”

    J Appl Microbiol. 2012 Dec 4. doi: 10.1111/jam.12090. [Epub ahead of print]
    Recovery Balance: A method for Estimating Losses in a B. anthracis Spore Sampling Protocol.
    Da Silva SM, Urbas AA, Filliben JJ, Morrow JB.
    Biochemical Science Division, Material Measurements Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20899-831.

    But I’ve yet to read a study though that is most pertinent to discovery of a covert lab — one that takes into account aggressive decontamination efforts (such as the documentary evidence shows was planned upon the moving of the lab every 3 months). For example, if one finds that paraformaldehyde was used to wipe lab equipment, what is the conclusion to be drawn in the face of positive PCR results for Ames anthrax?

    A GAO gap analysis that is focused on statistical methods of sampling methods will be irrelevant relative to what is needed — disclosure of all the documents relating to the FBI’s scientific conclusions.

    None of the FBI’s science implicated Dr. Ivins. It was just cotton candy spun by a zealous prosecutor actively withholding key documents relating to Dr. Ivins’ work with the 52 rabbits.

    Until the documents are produced, we cannot see what conclusions should have been drawn.

    For example, a key document still being withheld is a decontamination study using virulent Ames involving Dr. Ivins’ assistant (whose name is redacted and thus not known). It was titled “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study.” If it was classified, it should be declassified.
    GAO needs an expert in obtaining document production on its team — someone able to ensure that classification is not permitted to obscure the true crime analysis.

    The 302 interview statement says “[ ] advised that USAMRIID could not locate, documents, laboratory notes, or other papers relating to the work of USAMRIID laboratory technician [ long name redacted ]. [ ] advised that the previous day [ ] had been given some of these items by by [ ]. SA advised that on 9/10/2004, SA sent, via facsimilar, two pages from the items provided [ ], a letter from [ name redacted] July 30, 1999 which references [ ] work, and not an abstract of a study “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study,” in which [ ] is listed as a participant. Didn’t Mara specifically note that some of their work was classified and not for publication?

    From the length of the name redacted in the FBI, is it “Pat Fellows” that fits in the redacted space rather than the name Mara Linscott? Was the decontamination agent that was studied by the former Zawahiri associate from Cairo Medical supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins who conducted his research alongside Bruce Ivins in the B3 and at Dugway? What did this decontamination study involve? Why is it acceptable not to know?

    There is a risk that in the herculean task faced by the GAO, the forest is lost for the trees.

    Document production of documents still being withheld is the key. If the FBI did not undertake to obtain them, then that is a key problem.

    Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps and recommendations.
    Piepel GF, Amidan BG, Hu R.
    J Appl Microbiol. 2012 Dec;113(6):1287-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05381.x. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

    Virulent spores of Bacillus anthracis and other Bacillus species deposited on solid surfaces have similar sensitivity to chemical decontaminants.
    Sagripanti JL, Carrera M, Insalaco J, Ziemski M, Rogers J, Zandomeni R.
    J Appl Microbiol. 2007 Jan;102(1):11-21.

    In vitro production of Clostridium difficile spores for use in the efficacy evaluation of disinfectants: a precollaborative investigation.
    Hasan JA, Japal KM, Christensen ER, Samalot-Freire LC.
    J AOAC Int. 2011 Jan-Feb;94(1):259-72.

    Parameters affecting spore recovery from wipes used in biological surface sampling.
    Da Silva SM, Filliben JJ, Morrow JB.
    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Apr;77(7):2374-80. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

    Recovery of bacillus spore contaminants from rough surfaces: a challenge to space mission cleanliness control.
    Probst A, Facius R, Wirth R, Wolf M, Moissl-Eichinger C.
    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Mar;77(5):1628-37. Epub 2011 Jan 7.

    Evaluation of vacuum filter sock surface sample collection method for Bacillus spores from porous and non-porous surfaces.
    Brown GS, Betty RG, Brockmann JE, Lucero DA, Souza CA, Walsh KS, Boucher RM, Tezak MS, Wilson MC.
    J Environ Monit. 2007 Jul;9(7):666-71. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

    False-negative rate and recovery efficiency performance of a validated sponge wipe sampling method.
    Krauter PA, Piepel GF, Boucher R, Tezak M, Amidan BG, Einfeld W.
    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Feb;78(3):846-54. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

    Surface sampling methods for Bacillus anthracis spore contamination.
    Sanderson WT, Hein MJ, Taylor L, Curwin BD, Kinnes GM, Seitz TA, Popovic T, Holmes HT, Kellum ME, McAllister SK, Whaley DN, Tupin EA, Walker T, Freed JA, Small DS, Klusaritz B, Bridges JH.
    Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Oct;8(10):1145-51.

    Surface sampling of spores in dry-deposition aerosols.
    Edmonds JM, Collett PJ, Valdes ER, Skowronski EW, Pellar GJ, Emanuel PA.
    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Jan;75(1):39-44. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

    Use of a foam spatula for sampling surfaces after bioaerosol deposition.
    Lewandowski R, Kozlowska K, Szpakowska M, Stepinska M, Trafny EA.
    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Feb;76(3):688-94. Epub 2009 Dec 18.

    Recovery efficiency and limit of detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from environmental surface samples.
    Estill CF, Baron PA, Beard JK, Hein MJ, Larsen LD, Rose L, Schaefer FW 3rd, Noble-Wang J, Hodges L, Lindquist HD, Deye GJ, Arduino MJ.
    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Jul;75(13):4297-306. Epub 2009 May 8.

    Use of alternative carrier materials in AOAC Official Method 2008.05, efficacy of liquid sporicides against spores of Bacillus subtilis on a hard, nonporous surface, quantitative three-step method.
    Tomasino SF, Rastogi VK, Wallace L, Smith LS, Hamilton MA, Pines RM.
    J AOAC Int. 2010 Jan-Feb;93(1):259-76.

    Evaluation of a wipe surface sample method for collection of Bacillus spores from nonporous surfaces.
    Brown GS, Betty RG, Brockmann JE, Lucero DA, Souza CA, Walsh KS, Boucher RM, Tezak M, Wilson MC, Rudolph T.
    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Feb;73(3):706-10. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

    Determining the efficacy of liquid sporicides against spores of Bacillus subtilis on a hard nonporous surface using the quantitative three step method: collaborative study.
    Tomasino SF, Pines RM, Cottrill MP, Hamilton MA.
    J AOAC Int. 2008 Jul-Aug;91(4):833-52.

    National validation study of a cellulose sponge wipe-processing method for use after sampling Bacillus anthracis spores from surfaces.
    Rose LJ, Hodges L, O’Connell H, Noble-Wang J.
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    • DXer said

      USAMRIID wrote me in response to a FOIA request that they had no documents relating to this study below that done in the Spring 1998 (before electronic records of access to the B3 were kept). It involved a decontamination agent funded by DARPA. It involved virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins to the former Zawahiri associate. Ivins assistants Fellows and Linscott were thanked. Why is acceptable that USAMRIID had no documents? Why is it acceptable that AUSA Lieber would think to base a case on electronic card access records that were not first kept until the Summer 1998? 16 pages relating to this research were first obtained by the FBI in Spring 2005. Who is responsible for dropping the ball? And then trying to turn that dropped ball into a victory bounce?

      A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity against Bacillus Species

      Tarek Hamouda1,
      Michael M. Hayes1,a,
      Zhengyi Cao1,
      Richard Tonda1,
      Kent Johnson2,
      D. Craig Wright3,
      Joan Brisker3 and
      James R. Baker Jr.1

      + Author Affiliations

      1Center for Biologic Nanotechnology and Department of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
      2Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
      3NOVAVAX, Inc., Rockville, Maryland

      + Author Notes

      ↵a Present affiliation: Pulmonary/Critical Care Unit-Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

      Reprints or correspondence: Dr. James R. Baker, Jr., University of Michigan Medical School, 9220 MSRB-III, 1150 W. Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0648

      Presented in part: 98th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Atlanta, May 1998 (poster A49); 38th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, San Diego, September 1998 (late-breaker slide session II, LB-9); 99th general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Chicago, May 1999 (poster A300).


      Two nontoxic, antimicrobial nanoemulsions, BCTP and BCTP 401, have been developed. These emulsions are composed of detergents and oils in 80% water. BCTP diluted up to 1 : 1000 inactivated 190% of Bacillus anthracis spores in 4 h and was also sporicidal against three other Bacillus species. This sporicidal activity is due to disruption of the spore coat after initiation of germination without complete outgrowth. BCTP 401 diluted 1 : 1000 had greater activity than BCTP against Bacillus spores and had an onset of action of <30 min. Mixing BCTP or BCTP 401 with Bacillus cereus prior to subcutaneous injection in mice reduced the resulting skin lesion by 99%. Wound irrigation with BCTP 1 h after spore inoculation yielded a 98% reduction in skin lesion size, and mortality was reduced 3-fold. These nanoemulsion formulas are stable, easily dispersed, nonirritant, and nontoxic compared with other available sporicidal agents.

      ↵D.C.W. and J.B. are employees of NOVAVAX, Inc., and have significant financial interest in the company. NOVAVAX, Inc., is the supplier of the emulsions. J.R.B., T.H., M.M.H., D.C.W., and J.B. have a patent application entitled: Methods of inactivating bacteria including bacterial spores.

      The animal experiments were approved by and performed according to the guidelines of the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan.

      Financial support: Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (contract MDA 972-1-007 of the Unconventional Pathogen Countermeasures Program).

      Received March 10, 1999.
      Revision received June 30, 1999.

      • DXer said

        Note that the revision was received on June 30, 1999. Is that related to the June 30, 1999 letter mentioned in the FBI report above? The full patent expressly notes that Bruce Ivins supplied the virulent Ames and Patricia Fellows provided technical assistance.

        • DXer said

          If all contemporaneous documents have been withheld or destroyed, then how do we know how much virulent Ames was provided?

          Dr. Baker was incorrect in telling me that University of Michigan could not have given Ames because University of Michigan was not a BL-3 facility. At the time, virulent anthrax was a BL-2 pathogen in its liquid form, not a BL-3 pathogen. Thus the question becomes whether Bruce Ivins would supply a DARPA-funded researcher virulent Ames. Why not? He supplied the Ames to a researcher who was not a US citizen. (Dr. Baker had not told Ivins that in arranging the visit).

          Ivins supplied the Ames to someone who was never vetted.

          Ivins supplied the Ames to someone taught microbiology by Heba Zawahiri who in 1999 was crying herself to sleep each night over the rendering of Mohammed Zawahiri.

          He told investigators that it greatly upset him that he might be indictable for providing someone with Ames that then was used in the anthrax mailings.

          When I called, University of Michigan lab technician Michael Hayes tells me only “You don’t want to know.” And Dr. Hamouda did not respond to my inquiry. University of Michigan refused to produce any documents about the research with Ames under FOIA.

          Tarek’s lifelong friend and medical schoolmate “Tawfiq” Hamid describes his own recruitment by Ayman Zawahiri at Cairo Medical in INSIDE JIHAD. Tawfiq’s cooperation with intelligence agencies has caused him to be shunned by his brother, Tarek’s closer friend (who is CAIR-St. Louis).

          The way that spoliation of evidence works is that inference is made against the party destroying the documents.

          Now James Baker is in charge of international vaccines for the huge pharma company.

          The head of the DC venture capital firm Perseus who funded NanoBio, Richard Holbrooke, went on to head Afghanistan and Pakistan as the #3 at the Department of State. He was a hugely powerful man.

          There is no government accountability.

          For example, what principles of government accountability permitted the civil depositions of Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott to be shredded — at the same time millions in taxpayer funds were used to buy the silence of Mrs. Stevens who consented to the shredding in exchange for the millions.

          After Dr. Ayman’s next mass attack, if it involves anthrax, there will only be scapegoating of people like Dr. Majidi or Ed Montooth or AUSA Lieber who in fact did not profit from the withholding or shredding of documents.

          They will be the most recent victims of the greatest failure in intelligence analysis in US history — known as Amerithrax.

          Former lead investigator Ed Montooth, whose good faith is not disputed, needs to roll up his sleeves and study the documents — and become less comfortable with an Ivins Theory.

  14. DXer said

    Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat has never denied to me that it was the Ames strain that he was using.

    Yazid on his Facebook page this week urged that “The countries that are bordering Palestine, which are moslems should open their borders and allow the mujahideens to freely entering Palestine and fight …”

    Yesterday or so he posted a homage to Azzam. Sometimes he quotes Anwar Awlaki.

    • DXer said

      Location, location, location. The FBI’s failure to give the NAS documents clarifying information and documents about the different locations — and its delay in providing the documents that it did turn over — is inexcusable.

      In May 2004, I believe the FBI was searching an alleged anthrax storage area in the Kabul area. Then in November 2004 I believe they were searching an area in the Kandahar mountains, several hundred miles outside of Kabul.

      By way of some background, anthrax lab coordinator Hambali was arrested in August 2003 in the quiet city of Ayuttullah, Thailand, which is about half way between Bangkok and Chang Mai. He was sent to Jordan. In Autumn 2003, extremely virulent anthrax reportedly (source: Suskind) was found at a house in Kandahar — after regional operative Hambali was harshly interrogated . Al Qaeda had the extremely virulent anthrax before 9/11. Sufaat’s two principal assistants — Barq and al-Sudani — were also captured in 2003 and are in custody. They had been assisting Sufaat prior to 9/11. Barq was detained by Jordan, then released, and then detained and deported to Israel where he was arrested. The FBI dropped the continuous conspicuous surveillance of Dr. Steve Hatfill in early Fall 2003. Prior to that, the “Hatfill theory” had been an alternative hypothesis pursued by one of the squads within Amerithrax.

      In connection with defending a civil rights claim by former USAMRIID scientist Steve Hatfill, the FBI described the anthrax probe as “unprecedented in the FBI’s 95-year history.” Agents had spent 231,000 hours up to that date. The head of the investigation said that the investigation was “active and ongoing” and said agents’ time was divided between checking into individuals who might be connected to the attacks and a scientific effort to determine how the spores themselves were made using “cutting-edge forensic techniques and analysis.” The court papers did not indicate that Dr. Hatfill was still among those being investigated. Hatfill was labeled a “person of interest” in the probe in August 2002 by Attorney General John Ashcroft in responding to press inquiries for the reason for searches and surveillance that Dr. Hatfill had reported. By late 2003, all conspicuous surveillance had ended, according two unnamed federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The head of the investigation cautioned that Hatfill’s lawsuit could force the FBI to divulge its “interest in specific individuals,” who could flee the country, destroy evidence, intimidate witnesses, or concoct alibis.

      In mid-December 2003, two brothers, Michael Ray and James Stubbs, were arrested in a Manila suburb where they were fundraising for a charity that supported the militant islamists and allegedly in contact with militant brothers. Michael Ray, an American, had been a HVAC technician at Lawrence Livermore near San Francisco — until March 2000 — where the Defense Threat Reduction Agency had launched a program to combat the Bin Laden anthrax threat in 1998. His brother, James, Jr., also known as Jamil Daud Mujahid. James reportedly was monitored saying that he had been a classmate of bin Laden and had named his son Osama. James once was a policeman in California and a teacher in Missouri. James allegedly met with members of Abu Sayyef and Moro Islamic Liberation Front while in the Philippines doing charity fundraising. The brothers had been under surveillance at the time of their arrest. James Stubbs, according to some reports, had recently left a job as a teacher in California to study Arabic in Sudan. Other reports suggested that his recent work instead involved training dogs. Authorities allege that the brothers in May 2003 had met with several charity groups suspected of being al-Qaida fronts, founded by Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law Khalifa.

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

      In May 2004, Palestinian Marwan Jabour was arrested by authorities in Lahore, Pakistan. “He was in touch with top Al Qaeda operational figures and was strongly linked to Al Qaeda chemical and biological efforts and had provided some funding for an Al Qaeda [biological weapons lab,” one anonymous counterintelligence official was quoted in the press as saying. After dinner with a Professor at Lahore University, some men on the street approached him and asked him about his friend, before forcing him into a car. The men also arrested the Professor and another friend who had joined them for dinner. The men took him to the local station of the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (“ISI”) When finally released two years later, he gave a rare glimpse into the conditions in which detainees have been secretly held. He first was held for a month at a secret detention facility operated by the U.S. and Pakistan, as described in detail in the report “Ghost Prisoner: Two Years in Secret CIA Detention.” He was flown to a CIA secret prison, that he believes was in Afghanistan, before finally being flown to Jordan last summer, transferred to Israel and eventually released in the Gaza Strip. He admits having trained in Afghanistan in 1998 and then fighting with the Taliban. He acknowledges helping some Al Qaeda figures escape to Pakistan in 2003. Jabour denies any ties to terrorism. He says the mujahideen he helped relocate to Pakistan in 2003, because of his familiarity with the area and his fluency in Urdu, were “unaffiliated” and had not sworn an oath of loyalty to Al Qaeda.

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

      MSNBC, relying on an unnamed FBI spokesperson, reported that the FBI has narrowed the pool of labs known to have had the US Army anthrax strain known as the ” Ames strain” that was a match from 16 to 4 but could not rule out that it was obtained overseas. Thus, not only was it likely that an Al Qaeda perpetrator was associated with an NGO and university, but there had to have been access to a virulent anthrax strain that was only in a score or so of known labs, most of which were affiliated in some way with the US government.

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

    • DXer said

      The plan to paint the walls and then wipe the walls with insecticide to decontaminate the clandestine labs in Afghanistan predates Yazid’s work in 2000. (It seems I still owe you a cite to an uploaded or quoted document.)

      Dr. Bruce Budowie in recent thoughtful presentations has given the analogy of studying the WWII planes that didn’t come back in determining structural weaknesses. Here, when looking for evidence of a clandestine lab, one needs to understand the method to decontaminate the lab used by the scientist who admits that he was covertly developing anthrax for use as a weapon against US targets.

      Yazid Sufaat was happy with the anthrax work when he stayed with KSM for 6 days in 2001 and when he reported to Dr. Ayman on the results of his research with virulent anthrax in August 2001 with Hambali; in his correspondence with DXer, he seems happy today also (and very much in love).
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 1, 2012

      Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech says he had been part of Malaysian Armed Forces biological weapons program
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 23, 2012

      In the Spring 1999, Ayman Zawahiri recruited Pakistan scientist Rauf Ahmad who then went to various dangerous pathogens conferences in the West attended by USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins. (In fact, Bruce Ivins was in charge of planning the one held in 2001.) The conferences attended by Rauf Ahmad were run by Peter Turnbull who then came to the US and did important work for Amerithrax. (For example, he was on the Technical Review Panel gathered on November 14, 2001). (see B2M12)

      from DXer … infiltration of U.S. Biodefense? … Zawahiri’s Correspondence With Infiltrating Scientist Was Part of Parallel Compartmentalized Cell Operation
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 20, 2010

      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.”

      Rauf Ahmad was a member of Society for Applied Microbiology (“SFAM”) members. 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. In his report, Dr. Turnbull looked forward to a second, fully international conference in 2000 focused on the ever increasing problems surrounding hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms and aimed at international agreement on the related issues. University of Maryland researcher Milton Leitenberg reports that the conferences described in the correspondence had been in July and September 1999.

      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 even more difficult than the International Conference on anthrax also held at the University of Plymouth, in September 1998. 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, would enter 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 had 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, 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 a handwritten copy of earlier correspondence 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. I would not have obtained the documents had I not been led by the nose by JB Petro and David Relman in their brilliantly done piece in SCIENCE on the subject of documents seized from Ayman Zawahiri. David Relman is now the go-to expert on the subject of the FBI’s testing, as illustrated by his most recent piece in SCIENCE.

      The 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 othopedic 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 press 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. Unfortunately, once the bloodhounds were done finished sniffing for anthrax, Agent Montooth and his team began sniffing for panties.

      When I made contact with the man who I believe was this scientist Rauf Ahmad, he provided me his resume and graciously offering to answer any further inquires. He said he was looking forward to an “optimistic exchange” (as I was also). After I indicated that I had the correspondence with Zawahiri, he did not respond to any questions. Journalists should interview Dr. Ahmad to get his side of the story — just as they should interview Yazid Sufaat. Trained at Sacramento State, he would be surprised as anyone to learn he does not use the word “Allah” and instead uses “God” — where do these talking heads come up with this stuff?

      USAMRIID eventually 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.

      Other talks focused on cell structure and function such as the S-layer, exosporium, and germination. 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. The mice were “immunized via gene gun inoculation with eucaryotic expression plasmids encoding either the protective antigen (PA), a mutated form of lethal factor (LF) or a combination of the two.” Dr. Phil Hanna from University of Michigan was there and presented, as he had been in the UK 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’s job description shifted to “you know the job,” and he realized that they 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 conference. Did the Amerithrax perp attend this conference or work on any of the research presented? Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. Why? When? What did his work involve? 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.”

      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.” Milton Leitenberg wrote in a chapter on evolving threats in Wenger and Wollenmann’s 2007 Bioterrorism: Confronting A Complex Threat: “If it should turn out, as is currently assumed, that the Amerithrax perpetrator came from within the US government’s own biodefense program, with access to strains, laboratories, people and knowledge, then all previous conceptions about the significance of the events would be substantially altered.” He observes that “Al-Qaeda has actively recruited educated college graduates and … specifically sought individuals with particular knowledge and training. … Such recruiting patterns do not automatically translate into either an interest or capability in bioweapons, but they would be a key advantage should the interests of such a group turn in that direction, as Al-Zawahiri’s [1999] memorandum quoted above suggests they may.”

      see generally
      DXer: [unclassified] documents in the possession of Ayman Zawahiri and his associates illustrate the dangers of scientific openness
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 17, 2009

    • DXer said

      I’m still looking for a source on the use of insecticide. It seems that if I had the actual memo, I would have quoted it but I’ll study Rauf Ahmad’s handwritten notes next. My first guess was that it was in Alan Cullison’s 12/2001 WSJ article or in his amazing magazine piece by the same journalist titled “Inside Al Qaeda’s hard drive.”

      The looter ” had stolen them from al-Qaeda’s central office in Kabul on November 12, the night before the city fell to the Northern Alliance.”

      Mr. Cullison, who then went to work in Moscow, wanted me to sue the CIA under FOIA for taking the laptop from Atef and then giving it back wiped clean. The computers of Dr. Ayman and Atef had been stolen by looters and then journalist bought them at a bazaar. They had been encrypted. CIA’s “Bert” had made the return curbside hand-off in D.C.

      I told Mr. Cullison that he and his editors had acted heroically by giving it to the CIA without delay. He wasn’t convinced and was quite pissed. (I would never sue the CIA because I imagine that when they get pissed they wipe YOUR computer clean.)

      “Our New York staff, which was working out of a former warehouse in Lower Manhattan, was acutely aware of potential threats; it was carefully screening mail for anthrax. Thinking that the computers might hold information about future attacks, my editors called the U.S. Central Command, which sent three CIA agents to my hotel room in Kabul. They said they needed the computers immediately; I had time to copy only the desktop computer before handing them both over.”


      “I worked intensively for more than a year with several translators and with a colleague at The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Higgins, interviewing dozens of former jihadis to decipher the context, codes, and intentions of the messages for a series of articles that Higgins and I wrote for the Journal in 2002.” …

      “The jihadis’ Kabul office employed a zealous manager—Ayman al-Zawahiri’s brother Muhammad, who maintained the computer’s files in a meticulous network of folders and subfolders that neatly laid out the group’s organizational structure and strategic concerns. ”

      Note: If you want to know what Ayman al-Zawahiri’s brother Muhammad thinks, he is giving interviews. His sister Heba the microbiology professor was very distraught at Muhammad’s rendering and would cry herself to sleep each night. (Ayman’s files regarding anthrax planning became less organized after Muhammad’s rendering).

      About the same time, Heba former star pupil Tarek Hamouda then was supplied virulent Ames by USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins.

      Dr. Hamouda is also available for interviews and correct any errors I make. I’ve emailed him on the subject but didn’t hear back.


      Seasonal snowfall total appears to be .5 ”

      Inside the beltway, we used to have a saying that It isn’t over until the fat lady sings.

    • DXer said

      Rauf Ahmad urged Dr. Ayman that secrecy should be maintained and that he would keep the only copies of receipts etc. “We do not need to involve a third person in this matter.”

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

      MI5 intercepted Rauf leaving one of the conferences with equipment and cash. See MI5 official biography by academic granted official access to some documents.

      In Rauf’s 1999 planning notes, Rauf addressed things such as the 2-4 months training for technicians. And something, barely legible “Excuter [sic] exploiter” 1 month.

      He contemplated a lab of 4 to 5 rooms, to include one room for laminar flow and inoculation, 1 room for fermentation, 1 room for office and table work and 1 room for washing and sterilization.

      Then he has a mysterious entry “Second school”.

      His notes refer to using a “Cover” such as NGO, teaching institute, or medical lab (and I can’t make out a fourth item on the list).

      His 1999 notes to Dr. Ayman refer to needing to laminar flows, fermenter, centrifuge, shaker, microscope, chemicals and glassware, animal housing and disposal unit.

      I am still looking for the discussion about using oil paint so as to wash the lab walls down with insecticide to remove traces of anthrax. Offhand, I don’t recall whether Dr. Ayman suggested that or Rauf did.

      Perhaps not as titillating to some as the thoughts of blindfolded sorority co-eds in 1982 or imaginary First Graders, but WAY more probative.

    • DXer said

      Yazid posts this picture today.

      “Sometimes you can’t do anything about it.”

      Yazid of course is right.

      It will have to be satisfaction enough that as part of reverse psychology I got the internet poster Ed to emphasize his theory that a First Grader wrote the letters! :0)

      If the FBI truly needs to know — and they don’t — it was part of a secret codenamed project OPERATION ED. The goal was to keep him talking about it as much as possible because busy people could immediately know he lacked common sense.

      That’s why I love Scrabble so much. When in a friendly game (the only kind I play), I enjoy the chatter discussing whether something is a word — it’s like a combination of the game FICTIONARY and seven card, high-low poker.

      Given his affable nature, Yazid would be fun to play at Scrabble. If EA Scrabble online, we could make it “open book.”

    • DXer said

      About a Los Angeles case currently in the news:

      “By late summer of last year, agents determined that Khalifi was brokering car sales on the Internet and was looking to buy a Toyota Prius. One of the FBI’s undercover agents, a man who called himself “Hussien,” posted in an online advertisement that he was selling such a car.

      The agent soon heard from Khalifi, and they met in an office building parking lot on a cloudy and warm Thursday in September 2011. They chatted about the car and then hit it off, the FBI said, speaking in Arabic about their pasts as Muslims from Arab countries.”


      That’s why you always need to ask yourself: Would you buy a used car from this woman? When undercover operative Lucia Van Beber (now legal counsel to some deputy finance minister in Afghanistan) came to town offering free money, it was an undercover operation that was seriously stupid and miscalculated and in gross violation of the constitutional, statutory, administrative and professional provisions that applied. It remains actionable under Section 1983 with punitive damages available. Indeed, it was retaliation against a whistle blower. The puppeteers were motivated by the worst possible conflicts of interest. (In addition to being misdirected, it was also transparent and thus counterproductive by any measure for that reason).

      The FBI isn’t just screwing up in connecting the dots — in ways that can be shown to be botched when people come forward about the location of the lyophilizer etc.

      The FBi isn’t just withholding documents as part of a knowing obstruction of justice — such as documents showing what Ivins was doing in the lab those nights while telling lies to the American public in nationally televised press conferences.

      The FBI has badly screwed things up in running undercover sting operations related to Amerithrax. But the FBI hopes that those debacles never see the light of day. When Amerithrax is understood and the dots connected (as they should have done in 2002 by FBI and CIA intelligence analysts), the imagined undercover “stings” seem to have only ever served a CYA function by people with acute conflicts of interest.

      Sell me a lemon and I’m going to point out the lemon law.

      The FBI is truly clueless about its lax of computer security. There simply are no secrets. Nowadays, with advances in technology, it is important to lead your life in a way that there is no need to keep secrets.

      But what does it matter, right? The folks still get paid and they move on to the next assignment without it ever being known that they messed up the case.

      The cases involving angry young men would be a lot fewer if the FBI and CIA had not screwed things up so badly in connection with the intelligence analysis leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Amerithrax just heaped injury to innocents on to outrage.

      If you want justice, do justice.

      If you want to learn the truth, then be a truth-teller and not a bullshitter.

    • DXer said

      ID-10019 associate, Mohd Farik Bin Amin, aka (Zubayr), ISN US9MY-010021DP (MY-10021), reported Yazid Sufaat was with Marwan Hadid in Kandahar and Doctor Amin was associated with the laboratory. MY-10021 further stated Sufaat was the most important individual regarding the laboratories and he assumed al-Qaida provided Sufaat the money to pay for the laboratory. YM-627 reported Marwan Hadid worked for the Omar Hospital as a hematology technician and was then placed in charge of the Hajii Habash clinic….

      see Fensalau’s Agar and Heme Analysis Agar Assay (University of Maryland) done for the FBI for Amerithrax.

      Marwan Hadid worked at Omar Hospital assisting Yazid Sufaat. Hadid was a hematology technician. In May 2001, Yazid Sufaat reportedly was attempting to cultivate anthrax there. Who does Marwan Hadid think is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 9, 2011

      • Ali H. Haider said

        I wonder if the Dr. Amin here is Dr. Amin ul-Haq. Whatever happened to him? He was arrested by Pakistan, five years ago. I don’t recall hearing anything since. He talked to someone, I’d guess — a relative was indicted not long ago in California. I take it Dr. Amin ul-Haq is on the finance side of things (drugs, money, weapons). Interestingly, he has family connections by marriage in Malaysia. He’s an old timer, listed even before 9/11, so I guess we’ve been hunting him for a long time (something to do with the Bojinka plot? Hambali? Abu Zubaydah?). I wonder if he’s regular AQ or seconded to AQ from the HIG, maybe to do procurement or to liaison between AQ and HIG supporters.

        Perhaps Mr. Sufaat knew him back in Malaysia, in the mid-90s?

    • DXer said

      Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mari, ISN US9YM-000577DP (YM-577), identified detainee as Sufaat’s associate. According to YM-577, detainee gave Sufaat the telephone number for Dr. Jamil Qasim who Sufaat was to contact for funding assistance. Jamil Qasim was a microbiology student and served as a junior medical advisor for al-Wafar in the Karachi office.”

      Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed was a Yemeni microbiology student at Karachi University who was arrested in October 2001 by the Pakistani ISI and handed over in absolute secrecy to the United States following their declaration of a war on terror.

      Comment: Thus, the US had Sufaat’s procurement agent in Karachi in October 2001 and yet didn’t interview Sufaat until November 2002.

      Do tell: How is that leaving no stone unturned?

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