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

* It’s time for a report from the GAO on their review of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks … it is time for the Government Accountability Office to itself be accountable

Posted by DXer on February 26, 2013

GAO, FBI, Ivins

UPDATE 2/26/13

Another 3 months have passed. There is no GAO report. There is no indication as to when, or if, a report will ever be issued. This is a disgrace, which more and more looks like a cover-up. Who is afraid of the truth?


UPDATE 11/20/12

What we have now learned is that the GAO has apparently

not even started its investigation, more than a year

after they said it would likely be completed.

We’re trying to get a reaction and statement from Congressman Holt’s office.


The GAO began its review of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks in March 2011. At the time they said a report was expected in September 2011. We are now well past that deadline.

DXer believes the longer the GAO takes the better the job they will do. I disagree. I think the longer they take, the more interest will wane, and the more likely there will never be a report, and the whole matter will just fade away.

It is abundantly clear, from this blog and from many other sources, that the FBI’s assertion that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 attacks, or even that he was involved in any way, is not proven by the evidence the FBI has issued in support of their allegations. The NAS, for instance, was clear that the scientific evidence the FBI said proved Ivins was the perpetrator did no such thing.

The crime is too serious, the current and future implications too dire, to simply leave the matter with a flawed FBI conclusion. America deserves better. It is time for GAO to speak, at the very least to issue a progress report, indicating what they have looked at, what remains to be reviewed, and when they think they will complete their task. 

In other words, it is time for the Government Accountability Office to itself be accountable.


133 Responses to “* It’s time for a report from the GAO on their review of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks … it is time for the Government Accountability Office to itself be accountable”

  1. DXer said

    By analogy to the ongoing reported stonewalling in review of the Boston Marathon matter, the FBI’s stonewalling of GAO points to a misapprehension on the part of FBI officials who would prefer to bury the missteps and botched conclusion. The documents are not the documents of the FBI, they are documents of the American public. There should have been no withholding or delay in production — not before the NAS and not before the GAO. There is no government accountability because there is ineffective means of obtaining documents from a recalcitrant FBI. The FBI does not pay attention to the jawboning because Congress and GAO are toothless. The people in charge of document production for the FBI should be identified. Agencies don’t withhold documents — people do.

    Lawmakers say FBI thwarts inquiry

    By Bryan Bender and Noah Bierman | GLOBE STAFF JULY 10, 2013

    WASHINGTON — Members of a congressional committee Wednesday accused the FBI of stalling an inquiry into the Boston Marathon bombings, saying the bureau had no grounds for withholding what it knew about Tamerlan Tsarnaev prior to the attacks.

    “The information requested by this committee belongs to the American people,’’ said Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee. “It does not belong solely to the FBI.”

    The frustrations, aired publicly after FBI officials rebuffed an invitation to appear before the committee, stemmed from the FBI’s unwillingness to detail how it handled a security review of Tsarnaev nearly two years before the Marathon bombings. Critics have suggested the FBI may have missed a chance to prevent the bombings.

    “I went to Russia and was given more information,” said committee member William Keating, a Bourne Democrat who has been seeking information about Russian warnings to American authorities about Tsarnaev’s increasing radicalism dating to 2011.

    “The FBI continues to refuse this committee’s appropriate requests for information and documents crucial to our investigation into what happened in Boston,” McCaul declared as he opened a committee hearing. “I sincerely hope they do not intend to stonewall our inquiry into how this happened.”

    Tsarnaev died after a firefight with police in Watertown within hours of being identified as a suspect.

    His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, faces charges of using weapons of mass destruction to kill four people and injure more than 260 others.

    The FBI interviewed the elder Tsarnaev in his Cambridge home in the spring and summer of 2011 but concluded he was not a threat and closed its inquiry.

    The bureau apparently did not reopen the case, despite additional warnings from Russia later that year, the subsequent decision by the CIA to add him to a database of potential terrorist suspects, and a tip in 2012 from the Department of Homeland Security that Tsarnaev traveled to Russia.

    On Wednesday, the FBI strongly denied it was being uncooperative with Congress. It has said in the past that local authorities in Boston had access, in the years before the bombings, to the same information about Tsarnaev on its computers as FBI agents.

    “We are not stonewalling,’’ FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said. “We have briefed [the] committee on several occasions and will continue to do so as necessary.”

    Bresson said the FBI did not provide a witness for the Wednesday hearing in order to avoid compromising the legal case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 30 charges in his first appearance in federal court in Boston.

    “We have an obligation to protect the integrity of the judicial process while it is ongoing,” Bresson said. “This involves ensuring both the government’s ability to conduct a successful prosecution as well as the rights of all parties involved, including the victims and the defendant, who, as it turns out, has a court appearance on the same day as this hearing.”

    During a hearing on the bombings in the Senate, meanwhile, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis renewed his calls for the FBI to reveal more information about potential terror threats to local police departments.

    “If we do that, we’re much stronger as a nation,” Davis testified. “If we don’t, it puts our communities and my officers at risk.”

    Davis also said the city needs more and better cameras on the streets, which is likely to spark renewed debate over privacy. He said that the city has traffic cameras downtown and on major roadways, but that there are were no cameras along the Marathon route at the time of the bombing.

    But it was the hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee that drew the most attention on Wednesday.

    Members were particularly frustrated by a July 3 letter to the committee from the FBI. The letter, reviewed by the Globe, said the bureau would not be responding to all the committee’s requests for information.

    A key piece of information the committee wants is the original Russian warning to the United States in 2011, which said Tsarnaev might be planning to travel to Chechnya to meet with Islamist radicals.

    “We don’t even have that copy [of the Russian warning] in this committee,” Keating said in an interview after the hearing.

    The FBI has insisted that the Russian warning was vague, and that several of its requests to the Russians for more information went unanswered. But Keating said the Russians told him, during his own fact-finding trip to Russia in late May, that they don’t know what requests for information the FBI had referred to.

    “Where’s the request?’’ Keating said. “Tell us the name, tell us the time, to whom that they have sent it to. What I want ultimately is a timeline — a very distinct timeline — of everything that happened.”

    Keating, a former Massachusetts prosecutor, also said that he believes the FBI is using the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an excuse to not be more forthcoming.

    He said he does not believe the FBI’s contention that revealing information about its earlier review of Tamerlan Tsarnaev would jeopardize the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    And he said he is not persuaded by the FBI’s previous responses that it investigated Tsarnaev in 2011 and closed its case after an initial inquiry.

    “The answer we keep getting back is that it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because the case was closed,” Keating said. “Case closed, stopped everything, and, in fact, became an excuse for why other things weren’t done.”

    Other panel members, Democrats and Republicans, were critical of the FBI’s level of cooperation.

    “The fact that the FBI is not sharing information with this committee with jurisdiction over homeland security I think is just totally unacceptable,” said Representative Peter King, a New York Republican. “I think the FBI has a lot to explain for here.”

    McCaul, the committee chairman, pledged to keep up the pressure on the FBI to cooperate.

    “I said when I started this investigation that we were going to find out what happened, what went wrong, and how to fix it,” McCaul said. “And I will not be satisfied until we get the answers that the American people deserve.”

  2. DXer said

    No evidence of ricin at Mississippi suspect’s home, FBI testifies,0,5679830.story

    Or as Curtis’ attorney, Christi McCoy of Oxford, put it to the Los Angeles Times in an interview Monday: “There is absolutely not a shred of evidence to link this poor guy” to an attempted poisoning.

    “That’s the truth!” McCoy said. “He is the perfect scapegoat, the perfect patsy, and it’s really sad because at first everybody’s like, you know, he’s kind of crazy, maybe he did it. But as the searches continued, there’s just nothing on this guy. Nothing on his computers, in his car, in his house.”


    “Hopefully it will be dismissed,” McCoy said of the charges against her client. “They don’t have anything on him other than something that appeared on his Facebook page, that was in the public eye.”

    Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, the nation battled a series of anthrax attacks that were never formally solved. A former Army scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, was publicly implicated and then later exonerated by way of several lawsuit settlements. Officials later focused on Army microbiologist Bruce E. Ivins, who killed himself in 2008, though the case against him was also met with doubts.


    Ayman Zawahiri is planning to attack the United States in a mass attack.

    It is wrong for Attorney General Holder not to reopen Amerithrax.

    Failure in the correct analysis of such an issue is not an option.

    We owe much to the FBI and DOJ.

    They have worked hard to keep the country safe for a decade now. I am a big fan.

    But think of the 8 year-old boy, Martin, killed recently at the Boston marathon.

    Understand that it is not enough that Ed Montooth is “comfortable” with an Ivins Theory, as he told the Frontline interviewer.

    It is not enough that AUSA Rachel Lieber expressed confidence to me that the public will never see any additional documents under FOIA — such as the documents withheld by the FBI relating to the 52 rabbits that explained why Dr. Ivins was in the lab those days in early October 2001.

  3. anonymous said

    So after Boston yesterday we now have a ricin letter addressed to a relatively unknown Mississippi senator today. Interestingly the media is now comparing this to the anthrax letters – but perhaps even more interesting is that all the talking heads on the chat shows are referring to the anthrax letters as an unsolved crime. I guess they didn’t read David Willman’s book 😉

    • DXer said

      Envelope tests positive for ricin at Washington mail facility
      By Mike Brooks and Dana Bash, CNN
      updated 6:47 PM EDT, Tue April 16, 2013

      Washington (CNN) — An envelope that tested positive for the deadly poison ricin was intercepted Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol’s off-site mail facility in Washington, congressional and law enforcement sources tell CNN.
      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was told the letter was addressed to the office of Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi. After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said. The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing.

      Senators were briefed on the matter Tuesday evening and told the congressional post offices would be temporarily shut down.
      “It was caught in the screening facility. That’s why we have an off-site screening facility for mail,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri.


      There is a $120,000 reward for the unsolved 2003 ricin mailing. Calls to that line now are forwarded to someone’s telephone. I left a message a few days ago but as I said in the message I left, I didn’t know whether it was the right number given the time that has passed.

      Mr. Wasik who is now represented by a federal defender, might be asked whether he sent the 2003 letters. Both the ricin mailer and Mr. Wasik have expressed upset about the regulations relating to semi-trailers. Mr. Wasik started his company in 2003. His company’s name is Gromnik. Grom means thunderbolts in Polish.

      Now Mr. Wasik is undergoing a competency review. But of course mental illness is all the more reason to conduct a search for handwriting and paper specimens. etc.

    • DXer said

      Who do they have in custody? I posted the docket from PACER in the case against Krzysztof Wasik earlier today and have been urging that the FBI conduct search of his residence and business relating to the ricin letters in 2003 — but I can’t find where I posted it. The hearing scheduled for yesterday has been postponed until early June while he undergoes a psychiatric examination.

      Story tonight:

      Letter addressed to Mississippi senator may have contained ricin

      A letter sent to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., may have contained ricin, according to a preliminary field test taken by the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police.

      The letter, which was intercepted by the Capitol Police at a Prince George’s County, Md., processing center and never reached Wicker’s office, has been sent to the Baltimore FBI office for further testing. A source tells CBS News that it’s common for false positives to come back on field tests of ricin.

      There’s no additional information on who sent the letter or what message may have accompanied the letter.

      CBS News has learned that results from the more definitive test to be taken at the Baltimore FBI office will not be available tonight.

      At a senators-only briefing about the Boston Marathon bombing this afternoon by FBI Director Robert Mueller and Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said senators were also briefed by Sergeant at Arms Terence Gainer about the Wicker letter.

      Landrieu told reporters that the senators were told the suspected letter writer writes a lot of letters to members and added she believes authorities have someone in custody.

      As a precaution, the Senate post office has been temporarily shut down.


      You ask:

      What was the motivation of the fellow threatening a bomb? Well, he was mad about regulations on semi-trailers.

      What was the motivation of the truck company owner threatening ricin? Well, he was mad about regulations on semi-trailers.

      (You can be pretty sure that the FBI profiler pictured an independent trucker and not the owner of a fleet of trucks).

      Last week I urged that the FBI needs to search his residence and business for instructions on making ricin and also consider his location in October and November 2003.

      Form 34 filed at DOT in 2003 may be illuminating to include the date and location it was signed. But I’ve urged that most illuminating would be a sample of Mr. Wasik’s handwriting. His logbook taken from his cab would have lots of samples of his printing.

      There’s always a chance that this report today is a false positive given castor pulp is used to make paper. They never found the letter to the Senator in 2004 associated with the positive test reported then.

      They did find a letter sent to the White House, though and one left at a Greenville, SC postal facility. Signed “Fallen Angel.” I noted that he works as a contractor for Kane is Able. Cain is thought to be the original Fallen Angel. Mr. Wasik is religious and mentally ill.

      Man angry about regulations threatens to bomb White House
      April 10, 2013
      By TheCountyPressEditor

      By Julian Hattem – 04/10/13 03:43 PM ET

      A man arrested on Wednesday morning for making bomb threats near the White House was angry about regulations, according to published reports.

      Around 5 a.m. Wednesday, Krzysztof Wasik, 44, approached a guard office near the White House and claimed to have a bomb in a nearby truck, according to reports.

      The Secret Service and police closed down nearby streets for two hours, investigated the truck and found no cause for concern. Police arrested Wasik on charges of making felony threats.

      According to the Washington City Paper, the bomb threat was a way for the man to complain about regulations on semitrailer trucks.

      “He was upset about the rules and regulations concerning semi-trucks and was angry about fines that he had to pay,” wrote a Secret Service officer in an affidavit, according to the City PaperThe newspaper reports Wasik hoped the threat would allow him to speak with President Obama.

      Wasik reportedly made two attempts to speak with the president. On his first try, moments previous, Secret Service told the man to send his complaint to the relevant government agency. He returned shortly afterwards and threatened to explode a bomb.

      “I know what it takes to get things done around here,” he reportedly told the Secret Service agent. “I have a bomb in my truck parked 500 feet from here.”

      • anonymous said

        Gee, good job connecting dots. I like the Kane/Fallen Angel connection. This guy could certainly be the guy in custody – he could have mailed the letter from Tennessee last week before heading to DC to be arrested by the secret service.

      • DXer said

        A few days ago, I linked a copy of the handwritten envelope, the typed letter from “Fallen Angel,” and the reward flyer for $120,000. I posted on a thread I can’t find now the articles about the ricin that was sent to the White House and left at a Greenville, SC postal facility.

        I noted that no letter had been found in connection with the test of the mail slitting machine processing mail for Senator Frist (also from Tennessee btw). The “Fallen Angel” was upset about the regulations relating to semi-trailers and apparently mentally ill if he thought that sending ricin was a way to get the regulations rescinded. I suggested that Mr. Wasik’s log book needed to be checked for the handwriting. It also could be checked to confirm he was not in Tennessee. His delivery of wine was in Virginia shortly before his arrest at the White House. So his log book and mileage excludes the possibility he was in Tennessee. Although no one is confirming it, some Senator mentioned a suspect is in custody. Who is that? Someone from Tennessee? Or are they referring to Mr. Wasik.

        What was the date of the postmark? Mr. Wasik was in Hazle Township, PA and then VA before showing up at the White House at 4:30 a.m. or so. His friend wanted to drive with him (follow him) to Virginia to deliver their load of wine as they often do but he was having some sort of meltdown. He had separated from his wife two weeks earlier. Was living in his vehicle. And so I’m dubious he was in Tennessee. But the logbook and reconstruction of the timeline might show whether he was or not. (I imagine his entries could be corroborated by mileage calculations). Certainly if someone is going to mail a pathogen if they were smart they would travel to some place to get a postmark far removed from them.

        They seem to have a different suspect in mind. I definitely would search his residence and business at least as to the 2003 ricin mailings. They didn’t do that the day he was arrested. I’m surprised Secret Service didn’t insist on it.

        Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Capitol Police have a suspect, who has been known to write letters to members of Congress.

        Senators were being briefed Tuesday evening in a classified setting on developments in the Boston bombings when by the Senate sergeant at arms office informed them of the Ricin letter.

        The news brought back unpleasent memories for many senators.

        Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) declined to comment on the situation because he said it brought back too many memories of the 2001 letter containing anthrax that was addressed to him but intercepted before it was delivered. Letters containing anthrax were sent to Leahy and Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

        After the 2001 anthrax attacks all mail sent to the Capitol was funneled through a screening facility in Capitol Heights, Md. where it is tested for dangerous substances.

        McCaskill said, “The bottom line is the process we had in place worked.”

        In 2004 a letter addressed to former Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) also tested positive for Ricin after it was found to contain a white powder while being sorted in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The Senate office buildings were closed and decontaminated, but never solved by authorities.

        Read more:

    • DXer said

      The letter was postmarked from Tennessee.

      A LETTER tainted with the deadly poison ricin has been sent to the United States Senate building.

      The envelope was addressed to a senator, congressional officials said, heightening concerns about terrorism a day after a deadly bombing killed three and left more than 170 injured at the Boston Marathon.

      The letter was detected during a routine inspection of mail at an off-site facility and did not reach the US Capitol or Wicker’s office, an aide said, citing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who briefed politicians about the security breach this morning.

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed the attack, saying the letter was addressed to Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican from the state of Mississippi.

      The letter had a Tennessee postmark and no return address. A suspect has reportedly been identified.

      US Senator Claire McCaskill has told the blog Politico that the letter had come from an individual “who frequently writes to lawmakers”.

      Read more:

    • DXer said

      Envelope containing ricin sent to Sen. Wicker, lawmakers say
      Fox News-40 minutes ago

      Fox News confirmed the envelope tested positive for ricin. The envelope had a Tennessee postmark and no return address, according to …

      The letter inside included an implied threat to effect of: “You haven’t listen to me before. Now you will, even if people have to die,” Politico also reported.

      Read more:

  4. DXer said

    Today in Wash Post:

    Judge Garland isn’t interested in the job. A new name being mentioned is Kris. Michael Mason is not being mentioned in today’s article but has been considered in the past. This piece reminds liberals why Republican Comey would be a good choice.

    “The administration approached D.C. federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, who said he didn’t want the job, according to two sources familiar with the exchange. Other possible candidates, such as former Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, recently started lucrative jobs in the private sector after spending decades in public service.

    That still leaves some serious candidates on the short list, though. One is Lisa Monaco, a career federal prosecutor who once served as Mueller’s FBI chief of staff. Monaco developed close partnerships with the intelligence community when she ran the Justice Department’s National Security Division, or NSD.

    “Our goal in NSD is to serve as practical problem-solvers on operational, legal and policy questions that we confront alongside our partners,” Monaco told the American Bar Association earlier this year. “And also, above all, our goal is to keep pace with an evolving threat.”

    That threat now includes cyberattacks, she added: “The pervasiveness of cybertechnologies and the rate at which they change increases our vulnerability to attack.”

    Monaco recently moved over to the White House to be Obama’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser. She would be the first woman to become FBI director — no small thing for a president who’s trying to diversify his Cabinet.

    A second serious candidate is Jim Comey, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan, where he prosecuted Martha Stewart for lying about stock trades.

    Comey, a Republican, went on to become second in command at the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration. Two years after Comey left the department in 2005, he told the Senate about his threat to resign over a program that’s been described as a form of warrantless wiretapping of Americans.

    “I couldn’t stay if the administration was going to engage in conduct that the Department of Justice had said had no legal basis. I simply couldn’t stay,” Comey told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    During the height of the crisis, Comey worked closely with FBI Director Mueller and sought his help when Bush White House officials showed up at the hospital bed of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to try to get him to overrule Comey.

    “I was very upset. I was angry. I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me,” Comey said.

  5. DXer said

    Federal law enforcement analysts, including Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director, said the names represent a vast array of experience for an agency whose reach continues to extend throughout the globe.

    Fuentes, who once directed the bureau’s international operations, said terrorism, organized crime and the growing threats to cybersecurity have required the agency to expand its international presence.

    “On any given day, you have more than 1,000 agents (of the bureau’s 14,000 agents) working outside the country,” Fuentes said.

    “Any new director has got to have some understanding of the international nature of crime and the value of intelligence,” he said.

    While endorsing Michael Mason, former chief of the FBI’s D.C. field office for the post last year, the FBI Agents Association referred to a similar need for leadership that spans the agency’s many areas of jurisdiction, “from Bloods street gangs to mortgage fraud to Russian sleeper cells.”

    Don Borelli, a former assistant agent-in-charge of the FBI’s New York division, said the most critical need is “organization.”

    “The biggest challenges facing the next director are organizational,” he said. “It’s how you direct a large organization, provide it the resources it needs to function. Obviously, you need someone who knows the nuances of politics and could be confirmed (by Congress).”

    “No matter who gets the job, though there is going to skepticism, because agents by nature are skeptical,” Borelli said. “But what you need is someone who can take over like a CEO of a big corporation.”

  6. DXer said

    Judge Merrick Garland joined the opinion this week reviving a suit against DOJ in connection with a claim for spoliation of documents. When someone is as smart and hardworking as Judge Garland, you will find when you research his past writings that he first and foremost stands for upholding the rule of law.

    In Amerithrax, DOJ shredded the civil depositions of the scientist who assisted the former Zawahiri associate with the research on virulent Ames. That scientist, Patricia Fellows, joined the prosecutors Ken Kohl and Rachel Lieber in a game of hide-the-ball with respect to Dr. Ivins’ work with the 52 rabbits that required that he be in the lab in late September and early October 2001.

    Once FBI Director Mueller leaves, at least three FBI scientists will be willing to go on the record that the “silicon signature” of the mailed anthrax pointed to microencapsulation — and was exculpatory of Dr. Ivins. In such matters, documents are king. It doesn’t really matter whether particular FBI scientists prove part of the problem or part of the solution. After FBI Director Mueller leaves, Ed Montooth will be amazed to see what uploaded documents show.

    D.C. Circuit Revives Suit over DOJ Hiring Misconduct

    A federal appeals court today revived a privacy suit rooted in a “dark chapter” at the U.S. Justice Department in which top officials assessed politics and ideology to screen applicants vying for entry-level slots in the prestigious Honors Program.

    In the suit in Washington’s federal trial court, several applicants to the program alleged they were not selected for interviews in 2006 based on their political affiliation. An internal DOJ report in 2008 concluded that top officials improperly considered First Amendment-protected speech to eliminate candidates. The lawsuit, filed in 2008, relied on the publication of the internal investigation.

    Those senior officials, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said today, had an obligation to preserve Internet records about each candidate “given that Department investigation and future litigation were reasonably foreseeable.” The records have since been destroyed.

    Writing for the court, Judge Judith Rogers said a jury should be allowed to hear a claim of spoliation—that is, that two remaining plaintiffs, Matthew Faiella and Daniel Herber, were “harmed by creation and use of the destroyed records.” The screening committee at the time comprised Michael Elston, chief of staff to the deputy attorney general, and Esther McDonald, counsel to the associate attorney general. The D.C. Circuit opinion is here.

    “Unrebutted evidence demonstrates that Department officials in control of the printed, annotated applications were on notice that Department investigation and future litigation concerning the 2006 Honors Program improprieties were reasonably foreseeable,” Rogers, joined by Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Judge Thomas Griffith. “Nevertheless, they intentionally destroyed these records.”


    The D.C. Circuit opinion is here.

    “Unrebutted evidence demonstrates that Department officials in control of the printed, annotated applications were on notice that Department investigation and future litigation concerning the 2006 Honors Program improprieties were reasonably foreseeable,” Rogers, joined by Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Judge Thomas Griffith. “Nevertheless, they intentionally destroyed these records.”

  7. DXer said

    US investigation highlights risks in bioterror research labs
    (AFP) – 1 day ago

    WASHINGTON — US labs that research bioterror germs such as anthrax are at risk for accidents because they do not have uniform building and operation standards, a Congressional investigative group said on Monday.
    US labs that research ways to protect against bioterror germs and disease outbreaks have been on the rise since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
    They are costly to build and maintain, but have no overarching safety standards, despite concerns over security that first arose in 2001 with a spate of deadly anthrax letter attacks that killed five people.

    A US government scientist was implicated, but he killed himself before the case could go to court, and questions persist about who was really to blame.

  8. DXer said

    Judge rules secret FBI national security letters unconstitutional
    Published March 16, 2013

    Read more:

    SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge has struck down a set of laws allowing the FBI to issue so-called national security letters to banks, phone companies and other businesses demanding customer information.

    U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said the laws violate the First Amendment and the separation of powers principles and ordered the government to stop issuing the secretive letters or enforcing their gag orders, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    The FBI almost always bars recipients of the letters from disclosing to anyone — including customers — that they have even received the demands, Illston said in the ruling released Friday.

    The government has failed to show that the letters and the blanket non-disclosure policy “serve the compelling need of national security,” and the gag order creates “too large a danger that speech is being unnecessarily restricted,” the San Francisco-based Illston wrote.

    A Department of Justice spokesman told the Journal the department was “reviewing the order.”

    FBI counter-terrorism agents began issuing the letters, which don’t require a judge’s approval, after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    “The judge stayed her ruling to give the Justice Department time to appeal.

    The Wall Street Journal has a bit more background:

    “National security letters date back to the 1980s and were strengthened under the USA Patriot Act, the counterterrorism law put into place after Sept. 11. The letters allow the FBI to get data on phone, financial and electronic records without a judge or grand jury, as long as the head of an FBI field office certifies that the records would be relevant to a counterterrorism investigation. They typically come with strict secrecy orders, barring the recipient from acknowledging the case to anyone but attorneys.”

    NPR blog:

    EFF’s Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman added: “The government’s gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience.”

    Wired explains that when the EFF first brought the suit representing the telecom company, “the Justice Department took its own extraordinary measure and sued the company, arguing in court documents that the company was violating the law by challenging its authority.”

    Wired frames the decision as a “stunning defeat for the Obama administration’s surveillance practices.”

    • DXer said

      The FBI was issuing an average of 50,000 letters a year after the 2001 attacks. In 2011, according to the Justice Department, it made 16,500 requests for data on 7,200 Americans.

      In her ruling, Illston conceded that there might be situations where disclosing the receipt of an NSL could jeopardize an investigation. But where no such risk exists, she said, “thousands of recipients of NSLs” are nonetheless gagged, “rendering the statute impermissibly overbroad.”

      She said the FBI’s “pervasive use” of gag orders, combined with a failure to demonstrate the orders’ need to protect national security, “creates too large a danger that speech is being unnecessarily restricted.”

      A federal judge in New York reached the same conclusion as Illston in a 2007 case involving a different provider. But that decision was narrowed on appeal.

      An industry lawyer said that gag order aside, the statute is flawed by its ambiguity. “It’s overused,” said Michael Sussmann, a partner at Perkins Coie. “It’s overbroad.”

      The best result, he said, would be for Congress to clarify the statute to detail what type of information may be obtained without court oversight.

      Electronic Frontier Foundation filed the case under seal in 2011. The plaintiff’s name has not been disclosed.

  9. DXer said

    It’s a lot easier to solve a crime in the first few hours than over a decade later. In an old-fashioned manhunt, you put up roadblocks leaving the area and quickly ascertain the locations he knows and conduct surveillance.

    Four Killed in Shootings in Upstate New York (Herkimer, Mohawk)
    Published: March 13, 2013

    At a news conference shortly after noon, Chief Malone identified the suspect as Kurt Meyers and warned people that he was considered armed and dangerous.


    I believe he is driving a red Jeep Wrangler with a black top.

    • DXer said

      Stay inside.

      • DXer said

        Police initially were searching for a maroon vehicle in connection with the shootings. That vehicle later was found in Herkimer.

      • DXer said

        Shots fired. Sorry for the digression but I have loved ones who live and work in Herkimer.

        Yazid is no different than Kurt Meyers — and there is no statute of limitations on murder.

        Our law men and prosecutors like Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Mueller seem to have lost track of that principle with respect to Yazid and the conspiracies to commit murder in which he participated.

        HERKIMER — The Associated Press is reporting that multiple gunshots have rung out, including some fired by State Police, in this central New York village where police are searching for a suspect in the fatal shootings of four people.

        Read more:

      • DXer said

        Here is a picture of Kurt Meyer’s maroon jeep that has been recovered. This picture dates to when it was in a January 2011 car accident.

        One man was injured in a two-car accident Thursday afternoon on State Street in the village of Herkimer. Police said William Vivamore Jr., 25, of Herkimer, pulled his car into the path of an oncoming vehicle while leaving the FasTrac parking lot around 1:30 p.m. A jeep driven by Kurt Myers, 62, of Mohawk, collided with Vivamore’s car while headed east on State Street, police said.

        • DXer said

          I have an unconfirmed report that the jeep was at the Herkimer Courthouse for much of the day but is not there now. (I’m not sure how any witness would know it was the same vehicle).

          Mr. Vivamore is not listed in the hard copy of the telephone book or on Zabasearch. But it would be interesting to hear his impressions of KM.

        • DXer said

          Noddings said he didn’t know the suspect, Kurt Myers, 64, of Mohawk.
          “Nobody’s ever heard of him. Nobody knows him,” Noddings said. “He’s probably one of those guys that nobody’s ever seen, but he has lived here a while.”

          Comment: The police report for Mr. Myer’s January 2011 car accident will have contact information for the other driver who might be able to share what he knows.

        • DXer said

          My close relative advises that as of 5:00 p.m., Kurt Myers was still holed up on North Main Street in the area of the old AAA office. The police have a robot if they can get it into the building. There hasn’t been any communication from Myers other than the shots fired earlier. One of the stray bullets struck a truck parked a block away near North Prospect Street. The County Building has been on lockdown most of the day since just after 10:00 a.m. They started evacuating the court/office building after 4:00 p.m.

        • DXer said

          Two for the four killed were corrections officers, one retired.

          “All of us at the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association are deeply saddened to learn of the senseless and tragic deaths (of Renshaw and Rancier),” according to a statement of PBA.

          Absent resolution, the Courthouse, I presume, is closed for business tomorrow with employees told not to report.

          WIthout knowing what has motivated Mr. Myers, many residents in the area and law enforcement and prosecutors will remember the history of Benedict Dipiazza.

          This situation is precisely why I am such a big fan of law enforcement and the FBI. Because they are the ones that respond in such a case.

        • DXer said

          Mr. Myers is also associated with Barneveld, NY. His relatives appear to include Mary, Carol and Eric Myers.

        • DXer said

          Was he trying to escape or was he going to his next shooting venue — one that was planned?

          It was the same story a mile down the road where police say Myers killed two more people in the village of Herkimer at Gaffey’s Fast Lube.
          Lesley Paul, director of Frank J. Basloe Public Library, said Myers drove right through the library’s parking lot.
          She said the vehicle came into the parking lot from North Prospect Street and drove around the lot erratically and then through the park area in front of the entrance. The vehicle stopped and then proceeded to cross North Main Street and drove into the alley between the buildings, where it was abandoned.

          “They’re sending in a robot to check the place out,” he said by telephone. “I guess we’re stuck. We’re between him and the cops. I don’t want to step out and get clipped by a sniper.”

          Comment: An aerial drone could get a view from the air without endangering those in the helicopter.

          But first let’s hear from Mary, Carol and Eric what his motive might be.

        • DXer said

          Kurt R Myers lived on Hinman Rd in Barneveld in 1994. His telephone number was 315-896-2807.

        • DXer said

          He lived in Barneveld throughout the early 1990s.

          Address: RR 1 POB 39, Holland Patent, NY, 13354 (1994)
          [POB 49to, Barneveld, NY, 13304]
          [10554 Hinman Rd, Barneveld, NY, 13304-1805]
          [PO Box 103, Barneveld, NY, 13304 (1995)]
          [POB 103, Barneveld, NY, 13304 (1991)]

        • DXer said

          He also lived at 9408 Main St Apt 5, Holland Patent, NY, 13354-3857 during that period.

        • DXer said

          By 1998, he had moved to Mohawk and was at 48 W Main St
          1998 1999 2000 2001 2002.

        • DXer said

          Kurt Myers father was Richard M. Myers, an employee of Kelsey-Hayes company who passed away in 1977. His father was born in Utica and educated in local schools. His mother was Mary Ellen Chambers Myers. Mr. Myers was a die finisher with Kelsey-Hayes for 30 years and a member of the Olivet Presbyterian Church, former elder, deacon and president of its Men’s Club.

          Kurt’s brother Lance R. Myers then died 5 years later, in 1982, after a brief illness. He too was Presbyterian. Lance graduated from Utica Free Academy in 1968. Besides his mother, Lance left his sister, Mrs. Stephen P. (Laurel E), Sonne of Clinton; his brother Kurt R. Myers of Barneveld and a niece, Devin E. Sonne of Clinton; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends in the Utica area.

        • DXer said

          I believe his nephews and nieces include Richard Sonne, 28 Devin Sonne, 32 and Laurel Sonne, 58. That family has been associated with the Barneveld address on Hinman — in addition to Clinton.

          The question for them doesn’t relate to motive so much as: Have you heard from him? If he is not in the building, it needs to immediately be known.

        • DXer said

          Failure is not an option.

        • DXer said

        • DXer said


          John Seymou [now upgraded to fair condition], one of the men wounded in the attacks told his sister, Mary Hornett, the barbershop attack came out of nowhere.

          “He just said that the guys were in the barbershop and this guy comes in and he says, ‘Hi John, do you remember me?’ and my brother said, ‘Yes, Kurt, how are you?’ and then he just started shooting,” Hornett said.

          Hornett said her brother, who was hospitalized in critical condition, was doing well after being shot in the left hand and right hip.

        • DXer said

          Not a boy scout you say?

          In 1958, Cub Pack 20 of Roosevelt School presented advancement awards. Cubmaster William Bucker presented advancement awards. Kurt Myers received his gold arrow for bear. At the same time, in that “Den One”, Robert Gaetano Charles Sharkey, Nick Rivecca, and Richard Adams received their awards. What do his former cub scouts say makes him tick?

          The City-owned former Roosevelt Elementary School is between Taylor and Brinckerhoff avenues in Utica.

        • DXer said

          By February 1969, he appears to have received his license and his first traffic ticket. A Kurt Myers of Utica pleaded guilty to speed not reasonable and prudent at 11:55 at night on February 13, 1969 on South Kingsboro Avenue and paid a $35 fine.

        • DXer said

          “Authorites say that Myers has a cell phone with him. …”

        • DXer said

          I believe he’s now been shot dead.

        • DXer said

          The standoff ended by 8 a.m. The police with assistance from the FBI were clearing the old GH with dogs. They found Kurt in the basement. He shot and killed the dog and was fatally shot himself.

          Officially, the Herkimer County Office Building is closed until noon.

        • DXer said

          While I have two siblings who are now back to business as usual in court in that building, the animal handler is understandably grieving for the police dog and friend who died in the line of duty.

          Don’t ever doubt or stop appreciating the sacrifices we ask law enforcement to be prepared to make.

        • DXer said

          Officials: Police action ‘heroic;’ investigation into shooter’s motive continues

          HERKIMER —


          Meanwhile, police continue to investigate what may have motivated Myers, 64, of Mohawk, to shoot six people Wednesday, killing four. Anyone who may have information on Myers is asked to call state police at 866-7275.


          “We don’t know the reason for his actions. We would hope that somewhere in the course of the investigation we learn more about him or what motivated him,” D’Amico said.

        • DXer said

          The other place he was? Dover, New Hampshire. My bad for not mentioning it. I was focused on Barneveld where my sister lives. My brother-in-law just bought a bike (and something else) from the shop in New Hartford.

        • DXer said

          A former boss who worked with gunman Kurt Myers for 20 years described him as a quiet and nervous but intelligent and congenial man who was a fan of World War II trivia _ though a recent encounter with his old employee left him unsettled.

          Steve Copperwheat, who hired Myers as a machine operator in the early 1980s at Waterbury Felt, a manufacturer of industrial textiles, said he encountered him in a Wal-Mart parking lot three months ago after not seeing him in about 10 years.

          “I yelled over to him, and he looked at me, said my name, said he was retired and just went booking away,” Copperwheat said. “It was almost like he didn’t want anybody to know where he was. He was trying to be very distant, which surprised me. The whole conversation was really spooky.”

          Police don’t know why the 64-year-old Myers, whose final killing was of an FBI dog, chose the locations or victims. He didn’t appear to be close to his family even though it has lived in the area for generations, and police interviews with relatives and neighbors have produced little….

          Copperwheat, now the owner of Environmental Composites in Herkimer, said Myers had “always seemed to be in a rush. Walking, talking _ everything he did was fast.”

          Myers seemed to be quite intelligent and was fond of World War II trivia. “He was really a buff on dates,” Copperwheat said. “Once he got upset because one of the girls in the office didn’t know when Pearl Harbor was.”

          The business was sold and moved several times, with Myers and other workers moving with it to several locations in central New York and eventually Dover, N.H., in 2003, Copperwheat said. There, Myers shared an apartment for a while with several other workers.

          Myers’ sister lives with her family in Barneveld, just a short drive from Mohawk and Herkimer. There was no car in the driveway on Thursday, and nobody answered the door or phone.
          His brother, Lance Myers, died in federal prison in 1982 at age 31.

        • DXer said

          Waterbury Felt mill, where he worked was in Oriskany. That’s where his brother Lance had been bank manager. Loss to the bank was $250,000. His brother had died in prison after a brief illness. Members of the Myers family fought in the Battle of Oriskany. The Park Service does a great job of providing tours of the Battle of Oriskany. The tour can be take in conjunction with a tour of Fort Stanwix.

        • DXer said

          By way of some factual background, Kurt’s brother Lance was found guilty in a trial held in Utica in March 1981. Judge Howard Munson presided. James Kernan defended. The jury had deliberated for 6 hours. Counsel immediately asked Judge Munson to set aside the verdict on the grounds that the prosecution had not proved its case. Judge Munson denied the motion. The judge allowed Myers to remain free on his own recognizance provided he not travel outside the 32 counties of the Northern District of New York. Kernan said he would appeal the verdict to the U.S. Court of Appeals. One defendant was acquitted. Another conspiracy charge heard the next month resulted in an acquittal. Frank Policelli was counsel for that defendant.

          Lance’s brother Kurt likely had input into the presentence report. I did not work for the Court of Appeals there until 1984. I do not know the pendency of the appeal at the time Lance passed.

          Lance died in 1982 in prison after a brief illness

        • DXer said

          United States of America v. Lance Myers

          No. 81-1206


          688 F.2d 817

          March 29, 1982


          PRIOR HISTORY: Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York



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        • DXer said

          Defense counsel at trial argued that while client may have been young and inexperienced, and he may have been mistaken, he did nothing criminal. And he did not profit. “Lance Myers is an honest and truthful man.” Federal prosecutors charged Myers, 29, with 3 counts of conspiracy. Ten of the 12 defendants accused had been convicted or entered guilty pleas. Counsel said that Meyers never told successful loan applicants that they need not repay the bank. The number of defaults had soared after he left the bank in 1979.

          Kernan argued that the prosecutor’s key witness should be the one on trial — arguing that he was guilty of 12 forgeries. After that witness had fallen behind on loan payments, numerous of his friends then received loans, with the witness taking a share. Thus, there definitely appears to have been a scheme to defraud — but defense counsel argued that Lance was not involved and did not profit.

        • DXer said

          Born in 1953, the witness against Lance Myers, then a Utican, now lives in New Port Richey, Florida. The prosecution’s key witness against Lance in March 1981, he was sentenced to 18 months in April. He seems to have been at the center of the fraud and thus seems to have received a comparatively light sentence. Lance OTOH received 4 years. A couple bank employees involved in actual approval of the loans were acquitted.

          From a quick study of the names of the various defendants, none of those involved in the trial relating to the scheme seem to factor in the choice of shooting victims.

          What correctional facially was Lance at when he became ill and passed away in 1982?

  10. DXer said

    Trade Center bomber wants out of solitary in Florence

    The Denver Post

    Read more:Trade Center bomber wants out of solitary in Florence – The Denver Post

    “”Ramzi Yousef is not some sort of ‘MacGyver’ able to fashion some incendiary device out of paper clips and chewing gum.”


    Salim was not MacGyver either. But he was an Al Qaeda inmate who on November 1, 2000 squirted hot sauce into the eyes Louis Pepe, a guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City and then thrust the comb three inches into guard’s eye socket. The officer was blinded and, I believe, suffered permanent severe brain damage.

    Strips searches were instituted as a result. The jihad supporters who objected to being stripped had the former incident to thank — but it is never mentioned by the criminal defense counsel.

    Ramzi Yousef attempted to kill 250,000 people.

    Is there any reason to think he is a different man?

    I find the restrictions on media from obtaining interviews of such inmates is very unfortunate. We might learn a lot.

    But a request from the New York Times for an interview strikes me as very different as a request from Ramzi Yousef to advocate his murderous cause from prison.

  11. DXer said

    The blind sheik’s lawyer announced that Dr. Ayman Zawahiri was going to attack the US with anthrax to retaliate for the imprisonment of the blind sheik and rendering of other senior EIJ leaders.

    Is it that the DOJ analysts that Dr. Ayman had had a change of heart?

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

    Just as in the case of Nosair, FBI profiles in the basement of Quantico came up with a loner profile.

    Then just as the FBI distorted the science to fit the prosecutor’s conclusions in WTC 1993 (which were correct), the FBI used science in a misleading way in support of its (mistaken) Ivins Theory.

    Failure in analysis is not an option.
    History’s lessons

    Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:54 am

    Twenty years ago yesterday, Feb. 26, 1993, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City. It was the first foreign attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
    It was also the start of terrorist attacks on America.

    One of the jihadist conspirators was Ramzi Yousef, nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who would be the principal architect of the World Trade Center attack on 9/11. Like the same radical jihadists we’re fighting today, the jihadists detonated a truck bomb armed with over 1,310 pounds of explosives in the lower garage levels trying to knock the North Tower (Tower 1) into the South Tower (Tower 2), destroying both towers and murdering thousands of people inside.

    Though they failed, six people were killed, one of whom was pregnant, and 1,042 people were injured. And eight years later, they came back to complete what they started, and they succeeded.
    “If we’ve learned anything from recent history,” said Marc Thiessen, on the public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute yesterday, “it is that once al Qaeda develops a plan for a major attack, it never gives up until that attack has been carried out. Its tenacity in the case of the World Trade Center is just one example.” And Mr. Thiessen reminded us:

    • In 2000, al Qaeda tried to blow up an American destroyer in the Gulf of Aden, the USS The Sullivans, but overloaded its skiff with too many explosives and it grounded. Ten months later it used the same boat to blow up the USS Cole in the Gulf of Aden, killing 17 American sailors and injuring 39.

    • In 1995, KSM hatched the “Bojinka Plot” to blow up a dozen airplanes carrying some 4,000 passengers over the Pacific Ocean, and failed. In 2006, al Qaeda tried it again — this time over the Atlantic — using liquid explosives to blow up seven planes bound for New York, Chicago, Montreal, Washington and San Francisco, carrying at least 1,500 passengers. It failed, but it didn’t give up. In 2010, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen tried again to blow up planes headed for the United States, using bombs hidden in printer cartridges timed to blow up over the eastern seaboard. A tip from Saudi intelligence stopped it.

    • On Dec. 22, 2001, al Qaeda attempted to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami with 187 people on board, sending terrorist Richard Reid to destroy the aircraft with a shoe bomb. On Dec. 25, 2009, almost eight years to the day after Reid’s failed attack, al Qaeda tried again, attempting to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route from Amsterdam to Detroit using an underwear bomb.
    “The lesson of this experience,” said Mr. Thiessen is “al Qaeda’s modus operandi is to continue trying to carry out the same plot, over and over again, until it succeeds.” Then he listed other failed al Qaeda plots it might try again:

    • In 2003, the U.S. stopped al Qaeda terrorist Jose Padilla en route to carry out a KSM-conceived plot to blow up high-rise apartment buildings in Chicago.

    • In 2003, we captured a Southeast Asian terrorist named Hambali and members of a cell he recruited at KSM’s behest to hijack a passenger jet and fly it into the Library Tower in Los Angeles — completing KSM’s original vision for 9/11 as a bi-coastal attack.

    • In 2003, we captured Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, KSM’s right-hand-man in the 9/11 attacks, as he was finalizing plans for a plot to hijack airplanes in Europe and fly them into Heathrow airport and buildings in downtown London.

    • In 2003, we captured Ammar al-Baluchi and Walid bin Attash, as they were completing plans to replicate the destruction of our embassies in East Africa by blowing up the U.S. consulate and Western residences in Karachi, Pakistan.

    • In 2004, we captured terrorist Gouled Hassan Dourad (aka “Glueed”) who helped us disrupt an al Qaeda plot to blow up U.S. Marines at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti using water tankers loaded with explosives.
    “Will al Qaeda come back to finish the job on some or all of these and other failed plots?” asked Mr. Thiessen. He said its record suggests it will.
    “But don’t worry,” he added. “The president assures us the ‘tide of war’ is receding — so we can focus on ‘nation building here at home.’ Unfortunately, the enemy is still focused on attacking us here at home. We forget this at our peril.”

  12. DXer said

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

    1993 WTC bombing taught lessons in terrorism
    By The Associated Press
    on February 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM, updated February 23, 2013 at 4:32 PMPrint

    Two New York City police officers help an injured women away from the scene of the World Trade Center explosion in this February 26, 1993 file photo.
    Joe Tabacca/Associated Press
    NEW YORK — It had to be an accident.
    Though hard to imagine now, that was the prevailing theory moments after an explosion rocked the World Trade Center around noon on a chilly Feb. 26, 1993.

    The truth — that a cell of Islamic extremists had engineered a car-bomb attack that killed 52-year-old William Macko of Bayonne and five others, injured more than 1,000 and caused more than a half-billion dollars in damage — “was incomprehensible at the time,” recalled FBI agent John Anticev.

    On the eve of the 20-year anniversary of the bombing, Anticev and other current and former law enforcement officials involved in the case reflected on an event that taught them tough lessons about a dire threat from jihadists. That threat, now seared into the city’s psyche because of the Sept. 11 attacks, felt vague and remote two decades ago.

    “In those days, terrorism wasn’t the first reaction,” said former federal prosecutor David Kelley.

    The scale of the attack was the first dramatic demonstration that “terrorism is theater and New York is the biggest stage,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

    A two-time commissioner, Kelly was serving his first stint when the initial report that came in to police that day that there was an apparent transformer explosion at the trade center.

    Kelly raced to the scene, where the bomb planted in a parked Ryder van had left a crater half the size of a football field in the trade center garage. For the first time since it opened in 1973, the trade center stood in the darkness that night.

    “I remember seeing this tremendous sea of first-responder vehicles … and smoke was coming out,” Kelly said.

    The commissioner gathered with other police and federal officials in a nearby hotel conference room to assess the damage. The meeting didn’t last long because an engineer warned “the floor could collapse at any time,” Kelly said.

    A day later, after a utility mishap was ruled out, authorities “started to come to the conclusion it was bomb,” Kelly said.

    Anticev and other FBI agents were initially assigned to pursue rumors that the twin towers may have been attacked in retaliation for the U.S. bombing of Serbia. But the probe took a dramatic turn after investigators found a vehicle identification number on a piece of the blown-up van.

    Investigators later learned that the renter of the van wanted to get his deposit back after reporting it stolen — a break that sounded too good to be true.

    “I was betting he wouldn’t show up,” said Kelley.

    The renter, Mohammed Salameh, indeed appeared to demand his deposit about a week after the blast.

    When Anticev heard Salameh’s name, “I really almost started to cry,” the agent recalled.

    His dismay was well-earned. He had long been watching Salameh and other radical Muslims in the FBI’s investigation of the assassination of Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane at a Manhattan hotel.

    The FBI knew the men had practiced together shooting guns and assembling pipe bombs. But in the summer of 1992, investigators lost an informant who possibly could have warned of the more ambitious plot, Anticev said.

    A pipe-bomb attack “was as big a plot as we thought they were capable of,” he said.

    n hindsight, Anticev believes agents were “too Western” in their attempts to neutralize the budding terrorists before they struck.

    He described using tough interrogation tactics that would have spooked ordinary criminals — obtaining subpoenas and bringing them in for questioning in rooms where they purposely displayed surveillance photos of them on the wall.

    “We thought they would be chilled by that experience,” he said. “But it was like water off a duck’s back. That did not scare them at all. They just did it anyway. … That was a big lesson.”

    Kelly believes because the suspects were quickly rounded up, in some circles they “were written off as this inept group of zealots,” Kelly said. “It was not seen was not seen as the global conspiracy it turned out to be.”

    The probe of the attack led to convictions of Salameh and three other men and the later the capture Ramzi Yousef, the leader of the attack. Investigators learned that the highly educated Yousef had tried to detonate the car bomb in way that would cause countless casualties by toppling one of the towers into the other and bringing them down like giant dominos, and watch with disappointment from the banks of the Hudson River in New Jersey when it didn’t happen.

    Yousef is the nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Even after Yousef was found guilty in a Manhattan courtroom and put away for life, “we really didn’t know what was ahead,” said Kelley, who was part of the prosecution team. “This was before everybody was on to bin Laden.”

    Police Commissioner Kelly remembered that in 1993, while surveying the destruction in the underground garage, an engineer told him that the buildings would never come down.

    “On Sept. 11,” Kelly said, “the thought of that came back to me.”

  13. DXer said

    According to this Wikipedia entry, Hambali’s wife at least at one point was in Malaysian custody. What does she say, if anything, about Yazid’s role in the anthrax program? Hambali was caught in Ayutullah, half-way between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Ayutullah deservedly is appreciated by tourists for his ruins and slower pace of life (at least relative to the hustle of Bangkok and the tourists in Chiang Mai).

    It is quite insane that Hambali and his colleagues thought that the bombing of the myriad of targets furthered any goal whatsoever. I’m surprised defense counsel don’t more often consider an insanity defense for these religious cultists. Hambali himself recognizes that he was brainwashed by his religious indoctrination. Yazid’s counsel in turn could point to Chomel’s mother and her influence.

    Bruce Ivins’ first counselor, Judith McLean, wrote in a 2009 book explaining that in 2000 she was controlled by alien who had implanted a microchip in her butt — she thought she was pursued by the astral entities attached to her clients (to include Dr. Ivins). See the uncorrected Wash Po article in early August 2008 in which the three reporters bought into her false claims and then they failed to issue a correction or retract the story.

    The mass murderers on trial in Guantanamo in turn think they are committing these murders so that they will be rewarded in paradise.

    And the most prolific poster on the internet favoring an Ivins Theory argues that the facts establish a first grader wrote the letters.

    When are the grown-ups going to take over? If Amerithrax is unsolved, it will forever remain the failure of the FBI, CIA and the Army investigators who stood by and did nothing.

    FBI DIrector Mueller: Weren’t you hired to play the role of grown-up — and isn’t that the role you are well-suited to play by your training and nature? What happened? Wasn’t it your job to reopen the case when you saw that none of the evidence summarized by US Attorney Taylor withstood scrutiny? Weren’t you just a little bit pissed that the AUSAs reporting directly to you stuffed 52 rabbits down a hat — or was that your doing? Eric Holder, upon DIrector Mueller’s failure, wasn’t it your job?

    Let me very clear. Amerithrax will be your legacy.

    From Wikipedia:

    Hambali planned and attended the January 2000 Al Qaeda Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Among the others present were two September 11 hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. This gathering in Kuala Lumpur was observed by the CIA and Malaysian authorities, but what specifically was being said at the meetings was not picked up. Hambali also provided money and documents to Zacarias Moussaoui in October of that year.
    After the Bali nightclub bombing, in which 202 people were killed, Hambali received more attention from the United States. In the years leading up to the attack, the Indonesian government’s action against Islamic militants had been minimal. Following the attack, Abu Bakr Bashir was arrested as part of a crack down on Jemaah Islamiah. He was wanted in Indonesia[10] for the bombings of several churches in the region, and wanted for the Bali bombing and a failed plot on several targets in Singapore.

    Hambali used a series of safe-houses throughout Southeast Asia, especially Thailand and Cambodia, to move around. While he was in Ayutthaya, Thailand, 75 kilometers north of Bangkok, he was planning a terrorist attack against several Thai hotels and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) in Bangkok on October 2003. Hambali had used a false Spanish passport to enter Thailand while his wife used her Malaysian passport.
    Thai police found him as part of a joint operation between the Thai police and the CIA on August 11, 2003. The twenty uniformed and undercover police smashed down the door to his one bedroom apartment in Ayutthaya, and arrested him and 33-year-old Noralwizah Lee Abdullah, a Chinese Malaysian who was considered to be his wife. Hambali was wearing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a baseball cap, and a pair of sunglasses. Police also seized explosives and firearms in the property. It marked the end of a 20-month hunt for Hambali, who was 37 years of age when he was captured.
    A 2006 Human Rights Watch report stated that Hambali was imprisoned in Jordan for the account of the CIA.[citation needed] On September 6, 2006, President George W. Bush confirmed that Hambali had been held by the CIA and revealed that he had been transferred toGuantanamo Bay.[11] His wife is now in Malaysian custody.

  14. Anonymous said

    Conspiracy Theory in America
    by Lance deHaven-Smith

    Ever since the Warren Commission concluded that a lone gunman assassinated President John F. Kennedy, people who doubt that finding have been widely dismissed as conspiracy theorists, despite credible evidence that right-wing elements in the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service—and possibly even senior government officials—were also involved. Why has suspicion of criminal wrongdoing at the highest levels of government been rejected out-of-hand as paranoid thinking akin to superstition?
    Conspiracy Theory in America investigates how the Founders’ hard-nosed realism about the likelihood of elite political misconduct—articulated in the Declaration of Independence—has been replaced by today’s blanket condemnation of conspiracy beliefs as ludicrous by definition. Lance deHaven-Smith reveals that the term “conspiracy theory” entered the American lexicon of political speech to deflect criticism of the Warren Commission and traces it back to a CIA propaganda campaign to discredit doubters of the commission’s report. He asks tough questions and connects the dots among five decades’ worth of suspicious events, including the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the attempted assassinations of George Wallace and Ronald Reagan, the crimes of Watergate, the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages deal, the disputed presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, the major defense failure of 9/11, and the subsequent anthrax letter attacks.
    Sure to spark intense debate about the truthfulness and trustworthiness of our government, Conspiracy Theory in America offers a powerful reminder that a suspicious, even radically suspicious, attitude toward government is crucial to maintaining our democracy.

  15. DXer said

    Reporters covering the State of the Union were shown a video on how to escape a biological attack. The FBI is not investigating the last biological attack and has withdrawn the $2.5 million reward. The CIA, FBI and Army is just waiting until after an attack for the inevitable handwringing and fingerpointing.

    Instead, the FBI is investigating a warning of zombie attack shown on 3 Michigan TV stations. With the Zombies, the CIA, FBI and Army is just waiting until after an attack for the inevitable hand-chomping and fingerbiting.

  16. DXer said

    David Relman, the Vice-Chairman of the NAS committee reviewing the science relied upon in the FBI’s “Ivins Theory,” explained:

    New review of anthrax case discussed by review committee vice chair, Stanford bioterrorism expert


    we also found some problems and gaps in the scientific investigation. Although the scientific evidence was supportive of a link between the letters and that flask, it did not definitively demonstrate such a relationship, for at least two reasons.

    First, the FBI was looking to match the anthrax strain in the letters to what existed in labs. But large-scale production of anthrax spores encourages the emergence of just the kind of mutant strains that were found in the anthrax letters. Since labs tend to save original isolates and may not save samples of large-scale production runs, it’s possible that the samples gathered by the FBI missed mutants that arose during such runs. This possibility was not given adequate consideration.

    Second, the FBI still might not have found other matches, because there’s no guarantee that the bureau had assembled a comprehensive library of lab strains: The repository of anthrax samples that the FBI created for comparison with the anthrax in the letters may not have been representative of all relevant anthrax stocks around the world. The newly revealed, but inconclusive, information about possible B. anthracis Ames at an al Qaeda overseas location highlights this issue. In addition, the instructions in the subpoena the FBI sent to scientists known to be in possession of the B. anthracis Ames strain lacked specificity, so there’s no certainty that scientists who were subpoenaed submitted samples of all the mutant strains in their possession. In light of these and other problems and gaps in the science performed as part of this investigation, our overarching finding was that it is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the B. anthracis in the mailings based on the available scientific evidence alone.

    We were not asked, nor properly constituted as a committee, to judge the conduct of the law enforcement inquiry.

  17. DXer said

    Edward Jay Epstein summarized his views as of January 2010 piece in this Wall Street Journal article. He explains that the anthrax mystery is unsolved.

    Going to Cornell and getting his PhD at Harvard, both his Masters and PhD were published as books. There have been a dozen books since. In addition to his March 2013 book on the Annals of Unsolved Crime, he has written a couple books on Hollywood. He’s one of those types that would be interesting to have dinner with — but it would have to be a long dinner, as there would be numerous subjects to pick his brain on. I probably would look for help in handicapping the Academy Awards and trying to understand the marvel of moviemaking. I’m looking forward to reading “Annals” cover-to-cover when I have a chance. So far I’ve only had a chance to read his chapter on Amerithrax, which was readable and solidly reasoned. On a narrow substantive point, I would highlight to the GAO that the use of the anthrax from Flask 1030 needs to be understood because that did have a bit of silicon signature, albeit not the 4 morphs.

  18. DXer said

    Epstein (whose PhD I believe is from Harvard) insightfully writes in his new book:

    “As there had been a number of security breaches at Dugway during this period, it is plausible that someone at Dugway stole a minute ampule of anthrax anytime after 1997 and like any classic espionage operation, delivered it to another party, either foreign or domestic, who used it in the September 2001 attacks.

    The lesson to be taken away from this unresolved crime is the vulnerability of even the most massive investigations to a preconception embedded in a behavioral profile.” Just weeks after the attack, the FBI had arrived at a “behavioral assessment” pointing to a lone American Scientist.
    …. When the FBI’s behavioral science unit was created in 1972, its primary mission was profiling unknown serial killers by using historical data. … Yet, by clinging to this profile, it neglected investigative paths that may have resolved this crime.”

    • DXer said

      Here Ed is interviewed on Bloomberg about the effect on the economics of movie-making and the effect of an Oscar nomination on a film’s profitability.

  19. DXer said

    Here is a new article titled “Evidence for the Source of the 2001 Attack Anthrax.” It is in Bioterrorism and Biodefense.

    It is by Martin E. Hugh-Jones, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, and Stuart Jacobsen

    Click to access 2157-2526-S3-008.pdf

  20. DXer said

    The Frederick News-Post has a recent editorial titled “Biological Mishaps Go Online.” I appreciate the points made in the editorial but my own experience is that the FOIA officer is hard-working. They don’t have a local FOIA office, last I knew, in Frederick.. Issues arose when DOJ instructed supervisor John Peterson to pull some documents from production. And more generally with the delay associated with review by a large group of DOJ and FBI personnel. Delay is de facto suppression and obstruction of justice.

    JAG also regularly pulled documents — such as the 300 pages it deemed personal.

    For example, I once uploaded emails showing that everyone internally agreed that there was no reason to withhold an IG report showing that no vetting was done — only to have the document then withheld. McClatchy had made the request. The Army launched an investigation into how I obtained the internal emails rather than investigate the reason the document was withheld in violation of FOIA.

    In the case of Amerithrax, the problem in the culling from USAMRIID production lies with the man behind the curtain rather than the FOIA officer or even John P. The emails in JP’s inbox from DOJ and FBI would be a roadmap for GAO on the emails and other documents that they asked be pulled. Of course, USAMRIID once told me that they don’t care whether GAO gets all the emails. And so it truly is a problem if GAO doesn’t flex its muscle. The emails, in a certain format, are sequentially numbered so if it wants GAO could see the exact emails were pulled and then go after any personnel furthering the continued withholding for obstruction of justice.

    Of course, I’ll leave it to DOJ to explain to the GAO why shredding the civil depositions of Patricia Fellows and Mara Liscott is not worthy of GAO’s wrath.

  21. AnthraxSleuth said

    I see DXer is still pushing his fantasy about Al Qaeda mailing the Anthrax. Some things never change.
    I said it before and I will say it again. Steven J mailed those letters. I know. I caught him. Did he do it alone? Certainly not. It would take someone smart enough not to go stalking their victims while wearing their name on their pocket to plan a scheme like this one.
    Lew seems to be wise to the FBI. “totally out of control” is an understatement.
    The agent I first spoke with from the hospital while being “treated” seemed to know very early that this was not to be solved.
    Special agent Jim Page’s first words to me were: “You can’t tell anyone about this.” He had some other duzys too. Like “Go through your trash can. I need that letter. You’re on the antibiotics.” Another one: “The test was negative you can stop taking the antibiotics.” And, my personal favorite was his response when I informed him that Kathy and Ottillie and I had posted on the same internet message board. Special agent Jim Page: “That’s just a coincidence.”

    Don’t take it personally DXer. I am appreciative that you at least keep the discussion of this crime alive as it is personal to me.

    If you guys want to have some fun call up Special agent Eric Davis at the Charlotte FBI and ask him how the FBI could ignore a witness that personally gave him Hatfill’s last name more than 7 months before Hatfill’s name became public.
    That ought to be a hoot.

    • DXer said

      Anonymous posts, absent corroboration (such as by documentary evidence) add nothing.
      Your claim that the elderly Ottillie posted on the internet is false. She did not use the internet. She did not even own a computer.
      Even the post by “Anonymous” is not something warranting a response absent corroboration of his or her identity and corroboration through documents.
      The theory by internet poster Ed who argues a First Grader wrote the letters is similarly specious. People should spend less time on conjecture and more time relying and putting forth facts that can be independently verified. Scanned documents can be emailed to me at the link here.

      • AnthraxSleuth said

        I just named names that are verifiable.
        You, on the other hand, espouse fairy tales about an organization created by the CIA that is simultaneously an enemy of the USA in Pakistan and a partner of the USA in Syria.

        • DXer said


          Some years ago I pointed out to you that if those two had posted, you should obtain a copy of the forum showing that they posted. Wayback Machine archives all manner of web pages. Google is indeed powerful.

          Failing that — because no such record exists — you could have made the relevant inquiry.

          Mrs.Davis, Mrs. Lundgren’s primary caretaker and niece, 72, could have confirmed for you in 2002 that you were mistaken. Among the personal assets divided among family members, there was no computer. There was never a factual basis for your claim that a 94 year-old woman was posting in the group you were — indeed, there was no factual basis for your claim that the NYC nurse was. The fact you never even named the group or forum was telling. So there is only the fact that you took antibiotics and claim you received a letter with powder. You don’t even a letter to upload. So there is merely a claim that you were targeted. That some evil person was dangerous. Take a number. It is a common construct among those with such a belief. I could name a half dozen others too scared to provide the material information so that it might be verified and debunked. Each time they finally came forward it was quickly shown to be mistaken. Here,it is was simple as you calling Mrs.Davis or the executor of her estate. (Or obtain the filed document from the court.)

          Of course, the illogic of your position was that if SJ targeted you, he already knows who you are.

          You of course are believe whatever you like. But here documents rule — not unsupported claims. So if you want anyone to pay attention, you’ll understand the wisdom of Carl Sagan’s homily: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. In this case, you offer no proof at all.

          In contrast, the uncorroborated post by “Anonymous” is fascinating. But there is no corroboration offered. In other cases, where anonymous posting is used, there is private email correspondence providing authentication.

        • AnthraxSleuth said

          First of all it’s not anonymous. I have a screen name and a legit email address accompanying.

          Second. I have no idea if Mrs. Lundgren posted from her own computer, a library computer or a grand kid’s computer. Or, had a friend or caretaker post for her. Old people do use computers. I know b/c many of my customers who’s computers I work on are old as dirt. Some even have dementia and still use their computer every day.
          I did not live with Mrs. Lundgren and neither did you.
          If you want the name of the message board simply email me. I prefer not to say it in public forum b/c it is my belief that the FBI/DOJ would just quietly dispose of it if they have not already. I will admit I told agent Eric Davis the wrong message board when I spoke with him. And he even asked if that was the only one I had posted in. It was later that I remembered the actual board but at that time I was convinced that the FBI was running cover for the crime. I still believe this to be the case.

          “Of course, the illogic of your position was that if SJ targeted you, he already knows who you are”

          Yes, SJ was in my neighborhood and does know where I live if he still remembers the location after all these years. At that time though SJ was pretty sure my name was what I used for my email. Which is not my name.

          Believe you me. I certainly did not want to be involved in any of this crap. It cost me thousands in medical bills and cleanup.
          I have FOIA documents. Some of which I would be willing to share outside of public forum at this time. Eventually, I will release everything or if something happens to me it is already arranged to be released.
          Have checked Way back machine and and Google cache to no avail.
          I’m sure the organization that ran the board has archives but I would imagine it would take an IT insider or a subpoena to get those.

          For anyone to believe the nonsense that Ottillie and Kathy died from tertiary or even secondary exposure is ridiculous and completely contradicts peer reviewed, established science on the amount of spores it takes to infect a human with respiratory anthrax.

          My guess is they were just as intrigued as I was by the hand written envelope and opened it steps away from the mailbox. Then, after reading the nonsense inside and getting doused with powder were wiser than myself and disposed of it in an outside trash can without ever taking it inside their residence.

        • DXer said

          “Second. I have no idea if Mrs. Lundgren posted from her own computer, a library computer or a grand kid’s computer. ”


          Mrs. Lundgren only left her home to go to the hairdresser. Mrs. Davis, her niece and primary caretaker, confirms she did not use a computer and people did not post on the internet. I do not have your email and so would ask you email me.

          A federal court found that there was not a “scintilla of evidence” indicating Dr. Hatfill was guilty and all the various components of the theory have been previously addressed — such as time records. I don’t mind reposting the analysis.

          As for knowing your email, this is Lew’s blog, not mine. Lew is gaining international press for one of his latest books — and often is in exotic ports of call without ready internet access. I do not feel comfortable imposing on him to ask him the email of someone who thinks that SJ targeted 94-year-old because she was surfing and posting on the internet, says he gave false info to the FBI, and thinks that the FBI “would quietly dispose” of evidence proving the same. It was a very simple matter to share the name of the newsgroup here and give the dates of the posts but you chose not to do so.

          But I always welcome sharing of objective information so that any theory can be debunked. For example, one guy self-published a book arguing a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters on the first day of school — and yet he did not even know that a quick google showed he had the wrong day of the first day of school. Others have suggested that two different people were actually the same person, etc. — when it was a simple matter to call both up and get them on a three-way call. (And none of these people are schizophrenic which is sometimes the case; schizophrenia often involves narratives that are quite complex and then it is only a single sentence that points to the real problem). A common aspect of such theory is that insistence on remaining anonymous — or that the person must not be contacted. But it cuts down the noise to signal ration to ask for information that can be verified. I of course would be glad to call Dr. Hatfill directly if you like. His lawyer, TC, gave me a CD providing hundreds of internal DOJ emails and is a very accomplished guy at making things happen. see, e.g., Blackwater case where in a case involving the lead Amerithrax prosecutor, he got the murder charges dismissed on the grounds of serious prosecutorial misconduct.

          So first email me your name, the name of the message board name to me and a screen shot of the forum board (if you have it; and you don’t) and a photocopy or scan of the actual letter (if you have it, and you don’t). Given that your theory was always implausible, you won’t do those things because you have not the screen shots of the forum or copy of the letter.

          When we last communicated years ago, you did not say that Mrs. L but were merely speculated. An evolving story is yet another of a half dozen earmarks of an implausible story.

  22. DXer said

    GAO and Army investigators,

    When Yazid stayed with KSM for 6 days at his home, Yazid Sufaat told KSM that he was vaccinated for anthrax — and so working with the virulent anthrax was not dangerous. Where did he get the vaccine? It’s my understanding that the acquisition involved someone in the US who acted as intermediary. Who was that?

    When he was captured in December 2001, Yazid’s blood, if tested, would have reflected his vaccination. The FBI first interviewed Yazid in November 2002.

  23. Bill C said

    They should fire and restrict every FBI agent involved with falsely accusing Bruce Ivins, that goes for the Justice Department heads and operates. A very clear case of abusive tactics and a questionable death of a prominent scientist. Who the hell do they think there are? Why is Rush Holt and the boys not pushing this matter of investigating the FBI’s conduct. A real sad thing going on here.

    • DXer said

      I wouldn’t fault FBI agents for subscribing to the theory. There were lots of attractive details making for a plausible theory. But it was only plausible because of documents that were withheld (e.g., concerning his work with the 52 rabbits that first week in October). His time in the lab in fact was not unexplained — and that was the key premise of the FBI’s “Ivins Theory.”

      Instead, I would fire or discipline anyone involved in withholding the documents and information about his work on the rabbits — to the extent the withholding violated controlling agency or ethical guidelines.

      Perhaps there is an explanation — the rush of events, the massive number of documents in the case, etc.

      But if GAO were to obtain the emails between FBI investigators and prosecutors from July, I think they would be able to differentiate between those who merely dropped the ball and who played hide-the-ball. Those emails certainly are very useful evidence in assessing the investigation. If the GAO does not obtain it, then it is the GAO that will not have done its job. (And the investigators should appreciate that the emails and texts have already left the building).

      There were lots of investigators who told the Wired reporter that they were concerned that there had been a rush to judgment and closing the case because some folks didn’t want to get in trouble over Dr. Ivins’ suicide.

  24. DXer said

    The FBI and USA Networks have created “Real Life White Collar Crimes” to let people help the FBI solve real crimes revolving around stolen items.

    The campaign will live online via photo galleries and investigative tidbits about open cases, while on-air promotions will showcase one stolen item each week. Participants can submit leads to the FBI and earn GetGlue stickers related to “Real Life White Collar Crimes.”

    One case involves the 286-year-old Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius violin. A thief stole the violin, which is valued at more than $3 million, from its owner’s deathbed in 1995.

    Hopefully, they will find a way to harness social media to distribute images of identifiable stolen goods so that Facebook users can take a couple seconds to see an interesting photo and say, “I saw that last month.”

    For example, consider this excellent photo of this bank robber. His momma and friends all would have recognized him if they had seen the picture.

    The use of GetGlue stickers for leads — rather than successful leads — seems dubious.

    The incentive (which seems to mainly serve the marketing purpose of those media companies participating) would be for submitted “leads” rather than successful leads, making it all the more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. If a crime is worth expending law enforcement resources on, it is worth offering a cash reward. Such efforts help destroy the market for stolen goods.

    Without a cash reward, someone (not affected by the crime) has little incentive to provide information about a crime.

    There is a museum in DC — I can’t remember if it is the FBI museum or the relatively new crime museum — that has a well-done exhibit on the famous TV show featuring unsolved crimes.

  25. DXer said

    LIVE: Militants ‘demand’ swap for US hostages

    Mauritanian ANI news agency says militants are demanding the release of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rehman, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, and Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving sentence for attempted murder. Both are in US prisons. Aafia’s defense counsel described her research on biological weapons over 6 months at the request of her new husband, KSM’s nephew Al-Balucchi, the 911 plotter.

    When commentators and investigators don’t read and take the time to understand, innocents will continue to die.

    This is Luxor revisited.

    • DXer said

      Algeria militants want Aafia Siddiqui released in proposed prisoner swap
      By AFPPublished: January 18, 2013

      The distinguished former Attorney General visited Fowzia and Ismat visited Ramsey Clark last August.

      Ramsey is an example of someone who needs to read more.

      I was just saying this week to someone that Ramsey simply is uninformed because the US media has done a lousy job explaining the issue of anthrax and how it relates to the blind sheik.

      I was saying that if it were pointed out to Ramsey that the other counsel for the Blind Sheik, Montasser Al-Zayat, had announced in spring 1999 that Ayman Zawahiri was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the imprisonment of the Blind Sheik and other senior EIJ leaders, he would not take up her cause.

      As a member of the bar, I suggested he would not represent Aafia or her family given their support for bloodshed to free Aafia.

      Aafia’s brother and sister-in-law in Houston should similarly be remorseful that blood was shed in Aafia’s name. Her sister-in-law, Lubna Khawaja, had an office down the hall from Theresa Koehler who upgraded the unlocked lab to B3 in March 2001. The lab then wiped out in June 2001 by millions of gallons of water from a tropical storm that flooded the basement. The doors were propped open.

      Dr. Koehler had a $100,000 grant from the CIA in 2001 to study the persistence of anthrax in soil (silica).

      CIA says not to worry: It wasn’t missing any Ames. But it is illegal to tell you where its labs were located.

      (Pssst: All reviews have concluded that there was a lack of adequate security at all labs).

      Fowzia and Ismat should be ashamed and are responsible for the deaths in Algeria.

      4-page summary
      Ayman Zawahiri, Anwar Awlaki, Anthrax, and Amerithrax: The Infiltration Of US Biodefense

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 12, 2011

      • DXer said

        Cynthia McKinney, former Green Party Presidential Candidate, who recently went to Pakistan and sought to rouse the masses on Aafia’s behalf, also should read more and inform herself of the facts.

        August 10, 2012

        • DXer said

          Yvonne Ridley makes no mention of the fact that Aafia Siddiqui MARRIED POST-911 plotter Al-Balucchi, KSM’s nephew, and at his request studied anthrax as a weapon for use against US targets. see brief filed by her defense counsel which I’ve uploaded.

          Aafia is of course free to explain where she was during those missing years.

          Aafia’s uncle SH Faruqi and her first husband, the anethesiologist, give an account considerably different than Yvonne.

          The Most Wronged Woman in the World?
          The Algerian Kidnappers and the Case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
          by YVONNE RIDLEY

        • DXer said

          9/11 plotter al-Balucchi was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. (KSM has always said that the laptop was al-Hawsawi’s). Al-Balucchi and al-Hawsawi were the ones who made the arrangements getting the various hijackers into the country.

  26. DXer said

    Here is a 2011 article about the issue presented relating to children and testing anthrax vaccine.

    There will continue to be an inevitable and unfortunate tendency by those who wax eloquent on the subject of vaccine research to presume that they know anything about Dr. Ayman’s anthrax program.

    For example, read the wonderful essay by Meryl Nass (who I have long adored) summarizing the chronology of the current review. She describes it as a process of kicking the hot potato down the road. Then ask yourself… why didn’t she, for example, disclose that Yazid Sufaat was a member of the Malaysian’s biological weapons program? Why didn’t the media? Why can’t she make her points about efficacy, side effects, profit motive — without presuming to draw the conclusion that Dr. Zawahiri did not have talented microbiologists available to recruit? Without overlooking the total lack of control relating to access to virulent Ames. Without overlooking that Ali Al-Timimi had unfettered access to the largest microbiological inventory in the world and shared a suite with the leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers, who co-patented in 2001 the process of growing anthrax in silica.

    Must everyone see things through the prism of their cognitive bias? Must every advocate be self-interested? Must everyone fail to read outside their field and narrow interest?

  27. DXer said

    Posted on Thursday, 01.17.13

    Bioethics commission meets at UM to consider testing anthrax vaccine on children

    “Security analysts have presented their interpretation of the likelihood of a bioterrorism attack, but even the best intelligence cannot put a percentage on the chance that terrorists will unleash anthrax on American cities.”


    Are the risk assessments presented to the group public or publicly obtainable under FOIA?

    I have no opinion on vaccine. My main concern is scheduling appointments on school holidays.

  28. DXer said

    What does Dr. Kreuzer make of Yazid Sufaat’s use of heme?

    Forensic Sci Int. 2013 Jan 9. pii: S0379-0738(12)00567-1. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.12.016. [Epub ahead of print]
    Fusion of laboratory and textual data for investigative bioforensics.
    Webb-Robertson BJ, Corley C, McCue LA, Wahl K, Kreuzer H.

    Computational Biology & Bioinformatics, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Blvd, Richland, WA, 99352 USA. Electronic address:

    Chemical and biological forensic programs focus on the identification of a threat and acquisition of laboratory measurements to determine how a threat agent may have been produced. However, to generate investigative leads, it might also be useful to identify institutions where the same agent has been produced by the same or a very similar process, since the producer of the agent may have learned methods at a university or similar institution. We have developed a Bayesian network framework that fuses hard and soft data sources to assign probability to production practices. It combines the results of laboratory measurements with an automatic text reader to scan scientific literature and rank institutions that had published papers on the agent of interest in order of the probability that the institution has the capability to generate the sample of interest based on laboratory data. We demonstrate the Bayesian network on an example case from microbial forensics, predicting the methods used to produce Bacillus anthracis spores based on mass spectrometric measurements and identifying institutions that have a history of growing Bacillus spores using the same or highly similar methods. We illustrate that the network model can assign a higher posterior probability than expected by random chance to appropriate institutions when trained using only a small set of manually analyzed documents. This is the first example of an automated methodology to integrate experimental and textual data for the purpose of investigative forensics.

    • DXer said

      Note footnote 27:

      Swider C, et al. Trace detection of meglumine and diatrizoate from bacillus spore samples using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry(, section sign). J. Forensic Sci. 2012;57(4):923–931

    • DXer said

      The approach of the authors of the 2013 article immediately puts a bias that results in overlooking people engaged in surreptitious training and research such as the case of the key Al Qaeda lab tech Yazid Sufaat who was part of a secret offensive biological weapons program once conducted by Malaysia.

      The authors write:

      “We have approached this problem with the assumption that the perpetrator of a chemical or biological crime may have received relevant training at an institution such as a university or research laboratory. One premise of our model is that scientists at these institutions typically make public (through formal publications or informal communications) their routine research practices, such as what types of materials they work with and how they use them. For example, in the field of microbiology, publications include the names of microorganisms under study, how they are propagated, and how they are treated once they have been grown. Published text (the scientific literature or potentially other sources) therefore represents a database with information on where and how biological and chemical agents have been studied. Linking signatures from an agent in a forensic sample to information in this database could thus lead to potential suspects who received training at relevant institutions.

      We have developed an automated data analysis framework that quantitatively links the results of laboratory measurements made on an agent to the likely production methods for that agent, and thereby to institutions where similar production methods have been used. We demonstrate the framework on a microbial forensics problem: identifying institutions that have the capability to produce the example agent Bacillus anthracis spores. Our inputs were laboratory measurements made on various spore samples, and published scientific literature extracted from databases (e.g., PubMed, Medline). Identifying links between these inputs required the development of a statistical method for integrating laboratory measurements and textual data, in addition to an automated text search routine that could examine electronic text to extract the culture media information and institutional affiliation.”

      There’s lies, damned lies and statistics.

      • DXer said

        The authors write:

        “Narrowing the potential source of a biological sample is a key challenge in the forensic sciences and has been discussed for many years in microbial forensics [30]. The general approach presented here integrates experimental and textual data to assign a probability to an institution as having the capability to grow a specific sample. This offers a novel approach to narrow the list of candidate sources in a computationally and statistically robust manner and has several key advantages. ”

        If narrowing the potential source is a key challenge, overlooking covert sources is the key flaw in the approach.

        • DXer said

          The authors of the 2013 article write:

          “Another advantage is that although none of the institutions in the network might currently house the perpetrator, the researchers at these institutions may have valuable information to share with the investigators. Again, reaching these institutions in a timely manner is highly advantageous. One obvious extension of the network is to include individuals instead of the institutions, to attempt to identify from whom the sample might have originated, or who might have trained the perpetrator. Future work could include not only adding this level of information, but building in information associated with social connections that could be attained from a variety of sources (e.g., social media).”

          Let’s consider how Ameritthrax should have gone in mid-October 2001.

          FBI: “Hey, Paul and Kimothy, what strain is it?”
          Paul Keim: Ames.
          FBI. Who has the biggest supply of Ames?
          Paul and Martin H-J and John E.: Bruce Ivins. He uses it so results in DARPA experiments are controlled and can be compared.
          FBI: Given that Dr. Zawahiri has said he was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of senior EIJ leaders, including the blind sheik, did Bruce give Ames to anyone connected to Zawahiri?
          John E: Let me check the literature. Will just take a second to google. Yes, he gave it to Tarek Hamouda, Heba Zawahiri’s colleague at Cairo Medical where Dr. Ayman and Ali Mohammed was known to recruit. He’s recently been given millions for DARPA research and was authorized to be supplied virulent Ames by Bruce.
          John E.: I made a dried powder out of Ames from Bruce for DARPA.
          FBI: Hey Paul and Kimothy,. the literature says Tarek also worked with virulent anthrax strains at your B3 in LSU. Can you give us the documents? Thanks.
          FBI: And Bruce, can you give us the documents about your research? March 1998 was before USAMRIID kept electronic records and the name was spelled wrong on the B3 log.

          Which was quicker? Bayesian analysis or common sense?

          Given that Bruce Ivins did not provide the 16 pages of research relating to Tarek’s research until March 2005, where was the common sense?

          For example, when LSU was subpoenaed in December 2001, why was access to the B3 for only the past two years sought?

      • DXer said

        The authors could also apply their method to Jdey who according to the FBI studied biology at the University of Montreal. According to the former top CIA guy was detained and released at the same time as Moussaoui. Jdey has been associated with the two hijackers who met at the condo in KL of anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat, who had been part of Malaysia’s former biological weapons program.

        The FBI recently has denied a FOIA request because it would invade Jdey’s privacy.

        Might withholding documents about how the FBI detained Jdey and then released him serve to cover the FBI’s fanny? They were already taking a lot of heat from Congress for allowing 911 to happen by not getting into Moussaoui’s laptop which had the cropdusting manuals.

        “While in Canada, Jdey studied biology at the University of Montreal and attended the Assunna Mosque in Montreal.”

        From Wikipedia with sourcing to the hyperlinked report of the former top CIA person who then went to Harvard.

        He rented a C$217 monthly apartment in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie near Montreal,[7] and studied biology at the Université de Montréal.[9] In 1999, he wrote a pair of letters to unknown Muslims overseas, explaining how he found religion and speaking with contempt of the United States and United Nations.[10]

        American authorities allege that he “may” have trained at Mes Aynak alongside hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in Afghanistan, before being assigned to a second wave of attacks. A letter written by Saif al-Adl, and later found by American forces, suggested that Jdey may have originally been slated to have participated in the original September 11th attacks[9][11]
        Jdey returned to Montreal, Canada in early 2001. Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, while being harshly interrogated, said that Jdey then backed out of the plan.[12] According to a 2010 Harvard report on al Qaeda by a former CIA officer, Jdey was detained in summer 2001 together with Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui was carrying textbooks on cropdusting; Jdey was carrying textbooks on biology. Jdey was evidently subsequently released.[13] In November 2001 he left Canada, several months after obtaining a replacement passport for one he’d received two years earlier which he claimed to have lost.[6] He was believed to be bound for Europe.[7][9]

        • DXer said

          As I recall, Saif Adel commanded the “Green Team” in a venture in Somalia. He was the one famously quoted about the letters relating to the prosecution of the Blind Sheik.

  29. DXer said

    Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps and recommendations
    Author(s): Piepel, GF (Piepel, G. F.)1; Amidan, BG (Amidan, B. G.)1; Hu, R (Hu, R.)2
    Source: JOURNAL OF APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY Volume: 113 Issue: 6 Pages: 1287-1304 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05381.x Published: DEC 2012


    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing and analysing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (i) estimates of B. anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates and (ii) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Additional work is needed to quantify (i) the false-negative rates of surface-sampling methods with lower concentrations on various surfaces and (ii) the effects on performance characteristics of: aerosol vs liquid deposition of spores, using surrogates instead of B. anthracis, real-world vs laboratory conditions and storage and transportation conditions. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies.

    1. Pacific NW Natl Lab, Richland, WA 99352 USA
    2. CALTECH, Pasadena, CA 91125 USA

  30. DXer said

    Chasing Phantoms Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11

    Publication Date: April 2011, Pages: 208
    Published by: University of North Carolina Press

    THREEMAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE: Reverse Transparency and Privacy
    Pages: 37-54

    For reasons of both national security and political survival, decision-makers can scarcely remain passive in the face of a landscape of fear. As the strategic theorist Colin Gray observed shortly after September 11th, they must be seen to be acting even if what they do does not constitute an intelligent response.¹ If the adversary is invisible, then a key element in the response is to bring the unseen to a condition of visibility. The enemy must be forced to reveal himself, an enterprise that requires that the means used to achieve invisibility be neutralized or penetrated.


    Yazid (Sufaat) this past day quoted a tweet by Dr. Rais Yatim, Malaysian Minister of Information, Communications and Culture:

    ‎@DrRaisYatim: Mananya yg 1 juta nak himpun di stdium tu? 50k pun tak smpai.

    I am hoping that when Cornell finishes its January break, Dr. Vogel (author of the 2013 similarly titled “Phantom Menace or ….”) will let me treat her to lunch.

    My Cornell professor (HA) who taught me organizational behavior went to teach at University of North Carolina. I emailed him last year to say hi upon his name being associated with a particular book that is similar in some respects to Phantom Menace … (Spying Blind, I think).

    Our fondly remembered school days loom large to us just as they do for those in school in Cairo during the era of Sadat’s assassination when dozens of their friends were thrown in jail.

    David Sklansky wrote a law review article about Amerithrax along the same general lines. A very smart guy from law school, he teaches at Berkeley.

    All these books and articles are both of interest to academics — and academic.

    Do the people at the War College favor an academic approach? Or do they realize that Al Qaeda declared war on the US and announced that it would seek its destruction.

  31. DXer said

    JSTOR unbars the door on academic journals, offers free limited access

    Summary: Good news for students or interested academics — JSTOR now offers free access to a limited number of academic works.

    By Charlie Osborne for iGeneration | January 11, 2013 — 10:35 GMT (02:35 PST)

    Using online academic journal resource JSTOR — a less-than-fond memory of my university days — has just become a little easier for those without pockets deep enough for a subscription, as the organisation now allows a certain amount of free access.

    JSTOR announced this week that the “Register & Read” program will offer free accounts to those who sign up, granting a limited amount of access to its massive collection of journals, books and academic papers. However, members will only be able to read three papers every two weeks, and the collection available to browse is restricted to 1,200 journals from 700 publishers.

    The organisation says that there are currently over 4.5 million articles available in this subsection of the library. Roughly 40 percent of the articles available can be downloaded for a fee.

    In exchange for this experimental free access, users must enter personal details including your email, area of study and institution. This data will then be shared with JSTOR’s partners in order to give the firm an idea of what people are reading.

    Kate Duff, director of strategic partnerships and analytics for the Journals Division of The University of Chicago Press commented:

    ‘We were very pleased to be part of the test period and with the resulting interest shown in the 5 of our journals that took part. All our journals were used and ranged in subjects from biology to economics and sociology. It’s exciting to now have the opportunity to extend access to our entire journals portfolio through this important new initiative.”

    This project is being launched on the back of JSTOR’s “Early Journal Content” scheme, where over 150,000 people registered across a 10-month period to read 76 journals of copyright-free content for free.

  32. DXer said

    How Military Research On Anthrax Could Lead To A Weapon Against Gluten

    January 11, 201311:25 AM

  33. DXer said

    There is a study titled something like “Cost-Effectiveness of Response Strategies for a Large-Scale Anthrax Attack on the Chicago Metropolitan Area: Impact of Timing and Capacity” from September 2012. I recommend the abstract as food for thought for these county officials planning exercises.

  34. DXer said

    In the new treatise published by John Wiley, “CBRN and Hazmat Incidents at Major Public Events,” author Dan Kaszeta (2013) asks that if you only read page, you read page 411 which is not available in preview.

    Question for Dan: If you think something is important to save lives, should you charge for it and restrict its distribution?

    • DXer said

      Page 411 may contain the GEDAPER process.

      GEDAPER process

      Gather Information
      Estimating course and harm
      Determining strategic goals
      Assessing tactical options and resources.
      Planning and implementing actions

      It may be something put out by Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

      I had the opportunity to join RACES but the wonderful woman who taught me amateur radio emphasized that it was not an obligation to undertake lightly.

      Page 411 may be available in the preview at Amazon — mileage may vary but it didn’t come in for me.

      • DXer said

        Page 369 discusses the scenario where a terrorist mills anthrax spores to a small size between 1 and 10 microns, which is “ideal for respiration”, and places several grams in a common light bulb he then drops onto the tracks just before the subway train rolls into the underground station.

        Although I haven’t yet read the treatise, I don’t offhand know why the author suggests that anything over 5 microns is “ideal for respiration.” See, e..g., William Patrick’s February 1999 27-page memorandum on the subject sent to Steve Hatfill at SAIC.

        The light bulb reference reflects an actual well-known experiment once done in New York many years ago using a simulant.

        The scientist, Professor Walied S., who up until the moment of the Blind Sheik’s arrest repeatedly called the number associated with KSM’s nephew — the WTC 1993 plotter Ramzi Yousef — once participated in a New York aerosol study using a simulant. (I’ve long since misplaced the citation; when I last looked is no longer on a public list of publications.)

        NYPD’s Mr. Cohen is on the right track in maintaining the independence of NYC intelligence from the FBI if Amerithrax represents the quality of the FBI’s biodefense intelligence analysis. (And I think the FBI’s confusion is genuine). One needs only look to see that the 16 pages about Tarek’s research (faxed by Art F.’s telephone number) was not received by the FBI untll Spring 2005

        And if it is Battelle counterintelligence advising the feds, then Mr. Cohen should ignore the consultants — NYPD intelligence should bring in former military investigator Jack Reacher.

    • Sorry to come late to the argument… Even though I’m the author, it is my publisher that controls what can be seen in free previews, not me.

  35. DXer said

    “2001 Anthrax Culprit Remains A Mystery,” TRAVEL CHANNEL|main5|dl3|sec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D243581

  36. DXer said

    Review of FBI forensics does not extend to federally trained state, local examiners

    By Spencer S. Hsu, Published: December 22

    Thousands of criminal cases at the state and local level may have relied on exaggerated testimony or false forensic evidence to convict defendants of murder, rape and other felonies.

    The forensic experts in these cases were trained by the same elite FBI team whose members gave misleading court testimony about hair matches and later taught the local examiners to follow the same suspect practices, according to interviews and documents.

  37. DXer said

    The 17 page February 1999 memo (27 with appendix) from Dr. Patrick to Dr. Hatfill will help provide authoritative answers to different questions and ambiguities that were raised in press discussion.

    First, what was the reason for SAIC to task it? Hoax letters generally?

    Or the announcement of Zawahiri’s plan to use anthrax? Or a bit of both.

    Zawahiri’s plan to use anthrax against US targets was first revealed pursuant to the seizure of Mabruk’s laptop and then was confirmed in the interrogation of Mabruk and al-Nashar. The program to address the threat was started by DTRA in mid-summer 1998 at Lawrence Livermore according to LL’s internal newsletter which is online.

    When Scott Shane made inquiries at SAIC years ago Dr. Hatfill complained that he was making inquiry into classified matters. I am assuming the copy being mailed has been declassified.

    Second, when precisely was it tasked? Was it tasked in early February 1999 after a spate of letters received February 4, 1999 to places like the Old Executive Office and the Capitol and the State Department ?

    The main reporting had been by Scott Shane who then was at the Baltimore Sun. Someone had read it over the phone. The document, I think, will illustrate the usefulness of uploading the actual document so that we can see the objective evidence rather than someone’s interpretation or selective quoting from a long document.

    Given that Dr. Hatfill and his superior had tasked it in the context of dozens of hoax letters, it certainly was an appropriate (and natural) response.

    The report was not nearly as relevant, I expect, as the study using a simulant of anthrax in a mailed letter done by Canadian defense in 2001. News of that report was emailed to the lead investigator at CDC who says he was very busy and didn’t read it.

    My understanding is that the February 1999 letters were mailed from Independence, CA.

    “Murky past of a US bio-warrior
    by Marlene Burger
    The Johannesburg Mail & Guardian

    Friday, August 16, 2002 Hatfill emerged as the prime suspect behind the anthrax attacks when the FBI learned in June that he and a colleague, Joseph Soukup, commissioned a report in February 1999 from US bio-terror expert William Patrick III on how a hypothetical anthrax attack could be launched by mail, and how it would best be dealt with. At the time, Hatfill was working for an American defence contractor, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Although the report uncannily mirrors the actual attacks following the events of September 11 last year, right down to the amount — 2.5g — of anthrax that could be placed in an envelope without causing it to bulge, and specifies the same number of spores and microscopic particle size as were found in letters sent to the US senators, it was not turned over to investigators by SAIC at the time of the anthrax scare.

    It was not until June 20 that the FBI obtained a copy of the top-secret report, and a week later agents and bio-hazard teams spent more than a day searching his home, removing computer components and half a dozen black refuse bags of videotapes, books and files.”

  38. DXer said

    With this blog going into hiatus, I will be uploading documents and graphics at

  39. DXer said

    GAO has available to it the findings about the behavior of aerosolized B. anthracis by Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration program (IBRD), a 4-year program jointly managed and funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) .

    It seems that the Lawrence Livermore scientists have a lot of learning on the subject.

    Biosecur Bioterror. 2012 Mar;10(1):108-22. Epub 2012 Feb 21.
    Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.
    Campbell CG, Kirvel RD, Love AH, Bailey CG, Miles R, Schweickert J, Sutton M, Raber E.

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551, USA.
    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores.

    Biosecur Bioterror. 2011 Sep;9(3):257-61.
    The challenge of determining the need for remediation following a wide-area biological release.
    Raber E.

    Counterterrorism Program, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551, USA.


    Recovering from a biological attack is a complex process requiring the successful resolution of numerous challenges. The Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration program is one of the first multiagency efforts to develop strategies and tools that could be effective following a wide-area release of B. anthracis spores. Nevertheless, several key policy issues and associated science and technology issues still need to be addressed. For example, more refined risk assessment and management approaches are needed to help evaluate “true” public health risk. Once the risk is understood, that information can be considered along with the types of characterization activities deemed necessary to determine whether the cost and time of decontamination are actually warranted. This commentary offers 5 recommendations associated with decision making regarding decontamination and clearance options that should accompany a comprehensive risk analysis leading to more effective risk management decisions. It summarizes some of the most important technological gaps that still need to be addressed to help decision makers in their objective of reducing health risks to an acceptable level. The risk management approach described should enable decision makers to improve credibility and gain public acceptance, especially when an adequate science and technology base is available to support the required decisions.

    “Remediation in review: major findings from IBRD”
    Nidhi Bouri and Crystal Franco
    Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. (Sept. 2011)

    The prospect of cleaning and decontaminating a U.S. city after a wide-area biological attack is a daunting challenge. Ten years after the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, the U.S. is still striving to understand and prepare for biological remediation. As evidenced by the Amerithrax attacks, biological clean-up efforts are inherently time-consuming and costly. Yet, the 2001 remediation response, which involved only a handful of heavily contaminated buildings, would pale in comparison to a wide-area anthrax attack involving thousands of contaminated properties and outdoor spaces.

    Faced with this challenge, policymakers and public officials are working to reduce the time and cost of remediation, to limit public health risk, and to minimize long-term economic damage from such an event.

    This special feature on biological remediation highlights the recent work and findings of the Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration program (IBRD), a 4-year program jointly managed and funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The program is aimed at reducing the amount of time and resources needed to recover from an intentional wide-area urban release of Bacillus anthracis.

    Topics for this special feature include regional and national recovery frameworks, the role of the private sector in decontamination, the behavior of aerosolized B. anthracis, recommended approaches to decontamination for indoor and outdoor spaces, and disposal of
    anthrax-contaminated waste. This feature is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the work done under IBRD. Instead, it highlights some of IBRD’s major accomplishments and findings over the past 4 years of the project. This feature represents the first publication of IBRD materials on remediation planning and response frameworks, and the first time that the public will have ready, open access to the results of IBRD remediation studies.

  40. DXer said

    Click here for a live stream of the hearing this morning. It began at 10 a.m.

    Subcommittee Hearing: “WMD Terrorism: Assessing the Continued Homeland Threat”

    • DXer said

      You can download the

      The Aspen Institute’s Report on WMD Terrorism

      As Dr. Larsen explained to the committee in his testimony just now, it’s not a report card you’d want to bring home to momma. Aerosolized anthrax attack organized by Dr. Ayman Zawahiri is the greatest threat.

      • DXer said

        After the two witnesses testified, one Congressman from Buffalo explained that in Looming Towers it was explained that an FBI agent got sick and went and threw up because he realized that they had the information that they needed to avoid 9/11. The Congressman explained that it is critical to share information so that proper analysis can be done.

        Dr. Larsen then spoke of the waste of taxpayer money and the importance of getting a good return on the investment.

        It doesn’t cost anything to connect the dots. You may want to do it even without submitting a bill to Congress.

        All to avoid someday rushing to the bathroom and throwing up.


  41. DXer said

    Failure is not an option.


  42. DXer said

    Randall Larsen attended the conference in DC that Lew moderated that Ken Dillon helped organize for a center at UCLA. Dr. Larsen, as I recall, advised the White House in Fall 2001. He spoke from the audience and noted that his Committee was closely following these issues.

    And so these are two very distinguished and influential speakers today to be heard by this House Committee. It is important that they publicly or privately join in urging that Nancy Kingsbury, who tells me that the assessment of the FBI’s work in Amerithrax has not formally begun, make the study a priority. Disclosure of relevant documents, without more, would demolish an Ivins Theory and point to the very real threat that remains.

    A Look Ahead: House Committee on Homeland Security

    Media Contact: Shane Wolfe (202) 226-8417

    Nov 12, 2012Issues: Counterterrorism, Border Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Passenger and Cargo Aviation Security

    Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced the following Committee events:

    Thursday, November 15

    Subcommittee Hearing: “WMD Terrorism: Assessing the Continued Homeland Threat”

    10 a.m. on Thursday, November 15 in **210 Cannon House Office Building
    Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
    Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Chairman

    Invited Witnesses Include:

    Dr. Leonard A. Cole
    Program on Terror Medicine and Security
    University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

    Mr. Randall J. Larsen
    Chief Executive Officer
    The WMD Center

    Chairman Meehan on the hearing: “Only weeks after the attacks of 9/11, a nationwide anthrax attack sickened 22 people and took five lives. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the economic impacts of what became known as the “Amerithrax” case ultimately exceeded $1 billion. Had the public health response been delayed, or had the attack been the first wave of a sustained campaign by a terrorist group or hostile nation state, tens of thousands could have been killed.

    Now, four years after the Congressionally-mandated Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (“WMD Commission”) released its sobering assessment of the gravity of the WMD threat, the time is ripe for re-analysis to ensure that resources are being targeted wisely. Al-Qaeda leaders continue to push for the development and deployment of biological weapons. Syria, Iran, and Pakistan all possess active WMD programs that could be leveraged by a hostile government or fall into the hands of terrorist groups. And rapid advances in biotechnology in the last few years could be leveraged for malicious intent as easily as for their beneficial uses.

    Since 9/11, a host of government agencies and non-governmental organizations have worked diligently on issues related to WMD terrorism, and in many ways our readiness has improved. But the threat remains. The Aspen Institute’s WMD Working Group has assessed that WMD terrorism is a continuing and serious threat to the U.S. homeland. At this hearing, we will hear from the Aspen Institute on where we are and where we need to go. I look forward to receiving testimony from noted experts about the threat, risks, and what steps are necessary to continue to keep us safe.”

    • DXer said

      I asked Dr. Nancy Kinbsbury for the best characterization of things. Today she explains:

      “Although we accepted the request in 2010, we informed the requester that we would not begin the work until after the National Academies of Sciences had completed its study of these matters that was requested by the FBI. [That report was issued February 2011] We have begun the work but we also have several other engagements underway as well. We do not have a timetable for completion as of yet.”

      I would have thought that doing a gap analysis directly relevant to the anthrax threat — which truth be told is an existential threat for the country — would be a top priority.

      In balancing spending priorities, Congress maybe needs to give GAO more resources. They seem to do good work.

      A friend of mine submitted a document request for documents relating to the status of the GAO inquiry. Although the request was acknowledged, there never was a response. GAO’s disclosure process is not governed by FOIA and so there is much less court precedent clarifying agency obligations regarding disclosure. I, for one, appreciate the responsiveness of someone so senior at the agency. She oversees other important technical studies at the same time.

  43. DXer said

    Leonard Cole, a lead (and masterful) speaker at the DC conference that Lew Weinstein moderated, will testify before a Congressional comittee today.

    Rather than advocating spending, an expert’s first obligation is to immerse himself in the subject and master the subject so as to identify the probative issues.

    Otherwise, he is serving more in the role of a lobbyist.

    Personally, I favor the Richard Ebright view that the unthinking proliferation of B3 labs — when combined with the botched analysis of Amerithrax — has increased the threat, not reduced it.

    Congress has no business spending any money on biodefense whatsoever if it is going to sit by while the GAO fails to do the gap analysis that it undertook to do over two years ago.

    What we need are more experts on document examination — fewer advocates of spending. Most money spent by the United States government is wasted and counterproductive.

    The FBI could have saved millions if it had just preserved the evidence — to include the laptop in the B3 in the September 2001 — showing the work being done in the lab.

    Bioterrorism remains a real threat after anthrax attacks expert says.

  44. DXer said

    Let’s consider whether the hijacker who had the blackened leg lesion knew the folks moving the crates for the biological lab to Kandahar in June 2001.

    One of the movers was Mohammed Ahmad Ghulam Rabbani. American Intelligence analysts estimated that Rabbani was born in 1970, in al Medinah, Saudi Arabia.

    His detainee assessment uploaded by the New York Times states that he admits working directly for senior 911 planner/ anthrax planner KSM. “Detainee provided support to multiple al-Qaida sponsored terrorist operations and plans throughout the greater Middle East and possibly the US while maintaining several safe houses. He is said to be of HIGH intelligence value. He had knowledge of a plot targeting a train in the US. He also assisted in the shipment of anthrax related materials.

    He was a drinking man. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia for numerous alcohol-related arrests in three different countries.

    Released from prison in 1997, he returned to Khaldan Camp before traveling to Karachi where began working as a travel facilitator for al-Qaida. In 1998, Osama instructed him to support al-Qaida fighters moving between Karachi and Kandahar. In 1999, detainee began working Osama’s chief of operations Atef. Atef was to whom Zawahiri was reporting on his anthrax planning in early Spring 1999. In 2000, Atef directed him to rent a house with two floors and one for Atef’s guests.

    When captured in Karachi, he provide information of the safe house which led the following day to the arrest of the 911 planner Ramzi bin-al-Shibbh who had coordinated with Atta in the US in managing the hijackers.

    One of the hijackers they managed was the fellow who arrived with the blackened leg lesion from Kandahar in June 2001.

    Kandahar was where Rabbani had helped set up Yazid Sufaat’s anthrax lab in June 2001. He was deemed to know the travel itineraries of al-Qaida members.

    The Detainee Assessment notes that “Detainee has also provided details of multiple terrorist operations, yet he may still be withholding information regarding these plots.” He essentially has become noncooperative since 2004. He knew Said Memon who was assisting in financing an anthrax lab for Al Qaeda. Rabbani says he was selected by Bin Attash, who was at the meeting at anthrax lab director Sufaat’s condo, to provide logistical support for Bin Laden’s command center in Tora Bora. Rabbani said that Ayman Zawahiri (the key anthrax strategist), Abu Ghaith (who said that Al Qaeda has a right to kill 4 million Americans with anthrax), and Mohammed Abdel Rahman (anthrax, according to the blind sheik’s lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat, was going to be used to retaliate for the detention of Mohammed Abdel Rahman’s father, the blind sheikh Abdel-Rahman.

    A habeas petition was submitted on Rabbani’s behalf to US District Court Judge Ricardo M. Urbina. In response, on December 14, 2005 the Department of Defense published a thirteen-page dossier of unclassified documents arising from his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

    His Summary of Evidence memo was drafted on November 9, 2004.

    And so when his drinking buddy comes from where Rabanni that month was helping set up the newly moved anthrax lab, and the hijacker has a blackened lesion that he says he got from having gashed his leg carrying something, did anyone stop to ask Rabbani whether he saw al-Hazami off at the airport and had a few last drinks at the bar?

    Detainee was said by other detainees to be well known to all al Qaeda militants — he handled their travel arrangements. He ran the guest house near the Karachi airport. He worked directly for 911 planner KSM and provided logistical support for numerous Al Qaeda operatives involved in operations against the US.

    One of those was the fellow with the blackened leg lesion upon arriving from Kandahar.

    The fellow was an associate of KSM’s assistant, al-Hawsawi, the fellow who had anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop. He was with him en route in UAE and had traveler checks purchased by al-Hawsawi.

    Before that he was at a guest house in Kandahar. Guess who ran the guest house? Jabarah, the fellow interested in water supplies and KSM’s plan to poison a reservoir in Upstate New York, stayed at the same guesthouse and described Haznawi’s devoutness — explaining he could recite the koran from memory.

    On June 25, Jarrah took Haznawi to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale on advice of his landlord Charles Lisa. Haznawi was treated by Dr. Christos Tsonas, who gave him antibiotics for a small gash on his left calf. While he told staff that he had bumped into a suitcase, the media briefly reported it as a sign of cutaneous anthrax and a possible link to the 2001 anthrax attacks, although FBI later addressed the rumors stating that “Exhaustive testing did not support that anthrax was present anywhere the hijackers had been.”

    Oops. Not only did Sufaat’s lab in Kandahar test positive for Ames but the hijacker’s remains did also.

    KSM told him there were 10 mujahideen active in the US for every one the US authorities detained.

    Rabbani said that KSM had initiated plans to conduct a terrorist operation in Pakistan using poisons.

    Rabbani was said to be knowledgeable about both the 911 plot and Al Qaeda’s anthrax program.

    We can’t ask the dead hijacker if he knew Rabbani or was connected to Sufaat’s lab.

    We just know that his remains tested positive for Ames anthrax.

  45. DXer said

    Respectfully, the buck stops on FBI Director Mueller’s desk, the one now collecting (as part of his job) the pictures of the shirtless counterterrorism FBI agent Fred Humphries who first said Ressam needed to be arrested in 2000. (Ressam at the time was the fellow who said Osama was experimenting with using poisons in buildings and had a keen interest in cropdusters).

    Shirtless FBI agent in Petraeus scandal once key figure in Seattle

    Seattle Post Intelligencer-7 hours ago
    Ressam, who had trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan, was arrested in December 1999 when a customs agent noticed that he appeared …

    Pathogens, Poisons and Other Weapons of Terror – Good News ……/pathogens-poisons-and-other-weapons-terro...
    Bin Laden, Ressam told intelligence officials, was also interested in the use of ‘low flying aircraft for the distribution of toxic materials'” (Oct. 8, p. 24). As this issue …

    In an anthrax preparedness exercise this week, a hospital in downtown San Antonio had to be evacuated due to a suspected anthrax contamination in the ventilation system. That hospital was evacuated and patients sent to other hospital

    Mock disaster tests emergency readiness
    University Hospital practices mass casualty event with volunteers
    San Antonio:

    Picture a scenario where a hospital patient who had just arrived from Kandahar, Afghanistan in early June 2001, where he knew the folks who set up a covert anthrax lab. The patient has an open wound, a gash on his leg. The wound is surrounded by a black eschar determined to be characteristic of an anthrax infection.

    Tara O’Toole, although she is not collecting the trading cards of shirtless men, points out that the defenses don’t work. And she agrees that the blackened eschar appears to point to exposure to anthrax.

    Imagine he knew and trained with the men, for example, who KSM had asked to carry Yazid Sufaat’s crates of equipment and biological supplies in June 2001.

    Imagine he knew the affable Yazid Sufaat, the anthrax Al Qaeda lab director, personally.

    Imagine that this Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician has told me that he realizes that by addressing these issues he may “jack myself up” but says that the “plan is on the way” …

    Then anthrax was discovered at the hospital where the hijacker visited in the US. The patient then commits suicide by flying a plane into the building so that he’s not available for any questions but his remains tests positive for Ames that the FBI concludes is due to lab contamination.

    The director of the anthrax lab Sufaat, captured in December 2001, is not interviewed by the FBI until November 2002. He was a scientist in the Malaysian biological weapons program and is a big fan of Osama Bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki etc.

    Imagine that every media outlet in the US reports that US scientist was sometimes shirtless and liked wearing panties but none of them report that the Al Qaeda anthrax weapons had been part of a state-run biological weapons program.

    The journalists and FBI are too busy tracking down other shirtless men — some of whom may turn out to have been wearing panties.

    Picture that the lab in Kandahar that was part of Al Qaeda’s covert and highly compartmentalized anthrax planning was decontaminated with insecticide. (The insecticide was sprayed on painted walls as the documents show that Dr. Zawahiri and Rauf Ahmad planned to do. The nonetheless tests positive for Ames anthrax.

    The agency tasked with reviewing the finding of Ames, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), delays for a couple years in reviewing the FBI finding that the positive tests for Ames were inconclusive. They delay a couple years before even formally starting their analysis. No explanation is given.

    Instead, the usual programming is replaced by publication of trading cards of shirtless men in Afghanistan collected mostly by flirtatious women. The government officials and employees get agents to pitch a reality tv show as they go on to high-paying jobs at companies selling the billion-dollar defenses that don’t work. The counterterrorism agents now investigate the flirtatious women rather than the Al Qaeda operatives engaged in anthrax planning.

    Maybe these countries would not need to be occupied — and many billions would not need to be spent on defenses that don’t work — if there was better true crime intelligence analysis being done at home.

    The buck stops on FBI Director Mueller’s desk.

    Or at least it will next year when Director Mueller goes on to a high-paying job if he follows the example of the former head of the investigation Michael Mason and former Director Freeh.

    The mail cart stops at the desk of every current and former government employee that is part of the problem rather than the part of the solution.

    To include the former lead prosecutor whose daughter represented “anthrax Al Qaeda suspect” Ali Al-Timimi for free and who derailed the investigation for years by hyping the bloodhound smelling dogs. See his invocation of the Fifth Amendment.

    An issue that GAO never bothered to get around to reviewing because…. well, they won’t say.

    When Al Qaeda attacks in the next 911, it will be because someone wasn’t doing the fucking job we pay them to do.

  46. DXer said

    Here is the documentary evidence showing the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” — which was premised on the false and mistaken claim that Dr. Ivins time in the B3 was unexplained — was crock. Look at the Amerithrax Investigative Summary and you can see that the word “rabbits” is never mentioned.

    Special thanks go to the unflagging efforts and good faith of the USAMRIID FOIA personnel who doggedly responded to innumerable requests; Lew, the Harvard MBA and former head of a lab with B3 facilities who has taken the time out from traveling the world to upload the documents; and the supremely talented and confidence-inspiring graphic artist who made graphics that never ceased to thrill me.

    In the rush of events of the Spring and early Summer 2008, it is easy to drop the ball as happened with the AUSA marshalling the evidence in Amerithrax about how Dr. Ivins spent his time in the B3. At the same time, it takes a special stamina to pick up the ball back and run down the field with it in the face of BS PR spin from DOJ’s highest officials.

    Most recently, however, as GAO approached the ball it kicked it down the field — the wrong way.

    Had GAO not abdicated its responsibilities and had it turned to the documents relating to the rabbits, the ill-conceived “Ivins Theory” would have been revealed to be a crock — made possible only by the withholding of all mention or discussion of the rabbits. … made possible by the withholding of all documents relating to the rabbits.

    Dr. Ivins and his skilled counsel explained that his work with the animals was why he was in the lab but they did not have access to the documents from years before — many of the documents were kept by others. Obtaining the documents under FOIA literally took years.

    And of course, the DOJ is on the record explaining that they will never give Congress the documents showing when they first learned that there were problems with the investigation.
    Additional documents, that are not yet uploaded, paint a picture that would cause you weep for Dr. Ivins and the unfairness that an Ivins Theory was not required to be supported by the evidence.

    1. In a Sept 23, 2011 letter to Senator Grassley, the DOJ says that Dr. Ivins made the dried powder in B5 using the lyophilizer even though the DOJ has proved he was in B3 tending to the rabbits, not B5 (the BL-2 lab), at the time the DOJ alleges he made the dried powder. THAT is the contradiction.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 16, 2011

    2. The lyophilizer in Building 1425 was in Suite B5, not Suite B3 where Dr. Ivins was on the nights in question (where he was doing the study with the 52 rabbits)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 11, 2011

    3. AMERITHRAX prosecutors and investigators have never discussed what the newly released documents show about Dr. Ivins work with rabbits involved and those same documents were available to the FBI before Dr. Ivins’ killed himself.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 14, 2011

    4. Document produced to DXer by USAMRIID discuss shipment of 52 rabbits week of September 24, 2001 for formaldehyde study
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2011

    5. In an Oct 5, ’01 email among the materials provided by USAMRIID this week, Dr. Ivins explains the results 3 days after the challenge of rabbits in the formaldehyde experiment; the word “rabbits” has never passed the prosecutor’s lips
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 24, 2011

    6. In Advance Of The October 1, 2001 Rabbit Challenge, The 52 Rabbits Nowhere Mentioned By Prosecutors Needed To Be Moved Into The B3 Suite 7 Days Earlier (And Documents Establish That They Were)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 13, 2012

    7. As Dr. Ivins often explained, conducting a rabbit study such as the one involving 52 rabbits in early October 2001 always depended on the availability of hot suite space.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 1, 2011

    8. Handwritten notes produced by USAMRIID this week summarizing rabbit contract with Covance involving formaldehyde
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 24, 2011

    9. In response to Dr. Ivins’ October 5, 2001 email discussing the rabbit deaths over the last three days, the participants in the study that day discussed by email the implications for further study
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

    10. NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION: 10 days after the rabbits had been challenged on October 1, 2001, Dr. Ivins presented preliminary results from the Battelle study involving the 5 year old preps of rPA vaccine w/ and w/o formaldehyde.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 24, 2011

    11. Under The Protocol Involving Rabbits and Formaldehyde Implemented in Late September 2001 and Early October 2001, Dr. Ivins Was Tasked With Monitoring The Animals After Challenge
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 1, 2012

    12. Hickory Dickory Doc: The mice ran up the clock and Dr. Ivins time in the BL-3 lab in late September 2001 but not as much as the rabbits did in early October 2001.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

    13. Under The Mouse Protocol (As Under The Rabbit Protocol), Dr. Ivins Was Tasked With Taking Part In Immunization, Bleeding, Challenge And Observation Of The Animals
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 1, 2012

    14. Under The Protocol Involving Rabbits and Formaldehyde Relating To The Early October 2001 Challenge, The Rabbits Were To Be Euthanized By Injection Of Euthasol By Animal Tech Lab Anthony Bassett, Who Can Describe The Experiment
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 1, 2012

    15. Did AUSA Lieber and Agent Montooth understand Dr. Ivins’ trips to the “AR” from the hot suites as trips to a locked cabinet in “Animal Resources” to get the Ketamine and Euthasol needed to anesthesize and euthanize moribund mice and rabbits? See DEA (part of DOJ) Controlled Substance log.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 11, 2011

    16. 12 rabbits then died on day 3 and 4 and more on day 5; Ivins time then spent the extra time on those nights; AUSA Rachel Lieber got her facts seriously wrong in the investigative summary; DOJ should have required citations to the record.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 3, 2012

    17. Standard Operating Procedures for Animal Assessment and Monitoring: the beautiful Amerithrax AUSA did not appreciate that Dr. Ivins was tasked to do this the first week of October with 52 rabbits.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

    18. In Week 9, the week (September 24th, 2001) the rabbits were shipped from Covance to USAMRIID Building 1425, Suite B3, how long did it take to bleed the 52 rabbits involved in the formaldehyde study?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

    19, GAO: With respect to the rabbit formaldehyde study in late Sep and early Oct 2001 involving Bruce Ivins and Patricia Fellows — nowhere mentioned by AUSA Lieber in her investigative summary — did Dr. Fellows address the study in the deposition that the Department of Justice required to be shredded?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

    20. GAO should obtain the very best contemporaneous documentation relating to Dr. Ivins specific activities with the guinea pigs, mice and rabbits on the nights that DOJ claimed, without evidence, that he was making a dried powder to mail.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 6, 2012

    21. After Challenge On About Oct 1, 2001, One Of The Investigators On Rabbit/Formaldehyde Study Were Required To Observe The Control Rabbits For The First 7 Days After Challenge ; The AUSA and Investigators Never Mention The Rabbits
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 2, 2012

    22. FBI interview statement: If someone came in off hours it was to work on the animal experiments – this could take approximately two hours and was usually a one-person job.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 1, 2012

    23. June 14, 2001 LACUS Subcommittee Meeting notice to consider Dr. Ivins’ proposal regarding formadehyde and rabbits.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 2, 2012

    24. Before Issuing Its Report, GAO Should Seek To Obtain “Animal Room Environment Report” for B310 and B305 in Suite B3, Building 1425 for September – October (for the guinea pigs, mice and rabbits attended to by Dr. Ivins in the B3 under the various protocols implemented those months); Used for each animal room, the forms provide space to record animal observations, cage sanitation schedules, and more.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 2, 2012

    25. Justice Department Is Said To Be Arguing Against Itself But AUSA Rachel Lieber Has Not Even Yet Addressed The Issue Of The Rabbits Or Produced The Pertinent Contemporaneous Documents Relating To Dr. Ivins’ Work With The Rabbits.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 29, 2012

    26. Each of the 52 rabbits shipped the week of September 24, 2001 to USAMRIID Building 1425 to join Dr. Ivins in the Biolevel 3 lab had a unique identifying microchip.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 26, 2011


    28. Like the rabbits shipped to USAMRIID Building 1425 the week of September 24th and acclimated to biolevel 3 for one week before being challenged, the mice similarly were housed in building 1425, not building 1412
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 26, 2011

    29. The Animal Technician Shot Out The Cage Cards For The Rabbit Experiment Prior to 2004; the NCOIC, Small Animal Section Was Responsible For Retaining The Used Cards
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 13, 2012

    30. By January 2003, the animal caretaker had thrown away the individual cage cards on the formaldehyde experiment with the 52 rabbits that Dr. Ivins was doing those nights in the lab in B3 in early October 2001
    Posted on November 1, 2011

    see also

    31. Of The 52 Rabbits In The Early October 2001 Formaldehyde Experiment, How Many Were Exsanguinated Pursuant To This Procedure? All Of Them?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 13, 2012

    32. In an earlier experiment under the rabbit Protocol B00-03, the assistance of Dr. Ivins and two others was offered in connection with the bleeds over the two day period.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

    33. Numerous USAMRIID Standard Operating Procedures (all mandatory) controlled the animal husbandry baseline services rendered the rabbits, guinea pigs and mice involved in Dr. Ivins’ experiments in Sep-Oct 2001
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 3, 2012

    34. Even in Later Protocols Involving Aerosol Challenges Conducted In Building 1412, the Rabbits Would Be Kept In Building 1425, Suite B3 Before And After Aerosol Challenge In 1412 (Where Monitoring Would Continue 21 Days)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 30, 2011

    35. Dr. Ivins explained that “what’s acceptable as a [rabbit animal protocol is constantly changing]” ; thus it is important that the GAO rely on the rabbit formaldehyde protocol as executed and not earlier draft versions.
    Posted on December 9, 2011

    36. After rabbits are challenged on the hot side, as many as three autoclaves are needed just processing cages and other items from the hotside, and it takes time to disinfect, decon and re-set up a room
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 8, 2011

    37. produced today by USAMRIID to the blog under FOIA: June 21, 2001 “PROTOCOL TITLE: Effect of formaldehyde on the potency stability of a candidate human anthrax vaccine in rabbits”
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 17, 2011

    38. In a rabbit protocol provided by USAMRIID today, there is familiar discussion of drugs to be administered to the rabbits – for the Sept/Oct 2001 period, is there a contemporaneous log relating to the administration of drugs such as there is in a hospital?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2011

    39. The scientist who made the large amount of virulent Ames that is missing, who was thanked by the former Zawahiri associate for providing technical assistance re the Ames, is the person who could explain about the rabbits ; but she’s not talking.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 9, 2011

    40. Bruce Ivins’ co-authors can explain the rabbit and other animal protocols that applied to the subcutaneous challenges in B3 in Building 1425 conducted in September and October 2001.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 9, 2011

    41. Dr. Ivins preferred a parenteral (subcutaneous) challenge because you could fit 60 rabbits in one room whereas an aerosol challenge would require 4 rooms (1 for animals, 2 hood lines, and 1 spore and bacterial plating)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 31, 2011

    42. It would take 1 hour and 50 minutes to autoclave animal pans and cages (90 minute steam cycle and 20 minute drying cycle)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 31, 2011
    Newly released USAMRIID email: Discussion of time points re animal study needed to be done at night in late September 2001
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2011

  47. DXer said

    GAO Should Obtain A Copy Of This Disk Of Ivins Digital Evidence Review From FBI
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 5, 2012

    New GAO Conclusion: Federal Agencies Still Lack Validated Detection Methods Which Allow Confidence Statement Regarding A Negative Result
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 23, 2012

    GAO: With regard to this form about the 52 rabbits posted by Dr. Ivins on October 4, 2001 in his lab notebook, the name of the other person should be disclosed; the form attached Animal Protocol B01-11 to be followed.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 16, 2012

    FBI is still withholding from the public and GAO the notebook pages relating to the research involving the virulent Ames spores provided in 1998 to the DARPA researchers studying this decontamination agent described in this August 2012 patent; Flask 1029 distributions to researchers doing work at USAMRIID were not recorded on the Flask 1029 inventory where it was done at USAMRIID.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 5, 2012

    GAO … questions about Al-Timini that need to be answered
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 23, 2012

    Upon Issuance Of Its Forthcoming Report Regarding Amerithrax, GAO Should Provide Copies Of Interviews Created By GAO pursuant to Sec. 81.5
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 7, 2012

    GAO: What strain of anthrax was this anthrax powder reportedly in possession of detainee who had been in Kandahar?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 10, 2012

    GAO: Is there any evidence that Al Qaeda has ever used anthrax in an Improvised Explosive Device as Mullah Doud has claimed?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 8, 2012

    Pursuant to the Recommendation Of the NAS Committee, GAO Should Direct The FBI That All Remaining Case-Associated Materials Be Preserved — No Further Evidence Should Be Destroyed
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 3, 2012

    In Trial Testimony, Dr. Basson of South Africa’s “Project Coast” Reports He Visited Both Porton Down and USAMRIID; GAO, Did The Project Coast Virulent Ames, Which Was Being Offered For Cash, Have 4 Morphs? Dr. Ivins Reports That The Former USAMRIID Scientist Who Went To Work For The CIA Had The Other Slant Of The Ames Strain Sent From Texas.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 26, 2012

    Under The Controlling District Court Decision, DOJ Should Produce To GAO All Of The Material Submitted In Support Of Warrants
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 24, 2012

    The FBI Should Produce To GAO All Of The Research, Unpublished Or Not, By Dr. Bannan And His Colleagues On Heat Shocking As A Substitute For Use Of Renografin In Purification, To Include Whether Heat Shocking Was Used In Connection With The Fall 2001 Mailings, Whether It Was Used For Intramuscular And Aerosol Challenges Done In USAMRIID Building 1412, And Whether Heat Shocking Was Studied In Connection With Virulence Studies.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 23, 2012

    The DOJ and FBI Should Produce To GAO All Forensic Analyses and Documents Relating to Swabbing And Testing For What Is Now Known As Bacillus subtilis subsp. inaquorosum subsp. nov.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 19, 2012

    The DOJ and FBI Should Produce To GAO All Forensic Analyses and Documents Relating to Use of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Profiles For Determination Of The Culture Media Used To Grow The Anthrax Used In The Fall 2001 Anthrax Mailings
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 17, 2012

    GAO: The Special Prosecutor In The Stevens Case Recently Found That Two Unidentified AUSAs From The DC US Attorneys Office Advised That It Was The Practice Of That Office Not To Produce FBI 302s As Jencks Material.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 18, 2012

    PHOTOCOPIER TONER: In the hundreds of pages of photocopied exemplars taken from Dr. Bruce Ivins’ home and office, FBI Laboratory Experts determined that there was not a single piece of paper photocopied by him in which the same photocopy toner was used as in the letters containing the mailed anthrax. FBI should produce the laboratory reports to GAO on the photocopy toner used by the machine used to copy the letters without further delay.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 9, 2012

    TAPE: In the hundreds of pages of exemplars taken from Dr. Bruce Ivins’ home and office, FBI Laboratory Experts determined that there was not a single exemplar in which the adhesive tape used was a match with the five to nine pieces of tape affixed to each of the envelopes recovered. FBI should produce the laboratory reports to GAO on the adhesive tape used on one or more of the envelopes without further delay.

    FBI should disclose to GAO its examinations which reveal that there is not a single instance in which Dr. Ivins used the brand of pen used in the respective batches of mailed anthrax letters.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 8, 2012

    DOJ For 4 Years Withheld This Email (Message 0438) Written By Bruce Ivins On The Date Of Alleged Mailing Of Deadly Anthrax ; GAO Should Obtain A Full Set Of Emails From DOJ, Including Those That DOJ Has Still Failed To Produce
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 1, 2012

    GAO: Doesn’t the FBI’s photocopy toner report EXCLUDE the make and model of photocopier used at USAMRIID but INCLUDE the make and model used in the Maryland KINKOS so often used by the hijackers in August and September 2001?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 24, 2012

    How many authenticated exemplars of Atta’s printing can GAO lay their hands on for comparison?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 23, 2012

    GAO Should Obtain A Copy Of The FBI’s Handwriting Analysis Comparing The Letters To Atta’s
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 22, 2012

    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?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 21, 2012

    In GAO’s Assessment Of The Effectiveness Of DIA’s Monitoring Of A Visiting Foreign National Working With Dr. Ivins With Virulent Ames In Biolevel 3 Prior To 9/11, Past Audits Suggest That DIA Did No Vetting At All ; FOIA Responses To Date Indicate That USAMRIID Incredibly Did Not Preserve The Records Relating To That Research
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 14, 2012

    In new FOIA Response, USAMRIID Reports It Could Not Locate The “Animal Room Environment Report” for B310 and B305 in Building 1425 for Sep – Oct 2001; Those Documents Would Provide Contemporaneous Descriptions Of The Exanguination Of 52 Rabbits During The Week That DOJ Had Speculated That Dr. Ivins Made A Dried Powder In That Suite. GAO: Does The FBI Have A Copy?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 14, 2012

    GAO Should Obtain From The FBI The Laboratory Chain-Of-Custody Form that has a space that identifies who destroyed the Feb. 02 sample submitted by Dr. Ivins and states the reasons it was not preserved (such as the others that were preserved using different slants)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 7, 2012

    The GAO Should Address And/Or Overcome The Obscuration Resulting From The FBI’s Overbroad Redaction Of Scientific Matters Under FOIA b6, b7C and b7D “Personal Privacy” Exemptions
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 11, 2012

    GAO should obtain the very best contemporaneous documentation relating to Dr. Ivins specific activities with the guinea pigs, mice and rabbits on the nights that DOJ claimed, without evidence, that he was making a dried powder to mail.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 6, 2012

    GAO: With respect to the rabbit formaldehyde study in late Sep and early Oct 2001 involving Bruce Ivins and Patricia Fellows — nowhere mentioned by AUSA Lieber in her investigative summary — did Dr. Fellows address the study in the deposition that the Department of Justice required to be shredded?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

    GAO: What rules govern the spoliation of documents by United States agencies? Do rules analogous to those applicable to civil litigation apply?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 30, 2011

    GAO: Why are the so-called “Iraq sample” and Battelle discussed under the heading about IVINS’ knowledge of reported proposals to start conducting animal challenges at USAMRIID with dried Ames anthrax powder? What consulting did the DARPA-funded researchers at GMU’s Center for Biodefense who came to share a suite with Ali Al-Timimi do for Battelle in 1999? What work with virulent Ames did SRI in Frederick, MD do for those researchers?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 14, 2011

    GAO: Did Patricia Fellows Ever Find the Missing “National Security” Sample That Dr. Ivins Was (Apparently Falsely) Told Was From Iraq Before Moving On To SRI That Summer? Was There An Emailed Response(s) To Dr. Ivins’ Question? Her Deposition Should Not Be Shredded.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 14, 2011

    GAO: On Sept 28, ’01, Dr. Ivins had his monthly NGAV Meeting at which USAMRIID representatives addressed timelines, start, end, and cost for formulation studies, stability studies, passive immunity studies, surrogate marker and efficacy studies and CpG studies.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2011

    GAO: Why did the FBI redact this 302 interview statement in which its expert collecting samples explained that some of her material resembled the mailed anthrax? Who was responsible for the redaction and what was justification?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 14, 2011

  48. DXer said

    I contacted the head of the study. She reports that they haven’t formally started it yet.

    • Lew Weinstein said

      Are you serious? They haven’t started? Who is the head of the study who said that?

    • DXer said

      It’s now been two years since this report:

      GAO to Examine FBI Methods in Anthrax Case
      Sept. 17, 2010

      • DXer said

        The article above states the GAO review will be more expansive than a National Academy of Sciences examination requested by the FBI, Holt said.

        “Specifically, the GAO will seek to answer the following questions: 1) What microbial and technical forensic methods did the FBI use to conclude that Bruce Ivins was the perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attack; how reliable and reproductive were those methods; and were the methods validated? 2) What scientific concerns and uncertainties, if any, remain? 3) What agencies, including intelligence agencies, are responsible for monitoring high containment laboratories in the U.S. and abroad; how do they monitor these laboratories; and how effective is their monitoring?” according to the release (U.S. Representative Rush Holt release, Sept. 15).

        • Lew Weinstein said

          It couldn’t possibly take all this time to answer those questions. Do we now need to consider the GAO part of the coverup on this disgraceful episode?

    • DXer said

      Will the FBI disclose to GAO that they relied upon a psychic and astral traveler in closing Amerithrax? Is that part of the science that GAO has failed to review?

      Dr. Ivins’ first therapist, Judith M. McLean, writes of how she acquired her psychic abilities in her 2009 book PSYCHIC ASCENSION available for sale on The psychic that was relied upon the government prosecutors and investigators and psychiatrists in publicly arguing that Dr. Ivins was the processor and mailer says she received her special abilities from an alien. She writes that the alien controlled her actions by a microchip implanted in her butt. In addition to helping with Amerithrax, she says she helped with 911 by astral travel to Afghanistan and Ground Zero each night. She received her instructions from the alien at night before going to bed.

      She says each night she would be pursued back from Afghanistan by murderous astral entities. She would protect herself by closing a vortex of energy. She explained that she thought murderous astral entities also were attached to the clients in her new part-time counseling gig. (see licensing records) She explains that she would have to have emergency exorcisms.

      Her file relating to several sessions with Dr. Ivins in July 2000 — including her annotations of the notes of the psychiatrists — was handed to Dr. Ivins addictions counselor in July 2008, as part of a series of events leading up to Dr. Ivins’ commitment on the grounds of dangerousness. Dr. Ivins’ rage was understandable. It would have been rage over the unfolding events and lies inexplicably being told. Shortly upon being released, Dr. Ivins killed himself.

      After FBI agents found semen stained panties in his garbage, they swabbed him for DNA to test against the semen. Dr. Ivins was understandably distraught that the government was pressing on this issue of the panties while withholding the documents that would permit him to flesh out he had spent his time years earlier. When the FBI first found a bag of panties in the basement in November 2007, he was very physically upset and needed to be sedated. He explained to the agents that this was why he was so upset. The panties in a plastic bag were right where he told them they would be. It was his counselor Judith, however, who was delusional (by her own published account). The other counselor, the one conducting his addictions section in July 2008, had just been on house arrest for her most recent drunk driving conviction.

      The FBI built a case around a theory in which they characterized his numerous emails to two female friends and former colleagues as obsessive. Actually, such emails just show that he was human — not that he was guilty of murder. The FBI seems willing to take access to emails as a carte blanche to spin things however they like and to do whatever they damn well please — Daubert, common sense, or national security be damned. Inside the Beltway, it is all about CYA. By having withheld the documents relating to the 52 rabbits, the DOJ has done a grievous injustice. By failing to start its review of the DOJ work for over two years, GAO has made itself party to what the DOJ did.

    • DXer said

      Do you have a citation or source for your statement that they began in March 2011? Isn’t the problem that they in fact DIDN’T begin? Dr. Nancy Kingsbury (very senior with great responsibility over many statistical and technical matters) says that they will not formally begin until the beginning of next year. I heard second-hand that CIA pressured them but don’t have confirmation. Is that true? (I’ve asked Dr. Kingsbury to characterize the reason for the delay but did not hear back.)

      • DXer said

        The internet poster who argues it is a FACT that a First Grader recruited by Bruce Ivins wrote the anthrax letters — and not merely his unsupported claim — sent out numerous emails today following the same general formula. In each case, he cited to the recipient the page number where he mentions them. He thinks that insulting people will make them want to buy the book. He was told by someone that controversy is good for sales. He lists the “create” website first and the amazon website second because he says he gets much high royalties from that create website. On the Amazon website, when I looked, he avoided mentioning that he argues that a child wrote the letter. Former FBI microbial forensic professionals like Dr. Budowie and Dr. Fraser-Liggett (at the June 2012 NAS conference) — are focused on gaps, gaps, and more gaps — Ed is hoping for sales… At least for the first person to watch his YouTube video and the half dozen outtakes. What we needed was to have professionals to do a proper “gap analysis” assessing the science used by the FBI. What we instead got was an abdication of the task that GAO had agreed to undertake and a guy arguing it is a FACT a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters in Fall 2001. The only thing worse than an irrelevant term paper is an irrelevant term paper handed in three years late. I will send a free copy of the paperback by the guy arguing a First Grader theory wrote the letters to whoever wants one — they can then just pass it on. The fallacy of that argument (as explained by former FBI scientist Dwight Adams and his colleagues) is that validation of any method is important> Here, there was no validation — just an assertion. If the block handwriting pointed to someone who had just learned to write English, then as Dr. Budowie reasons, it’s not Canada you conclude is responsible. It’s the fellow who was part of Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning that was just taught to write English and who was filmed in KINKOS xeroxing and cutting.

      • anonymous said

        You know, I’ve got to say that the events of the last few days have me scratching my head on what the CIA or anyone else can actually successfully cover up.
        We have a CIA director whose email account was handed over by Google to the FBI. We have an overzealous FBI agent in Tampa who managed to start an official investigation within the FBI on anonymous emails that just seemed to consist of one female bitching to another female over jealousies and did not appear to contain any criminal content.
        We have the FBI, once they got the emails from Google, spend hours poring over private correspondence that had nothing to do with the original “complaint”.
        Is it really feasible that the CIA could pressure GAO?
        Or is the whole senior government just completely and utterly dysfunctional and that explains everything?

        • Lew Weinstein said

          It’s the FBI … totally out of control, with enormous resources, and an agenda all their own. The most dangerous force in out country. Does anyone think Mueller didn’t know what was going on, from the very first time Petraeus’ name came into focus? If so, he let it go on, for which, if true, he should be fired. I guess that will happen the day after we know the truth about the FBI’s failed anthrax investigation.

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