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

* FBI’s Undercover Informant Asaad Is Frustrated That He And FBI Missed Opportunity To Thwart Mohammed Atta and Anthrax Letter Suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah, Al Qaeda’s Current Head Of External Operations

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 26, 2013

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10 Responses to “* FBI’s Undercover Informant Asaad Is Frustrated That He And FBI Missed Opportunity To Thwart Mohammed Atta and Anthrax Letter Suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah, Al Qaeda’s Current Head Of External Operations”

  1. DXer said

    The CIA disputes the Senate Torture Report’s claim that:

    “The Intelligence Community was interested in the Florida-based Adnan al-Shukrijumah prior to the detention of the CA first detainee.

    (S//DE/~dF~ The only reference to Shukrijumah in CIA holdings prior to 2003 was a request for traces from FBI and a CIA response that stated, “A search of our Agency’s records found no identifiable information on…Adnan Gulshair el-Shukri Jumah.,,221 To support its claim, the Study cites a US District Court case file-which was not in CIA databases-that mentions Shukrijumah due to his association with a Florida extremist.”

    • DXer said

      As for the Senate Torture Report claim that it was Padilla who first gave the true name of “Jaffar al Tayyar”, the CIA states:

      “CIA records indicate that KSM did not know al-Tayar~strue name and that it was Jose Padilla-in military custody and questioned by the FBI-who provided al-Tayar~s true name as Adnan el- Shukrijumah. (S/IDC/P~F) While KSM did not know al-Tayyar’s true name, his biographic description was sufficient for FBI to identify Adnan el-Shukrijumah as a likely candidate. In addition, the FBI knew to ask Padilla about al-Tayyar’s true name because KSM told CIA debriefers that he would know it.”

      Did the FBI undercover also know Padilla or see Padilla with Shukrijumah?

    • DXer said

      To the same effect, the Senate Torture Report had said:

      “Additional CIA records from this period indicate that, while KSM claimed not to know Jaffar al-Tayyar’s true name, KSM suggested that Jose Padilla, then in U.S. military custody, would know his name. According to CIA records, the “FBI began participating in the military debriefings [of Jose Padilla] in March 2003, after KSM reported Padilla might know the true name of a US-bound al-Qa’ida operative known at the time only as Jaffar al-Tayyar. Padilla confirmed Jaffar al-Tayyar’ s true name as Adnan El Shukrijumah. “

  2. DXer said

    Is Adnan El-Shukrijumah now in Pakistan within the sites of some drone?

    U.S. Debates Drone Strike on American Terrorism Suspect in Pakistan
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/world/asia/us-debates-drone-strike-on-american-terror-suspect-in-pakistan.html?_r=0

    The officials would not confirm the identity of the suspect, or provide any information about what evidence they have amassed about the suspect’s involvement in attacks against Americans. The debate about whether to put the individual on a kill list was first reported on Monday by The Associated Press.

    The first time the Obama administration carried out a targeted killing operation against an American citizen was in September 2011, when a C.I.A. drone killed the radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen; officials said little publicly about the operation. The White House acknowledged last year that four American citizens had been killed in drone strikes during Mr. Obama’s time in office. According to the White House, only Mr. Awlaki had been intentionally targeted.

    During a speech last May, Mr. Obama said he intended to gradually shift drone operations from the C.I.A. to the Pentagon, partly to make them more transparent. American officials said then that drone strikes in Pakistan would continue to be launched by the C.I.A. because Pakistan refuses to allow open American military operations on its soil.

    However, under a classified policy issued by Mr. Obama, there is a strong preference for the Pentagon — not the C.I.A. — to carry out drone strikes against American citizens, though the policy is said to allow exceptions if necessary.

    American officials said that the new discussions about whether to strike the American in Pakistan had been going on since the middle of last year. The public got a glimpse of the debate last week when Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, spoke angrily about the drone restrictions imposed by Mr. Obama.

    “Individuals who would have been previously removed from the battlefield by U.S. counterterrorism operations for attacking or plotting to attack against U.S. interests remain free because of self-imposed red tape,” Mr. Rogers, a Republican, said during a congressional hearing.

    The new rules, he said, are “endangering the lives of Americans at home and our military overseas in a way that is frustrating to our allies and frustrating to those of us who engage in the oversight of our classified activities.”

    Details about the deliberations — including the identity of the proposed target, what he is accused of doing and the quality of any evidence against him — remain murky. It is not clear how much reluctance by the administration to approve a strike is based on whether he meets the standard — a continuing, imminent threat against Americans — and how much other factors, like the complications raised by the military preference, are playing a role. …

    “The policy is still the stuff of official secrecy and speculation when it should be a matter of open debate and explicit constraints,” Ms. Shah said.

    The administration’s ambivalence on this case has infuriated Mr. Rogers. “The chairman is fired up about this,” the congressional aide said.

    The aide also confirmed that the Defense Department was initially reluctant to place the individual on the targeting list, questioning whether he met the new standards that Mr. Obama laid out in May. But eventually the Pentagon came around, said the aide, who added that the C.I.A. had supported a lethal strike from the beginning.

    Comment:

    Truth be told, I haven’t taken my drone on its maiden flight outdoors. My wife says first I have to replace the living room lamp from that first day.

    With its downward and forward facing camera, however, it will be prove invaluable in mapping terrain covered with brush through which a footpath needs to be cut.

  3. DXer said

    Did AUSA’s Ken Kohl and Rachel Lieber hide the smoking guns implicating El-Shukrijumah in the same hat that they stuffed the 52 rabbits that Dr. Ivins was working with when they speciously argued he had no reason to be in the lab?

    KSM wrote an undated letter interpreted by his close associate as using codes to conduct a possible poison attack. KSM was giving the instruction to Hamza al-Zubair.

    http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2011/04/27/19/us9ku-010024dp.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf

    (S/n{F) In early September 2002, an undated letter was recovered as a result of a raid in Karachi. Abd al-Rahim Ghulam Rabbani, ISN US9PK-001460DP(PK-1460), an al-Qaida facilitator with close ties to detainee provided an assessment of the meaning of the letter written by detainee to Hamza al-ZUBAIR (NFI); the letter appeared to use code words for a possible poison attack. PK-1460 said detainee spoke often of trying to acquire or make poisons and to use them in attacks.

    Is this the same ZUBAIR that was in El-Shukrijumah’s group? El-Shukrijumah once wrote Abu Khabab, Al Qaeda’s poison expert, asking if Zubair could come train under him.

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

    Peshawar Islamic Center

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

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

    As background we know of the separate written instruction to El-Shukrijumah, who was living at KSM’s house on or about September 13, 2001, to prepare to travel. It was at that time he called his mom to tell her he was coming to the US — and he argued with her and insisted when she got upset and said he would be arrested.

    Detainee [Qahtani] stated he visited KU-10024’s house approximately 13 September 2001, during which he saw suspected “dirty-bomb” plotters Jose Padilla, ISN US0US-010008DP (US-10008); and Adnan al-Shukrijumma aka (Jafar al-Tayyar).26″

    The May 30, 2008 SECRET FORN 20330530 Bashir Nasir Ali al-Marwalah states:

    “In another letter recovered during the Karachi raids, KU-10024 instructed YM-10013 to tell an individual named Jafar al-Tayyar to be ready for travel. When KU-10024 was confronted with the letter during a custodial interview, he was surprised that the letter existed, as detainee was supposed to destroy important documents and correspondence.38 [fn. 38 TD-314/45194-02 ](Analyst Note: KU-10024’s comment indicates that detainee had access to operation planning and coordination through his handling of the correspondence. It is probable that Jafar al-Tayyar (Tayyar is Arabic for pilot) was involved in an operational planning utilizing the data from the hard drives recovered during the safe house raid.)”

    http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2011/04/28/07/us9ym-000837dp.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf

  4. Odd to see Atta mentioned in conjunction with a pharmacy, especially so soon — even before the death of Mr. Stevens.

    Toronto residents claim to have seen suspected terrorists
    28 September 2001
    Guelph Mercury (GMER Final A01)

    TORONTO — The 34-year-old was arrested last week near Chicago in connection with the investigation into the terrorist attacks in the U.S. that have left almost 7,000 dead or missing.

    U.S. authorities won’t say precisely how they think Al-Marabh may be connected to the attacks, though some reports suggest he may have links with the prime suspect behind them, Muslim extremist Osama bin Laden.

    The sightings in Toronto of some of the hijackers, if confirmed, suggest that what could have been a minor Canadian connection to the attacks has the potential of becoming a major one.

    The RCMP confirmed Thursday they’ve received tips from Toronto residents who claim to have seen in the city some of the 19 named hijackers, whose pictures were publicized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those reports are being checked out, said spokesman Howard Adams.

    [***]

    Michelle said she once saw the bearded man in her building, though she can’t recall exactly when.

    It’s the same west-end building that Al-Marabh is believed to have stayed in with his uncle, who has lived there for 18 years and who denounced terrorism at an open house in a mosque last Sunday.

    The uncle, a Muslim cleric who says he is also the principal of an Islamic school on the outskirts of Toronto, is not a suspect.

    However, a teacher at the school was arrested just over a month ago and accused of links to terrorism, CBC-TV’s The National reported Thursday.

    Court documents filed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service claim the teacher, Mahmoud Jaballah, is a member of the Egyptian Islamic terrorist organization Al Jihad, an organization “closely linked” to bin Laden’s group, al-Qaida, the network reported.

    [***]

    For several hours Wednesday evening, Michelle watched RCMP and local police cart away plastic bags containing passports, computer discs and a computer from a fifth-floor apartment. A police dog was used in the search of the two-bedroom unit.

    “They took a lot of stuff out of here,” said Donna Dunphy, who manages the building.

    “I couldn’t believe what I saw in front of my building,” she said of the massive police presence.

    Police also executed search warrants at a printing business in the city’s downtown and two residences in Mississauga.

    [***]

    She said tenants had frequently complained about noise coming from the apartment in the middle of the night sounding like a washing machine. She now suspects it was a photocopier.

    She said seven tenants have told her they believe they also spotted some of the suspected terrorists.

    The purported sightings weren’t confined to the apartment building.

    >>> Workers at a pharmacy around the corner from the 108-unit complex said they immediately recognized Mohamed Atta, believed to be the ringleader of the attack and a cousin of Al-Shehhi, when they saw newspaper photographs of the named hijackers. They couldn’t pinpoint the date in which they made the sighting.

    [***]

    Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.

  5. DXer said

    As I first pointed out nearly a decade ago, intelligence confirms that Yazid met with anthrax letters suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah and KSM in Kandahar in summer 2001 in advance of the anthrax mailings.

    Yazid Sufaat, released last week because the particular statute relied upon was found not to apply to terrorism focused abroad, has been rearrested by the same policeman and charged with terrorism. In support of dismissal of the charges, the defense counsel had noted that charges could be brought if framed differently. Thus, Yazid’s rearrest was expected.

    While I am moved by the love shared by the family (and last week I told Chomel that) — and wish them well at that level — I hope that Yazid comes to appreciate that the way out of his predicament is tell the authorities what they already know and embrace the teachings of the hadith and Koran that forbid the killing of innocents. The CIA and FBI know way more than they are saying. Things are not always what they seem.

    Yazid came to religious devotion relatively late in life due to the inlfuence of his mother-in-law. He should open his mind to the language in the same texts that urge the avoidance of harm to innocents.

    His daughter, with whom I am smitten (and they better not arrest her) understands the importance of doing her homework. Yazid should do his homework.

    Ollie Lundgren and the 3000 others who died in Fall 2001 were innocents. Under his belief system, his very soul is at stake.

    Published: Monday May 27, 2013 MYT 11:33:00 AM

    Ex-ISA detainee Yazid Sufaat, canteen worker Hilmi Hashim charged again over terror activities (Updated)
    By TASHNY SUKUMARAN and QISHIN TARIQ

    AMPANG JAYA: Former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat and canteen worker Muhamad Hilmi Hashim were charged in a Magistrate’s Court with involvement in terrorist activities, after being re-arrested Monday morning.

    The two are accused of being members of a terrorist group, Tanzim Al-Qaeda Malaysia.

    The alleged offences occurred at a house in Taman Bukit Ampang on Aug 1, 2012 and Feb 7, 2013.

    Yazid, 49, and Muhammad Hilmi, 33, said they understood the charge, but no plea was recorded.

    Magistrate Ayuni Izzaty Sulaiman fixed June 7 for next mention.

    No bail was offered, as it was a non-bailable offense.

    It was earlier reported that Yazid was been re-arrested by the police, just one week after the courts set aside a Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) charge.

    About 10 policemen came to Yazid’s residence around 8am on Monday and arrested him, saying they were taking him to Bukit Aman.

    They were led by the same inspector who had arrested Yazid earlier this year.

    His wife Chomel, who operates a canteen in the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, was not present, but their three daughters were at home.

    The police also allegedly tried to arrest the three girls.

    “They handcuffed my older sister. They even tried to arrest me and my younger sister for no reason. Thankfully, she is so tiny, the handcuff slipped off,” claimed one of Yazid’s daughters.

    According to Yazid’s counsel Fadiah Nadwa, Yazid was arrested under Sosma and Section 130K(a) of the Penal Code, which pertains to terrorism and carries a sentence of life imprisonment.

    Hilmi Hasin, who works in the canteen with Yazid and family, was also re-arrested, she added.

    “They are being held in Bukit Aman. We are currently trying to gain access, and once we meet with them, we will file for habeas corpus,” she said on Monday.

    Fadiah added that Halimah Hussein, who was also arrested with the duo earlier this year, was not detained and was “fine so far”.

    Former ISA detainee Yazid, 49, was charged earlier this year with inciting terrorist acts that “threatened the public in Syria”.

    He was among the first three people to be arrested under the newly-enacted Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, but he was charged under Section 130G(a) of the Penal Code.

    He was released on May 20 along with Hilmi and Halimah.

    • DXer said

      Adnan’s father passed away in 2004 after another public push to find his son before he killed more innocents
      .

      Jun 12, 3:11 PM EDT
      Father of Accused Terror Suspect Dies

      MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) — Gulshair El Shukrijumah, an internationally known Islamic scholar whose son was named a terror suspect by the FBI, has died at the age of 74.

      El Shukrijumah died Friday at his Miramar home, according to Sofian Abdelaziz, a family friend. He had suffered a series of strokes since his son, 28-year-old Adnan G. ElShukrijumah, was labeled in March as a serious threat to United States’ interests at home and abroad.

      Relatives of El Shukrijumah have denied he had any connection to terrorism.

      Last month, Attorney General John Ashcroft named the son again as he warned of an increased risk of terrorist attacks this summer.

      The family tried to keep the news from the elder ElShukrijumah, but he saw his son’s picture on television.

      “When he saw his son he started to cry and he kept crying. … After that he had the stroke,” said Abdelaziz, executive director of the Miami-based American Muslim Association of North America.

      El Shukrijumah entered a coma and never recovered.

      A native of Guyana, ElShukrijumah retired to Florida after leading a New York City mosque that was attended by at least one suspect from the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

  6. DXer said

    Since December 2001, I have emphasized in my analysis that the Blind Sheik’s lawyer, Montasser Al-Zayat, announced in Spring 1999 that Zawahiri was going to use anthrax to retaliate for the imprisonment of the Blind Sheik and rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders. Blind Sheik Abdel Rahman was the spiritiual advisor of the EIJ. I learned this from a CIA publicly accessible database called the Foreign Broadcasting Information Service, which translated foreign press. In a lengthy analysis forwarded indirectly to the CIA in December 2001, I emphasized the importance of Brooklyn and the al-Farouq’s mosque. (I lived for 15 years in Arlington, VA where so many people work for the government; that background may explain why I am such a big supporter of the FBI and CIA). The Blind Sheik’s lawyer, Zawahiri, had come to the US to help with the defense of the Blind Sheik’s bodyguard, Nosair, the assassin. Given Ali Mohammed’s connection to the same group in Brooklyn, and he was all about compartmentalized cell operations, I urged in December 2001 that the FBI and CIA focus on where Zawahiri travelled in 1995 in recruiting. Ali Mohammed was the chief of EIJ intelligence and had infiltrated the US Army. Ali Mohammed and Dahab at one point went to Afghanistan and reported that they had recruited 10 sleepers. Ali Mohammed had taught Dahab how to make lethal letters. As then famously and repeatedly announced by the FBI in a BOLO, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, the son of the Blind Sheik’s translator was “very, very, very” dangerous and involved in planning attacks against the US. This 5’4″ asthmatic momma’s boy, who dropped out of community college because he found his introductory chemistry course too hard — and who had bitten his little sister Aidah when she didn’t clean up the house before he got home — is still planning to kill innocent civilians. His mom, brother Nabil, and sisters should be ashamed.

    In 2006, this piece appeared in Global Politician.

    Mailed Anthrax Was A Warning from Al Qaeda, “Global Politician.”
    http://www.globalpolitician.com/default.asp?22203-terror-qaida

    Ross E. Getman, Esq. – 10/4/2006

    By Ross E. Getman, Esq.
    I recently obtained a journal article from an FBI Lab scientist that explained that: “Individuals familiar with the composition of the powders in the letters have indicated that they were were comprised simply of spores purified to different extents. However, a widely circulated misconception is that the spores were produced using additives and sophisticated engineering supposedly akin to military weapon production. … The persistent credence given to this impression fosters erroneous preconceptions, which may misguide research and preparedness efforts and generally detract from the magnitude of hazards posed by simple spore preparations.”

    I passed the article on to journalists because it was important that the public understand that Ayman Zawahiri and his supporters had the means and know-how to make the anthrax mailed as a warning in the Fall of 2001.

    Now Al Qaeda in Iraq has called for biological warfare against troops stationed in Iraq. The spokesman, Ayyub al-Masri, pointed to the continued imprisonment of Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, who was found guilty in 1995 of conspiracy to attack US targets including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Al-Masri, according to the US military, has a history of terrorism that the U.S. military dating back to Anwar Sadat’s assassination in 1981, after which he joined a group in Egypt led by Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    • Upon the Fifth Anniversary of the first death from the mailed anthrax letters, it is important that the public now also come to understand, contrary to widely circulated misconceptions in the press, that the tactic of lethal letters such as sent in the Fall of 2001 is not only the modus operandi of the militant islamists inspired by Ayman Zawahiri, it is their signature. The islamists sent letter bombs in late December 1996 from Alexandria, Egypt to newspaper offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. and people in symbolic positions. Musical Christmas cards apparently postmarked in Alexandria, Egypt contained improvised explosive devices. The letters were sent in connection with the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center and the imprisonment of the blind sheik, Sheik Abdel Rahman. The former leader of the Egyptian Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya (“Islamic Group”), Abdel-Rahman was also a spiritual leader of Al Qaeda. The letter bombs were sent in connection with the treatment of the Egyptian islamists imprisoned for the earlier attack on the WTC and a related plot. The purpose of the letter bombs – which resulted in minimal casualty – was to send a message. There was no claim of responsibility. There was no explanation. Once one had been received, the next ten, mailed on two separate dates, were easily collected. Sound familiar? Two bombs were also sent to Leavenworth, where a key WTC 1993 defendant was imprisoned, addressed to “Parole Officer.” (The position does not exist). The FBI suspected the Vanguards of Conquest, a mysterious group led by Egyptian Islamic Jihad head Ayman Zawahiri.

    • Zawahiri was head of Al Qaeda’s biochemical program. Ayman named it Zabadi or “Curdled Milk.” The CIA has known of Zawahiri’s plans to use anthrax since 1998. At the time, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (“DTRA”) set up a program at Lawrence Livermore to combat the Bin Laden anthrax threat. The CIA seized a disc from Ayman Zawahiri’s right-hand, Ahmed Salama Mabruk during his arrest outside a restaurant by the CIA in Baku, Azerbaijan in July 1998. Mabruk, at the time, was the head of Jihad’s military operations. Mabruk, the confidante and right-hand man of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, was handed over to Egyptian authorities. He claimed that Zawahiri intended to use anthrax against US targets. Egyptian Al-Najjar, another senior Al Qaeda member (a shura or policy-making council member no less) was working for the Egyptian intelligence services. He confirmed Ayman’s intent to use weaponized anthrax against US targets in connection with the detention of militant islamists in a sworn lengthy confession. Even the Blind Sheik’s attorney, al-Zayat, in 1999 said that Bin Laden and Zawahiri were likely to resort to the biological and chemical agents they possessed given the extradition pressure senior Al Qaeda leaders faced. An islamist who had been a close associate of Zawahiri claimed that Zawahiri spent a decade and had made 15 separate attempts to recruit the necessary expertise to weaponize anthrax in Russia and the Middle East.

    • Zawahiri was associated with a faction of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad known as the Vanguards of Conquest. Zawahiri and the Vanguards of Conquest were seeking to recreate Mohammed’s taking of mecca by a small band through violent attacks on Egyptian leaders. By the late 1990s, Zawahiri had determined that the Egyptian Islamic Jihad should focus on its struggle against the United States and hold off on further attacks against the Egyptian regime.

    • A 100+ pages of typed and handwritten pages of documents from 1999 found after a bombing raid at an Qaeda camp in Darunta, Afghanistan shed light on Al Qaeda’s early anthrax planning. It was not clear whether or not they had yet acquired virulent anthrax or weaponized it, but it was clear that the planning was well along. When Cheney was briefed on the documents in late 2001, he immediately called a meeting of FBI and CIA: “I’ll be very blunt,” the Vice President started. “There is no priority of this government more important than finding out if there is a link between what’s happened here and what we’ve found over there with Qaeda.” A June 1999 memo from Ayman to military commander Atef said that “said the program should seek cover and talent in educational institutions, which it said were ‘more beneficial to us and allow easy access to specialists, which will greatly benefit us in the first stage, God willing.’ ” Thus, in determining whether Al Qaeda was responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall of 2001, the FBI and CIA knew based on the growing documentary evidence available by December, that Al Qaeda operatives were likely associated with non-governmental organizations and working under the cover of universities.

    • A February 1999 a letter signed by “Army of Suicidals Group 66, Bin Laden Militant Wing,” threatened anthrax attacks against Westerners if they stayed in Yemen beyond a 11-day ultimatum ending February 27, 1999. Investigators considered a possible connection to the attempted extradition to Yemen of the London-based Egyptian islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri.

    • Emails in the Spring of 1999 from Zawahiri to Egyptian Mohammed Atef, Al Qaeda’s military commander, and former Cairo police sergeant, indicate that Ayman was a close student of the USAMRIID anthrax program. He believed that the koran instructed that a jihadist should use the weapons used by the crusader. “What we know is that he’s always said it was a religious obligation to have the same weapons as their enemies,” former CIA Bin Laden unit counter terrorism chief Michael Scheuer said.

    • Among the supporters of these militant islamists were people who blended into society and were available to act when another part of the network requested it.

    • Two letters – one typed and an earlier handwritten one – reportedly written by a microbiologist to detail the efforts to obtain a pathogenic strain of anthrax. He attended conferences on anthrax and dangerous pathogens such as one in September 2000 at the University of Plymouth co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. A handwritten letter from 1999 is written on the letterhead of the oldest microbiology society in Great Britain.

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

    • I have uploaded a scanned copy of a typed memo reporting on a lab visit, which included tour of a BioLevel 3 facility, where there were 1000s of pathogenic samples. The memo mentioned the pending paperwork relating to export of the pathogens. The documents were provided to me by the Defense Intelligence Agency (“DIA”) under the Freedom of Information Act. I also have uploaded a copy of earlier correspondence between the scientist and Dr. Zawahiri from before the lab visit described in the typed memo.

    • The handwritten letter was reporting on a different, earlier visit, where the anthrax had been nonpathogenic. Finally, on the same linked page, there are handwritten notes about the plan to use non-governmental-organizations (NGOs), technical institutes and medical labs as cover for aspects of the work, and training requirements for the various personnel at the lab in Afghanistan.

    • US-trained Malaysian biochemist Yazid Sufaat met with 9/11 plotters and two hijackers in January 2000. Sufaat was a member of Al Qaeda and a member of Jemaah Islamiah (“JI”). JI has ties with the Moro Front. Sufaat used his company called Green Laboratory Medicine to buy items useful to Al Qaeda. Zacarias Moussaoui, who had a crop dusting manual when he was arrested, stayed at Sufaat’s condominium in 2000 when he was trying to arrange for flight lessons in Malaysia. Yazid Sufaat provided Moussaoui with a letter indicating that he was a marketing representative for Infocus Technologies signed “Yazid Sufaat, Managing Director.” Moussaoui had an email greenlab@usa.net that was accessed by authorities shortly after 9/11. The crop dusters were to be part of a “second wave.” Al Qaeda’s regional operative, Hambali, was at the key January 2000 meeting and supervised Sufaat. Khalid Mohammed’s involvement dates back to Bojinka, as did Hambali’s. The money for Bojinka, a plot to simultaneously bomb airliners and to assassinate the Pope, went from Bin Laden’s brother-in-law Khalifa to the Abu Sayyaf Group, Al Qaeda’s primary Philippine affiliate, and then on to the cell that included KSM.

    • In late January 2001, the Immigration Minister in Canada and Justice minister received an anthrax threat in the form of anthrax hoax letters. The letters were sent upon the announcement of bail hearing for a detained Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader who had managed Bin Laden’s farm in Sudan and was thought to know Bin Laden’s principal procurer of WMD who was based in the US.

    • It had been announced on January 18, 2001 that an Egyptian Islamic Jihad Shura member, Mahmoud Mahjoub would have a January 30 bail hearing. A motion directed to the constitutionality of his detention was dismissed on January 23. Then this anthrax threat letter to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration arrived. Minister Caplan had signed the security certificate authorizing Mahjoub’s detention.

    • In February 2001, the CIA briefed the President on “Bin Laden’s Interest in Biological and Radiological Weapons” in a still-classified briefing memorandum.

    • In May 2001, 9/11 plotter KSM and anthrax lab supervisor Hambali sent al-Hindi (Dhiren Barot), along with Jafar the Pilot, to case New York City targets for the second wave. The pair studied tourist helicopters in the NYC area. USDA employee Johnelle Bryant first told us, in sensational detail, of Atta’s inquiries, about that same time, to purchase and retrofit a cropduster. 9/11 plotter Ramzi Binalshibh provided Zacarias Moussaoui $14,000 in July. Moussaoui sent an email dated July 31, 2001 indicating that he sought to take a crop dusting course that was to last up to 6 months.

    • In May 2001, in a letter that month to Egyptian Islamic Jihad members , Zawahiri used “school” as a code word for the Egyptian militant islamists in his correspondence. The letters with anthrax sent to the Senators purported to be from “Greendale School.”

    • In June 2001, Yazid Sufaat traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan to work for the Taliban Medical Brigade and to continue his work with anthrax. Hambali says that after a one-month training course, Sufaat worked with him “supporting” a Qaeda “anthrax program” in the Afghan city of Kandahar. The laboratory was near the Kandahar airport.

    • In June 2001, hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi told a doctor that he had gotten a gash associated with blackened lesion – such as occurs with cutaneous anthrax – in Afghanistan. He claimed he got the lesion after bumping into a suitcase he was carrying in Afghanistan. He had come from the Darunta camp where Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program at Kandahar was located and where virulent anthrax was found.

    • That month, John O’Neill, the FBI’s expert on Al Qaeda who was located in New York City, had seen the reports of surveillance of the January 2000 meeting in Malaysia attended by Al Qaeda anthrax technician Yazid Sufaat. CIA analysts “Mary” and “Dave” from CIA’s Alec Station – a unit named after Michael Scheuer’s young son and focused on the Bin Laden threat – had provided a briefing at a meeting with the FBI. The CIA analysts did not tell the names of the two individuals in the photo who had then come to the United States.

    • In the Summer of 2001, although the WTC had not received any briefing on the use of planes, its management had taken steps to prepare for an attack using anthrax based on intelligence that had been received in light of what O’Neill, who was now head of secruity for the World Trade Center, had told management. The night before 9/11, the new head of security for the WTC John O’Neill, who had been the FBI’s foremost expert on Al Qaeda, sat at his usual table at Elaine’s. O’Neill told his friend that the country was due for something big. He said that he expected that there would be another attack on the World Trade Center – because Al Qaeda seeks to finish what they start.

    • O’Neill knew of “Operation Bojinka” and that one of Khalid Mohammed’s alternative scenarios was use of a biochemical weapon in connection with the detention of the blind sheikh and other WTC plotters.

    • There was a letter on the seized laptop (from 1995) that was signed “Khalid Sheik Bojinka” that threatened to use biochemical weapons if the blind sheik was not released. Holding his trademark cigar that night at Elaine’s, he said “life doesn’t get much better than this.” He died the next day in the plane attack on the towers.

    • In response to the anthrax hoax letters in Canada back in late January, a study was done on the effectiveness of use of mailed anthrax as a delivery system. The finding, which was published in September 2001, was that the simulant made at the US Army facility at Dugway had quickly dispersed throughout the room.

    • As described in US News, a former reporter from the Kabul Times actually may have met Sufaat, without realizing it, while traveling near Kabul in October 2001, perceiving him as Filipino. The fellow was carrying papers from Zawahiri and bragging about his ability to manipulate anthrax. Alternatively, maybe the journalist met Hambali’s lieutenant, the now captured Muklis Yunos, who was in charge of special operations for the Philippine Moro Islamic Liberation Front (“MILF”).

    • In early October 2001, the day after bail was denied the senior member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad/ Vanguards of Conquest, lethal letters were again sent to people in symbolic positions relating to the detention of Mohammed Mahjoub and rendering of militant islamists. Similar letters had been sent to Washington DC and New York newspapers a couple weeks earlier. The letters in the Fall 2001, instead of containing a small explosive or anthrax bacteria that was harmless, contained extremely virulent anthrax. As the result of the capture and interrogation in 2003 of Khalid Mohammed and anthrax lab coordinator Hambali, authorities now know that Al Qaeda had both extremely virulent anthrax and the equipment and know-how to weaponize it by 9/11.

    • In October 2001, with the help of a London EIJ cell member, Zawahiri published the book titled Knights under the Banner of the Prophet, Zawahiri argued that the secular press was telling “lies” about the militant islamists – to include the suggestion that the militant islamists were somehow the creation of the United States in connection with expelling the Russians from Afghanistan. Zawahiri argued instead that they have been active since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in Egypt because of the Camp David Accord and the resulting peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The anthrax letters were sent on the date of the Camp David Accord and then the date Anwar Sadat was assassinated as if to underscore the point to anyone paying attention. Most of the “talking heads” on television, however, knew only that Daschle and Leahy were liberal democrats and did not know anything of Al Qaeda beyond what they read in the US newspapers.

    • Sometime not long after the invasion of Afghanistan in Fall 2001, an Al Qaeda spokesman al-Kuwaiti claimed in a letter intended for the American public (but not released until 2006) that US-based operatives who had gained access to US government and intelligence information had been green-lighted for a biological attack. The spokesman claimed that the operatives were “above suspicion.”

    • On October 23, 2001, Saeed Mohammed, a Karachi microbiology student who had helped procure equipment from Karachi for the anthrax lab in Kandahar, was walked to a waiting Lear Jet late at night. According to the Pakistan press, a Pakistan government microbiologist was also picked up in October 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. He had attended Porton Down-sponsored conferences about anthrax in 1998 and 1999 in the UK for Zawahiri.

    • In mid-November 2001, CNN reported that after 9/11, large trucks were observed coming and going from the Abu Khabab complex and were presumed to be moving equipment to new locations. CNN reported that it had learned from a coalition intelligence agency that al Qaeda had new equipment that was dual use and could be used to make chemical and biological weapons. The equipment had been purchased by a Saudi charity based in Pakistan.

    • In late November 2001, an AP reporter “saw anthrax and other chemical concoctions at an Al Qaeda laboratory outside Kabul.” An AP photo showed something at the lab described as “anthrax spore concentrate.”

    • Documents found by journalists in November 2001 at a villa in Kabul occupied by the Islamabad-based Ummah Tameer e Nau (“UTN”) suggested brainstorming seminars on anthrax had been held to include diagrams suggestive of a plan to use a helium filled balloon to disperse anthrax across a wide area. The shabby, two-story villa occupied by the Pakistani aid group was in a quiet residential neighborhood of Kabul where a number of international charities were located. The president of the charity on whose premises the evidence was found was one of Pakistan’s leading nuclear scientists, Mahmood. Mahmood had been detained by Pakistani authorities, along with another retired uclear scientist and questioned about his links with the Taliban amid concerns that he may have shared Pakistan’s nuclear secrets with Bin Laden. It was news of a campfire meeting in August that fueled Vice President Dick Cheney’s determined response. There were details about the U.S. military’s vaccination program downloaded from a Defense Department site on the Internet and other Defense Department documents relating to anthrax. There were 10 copies each of most of the documents. On the floor, there was what appeared to be a disassembled rocket alongside a helium canister, as well as two bags of powder. A detailed diagram scrawled in black felt tip pen on a white board shows what appears to be a balloon rising at various trajectories, alongside a fighter jet that is apparently shooting at the balloon. Beside the jet are the words, “You are dead, bang.”

    • There were also pictures of ground missiles linked by lines to the balloon. Mathematical calculations indicated the height at which the balloon would fly, the distance from which it would be shot down and the area over which its contents would be dispersed. Beside one of the balloons is the word “polystyrene” and beside another the word “cyanide.” Loose sheets of paper containing scribbles of missiles and balloons were strewn around the house, indicating those attending the seminar had been taking notes and doing calculations. Other documents indicated that Ummah Tameer-e-Nau (UTN) was linked to the Pakistan militant group, Jaish e Muhammad, the Army of the Prophet Mohammad and the Pakistan-based Saudi charity WAFA Humanitarian Organization.

    • Yazid Sufaat was arrested in December 2001 upon his return to Malaysia. Newsweek reported that a “second wave” involving biological attacks had been thwarted upon the arrest of Al Qaeda members who had been intended to provide logistical support.

    • In mid-December 2001, knowing that Zawahiri intended to use non-governmental organizations in his anthrax program, some of the NATO-troops who raided the Chicago-based Islamic charity, Global Relief Foundation in Kosovo were clad in hazmat suits. The charity was suspected of supporting international terrorism which was “allegedly involved in planning attacks against targets in the US and Europe.”

    “It is our contention that Global Relief Foundation and Benevolence International Foundation are both linked financially with funneling funds to al Qaeda and other associate groups,” said a sokeswoman for the Treasury Department.

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

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

    • Abdel Rahman’s son, who was on the WMD committed with Egyptian Midhat Mursi, was captured in Quetta, Pakistan in mid-February 2003.

    • In February 2003, a chemistry professor tasked with working on biological and chemical weapons met with Uzair Paracha. The plan was to smuggle a chemical into New York City using a large shipping container controlled by Paracha’s father. In connection with that prosecution, the Assistant United States Attorney would later say that MIT-graduate Aafia Siddiqui was prepared to participate in an anthrax attack if asked. In the Spring of 2003, Aafia Siddiqui married Amar al-Baluchi, who had been a key lieutenant for KSM during the 9/11 planes operation.

    • A walk-in to the CIA then led to the dramatic capture of Khalid Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s #3, on March 23, 2003. Mohammed allegedly was hiding in the home of the Pakistani bacteriologist Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan. Along with Zawahiri, Abdel Rahman and his two sons have had considerable influence over Bin Laden. He reportedly treated them like sons. Although while in jail in the early 1980s, Zawahiri caused considerable tension by challenging the blind sheik’s ability to lead a coalition of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian Islamic Group, Zawahiri and Bin Laden are Rahman’s friends. The imprisoned WTC 1993 plotter Yousef was KSM’s nephew. Thus, the leaders in charge of Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program had a close connection to those imprisoned in connection with the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center. WTC 1993 mastermind Ramzi Yousef had been the mentor of the new husband of MIT-graduate Aafia Siddiqui.

    • In March 2003, handwritten notes and files on a laptop seized upon the capture of KSM, Al Qaeda’s #3, included a feasible anthrax production plan using a spray dryer and addressed the recruitment of necessary expertise. Although the details of the documents on Mohammed’s computer may (or may not) point to possible difficulties in aerial dispersal, they are fully consistent with the product used in the anthrax mailings. Al Qaeda had both the means and opportunity. Mohammed told his interrogators that Moussaoui was not going to be part of 9/11 but was to be part of a “second wave.”

    KSM explained that Moussaoui’s inquiries about crop dusters may have been related to the anthrax work being done by US-trained biochemist and Al Qaeda operative, Malaysian Yazid Sufaat. Zacarias Moussaoui once told the judge at his trial in a filing that he wants “anthrax for Jew sympathizer only.”

    • Microbiologist Abdul Qadoos Khan was charged along with his son, Ahmed, for harboring the fugitives. As of March 28, 2003, he was in a hospital for a cardiac problem and had been granted “pre-arrest bail.”

    • A man named Muklis Yunos, who reportedly received training on use of anthrax as a biological weapon in Afghanistan according to Philippine intelligence reports, was arrested on May 25, 2003, and cooperated with authorities over a bucket of spicy Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yunos had been Hambali’s right-hand man and was in charge of special operations of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (“MILF”).

    • In early June 2003, a Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) report publicly concluded that the reason for Mohammed Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. It had long been known Osama Bin Laden was interested in using cropdusters to disperse biological agents (since the testimony of millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam). An early September 2003 Newsweek article included a rumor by a Taliban source that at a meeting in April 2003 Bin Laden was planning an “unbelievable” biological attack, the plans for which had suffered a setback upon the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He had been captured the previous month in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

    • Anthrax lab coordinator Hambali was arrested in August 2003 in the quiet city of Ayuttullah, Thailand, which is about half way between Bangkok and Chang Mai. He was sent to Jordan where he was harshly interrogated. In Autumn 2003, extremely virulent anthrax was found at a house in Kandahar – after regional operative Hambali was interrogated. Al Qaeda had the extremely virulent anthrax before 9/11.

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

    • In a statement issued June 16, 2004, the 9/11 Commission Staff concluded that “Al Qaeda had an ambitious biological weapons program and was making advances in its ability to produce anthrax prior to September 11. According to Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, al Qaeda’s ability to conduct an anthrax attack is one of the most immediate threats the United States is likely to face.”

    On August 9, 2004, it was announced that in the Spring of 2001, a man named El-Shukrijumah, also known as Jafar the Pilot, who was part of a “second wave,” had been casing New York City helicopters. Photographs from a seized computer disc included the controls and the locks on the door between the passengers and pilot. In a bulletin, the FBI noted that the surveillance might relate to a plot to disperse a chemical or biological weapon.

    • In Fall 2004, MSNBC, relying on an unnamed FBI spokesperson, reports that the FBI has narrowed the pool of labs known to have had the US Army anthrax strain known as the ” Ames strain” that was a match from 16 to 4 but could not rule out that it was obtained overseas. Thus, not only was it likely that an Al Qaeda perpetrator was associated with an NGO and university, but there had to have been access to a virulent anthrax strain that was only in a score or so of labs, most of which were affiliated in some way with the US government.

    • On March 31, 2005, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, in its “Report to the President of the United States,” concluded “al-Qai’da’s biological program was further along, particularly with regard to Agent X [anthrax], than pre-War intelligence indicated. The program was extensive, well-organized , and operated for two years before September 11, but intelligence insights into the program were limited. The program involved several sites around Afghanistan. Two of these sites contained commercial equipment and were operated by individuals with special training.”

    • In a court filing dated May 20, 2005, an attorney for the United States Department of Justice wrote: “The investigation into the anthrax attacks is one of the largest and most complex investigations in law enforcement history. To bring those responsible to justice, the investigation remains intensely active.”

    • In June 2005, President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf told CNN in a filmed interview: “These people were involved in the … production of anthrax.”

    • In a press conference in October 2005, Director Mueller said that the FBI was pursuing all domestic and international leads. He said “remember Oklahoma City. Remember 9/11.” He declined to say if they had a suspect. That year, FBI agents reportedly had visited Asia, Africa and Afghanistan in the course of the Amerithrax investigation.

    • In the opening argument of Uzair Paracha in November 2005, the Assistant United States Attorney claimed that MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui was willing to help with an anthrax attack. Any evidence supporting the dramatic statement was later excluded from evidence on the grounds that it would be unduly prejudicial.

    • That month, Interpol head Ronald Noble urged: “Al Qaeda’s global network, its proven capabilities, its deadly history, its desire to do the unthinkable and the evidence collected about its bio-terrorist ambitions, ominously portend a clear and present danger of the highest order.” Henry Crumpton, the U.S. State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator agreed: “The threat is real. .. But what really concerns me is weapons of mass destruction,” Crumpton said, pointing to this evidence U.S. officials said they found in Afghanistan that al-Qaida was working on anthrax weapons. From 1999 to 2001, Crumpton was deputy chief of operations for the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center. He led the CIA’s counterterrorism campaign in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2002.

    • The CIA has been quietly building a case that the anthrax mailings were an international plot. This is old news. It’s just no longer bureaucratically impolite to openly contest the FBI’s (former) theory about a lone, American scientist. Many people have argued that a US-based Al Qaeda operative is behind the earlier Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in the US, and that the mailings served as a threat and warning. Princeton islamist scholar Bernard Lewis has explained that while islamists may disagree about whether killing innocents is sanctioned by the laws of jihad, extremists like Zawahiri agree that notice must be given before biochemical weapons are used. “The Prophet’s guidance,” says Michael Scheuer, an al-Qaeda analyst retired from the CIA who once headed its Bin Laden unit, “was always, Before you attack someone, warn them very clearly…” The anthrax mailings followed the pattern of letters they sent in January 1997 to newspaper branches in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as symbolic targets. The letter bombs were sent in connection with the detention of the blind sheik Abdel Rahman and those responsible for the earlier World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

    • A key question is how they acquired the anthrax strain – the “Ames strain” first isolated by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab in 1980. The US Army recipe from the 1950s was not used, and obtaining the unprocessed Ames strain of anthrax used does not warrant the weight given it by some press accounts. Although coveted as the “gold standard” in vaccine research, it is known to have been at about a score of labs and over the years an estimated 1,000 people may have had access.

    • Al Qaeda’s anthrax production plans on Khalid Mohammed’s computer, according to an unnamed source relied upon by the Washington Post, did not evidence knowledge of advanced techniques in the most efficient biological weapons. At least according to the public comments by bioweaponeer experts William Patrick and Kenneth Alibek, under the optimal method, there is no electrostatic charge. In the case of the anthrax used in the mailings, there was an electrostatic charge. (According to the technical representative for Bucchi, a static charge is unavoidable with their mini-spraydryer). There was a dominance of single spores and a trillion spore concentration. The “trillion spore” issue was an aspect of the mistaken theory that state sponsorship was necessarily indicated. Many point to the trillion spore concentration as extraordinary. It is far simpler, however, to achieve a trillion spore concentration in the production of a few grams than in industrial processing typical of a state sponsored lab.

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

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

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

    • The “Federal Eagle” stamp used in the anthrax mailings was a blue-green. It was widely published among the militant islamists that martyrs go to paradise “in the hearts of green birds.” In the very interview in which they admitted 9/11, and described the codes used for the four targets for the planes, the masterminds admitted to the Jenny code, the code for representing the date 9/11, and used the symbolism of the “Green Birds.” Osama Bin Laden later invoked the symbolism in his video “The 19 Martyrs.”

    • A FAQ on the Azzam Publications website explained that “In the Hearts of Green Birds” refers to what is inside.

    • The mailer’s use of “Greendale School” as the return address for the letters to the Senators is also revealing. A May 2001 letter that Zawahiri sent to Egyptian Islamic Jihad members abroad establish that Zawahiri used “school” as a code word for the Egyptian militant islamists in his correspondence. Green symbolizes Islam and was the Prophet Mohammed’s color. By Greendale School, the anthrax perp was being cute, just as Yazid Sufaat was being cute in naming his lab Green Laboratory Medicine. “Dale” means “river valley.” Greendale likely refers to green river valley – i.e., Cairo’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Islamic Group. The sender probably is announcing that he is of either Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Group or Jihad-al Qaeda, which is actually the full name of the group after the merger of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda. At the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they were washed. In a Hadith the Messenger of Allah explains that the souls of the martyrs are in the hearts of green birds that fly wherever they please in the Paradise. The “4th grade” in the return address “4th Grade, Greendale School, is American slang for “sergeant” – the rank of the head of Al Qaeda’s military commander Mohammed Atef, who along with Zawahiri had overseen Project Zabadi, Al Qaeda’s biochemical program.

    • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) unit in the Department of Justice has traditionally been known as the “Dark Side.” Everything coming from Khalid Mohammed’s laptop, for example, as Agent Van Harp, the former (now retired) Amerithrax head, once explained, is classified. To understand the matter, journalists would have to have the cooperation of someone coming over from the Dark Side – which would be a felony. The FBI and CIA counterterrorism analysts working on the Dark Side in trying to avoid the next 9/11 are not even allowed to tell their spouses about their work. Based, however, only on the “open source” material readily available through databases such as “google news” and the CIA’s “Foreign Broadcast Internet Service (“FBIS”), it appears that the solution to the Amerithrax case does not likely lie at the intersection of Bin Laden and Saddam streets among those cubicles at Langley with desktop PCs. Instead, it lies with the Zawahiri Task Force at Langley which hopefully has an intersection of Ayman Avenue and Rahman Road. If not, we might be looking at a different crossroads altogether.

    • Whatever your political persuasion, and whatever disagreements about individual issues relating to due process and civil liberties, the FBI and CIA deserve our support. We are, after all, in this together. First, the nature of such an investigation is that we lack sufficient information to second-guess (or even know) what the FBI, CIA or Postal Inspectors are doing. Media reports are a poor approximation of reality because of the lack of good sources. Second, hindsight is 20/20. Third, now that the leaks relating to US scientist Steve Hatfill seem to have long since been plugged, it is not likely we could do better in striking the appropriate balance between due process and national security. The FBI’s profile includes a US-based supporter of the militant Islamists. Attorney General Ashcroft explained that an “either-or” approach is not useful. The media has tended to overlook the fact that when the FBI uses the word “domestic” the word includes a US-based, highly-educated supporter of the militant islamists.

    Ross E. Getman is an attorney who exposed that some soft drinks contain benzene.

    [His website is http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com ]

  7. DXer said

    At the time Adnan El-Shukrijumah was living with Al-Hawsawi in Karachi, Adnan’s associate, Aafia Siddiqui was researching anthrax weapons at the Karachi Technical Institute. (Aafia had worked for Al-Kifah aka Care, the Blind Sheik’s charity based at the Brooklyn mosque al-Farouq, where El-Shukrijumah’s father was imam),

    With the bombing of the anthrax lab in Kandahar in the Fall of 2001, and with the capture of Yazid Sufaat in December 2001, KSM and his colleagues were surveying whether Yazid’s assistant was up to the job. KSM’s nephew, Al-Balucchi, by 2002 married to Aafia, asked her to address the issue and consider the capability of Al Qaeda’s anthrax project without Sufaat.

    In December 2004, I canvassed where the USG’s project to wrap up that same anthrax program.

    I explained that while Adnan El-Shukrijumah was still at large, most “Key Anthrax Plotters Have Been Captured Or Killed.”

    That’s pretty impressive work to round up so many dangerous operatives within one and one half years from 9/11.

    At the time, I noted El-Shukrijumah’s meeting with KSM and Sufaat in the Summer of 2001.

    Yazid Sufaat does not deny to me Al Qaeda’s responsibility for the anthrax letters.

    I noted in 2004:

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

    ***

    There still is a very hot pursuit of the “Atta-level” Floridian, Adnan El Shukrijumah, who Siddiqui is thought to have known and been assisting. His nickname is “Jafar the Pilot.” A senior DOJ official reports that Adnan has experience as a commercial pilot. He is said by one FBI agent to be “very, very, very” dangerous. He allegedly was at one or more meetings in the Summer of 2001 in Pakistan at which KSM and Sufaat were present. He may have been seen in Hamilton, Canada — along with Egyptian al-Maati, who apparently also has received pilot training. The United States truly no longer has time for faulty analysis or politically-based preconceptions. In early June 2003, a CIA report concluded that the reason for Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was in fact for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. It has long been known Osama Bin Laden was interested in using cropdusters to disperse biological agents (since the testimony of millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam).

    The hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi appears to have contracted cutaneous anthrax in Afghanistan. It is reasonable to credit his statement that he got the lesion after bumping into a suitcase he was carrying at a camp in Afghanistan. The lesion is further evidence of Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program at Kandahar.

    http://www.newruskincollege.com/maxweber/id20.html

    December 16, 2004

    Key Anthrax Plotters Have Been Captured Or Killed
    Ross Getman

    The December 15, 2004 Washington Post editorial “Anthrax Killer At Large” is basically sound and certainly well-intentioned. The editorial argues that it is worrisome that the person or persons responsible for the anthrax mailings has not been caught– and suggests that it is a measure of our homeland security effort.

    But consider an opposing view. The CIA and FBI has killed, detained or otherwise neutralized members of a provable Al Qaeda/Egyptian Islamic Jihad anthrax conspiracy and the press just has not noticed. (For example, not only was key planner Atef killed, but those captured have included KSM, Hambali, Yazid Sufaat, bacteriologist Abdul Qadus Khan, and the Blind Sheikh’s son on the WMD committee — as well as various likely US-based supporters. Indeed, one might one instead view Amerithrax as a huge though yet unheralded success — unheralded because there is still work left to do.

    Might the fact that there has been no anthrax attack be a silent testament to the effectiveness of the effort? Of course, if someone like Dr. Hatfill or Dr. Berry were responsible, there is little future threat from the same perpetrators because there would be no motive. Indeed, I’d say the FBI and CIA and Postal Inspectors are doing a thorough job notwithstanding the media’s obliviousness to their not-so-secret successes related to an Al Qaeda conspiracy to use weaponized anthrax against the US.

    In early June 2003, a Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) report publicly disclosed that the reason for Mohammed Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. An early September 2003 Newsweek article included a rumor by a Taliban source that at a meeting in April 2003 Bin Laden was planning an “unbelievable” biological attack, the plans for which had suffered a setback upon the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (“KSM”). He had been captured the previous month in Rawalpindi,Pakistan. In November 2003, a report by a UN Panel of experts concluded that Al Qaeda is determined to use chemical and biological weapons and is restrained only by technical difficulties.

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

    The CIA reportedly has been quietly building a case that the anthrax mailings were an international plot. This is old news. It’s just no longer bureaucratically impolite to openly contest the FBI’s (former) theory about a lone, American scientist. Many people have argued that a US-based Al Qaeda operative is behind the earlier Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in the US, and that the mailings served as a threat and warning.Princeton islamist scholar Bernard Lewis has explained that while islamists may disagree about whether killing innocents is sanctioned by the laws of jihad, extremists like Zawahiri agree that notice must be given before biochemical weapons are used. The anthrax mailings followed the pattern of letters they sent in January 1997 to newspaper branches in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as symbolic targets. The letter bombs were sent in connection with the detention of the blind sheikh Abdel Rahman and those responsible for the earlier World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

    Handwritten notes and files on a laptop seized upon the capture of KSM, Al Qaeda’s #3, included a feasible anthrax production plan using a spray dryer and addressed the recruitment of necessary expertise. What your morning paper did not tell you, however, was that the CIA seized a similar disc from Ayman Zawahiri’s right-hand, Ahmed Salama Mabruk, 5 years earlier. The computer disk was confiscated from him during his arrest by the CIA in Azerbaijan and handed over to the Egyptian authorities. Mabruk, at the time, was the head of Jihad’s military operations. There is a risk that observers underestimate the time that Al Qaeda has had to make progress in such recruitment and research and development.

    Some may still think that even in the final stages of the 9/11 plot, Zacarias Moussaoui was going to fly a 5th plane into the Capitol or White House. Others argue that he was to be part of a second wave of airliners directed to targets on the West Coast. There is an e-mail by Moussaoui, however, dated July 31, 2001 indicating that he sought to take a crop dusting course that was to last up to 6 months. In March 2003, Mohammed reportedly said that Moussaoui was not going to be part of 9/11 but was to be part of a “second wave.” Although Ramzi Binalshibh provided him $14,000 in July, accused September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui told his trial judge that he had an al Qaeda mission that would have come after the terrorist attacks. KSM explained that Moussaoui’s inquiries about crop dusters may have been related to the anthrax work being done by US-trained biochemist and Al Qaeda operative, Malaysian Yazid Sufaat. Zacarias Moussaoui, never the sharpest tool in the shed and thought by his superiors to be unreliable, has told the judge at his trial in a filing that he wants “anthrax for Jew sympathizer only.” Al Qaeda’s regional operative, Hambali, who was at a key January 2000 meeting and supervised Sufaat, has been captured. Hambali reportedly is cooperating to some degree. KSM and Hambali sent al-Hindi (al-Britani), along with Jafar the Pilot, to case NYC targets for a second wave. It was as part of that surveillance in early 2001 that Jafar the Pilot studied tourist helicopters in the NYC area.

    Sufaat, according to both KSM and Hambali, did not have the virulent US Army Ames strain that would be used. That would require someone who had access to the strain. But if experience is any guide, nothing would stand in the way of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s decade-long quest to weaponize and use anthrax against US targets that was described by one confidante to an Egyptian newspaper reporter. The islamist had been released from Egyptian prison and had known Zawahiri well for many years. Emails from Zawahiri to Atef in the Spring of 1999 indicate that Ayman was a close student of the USAMRIID anthrax program. He believed that the koran instructed that a jihadist should use the weapons used by the crusader. “What we know is that he’s always said it was a religious obligation to have the same weapons as their enemies,” former CIA OBL unit counterterrorism chief Michael Scheuer has said. The Wall Street Journal reported that a computer used by Zawahiri contains a June 1999 memo that “said the program should seek cover and talent in educational institutions, which it said were ‘more beneficial to us and allow easy access to specialists, which will greatly benefit us in the first stage, God willing.”

    Zawahiri was associated with a faction of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad known as the Vanguards of Conquest. Zawahiri and the Vanguards of Conquest were seeking to recreate Mohammed’s taking of mecca by a small band through violent attacks on Egyptian leaders. By 1998, Zawahiri had determined that the Egyptian Islamic Jihad should focus on its struggle against the United States and hold off on further attacks against the Egyptian regime.

    A key question is how they acquired the anthrax strain first isolated by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab in 1980. According to senior counterterrorism officials, both here and abroad, among the supporters of these militant islamists were people who blended into society and were available to act when another part of the network requested it.

    A few days before Christmas 2003, after a renewed audiotape threat by Zawahiri of attacks, to include in the US homeland, the threat level was raised to orange or “high.” After the alert condition had long since returned to yellow, Zawahiri in late February issued another audiotape. He urged the President that brigades and brigades would be coming under the banner of jihad carrying death and seeking paradise. Zawahiri said that the US should expect another 9/11 on US soil. According to some reports, Zawahiri is thought by intelligence to be somewhere near the border ofPakistan and Afghanistan. At one time, some thought he had been spotted in Iran. Wherever he is, authorities need to focus on the traceable connection between him and those he or Atef recruited.

    In October 2001, did the FBI profilers know of the draft message Khalid Mohammed had on the seized laptop (from 1995) that was signed “Khalid Sheikh Bojinka”? The letter threatened to use biochemical weapons if the blind sheikh was not released. (Khalid Mohammed’s involvement dates back to Bojinka, as does Hambali’s). Use of biochemical weapons as blackmail and threatened retaliation for such detentions was an alternative scenario in the Bojinka planning.

    In May 2004, Patrick Hughes, Lieutenant General (Retired), Assistant Secretary for Information Analysis, Homeland Security Department testified before the 9/11 Commission. He explained that interrogations and other evidence revealed that Al Qaeda wanted to strike the US with a nonconventional weapon, most notably anthrax. The same week, the WTC head testified that while they had not received any briefing on the use of planes, they had taken steps to prepare for an attack using anthrax based on intelligence that had been received.

    Al Qaeda has had anthrax, the raw seed product in its unweaponized form, since at least 1997, when it was purchased by Bin Laden through the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (“Moro Front” or “MILF”). Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s #2, is head of Al Qaeda’s biochemical program. The CIA has known of Zawahiri’s plans to use anthrax for a half decade. The confidante and right-hand man of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri admitted that Zawahiri succeeded in obtaining anthrax and intended to use it against US targets. Another senior Al Qaeda member (a shura or policy-making council member no less) was working for the Egyptian intelligence services and he confirmed the report in a sworn lengthy confession. Even Zawahiri’s attorney in 1999 said that Bin Laden and Zawahiri were likely to resort to the biological and chemical agents they possessed given the extradition pressure senior Al Qaeda leaders faced. A recently released islamist who had been a close associate of Zawahiri said that Zawahiri spent a decade and had made 15 separate attempts to recruit the necessary expertise to weaponize anthrax in Russia and the Middle East. The US Army recipe was not used, and obtaining the unprocessedAmes strain of anthrax used does not warrant the weight given it by some press accounts. There was lax control over the distribution of the Ames strain that was used, especially in light of the fact that transfers were not even required to be recorded prior to 1997. Significantly, the individual who isolated it nearly a quarter century ago (now retired), upon being contacted, does not even report that he necessarily sent the only copy of the strain to Ft. Detrick. Senator Patrick Leahy at a Congressional hearing in the Spring of 2002 noted that the FBI had collected the Ames strain from 20 sources. In Fall 2004, MSNBC, relying on an unnamed FBI spokesperson, reports that the FBI has narrowed the pool of labs known to have had Ames that was a match from 16 to 4 but cannot rule out that it was made overseas.

    Al Qaeda’s anthrax production plans on Khalid Mohammed’s computer did not evidence knowledge of advanced techniques in the most efficient biological weapons. At least according to the public comments by bioweaponeer experts William Patrick and Kenneth Alibek, under the optimal method, there is no electrostatic charge. In the case of the anthrax used in the mailings, there was an electrostatic charge. Although there was a dominance of single spores and a trillion spore concentration, there were clumps as large as 40 – 100 microns. (Spores must be no bigger than 5 microns to be inhalable.) Many point to the trillion spore concentration as extraordinary. It is far simpler, however, to achieve a trillion spore concentration in the production of a few grams than in industrial processing typical of a state sponsored lab. The “trillion spore” issue was at the heart of a lot of mistaken theories of the matter concluding that state sponsorship was necessarily indicated. The reported finding at Dugway undermines the argument of both the “bomb Iraq” crowd and the liberals focused on Dr. Steve Hatfill who object to US biodefense research because they view it as being useful for offensive purposes.

    USDA employee Johnelle Bryant first told us, in sensational detail, of Atta’s inquiries about purchasing and retrofitting a cropduster. Khalid Mohammed then told interrogators that Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries about crop dusting may have related to Yazid Sufaat’s anthrax manufacturing plans. Although the details of the documents on Mohammed’s computer may (or may not) point to possible difficulties in aerial dispersal, they are fully consistent with the product used in the anthrax mailings. Al Qaeda had both the means and opportunity.

    US-trained Malaysian biochemist Yazid Sufaat met with 9/11 plotters and two hijackers in January 2000. Sufaat was a member of Al Qaeda and a member of Jemaah Islamiah (“JI”). JI has ties with the Moro Front. Sufaat used his company called Green Laboratory Medicine to buy items useful to Al Qaeda. (Green symbolizes “Islam” and Prophet Mohammed’s holy war). Zacarias Moussaoui, who had a crop dusting manual when he was arrested, stayed at Sufaat’s condominium in 2000 when he was trying to arrange for flight lessons in Malaysia. Yazid Sufaat provided Moussaoui with a letter indicating that he was a marketing representative for Infocus Technologies and allegedly provided him $35,000. The crop dusters were to be part of a “second wave.”

    After 9/11, Yazid Sufaat traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan to work for the Taliban Medical Brigade and to continue his work with anthrax. As described in US News, a former reporter from the Kabul Times actually may have met Sufaat, without realizing it, while traveling near Kabul in October 2001, perceiving him as Filipino. The fellow was carrying papers from Zawahiri and bragging about his ability to manipulate anthrax. Sufaat was arrested in December 2001 upon his return to Malaysia. Newsweek reported that a “second wave” involving biological attacks had been thwarted upon the arrest of Al Qaeda members who had been intended to provide logistical support.

    Various doctors, both foreign and American, are associated with Al Qaeda leaders or operatives, to include the doctors Abdul Qadoos Khan, a bacteriologist from Rawalpindi and Aafia Siddiqui, PhD, from Karachi. Microbiologist Abdul Qadoos Khan was charged along with his son, Ahmed, for harboring the fugitives. As of March 28, 2003, he was in a hospital for a cardiac problem and had been granted “pre-arrest bail.” Yet all you read about at the time was the arrest of the son Ahmed Abdul Qadoos, who receives a stipend from the UN for being officially low-IQ due to lead poisoning.

    It was Khalid Mohammed who told authorities about Aafia Siddiqui, who has a PhD from Brandeis in neurology. The Pakistani press reported that she was nabbed in Karachi after being spotted at the airport in late March or early April 2003. If mistaken, how did those reports first come about? Understandably, Amerithrax is a confidential investigation. The Pakistan ISI and CIA rarely grant press interviews in connection with an ongoing manhunt. The CIA did not even allow the FBI access to KSM for 10 days after his arrest. As agent Van Harp, then head of the Amerithrax investigation said, the information coming from Khalid Mohammed is classified with the authorities releasing only certain limited information. While it’s not easy to separate fact from fiction, Attorney General Ashcroft and Director Mueller have publicly confirmed Aafia is still being sought. They would know.

    Her mother Ismat last saw Aafia and her grandchildren before they left in a minicab at the end of March. Aafia was on her way with her children to visit and uncle and a friend in Islamabad. According to the Pakistan reports, Aafia Siddiqui was detained after being spotted at Karachi International airport (after she was followed to a relative’s house). (Karachi is in the south). The reports say she is suspected of having been a member of Al Qaeda’s “Chemical Wire Group.” The family’s lawyer advises me that Aafia did not have enough money to pay for airfare tickets for herself and the kids and called Ismat from the train station. That was the last Ismat heard from her. Aafia never reached the uncle’s house. Perhaps something got lost in the translation, but the phrase “Chemical Wire Group” has appeared in all the english Pakistan and India papers. The family’s attorney advises me that Aafia had no knowledge of chemicals (and that would not appear to be her training).

    There still is a very hot pursuit of the “Atta-level” Floridian, Adnan El Shukrijumah, who Siddiqui is thought to have known and been assisting. His nickname is “Jafar the Pilot.” A senior DOJ official reports that Adnan has experience as a commercial pilot. He is said by one FBI agent to be “very, very, very” dangerous. He allegedly was at one or more meetings in the Summer of 2001 in Pakistan at which KSM and Sufaat were present. He may have been seen in Hamilton, Canada — along with Egyptian al-Maati, who apparently also has received pilot training. The United States truly no longer has time for faulty analysis or politically-based preconceptions. In early June 2003, a CIA report concluded that the reason for Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was in fact for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. It has long been known Osama Bin Laden was interested in using cropdusters to disperse biological agents (since the testimony of millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam).

    The hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi appears to have contracted cutaneous anthrax in Afghanistan. It is reasonable to credit his statement that he got the lesion after bumping into a suitcase he was carrying at a camp in Afghanistan. The lesion is further evidence of Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program at Kandahar.

    One potential lead concerned a Fort Lee New Jersey $100,000 processor possibly of a type that could have been used to weaponize the anthrax. The processor was paid for in cash after a check-kiting scheme. The processor was delivered to a business front in Ft. Lee at215 Main St. The address was 1 mile from pilot Nawaf al-Hazmi at 96 Linwood Plaza, one of the two hijackers who had attended the January 2000 meeting with anthrax technician Yazid Sufaat. Nawaf Al-Hamzi and Khalid Almidhar stayed at Yazid Sufaat’s condominium outside Kuala Lumpur. It eventually was determined that these two were on a level comparable to Atta for planning purposes.

    The media coverage has been seriously confused on the issue of motive and the reason Senators Daschle and Leahy would have been targeted — tending to simplistically view them as “liberals.” Zawahiri likely targeted Senators Daschle and Leahy to receive anthrax letters, in addition to various media outlets, because of the appropriations made pursuant to the “Leahy Law” to military and security forces. That money has prevented the militant islamists from achieving their goals. Al Qaeda members and sympathizers feel that the FBI’s involvement in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippinesinterferes with the sovereignty of those countries.

    According to a post she made on the internet, Aafia Siddiqui expressed the same sentiment in connection with US appropriations sought in exchange for the extradition of WTC 1993 plotter Ramzi Yousef from Pakistan. Senator Leahy was Chairman of both the Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI and Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of foreign aid to these countries. In late September 2001, it was announced that the President was seeking a blanket waiver that would lift all restrictions on aid to military and security units in connection with pursuing the militant islamists. This extradition and imprisonment of Al Qaeda leaders, along with US support for Israel and the Mubarak government in Egypt, remains foremost in the mind of Dr. Zawahiri. At the height of the development of his biological weapons program, his brother was extradited pursuant to a death sentence in the “Albanian returnees” case (now he faces retrial). It’s hard to keep up with the stories about billion dollar appropriations, debt forgiveness, and loan guarantees to countries like Egypt and Israel and now even Pakistan. Those appropriations pale in comparison to the many tens of billions in appropriations relating to the invasion of Iraq. Al Qaeda had a motive in mind.

    In his Fall 2001 book titled Knights under the Banner of the Prophet, Zawahiri argued that the secular press was telling “lies” about the militant islamists — to include the suggestion that the militant islamists were somehow the creation of the United States in connection with expelling the Russians from Afghanistan. Zawahiri argued instead that they have been active since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in Egypt because of the Camp David Accord and the resulting peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The anthrax letters were sent on the date of the Camp David Accord and then the date Anwar Sadat was assassinated as if to underscore the point to anyone paying attention. Most of the “talking heads” on television, however, knew only that Daschle and Leahy were liberal democrats and did not know anything of Al Qaeda beyond what they read in the USnewspapers. The FBI’s profile includes a US-based supporter of the militant islamists. Attorney General Ashcroft explained that an “either-or” approach is not useful. The media has tended to overlook the fact that when the FBI uses the word “domestic” the word includes a US-based, highly-educated supporter of the militant islamists.

    There is an emerging consensus that anthrax was contained in a letter to AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer — in a goofy love letter to Jennifer Lopez enclosing a Star of David and proposing marriage. A report by the Center for Disease Control of interviews with AMI employees (as well as detailed interviews by author Leonard Cole) supports the conclusion that there were not one, but two, such mailings containing anthrax. (The letters were to different AMI publications — one to the National Enquirer and another to The Sun). (News assistant Bobby Bender recalls the letter containing the items to have been addressed to The Sun.)

    This tactic of letters is not merely the modus operandi of these militant islamists inspired by Zawahiri, it is their signature. The islamists sent letter bombs in January 1997 to newspaper offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.. They were sent in connection with the earlier bombing of the WorldTrade Center and the imprisonment of the blind sheik, Sheik Abdel Rahman. The former leader of the Egyptian Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya (“Islamic Group”), he was also a spiritual leader of Al Qaeda. The letter bombs were sent in connection with the treatment of the Egyptian islamists imprisoned for the earlier attack on the WTC and a related plot. The purpose of the letter bombs — which resulted in minimal casualty — was to send a message. (There initially was an outstanding $2 million reward — under the rewards for justice program, the reward now is up to $5 million.). There was no claim of responsibility. There was no explanation. Once one had been received, the next ten, mailed on two separate dates, were easily collected. Sound familiar? Two bombs were also sent toLeavenworth, where a key WTC 1993 defendant was imprisoned, addressed to “Parole Officer.” (The position does not exist).

    Abdel Rahman’s son was captured in Quetta,Pakistan in mid-February 2003. That arrest in turn led to the dramatic capture of Khalid Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s #3. Mohammed allegedly was hiding in the home of the Pakistani bacteriologist Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan. Along with Zawahiri, Abdel Rahman and his two sons have had considerable influence over Bin Laden. He reportedly treated them like sons. Although while in jail in the early 1980s, Zawahiri caused considerable tension by challenging the blind sheik’s ability to lead a coalition of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian Islamic Group, Zawahiri and OBL are Rahman’s friends. The imprisoned WTC 1993 plotter Yousef was KSM’s nephew. Thus, the leaders in charge of Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program had a close connection to those imprisoned in connection with the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center. According to the controversial “Feith memo,” which summarized purported intelligence showing an Iraqi/Al Qaeda connection, Osama Bin Laden had asked Iraqi intelligence for technical assistance in sending letter bombs a half year before the Al Hayat letters were sent.

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

    The mailer’s use of “Greendale School” as the return address for the letters to the Senators is revealing. A May 2001 letter that Zawahiri sent to Egyptian Islamic Jihad members abroad establish that Zawahiri used “school” as a code word for the Egyptian militant islamists in his correspondence. Green symbolizes Islam and was the Prophet Mohammed’s color. By Greendale School, the anthrax perp was being cute, just as Yazid Sufaat was being cute in naming his lab Green Laboratory Medicine. “Dale” means “river valley.”Greendale likely refers to green river valley — i.e.,Cairo’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Islamic Group. The sender probably is announcing that he is of either Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Group or Jihad-al Qaeda, which is actually the full name of the group after the merger of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda. At the Darunta complex where jihadis trained, recruits would wear green uniforms, except for Friday when they were washed.

    As to opportunity, though seldom reported, there is a wealth of “open source” information about possible Al Qaeda or Egyptian Islamic Jihad or Egyptian Islamic Group in the United States and Canada. The public information mostly relates to those suspected sleepers who have been detained or who are at large and are being sought. Zawahiri’s mission in the United States in 1995 was to do spadework for terrorism, not fundraising for charitable causes. He traveled under an alias and was accompanied by a former US Army sergeant named Ali Mohammed. What mosques exactly did they visit and who did they meet?

    Whatever your political persuasion, the FBI and CIA deserve our support. We are, after all, in this together. First, the nature of such an investigation is that we lack sufficient information to second-guess (or even know) what the FBI is doing. Media reports are a poor approximation of reality because of the lack of good sources. Second, hindsight is 20/20. Third, with the “new age” Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. in charge of the investigation, it is not likely we could do better in striking the appropriate balance between due process and national security.

    Finally, the “Hatfill theory” seems to have been exhausted or at least lost public favor. The “Hatfill theory” accusing Dr. Stephen Hatfill was always highly dubious. The suspicion was founded on many false premises, and there was no reliable publicly known evidence indicating his guilt. The FBI’s fixation on Hatfill (at least as rumored by some reporters) may have stemmed from a warning by one Senator that careers hung in the balance. Leahy’s chief of staff apparently started with the strong predisposition that some right-winger was involved because two liberal democrats had been targeted. The Hatfill theory — to include ongoing interviews and ongoing 7/24 surveillance by 8 surveillance specialists — is now the subject of a pending civil rights and libel claims of uncertain merit. A suit against the New York Times and columnist Nicholas Kristof was dismissed in late November 2004. The judge had agreed to delay the civil rights matter from proceeding until at least October 2004. The judge, now frustrated by the apparent lack of progress, is now encouraging that the parties reach a negotiated compromise that would permit some limited discovery to proceed (and the judge has directed that the government to file an Answer to the Complaint). The Hatfill Theory ironically might best be understood as an Al Qaeda theory, with a coincidental Malaysian connection adding to the other circumstances. Given the regrettable leaks that he was under suspicion, it is only fair that the FBI leak with equal enthusiasm the fact that Dr. Hatfill has now been dropped as a suspect if and when that proves to be the case. A seach of Dr. Ken Berry’s residences likely will prove just about the last gasp of a biodefense insider theory. Senior officials have been quoted in the press as saying that the searches were for the purpose of excluding him as much as including him.

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