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

* GAO Should Obtain A Copy Of Rauf Ahmad’s Signed Written Statement Voluntarily Provided FBI Agent Borelli

Posted by DXer on September 14, 2013

Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 5.28.09 PM

13 Responses to “* GAO Should Obtain A Copy Of Rauf Ahmad’s Signed Written Statement Voluntarily Provided FBI Agent Borelli”

  1. DXer said

    Rolf Mowatt-Larssen never obtained US custody of either Raud Ahmad or Yazid Sufaat. Isn’t it a bit harder to get Rauf Ahmad to open up when his servant is serving tea and cookies to the two CIA agents at the iSI safehouse?

    How to Get Terrorists to Talk
    A former CIA interrogator on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of interrogation.
    Rolf Mowatt-Larssen
    February 18, 2015

  2. DXer said

    If you are still scratching your head why a Pakistan government scientist could set up Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab and then be able to serve tea and cookies to the interrogating CIA and FBI agents at the ISI safehouse, there is a new novel you might like.

    The Chimera Legion
    Author: Alan Simon

    Simon’s latest espionage novel is a bio-terrorism thriller. Al Qaeda’s biological warfare scientists are working on a weapon in a secret laboratory provided by the Pakistani Intelligence Service, the ISI. They are combining the DNA of some of the world’s deadliest diseases, including Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The resultant virus, containing multiple DNA strands, will defy any cure. The principal targets are New York and Tel Aviv. A joint CIA-Mossad team is assigned the mission to thwart this al Qaeda operation and neutralize the principal players.
    277 pages, available and

    Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 2, 2014)

  3. DXer said

    Here is the publication for the 1999 international conference at anthrax attended by Rauf Ahmad. Notice who Rauf Ahmad is standing near? Didn’t they have virulent Ames?

    • Title: 3rd international conference on anthrax.
    • Contributor: Society for Applied Microbiology. ;
    Great Britain. Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. Chemical and Biological Defence Sector.
    • Subjects: anthrax ; applied microbiology ; DERA
    • Rights: Terms governing use: Current copyright fee: GBP22.00
    • Publication Details: Blackwell Science, 1999.
    • Language: English
    • Identifier: System number 006497167
    • Shelfmark(s): Document Supply 4943.070000 vol 87 no 2 1999

    Did Agent Borelli — who later was promoted to head of the NYC FBI Field Office — think that maybe interviewing Rauf Ahmad over tea and cookies was not the most fruitful means of overcoming evasiveness?

    Amerithrax: In February 2002, the FBI Failed To Take Custody of Al Qaeda Anthrax Scientists Rauf Ahmad and Yazid Sufaat
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 14, 2013

  4. DXer said

    What lab did Rauf Ahmad visit for Zawahiri — the one with the thousands of pathogens in the BL3 — after which Rauf Ahmad announced that he had achieved the targets.

    I identified the third lab as in Sweden in 2009 and asked this same question of Rauf Ahmad on Meryl Nass’ blog.

    I wrote:

    Anonymous said…

    The FBI reports that the third country that virulent Ames was in Sweden.

    What was that laboratory?

    January 28, 2009 at 8:06 PM
    Anonymous said…
    At the Annapolis conference organized by Dr. Ivins, a researcher from the National Defense Research Establishment in Umea, Sweden, along with two other scientists from Singapore, presented on a genome-wide analysis of bacillus anthracis. Their paper discusses the virulence plasmids and the Ames strain and so perhaps it was National Defense Research Establishment that had Ames. (An FBI affidavit identified one of the 16 labs known to have had virulent Ames to be in Sweden).

    Dr. Keim has posited that any sample the size in Dr. Ivins’ flask might have the same four mutations and so it important to flesh out these sorts of details. (He notes the hypothesis has not been tested).

    What was the lab visited by the scientist that Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist had attending the 1999 and 2000 conference on dangerous pathogens/anthrax? Senators and Congressman should find out. The scientist infiltrating the conferences for Zawahiri, Rauf Ahmad, described the lab as having thousands of pathogens, including virulent anthrax. He told Zawahiri he had successfully achieved his targets.

    Did Rauf Ahmad also attend the June 2001 conference organized by Dr. Ivins? He regularly attended conferences, I’m told by a friend at DIA, on dangerous pathogens in Europe. Is there any reason to think he did not attend the Annapolis conference? I was given the dates 1999 and 2000 by the head of Sfam in Europe (the equivalent of ASM). But the director did not have record of the conference in 2001 organized by Ivins as sfam was not helping to organize it. ASM was.

    In his correspondence with Ayman, the scientist said he had learned some processing tricks and made some internet connections. Who was he learning tricks on processing from? Instead of having non-experts spend more time parsing hairs on an exosporium, the public should ask that some basic questions be answered. For example, if Zawahiri’s scientist visited a lab with virulent Ames, let’s hear about it. It was when the DOJ/FBI started talking about extraditing him that the ISI balked and stopped cooperating with the CIA.

  5. DXer said

    Samer al-Barq has been frequently featured by

    Agent Borelli, when meeting with two CIA operatives with government employee Rauf Ahmad at the ISI safehouse over tea and cookies, obtained a voluntary affidavit from Rauf Ahmad. Agent Borelli he came to learn that Amerithrax was going to involve secret detention.

    Samar Al-Barak now has been indicted after many years of secret detention — having first been arrested in Pakistan in mid-July 2003.

    “Court cases, however, were out of fashion. The most important terrorism suspects were dragged into the CIA’s secret prisons.”

    Has such secret detention been counterproductive? It’s hard to judge. But it certainly seems worth the GAO trying to figure out.

    Yazid’s other assistant Hud Al-Sudani is dead? Is that right? Or is he languishing in some secret prison.

    Working to Protect Human Rights
    … Samer al-Barq went on hunger strike three times from April 2012, in protest against his administrative detention since July 2010 and harsh conditions at a …
    24 May 2013 Annual Report

    Amnesty International Report 2013
    23 May 2013 Report POL 10/001/2013

    Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Israel release …
    … Samer al-Barq, 38 began a fourth hunger strike in February 2013 but remains in administrative detention despite the authorities’ assurances they would release …
    23 Apr 2013 Public Statement MDE 15/009/2013

    Israel/OPT: Stop use of excessive force against Palestinian …
    … Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories: Further information: Palestinian detainee resumes hunger strike: Samer al-Barq Urgent Action, 22 March 2013. …
    4 Apr 2013 Story

    Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories: Further information …
    … For example, Samer al-Barq, 37, who began his fourth hunger strike on 27 February 2013, is still in administrative detention despite the authorities …
    26 Mar 2013 Urgent Action MDE 15/006/2013

    Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories: Further information …
    Administrative detainee Samer al-Barq was denied a family visit on 12 March, apparently to punish him for resuming his hunger strike on 27 February in protest …
    22 Mar 2013 Urgent Action MDE 15/007/2013

    Israel: Hunger strikers protest ongoing detention
    … For example, Samer al-Barq, 37, who suspended his third hunger strike on 24 October 2012, remains in administrative detention despite the authorities …
    7 Feb 2013 Urgent Action MDE 15/001/2013

    Israel/OPT: Further information: Detainee ends hunger strike …
    Fellow administrative detainee Samer al-Barq suspended his third hunger strike after assurances that he will be released and transferred to Pakistan via Egypt. …
    30 Oct 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/060/2012

    Israel/OPT: Further Information: Palestinian detainee resumes …
    After the Israeli authorities did not fulfil their promise to transfer Palestinian administrative detainee Samer al-Barq to Egypt, he resumed his hunger strike …
    18 Oct 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/056/2012

    Israel/OPT: Further information: Palestinian detainees suspend …
    … October. Samer al-Barq ended his hunger strike amid reports that a deal has been reached which will see him transferred to Egypt. …
    25 Sep 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/052/20

    Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Further information …
    Samer al-Barq and Hassan Safadi’s latest administrative detention orders have been confirmed. They have been on hunger strike since …
    14 Sep 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/051/2012

    Amnesty International | Israel must hospitalize or release …
    The Israeli authorities must release or admit to hospital Palestinian hunger striker Samer al-Barq, who has been held without charge or trial since July 2010 …
    6 Sep 2012 Press Release

    Israel must hospitalize or release Palestinian hunger striker on …
    The Israeli authorities must release or admit to hospital Palestinian hunger striker Samer al-Barq, Amnesty International said. …
    6 Sep 2012 Story

    Israel/OPT: Further information: Danger as health of detainees …
    Hunger-striking administrative detainees Samer al-Barq and Hassan Safadi are in grave danger as their health deteriorates. They …
    31 Aug 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/049/2012

    Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Further …
    Administrative detainees Hassan Safadi and Samer al-Barq have been on hunger strike since 21 June and 22 May 2012 respectively. …
    10 Aug 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/047/2012

    Palestinian hunger strikers detained in Israel must be treated …
    … The Israeli authorities must release Hassan Safadi, Samer al-Barq and all other administrative detainees, unless they are promptly charged with recognizable …
    9 Aug 2012 Story

    Israel/OPT: Further information: Prisoner in need of urgent …
    … Hassan Safadi and Samer al-Barq are protesting their continuing detention without charge (read more at:
    2 Aug 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/045/2012

    Israel/OTP: Further information: Palestinian still at risk after …
    … Hassan Safadi and Samer al-Barq are protesting their continuing detention with charge (Read more at: …
    25 Jul 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/044/2012

    Israel/OPT: Further information: Hunger strikers in grave danger
    Hassan Safadi and Samer al-Barq have been on hunger strike since 21 June and 22 May respectively, in protest at their detention without charge. …
    12 Jul 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/038/2012

    Amnesty International | Israel’s release of Palestinian footballer …
    … Amnesty International also called for the release of Samer al-Barq and Hassan Safadi, who remain on hunger strike in protest against the renewal of their …
    10 Jul 2012 Press Release

    Israel/OPT: Further information: Hunger striker’s detention to be …
    … At least one administrative detainee, Samer al-Barq, whose detention order was reportedly renewed on 21 May, remains on hunger strike after more than 30 days. …
    21 Jun 2012 Urgent Action MDE 15/035/2012

    Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Starved of …
    … 7) Hasan Youssef (PLC member) 8) Samir Qadi (PLC member) 9) Mohammed Ghazal (university lecturer) 10) Hussam Mohsen al-Raza 11) Samer al-Barq 12) Mohammed …
    6 Jun 2012 Report MDE 15/026/2012

    Jordan – Amnesty International Report 2008 | Amnesty International
    … the year. Samer Helmi al-Barq apparently remained detained without charge since his transfer to Jordan on 26 October 2003. He was …
    8 Oct 2008 Annual Report

    Jordan: Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal …
    … Samer Helmi al-Barq was detained without charge following his transfer to Jordan on 26 October 2003 until his release on bail in January 2008. …
    1 Sep 2008 Report MDE 16/004/2008

  6. DXer said

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation should stop playing hide-the-ball regarding anthrax and Amerithrax. It is tearing the fabric of American justice.

    Israel confirms it has been holding suspected al-Qaida weapons specialist for 3 years
    Published November 18, 2013Associated Press

    JERUSALEM – Israeli has confirmed that it has been detaining without trial a suspected al-Qaida operative for the past three years.

    Responding to a court petition, Israel’s Justice Ministry confirmed Monday that Samir al-Baraq, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian, has been jailed since he crossed over into Israel from Jordan on 2010. With his detention set to expire, the ministry asked the court Monday to extend it another six months.

    The ministry argues that releasing al-Baraq would mark a “point of no return for the development of significant jihadi infrastructure in the region.”

    It says al-Baraq is an expert in biological warfare and has been active in al-Qaida since 2001. It says he was recruited by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current al-Qaida chief.

    He was previously arrested and released by the United States and Jordan.


    Rather than “released” as such, he was turned over by the US to Jordan and then Jordan turned him over to the Israelis.

  7. DXer said

    Vahid Majidi, in his new book on Amerithrax, writes:

    “The challenge in describing the intelligence efforts for the Amerithrax case is that some data, collected by the intelligence community and purported to be relevant, was not declassified for two good reasons. First, the Justice Department was not the owner or the originator of the intelligence information collected overseas.”

    Comment: Actually, Agent Borelli in fact was the originator of the statement voluntarily provided by Rauf Ahmad. It was prepared in contemplation of prosecution — and provided by Rauf over tea and cookies.

    Moreover, Vahid Majidi chose not to produce it under FOIA and considers a statement voluntarily provided over tea and cookies sufficient for this important national security criminal investigation.

    Vahid may not own the intel but he owns the failure to extradite Rauf Ahmad and Yazid Sufaat. He owns the failure to produce the statement.

    If not, then he is not — to borrow DC FIeld Office lingo — the master of his domain.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Vahid Majid, who was in charge of keeping America safe from an WMD attack, says: “While I don’t consider al Qaeda to be “honest information brokers”, they have consistently claimed responsibility for every heinous act that has been attributed to them.”

      Why was Al Qaeda evasive on the question of responsibility for the anthrax mailings, dismissing the issue with a snicker, and falsely claiming that Al Qaeda did not know anything about anthrax? Simple. Bin Laden denied responsibility for 9/11 until it was beyond reasonable dispute. On September 16, 2001, he said: “The US is pointing the finger at me but I categorically state that I have not done this. I am residing in Afghanistan. I have taken an oath of allegiance (to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar) which does not allow me to do such things from Afghanistan.” Before that, Ayman had denied the 1998 embassy bombings too. On August 20, 1998, coincidentally on the day of strikes on camps in Afghanistan and Sudan, Ayman al-Zawahiri contacted The News, a Pakistani English-language daily, and said on behalf of Bin Laden that “Bin Laden calls on Moslem Ummah to continue Jihad against Jews and Americans to liberate their holy places. In the meanwhile, he denies any involvement in the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings.” To Ayman, “war is deception.” Dr. Majidi, if he had a background in intelligence rather than inorganic chemistry, would have known this.

  8. DXer said

    Matt Apuzzo on August 8, 2008 wrote what the defense counsel’s opening statement in Amerithrax might sound like:

    “Trouble is, about 100 scientists had access to that anthrax. Prosecutors say they’re certain those 100 people didn’t do it. But they won’t tell you why. At trial, you’re going to hear from FBI agents who, at one time, were just as certain the killer’s name was Steven Hatfill. They were wrong then, too, and they’re paying him $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit over that mistake.

    Prosecutors say Ivins struggled with depression, family problems. He was in counseling. Does that make him a murderer? You’re going to hear from colleagues and friends that Ivins is a decent, peaceful scientist _ not a man who decided one day to kill.

    And what will we hear from the government? They searched Ivins’ home, cars, lab and computers. They read his e-mails. What did they find? Nothing. Not one fingerprint. Not a trace of anthrax.

    They will say he borrowed a machine that could have turned anthrax into powder. There is no evidence he used that machine for anything other than his job. Those other 100 scientists had access to this machine, too. It’s common lab equipment.

    They will say he could have driven to New Jersey to mail the letters. Yet there are no gas receipts, no toll records, no witnesses. Best they can say is he liked to drive.

    Maybe, prosecutors say, Ivins drove seven hours through the night to get to a sorority’s storage office, then mailed the anthrax when he arrived. Of course, there’s no evidence, but it sounds like something a mad scientist would do.

    And what motive would this decorated scientist have to unleash biological terror? Prosecutors aren’t sure. They’ve cooked up a theory that Ivins wanted to build support for a vaccine he helped develop.

    But again, there’s no evidence. And the government knows that. So if you don’t buy that theory, they’ve got backups. Maybe he was angry at the media. Maybe he hated Catholics who support abortion rights.

    This case is so important to the government, they’re throwing everything out there.

    But in the end, it’s just a scary story.”

    The implication of a recent poll is that 80 percent would have voted for acquittal.

  9. Lew Weinstein said

    • DXer said

      Rauf Ahmad was replaced by Yazid Sufaat because Dr. Ayman didn’t trust Rauf Ahmad given he was motivated by money.

      When Rauf Ahmad, Al Qaeda’s original anthrax scientist , invited Agent Borelli and the two CIA agents into his home, what kind of cookies did he serve with the tea? See page 260.

      If they were Peanut Butter Pitter Patters, I might have gone easy on him too.

      I appreciate that there were large rallies of doctors and rallies protesting the detention of Dr. Amer Aziz. I wrote about them at the time. (The GAO should look into Dr. Aziz’s shipment of chemicals). But Dr. Aziz claimed to have merely been providing medical treatment to Bin Laden. Thus, there perhaps is a big difference between the politics surrounding the handling of Dr. Aziz, who was Batarfi’s mentor, and Dr. Rauf Ahmad. (Dr. Batarfi helped Yezid Sufaat with procurement; he was released to Yemen.)

      I appreciate that covert operations sometimes warrants keeping secrets. Undercovers, informants, cooperating witnesses, and surveillance are all part of a complicated effort to keep the country safe. FBI Director Mueller has said that prevention took precedence over prosecution.

      But over a decade later — after unconvincing (and false) evidence was raised in support of an “Ivins Theory” — this statement should be obtained by GAO. Putting aside FOIA (which is not applicable to GAO), a GAO interview of former Agent Borelli should be disclosed by the GAO pursuant to its own rules.

      Justice simply does not permit the Department of Justice to close a case on false evidence and provably false accusations.

      Agent Borelli can explain to the GAO the difficulties of operating in a foreign country — with limitations set by the host country. (Rauf Ahmad was a Pakistan government scientist).

      Why do we continue to give millions in appropriations to countries if they do not cooperate in the extradition of an Al Qaeda WMD scientist? The documents, without more, show that he was traveling internationally on part of procurement missions as part of Al Qaeda’s highly compartmentalized and secret anthrax program.

      Someone from the CIA’s CTC tells me that the bio program was much more highly compartmentalized that its efforts relating to chemical weapons.

  10. Lew Weinstein said

    How is it possible that GAO doesn’t already have this statement? When is the GAO going to issue its long-delayed report? Why has the FBI suppressed the truth about the 2001 anthrax attacks?

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