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

Archive for December, 2013

* DXer … It’s naive and uninformed to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military. … The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 29, 2013

bin laden 2 

a recent comment from DXer …

In mid-December 2003, two brothers, Michael Ray and James Stubbs, were arrested in a Manila suburb where they were fundraising for a charity that supported the militant islamists and allegedly in contact with militant brothers. Michael Ray, an American, had been a HVAC technician at Lawrence Livermore near San Francisco — until March 2000 — where the Defense Threat Reduction Agency had launched a program to combat the Bin Laden anthrax threat in 1998.  He had a high security pass that he permitted him to go to labs throughout Lawrence Livermore, including those combatting the Bin Laden anthrax threat.

His brother, James, Jr., also known as Jamil Daud Mujahid. James reportedly was monitored saying that he had been a classmate of bin Laden and had named his son Osama. James once was a policeman in California and a teacher in Missouri. James allegedly met with members of Abu Sayyef and Moro Islamic Liberation Front while in the Philippines doing charity fundraising. The brothers had been under surveillance at the time of their arrest. James Stubbs, according to some reports, had recently left a job as a teacher in California to study Arabic in Sudan. Other reports suggested that his recent work instead involved training dogs. Authorities allege that the brothers in May 2003 had met with several charity groups suspected of being al-Qaida fronts, founded by Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law Khalifa.

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

It’s naive and uninformed to think that Al Qaeda could not have obtained Ames just because it tended to be in labs associated with or funded by the US military.

US Army Al Qaeda operative Sgt. Ali Mohammed accompanied Zawahiri in his travels in the US. (Ali Mohamed had been a major in the same unit of the Egyptian Army that produced Sadat’s assassin, Khaled Islambouli). Ali Al-Timimi was working in the building housing the Center for Biodefense funded by the DARPA and had access to the facilities at both the Center for Biodefense and the adjacent American Type Culture Collection. For example, Michael Ray Stubbs was an HVAC system technician at Lawrence Livermore Lab with a high-level security clearance permitting access; that was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998. Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it.  Indeed, Bruce Ivins had supplied virulent Ames to a non-citizen from Egypt whose friends and classmates had been recruited personally by Dr. Ayman Zawahiri.

The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it.

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* comments posted by DXer based on recent FOIA produced documents … Ivins did not have the knowledge, the skill or the equipment … so how could he be the sole perpetrator as the FBI continues to assert?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 21, 2013

The FBI has no case against this man ... but meanwhile he is dead and the real perpetrators are still out there.

The FBI has no case against this man … but meanwhile he is dead and the real perpetrators are still out there.

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from recent comments posted by DXer …

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BY MR. SCHULER:

Q.  Now, have you had the opportunity to review what’s in the public domain as far as the FBI’s analysis of the anthrax mailings case?
A  Yes.
Q  And do you have any opinion as to whether or not Dr. Ivins was the perpetrator?
A.  I have an opinion, yes.
Q  And what is that opinion?
A   He’s not guilty.
Q  And what do you base that on?
A  The time would be spent in preparing the amount of material required for what I’ve heard is in the letters would have taken him probably at least a year with the equipment that he had just to grow it, possibly purify it.  He had no skill, knowledge or way to dry it down.
Q  Why wouldn’t he have any skill, knowledge or way — now , you threw three things at me there.  Let’s talk about the skill first.  Why do you say he wouldn’t have the sklll to do it or couldn’t have developed the skill to do it?
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A  He’s never done it before, to my knowledge, I have never seen it done before in the Institute.  The piece of equipment that the FBI identified initially as a lyophilizer sits outside my laboratory in B5.  There’s no way that he could by himself pushed that thing down to BSL3, put it in the airlock, take it out of the airlock, push it down to a laboratory.  The thing is as big as a refrigerator.  He would have had to pick it up, that part, to prevent contamination of the entire suite.  He could not have done that and put that part in a biological safety cabinet.  it’s too big.

And to reverse it back the other way, he would have had to put it in airlock, schedule the decon, what people would, you know, want to know, it had been done on the weekend, they don’t decon things on weekends.  They’d have to clear the airlock before it could be moved out.   Then you would have to move it back down to where it was from our laboratory.

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Mr. Little at page 49 states:

“I don’t think he had the knowledge of how to do it.  We, um, to my knowledge it had never been discussed in our group.  He had never discussed anything similar in that direction to me.  Most of the work that he we had been doing was vaccine development.  We didn’t have the equipment to do the aerosol sprays.  It was all, you know, liquid.  You know, unless there’s evidence that is being sat on by the FBI, I don’t see how he could have done it at USAMRIID.”

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LMW COMMENT …

Yet the FBI will admit nothing. There is still stonewalling of FOIA requests. The GAO, which years ago was asked by Congressman Rush Holt, to review the FBI investigation, is way past any deadline any reasonable person would have set for a response.

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons … THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

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* DOJ Civil FOIA and USAMRIID FOIA are processing civil depositions from US v. Stevens upon request (to the extent not subject to protective order)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 20, 2013

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* Stephen Little provided a sworn statement at his deposition held at Ft. Detrick that Dr. Ivins was coming into the lab late and on weekends in late September of 01 and into early October 2001 to check the animals

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

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* Susan Welkos testified at civil deposition that “We don’t have any way to produce the massive amount of material that would have been necessary to grow up and dry in a way that wouldn’t have killed everybody in the institute.”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

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* Dr. Gerard Andrews, Chief of Bacteriology, testified at deposition that lots of scientists worked after hours during that September – October 2001; Dr. Andrews has even pulled all-nighters

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

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* Dr. Gerard Andrews, Chief of Bacteriology, explained at his civil deposition why the silicon signature in the anthrax was exculpatory of Dr. Bruce Ivins

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

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* Colonel Eitzen, the Commander, testified at civil deposition that a two-person rule prior to October 2001 would have been impractical because of the need for work on weekends and nights

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

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* At his civil deposition, Dr. Jahrling explained “I think there’s some questions to be asked about if that was a lyophilized powder how come the lyophilizer wasn’t contaminated.”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

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* Although the corrections to the Stephen Little transcript are not actually work-product or attorney-client — they are corrections to the transcript (in the nature of addendum) — USAMRIID is free to redact the changes made that it doesn’t want anyone to see

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 15, 2013

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