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

* The List Of Comparisons Done By FBI’s Handwriting Analyst Who Found Ivins Probably DId Not Write The Anthrax Letters Is 22 Pages Long; The FBI Advises DXer That No Comparison Of Mohammed Atta’s Handwriting Is Among The Many Dozens Listed That Were Provided The Amerithrax Task Force

Posted by DXer on April 28, 2014



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18 Responses to “* The List Of Comparisons Done By FBI’s Handwriting Analyst Who Found Ivins Probably DId Not Write The Anthrax Letters Is 22 Pages Long; The FBI Advises DXer That No Comparison Of Mohammed Atta’s Handwriting Is Among The Many Dozens Listed That Were Provided The Amerithrax Task Force”

  1. DXer said

    Maybe the FBI will release a picture of the hoax “Chinese Zodiac Killer” letter/s sent to television stations in Upstate New York.

  2. DXer said

    Science organizations renew call for independent U.S. committee on forensics

    By Spencer S. Hsu June 29 at 7:00 AM
    Leading U.S. science organizations called on the Justice Department to renew an abandoned partnership with independent scientists to help raise forensic science standards, warning bluntly that doubts about questioned techniques have grown to the point that “society’s faith in the American justice system is at risk.”

    The groups, led by the nation’s largest general scientific body and professional societies representing chemists, statisticians and human behavioral and brain researchers, were responding to the Trump administration’s decision to replace the National Commission on Forensic Science with an in-house law enforcement task force and yet-to-be-named adviser.

    [Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy]

    Led by the 120,000-member American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which publishes the journal Science, the groups said in a June 9 letter that after years of enhanced scrutiny, “we simply do not know whether many forensic practices are reliable or valid scientifically.”

  3. DXer said

    Justice Department issues first standards for forensic expert testimony

    By Spencer S. Hsu June 3 at 6:38 PM
    The Justice Department proposed the first department-wide standards for forensic expert testimony Friday, responding to findings in 2014 that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit had overstated testimony in criminal trials for decades.

  4. DXer said

    Handwriting forensics are part of the science that the GAO should review. GAO should obtain the FBI’s handwriting expert’s review of Atta’s handwriting and report the FBI’s conclusion. (There are formal, standard phrases used in such a comparison). If the FBI found that Atta’s handwriting was consistent with the anthrax letters — whereas Dr. Ivins probably did not write the letters — this is not an issue on which the USG should play hide-the-ball from the American public.

    Of course, if the FBI did not make such a comparison of Atta’s handwriting and the anthrax letters, that is just incredibly negligent. There is no logical reason that the letters needed to be written after Atta died on 9/11.

  5. DXer said

    At the June 2013 NIST conference, sponsored in part by the FBI, JoAnn Buscaglia, PhD, presented “Introduction to Quantitative Systems for Forensic Handwriting Comparisons.”

    Click to access Intro-to-Quantitative-Systems-for-Forensic-Handwriting-Comparisons-Buscaglia.pdf

    She explained that objective measurements and statistical analysis are used to support the scientific basis of forensic handwriting identications. (see Daubert)

    GAO, what objective measurements and statistical analysis were used to support the scientific basis of the forensic handwriting examination conclusion that Dr. Ivins probably did not write the Fall 2001 anthrax letters?

    Given the hundreds of pages of Dr. Ivins handwriting available, automation, if allowed, would allow the FBI to sort and process large numbers of handwritten pages.

    Moreover, given the large number of pages seized from jihadists, automation would allow investigators to search through large databases of reference writers, identifying the most potential writers for manual examination.

    It allows investigators to connect seemingly unrelated cases — improving solvability. For example, hoax letters such as the St. Petersburg letters could be compared.

    Automated systems include FISH, Wanda, FLASH ID, CedarFox and iFox, D-Scribe and SIFT.

    GAO, Dr. Buscaglia at advises that she can answer any questions as to which, if any, of these methods were used in Amerithrax.

  6. DXer said

    At the June 2013 NIST conference sponsored in part by the FBI, Christopher Sunders presented the MITRE Computer Vision.

    I believe it is used by the CIA.

    Was the MITRE work used on the Fall 2001 anthrax letters?

    If so, what was the result of the comparison to Mohammed Atta’s handwriting?

  7. DXer said

    Some context of the 2002 handwriting examinations done by USPIS in Amerithrax.

    U.S. v. LEWIS
    NO. CR.A. 2:02-00042.
    220 F.Supp.2d 548 (2002)
    UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
    Edward Lee LEWIS, Defendant.
    United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division.
    September 11, 2002.
    Bryant J. Spann, AUSA, Charleston, WV, for United States.
    Carl J. Dascoli, Jr., Charleston, WV, for Edward Lee Lewis.

    GOODWIN, District Judge.

    Edward Lee Lewis was indicted on four counts of mailing threatening communications in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 876 (2002), one count of mailing a threat to the President in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 871 & 2(b) (2002), and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), & 924(e)(1) (2002). Prior to trial, Lewis filed a motion in limine to exclude the testimony of the Government’s expert witness, forensic document analyst John W. Cawley, III, under Rule 702 of theFederal Rules of Evidence. The court GRANTED the motion, finding that Mr. Cawley’s testimony was not sufficiently reliable to meet the standards for expert testimony under Rule 702, as explicated by the Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993) and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 119 S.Ct. 1167, 143 L.Ed.2d 238 (1999). At trial, after the close of the Government’s evidence and at the close of all the evidence, the defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal based on insufficiency of the evidence pursuant to Rule 29(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The court DENIED the motions. The defendant now moves for a judgment of acquittal pursuant to Rule 29(c), and for a new trial pursuant to Rule 33 [Docket 82]. The court DENIES that motion. The court writes to further explain its rulings.

    On direct, Mr. Cawley testified that he
    1) currently works as a forensic document analyst at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Crime Laboratory in Dulles, Virginia, and has been employed there since 1977.
    2) is certified as a questioned document analyst, a certification he received after completing two years of formal training with the U.S. Postal Service Crime Laboratory and one year of training under “recognized experts.”
    3) has testified approximately seventy times in courts as a questioned documents expert and has taught basic inspector training classes for the Postal Inspection Service.
    Tr. 1-3. With respect to the theories and principles behind handwriting analysis, Mr. Cawley testified to the following:
    1) The central tenet behind handwriting identification is that no two individuals write identically. He supported this testimony by stating that “this basic principle of handwriting identification has been proven time and time again through research in my field, as well as recently through a study that was conducted out of the University of Buffalo by a Dr. Srihari.” Tr. at 4.
    2) Document analysts have performed research studies in the field and have published papers in the relevant journals, though Mr. Cawley could not recall specific names of articles or authors. Tr. at 4-5.
    3) These research studies are subject to a peer review process, namely symposia and annual meetings of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners. Mr. Cawley also discussed a system in his own office by which each document examiner’s work is re-examined by another examiner. Tr. at 6-7.
    4) The laboratory where Mr. Cawley works submits each examiner to a proficiency test each year, which it administers, and since 1989, Mr. Cawley’s passage rate has been 100%. Tr. at 8.
    5) The error rate of questioned document analysts has been determined by one study by Dr. Moshe Kam, and that study states the error rate of professional document examiners is 6% and the error rate of lay persons is 38%; these rates only applied to cursive writing. Tr. at 10-11.
    6) Generally, the field of handwriting analysis is an old and venerated profession, however, Mr. Cawley would not categorize his skills as those gained by scientific knowledge, but rather as a skill gained through specialized knowledge, training, or experience. Tr. at 9 & 12.
    On cross-examination and upon questioning by the court, the following testimony was elicited:
    1) Mr. Cawley does not possess a college or masters degree in forensic science, but is currently working toward completing his degree requirements for a B.S. in personnel labor relations. Tr. at 16-17.
    2) When asked about the error rate of print writing as opposed to cursive writing, he asserted that he could not speak on the error rate. Tr. at 14-15. When asked about the existence of other studies than the ones he mentioned on direct examination, Mr. Cawley testified generally as to the existence of “[r]esearch papers throughout the community … published articles in various journals.” Tr. at 38-39. When asked to elaborate, he stated the existence of studies addressing the frequency of certain handwriting characteristics, European handprinting analysis, and class characteristics of Latin American, African, and Asian handprinting. Tr. at 40-41. A few of the authors’ names were provided, but the titles of the articles were not supplied. Tr. at 40-41. When asked by the court about the error rate of these studies and whether any of the studies had been replicated, Mr. Cawley admitted that he did not know. Tr. at 40-41. He also stated that other than the Kam studies mentioned in his testimony, he was unaware of any studies that address the potential error rate of forensic document examiners. Tr. at 47. When asked about the error rate of the Srihari study that he mentioned, Mr. Cawley again admitted that he did not know. Tr. at 44.

    In sum, Mr. Cawley could not testify about the substance of the studies he cited. He did not know the relevant methodologies or the error rates involved in these studies. His bald assertion that the “basic principle of handwriting identification has been proven time and time again through research in [his] field,” without more specific substance, is inadequate to demonstrate testability and error rate.

    There were aspects of Mr. Cawley’s testimony that undermined his credibility. Mr. Cawley testified that he achieved a 100% passage rate on the proficiency tests that he took and that all of his peers alwayspassed their proficiency tests. Mr. Cawley said that his peers always agreed with each others’ results andalways got it right. Peer review in such a “Lake Woebegone” environment is not meaningful.

    Mr. Cawley also failed to offer any substantive explanation of the standards used in the field of handwriting analysis. Although he stated that stroke similarities are required to make a positive match, he was unclear as to how many similarities are required for positive identification. Mr. Cawley had no explanation for why twenty-five samples of writing were necessary for a comparison of handwriting. He simply said that twenty-five samples was the number generally used. Finally, while there may be general acceptance of the theories and techniques employed in handwriting analysis among the “forensic evidence community,” this acceptance does not demonstrate reliability. If courts allow the admission of long-relied upon but ultimately unproven analysis, they may unwittingly perpetuate and legitimate junk science.
    After a careful review of the Daubert factors, the court found that it would have been improper to admit expert testimony based on principles and methodologies that have yet to be proven through proper testing. By excluding Mr. Cawley’s testimony, the court did not hold that handwriting identification testimony is not reliable. Rather, the court narrowly held that handwriting analysis is susceptible to testing for reliability. The Government failed to offer evidence to prove that such testing had been done and the court GRANTED the defendant’s motion in limine.

  8. DXer said

    Although the comparison of Dr. Ivins’s handwriting exemplars was negative, and it was concluded he probably did not write the anthrax letters, other comparisons were deemed similar.

    See generally
    Handwriting Examination: Meeting the Challenges of Science and the Law

  9. DXer said

    Blogger Ed does not, in fact, set out the relevant facts relating to an Al Qaeda theory for examination and never has (in thousands of posts). Having no content of his own, his schtick now has been reduced to arguing that I’m mean to point out his theory that a First Grader wrote the letters is stupid.

    In 2005, I emphasized:

    “He never considers why Jafar the Pilot (I believe) met with anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat in June 2001 — indeed, he never so much as mentions either of their names.”

    (My sourcing on a June 2001 meeting apparently was DIA/CIA because Shukrijumah and Sufaat. The two were not being publicly associated until I started to do so recently).

    Ed settled on his view that Al Qaeda was not responsible in 2001. He says he knew right “from the start.” He then just chose not to address documentary evidence and other evidence obtained in interrogations over the past years. He just chooses to ignore:

    (1) the documentary evidence found on Ayman Zawahiri’s computer (to include his emails to Atef and his study of the USAMRIID Army anthrax program),
    (2) the anthrax production documents on Khalid Mohammed’s laptop,
    (3) the statements of detainees in 1999 that Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad intended to use anthrax against US targets because of the rendering of its leaders,
    (4) the detention of various microbiologists and bacteriologists working with Al Qaeda,
    (5) the physical evidence relating to the lap equipment found at Kandahar,
    (6) the activities of various operatives known to have been complicitous with the 9/11 hijackers (to include access to the Ames strain of anthrax), and
    (7) the code used by the anthrax mailer in comparison to the code used by the 911 participants.
    (8) the fact Sufaat was working with virulent Ames,
    (9) the fact that the dna testing pointed to the strain being Ames,
    (10) the fact that Al Qaeda anthrax lab director does not deny to me being responsible for the anthrax mailings.
    (11) the fact that “the next Atta”, staying at KSM’s house as did Yazid Sufaat, called his mother upon 9/11 and announced he was coming to the US, following shortly after a fellow biochem operative Al-Marri (who had joined him in casing NYC for a biochem attack according to the FBI).

    Ed’s much lampooned argument that the hijackers are “dead, dead, dead” rings hollow in contrast to the thoughtful analysis by Kenneth Dillon, a former State Department analyst, about Jdey, who was in Montreal in September and October 2001. The names of various other operatives such as my candidate for mailing, Adnan Shukrijumah, for a decade never were typed on Ed’s keyboard.

    Ed’s suggestion that a child wrote the letters (because block letters were used) has always been especially foolish. It is not difficult for an adult to disguise his writing (using block letters). There would be no reason to involve a child. Duh.

    In a book (this spring he has sold at least two copies of a revised edition), Ed spends ten pages and 18 subarguments in arguing that a child — a 6 year old child entering first grade no less — wrote the letter. He thinks that the writer of the letter the writer must not have known the illegal nature of what he was doing or else the person would not have become bored and doodled — tracing over 5 A’s and two or three T’s. (Hint: A and T are the letters used to spell “Atta”)

    He concludes that “the letter writer was totally unaware of the serious consequences of what he was doing.” He thinks that the mailer kept a copy of the original for his files so he could prove that he did it.

    On the issue of the J-Lo letter, while disagreeing with the CDC conclusion that the publisher received two letters containing anthrax, he nowhere mentions or addresses the two routes of contamination through Florida post offices. He never bothered to obtain the 2000 pages of CDC documents relating to sampling Florida Post Offices — not even after I pointed out that they had been processed and were freely available.

    While purporting to be debunking an Al Qaeda theory, he nowhere mentions or addresses the anthrax planning and anthrax spray drying documents on Zawahiri’s and Khalid Mohammed’s computers. If someone were actually addressing relevant evidence in supporting an Al Qaeda theory in order to debunk it, one would address the direct evidence of motive, planning, means, and modus operandi represented by Al Qaeda’s Zabadi (“Curdled Milk”) program documents. Nor does he mention the bacteriologists and microbiologists who have been detained. He just emphasizes that the hijackers were all “dead, dead, dead” and if there were accomplices the FBI would be talking about them. (He overlooked that the FBI was talking about Atta’s associates, to include Adnan El-Shukrijumah and Jdey, and was offering a $5 million reward).

    Ed butchers the question of modus operandi by making assertions without any support and ignoring what the experts say — for example, the former CIA Al Qaeda expert Mike Scheuer’s argument that the plotters feel that clear warning is required by the Quran before the use of WMD. The Al Qaeda manual chapter on “Poisonous Letters” instructs the sender to wipe the inside with silicone sealant to avoid killing the mailman. The fact that the edges were taped was evidence pointing to Al Qaeda — not away from Al Qaeda. Just this week we have heard about these manuals.

    Ed spends a lot of time on the text of the letters and envelopes — and the return address of “Greendale School”. Yet he nowhere mentions that Zawahiri used “school” ( in an important May 2001 letter to his followers) to refer to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or that anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat named his laboratory Green Laboratory Medicine (because green symbolizes islam).

    Similarly, on this question of modus operandi, he nowhere addresses and the mailing of letter bombs to newspaper branches in DC and NYC in 1997, as well as symbolic targets, in connection with the detention of the WTC 1993 plotters. Nor does he address the instances of mailings of nerve agent or cyanide by senders purporting to be islamist.

    As for opportunity, he repeatedly argues that the hijackers were “DEAD” and argues that the FBI would mention other operatives if they thought there were any. For over a decade, he was oblivious to the multi-million dollar rewards for the likes of, for example, Jdey or Jafar the Pilot aka Adnan El-Shukrijumah, as if he is unaware of FBI BOLOs (“Be On The Lookout Alerts”). He can keep his sale of two books. Dr. Dillon is going for the $5 million and $25 million bounties still pending. Ken can have the money so long as Brad Pitt plays me in the movie.

    Ed disagrees with the CIA’s conclusion that Atta’s inquiries were for the purpose of dispersing a biological agent. All the while he pedantically argues the importance of addressing “facts” and not opinions.

    As documents under FOIA are produced relating to Awlaki, Ali Al-Timimi and Adnan El-Shukrijumah, he will continue to ignore them as he did the civil depositions by the leaders of the inspection teams who visited USAMRIID in 2001 and 2002 to probe the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. He will still be hanging around the playground.

    An additional four depositions will be uploaded to the USAMRIID Electronic Reading Room today. It took me a while to figure out the Army’s SAFE system for transferring oversized files.

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

    • DXer said

      The internet poster, Ed, announced his First Grader wrote the anthrax letters in 2001.

      He then separately described his dismissal of an Al Qaeda theory as follows:

      “From the very beginning, the facts seemed to say: It wasn’t al Qaeda! Prime among the facts were all the precautions that the terrorist took to do minimal harm. That by itself said: NOT al Qaeda!”

      (See Wayback Machine)

      That is still his argument. See his current website.

      It was known to be false upon the first reports about the chapter on “Poisonous Letters” in Al Qaeda’s manual. Even El-Shukrijumah’s friends in Trinidad over a decade ago explained that it was necessary to clearly warn your enemy before the use of a poison. (It was in the context of showing a reporter their lab). I’ve posted the story today.

      And Ed thought that Al Qaeda coud not be responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings because the hijackers were all dead. Which was really stupid given that it was widely known that there are other members of Al Qaeda.

      He wrote/writes:

      “Why not just say, All those September 11 guys were DEAD at the time of the anthrax mailings! It couldn’t have been them!”

      In all these years, he never bothered to address Atta’s accomplices — such as El-Shukrijumah and Jdey — which is why he now is making so many mistakes on issues known to anyone actually following the current events. He argued that there could not have been accomplices because otherwise the FBI would be talking about them! Ed pretended to be oblivious that the FBI was offering $5 million rewards.

      Well, a federal court judge is considering right now whether to require to disclose more additional information about one of Atta’s known accomplices — the well-travelled Adnan El-Shukrijumah… who like Al Qaeda anthrax lab head Yazid Sufaat stayed with KSM in Kandahar. Adnan called his mom right after 9/11 and told he was coming to the US. She begged him not to come but he insisted.

      In the 2005 post of mine I link, I noted that his first version of his book Ed explained that the person must have been doodling when he doublined A-T-T-A. That was the version of the book that existed for many years — until he realized he was wrong after the case was closed by the FBI and he jumped onto a different sinking ship.

      Every day Ed wakes up and posts an unending cascade of mistakes that he never corrects.

      At the very least, his number of new mistakes each day outnumbers the mistakes he corrects.

  10. Lew Weinstein said

    So if Ivins didn’t write the envelopes, he was NOT THE SOLE PERPETRATOR, as the FBI claims.

    OK, that’s one down, many more to follow.

    IVINS DIDN’T DO IT, and the FBI should finally say it has NO PROOF for its assertion that he did.

    • DXer said

      Handwriting analysis was part of the forensics done in Amerithrax. The forensics in Amerithrax were exculpatory of Dr. Ivins.

      In the formal handwriting examination conducted in the Amerithrax investigation, it was concluded that “Bruce E. Ivins probably did not write the writings appearing on the ‘anthrax’ envelopes and letters.” The Assistant US Attorney did not disclose that fact in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary.
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 13, 2013

      In particular, there is no evidence — none at all — that he travelled to New Jersey. Not direct, and not circumstantial.

      Unlike Adnan El-Shukrijumah, Ivins was not living at the same house as the fellow, Yazid Sufaat, whose mission was to attack the US with anthrax.

      DXer says: Adnan El-Shukrijumah is the anthrax mailer … on or about 9/13/2001, he phoned from KSM’s house to tell his mom he was coming to the US
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 6, 2013

      Unlike El-Shukrijumah, Ivins did not call a loved one and say that he was going to travel the week of the mailings. Indeed, Dr. Ivins had an alibi the night the FBI speculates he must have travelled to New Jersey.

      DXer: The big picture may seem complicated. But, most simply, Dr. Ivins in fact had an alibi on 9/17. That was when his group therapy met.
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 22, 2011

      It was only after Dr. Ivins’ death that the FBI acknowledged and confirmed he went to his group therapy session the evening of 9/17 on 10/8 — just as he had claimed. Why didn’t they corroroborate and acknowledge such a critical fact sooner?
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 11, 2012

      Unlike El-Shukrijumah, Ivins was not later living with the mass murderer (Hawsawi) who had anthrax drying documents on his laptop.

      Unlike El-Shukrijumah, Dr. Ivins did not stay in New Jersey while casing NYC targets, and then travelling to DC to case targets.

      Shukrijumah did the casing with a man named Dhiren Barot along with another biochem operative who entered then came back into the country on September 10, 2001. The FBI specifically concluded that the casing related in part to use of a biochemical weapon.

      In light of the evidence dating to when El-Shukrijumah and Dhiren Barot were staying in New Jersey in 2001 casing New York City targets, neither are going to win uncle of the year award either.

      BBC –

      Barot carried out “substantial research” into the dirty bomb project, placing the details in computer files called “Brad Pitt” and “radioactive children”. …

      • Plans to carry out bombings on the US were initiated before the September 11 2001 attacks, then shelved, but still worked on as late as February 2004.
      • Specific targets in the US plot included the International Monetary Fund and World Bank buildings in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange and Citigroup buildings in New York, and the Prudential building in Newark, New Jersey.
      • The US plans were prepared after reconnaissance was carried out by Barot during visits in 2000 and 2001.
      • A video of the Bruce Willis film Die Hard With A Vengeance seized from a London garage was found to have footage shot in New York in April 2001 at the end of it.
      • The filmed showed various locations in New York – focusing on entrances, security cameras, barriers and side streets as well as Jewish buildings, including synagogues.
      • Film footage of the World Trade Center featured a voice making the sound of an explosion.
      • Prosecutors said the Crown was not suggesting Barot had “knowledge” of the 9/11 terror attacks, but it “does demonstrate a more than unhealthy and violent interest in attacks on iconic buildings”. …


      • Material recovered in Barot’s computer files used seemingly innocuous words to represent different topics such as “monty”, “children” and “uncle” to cover research into explosives, gases and chemicals.
      • Deleted material uncovered on a hard drive revealed files containing research into topics such radioactive materials, homemade bombs, arson attacks and fire protection systems.
      • A handbook listing hazardous chemicals was found, as were notebooks containing references to books on subjects including explosives, chemical and biological warfare, and building structures.
      • “Shopping lists” of electrical items that could be used to construct an “improvised explosive device” were also seized, as was the text of a statement by Osama bin Laden “glorifying the September 11 attacks”.
      • Barot set up temporary e-mail accounts to send coded messages and adopted anti-surveillance techniques.

      • DXer said

        Adnan El-Shukrijumah and Dhiren Barot may be fans of Brad Pitt — but the casting department will forever have them playing the role of the zombies.

      • DXer said

        1. What did Al Qaeda anthrax lab head Yazid Sufaat discuss at the meeting in Kandahar with Adnan El-Shukrijumah and KSM before Adnan set off to return to the United States shortly after 9/11? Both El-Shukrijumah and Sufaat would stay at KSM’s house in Kandahar. Kandahar is where the anthrax was located. Sufaat and his assistants were working with virulent anthrax. The DNA was indicated in testing to be Ames. See Relman, SCIENCE.

        Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 7, 2013

        2. El-Shukrijumah was fond of using all colored caps in a centered format such as used in the anthrax letters.

        Amerithrax: GAO And Reporters Should Obtain Handwriting Exemplars Of Atta’s Associate El-Shukrijumah, Al Qaeda’s Head of External Operations, Who Promoted His Father’s Language Course
        Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 15, 2013

        3. Zawahiri and Mohammed Islambouli (brother of Sadat’s assassin) personally visited Adnan El-Shukrijumah’s Brooklyn, NY mosque, Al-Farouq
        Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 7, 2013

        Islambouli then was the fellow in the cell with KSM in the 1990s planning attacks on the United States. (Many of the key EIJ leaders, including its spiritual leader Blind Sheik Abdel Rahman, date back to the assassination of Sadat by Islambouli’s brother.)

        4. Relatedly, did Najibullah Zazi send the June/early July 2007 Goldman Sachs threat letters? Indicted with DXer’s candidate for the anthrax mailings Adnan El-Shukrijumah, Zazi’s coffee cart was right below the Goldman Sachs building (then located) at 825 Broad near Stone St.

        Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 20, 2013

        I called the FBI after the Goldman Sachs letters and told the FBI that the long recanting letter sounded “hinky”– that some not readily apparent intervening event (besides the publicity and investigation) may have triggered the odd, lengthy recantation. I emphasized that 9 people were a lot of people to know a secret. On “Law and Order”, the FBI would catch the parents and kids in frenzied emails or texts. I said that the 100 letters seemed an awful lot of work. (I told them that internet poster Ed’s theory that the mailer was drawing a smiley in the 100 newspapers was especially stupid.) The beautiful FBI Agent, an attorney herself, agreed, adding that the student’s friends would have no reason to be involved. (The recanting letter had asked the investigation to be called off and claimed that the initial threat letters had been due to a high school student’s grievance over some financial dispute involving a parent with Goldman Sachs.)

        Former FBI Agent Don Borelli, who questioned Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist Abdur Rauf (Rauf Ahmad) over tea and cookies at an ISI safehouse in February 2002, noted this week that the NYC’s demographics unit had not been useful in ferreting out Zazi. By February 2002, Adnan El-Shukrijumah was holed up in a Karachi apartment, hiding with Al-Hawsawi, KSM’s assistant with the anthrax drying documents on his laptop. Zawahiri had never trusted Rauf Ahmad because his motivation was money whereas Yazid Sufaat’s motivation was ideological. So Rauf Ahmad was unlikely to lead Agent Borelli to Adnan El-Shukrijumah. Although Agent Borelli had expected a prosecution, he says the investigation went the way of secret prisons instead. It just recently has been revealed that one of Sufaat’s vaccinated assistants was secretly detained — it just has recently been revealed that the assistant is being held by Israel. These secret detentions have done much to obscure analysis.

        Stateside, Dhiren Bharot and Adnan El-Shukrijumah and biochem operative Al-Marri cased New York City targets in 2001. The FBI determined casing the helicopters seemed for use of a biochemical weapon. Dhiren was in the country pretending to go to a community college in Upstate New York, Mohawk Valley Community College. Who were his recommendations in his college application? Dhiren Bharot (Barot) stayed in New Jersey with Dhiren’s cousin Meeta and her husband.

        Catching the bad guys is very much a matter of starting with a bad guy such as Ayman Zawahiri and working backwards, figuring out who knew who. Putting a microchip in their butt or in the battery of their satellite phone works too.

        But closing a case when it is your own witness who thinks an alien is controlling her through a microchip does not work.

    • DXer said

      Adnan El-Shukrijumah was a legal permanent resident. (Moreover, although numerous detainees in 2002 were talking about “Jafar the Pilot,” authorities appear to have been confused and did not realize that the name was an alias for Adnan El-Shukrijumah.)

      OH GOD, you who open all doors, please open all doors for me, open all venues for me, open all avenues for me. — Mohammed Atta

      Click to access 17865.pdf

      Immigration and Terrorism
      Moving Beyond the 9/11 Staff Report on Terrorist Travel
      By Janice L. Kephart

      Former counsel to the September 11 Commission and an author of 9/11 and Terrorist Travel: A Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. She has testified before Congress and made numerous appearances in print and broadcast media.

      Research used in preparing portions of this report was conducted with the assistance of (former) select staff of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Josh Lefkowitz, Jacob Wallace, and Jeremiah Baronberg.

      The FBI’s Most Wanted Al Qaeda LPR

      Born in Saudi Arabia,82 Adnan El-Shukrijumah, aka “Jafar the Pilot,” has spent 15 years in the United States (mostly in South Florida), speaks fluent English, and has been employed as a teacher.83 El-Shukrijumah trained with Jose Padilla to partner in the dirty bomb plot, 84 helicopter plots, and the New York and New Jersey financial infrastructure plots discovered in the summer of 2004. A Department of Homeland Security document quoted in Newsweek states that “KSM has identified Adnan el Shukrijumah, a Saudi born permanent U.S. resident alien, as an operative with standing permission to attack targets in the United States that had been previ- ously approved by Osama Bin Ladin.”85 FBI Director Robert Mueller called him “a trained operative who poses an operational threat to the United States”86 who the FBI considers to be armed and dangerous.87

      In late 2000 or early 2001, El-Shukrijumah was under investigation for his relationship to Imran Mandhai, convicted in Florida of conspiring to bomb a National Guard armory, power stations, Jewish businesses, and Mount Rushmore prior to 9/11.88 Mandhai was as- sociated with Hakki Cemal Aksoy, convicted in 2002 for firearms violations and asylum fraud and in whose apart- ment bomb making manuals and notes were found. El- Shukrijumah had previously applied for naturalization, but the INS interior enforcement office in Miami no- ticed that the application was fraudulent. The INS agents working the case met with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, and even discussed seeking a search warrant for El-Shukrijumah’s residence. Without further informa- tion linking El-Shukrijumah to terrorist activity, the mat- ter was dropped.89

      As an LPR, El-Shukrijumah easily traveled to and from attended training camps in Afghanistan,90 where he was most likely schooled by Ramzi Binalshibh, famous for his role as emissary between KSM and 9/11 ring leader Mohamad Atta.91 El- Shukrijumah is a skilled bomb maker and a Florida- trained pilot,92 and authorities have found a document that ties him (via one of his aliases) to the Oklahoma flight school where Zacarias Moussaoui trained.93 He may have been friendly with Atta as well, as I describe an immigration officer’s witnessing of receiving a request for help with travel documents in May 2001 from El-Shukrijumah on behalf of Atta and likely another 9/11 pilot in 9/11 and Terrorist Travel.94

      According to Attorney General John Ashcroft, El-Shukrijumah “scouted sites across America that might be vulnerable to terrorist attack.”95 In addition to sur- veilling high-profile targets in New York’s financial dis- trict,96 El-Shukrijumah surveilled the Panama Canal.97 Back in the United States, he was also involved in an aborted plot with Jose Padilla to blow up apartment buildings in the United States.98 He was also likely Padilla’s first partner in the dirty bomb plot, but differ- ences between them ended the joint venture.

      There are also reports that El-Shukrijumah attempted to procure radioactive material from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.99 In March 2004, El- Shukrijumah attended a terrorist summit in Pakistan and met with a number of key al Qaeda members, in- cluding Abu Issa Al-Hindi, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, and Mohammed Babar.100 Recently he has been spotted in Mexico.101 He reportedly met with mem- bers of the Mara Salvatrucha gang (known as MS-13) in Honduras, although Interpol denies the existence of evi- dence of such a meeting.102 In September 2004, the Aviation and Security Association reported, “An alert air- line crewmember saw and then confronted a suspicious acting person at Kansai International Airport in Japan. El Shukrijumah was this suspicious person.” However, law enforcement was not notified.103

      Reporting indicates that since El-Shukrijumah fled the United States after 9/11, he has tried to get back into the United States using various passports.104 He has a Guyanese passport, but may also hold passports from Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Trinidad.105 However, unless authorities made a decision to permit Shukrijumah his freedom for law enforcement or intelligence reasons, or know that he did manage to enter the United States on one of these passports undetected and law enforcement knows about it, I do not place much credence in these reports.

    • DXer said

      Attorney General Ashcroft has noted Shukrijumah’s various passports. He says that the FBI knows of “attempts both successful and unsuccessful in the past that have resulted in their being here.”

      “Adnan Shukrijumah, for example, could be a future facilitator of terrorist attacks for Al Qaida. He speaks English well. He lived in the United States for years and has tried to get back into the United States using various passports.
      We know that he has been involved in terrorist planning with senior Al Qaida leaders overseas and has scouted sites across America that might be vulnerable to terrorist attack.”

      FBI Director Mueller also pointed to Jdey as selected for a second attack in the US.

      “Abderraouf Jdey appears in a martyrdom video that was seized in Afghanistan. His tape and the tape of four others is the last will and testament of five possible jihad martyrs. He was reportedly selected to get flight training in preparation for a second attack in the United States. He is a Canadian citizen born in Tunisia.

      Adnan Shukrijumah, as has been mentioned by the attorney general, is a trained operative who poses an operational threat to the United States. As was pointed out, he’s English-speaking, spent 15 years in the United States, left the United States when he was led to believe that we were interested in his activities. He was born in Saudi Arabia and carries a Guyanese passport.” …

      “MUELLER: The FBI and the entire intelligence community continues to seek information as to the whereabouts and activities of these seven individuals in connection to possible terrorist threats or attacks in the United States or against American interests overseas.


      “ASHCROFT: Well, we know some of them to be very adept at the variety of things that are necessary for the achievement of an attack in the United States. Some of them very familiar with the United States. Obviously, several of them by having lived here, been educated here, speak English well, understand the country well. Those are very important things.”


      “As to these individuals, we know a number of them have spent a considerable amount of time in the United States. We know of their familiarity. We know of their attempts both successful and unsuccessful in the past that have resulted in their being here.

      We are not able to say with certainty where they are at this particular time.”

    • DXer said

      1. Dr. Ivins did not write the date similar to the writer of the anthrax letters ; the FBI should stop withholding its expert’s handwriting comparison

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 13, 2013

      2. DXer: In no handwritten exemplar, out of the many dozens of uploaded handwriting exemplars from lab notebooks in which a “4″ was written, did Bruce Ivins ever use the closed “4″ such as was used in the Fall 2001 anthrax letters ; moreover, Ivins in the exemplars used a single stroke to make a “1″

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 13, 2013

      3. Today USAMRIID produced an additional Lab Notebook 3919, providing still more exemplars of Dr. Ivins’ handwriting. The GAO should request a copy of the FBI’s handwriting report which found that Dr. Ivins’ handwriting did not match the anthrax letters.
      Posted on May 13, 2011

      4. Here is another handwriting sample of Bruce Ivins — this one discussing the planned visit by the former Zawahiri associate being supplied virulent Ames in early May 1998
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 7, 2011

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