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

* The “visiting foreign scientist” from Egypt and Sudan was provided virulent Ames and Vollum 1B by Ivins in 1998

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 14, 2014

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4 Responses to “* The “visiting foreign scientist” from Egypt and Sudan was provided virulent Ames and Vollum 1B by Ivins in 1998”

  1. DXer said

    FBI hunts doctor from Flint area tied to Islamic State

    Robert Snell, The Detroit News 12 a.m. EDT June 23, 2016
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/06/23/fbi-hunts-doctor-flint-area-tied-islamic-state/86270418/

    The U.S. passport holder and about 10 other students from the University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum, Sudan, crossed into a section of Syria controlled by the Islamic State and were believed to be working in hospitals, according to a March 2015 report by the Guardian newspaper.

    If Masha is aiding Islamic State extremists, it is a relatively rare case of recruiting an American.

    Since 2014, 88 people have been charged in the U.S. with ISIS-related crimes, and investigations target hundreds more, according to George Washington University statistics.

    More than 250 Americans have tried or succeeded in joining ISIS in Syria or Iraq, Hughes said.

  2. DXer said

    I provided some background in June 2009.

    June 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some filed before 9/11, the inventors thank Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). Dr. Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project. A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:

    “The release of such agents as biological weapons could be catastrophic in light of the fact that such diseases will readily spread the air. In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes increasingly clear that cheap, fast and effective methods of killing bacterial spores are needed for decontaminating purposes. The inventive compounds have great potential as environmental decontamination agents and for treatments of casualties in both military and terrorist attacks. The inactivation of a broad range of pathogens … and bacterial spores (Hamouda et al., 1999), combined with low toxicity in experimental animals, make them (i.e., the inventive compounds) particularly well suited for use as general decontamination agents before a specific pathogen is identified.”

    In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors’ company, NanoBio, is funded by DARPA. NanoBio received a $3,150,000 defense contract in 2003. Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio.

    The University of Michigan researchers presented at various listed meetings and conferences in 1998 and 1999. The December 1999 article being referred to by Dr. Baker in his email to you is titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in the Journal for Infectious Diseases. It states:

    “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1B strains, were supplied by Bruce Ivins (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD) and were prepared as described elsewhere. Four other strains of B. anthracis were provided by Martin Hugh-Jones (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.” Dr. Baker reports the work NanoBio’s research with virulent Ames was “done at USAMRIID by a microbiologist under Dr. Ivins’ direct supervision and at LSU under the direction of Dr. Hugh Jones.”

    In the acknowledgements section, the University of Michigan authors thank:

    Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support.

    Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Arthur Friedlander, and the staff of USAMRIID for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.

    Martin-Hugh-Jones, Kimothy Smith, and Pamala Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).

    Robin Kunkel (Department of Pathology, University of Michigan) for her help with electron microscopy and a couple of others for technical assistance and manuscript preparation.

    The researchers found that their nanoemulsion incorporated into the growth medium completely inhibited the growth of the spores. Transmission electron microscope was used to examine the spores.
    In 1999, Dr.Kimothy Smith moved to the Arizona lab, bringing with him the lab’s first samples of anthrax.”

    The patent explained that “The nanoemulsions can be rapidly produced in large quantities and are stable for many months *** Undiluted, they have the texture of a semisolid cream and can be applied topically by hand or mixed with water. Diluted, they have a consistency and appearance similar to skim milk and can be sprayed to decontaminate surfaces or potentially interact with aerosolized spores before inhalation.”

    A March 18, 1998 press release had provided some background to the novel DARPA-funded work. It was titled “Novavax Microbicides Undergoing Testing at University of Michigan Against Biological Warfare Agents; Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare.” The release stated that “The Novavax Biologics Division has designed several potent microbicides and is supplying these materials to the University of Michigan for testing under a subcontract. Various formulations are being tested as topical creams or sprays for nasal and environmental usage. The biocidal agent’s detergent degrades and then explodes the interior of the spore. Funding, the press release explains, was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense.

    In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998, Michael Hayes, a research associate in the U-Michigan Medical School, presented experimental evidence of BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. “In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish.” Its website explains that the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is the “[p]remier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology.” Where was Michael Hayes’ research done? Was he present?

    An article in University of Michigan Medical school’s, Medicine at Michigan (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1999) explained:

    “In studies with rats and mice in the U-M Medical School under the direction of James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology, the mixture, known as BCTP, attacked anthrax spores and healed wounds caused by a closely related species of bacteria, Bacillus cereus. (The letters BCTP stand for Bi-Component, Triton X-100 n-tributyl Phosphate.)

    Baker describes the process as follows: “The tiny lipid droplets in BCTP fuse with anthrax spores, causing the spores to revert to their active bacterial state. During this process, which takes 4-5 hours, the spore’s tough outer membrane changes, allowing BCTP’s solvent to strip away the exterior membrane. The detergent then degrades the spores’ interior contents. In scanning electron microscope images, the spores appear to explode.” The rapid inactivation of anthrax bacteria and spores combined with BCTP’s low toxicity thus make the emulsion a promising candidate for use as a broad-spectrum, post-exposure decontamination agent.
    ***
    The research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense.”

    Dr. Baker, by email, some months ago advised me: “We never had Ames and could not have it at our UM facilities.” Before September 2001, it’s office was described as in the basement of a downtown bank which seems to describe 912 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, just west of University of Michigan campus.

    An article in the Summer of 2000 in Medicine at Michigan explains:

    “Victory Site: Last December [December 1999] Tarek Hamouda, Amy Shih and Jim Baker traveled to a remote military station in the Utah desert. There they demonstrated for the U.S. Army Research and Development Command the amazing ability of non-toxic nanoemulsions (petite droplets of fat mixed with water and detergent) developed at Michigan to wipe out deadly anthrax-like bacterial spores. The square vertical surfaces shown here were covered with bacterial spores; Michigan’s innocuous nanoemulsion was most effective in killing the spores even when compared to highly toxic chemicals.”

    In an April 2001 report describing testing of decontamination agents at Dugway, the best performing decontamination nanoemulsions were University of Michigan, Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

    As Fortune magazine explained in November 2001 about NanoBio: “Then bioterror struck…. It moved to a bland corporate park where its office has no name on the door. It yanked its street address off its Website, whose hit rate jumped from 350 a month to 1,000 a day.” NanoBio was part of the solution: “in the back of NanoBio’s office sit two dozen empty white 55-gallon barrels. A few days before, DARPA had asked Annis and Baker if they could make enough decontaminant to clean several anthrax-tainted offices in the Senate. NanoBio’s small lab mixers will have to run day and night to fill the barrels. ‘This is not the way we want to do this,’ sighs [its key investor], shaking his head. ‘This is all a duct-tape solution.’ ” James Baker, founder of Ann Arbor’s NanoBio’s likes to quote a Chinese proverb: “When there are no lions and tigers in the jungle, the monkeys rule.”

    An October 2000 article in U.S. Medicine (http://www.usmedicine.com/article.cfm?articleID=79&issueID=17) stated …

    “A new generation of biological/chemical decontaminates may soon be ready for use. Among the most promising is a nanoemulsion developed at the University of Michigan Center for Biological Nano Technology.

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working closely with the center to move the technology along so that it can be implemented by the Defense Department.

    “Most decontamination techniques try to actually destroy anthrax spores with materials like bleach and formaldehyde,” explains Dr. James Baker, professor of medicine and director of the biological center at the University of Michigan. The nanoemulsion technology can be formulated into a cream, foam, liquid or spray to decontaminate a variety of materials, including human skin.

    Dr. Baker notes that the nanoemulsion has the potential to disrupt all biological threat agents, including anthrax. “Even if you can reduce the inhaling exposure by a little, you can have real benefit,” Dr. Baker notes.

    Researchers tested the nanoemulsion last December at Dugway Proving Ground, near Salt Lake City, against some of the top foams in development and already on the market. During simulated spores exhibitions, the nanoemulsion beat nine different technologies—some with “secret ingredients.”

    Dr. Baker said his research group is applying for approval by the Food and Drug Administration and plans to conduct field trials with DoD later this year or early next year. So far, however, he said, the military has expressed little excitement about or motivation to implement the technology.

    Pentagon sources suggest that the “mystery” of the relatively unknown technology could prompt a groundswell of public concern, as has happened with agent orange and the anthrax vaccine. They said DoD may also be holding out for a “silver bullet,” and in the meantime may feel content with not nearly as effective but already FDA-approved technologies.

    Dr. Baker maintains that the only major limitation to the nanoemulsion is that it cannot be used intravenously. He said he agrees that its uniqueness may be causing hesitation within DoD.

    Dr. Baker pointed out that the nanoemulsion could prove critical during a real or bogus biological/chemical attack. The current DoD reaction strategy to such an attack or accident involves the use of bleach—which can be harmful and painful to humans, and corrosive and damaging to equipment—as a decontaminate. ”

    Lew, were trials done in late 2000 or early 2001 as indicated contemplated by this last article? There was a mention in a 2002 report on the nanotechnology initiative of testing at Edgewood. Is that the place that FBI Director Mueller did not mention as a place that did aerosol testing of virulent Ames? It constructed a BL-3 in 2001.

    June 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm
    Sources:

    Press Release, “Novavax Microbicides Undergoing Testing at University of Michigan Against Biological Warfare Agents; Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare,” March 18, 1998

    Hamouda et al., “Microbiocidal effects of liposome-like microemulsions on pathogenic Gram negative bacteria.” In: American Society for Microbiology, 98th General Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., 1998; Abstract A-52. 47 (11 pages).

    presentation by Michael Hayes at Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998 summarizing how biocidal agent killed the virulent anthrax strains in petri dish

    PR Newswire, “Anti-Microbial Agent Shown to Destroy Anthrax, Data Presented at ICAAC: ‘New Anti-Microbial Agent Destroys Anthrax, But Doesn’t Hurt Animals Or the Environment,’ Say University of Michigan Scientists,” September 26, 1998

    “New Anti-Microbial Agent Destroys Anthrax, Kills Flu Virus,” The University [of ] Record, September 30, 1998

    University of Michigan Medical school, Medicine at Michigan, (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1999)

    “Novavax Receives Extension On Subcontract With the University of Michigan,” Business Wire, August 2, 1999

    “Nano Is Now” at Michigan — and James Baker Is Leading The Way,” Medicine at Michigan, Summer 2000

    NanoBio, “Status Report: Bio-Attack Defense,” October 29, 2001

    “Statement of James R. , Jr., MD Ruth Dow Doan Professor of Medicine and Director of Biologic Nanotechnology, Chief, Division of Allergy & Immunology, University of Michigan, “Anthrax Decontamination,” November 8, 2001 FDCH Congressional Testimony (House Science)

    T. Hamouda and J.R. Baker, Jr., “Antimicrobial mechanism of action of surfactant lipid preparations in enteric Gram-negative bacilli,” Journal of Applied Microbiology, Volume 89, Issue 3, Pages 397-403, Dec 25, 2001

    “Clear and present? Haddad case suspiciously secret,” Michigan Daily, January 9, 2002

    “Global Relief Foundation tied to 1998 terrorist,” Michigan Daily, May 9, 2002

    “Statement of James Baker Jr. Professor Center for Biological Nanotechnology,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health, FDCH Congressional Testimony, March 27, 2003 (”Project Bioshield”)

    “Threats and Responses: A Michigan Case; U.S. Deports Charity Leader In Visa Dispute,” New York Times, July 16, 2003

    “Process Innovators: NanoBio Corp.,” Mlive.com, October 11, 2007

    Statement of Homam Albaroudi, Member, Muslim Community Association Of , July 30, 2003 in Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor et al. v. John Ashcroft and Robert Mueller: The First Challenge to The USA PATRIOT Act

    “Founder of charity enters guilty plea,” Ann Arbor News, September 11, 2003

    “Islamic charity leader receives sentencing,” Ann Arbor News, November 14, 2003

    “IANA’s link to case is unclear,” Ann Arbor News, April 16, 2004

    See also:

    Bacillus anthracis Virulence in Guinea Pigs Vaccinated with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed Is Linked to Plasmid Quantities and Clonality Pamala R. Coker,1,2* Kimothy L. Smith,2 Patricia F. Fellows,3 Galena Rybachuck,4 Konstantin G. Kousoulas,4 and Martin E. Hugh-Jones1

    Coker PhD thesis publishing Patricia F. Fellows USAMRIID data in Chapter 3

    • DXer said

      “… were trials done in late 2000 or early 2001 as indicated contemplated by this last article? There was a mention in a 2002 report on the nanotechnology initiative of testing at Edgewood. Is that the place that FBI Director Mueller did not mention as a place that did aerosol testing of virulent Ames? It constructed a BL-3 in 2001.”

      A Pulitzer-worthy in scope project published today by USA Today has materials relating to Edgewood.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/05/28/biolabs-pathogens-location-incidents/26587505/

      The USA Today investigative project notes, as to Edgwood/Aberdeen:

      “During the 2001 anthrax attacks, the center’s BSL-3 lab was involved in investigations to determine how anthrax spores were spread among letters sent through the mail, according to information on the center’s website. Other work has involved comparing the effectiveness of decontamination technologies — such as vapor hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide and hot humid air — for use in buildings or aircraft interiors.”

  3. DXer said

    The article by Hamouda et al., on Sporicidal Activity of BCTP Nanoemulsion has a stamp that states “ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS UNCLASSIFIED DATE 12-12-2008 BY 60324 UC BAU/DK/RYS.

    Huh? I hope that doesn’t mean the men and women so focused on the stained panties in Dr. Ivins’ garbage didn’t know about this when they falsely argued that the lyophliizer was available to him and that he had no reason to be in the lab those nights and weekends.

    The article states that D.C.W. and J.B. are employees of NOVAVAX, iNC. and have significant financial interest in the company. NOVAVAX, Inc., is the supplielr of the emulsion. J.R.B., T.H., M.M.H., D.C. W., and J.B. have a patent application entitled “Methods of inactivating bacteria including bacterial spores.”

    Financial support: Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (contract MDA 972-1-007 of the Unconventional Pathogen Countermeasures Program).

    A request for reprints or correspondence was directed to jbakerjr@umich.edu.

    The authors thanked Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBoise (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support; Bruce Ivins, Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Arthur Friedlander, and the staff of USAMRIID for their technical support and helpful suggestion in the performance of the initial anthrax studies; Martin Hugh-Jones, Kimothy Smith, and Pamala Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge); Robin Kunkel (Department of Pathology, University of Michigan) for her help with electron microscopy preparations; and G. Morris and A. Shih for their technical assistance with manuscript preparation.”

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