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

* One of the men who set up Yazid Sufaat’s anthrax lab in Kandahar in May 2001 acknowledged association with Jaffar al-Tayyar aka (Adnan al-Shukrijumah) but apparently the interrogator was confused by the multiple aliases

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 22, 2014

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5 Responses to “* One of the men who set up Yazid Sufaat’s anthrax lab in Kandahar in May 2001 acknowledged association with Jaffar al-Tayyar aka (Adnan al-Shukrijumah) but apparently the interrogator was confused by the multiple aliases”

  1. DXer said

    The Senate Torture Report, Abu Zubaydah told CIA officers that the nickname “Jafar Al Tayyer” also means one who is righteous — and not just pilot. This seems consistent with the lack of corroboration of any pilot training. For example, I think the expert at the Miami Task Force was quoted saying he was not known to have had any pilot training. His family has always said that.

  2. DXer said

    The Senate Torture Report gave some background:

    “The CIA then listed “Jafaar al-Tayyar” as one of 11 examples, stating: “Jafaar al-Tayyar: Tayyar is an al-Qa’ida operative who was conducting casing in the US for KSM prior to 9/11, according to KSM and other HVDs. KSM confirmed that he recruited Tayyar-who is still at large-to conduct a major operation against US interests. KSM described Tayyar as the next Muhammad Atta. Tayyar’ s family is in Florida and we have identified many of his extremist contacts. Acting on this information, the FBI quickly publicized Tayyar’s true name and aggressively followed up with his family and friends in the United States, causing Tayyar to flee the United States. and we are pursuing his capture.”

    Then a sentence is redacted.

    The crux disagreement seems to be whether the Spring 2003 BOLO caused “Tayyar to flee the United States.” That would require that he was in the United States. There actually were reports that he had been seen at a barbecue in Florida just the month prior to the BOLO giving his correct name. But it was never clear whether we could credit the report — or that the FBI did. (It still isn’t clear to me.)

    But we most reliably know that Shukrijumah (1) left the US in May 2001; (2) was at KSM’s house in early September 2001; (3) phoned and told his Mom he was coming to the US; (4) then was back with the anthrax-connected Al-Hawsawi in Karachi (where there was an anthrax lab) from Feb-April 2002; (5) and then reported by eyewitnesses to have been in the United States shortly before the BOLO issued. But from an outsider’s vantage point, it seems that we don’t yet have confirmation that we can credit the reports that Adnan was here the month prior to the BOLO. There had been no public FBI confirmation. Can the FBI now confirm that he was back in Florida in early 2003 now that Adnan El-Shukrijumah was recently killed in a massive operation this past week?

    The initial February 2003 BOLO did not get his name right but gave his alias and description — and so given the description of a short asthmatic, the February 2003 BOLO might have been sufficient reason to flee even without the FBI knowing the right name and not yet aggressively pursuing the issue with his family and friends. It was when Padilla revealed his real name apparently that is when the FBI first searched his home. Regrettably, it seems that his home should have been searched in September 2001 because the FBI knew him to be an associate of Mohammed Atta, both at Norman, the Saudi residential compound etc., the FBI undercover seeing him with Atta etc. But hindsight is 20/20. And the compartmentalization of information really impairs analysis and connecting the dots.

  3. DXer said

    The last page of Al-Hawsawi’s Detainee Assessment makes clear that Hawsawi was closely affilicated with Jafar Al-Tayar aka Adnan El-Shukrijumah.

    His laptop had the anthrax processing instructions on them — it took about 30 days.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/capture-of-mustafa-hawsawi-and-laptop-with-anthrax-spray-drying-documents/

    Hawsawi knew “Muhammad Essagh Sher Muhammad Khan” was just another alias for Shukrijumah.

    By some accounts, it was the use of this alias “Muhammad Essagh Sher Muhammad Khan” that may have slowed the FBI in realizing that these players in Al Qaeda’s anthrax program were closely associated with the man they hadn’t pursued in the investigation of Summer 2001.

    According to a law enforcement cited by the Washington Post (by Dan Eggen and his colleague), the FBI had unsuccessfully approached about being an informant and so the FBI may have found it awkward.

    Adnan and Atta were meeting in the home of the son of an advisor to a senior Saudi Prince. That too may have been sensitive. Maybe that is why the Bush Administration withheld the 28 pages from the “Joint Inquiry” report.

    But it really should end here. An Ivins Theory is just Hatfill Theory redux — but worse still, the anthrax investigation represents the same sort of intelligence failure due to compartmentalization that led to 911.

    As the former “Joint Inquiry” and WMD Commission” Chairman Bob Grahah has said, the pot is boiling over. You can either hear it when a federal district court orders production of the documents relating to Shurkrijumah in Sarasota — or you can hear it when the Administration releases the 28 pages.

    The alternative, however, maybe is that people will continue to play hide the ball while Adnan El-Shukrijumah plans another attack on Washington DC and New York City. He is the head of Al Qaeda’s external operations for North America.

    We do know this much history: In 2003 the FBI announced that believed that Jafar had entered the country after September 1, 2001. (Neighbors even reported Adnan at a barbecue in the neighborhood the week before the FBI’s March 2003 BOLO announcement.)

    Thus, it seems that it was a major dropped ball on the part of the lead Amerithrax prosecutor Seikaly (formerly CIA until on or about 9/18/2001) to be heralding the anthrax smelling bloodhounds.

    And then later for investigators to be rooting about for stained panties in the garbage and testing stained panties for DNA, driving a fragile, harassed, troubled and betrayed man to suicide.

    AUSA Lieber was reprimanded for going to see (to her credit) a jailed jihadi.

    She got in trouble with superiors on the grounds “a deal had been cut.” She truly was a bloodhound on a short leash.

    Who was the jihadi? Al-Marri? Al-Marri was a chem operative, working with KSM and Al-Hawsawi, who arrived in the US on September 10, 2001.

    He gets out of prison in January 2015. Maybe he will write a book and we can compare his book with the book by FBI Amerithrax forensic scientist Scott Decker.

    • DXer said

      The hijacker with the leg lesion came from Kandahar, which is where the anthrax lab was located.

      DXer … questions about 911 hijacker’s anthrax leg lesion
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 10, 2010
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/dxer-questions-about-hijackers-leg-lesion/

      Is the Flight 93 Hijacker discussed in the NAS report the same fellow who had the leg lesion Homeland Security biosecurity head Tara O’Toole thought consistent with anthrax? [Update: Yes]
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 18, 2011
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/is-the-flight-93-hijacker-discussed-in-the-nas-report-the-same-fellow-who-had-the-leg-lesion-homeland-security-biosecurity-head-tara-otoole-thought-consistent-with-anthrax/

      As for what the FBI said about the date of travel, the FBI said they believe he came sometime after September 1.

      The FBI explained: “[H]e is believed to have entered the United States illegally after September 1, 2001.”
      http://www.iberkshires.com/story/9574/FBI-casts-dragnet-for-Mohammed-Sher-Mohammad-Khan.html

      As I have explained on numerous times, El-Shukrijumah was seen at KSM’s house on September 13. Either September 11 or September 13 is when he called to tell his mom he was coming.

      KSM’s house was also where Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat was staying, after having worked at the Kandahar lab since May 1, 2001 (and before that he and his assistants worked on anthrax at Omar Hospital).

      Former US Senator Bob Graham in the WMD Commission report says that the Al Qaeda anthrax program was much further advanced than had been realized by USG analysts.

      Shukrijumah’s whereabouts are next on the (publicly available) radar when he is back in Karachi, KSM’s assistant with the anthrax processing documents on his computer. Between February and April 2002, they stayed at two safehouses.

      Hambali and Sufaat were also in Karachi, trying to reconstitute Al Qaeda’s anthrax program. Again: In Afghanistan, the program had been up and running with the new equipoment since May 2001, and before that, had been at Omar Hospital. People who just think Al Qaeda was “interested” in developing anthrax as a weapon are seriously uninformed and poorly read.

      I have uploaded some of the official government documents and statements on these points. Lew may upload an excerpt from al-Hawsawi’s Detainee Assessment. Lew has provided invaluable help over the course of years.

      Some documents were secret but were leaked by Wikileaks. Some are secret at a compartmentalized level and were not leaked. For example, there is a tippy top secret attachment to the detainee statement of the El-Shukrijumah associate who helped set up the anthrax lab in Kandahar for Yazid Sufaat.

      The SECRET // NOFORN //20330609 for Abdul Rabbani Abu Rahman states: “(ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DETAINEE IS AVAILABLE IN AN SCI SUPPLEMENT)”

      As 911 Commission Hamilton thoughtfully explained, such compartmentalization and failure to share information is what led to 9/11.

      If GAO is not able to succeed in getting these materials declassified, then even our government’s accountability arm is part of a dysfunctional system.

    • DXer said

      JARRETT MURPHYCBS/AP June 27, 2003

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-hunts-al-qaeda-in-40-states/

      “One difficulty is that many al Qaeda members use multiple aliases and “jihad” names that are difficult to track. Mefford said the FBI earlier this year found the true identity of one suspected cell member: Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, a Saudi-born man with Florida ties who is the subject of a global manhunt.

      “We don’t know where he is,” Mefford said. An FBI notice on Shukrijumah indicates he uses the aliases Abu Arif; Ja’far Al-Tayar; Jaffar Al-Tayyar; Jafar Tayar; Jaafar Al-Tayyar, and is wanted as a material witness and suspected of making threats against the United States.”

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