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

* The FBI has known since 2001 that a paper at the 2000 UK conference chaired by the lone non-US Amerithrax advisor Les Baillie, explained how Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab scientist Rauf Ahmad had killed mice with 100 injected spores.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 16, 2014

RaufAhmadBacillusAnthracispaper

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15 Responses to “* The FBI has known since 2001 that a paper at the 2000 UK conference chaired by the lone non-US Amerithrax advisor Les Baillie, explained how Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab scientist Rauf Ahmad had killed mice with 100 injected spores.”

  1. DXer said

    re protein analysis of hair –

    Hair analysis could become an important alternative to DNA testing

    While hair is routinely collected at crime scenes, it isn’t really used as forensic evidence anymore. A group of researchers are determined to change that

    • Sandy Ong
    • Sunday 27 November 2016

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/hair-dna-forensic-measure-crime-scene-fbi-science-testing-a7433331.html

    Comment: I wonder if the proteins of the hair found associated with the letter was ever run against Rauf Ahmad’s hair.

  2. DXer said

    The Israeli Example

    Foreign Affairs-Jan 7, 2015
    After 9/11, intelligence was streaming in that al Qaeda was trying to … weapons lab and plans to deploy anthrax using weather balloons.

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142747/j-trevor-ulbrick/the-israeli-example

    To be sure, the CIA was grappling with a shadowy and resilient foe. After 9/11, intelligence was streaming in that al Qaeda was trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction; in Afghanistan, for instance, U.S. soldiers found a makeshift biological weapons lab and plans to deploy anthrax using weather balloons.

  3. DXer said

    Can Dr. Danny Worth of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency help us obtain a copy of the video or written copy of this 2000 presentation by Al Qaeda anthrax scientist Rauf Ahmad and his colleagues on the ISOLATION AND DETECTION OF A WILD STRAIN OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS.?

    Anthrax Test Manager
    Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
    January 2001 – Present (14 years)Weybridge
    Isolation and identification of Bacillus anthracis by Culture, PCR and MALDI ToF

    Higher Scientific Officer
    AHVLA
    May 1989 – Present (25 years 8 months)
    I have worked as a laboratory manager at CL3 containment for 7 years. The role included leading a team of 14 staff managing 2 Scientific Officers, acting as a Departmental Safety Advisor, and test managing bovine TB diagnosis and Anthrax.

    Thriller shows CIA as Rubik’s Cube of conspiracy, December 5, 2014
    http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/reviews/thriller-shows-cia-as-rubik-s-cube-of-conspiracy/article_21a902be-c8cf-52c9-9b77-eef539075fb3.html

    In David Ignatius’ new thriller DIRECTOR,

    [L]look for author Ignatius’ little gems, like the name that the Director of National Intelligence bestows on his Potomac sailboat:

    “(Redacted).”

  4. DXer said

    Live anthrax sent by post in lab blunder

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article4288084.ece

    More than 100 safety blunders including one involving live anthrax samples being accidentally sent through the post were recorded in the past five years at Britain’s high-security laboratories.

    Documents obtained by the Guardian….

  5. DXer said

    Did Rauf Ahmad’s fellow scientists working with the animals share his support for Al Qaeda? What do they remember about the timing of his travels to Afghanistan in 2001? What other conferences did he attend besides the 1999 and 2000 Dangerous Pathogens conferences? (A DiA analyst in 2003 or so suggested to me that there were multiple conferences throughout Europe, beyond just his annual trips to the UK). What do the friends in the UK with whom he visited say? What does his resume say and how has he fudged it? Did he conceal his sympathies? Was he really a spy as such? Or was he just a Pakistani government scientist working for Ayman Zawahiri during his sabattical and school vacations.

    For the reader on your shopping list who likes the spy genre:

    A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal. By Ben Mac intyre. (Crown, $27.) This account of the high-level British spymaster who turned out to be a Russian mole reads like John le Carré but is a solidly researched true story.

  6. DXer said

    Who sent virulent Ames to Porton Down? It does not appear to have been Les Baillie’s friend, Bruce Ivins, but samples apparently were sent by other USAMRIID scientist(s).

    Professor Baillie appears to have been a personal friend of Bruce, and for example the two leading anthrax vaccine researchers chaired a session with him at the June 2001 conference

    “From: ______________
    Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001 1:03 PM
    To: Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL
    Subject: RE: Dangerous Pathogens 2002

    Bruce

    I have decided to organise another conference in the UK to be held near Porton Down next September (2002). I am look to identify speakers who call talk about the aerosol route of infection and of course thought of you guys. Would you be able to recommend someone or perhaps talk yourself ? We would of course cover their costs and given that I am organising the event their will be a lot of beer.
    regards

    ___ [very short name redacted]
    Keep the cartoons coming”

    https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch36/20011008_batch36(redacted).pdf

    On Saturday night, October 13, 2001, at 10:22 P.M., Bruce Ivins wrote Les back:

    “Please keep those of us “across the pond” in mind when you send out information on the conference. By the way…do you think (as I have my suspicions) that our old friend Saddam may have something to do with the anthrax “problems” currently occurring in the US? It would certainly be a sneaky sort of “payback” for the Gulf War.

    Best regards! (I can almost taste the Guiness now!)”

    In the November 06, 2001, 10:58:23 AM email, Dr. Bruce Ivins reports that he asked ________ by email who sent Porton Down the strain. He said he didn’t recall, and he also said that ___________ at Porton doesn’t recall either. ____ did some studies here with ______ from Porton Down, and he was over in England for a while in the early 1980s studying at Porton Down. Perhaps ____________ was the one given the strain.”

    “E-mail dated November 6, 2001 about the original receipt of Ames at Porton Down.”
    Produced as BEI Section 1.PDF
    279-A-WF-22936-USAMRIID continuation of FD-302 of Bruce Edward Ivins, on 05/07/04, Page 5.

    https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch37/20011025_batch37(redacted).pdf

    It was known that bad actors wanted to acquire Ames from Porton Down.

    “He [Ivins] is aware that Iraq wanted to obtain the Ames ·strain of B. anthracis from Porton Down in Great Britain.”
    279-A-WF-222936, continuation of FD-302 of Bruce Edwards Ivins dictated on 1/29/02

    Thus, the Porton Down scientists Baillie, in planning the annual Porton Down Dangerous Pathogens conferences were on notice of the risks of infiltration and yet were all too ready to pop the cork on the champagne bottte and serve up the Guiness at the annual conferences at the conferences attended by dozens of Russian and Chinese scientists, and even at least one scientist sent by Al Qaeda’s Dr. Ayman Zawahiri.

    By email dated November 28, 2001, Dr. Ivins wrote:

    “The Ames strain was sent to Porton Down in the mid 1980s. From there, the Brits sent the strain to __________ who, in turn sent it to ___________.”

    In January 2002, Dr. Ivins explained that “samples” — he used the plural — were sent to Porton Down.

    Samples from _____________ collection were sent to Porton Down, who sent ____________________________________ who sent it to ___________________________.
    IVINS is not aware of any other transfers of AMES from USAMRIID.

    279A-WF-222936, date dictated 1/25/02
    Page 3 of 1274.

    But as I mentioned, it appears not to have been Ivins on any occasion.

    On one occasion, I understand it to have been John Ezzell, the DSD scientist working for the FBI, who provided the Ames to Porton Down rather than Ivins directly.

  7. DXer said

    The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved difficult. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.”

    Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

    Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.”

    Bioinformatics was the field that Ali Al-Timimi, who had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, entered by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia.

    Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

    According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. His only connection with SFAM was a member of the society. He was not an employee. The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

    I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. He explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded an earlier handwritten letter from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

    The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

    In earlier cases, such as the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Amer Aziz who treated Bin Laden in the Fall of 2001, the Pakistani government angered the Pakistani public when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. In the case of Amer Aziz, hundreds of doctors, engineers and lawyers took to the streets to demand his release. In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. By then, I had noticed the reporting of his arrest in a local Pakistan news article about the raid of a compound of doctors named Khawaja and published it on my website. According to Pakistani officials, there was not enough evidence showing that he actually succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful. Since then, the Post reports, Rauf has been allowed to return to his normal life. Attempts by the Post to contact Rauf in Lahore were unsuccessful. Initially the government agency had said an interview would be possible but then backpedaled.

    “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” Pakistan’s information minister told the Post. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.” Yazid Sufaat got the job handling things at the lab instead of Rauf Ahmad. More importantly, Zawahiri, if keeping with his past experience, would have kept things strictly compartmentalized — leaving the Amerithrax Task Force much to do.

    • DXer said

      After the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Dr. Baillie was doing fascinating work with sharks, to rival the interesting work with bees of late.

      Inside Medical Biotechnology Center – University of Maryand Biotechnology Institute
      http://biomet.umaryland.edu/newsletter/2002/sepoct02.pdf

      Swimming with Sharks

      While many members of the MBC faculty use animals for research, these tend to be the usual lab rats, mice, and rabbits. Dr. Les Baillie, a microbiologist who specializes in anthrax, has begun to use something decidedly un-usual—sharks! In collaboration with Drs. Helen Dooley and Martin Flajnik of the Department of Microbiol- ogy and Immunology, University of Maryland Baltimore, Dr. Baillie is exploring the possibility of using nurse sharks to produce antiserum against anthrax. …

      unlike antibodies produced in mammalian species, shark antibodies, which are structurally quite dif- ferent from human antibodies, are extremely temperature stable. Shark antibodies retain activity even after boiling and can be stored for long periods of time. This makes them ideal for developing environmental tests for the presence of anthrax, where field conditions can make tra- ditional antibody assays impossible.

      ***

      One of the continuing problems, on which Dr. Baillie is focusing his research, is the lack of a real time, specific test for the presence of anthrax. Culture tech- niques are time consuming and, while molecular tech- niques such as PCR are available, they are complicated by the cross reactivity of Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) with its evolutionary kin. PCR, while it can be very specific, is not easily done in the field, is subject to contamination, and requires expensive hardware.

      Dr. Baillie and his colleagues showed that immu- nization with recombinant protective antigen from B. anthracis could produce a highly specific and thermal stable antiserum. Their work is just preliminary, having started with two sharks. Early indications suggest that this approach should work. Anthrax is just one of many microorganisms and biological substances for which there are no good environmental assays.

      Dr. Baillie envisions developing a test similar to the familiar pregnancy home test (an antibody based test for hCG, a pregnancy induced hormone). The new anthrax detection test should be easily and unequivocally done by untrained individuals, although a more complicated test requiring some training would still be a great leap forward. A quantitative version of the “quick” field test would also be of great value.

      The first step is still finding a good source of anti- bodies and it looks like Dr. Baillie has reeled in a keeper!

  8. DXer said

    January 23, 2012 at 10:01 am
    Sailing The Good Ship Anthrax
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/gao-on-raufs-quest-for-virulent-anthrax-for-ayman-zawahiri-was-the-second-lab-he-visited-a-bl-3-lab-at-porton-down-was-he-cleared-to-go/

    “USAMRIID released some emails by Bruce Ivins [with UK Organizing Committee member] discussing the difficulties of planning the Fourth International Conference on Anthrax in Annapolis. The first of the emails was from September 1998, upon his return from the conference at Plymouth. In June 2001, the good ship anthrax sailed in Annapolis, Maryland, the “sailing capital of the world.” The 4th International Conference on Anthrax was held at St. John’s College in historic Annapolis, Maryland, June 10 – 13, 2001. The conference was organized by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The 74-foot classic wooden schooner was named WOODWIND. Martin Hugh-Jones had convened the conference along with Peter Turnbull, the Porton Down scientist who had led the UK conferences attended by Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist, Rauf Ahmad. Reports of livestock and national park outbreaks were followed by a summary by Dr. Turnbull. Other anthrax notables who spoke included senior USAMRIID scientist Dr. Ezzell, who had one of the first looks at the Daschle product, and Dr. Paul Keim, who would play a key role in the genetic investigation.

    Theresa Koehler from the Houston Medical School gave a talk titled “The Expanding B. anthracis Toolbox” while Timothy Read from The Institute of Genome Research summarized research on The B. Anthracis Genome. Houston Medical School, the UK’s biodefense facility Porton Down, and Pasteur Institute each fielded three presenters. UK scientists presented on the characteristics of the exosporium of “the highly virulent Ames strain.” Researchers from Columbus, Ohio and Biological Defense Research Directorate (BDRD) of the Navy Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, assisted by Porton Down scientists from the UK, demonstrated that inoculated mice survived a challenge with b.anthracis spores. Researchers used b.anthracis containing a plasmid with a mutated lethal factor.” Dr. Phil Hanna from University of Michigan presented, as he did at the conference attending with Rauf Ahmad.

    A Kazakhstan Ministry of Health scientist presented on the re-emergence of anthrax in Kazakhstan. Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union the first job offer Ken Alibek fielded was the position of Minister of Health in Kazakhstan. He protested when he realized that his new employer just wanted to do what the Soviets had been secretly doing in an illegal and massive bioweapons program he had supervised as its First Deputy. After the KGB asked to meet with him, he asked to schedule the meeting in two weeks, so that he might visit his parents, and then found a secret expedited way of coming to the United States.

    Pakistan Rauf Ahmad had been the predator looking for the Ames strain and consulting on weaponization techniques at the UK conference sponsored by Porton Down in 1999 and 2000. Did the Amerithrax perp attend the next annual conference — this June 2001 conference or work on any of the research presented? Did MI5 tell the CIA about the equipment that they had found in Rauf’s luggage upon leaving one of the Porton Down conferences?

    Separately, Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. Why? When? What did his work involve? In January 2002, FBI Assistant Director Van Harp told the 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology that it was “very likely that one or more of you know this individual.” They very likely did.”

    GAO: On Rauf’s Quest For Virulent Anthrax For Ayman Zawahiri, Was The Second Lab He Visited A BL-3 Lab at Porton Down? Was He Cleared To Go?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 21, 2012

    • DXer said

      I corresponded by email more than once with Rauf Ahmad but he would never cooperate substantively without being paid. Especially with the danger of the “man in the middle” computer hack that my federal undercover who did my graphics always warned me about, I never was comfortable with sending or receiving money from abroad. (The undercover’s suggestion was that you never know who you are corresponding with when you communicate by email.) For example, I might have been corresponding with someone from ISI. I even declined being wired copying costs regarding Aafia Siddiqui’s copies for filings in her legal matter. (The volunteer lawyer who wanted to represent and advocate Aafia had put on an art exhibit here locally and so I could identify with him — as I can any pro bono lawyer. (He felt that Aafia’s sister Fowzia was not acting in Aafia’s best interests).

      In praise of the federal undercover’s graphics, look how the petri dish assumes the 3-dimensional aspect of a globe. I remain in awe of his talent and miss him. As for my contribution, it was really Milton Leitenberg who got DIA to process Rauf’s letters but he asked that I not ever mention it. I got tough with DIA when they suggested they would be just giving me the items Zawahiri had obtained (listed in the appendix of the excellent Relman and Petro article). But it was easy to take an aggressive stance with DIA FOIA given that they had already given them to Milton.

      Milton’s wife worked in Afghanistan. He was a researcher at the University of Maryland. Maybe that explains his bias and what I feel is his distorted description of Rauf Ahmad’s correspondence in his 2005 treatise The Problem With Biological Weapons. (I specifically take objection to his failure to quote the language “I achieved the targets”).

      If I have a bias, it is because I learned of Prince Bandar and his behind-the-scenes string pulling in another life while living in Arlington, VA.

    • DXer said

      Politics has no role in true crime analysis. Analysis should be anchored in documentary analysis. Sometimes a crowbar is needed to pry the documents from government officials more focused on avoiding getting in trouble for having dropped the ball.

      That is why we have the heavy hitters at the GAO. Although accountability is in their name, much of the good that they do simply comes from greater transparency — through their patient obtaining of documents from a resistant agency.

      FBI has been highly selective in its disclosures and has produced no documents on numerous issues relating to the forensics of the investigation.

      In Amerithrax, the matter cannot be intelligently discussed without fleshing out the details of the second lab that Rauf Ahmad visited for Ayman Zawahiri in Fall 1999.

      from DXer … infiltration of U.S. Biodefense? … Zawahiri’s Correspondence With Infiltrating Scientist Was Part of Parallel Compartmentalized Cell Operation
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 20, 2010

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/from-dxer-infiltration-of-u-s-biodefense-zawahiris-correspondence-with-infiltrating-scientist-was-part-of-parallel-compartmentalized-cell-operation/

      People like Meryl and Barry and Frances or Graeme don’t even mention Rauf Ahmad. The omission disqualifies them from discussing the subject and may point to some sort of major undisclosed bias or lack of familiarity with the matter due to professional time constraints.

      Frances, for example, has worked as a lawyer for Hamas and has worked on matters relating to Bosnia. That’s like hearing from Stanley Cohen on the issue of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. Not a sound idea. Frances’ offered excuse to me what that he did not have time to research the true crime matter given his many other interests and responsibilities. Okay, Professor, then put your hand down. Sit on your hands, if necessary if you didn’t do the assigned homework.

      My friend, Barry, an attorney by training and very effective political advocate, has told me he is only interested in politics and not the true crime documents. That is willful disregard for reconstructing what actually happened. Counsel should be arguing evidence to the judge, not politics. Politics has no role in the courtroom of public opinion where he wants readers to judge a true crime matter. And to argue the sophistication of the anthrax without addressing that fact that know-how travels in the mind of an individual is negligent. To make the argument without addressing Yazid Sufaat’s filmed claim that he had been a member of a secret biological weapons program in Malaysia is willfully misleading for political purposes.

      Graeme, a religious studies professor from McMasters — at the heart of Adnan El-Shukrijumah WMD allegations — on the face of the book acknowledges he is glossing over the true crime facts. He doesn’t even mention Rauf Ahmad or Yazid Sufaat or the EIJ announcement that Ayman Zawahiri was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of the Blind Sheik Abdel Rahman and other senior EIJ officials. Graeme is from McMasters where he taught religious studies for 30 years. Although the information is contradictory and/or classified and tightly held and/or debunked, Adnan El-Shukrijumah and his colleagues reportedly visited McMasters. So Graeme is ideally situated to dig into the relevant facts and separate the wheat from the chaff.

      Witness accounts (where strangers are making the observation) are much less reliable than documentary analysis. The point is illustrated by some of the confusion and mistaken reports relating to Shukrijumah and McMasters (based on a fellow who looked like Adnan but was never contacted before the sensational reports confusing him with Adnan).

      So first let’s putl the full copies of the presentations from 1999/2000 by Rauf Ahmad along with any film. Then let’s have disclosed the documents about Rauf Ahmad’s visit to the second lab that had the thousands of pathogens. Then let’s hear from the witnesses with personal knowledge.

      Then if Al Qaeda is still not established to have had direct access to virulent Ames (apart from the positive PCR findings), the political activists can continue to make their case for a different biodefense insider.

      Doh.

    • DXer said

      Did MI5 tell the CIA about what it knew concerning Rauf similar to what M16 did regarding planes? Did the Mi16 warnings refer at all to Rauf’s procurement activities relating to anthrax?

      The Sunday Times – Britain

      June 09, 2002

      MI6 warned US of Al-Qaeda attacks
      Nicholas Rufford

      MI6 warned the American intelligence services about a plot to hijack aircraft and crash them into buildings two years before the September 11 attacks.

      Liaison staff at the American embassy in Grosvenor Square in London were passed a secret report by MI6 in 1999 after the intelligence service picked up indications from human intelligence sources (Humint) that Osama Bin Laden’s followers were planning attacks in which civilian aircraft could be used in “unconventional ways”.

      Information did not specify targets and would not necessarily have enabled US agencies to prevent attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, intelligence sources said.

      Details of the MI6 warning, expected to emerge during secret Congressional hearings this week in Washington into alleged intelligence failings, will increase pressure on the Bush administration for a radical shake-up of America’s counterterrorism efforts.

      President George W Bush has already announced plans for a new “homeland defence department” with a £25 billion annual budget to combat terrorism. “We need to know when warnings were missed or signs unheeded — not to point the finger of blame, but to make sure we correct any problems,” he said last week.

      MI6 had information as early as 1998 that Al-Qaeda was plotting fresh attacks. A series of warnings was passed to Washington, some concerning threats to American interests in Europe, including the US embassy in Paris. One message detailed heightened activity by suspected Al-Qaeda terror cells.

      “The Americans knew of plans to use commercial aircraft in unconventional ways, possibly as flying bombs,” said a senior Foreign Office source.

      A US government spokesman declined to comment. oPolice in London last week deployed for the first time on the British mainland new anti-suicide attack steps after Scotland Yard sent a delegation to meet security experts in Israel.

      Israeli-style barriers consisting of articulated lorries loaded with concrete were placed across Waterloo bridge to prevent a would-be terrorist from driving into the state coach as the Queen travelled to a jubilee service at St Paul’s cathedral.

    • DXer said

      For completeness, someone should obtain and upload under Maryalnd FOIA the copy of Dr. Baillie’s September 2001 presentation at the Maryland Biotechnology Center.

      Bioterrorists Beware! Jan/Feb 2002
      http://biomet.umaryland.edu/newsletter/2002/jan-feb02.pdf

      The latest addition to the MBC faculty is Dr. Les Baillie, an expert in biodefense and microbiology of anthrax. He will be chief of the MBC Biodefense Initiative. He had previously given a seminar on the topic to the MBC in September of 2001. (See Inside MBC, Vol. 4, No. 5)

      ***

      He is well known as the organizing chair of an international conference called Dangerous Pathogens, the first held in 2000 …

      The Medical Biotechnology Center is well equipped to handle all aspects of Dr. Baillie’s research, having a state-of the art, secured biocontainment facility. Dr. Baillie is particularly interested in the ecology of anthrax and in environmental detection, research areas sadly neglected.

    • DXer said

      Inside MBC, “Anthrax Expert Visits MBC, September-October 2001
      http://biomet.umaryland.edu/newsletter/2001/SepOct01.pdf

      Given the recent events in this area, it was almost prophetic that MBC hosted a special seminar by Dr. Les Baillie entitled “The Development of New Vaccines against Bacillus anthracis” on September 21, 2001, just weeks before the first case was announced in Florida. Dr. Baillie is the Anthrax Group Leader for the Defence Sciences Tech- nologies Laboratory in Porton Down, Salisbury, United Kingdom, not our usual academic based speaker. Bacillus anthracis or anthrax has now been shown to be a viable candidate organism for bioterrorism. In a time when we all too aware of it, the thought of greater, mass infections is even more ghastly, but Dr. Baillie’s research is aimed at that particular threat, if it can move fast enough. …

      However, it is easy to grow, it is incapacitating, it is easy to store, it can be delivered as an aerosol, a little bit goes a long way and it is incredibly persistent despite heroic eradication efforts. It is the ideal, low-tech organ- ism for bioterrorists.

      ***

      His group is using recombinant technologies for the creation of second generation vaccines, already pat- ented and ready for trials. This is based on one protein produced within the bacillus. They are also developing quality controls and assays to test levels of induced anti- bodies. In the mean time, his group is isolating other proteins from spores to learn as much to learn about the biology of that stage to develop a third generation vac- cine, one that is an oral, single dose. Given the times we live in, Dr. Baillie’s work is critically important to all of us.

    • DXer said

      In addition to advising the FBI on Amerithrax, Les Baillie also served the head of the bio-defense vaccines for the Navy at the Navy Medical Research Center in Silver Springs, Maryland.

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/07/0716_030716_tvanthraxshark.html

      Didn’t Gregory K, who had the other slant from the cow in Texas, who went to work for the CIA, go to work there? Isn’t that where the Amerithrax repository was then kept?

      “There were two slants of Ames sent from Texas and Ivins only had one.”

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 8, 2010
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/there-were-two-slants-of-ames-sent-from-texas-and-ivins-only-had-one/

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: Original Ames Culture samples Sunday, January 29, 2006 4:51:22 PM
      (b) (6)
      (b)
      (6) When we started getting material (Ames) ready for the FBI repository, I thought that there had been more than just one slant that had received of the “Ames” strain back in the early 1980s. I was recently going through some in(f6o)rmation that he had sent us in early 2002, and I found the sheet that I scanned (enclosed). Although we could only account for 1 slant during our inventory, apparently there were TWO slants sent, as well as tissue material. I remember seeing both the tissue material (in the -70 freezer in ) and the second slant, and to my knowledge, they weren’t disposed of. Do you have any idea abo)ut what may have happened to the rest of the “Original Ames” culture material? I’m somewhat concern(e2d) about the discrepancy in what we got originally from Texas (2 slants + tissue) versus what we gave to the FBI (only 1 slant)? Do you know if either the other slant or tissue material was transferred to another lab?
      Thanks for the information.
      Bruce Ivins

      Dr. Ivins addresses the issue of 2 slants again in 2007.

      Did GK take ithe other slant with him to the DTRA/Navy and/or to the CIA?

      He was the original recipient.

      From: To: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Ames information Thursday, January 11, 2007 11:00:41 AM
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      I have some information from on the “Ames” strain (b) got in 1981. Would you like a copy of it, (6)
      (b)(2)
      or what? They sent 2 slants and tissue from the animal. The tissue samples – which were frozen in and one of the slants disappeared, and the FBI took control of the only remaining material, the last slant. I don’t know how many passages were involved between cow and slant, but if we still had the tissue (which came from the dead cow), it would really be interesting to compare the in vivo Ames with the Ames from the slant.
      -bruce Bruce Ivins

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