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

* It has now been 13 years since the 2001 anthrax attacks. The GAO report promised for “this fall” is probably the last chance we will ever have to know the truth.

Posted by DXer on November 20, 2014

GAO, FBI, Ivins

The FBI case against Bruce Ivins would be a joke, if it wasn’t so serious. Every element of proof the FBI has offered to support its 2008 assertion that Ivins was the sole perpetrator (or even involved) in the 2001 anthrax attacks has been thoroughly demolished in this blog.

GAO has promised to report “sometime this fall” on its review of the FBI investigation. Let’s hope they keep that promise. The GAO report is probably the last chance we will ever have to know the truth.

In the meanwhile, I think there are only three possibilities to explain the FBI’s continued assertion of charges they have not proven …

1. The FBI has more evidence against Ivins that has not been released.

2. The FBI does not know who committed the 2001 anthrax attacks.

3. The FBI does know but are not willing to say.

It has now been 13 years since the 2001 anthrax attacks. The American people deserve to know the truth.

20 Responses to “* It has now been 13 years since the 2001 anthrax attacks. The GAO report promised for “this fall” is probably the last chance we will ever have to know the truth.”

  1. DXer said

    Despite past scandals, FBI’s field office evidence room still lacks cameras

    By Jim McElhatton – The Washington Times – Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    More than four decades ago, tens of millions of dollars in heroin slowly began disappearing from the evidence room of the New York City Police Department, swapped for baking powder by corrupt officers in one of the biggest misconduct episodes in city history.

    The humiliating thefts led to major changes: initially, photographs and fingerprints for all officers taking out drug evidence, and eventually to surveillance cameras to document everyone’s moves, according to one former longtime detective.

    Those decades old reforms still haven’t carried over to other departments, including the local FBI, which was hit this year by a theft scandal of its own that threatens a number of criminal prosecutions in the District of Columbia.


    Did the FBI’s Dr. Vahid Majidi or the superior in the relevant chain of command require that the scientists handling the evidence in Amerithrax only in the presence of two people? If so, a second person will have been present when Dr. Ivins sample was thrown out instead of being submitted into evidence.

    Moreover, if proper chain of custody forms were kept there will be a form indicating who threw out the sample and the expressed reason.

    GAO Should Obtain From The FBI The Laboratory Chain-Of-Custody Form that has a space that identifies who destroyed the Feb. 02 sample submitted by Dr. Ivins and states the reasons it was not preserved (such as the others that were preserved using different slants)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 7, 2012

    Vahid Majidi was really big on the two-person rule — it was central to his analysis and conclusions. See his ebook.

    He didn’t realize that there wasn’t one at USAMRIID in Fall 2001 and that in January 2002, implementation of such a rule is what caused Dr. Ivins’ pattern of hours to change — his late night hours continuing in November and December to stop.

    The DOJ Civil Division Notes That It Is Not In Genuine Dispute That After 2001, A Short-lived Two Person Rule (Implemented Early 2002) Prevented The Same Pattern Of Hours That AUSA Rachel Lieber Mistakenly Relied Upon As Proof Of Ivins’ Guilt
    Posted on November 28, 2011

    Colonel Eitzen, the Commander, testified at civil deposition that a two-person rule prior to October 2001 would have been impractical because of the need for work on weekends and nights
    Posted on December 15, 2013

    FBI interview statement: If someone came in off hours it was to work on the animal experiments – this could take approximately two hours and was usually a one-person job.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 1, 2012

    As early as today I expect to hear from USAMRIID that it did not keep record — that it discarded — the record of the inventory at USAMRIID of virulent anthrax. It provided the inventory to the FBI in 2002 as an enclosure to its response to the subpoena.

    The pattern of destruction of records — such as the DOJ shredding of the Linscott and Fellows’ civil depositions — should be front and center of GAO’s review.

    Accountability is built on a foundation of adequate record-keeping.

    • DXer said

      By Zoe Tillman, Legal Times, @zoetillman
      Defense Lawyer Pushes to Broaden FBI Evidence-Tampering Probe
      December 1, 2014 2:06 PM EST

      Read more:

      An investigation into alleged evidence tampering by an FBI agent is raising questions about the reliability of the agency’s evidence protocols, according to a criminal defense lawyer involved in one of the cases touched by the scandal.
      In court papers filed on Monday, lawyer A. Eduardo Balarezo asked a federal judge in Washington to order prosecutors to turn over information about the FBI’s policies and procedures for handling evidence. Limiting the investigation to the individual agent “ignores that very real possibility of a systemic problem in the manner in which the FBI maintains evidence in any given case,” Balarezo wrot

      Comment: Refusing to produce evidence to the NAS and GAO and the public (under FOIA) is akin to destroying it.

      The Laboratory Chain-of-Custody Form is required to be signed by a witness.

    • DXer said

      Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), where Professor Les Baillie worked for the FBI, was where the Amerithax inventory of samples was stored under a contract with the FBI.

      • Categories( click to retract ) – The Vault – FBI‎
      Jan 31, 2003 … Washington Field Attn: Amerithrax /. Laboratory Division Attn: …. 049—006 (entered into the repository by NMRC after the sample was seized) .

      • [PDF] 08-083-M-01 Search Warrant Affidavit – FBI…/anthrax-amerithrax/08-083-M- 01%20Search%20Warrant%20Affidavit.pdf‎
      involving the dissemination of a Weapon of Mass Destruction (anthrax) in violation of ….. laboratories and archived these isolates in the FBI Bacillus anthracis Repository (hereinafter …. Center (NMRC), which was under contract by the FBI.

      • [PDF] Evidence for the Source of the 2001 Attack Anthrax – OMICS Group 2526.S3-008.pdf‎
      Dec 17, 2012 … flask − believed to be the parental source of the anthrax in the letters … analysis of an FBI repository of samples from all laboratories known to …… including Dugway and the Naval Medical Research Center plus four unnamed …

      “FBI Document B2M10 (Statistical Analysis), especially Appendix V of the Report on Statistical Analysis, where the names of some specific laboratories that submitted repository samples of interest are handwritten next to the sample data: DPG (Dugway Proving Ground); BMI (Battelle Memorial Institute); DRES (Defense Research Establishment, Suffield, Canada); NMRC (Naval Medical Research Center); USAMRIID. ”

      • [PDF] Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During … – DocumentCloud
      5.5.3 Detection and Characterization of Morphotypes in the Anthrax Letters … 6.5 Analyses of the Repository Samples and Statistical Interpretation of the …… which was sent to the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) for analysis (FBI, …

  2. DXer said

    The GAO is faced with the difficult challenge of writing a report that someday will be studied as a historical record — even as the historical record of Al Qaeda’s anthrax program is still unfolding in the upcoming trials.

    These new court filings describe evidence handling at the DC FBI Field Office. Where was evidence in Amerithrax kept? I believe the repository of samples was kept, upon being moved, at the NMRC in Maryland.

    FBI agent accused of tampering with evidence signed drugs out, documents say
    By Peter Hermann December 2, 2014

    An FBI agent [Matt Lowry] accused of tampering with drug and gun evidence repeatedly checked heroin out of an evidence room, sometimes using a false signature, and some packages eventually came back damaged, according to court documents made public Tuesday.

    Authorities investigating the agent, Matthew Lowry, also discovered that two guns — a Derringer pistol and a Remington shotgun — and marijuana that he seized during a search of a home and car in Maryland were never submitted into evidence.


    The documents describe numerous instances in which Lowry checked drugs out of the FBI’s Washington field office evidence room but did not get them to the DEA lab until days or, in some cases, months later. In some instances, evidence-control stickers on the packages were found to be damaged or altered once the packages were returned to the FBI, the papers state.

    They note that FBI supervisors listed any discrepancies as anomalies, but they do not say whether Lowry was ever questioned or whether authorities were suspicious enough to investigate. An FBI spokesman at the Washington field office declined to comment. …

    The documents do not say what Lowry may have done with the drugs after he took them out of the FBI room. In most cases, he eventually took the packages to a Drug Enforcement Administration lab for testing, but authorities now say many came back with weights different from what they were when the packages were taken out. Sometimes, the documents say, packages were heavier, sometimes slightly lighter.

    Authorities also said money and drugs went missing from searches and arrests. In one case, according to the court papers, Lowry and other agents reported seizing a large amount of cash from a search conducted in Southern Maryland. A later inventory came up $130,000 short.

    Balarezo, who represents an alleged drug kingpin, Juan Floyd, said in court papers seeking additional information from prosecutors that “if Lowry was able to avoid logging seized evidence, remove evidence for extended periods of time or to otherwise mishandle evidence with impunity, it stands to reason that the strict chain of custody claimed by the government in most cases is a sham.”


    Lew writes well-reviewed historical novels, some set many centuries ago. And he writes reviews of historical novels. He is far more likely to know something about the Knights Templar.

    I was unpersuaded by the latest Knight Templar theory involving a double cipher on the Oak Island tv show on the History Channel last night. Next week the treasure hunters, against my advice, will travel to the South of France. I had my nephew, an avid Mason, there last year studying the legend.

    Treasures sometimes are just as reliably found in a library as in adventure travel. Those who haven’t done their holiday shopping for me yet, on my wish list I am hoping for a borrowed library copy of:

    Three Brothers at Havana, 1762
    by Sonia Keppel

    An Authentic Account of the Reduction of Louisbourg, in June and July 1758.
    by Spectator (Creator)

    Contemporaneous documentary evidence is key to solution of any historical puzzle.

    • DXer said

      With the scanning of documents, powerful research can be done that was not previously convenient. For example, a DARPA program manager recently told me that efforts are underway to scan and make available some additional documents relating to DARPA-funded biodefense research. IIt remains a work in progress)

      see also

      DARPA Open Catalog Expands Listings to Include Research into Biological and Fundamental Sciences, August 29, 2014

      “Fast-growing web portal that shares DARPA research results selected as a leading Defense Department transparency initiative ”

      The DARPA Open Catalog—a six-month-old public web portal that organizes and shares the results of DARPA research—today expanded its research listings to include peer-reviewed publications and other material from the agency’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO) and Defense Sciences Office (DSO). Along with that expansion, the website now offers open source software, peer-reviewed publications and other research materials from the majority of programs in the agency’s Information Innovation Office (I2O) that have public information to share.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US [DARPA-funded] Biodefense [Ames anthrax research]

      By analogy, the book “Three brothers at Havana, 1762” is searchable online (though text is not immediately available due to copyright restrictions).

      Three brothers at Havana, 1762 / Sonia Keppel. . Keppel, Sonia, 1900-

      “treasure” gets 3 hits. • pp. 5, 36, 120
      Halifax gets 4 hits. • p.91, 92, 93, 115
      tunnel gets 1 hit. p.100
      Centurion gets 4 hits (the Centurion is of interest to me having been at Halifax in 1758)
      p.6, 64, 105, 113

      The Lagina brothers at Oak Island may want to check out “Three brothers at Havana” if they haven’t already.

    • DXer said

      I have always emphasized the importance of contemporaneous records as corroboration of the historical narrative. But an important aspect to keep in mind is that one must not allow another party to selectively pick and choose what contemporaneous documents to find and produce — as has occurred in Amerithrax.

      For example, in spinning its tale about stained panties, you won’t find the FBI producing where this sample was submitted to the evidence room.

      Nor will you find the report of whose fingerprints were found on the bottle.

      A contemporaneous documentary record is often likely far more valuable than a recounting after the fact by someone who was not personally involved.

      But let’s at least see Rauf Ahmad’s written statement from February 2002 — instead of hearing self-interested spin from Vahid Majidi in his ebook.

      By analogy, I need to obtain the 1762 book written by the deputy chief engineer at the Siege of Louisbourg (1758) who then participated in the Siege of Havana in 1762.

      “On 4 January 1758 year Mackellar was promoted to major and sub-director of engineers and was appointed deputy to Colonel John Henry Bastide in the expedition against Louisbourg, the key to control of the St Lawrence, the vital supply line of Canada.” …”On 8 July [1758], when Bastide was wounded, Mackellar became the acting chief engineer.”

      “In November 1760 Mackellar was appointed chief engineer at Halifax, Nova Scotia…” He then was appointed chief engineer for the attack on Havana in the summer of 1762.

      “It was Mackellar’s journal that formed the basis of the report of the capture of Havana in the London Gazette of 7 September 1762. Mackellar, however, was dangerously wounded during the siege of Morro Castle and never completely recovered.” …

      “From 1763 until his death on 22 October 1778 Mackellar was engaged in rebuilding and fortifying the harbour at Mahon.” {Mahone Bay is where Oak Island is.]

      “Mackellar left interesting and valuable accounts of the principal operations in which he was involved including his “A Correct Journal of the Landing of His Majesty’s Forces on the Island of Cuba, and of the Siege and Surrender of the Havannah, August 13th, 1762.”


  3. DXer said

    Sen Charles E. Grassley once called for an independent review of Amerithrax. He will now be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Is obtaining greater disclosure and transparency really so far beyond Congressional oversight? Congressman Nadler wrote a straightforward question to the former FBI Director about the percentage of silica and then got an indeciperable answer only many months later. Can the new head of the Judiciary at least see disclosed this identity of the second lab that Al Qaeda infiltrator Rauf Ahmad visited?

    Senator Grassley is highly experienced at protecting whistleblowers. Here, AUSA Lieber was reprimanded for going to a jihadi in jail because a “deal had been cut.” And it was a very sensitive time in the office for unrelated reasons. Even though she has been a key proponent of an “Ivins Theory”, she really had no choice given the supervisor’s control. Senator Grassley should ensure that the deal that had been cut with the jihadi she sought to visit was proper — and that a proper resolution of Amerithrax was in fact reached. Wasn’t the deal that had been cut one motivated by someone’s CYA instincts?

    If they accused the wrong guy, then a proper resolution has not been reached. The FBI should at least acknowledge that the case is unsolved.

    “Sen. Leahy on anthrax case: ‘It’s not closed’

    By Paul Kane
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011; 4:15 PM

    After the deadly shooting rampage in Tucson, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) was asked to reflect on his own experience as the would-be target of an assassin. That’s when he let slip something that he rarely talks about publicly: He has never accepted the FBI’s decision to close the case in the series of anthrax-laced letters mailed to public officials in fall 2001.

    “I still wonder who sent it and why they sent it,” the Judiciary Committee chairman told a crowd gathered last month at the Newseum in Northwest Washington to hear his 2011 legislative agenda.

    More than a month later, Leahy was given fresh evidence this week that the science in the case was not airtight, reopening emotional wounds 91/2 years after letters sent to him and then-Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) helped cause the deaths of five people and sickened 17 others. On Tuesday, the National Research Council questioned the efficacy of the genetic testing used by the FBI to allege that a Fort Detrick scientist had acted alone in mailing the deadly letters to Capitol Hill and media outlets.

    Officials said Tuesday that the totality of evidence, including Ivins’s unexplained absences from work around the time of the anthrax mailings, convinced investigators that Ivins was still the “perpetrator.”

    Leahy has generally declined to comment on the anthrax investigation, telling The Washington Post that he has tried not to discuss it much “because it affects me so. . . . ” his voice trailing off without finishing the thought.

    But in a brief interview Tuesday, he said he has “extreme doubts” about the case. “I’ve expressed those concerns to the FBI ,and this report adds to those concerns,” Leahy said.

    The handling of the almost nine-year investigation, dubbed “Amerithrax” by the FBI, has never sat well with Congress. On Tuesday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a longtime FBI critic, called for an independent review, and Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), from whose district the letters to Leahy and others were mailed, called for Congress to create an independent commission to examine the entire case.”

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

    • DXer said

      Congratulations to Chris Lipe of Clinton, NY who recently came in 2nd in the World Scrabble Tournament. When I first started playing a few years ago, I would travel to play with Chris’ 3 friends at a local Friendly’s an hour from here.

      Chris and his friends were very patient souls — a great introduction to the game.

      When a group formed here, I stopped travelling. When Chris came here to our coffee house and played “zouave” — and I didn’t know it — I figured I should learn some words first. (Hell, I didn’t even know his “tun.”)

      But that hasn’t worked so well yet. I’m working on the biochemistry involved in communication between the nuclei and mitochondria. See penny stock bet on ChromaDex. Once I’ve got the precursor to NADH under my belt, watch out, Chris.

      To have some fun, I used to suggest to the federal undercover who did my graphics that I would communicate using online scrabble in code.

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

  4. DXer said

    In Amerithrax, today I offered the Malaysian police that we could go 50/50 on the $25 million reward (to avoid the next 9/11) if they charm a confession out of the incorrigibly affable and likable Yazid Sufaat.

    Yazid Sufaat was happy with the anthrax work when he stayed with KSM for 6 days in 2001 and when he reported to Dr. Ayman on the results of his research with virulent anthrax in August 2001 with Hambali; in his correspondence with DXer, he seems happy today also (and very much in love).
    Posted on May 1, 2012

    At last report, GAO’s report on Amerithrax is due out this year. There are two other reports/books I am eagerly looking forward to reading.

    The authors of all three are long-experienced on the subject and have deep expertise aided by a local vantage point — and greater access than I have. (In all three cases, I have done all I can to share what I know or think).

    I think I’ll likely credit both Kurkijian’s discussion in Isabella Gardner in his upcoming book.

    Master Thieves: The Boston Gangs Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist Hardcover – March 10, 2015

    “In a secret meeting in 1981, a master thief named Louis Royce gave career gangster Ralph Rossetti the tip of a lifetime. As a kid, Royce had visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and made a habit of sneaking in at night to find a good place to sleep. He knew the Museum’s security was lax, and he gave this information to a boss of the Boston criminal underworld.
    These mysteries are the story of Kurkjian’s revealing book. The best and longest-tenured reporter on this case, and one of the most decorated investigative reporters in America, Kurkjian will reveal the identities of this who plotted the heist, the motive for the crime, and the details that the FBI refused to reveal. He will take the reader deep into the Boston mob, and paint the most complete and compelling picture of this story ever told.”

    Steve Kurkijian is a great guy and understands that if I lay my hands on the $500 million in paintings (based on whatever he reveals in his forthcoming book), I’ll take him out to dinner.

    I think the friend of Elena and her daughter who pitched the paintings to the museum after Bobby Guarente passed would be the most accessible entry point to the mystery for an outsider — although security director Tony Amore privately has spurned my help. He says I make Elena nervous.

    The other book is the Harris/MacPhie theory 2013 book in Oak Island (3rd edition). I read some Oak Island books a couple decades ago but don’t recall if I read this well-regarded book.

    Oak Island and its Lost Treasure: The Untold Story of the British Military’s Role in the Island Flood Tunnel Paperback – April, 2013
    by Graham Harris (Author), Les MacPhie (Author)

    In Oak Island, all I stand a chance of having is a intricately detailed pop-up card from Vietnam of a pirate ship.that I picked up this week

    • DXer said

      If Al Qaeda were going to be cast to play a movie of Oak Island mystery, who would take what roles?

      I would cast Ayman Zawahiri as Augustus Keppel, Lord of Albermarle.

      Yazid Sufaat and his two assistants, and Rauf Ahmad — all vaccinated to work with virulent anthrax and provably working with virulent anthrax — would have the sappers and miners who helped destroy Louisbourg in 1758 and /or Morro Castle in 1762.

      Upon British conquest of Canada in 1759, British sappers and miners in the summer of 1760 destroyed Louisbourg. In six months, all the fortifications and public buildings, which had taken France 25 years to build, were demolished. Louisbourgh was 240 miles northeast of Oak Island. Those same sappers and miners were free to bouild a repository available to serve as a secret cache for British wealth on this side of the Atlantic.

      After so many of his troops were stricken with disease during the siege of Havana in 1762, Augustus Keppel had 4,000 in reinforcements from North America by August 1762.

      They then of course had to return home (those who didn’t die from disease) — what better cover to return with the spoils of war.

      I agree with Graham Harris that the 5-finger drain system and flood tunnel strongly points to English tunneling expertise and points to hiding the 18th Century Spanish Old World treasures.

      I disagree with him and his co-author, however, on the details and time — I hypothesize Augustus Keppel rather than Phip, and 1763 rather than earlier.

      While recognizing that he is the expert engineer, I posit the money pit as operating as a drain that allowed the money vault to be installed in Smith’s Cove — with a five-finger drain system covered with a man-made beach.

      Clearly, this is a matter to be resolved authoritatively over Thanksgiving dinner, as illustrated by jello and stuffing.

      After the coffer dam was built, the treasure vault installed, and the so-called “money pit” hole dug, the coffer dam could be destroyed. (The coffer dam, as explained by Harris in some detail, would have been like a stockade they would built at forts).

      Similarly, in Amerithrax, there are different but related reasonable hypotheses both as to elements of an Al Qaeda Theory — to include acquisition of the Ames strain of anthrax, mailing and even processing.

      I recommend Harris’ 2013 book but it is by no means easy reading. He rolls up his sleeves in the history of the numerous successive (and fruitless) digging operations at the Money Pit (as distinguished from Smiths Cove).

      Much lesser research and work done relating to Smith’s Cove and the Flood Tunnel and five-finger drain and slipway — but I find it far more important and interesting and the artifacts far better corroborated, and thus inferences more reliably drawn.

      Given Graham Harris’ digging expertise, thorough efforts and local influence, I think if anyone could persuade the Nova Scotia government to allow a coffer dam to be rebuilt — and Smith’s Cove dug out — it would be him. It may even take an act of legislature.

      The government would know that he has Nova Scotia’s interest in its fascinating legacy firmly in mind.

      In Amerithrax, it is Senator Leahy, before he retires, who could prompt the FBI in disclosing pertinent documents still being withheld. It may even take an act of legislature.

      Some sources cited by Graham Harris in his book (3d ed.):

      Harris, Graham, “The Oak Island Treasure: The Military Cover-Up 1752-54.” An address to the Oak Island Tourism Society. Private publication, 2007.

      Harris, Graham, “The Oak Island Cofferdam.” Imperial Engineer, Issue Eleven, Autumn 2009. See also

      Harris, Graham, “The Treasure and Treason of William Philps.” No Quarter Give, Spetember 2004 to January 2005.

      Connolly, Thomas, W.J., The History of the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners. London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1855.

      Duffy, Christopher, Fire and Stone: The Science of Fortress Warfare 1660-1860. Edison, New Jersey. Castle Books, 2006, 207 pages (First published in 1975)

      I would add some sources, which I’m still developing, relating to the Siege of Havana and Augustus Keppel’s presence in Nova Scotia in the late 1750s.

      See, e.g.,

      “Albermarle [Augustus Keppel] ordered sappers to tunnel beneath the castle’s walls, in order to detonate a mine and hasten the day of battle but the miners soon hit solid rock, and their work proceeded by inches. Meanwhile, the redcoats sickened and died an appalling rate… Only the arival, between Jyly 28 and Auugust 2 [1762] of about four thousand troops from North of America … enabled Albermarle to bring his siege to a successful end.” Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, by Fred Anderson (2000).

      British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714-1792: Design, … – Google Books Result
      Rif Winfield – ‎2007 – History
      Augustus Keppel (-1752); QD lengthened by NBW 1.10.1748, then sailed for the … Commodore Augustus Keppel; sailed for Virginia 23.12.1754; to Nova Scotia 1756, then home; sailed for North America 16.4.1757; at Louisbourg 1758, and at ..

    • DXer said

      When most everyone accepted the conventional wisdom that it was not known whether Al Qaeda was working with virulent anthrax, they did not know that the FBI knew for sure that Al Qaeda (through Rauf Ahmad) was in fact working with virulent anthrax.

      The FBI knew this based on Rauf Ahmad’s presentation of his work at the Porton Down conference sponsored in September 2000.

      At the Dangerous Pathogens 2000 Conference, Dr. Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad presented on the isolation of Bacillus Anthracis
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2014

      I would have liked to draw the analogy, in the Oak Island mystery, that author Harris (2013) was mistaken in discounting a Sacking of Havana 1762 / Augustus Keppel theory on the grounds Keppel was never associated with the area. But upon checking an additional sources, I realize that Harris is right about Augustus Keppel’s whereabouts. (His flagship was there at Louisbourg, according to the one authoritative treatise I cited, linked and quoted, but he wasn’t on it). FN/

      Thus I’m now am going back to more closely study author Harris’ Phips theory.

      And I still commend the Oak Island mystery to you (History Channel tonight, 9 p.m.) — like the Amerithrax mystery, solving the mystery requires obtaining the best contemporaneous evidence in combination with the best scientific evidence.

      Moreover, the greatest fun is to look for and find the secret correspondence — whether it is between Ayman Zawahiri and infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad — or the “Secret Instructions” that Augustus Keppel received in 1761.

      The “Secret Instructions” were received from the crown, it being the first year of the new king’s reign.

      So I’ll tweak my Oak Island to theory to suggest that the Keppel brothers were operating under “Secret Instructions” to secrete part of the haul from Havana on this side of the Atlantic — and were not embezzlers.

      This frees me up perhaps from having to associate the Kepplers with personal retrieval of the loot and unexplained wealth — or even a personal association with the area, such as the land grant (Lot #4) to Augustus Keppel on Prince Edwards Island.

      Moreover, I still favor the idea that the “money pit” was built at the same time — and that the “money pit” was a drain, not a path to the vault protected by a water trap. (It least the theory keeps hope alive that digging could unearth a vault).

      But it leaves open the possibility in my mind that the British retrieved the treasure in 1776 when they evacuated from Boston and took the hundreds of ships to Halifax — with the treasure stored only from 1763 – 1776.

      The entire purpose of keeping the repository on this side of the Atlantic, after all, would be to fund operations here.

      Dictionary of National Biography
      By Sidney Lee

    • DXer said

      This author/ engineer Graham Harris has forgotten more about the subject than I’ll ever know. His detailed discussion of the biography of particular miners and sappers in the 1750s — such as William Bontein and William Cowley in particular — is fascinating. William Cowley was a “seawall guy” as I imagine myself to be. So although I’ve always loved the mystery, with folks delving into the military records as closely as Graham Harris and his colleagues have done, I don’t think Oak Island will remain a mystery forever.

      In Amerithrax, all it will take is Yazid Sufaat to open up and tell all he knows.

      Then let’s see if Adnan El-Shukrijumah’s mom in Florida can continue taking the position that Adnan is a good boy.

      In February 2003, the FBI announced that “Jafar the Pilot” (aka Adnan El-Shukrijumah) had entered the country sometime after September 1, 2001
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on Septem

      FBI’s Undercover Informant Asaad Is Frustrated That He And FBI Missed Opportunity To Thwart Mohammed Atta and Anthrax Letter Suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah, Al Qaeda’s Current Head Of External Operations
      Posted on May 26, 2013

      Will the FBI produce long withheld documents about DXer’s anthrax mailing suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah?
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 19, 2014

  5. DXer said

    Formerly of Porton Down, Les Baillie reports on his biography that he was the sole non-US adviser on Amerithrax. He reports he worked for the NMRC, which is in Maryland. It is important to know where Al Qaeda anthrax scientist Rauf Ahmad got his virulent samples seized by MI5 in 2000 — and to know the second lab he visited in 1999.

    It is not possible to assess the issue of potential conflict of interest in Amerithrax otherwise.

    What was the NMRC’s role in Amerithrax? The NMRC’s Biological Defense Research Directorate has served as a national resource providing testing and analysis for the presence of anthrax and other potential hazards. Its portable laboratory, which was the only one of its kind devoted to detecting biological agents, was deployed to conduct tests in New York City and at the Pentagon following the airliner crash on September 11. Wasn’t it used in testing the Al Qaeda labs in Afghanistan? Who determined the three positive tests for Ames PCR at the Kandahar labs to be false positives? Professor Baillie? Or someone he was working with?

    After the anthrax mailings in October, the NMRC’s BDRD analyzed more than 16,000 samples from the Capitol, detecting the presence of anthrax at Hart Senate Office Building, the Supreme Court and several area mail processing facilities. In collaboration with university researchers, BDRD researchers have expanded their focus on developing a new generation of anthrax vaccine. The experienced laboratory workers at NMRC led the sampling plan to find the Leahy letter.

    Then NMRC was where Agent Darin Steele took Bruce Ivins’ sample for testing. “The samples were subsequently transported to the NAVY MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER (NMRC), 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland, via WFO helicopter, and turned over to the custody of [NAME REDACTED].” Whose name was redacted here?

    The FBI obtained the entire RMR1029 flask on 3Jun2004 and it containing about 75 ml. The Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) determined that its concentration was approximately tenfold lower than Ivins’ log stated it should have been (~10^9 instead of ~10^10 cfu/ml).

    BEI#2 PDF pgs 29-32: 1Apr2005: Lab Check of Concentration of RMR1029 re Naval Lab discrepancy

    Testing at the NMRC of Ivins’ Ames from Flask 1029 included use of Sheep’s Blood Agar (SBA) plates.

    It is not possible to assess the issue of potential conflict of interest in Amerithrax without knowing who Rauf Ahmad was drinking champagne with at the Porton Down-sponsored conferences — which was a couple years before Rauf Ahmad served FBI Special Agent tea at the ISI safehouse.

    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

    At the Dangerous Pathogens 2000 Conference, Dr. Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad presented on the isolation of Bacillus Anthracis
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2014

    Growth in terror threat halted: British spies
    Author claims MI5 was ‘slow to see coming menace of terrorism’

    LONDON: Britain’s domestic spy service thinks the threat from terrorism has stopped growing but remains severe, with terrorists eager to acquire weapons of mass destruction, according to the first authorised history of the agency.

    “The Defence of the Realm”, by Cambridge University historian Christopher Andrew, was commissioned by the agency, MI5, to mark its 100th anniversary this year – the first time a major intelligence agency has granted access to its secret files to an outsider.

    The book, published on Monday, describes an organisation that fought Hitler with “stunning success” but struggled to combat Soviet espionage during the Cold War and initially failed to grasp the threat from extremism.

    Andrew claims the MI5 was “slow to see the coming menace of terrorism”. The book said the agency’s then-head, Stella Rimington, had never heard the name Al Qaeda until a meeting in Washington in 1996, during which MI5 representatives had been “taken aback” by the Americans’ interest in Osama Bin Laden.

    That changed with the September 11, 2001 attacks. Since then the MI5 has foiled several major terrorist plots against Britain, including a plan to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners using liquid explosives.

    “It is not a question of if, it is a question of when such weapons will be used,” he said.

    The book said in 2000 the MI5 – without realising at that time – foiled a plot by Al Qaeda to obtain biological weapons when it found samples and equipment in the luggage of a Pakistani microbiologist, Rauf Ahmad, who had attended a conference on pathogens in Britain. ap

    Professor Baillie’s 2014 slideshow presentation “Misuse of Biology”

    • DXer said

      British scientist Les Baillie worked at the NMRC in Silver Spring, Maryland for the FBI on Amerithrax. Until 2001, he had worked at Porton Down, the biodefense facilitiy in England. Professor Baillie organized the conference at which Al Qaeda’s anthrax scientist, Rauf Ahmad, presented on killing mice with anthrax. Rauf Ahmad reportedly was intercepted by MI5 leaving the Dangerous Pathogens 2000 conference with purchased samples. More importantly, after the 1999 conference, Rauf Ahmad visited a lab’s B3 with the thousands of samples and wrote Dr. Ayman “I have successfully achieved the targets.” In 1999, what was the second lab that Rauf Ahmad visited ? Was it Porton Down? Was it CAMR?

      Does Dr. Baillie have a conflict of interest to be involved with the NMRC in connection with test results from the clandestine anthrax labs that the documentary evidence shows that Rauf Ahmad helped plan?

      Absent disclosure, there is no way the conflict of interest can be assessed and overcome.

      What FBI scientist(s) determined that the positive tests at the overseas labs were due to contamination?

      Also, what FBI scientist(s) determined that the positive test of the human remains (the fellow with the leg lesion) was due to contamination?

      Like Senator Leahy said, when the government screws up, they just mark it “secret.”

      Buckeye fights bioterrorismBuckeye fights bioterrorism
      March 11, 2003

      Josh DeSonne and Jason Brown

      Shane Cullen

      Mike Boehm, an associate professor in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, returned last month from a year-long stint with the U.S. Navy. During his time with the Navy, he helped the country in the battle against bioterrorism.

      Boehm was stationed in Silver Springs, Md., while he worked for the Navy. His job was to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Biological Defese Research Directorate.

      One of the groups he oversaw was a field team stationed in Uzbekistan. They were searching for biological and chemical weapons in Afghanistan.The idea of biological terrorism instills fear in many, but an Ohio State professor is working to combat it.

      Anytime you saw anything in the news about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida having biological warfare agents, we were involved in that testing,” Boehm said.

      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?
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 18, 2011

    • DXer said

      NMRC used real-time PCR assays for the four markers to evaluate over 300 evidentiary samples. NMRC also tested the subtilis, with the conclusion that there was not a match to the genetically matching subtilis. Did Professor Baillie participate in that testing by NMRC?

      Was he a member of the Red Team that addressed whether the Silicon Signature should be pursued? Or did he participate in the FBI’s decision not to pursue it?

      Selective excerpts from FBI communication summarizing discussions and recommendations from the Red Team review
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 8, 2011

      But the most basic question of all:

      What lab did Rauf Ahmad go to on his mission to acquire strains?

      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

      If in 2000 Rauf Ahmad had samples in his luggage ( as described in many reports ), then who at the Pathogens Conference 2000 gave them to him?

      Finally, why didn’t the FBI disclose that Rauf Ahmad was known to have been working with virulent anthrax, killing animals no less, by 2000?

  6. DXer said

    If GAO consulted an NSA expert on the alleged code, they would be told it was a crock because the “T” in NEXT is not double-lined. The letters that were double-lined should have been determined in a separate forensic examination (using magnification).

    Why did FBI Agent Darin Steele think that the “T” in NEXT was double-lined in concocting his interpretation of a code? The determined microbiologist DS tried to fit a square peg in a round hole.

    The only (unnamed) scientist whose opinion was provided said that the FBI’s code theory was not viable because it was not clear what letters were double-lined.
    Posted on March 13, 2011

    Professor Baillie, did you help Darin Steele with the code while at NMRC and working on Amerithrax with the FBI? You knew that the Al Qaeda scientist was working with virulent anthrax and yet that was never disclosed by the FBI. Why not? Why does Dr. Majidi claim that the Al Qaeda anthrax program was not productive when he has known but did not disclose all along that the Al Qaeda scientist was busy killing mice as early as 2000?

    GAO could consult David W. Gaddy, formerly of the NSA, and ask his expert opinion.

    Masked Dispatches: Cryptograms and Cryptology in American History, 177501900

    Click to access masked_dispatches.pdf

    “Our guide is Dr Ralph E Weber of Marquette University, whose 1979 United States Diplomatic Codes and Ciphers, 1775–1938 (Chicago: Precedent Publishing) established him in the fore- front of students of this arcane subject”

    David W. Gaddy was formerly NSA’s Chief Historian He began his career in cryptology as a cryptanalyst (foreign language) in 1953 and served in a variety of staff and line management capacities before being given the opportunity to create the Center for Cryptologic History in 1989 and heading it during its first three years Mr Gaddy is a charter member of the Senior Cryptologic Executive Service and graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the National War College

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 17, 201

    • DXer said

      Professor Ralph Weber would be a good expert to consult — both as to the Amerithrax letters and the Oak Island mystery legendary cipher. Professor Weber is the, author of “Masked Dispatches: Cryptograms and Cryptology in American History, 1775-1900 (2013).

      A professor of history at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI., he wrote “Masked Dispatches” while serving as scholar in residence at the Center for Cryptologic History from 1990 to 1991. He was also a scholar in residence at the Central Intelligence Agency from 1987 to 1988.

      KSM’s code system for numbers has its historical precedents. Numbers were transposed based on their distance from “5” — so “9” became “1”, “2” became “8” etc.

      Professor Weber has explained that Colonel Elbridge Gerry, Elisha Porter and Reverend Samuel West “managed to unlock the secret monoalphabetic substitution cipher found in a carefully disguised and detailed report that was intercepted on its way from the director and phy- sician of the first Continental Army hospital, poet and traitor Dr. Benjamin Church, to a British major, Maurice Cane, in Boston. The codebreakers provided General George Washington with the vital evidence that led to Church’s imprisonment for spying in the fall of 1775 and a sentence of exile in the West Indies.”

      He also has described how “James Lovell also had great success in breaking enciphered dispatches from General Henry Clinton to Lord Cornwallis, which were intercepted in 1780 and 1781.”

      So to learn if the Oak Island cipher is a British geometric cypher from the 1760s — or just an Edgar Allen Poe “Gold Bug” worthy fiction (which seems a real possibility) — Professor Weber would be my first choice as expert.

      In Amerithrax, on the other hand, anyone sharing ideas with Agent Steele at the water cooler (to include Professor Les Baillie) should have been able to see that the Agent Steele’s imagined decoding is a fiction because it was not sound to treat the “T” as double-lined and others not.

    • DXer said

      Another possible expert would be former NSA Division Chief, Michael L. Peterson, who wrote the absolute fascinating “The Church Crypotgram: Birth of Our Nation’s Cryptology.” The backstory of his historical research is in a sidebar.

      When George Washington was faced with a letter filled with odd symbols, he might have viewed it as a unwelcome distraction. He had an army to muster after all. “Because of the circumstances surrounding its appearance, however, the letter smelled unmistakably of treachery. Then, as now, espoinage was considered a very serious matter.”

      But if you look at the Church cipher system you may see the similarities I do with the writing on the Oak Island stone.

      The intermediary attempting to send the communication was interrogated by George Washington himself and she named Doctor Church as the author. That came as a big shock to General Washington, as Dr. Benjamin Church, Jr., was a well-known physican of high standing. “Besides being the doctor’s messenger, the woman was also his mistress.”

      The good doctor claimed the letter was merely to his brother (despite it being address to a British major). But the doctor declared his patriotism to the American side and refused to decipher the letter.

      The letter had been written in English and enciphered using a simple monoalphabetic substitution system involving an apparent mixture of Latin, Greek-like and other symbols” [ as pictured in “The Church Cryptogram” in Masked Dispatches, p. 15.

      It would be fascinating to have Michael L. Peterson weigh in on both the legendary Oak Island cipher history and the alleged code used in Amerithrax, premised on a double-lined “T” in NEXT.

      Although a NSA linguist and cryptographer by training, Peterson makes for a great historian.

      Click to access masked_dispatches.pdf

  7. DXer said

    The ongoing withholding of documents needs to be overcome.

    The key to solving a mystery is to obtain the best contemporaneous documents. People who are not interested in the best contemporaneous documents in Amerithrax have some agenda or serious preconceptions that are not reliably evidence-based. They can safely be ignored — and steamrolled where just due to inertia or CYA reasons.

    The lesson learned from Oak Island mystery would serve well in Amerithrax.

    My theory on Oak Island long has been that it related to the British sacking of Havana in 1762. I see that my post of my theory is posted here.

    The British Sacking of Havana

    But my hold-back was that I think the treasure vault would lie under Smith’s Cove — with the treasure pit not being the location of a cache or vault, but a drain. The 5 finger drain at Smith’s Cove, in combination with the deep drain, would drain Smith’s Cove after a coffer dam was built. Then upon the destruction of the coffer dam the treasure is once again secure. (It would allow a repository to be safely stored on this side of the Atlantic).

    But I only know offhand of confirmation of a coffer dam from 1846 and 1911, when searches tried to shut off the water (viewing the drains as part of a water trap). I don’t know that any coffer dam from 1795 has been confirmed — just what is known as a slipway at Smith’s Cove, which just as easily related to the need to repair ships.

    My theory that the treasure is under Smith’s Cove explains my interest in having Lew buy the tiny Apple Island as a base to discover the treasure in Smith’s Cove using the newest equipment finding so many shipwrecks buried in silt. It last sold for the price of a vehicle.

    But the master of the evidence is not me, but IMO is a hobbyist historian/student of folklore who has long followed the matter, Richard Joltes. Long before having Lew out-of–pocket, I would defer to Joltes at the end of the day as to all conclusions, including whether there is any treasure at all. (He ventures not). Even though I don’t know if he has uploaded his website since 2006, he takes a very evidence-based approach. Although I’m enjoying the ongoing History channel series, I’m not seeing anything that would alter his analysis.

    In connection with my hypothesis that it relates to the British sacking of Havana, I would try to obtain any ship logs related to George Keppel’s ship and the geometric cipher used by the British in the 1760s. Perhaps some analyst could visit the Ft. Meade museum and ask the director. (I appreciate that even the bona fides — the existence — of the cipher is fairly disputed).

    The recent discovery on the South Shore of a coin dated 1771 almost has me shifting to study the British evacuation of Boston in 1776 — they retreated to Nova Scotia. (I’ve ordered some books on the Siege of Boston).

    I think everyone should keep an open mind while seeking better evidence. For example, the people in Amerithrax who have been arguing that the anthrax was microencapsulated need to address the fact that Ivins was familiar with microencapsulation in connection with a multiagent vaccine, although the work was done at SRI.

    People who are not comfortable wiith having documents speak for themselves — and need to rely on their assertions, assumptions, and inferential leaps — will never find the treasures.

    Getting people on the same page is the treasure waiting at the end of every worthwhile treasure hunt or murder whodunnit. Columbo spent the entire episode asking questions until the big reveal. Columbo solved that big case, “Undercover” (see YouTube) using coins. Maybe that will be how the Oak Island mystery rolls too.

    Let’s start by having USAMRIID provide tomorrow a copy of the anthrax inventory that was an enclosure to the February 2002 subpoena response.

    Only a fool doesn’t realize its relevance to the inquiry at hand.

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

    • DXer said

      It has never been easier to follow the comings and goings of a Brit in years past.

      British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714-1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates [Kindle Edition] (2007)
      By: Rif Winfield

      This book, dense with information crammed into listings broken down by ship, tells you the who, what and where of British warships. Like no other book — besides the companion volumes by the same author covering different time periods.

      Maybe I was wrong about George — maybe it was his brother Augustus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: