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

* CIA and FBI Knew Rauf Ahmad harvested “anthrax spore concentrate” for Al Qaeda for experiment on guinea pigs on “7-4-001” – handwriting on anthrax spore concentrate is same as handwriting of Rauf Ahmad in correspondence planning anthrax lab with Ayman Zawahiri

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 26, 2014

Screen shot 2014-11-26 at 9.11.16 AM

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26 Responses to “* CIA and FBI Knew Rauf Ahmad harvested “anthrax spore concentrate” for Al Qaeda for experiment on guinea pigs on “7-4-001” – handwriting on anthrax spore concentrate is same as handwriting of Rauf Ahmad in correspondence planning anthrax lab with Ayman Zawahiri”

  1. DXer said

    President Trump reportedly is considering appointing Mike Rogers to the position of FBI Director.

    Averting Attacks
    https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/averting-attacks

    The June 14 event, titled The Threat of Bioterrorism: Improving America’s Response Capabilities (video), drew panelists Sen. Joe Liebermann (I-Conn.), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and former Senators Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.).

    The latter two are chairman and vice chairman of the WMD Center, which cosponsored the event with the Homeland Security Policy Institute.

    ***

    One of the most important sentences of the 9/11 Commission Report was the claim that the attacks occurred because of a failure of U.S. imagination, Sen. Lieberman said, interpreting the failure as an inability or refusal to imagine what al-Qaeda was plotting.

    “We know that the intent to hurt us continues,” he said. “It doesn’t take a very aggressive imagination … to believe that groups that are venomously anti-American would be considering biological attacks on us.”

    ***

    The U.S. knows that al-Qaeda wanted to build biological weapons in the 1990s, it would not need to undergo intense organizational realignment to construct such a weapon and biological weapons are relatively easy to create and stock pile, he said.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  2. DXer said

    Isis hacker who hid terror files on cufflinks is jailed
    The Times (subscription)-May 2, 2017
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/isis-hacker-who-hid-terror-files-on-cufflinks-is-jailed-t8008sqph

    Ullah, 34, was tracked down to his bedroom in Cardiff after the arrest of a contact in Kenya who was allegedly planning an anthrax attack.

    An Islamic State “librarian” who stashed files on memory cards hidden in cufflinks has been jailed for eight years after an international operation traced his links to an alleged anthrax plot in Kenya.

    Samata Ullah, a self-radicalised hacker from Cardiff, trained jihadists in encryption techniques and compiled a library that included information on missile guidance systems and biological weapons such as anthrax.

    Ullah, 34, was tracked down to his bedroom in Cardiff after the arrest of a contact in Kenya who was allegedly planning an anthrax attack.

    When police raided Ullah’s flat they found a memory card containing the academic textbook Beyond Anthrax: The Weaponization of Infectious Diseases. It was not intended for use by terrorists. …

    • DXer said

      British Isis hacker denies planning anthrax attack in Kenya

      By
      Andrew Watt

      22nd March 2017

      https://britsinkenya.com/2017/03/22/british-isis-hacker-denies-planning-anthrax-attack-in-kenya/

      Samata Ullah admitted to being a key member of an Isis online collective calling itself the Cyber Caliphate Army and planning weapons programmes.

      He was arrested following an international manhunt by British and American security services after conversations between him and the terror group were found on the mobile phone of an operative in Kenya accused of planning an anthrax attack.

      The 34-year-old from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to being a member of Islamic State, terrorist training, preparing terrorist acts and possessing articles for terrorist purposes but denied one charge of directing a group arrested in Kenya accused of planning an anthrax attack.

      The charge was allowed to lie on file and he will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on April 28.

  3. DXer said

    Recent 2 hour interview of former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert, that I’m transcribing and posting as I listen to it.

    At 23:04

    Question: “The person or persons or group had to be kinda ready…. to get going. They only had a week, from 911 to the mailing…

    They had to have been planning this prior to 911 to have this anthrax ready and the letters.. right?”

    Lambert: “Yes, that’s exactly right. It has now been declassified and it is out there in the media that what we know is that Al Qaeda had a very robust biological program. that was getting very close to having an anthrax weapon developed. They were moving quickly in that direction. They had a microbiologist that they had hired. They had a laboratory set up outside of Kandahar in Afghanistan and they were actively seeking pathogens.”

  4. DXer said

    Seasoned spymaster Gina Haspel named deputy CIA director

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/02/seasoned-spymaster-gina-haspel-named-deputy-cia-director.html

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  5. DXer said

    Isis ‘plans to bring chemical and biological war to Europe’

    Isis could be planning a chemical weapon attack on Europe, which would kill ‘hundreds or thousands’ of people, a European Parliament report has warned.

    The document warns that the EU and member states must prepare for the possibility of chemical or biological weapons being used on the continent. It stated that the terrorist group has been recruiting skilled university graduates, and could have access to the deadly weapons in Iraq, Syria, and possibly Libya. It said: ‘Orchestrating a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) attack that would kill hundreds or thousands of citizens still poses a significant technical and logistical challenge. ‘However, ISIL/Da’esh has very important financial resources, proven success in recruiting skilled university graduates, and access to CBRN material, at least in Iraq and Syria, and possibly in Libya.

    Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2015/12/06/isis-plans-to-bring-chemical-and-biological-war-to-europe-5548062/#ixzz3tZsOAjeX

  6. DXer said

    Safer Anthrax Test Aims To Keep The Bioweapon From Terrorists
    MARCH 25, 2015 5:14 AM ET
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/03/25/395238617/safer-test-for-anthrax-aims-to-keep-the-bioweapon-from-terrorists

    Engineers at Sandia National Laboratory have come up with what they think is a safer diagnostic test for anthrax bacteria — a test that would prevent the “bad guys” from getting their hands on this dangerous pathogen.

    Sandia is home to the International Biological Threat Reduction Program. “Our interest is in safety and security of pathogens,” says Melissa Finley. Finley isn’t a bioweapons expert. She’s a veterinarian.

    But veterinarians know about anthrax because it’s caused by a bacteria that lives in soil, and it can infect livestock. So veterinary labs have to be able to test for it.

    Sandia sends vets like Finley to countries around the world to make sure their tests are performed in a secure manner and the anthrax doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

    “My country happens to be Afghanistan,” says Finley. She says Afghanistan has a curious problem when it comes to anthrax. The country is a big exporter of animal hides. But these hides can be contaminated with Bacillus anthracis, the anthrax bacteria. Exporters would like to prove their hides aren’t.

    “If they can certify them free of Bacillus anthracis spores, then they can get more money for the hide,” says Finley.

    For the most reliable test, you have to grow the bacteria. But the U.S. worries that a bunch of labs in Afghanistan growing anthrax won’t do much for biological threat reduction.

    “So we were working with them to try to identify an alternate method,” Finley says. She went back to New Mexico and told Sandia engineers she needed a test that would require only a tiny sample that would be destroyed when the test was over.

    The engineers at Sandia made a credit-card-sized device. A sample first goes into a tiny growth chamber, where bacteria in the sample can divide a few times. Then the sample goes into a test chamber. Fifteen minutes later, you get a color change, whether it’s positive or negative, “similar to what you might see in a pregnancy test.”

    And then a powerful antiseptic chemical destroys the bacteria. And there’s nothing for a terrorist to steal.

    It’ll be a few years before the test is ready for prime time. But if it works as advertised, it should make the world a safer place.

  7. DXer said

    Ex-CIA Directors: Interrogations Saved Lives
    The Senate Intelligence investigators never spoke to us—the leaders of the agency whose policies they are now assailing for partisan reasons.
    Jan. 16, 2015 11:52 a.m. ET
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ex-cia-directors-interrogations-saved-lives-1421427169

    We had hard evidence that al Qaeda was trying to manufacture anthrax.

    It felt like the classic “ticking time bomb” scenario—every single day.

    In this atmosphere, time was of the essence and the CIA felt a deep responsibility to ensure that an attack like 9/11 would never happen again. We designed the detention and interrogation programs at a time when “relationship building” was not working with brutal killers who did not hesitate to behead innocents. These detainees had received highly effective counter-interrogation training while in al Qaeda training camps. And yet it was clear they possessed information that could disrupt plots and save American lives.

    Comment:

    Are the ex-CIA Directors mistaken? They say that they had “hard evidence that al Qaeda was trying to manufacture anthrax.”

    Didn’t they in fact have hard evidence that Al Qaeda had ALREADY manufactured anthrax in April 2001? That the anthrax scientist who made the anthrax had learned processing tricks from contacts at the Porton Down sponsored conference?

    …and that he was a Pakistan government scientist being housed in February 2002 by the ISI? Complete with servant serving tea and cookies while the sweater clad Rauf Ahmad told his provable lies to the two CIA agents and FBI agents?

    If these ex-CIA Directors had disclosed that fact, might the invasion of Iraq had been avoided? I understand the value of keeping information secret that then allows other opportunities to be developed — other operatives to be captured.

    But at some point does the secrecy lead to lying that leads to believing one’s own lies told in the name of secrecy?

  8. DXer said

    We’ve seen Rauf Ahmad’s letters TO Dr. Ayman Zawahiri. We haven’t seen FROM Dr. Ayman Zawahiri.

  9. DXer said

    The Associate Press in an October 5, 2009 article reported:

    “The book [an authorized biography of MI5] says that in 2000, MI5 — without realizing it at the 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. U.S. intelligence later revealed that Ahmad had been in touch with Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri.’

    The problem with this logic is that Rauf Ahmad already had also attended the Dangerous Pathogens conference in 1999 — and relatedly he visited a second lab for the purpose of obtaining a pathogenic laboratory strain of anthrax. After that second visit, he wrote Ayman Zawahiri that he had successfully obtained the targets.

    Government accountability and transparency requires that Rauf Ahmad’s known and potential sources of the virulent pathogens be identified.

    This Dangerous Pathogens 2000 Conference was sponsored by Bruce Ivins’ Les Baillie, who then worked for the FBI on Amerithrax at the NMRC in Maryland. That is where the Ames strain samples were kept in a repository.

    It is important that in addition to the second lab Rauf Ahmad, the samples that were intercepted in 2000 should be identified — along most importantly the name of the person who gave them to him.

    If it was Bruce Ivins, for example, then one can ask whether he had given Rauf Ahmad virulent Ames at the previous year’s conference.

    If it was Les Baillie, he can be asked the same.

    Same for any of the other researchers with access to the Ames strain.

  10. DXer said

    A UK Government Lab Accidentally Mailed Out Live Anthrax
    Gizmodo‎ – 15 hours ago
    http://gizmodo.com/a-uk-government-lab-accidentally-mailed-out-live-anthra-1666866287


    The live anthrax mix-up is the worst out of the whole bunch. In May 2012, scientists at an Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency …

    The Guardian found 70 incidents in the past five years at UK government, university, and hospital labs handling deadly pathogens that were serious enough to warrant an investigation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), roughly equivalent to the U.S.’s OSHA. In many cases, the screw-ups were so bad, the lab had to be temporarily shut down.

    The live anthrax mix-up is the worst out of the whole bunch. In May 2012, scientists at anAnimal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) lab sent anthrax out to at least three other labs. Somehow, the tubes got mixed, so live anthrax were shipped out instead of inactivated examples. Normally, scientists only open live anthrax samples inside a specially ventilated hood and while wearing protective equipment. Thinking the anthrax was inactivated, one recipient opened the tubes right there on an open lab bench. Two people were exposed. Luckily, they had at least been vaccinated, so they did not become ill.

    The anthrax episode was serious enough to warrant an immediate shutdown of the AHVLA lab. But the incident was buried inside a HSE report, and the details have only come to light with the Guardian’s investigation. In all, the dozens of incidents reveal a scary pattern of poor safety culture in labs handling the deadliest pathogens. …

  11. DXer said

    The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy
    Review of Graeme MacQueen’s Book

    By Prof. Edward Curtin
    Global Research, December 01, 2014

    “Anyone concerned about the truth behind 9/11 and the anthrax attacks should read this profoundly important book. It is filled with tight argumentation backed by solid evidence, and even the speculative parts ring true.”

    Comment:

    Graeme MacQueen relies on newspaper articles instead of the documentary evidence. He is the one who has not engaged on the merits — who has never discussed Rauf Ahmad or Yazid Sufaat’s work with virulent anthrax in Afghanistan. (That’s because like Lake, the fellow who has a personal agenda involving a first grade boy, Graeme is so uninformed on the subject.) He is propagandist who has adopted his political viewpoint and never bothered to do the research with the actual documents.

    Politics, religion or so-called “peace studies” have no role in true crime analysis while killers roam free seeking targets — according to Adnan El-Shukrijumah’s mom — to cause alarm. Join together to press GAO and Congressional leaders to press for the disclosure of the very best contemporary evidence shedding light on the murders.

    Ottilie Lundgren deserves as much.

    p.s. And yes, we can start with the 28 pages removed from the “Joint Inquiry” relating to the Saudis — which may very well be very politically charged at the same time they shed on the whodunnit. Adnan’s father was a Saudi missionary.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US BIodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      Lawmakers Insist On Release Of CIA Torture Report, Despite Administration’s Objections
      Posted: 12/05/2014 4:56 pm EST Updated: 12/05/2014

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/05/cia-kerry-report_n_6278242.html

      Comment:

      Yazid Sufaat’s Samer al-Barq was rendered to Jordan and then shifted to Israel. If Graeme MacQuean had bothered to learn about Al Qaeda’s anthrax program, he could have addressed the issues in the case where someone his with political cause could have done some good. For example, doesn’t Al-Barq’s deserve his day in court?

      As Senator Leahy has said, when the government screws up, it just marks it SECRET.

      GAO Should Obtain A Copy Of Rauf Ahmad’s Signed Written Statement Voluntarily Provided FBI Agent Borelli
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 14, 2013

      “Court cases, however, were out of fashion. The most important terrorism suspects were dragged into the CIA’s secret prisons.”

  12. DXer said

    The CIA Director at the time would summarize:

    ”Al-Qa’ida spared no effort in its attempt to obtain biological weapons. In 1999, al-Zawahiri had recruited another scientist, Pakistani national Rauf Ahmad, to set up a small lab in Khandahar, Afghanistan, to house the biological weapons effort. In December 2001, a sharp WMD analyst at CIA found the initial lead on which we would pull and, ultimately, unravel the al-Qa’ida anthrax networks. We were able to identify Rauf Ahmad from letters he had written to Ayman al-Zawahiri. Later, we uncovered Sufaat’s central role in the program. We located Rauf Ahmad’s lab in Afghanistan. We identified the building in Khandahar where Sufaat claimed he isolated anthrax. We mounted operations that resulted in the arrests and detentions of anthrax operatives in several countries.”

    ”The most startling revelation from this intelligence success story was that the anthrax program had been developed in parallel to 9/11 planning. As best as we could determine, al-Zawahiri’s project had been wrapped up in the summer of 2001, when the al-Qaida deputy, along with Hambali, were briefed over a week by Sufaat on the progress he had made to isolate anthrax. The entire operation had been managed at the top of al-Qai’da with strict compartmentalization. Having completed this phase of his work, Sufaat fled Afghanistan in December 2001 and was captured by authorities trying to sneak back into Malaysia. Rauf Ahmad was detained by Pakistani authorities in December 2001. Our hope was that these and our many other actions had neutralized the anthrax threat, at least temporarily.”

    —Former CIA Director George Tenet in his May 2007 book Center of the Storm

  13. DXer said

    Professor Baillie is available for interview on these issues relating to Dangerous Pathogens 2000 and the second lab Rauf Ahmad visited in 1999.

    Here is a slide he presented this Fall on the subject.

    Prof Les Baillie presented on “The Misuse of Biology” last month in this slide presentation at the Global Trends and Implications for British Security Conference
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 16, 2014

  14. DXer said

    You can see the photo as it appeared here. Full credit should be given to veteran journalist Kathy Gannon and the brave photographer who accompanied her.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=20011122&id=zTIzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kAgGAAAAIBAJ&pg=6959,6020337

    Rauf Ahmad and Ayman Zawahiri were highly secretive — but not as successful at keeping their secret at the US FBI, which has refused to disclose the third lab Rauf Ahmad visited (that had 1000s of pathogens).

    GAO is best in a position to determine why Rauf Ahmad was untouchable. Was it because he was a Pakistan government scientist? (Certainly there were widespread protests over the detention of Dr. Amer Aziz when he was interrogated about anthrax over a period of 30 days).

    Or was it because he obtained virulent anthrax, equipment, and supplies from a UK or US government scientist — in connection with the Dangerous Pathogens 2000 sponsored by the Porton Down scientist who came to work at the NMRC in Maryland in advising the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation.

    Was it the FBI’s scientist who gave Rauf Ahmad virulent Ames? (I don’t know the identity of the second lab he visited). I’ve emailed Professor Les Baillie several times over the last decade to ask and he’s never denied it (or responded at all).

    Both of Al Qaeda’s anthrax scientists (including Rauf Ahmad with whom I’ve corresponded) have been more cooperative than Professor Baillie.

    Rauf Ahmad wanted money to cooperate. It seems that the FBI scientists do too, starting with Randall Murch who essentially asked me years ago: “What’s in it for me?” Dr. Murch tells me he does not want Amerithrax reopened. I totally understand why.

    It was screwed up since late Fall 2001 and early Spring 2002 when the US did not obtain custody of Rauf Ahmad.

    UPI

    October 31, 2006 Tuesday 7:58 AM EST

    Al-Qaida anthrax researcher untouchable

    DATELINE: WASHINGTON, Oct. 31

    The FBI has deactivated an investigation into a Pakistani scientist working on anthrax for the al-Qaida terror group, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

    The role of Abdur Rauf, 47, came to light in December 2001 when a stack of letters was found by coalition troops in Afghanistan during a raid on an al-Qaida house. The letters showed Rauf was reporting to the terror group’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, on his bid to create large amounts of deadly anthrax as a biological weapon.

    In one chilling but unexplained exchange, Rauf wrote: “I successfully achieved the targets.”

    At the United States’ request, Pakistani authorities detained Rauf for questioning soon after the letters were found, but he was release since Pakistan says it has no grounds for arrest.

    Faced with the diplomatic standoff, the FBI put Rauf’s case on inactive status last year, a source who asked not to be identified told the Post.

    “We will never close the door, but the chances of getting him into the United States are slim to none,” the official said.

    Joby Warrick, Suspect and A Setback In Al-Qaeda Anthrax Case; Scientist With Ties To Group Goes Free, Washington Post, October 31, 2006; A01
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/30/AR2006103001250_pf.html

    An earlier article by the New York Times mistakenly reversed the order of the undated handwritten and typed letter — relying on researcher Milton Leitenberg’s good faith but mistaken assumptions.

    A lot of writers subsequently then were similarly misled.

  15. DXer said

    The picture was taken in Kabul by the photographer who accompanying AP reporter Kathy Gannon. The anthrax activities were shifted to Kandahar in May 2001.

    http://lang.sbsun.com/socal/terrorist/1101/22/terror03.asp

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – At an Agriculture Ministry laboratory outside Kabul, scientists worked with anthrax. If Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network wanted to get its hands on the deadly substance, this laboratory, now badly damaged by U.S. bombing, could have been a source.

    The now-defeated Taliban regime has long denied being involved in chemical or biological weapons research, but it seems to have taken an interest in the work being done at the lab, according to scientists there, and it was repeatedly hit by U.S. bombers.

    The lab, in a two-story mountainside building, was frequently visited by a Taliban official during the past five years, according to scientists interviewed there Tuesday.

    They did not say whether Mullah Qari Abdullah showed a specific interest in anthrax, and the scientists insisted their work was aimed purely at developing animal vaccines.

    “The Taliban officer in charge, Mullah Qari Abdullah, would come here regularly,” said Dr. Mohammed Ali, speaking in the lab amid shards of glass from bomb-shattered bottles.

    He declined to elaborate, and when his colleagues began to speak, he snapped at them in Farsi, the language used in Iran and parts of Afghanistan, saying: “Listen to me! Listen to me!”

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said bin Laden likely had some chemical or biological weapons, and that U.S. forces bombed some sites in Afghanistan that could have been involved in producing them. It was not clear whether the government laboratory was on the list of suspects.

    U.S. teams have taken samples from some sites in Afghanistan where al-Qaida might have made chemical or biological weapons, Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday at the Pentagon. None of those test results have come back yet.

    That “the one place where the only vial that had English on it said ‘anthrax’ kind of gives you pause,” Pace said. “We’re doing the analysis on it.”

    Ali and his colleague, Dr. Abdul Wakil, did not say whether any of their research was transferred to al-Qaida or used in weapons experiments. But they acknowledged that the lab’s activities meant the Taliban had access to anthrax.

    The scientists, longtime workers at the lab, showed a large container which they said held concentrated anthrax spores.

    Both complained that much of the anthrax vaccine had already expired and that they were having trouble getting fresh supplies to produce more. Before the bombing campaign, private companies in India and Iran were their major suppliers, they said.

    Shipments were halted after Sept. 11, and the laboratories have had to rely on their stocks, which are running low.

    The research and the samples of deadly substances is not in itself unusual. Similar studies, used to produce animal vaccines, are conducted in laboratories around the world, and the government scientists in Kabul received technical assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

    Documents relating to deadly chemicals and bacteria have been found in houses abandoned by al-Qaida after the Taliban fled Kabul on Nov. 13 and the opposition northern alliance took over.

    Material in Arabic, Urdu, Russian and English indicate al-Qaida was studying chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons. It’s not clear whether any was ever produced.

    Some papers had handwritten chemical formulas, diagrams that seemed to indicate a mixing of chemicals followed by an explosive reaction.

    At a training base on the southern edge of the city was an English-language book with instructions on how to survive a nuclear war, and a letter home from a recruit that indicated al-Qaida trainees were still there earlier this month.

    “I would be suspicious of the anthrax research and any research during the Taliban (period) because they were under the control of Osama and al-Qaida,” Dalut Mir, deputy head of northern alliance military intelligence, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

    “We have strong evidence of their involvement in chemical weapons,” he added. “We believe that they were using government facilities, like the Ministry of Agriculture, to do their research in terrorism.”

    The lab is housed several hundred yards from surrounding buildings, making it an easily identifiable target. Giant cracks run down its cement walls, window frames are twisted. Glass litters the floors. On the second floor doors have been blown off their hinges and shelves toppled.

    The Pentagon does not talk publicly about specific targets, but has said it is investigating previously suspected chemical and biological sites that no longer are in Taliban control.

  16. DXer said

    In October 2001, the FBI’s stock profile concerning a biological agent was a lone, unstable individual. In October 2001 — unaware of any of this — the profilers pretty much just reached into the filing cabinet. One Special Agent involved in profiling such incidents explained in a conference, at which Dr. Steve Hatfill was also a presenter: “The closest I’ve ever come to biological-chemical issues is when the toilet on the 37th floor gets backed up *** It isn’t the Middle Eastern people. It isn’t white supremacists. It is the lone individual, lone unstable individual. That statistically, from the cases that we have, is the biggest threat right now.”

    FBI Special Agent Fitzgerald, who had some early involvement in Amerithrax in issuing the “profile,” years earlier had special responsibility for scrutinizing the language of the manifesto in UNABOM. In late September 2001, his colleague from UNABOM, Kathleen Puckett turned in her study of “lone wolves” to include Kaczynski and others. Dr. Puckett sees “howling loneliness” as the key characteristic of a “lone wolf.” Before turning to work on domestic terror cases of the 1990s, her counterintelligence work typically involved Soviet spies. She would go and kibbitz the local agents on what she perceived as the personality of the subject. She retired on September 30, 2001 and handed in her study on lone wolves on her way out the door. By October, her colleague Fitzgerald was turning in a “lone wolf” profile for his assignment in Amerithrax. Judging from his comments to the media, he was one of those who was swayed based on the fact that Daschle and Leahy were Democrats.

    Hunting the American Terrorist (2007), by History Publishing is dedicated in part to the victims of the anthrax mailings. Dr. Terry Turchie and Dr. Kathleen Purkett appear to agree with the Special Agent Fitzgerald’s profile from October 2001. (Fitzgerald was their former team member) They write:

    “Then, right on the heels of 9/11, another wave of attacks paralyzed the east cost of the United States. During the week of September 18, 2001, five letters containing micronized anthrax were mailed to addresses between New York and Florida. They targeted journalists, U.S. Senators, and news magazines. As in the case of Kaczynski and Rudolph cases, the envelopes had fictional return addresses.

    Notes accompanying the mailings were supposedly from Islamic fundamentalists, and almost everyone in the government and the media quickly cast blame in that direction.
    For those of us who were involved in the domestic terror campaigns of the 1990s, however, the anthrax mailings had all the earmarks of a lone wolf.”

    One person’s lonely lone wolf is another man’s US-based dedicated islamist operating under strict principles of cell security. It seems that the FBI was making the same mistake it made in the case of the assassination of Rabbi Kahane 10 years earlier by the blind sheik’s bodyguard Nosair.

    Inexplicably, the profilers did not seem to have been persuaded after 9/11 by the open source intelligence that Zawahiri had obtained anthrax for the purpose of using it as a weapon against US targets. If intelligence analysis is an art, criminal profiling is drawing with crayons. A “profile” in connection to a person’s facial features might refer to what they look like in the dark. But, here, war had been declared. A weapon had been used by the enemy it had previously said it would use that specific weapon. Intelligence analysis, not profiling, was what was needed. The profilers apparently did not take to heart or learn the lesson of the al Hayat letter bombs in December 1996. More likely than not, they simply were unaware of the Al Hayat letter bombs.

    James R. Fitzgerald, head of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, told an interviewer: “The attacker appears to be an opportunist [who] took advantage [of the terrorist attacks].” He continued “The rhetoric [in the letters] is made to sound like what a nonterrorist thinks a terrorist sounds like. The perpetrator was probably a right-winger with an ax to grind. It’s no secret that they [the intended recipients] are Democrats. People, including the Unabomber, have used representational targets for years.” Alluding to the mistaken notion that security guard Richard Jewell was responsible for the Olympic Park bombing, Vincent Cannistraro, formerly of the CIA, explained of the profile that the FBI are “intellectually convinced they’re on the right track, but they don’t want to come up with a janitor theory that’s wrong again.” The vague profile was fine but Agent Fitzgerald’s expanded comments to the press about the profile missed the mark. FBI profiler Fitzgerald can be forgiven his early miscalculations. Such a profile likely was useful in supporting warrants in the US in connection with a variety of leads that prudently needed to be pursued. The forensics, without more, tended to point to a “domestic” source.

    The official published profile was very vague and spoke of a nonconfrontational loner carrying a grudge. Malcolm Gladwell, author of the acclaimed Blink, in his New Yorker article concludes that criminal profiling is no different than a parlor trick known by astrologers for years.

    Victims and targets were highly skeptical of the FBI’s profile. David Pecker, the AMI publisher commented:
    “I don’t believe in coincidences. I still think it was tied to al-Qaida. I don’t believe it was domestic.”

    The emphasis in the press reports has always, however, been on the suggestion that the mailer likely is “domestic” rather than foreign — a lone, male scientist who works in a lab. The profile was issued shortly after the White House meeting where it was agreed that Al Qaeda was the likely culprit, but that the theory and the possibility of a state sponsor would not be discussed. Vice President Cheney was not at all impressed by the FBI’s profile and went on television to express his skepticism. Although the FBI profile was widely criticized by experts and in editorials in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and other newspapers and magazines, it was more flexible than its critics imagined. The Amerithrax profile of a loner with a grudge permits a variety of motivations. The FBI uses the word “domestic” to include Americans sympathetic with an extremist islamic cause.

    Outside pundits covered the entire range. Jason Pate, of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, said of the numerous private anthrax theories that have arisen:
    “We all have our pet theories. But none seems to fit the facts exactly. Dr. Rosenberg thinks it’s a disgruntled worker conspiracy. Drs. O’Toole and Inglesby think it’s Sept. 11 accomplices. I think it’s some right-wing extremists. But maybe it’s a disgruntled right-wing extremist scientist accomplice.”

    An interesting article in MIT Technology Review in March/April 2006 is based on interviews with Sergei Popov (an expert at GMU who had worked as a Russian bioweaponeer), University of Maryland researcher Milton Leitenberg, Harvard’s Matthew Meselson, Rutger’s Richard Ebright and others:

    “There are now more than 300 U.S. institutions with access to live bioweapons agents and 16,500 individuals approved to handle them,” Ebright told me. While all of those people have undergone some form of background check — to verify, for instance, that they aren’t named on a terrorist watch list and aren’t illegal aliens — it’s also true, Ebright noted, that ‘Mohammed Atta would have passed those tests without difficulty.“

    ***

    ‘That’s the most significant concern,’ Ebright agreed. ‘If al-Qaeda wished to carry out a bioweapons attack in the U.S., their simplest means of acquiring access to the materials and the knowledge would be to send individuals to train within programs involved in biodefense research.’ Ebright paused. ‘And today, every university and corporate press office is trumpeting its success in securing research funding as part of this biodefense expansion, describing exactly what’s available and where.’”

    The analytical problem is that researchers tend only to focus on their narrow field. An analyst focused on Al Qaeda may not know anything about US biodefense programs. An analyst knowledgeable about US biodefense programs may not know anything about Egyptian Islamic Jihad. To knowledgeably address the issue of infiltration and the use of universities and charities as cover — which the documentary evidence shows Zawahiri planned to do and did in his anthrax weaponization program — requires a willingness to become knowledgeable and investigate the different substantive areas.

    Of course, given that Les Baillie was consulting with the FBI, he could have simply told the FBI that Rauf Ahmad’s paper on working with virulent anthrax had been presented at the 2000 conference at Porton Down. But the profilers did not consult with people on the investigation — in fact, it would be months before the head of the FBI Washington Field Office even met with Amerithrax investigators.

  17. DXer said

    In the indictment of KSM, Al-Hawsawi and the others, the indictment mentions experiments in the use of biological weapons. What experiments in the use of bioweapons were conducted?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 4, 2011

  18. DXer said

    GAO: On Rauf’s Quest For Virulent Anthrax For Ayman Zawahiri, Was The Second Lab He Visited [In 1999] A BL-3 Lab at Porton Down? Was He Cleared To Go?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 21, 2012

  19. DXer said

    The FBI has told you that Dr. Ivins had semen-stained panties in his garbage can, but the FBI won’t tell you what lab Dr. Rauf Ahmad visited on his visit to the B3 lab with the thousands of pathogens in 1999. Where is the government accountability? Where is the transparency? Where is the justice for Bruce Ivins — who committed suicide after the FBI swabbed him for DNA after finding panties again.

    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

  20. DXer said

    Rauf Ahmad told the FBI that he had set up the anthrax lab in Kandahar. He explained that he done everything he had been trained to do.

  21. DXer said

    Pakistan follows the European style of writing dates. And so the date appears to be April 2001, not July 2001.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_and_time_notation_in_Pakistan

    Date and time notation in Pakistan
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Pakistan follows the DD-MM-YY format as the predominant short form of the numeric date in its calendar date usage. Almost all government documents need to be filled up in the DD-MM-YYYY format. An example of employing usage of DD-MM-YYYY form is the Pakistani passport application form, the National Identity Card or the Pakistan Origin Card.[1] However, the MM-DD-YY format is not altogether absent; many media publications and prominent newspapers feature dates in MM-DD-YY format.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country

  22. DXer said

    Rauf Ahmad in 1999 told Dr. Ayman Zawahiri that he made internet connections at the Porton Down sponsored conference — that would help him solve some of the technical problems associated with developing anthrax into a weapon.

    Who did he consult with about technical problems? The FBI should have the benefit of his written emails on the subject. Former Special Agent Borelli, who interrogated Rauf Ahmad in February 2002 with two CIA agents — at the ISI safe house — likely will know.

    • DXer said

      At Thanskgiving dinner, there was a military image processing expert who stopped by for pie — it belatedly occurs to me that these redactions were not done using the method prescribed by the US government. (I once uploaded the NSA booklet on the subject).

      I once read through redactions in other documents — I just have to remember what I did. (It did not involve merely reversing redaction software — it involved reading through the magic marker using changes to the contrast or whatever.)

      No Way Out (9/12) Movie CLIP – I’m the One in the Picture (1987) HD

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