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

* The UK Lab That Let Al Qaeda Scientist Rauf Ahmad Leave With Virulent Anthrax in 1999 Made A Mistake; To Keep The Lab’s Identity A Secret Prevents Us From Learning From History

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 5, 2014

 

unnamed

 

Professor Les Baillie – SlideShare

www.slideshare.net/…/professor-lesbaillie-compatibility-mode

‎Oct 13, 2014  Session five (a): Pandemics and Biology The misuse of biology Prof Les Baillie School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff …
Advertisements

22 Responses to “* The UK Lab That Let Al Qaeda Scientist Rauf Ahmad Leave With Virulent Anthrax in 1999 Made A Mistake; To Keep The Lab’s Identity A Secret Prevents Us From Learning From History”

  1. DXer said

    Gina Haspel likely appreciates the importance of vetting people before giving them training about, and access to, virulent pathogens.

    Trump taps CIA veteran for agency’s second in command

    The Hill-Feb 3, 2017
    President Trump has selected Gina Haspel to be the deputy director of the CIA, making her second in command behind Mike Pompeo.

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

  2. DXer said

    Kenyan police disrupt ISIS plot involving biological terror attack with anthrax
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 6:47 PM
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/kenyan-police-disrupt-isis-biological-terror-attack-article-1.2623834

    Two of Ali’s alleged accomplices Ahmed Hish and Farah Dagane, medical interns in the western town of Kitale, have gone into hiding, he said.

    “The suspects were planning large scale attacks akin to the Westgate Mall attack (in September 2013 in which 67 people died) with the intentionof killing innocent Kenyans,” said Boinnet. He said Ali’s “network also included medical experts with whom they planned to unleash a biological attack in Kenya using anthrax. His arrest and those of his accomplices is a major breakthrough in the fight against terrorism in Kenya and the region.”

  3. DXer said

    Warning: ISIS will use chemical weapons to attack the West

    ISLAMIC State (ISIS) extremists have recruited an army of scientists and already smuggled chemical and biological weapons into Europe, a shocking parliamentary report has revealed.

    By SUZ ELVEY
    PUBLISHED: 11:24, Sun, Dec 6, 2015 | UPDATED: 12:26, Sun, Dec 6, 2015

    The worrying report reveals: “Chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN)substances have been carried undetected into the European Union. Interpol’s monthly CBRN intelligence reports show numerous examples of attempts to acquire, smuggle or use CBRN materials.”

    Rob Wainwright, head of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said after the Paris attacks: ‘We are dealing with a very serious, well-resourced, determined international terrorist organisation that is now active on the streets of Europe.

    “This represents the most serious terrorist threat faced in Europe for 10 years.”

    ***

    Governments within the EU have been warned to be on the lookout for “other radicalised individuals, who have access to, or work in, sensitive areas” while intelligence services have been told to screen returning Jihadi fighters for “specialist CBRN knowledge”.

    Comment:

    And yet the media does not press to have revealed the biodefense facility that Ayman Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist visited on his mission to acquire anthrax — all because the US FBI claims it did not want to embarrass another country. The FBI has projected its own CYA instincts to a country that earnestly wants to avoid a biological attack. Actually, the key UK Ames anthrax scientist had come to work on the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation and so really the FBI was just protecting its own from embarrassment — not England.

  4. DXer said

    http://sendvid.com/zu3aob5h

  5. DXer said

    How to Get Terrorists to Talk
    A former CIA interrogator on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of interrogation.
    Rolf Mowatt-Larssen
    February 18, 2015

    I ran the CIA’s operations to counter al-Qaeda’s efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from 2001-2004.

    ***

    For example, we ultimately found the crude laboratory in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where Pakistani biologist Rauf Ahmed stashed equipment he had ordered to Ayman Zawahiri’s specifications. We went to the hospital laboratory in Kandahar where Malaysian “Anthrax CEO” Yazid Sufaat claimed to have isolated a virulent form of bacillus anthracis. There, a joint FBI-CIA-military team collected forensic samples and evidence of biological weapons-related activity, precisely as Sufaat had claimed under interrogation by Malaysian authorities.

    Rolf Mowatt-Larssen is a senior fellow with Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He served as a CIA intelligence officer for 23 years, where he headed the WMD department and counterterrorism center among other positions. He served also as director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy.

  6. DXer said

    Microbial Forensics and U.S. National Security: Science and Strategy
    Garvey, Michael
    URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1920/8957
    Date: 2014-08
    http://digilib.gmu.edu/dspace/handle/1920/8957

  7. DXer said

    Anthrax letter mailing suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah, reportedly killed, also had a plot to blow up the London Underground.

    “Al-Qaeda terror chief behind London and New York bomb plots is killed in army shoot-out”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11277170/Al-Qaeda-terror-chief-behind-London-and-New-York-bomb-plots-is-killed-in-army-shoot-out.html

  8. DXer said

    Who were the four trusted researchers given virulent Ames by former Porton Down scientist Peter Turnbull? (One was MHJ; who were the other three?) Did British Amerithrax scientist Les Baillie, also formerly of Porton Down, give anyone virulent Ames?

    The scene where Al Qaeda anthrax scientist Rauf Ahmad was serving tea and cookies to the two CIA agents and FBI Special Agent Borelli at the ISI safehouse in February 2002 was not authentically British.

    In contrast, Prince William and Kate are visiting NY and Washington DC tomorrow. They are being accompanied by Hillary Clinton and appearing at black tie event with Tom Hanks and others regarding wildlife conservation. Mayor DeBlasio is expected.

    Prince William and Kate are here over some issues dear to their heart.

    There will be a meeting with President Obama on wildlife issues, as I recall.

    Mute swans are the Royal Bird — they are the nation’s royal bird.

    Yesterday, the bill to stop the murder of all the mute swans in New York State — the eradication of the species in the wild — was transmitted to Governor Cuomo.

    Governor Cuomo, if you agree not to consider the Royal Family’s beloved mute swans (who immigrated to America in the 19th Century), Kate will agree to wear some American fashions.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&authuser=0&q=Prince+William

    The truth about swans
    BBC News‎ – 1 day ago

    They make plenty of noise, and yes, that does include mute swans.

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141204-the-truth-about-swans

  9. DXer said

    World renown anthrax expert Martin Hugh-Jones posted a comment to the Guardian article yesterday on PRO-MED:
    BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY MISHAPS AND REPORTING INADEQUACIES – UK
    *************************************************************
    A ProMED-mail post
    http://www.promedmail.org
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases…

    Date: Thu 4 Dec 2014
    Source: The Guardian [edited]
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/dec/04/-sp-100-safety-breaches-uk-labs-potentially-deadly-diseases

    [MHJ wrote:

    “Reporting errors, both internally and nationally, takes courage and a level of trust that the messenger will not be punished. Thus an absence of such reports should not be taken as proof that all is well. Anyone who has worked in a laboratory knows that accidents, minor and major, will occur even with the best teams. They happen. And the only way to reduce their frequency is by being open so that all learn and corrections can be put in place. And the sooner this is done the more limited the damage. And as a routine, wipe all laboratory refrigerator handles, all laboratory telephones, and laboratory door handles inside and out with disinfectant. – Mod.MHJ]”

    Comment:

    I would note that even Al Qaeda anthrax scientist Rauf Ahmad and Dr. Ayman Zawahiri avoiding contamination. They contemplated painting the walls of Al Qaeda’s anthrax labs (that were to move every three months) with paint so that they could be wiped clean and decontaminated of anthrax using insecticide.

    • DXer said

      I’ve emailed long experienced UK anthrax scientist Danny Worth to ask his help in filling in some blanks and obtaining relevant documents.

      I’ll make a deal. I’ll try to find out and prove where Dr. Ayman Zawahiri obtained virulent Ames (and show that only AQ is to blame) if the Governor of New York spares the lives of my 8 mute swan friends.

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

      Bill to save NY’s mute swan population is sent to the governor

      Legislative Gazette-3 hours ago
      Tony Avella, D-Queens, countering a controversial plan to eradicate all wild mute swans is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
      https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#tbm=nws&q=mute+sw

      I’ve noted that my mute swan friends have offered to serve as docile and beautiful landscaping for his planned amphitheater — expected to have its first concert in August 2015.

      The mute swan family has agreed to mow the seaweed that chokes the waterway leading to the amphitheater for free.

      Getman, “Citizens must speak out against state plan to remove mute swans.”
      http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/02/mute_swan_op_ed.html

      Because, governor, there’s an easy way and a hard way.

    • DXer said

      I’m in a position to share notes made from the report but not the report itself.

      “###AHVLA

      “4/2012: putatively inactivated, but actually infectious, anthrax bacteria sent to another facility; incident involved multiple gross safety/security violations (same cock-up as at US CDC in 06/2014)”

      “1/2009-8/2011: putatively inactivated, but actually infectious, TB bacteria (M. bovis) sent to another facility; incident involved multiple gross safety/security violations; 3700 separate samples over two years; staffer positive for exposure”

      The anthrax incident involved a thermal inactivation protocol that had not been properly set up initially, that had been changed later, and that never had been QA’ed/QC’ed.

  10. DXer said

    In Ian’s highly cited article in the Guardian, isn’t the purpose of journalism best served by uploading the underlying government reports?

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/dec/04/-sp-100-safety-breaches-uk-labs-potentially-deadly-diseases

  11. DXer said

    From CIDRAP news scan (December 4, 2014)

    Reports reveal over 100 safety breaches at high-security UK labs

    UK labs that handle the most dangerous pathogens have reported at least 116 accidents or other biosecurity breaches in the past 5 years—about one every 2 weeks—The Guardian reported today.

    Reports from the UK regulatory agency Health and Safety Executive revealed that, in one instance, live Bacillus anthracis samples—the causative agent of anthrax—were mistakenly sent from a high-security government facility to lower-security labs across the country. In another breach, an air-handling system that helped contain foot-and-mouth disease virus failed at a large animal lab.

    More than 70 of the incidents were serious enough to investigate, The Guardian reported. Many led to enforcement letters or orders to shut labs down until improvements were made.

    Some of the most worrisome breaches, including the B anthracis incident, happened at the Surrey-based Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), renamed the Animal and Plant Health Agency in October.

    Biosecurity expert Richard Ebright, PhD, of Rutgers University, said the reports, taken together, revealed failures in procedures, infrastructure, training and safety culture in some labs. Regarding the AHVLA incidents, he said, “Does British agriculture have a death wish?”
    Dec 4 Guardian story

  12. DXer said

    Farmers Guardian, December 5, 2014
    http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/latest-news/anthrax-tb-and-fmd-lapses-revealed-at-uk-laboratories/69212.article#.VIG74pJHYed.twitter

    “Some of the laboratories that received the live samples did so in high security laboratories designed to handle dangerous but others did not, including one AHVLA site where scientists ‘opened the tubes in a less secure lab and got to work on the open bench’, it is reported.

    Two AHVLA staff were exposed to the bug, although both had been vaccinated and neither fell ill. The incident resulted in the lab being shut, following a crown prohibition notices (CPN), so no more live anthrax could be sent out but was barely mentioned in the agency’s 2012-13 annual report.

    M. Bovis breach

    In another potentially damaging breach at AHVLA, the lab was censured last year for nine safety lapses that exposed staff to live Mycobacterium bovis, the organism that causes TB in cattle. …

    The investigation revealed, between 2009 and 2011, 3,700 samples were sent from one AHVLA lab to another without managers knowing the organisms were still viable.

    Staff had been given the wrong equipment to destroy the bacteria and were not trained in the right procedure and management had failed to act when staff raised concerns.”

    Make an FOI request
    • Read about the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and how to make a request

    https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-information-request/the-freedom-of-information-act

  13. DXer said

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

    Animal and Plant Health Agency
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), formerly known as the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

    Its official website is here:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/animal-and-plant-health-agency

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations.

    Anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.

  14. DXer said

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1365581/CIA-links-Porton-Down-to-anthrax-attacks.html

    “CIA links Porton Down to anthrax attacks
    By Ben Fenton in Washington
    12:01AM GMT 17 Dec 2001

    THE FBI is concentrating its hunt for the source of the anthrax used to terrorise America on laboratories used by the CIA and British government scientists.

    Only five laboratories, including the defence science and technology laboratories at Porton Down, Salisbury, have been found to have spores of anthrax identical to the bacteria sent through the post to two Democratic senators and news organisations in New York and Florida.

    But frustrated FBI agents say they have not been able to find enough information about security at Porton Down – one of the most secretive establishments in Britain – to decide whether it could be the source of the terrorists’ anthrax.

    Another focus of the FBI inquiry is the CIA, which has been conducting experiments on anthrax in the interests of defence from germ warfare.

    Both Porton Down, directly, and the CIA, indirectly, received their samples of the particular anthrax spores used in the attacks from the US army medical research institute of infectious diseases at Fort Detrick, about 50 miles north of Washington.

    Sources in the FBI said the CIA was under investigation because of the bureau’s “interest” in a contractor which used to work for the agency in its anthrax project.

    The FBI believes the attacks, which have killed five people, to be the work of a domestic terrorist, although they have not ruled out links with Osama bin Laden and his al-Qa’eda network.”

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

    Comment: The headline doesn’t seem to fit the content of the article (that is, unless the CIA contractor worked at Porton Down).

    • DXer said

      Source: Washington Post, December 21, 2001.

      FBI Investigates Possible Financial Motive in Anthrax Attacks

      By Susan Schmidt and Joby Warrick, Washington Post Staff Writers

      “Porton Down has received no request from the FBI for information on its security arrangements, but if we were contacted, we would cooperate fully,” said Sue Ellison, spokeswoman for the British lab.

    • DXer said

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/oct/12/uk.september11

      Porton papers reveal biological danger for Blair
      Rob Evans
      Friday 12 October 2001 11.25 EDT

      Secret experiments highlighted how an anthrax attack by terrorist saboteurs could kill many in the upper echelons of the British government, documents obtained by the Guardian have revealed.
      The experiments by military scientists in Whitehall clearly demonstrated that anthrax could easily infect many ministers and officials in key government buildings, including the residence of the prime minister in Downing Street.

      The scientists concluded that the “potential for clandestine biological warfare attacks is considerable”.

      The threat of bioterrorism has grown in the minds of much of the public since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon a month ago. The government is highly aware that Britain could be the next target for terrorists, who could unleash lethal germs on the country.

      Emergency plans to cope with such a disaster have drawn on the results of experiments conducted by scientists from the biological and chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down, Wiltshire.

      In one set of trials, the scientists released non-lethal microorganisms which simulated the path of an anthrax cloud in tunnels underneath central London. In one experiment, the organisms were sprayed in a section of the tunnels under Whitehall from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. The fake anthrax penetrated through huge doors into buildings at the heart of government. “This showed ex tensive contamination of many Whitehall buildings,” the scientists wrote. It is likely that the cloud would have infiltrated 10 Downing Street during the trials in 1955.

      Experiments were also conducted on trains and the London Underground in the 1950s and 1960s as the government feared that the Russians could inflict biological attacks on Britain as part of an overall assault. “The trials demonstrated the clear vulnerability of these several locations to clandestine attack,” warned Porton in an internal account of the experiments written in 1999.

      Although the trials were conducted during the cold war, the results plainly show the danger of a bioterrorist attack.

      In July 1963, the scientists dropped a carton containing an anthrax simulant out of a London Underground train in south London. The spores burst out of the carton and were soon found as far as 10 miles up the Northern Line at Camden Town station in north London. The insides of trains were badly contaminated.

      Earlier, the Porton scientists carried out trials on British Railways trains between Exeter and Salisbury in 1953 and 1954. The report of the trial noted that “all types of transport are now generally recognised as being likely to be one of the most important targets for special operations in a war of the future”.

      Porton’s account of the trials was released to the Guardian under the open government code.

  15. DXer said

    FBI anthrax attack team to question Porton Down scientists

    By Rajeev Syal
    12:01AM GMT 31 Mar 2002

    FBI agents tracing the source of deadly anthrax attacks in America want to question scientists at Porton Down, the British defence establishment over fears that the spores may have been smuggled out of a British laboratory.
    They have established that the Ministry of Defence’s centre in Wiltshire has experimented on the Ames strain of anthrax – identical to that sent to American journalists and politicians. Agents in Washington will request a list of scientists who have had access to the samples of anthrax used in MoD laboratories over the past 15 years. The British Government is currently developing a new vaccine against the disease.

    FBI officials confirmed that they would approach British scientists while tracing the anthrax strain. A spokesman said that officers are aware that the strain was kept in Britain and are covering all possible outlets.

    Sue Ellison, the spokesman for Porton Down, confirmed last night that the authorities were aware of FBI inquiries and would help when approached. “We keep a full list of where the anthrax samples are sent, and would give these details to the relevant authorities. In the UK, we work closely with our American partners and we will continue to do so.”

    An American investigation to discover the source of the anthrax was launched last September after contaminated letters were sent to Congressmen and journalists.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1389433/FBI-anthrax-attack-team-to-question-Porton-Down-scientists.html

  16. DXer said

    Al Qaeda’s infiltrating scientist wrote Dr. Ayman Zawari:

    “I successfully achieved the targets during my visit to *** REDACTED ***“

    “Then I went to *** REDACTED *** to meet with Dr. *** REDACTED *** in charge of *** REDACTED *** in order to see the fate of our demand of cultures.”

    “He also showed me the highly advanced Level-3 Pathology laboratory.”

    “Then I went to *** REDACTED *** in order to acquire the supply of different vaccines against a number of pathogens.”

    Whatever reason may have justified the original redactions, what reason can there now be for not removing them and revealing where Abdul Rauf went on his mission to acquire lethal anthrax (and did so). It is not disputed that he had the means to render it to a dry powder.

    • DXer said

      Can Dr. Danny Worth of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency help us fill in this blank?

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

      Higher Scientific Officer
      AHVLA
      May 1989 – Present (25 years 8 months)
      I have worked as a laboratory manager at CL3 containment for 7 years. The role included leading a team of 14 staff managing 2 Scientific Officers, acting as a Departmental Safety Advisor, and test managing bovine TB diagnosis and Anthrax. I have been heavily involved with DNA extraction techniques from various matrices and PCR development for detection of bovine TB.

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

      In David Ignatius’ new thriller DIRECTOR,

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

      “(Redacted).”

  17. DXer said

    The handwriting on the anthrax bottle seems to match the handwriting on Rauf Ahmad’s letters — just like the handwriting of the anthrax letters seems to match Atta’s handwriting.

    GAO Should Obtain A Copy Of The FBI’s Handwriting Analysis Comparing The Letters To Atta’s
    Posted on January 22, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/gao-should-obtain-a-copy-of-the-fbis-handwriting-analysis-comparing-the-letters-to-attas/

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: