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

* CIA pushback: Senate Torture Report selectively omits that CIA learned “important information about al-Qa’ida’s anthrax plotting and the role of Yazid Sufaat”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 11, 2014

unnamed (2) unnamed (3)

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14 Responses to “* CIA pushback: Senate Torture Report selectively omits that CIA learned “important information about al-Qa’ida’s anthrax plotting and the role of Yazid Sufaat””

  1. DXer said

    Trump Backer Pushes for New CIA ‘Enhanced Interrogation’
    Jose Rodriguez destroyed tapes of interrogations during the Bush years, and he says the next president should go further than waterboarding terrorist suspects.
    Kimberly Dozier
    11.14.16
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/14/ex-cia-trump-backer-pushes-for-new-enhanced-interrogation.html

    9/11 mastermind: Al Qaeda favors ‘immigration’ to defeat US
    By Mark Hensch – 11/23/16 11:42 AM EST
    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/307362-9-11-mastermind-al-qaeda-to-use-immigration-to-end-us

    • DXer said

      James Elmer Mitchell
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Elmer_Mitchell

      “After the September 11 attacks, Mitchell was asked by CIA to develop an interrogation program based on what were believed to be al-Qaeda documents on resisting interrogation.[4](p193) Mitchell and Jessen recommended use of SERE counter-interrogation training, reverse-engineered to obtain intelligence from captives.[4](p195) Mitchell was later reported to have personally waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.[5]

      Mitchell had never conducted an interrogation, had no training as an interrogator, had no expertise in al Qaeda and no familiarity with the organization, did not speak Arabic and had no training in radical Islam. Mitchell nonetheless said he could design and implement an interrogation plan for alleged al Qaeda suspects.[3]

      In 2005, Mitchell and Bruce Jessen formed a company called Mitchell Jessen and Associates, with offices in Spokane and Virginia and five additional associates, four of them from military SERE programs. By 2007, the company employed around 60 people, including former CIA interrogator Deuce Martinez; Karen Gardner, a former senior training official at the FBI Academy, and Roger Aldrich, a “legendary” military survival trainer.

      In April 2009, the CIA canceled the contract with Mitchell and Jessen’s company, after having paid $81 million out of the authorized $180 million.[1][3] The CIA Inspector General concluded that there was no scientific reason to believe that the program Mitchell designed was medically safe or would produce reliable information.[6] The CIA agreed as part of the contract to provide legal costs for Mitchell and Jessen of at least $5 million if necessary.[7]

      Mitchell’s identity in the torture program was made public by Vanity Fair in 2007[8] and further analyzed by the New York Times in 2009.[3] In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, Mitchell defended the program and his role, but said that his ability to defend himself was curtailed as he could not speak on specifics due to a signed non-disclosure agreement with the government.[9]”

  2. DXer said

    Duo gets seven years for ‘abetting’ terrorist acts
    FMT Reporters | January 27, 2016
    The duo allegedly omitted to give information to the authorities concerning two individuals despite knowing that they were heading for Syria to commit terrorist acts.
    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/01/27/duo-gets-seven-years-for-abetting-terrorist-acts/

    KUALA LUMPUR: Former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat and cafeteria worker Hilmi Hashim were sentenced to seven years jail each on Wednesday for omitting to give information on terrorism acts.

    They pleaded guilty to the alternative charge against them for omitting to give information under Section 130M of the Penal Code.
    In a statement released by the duo’s lawyer after sentencing, they claimed the charges against them were baseless. “We have always maintained our innocence,” they said.

    The prosecution dropped the main charge against the duo after main prosecution witness Mohamad Razin Mustapa Kamal’s evidence was found exculpatory (favourable) to the duo. “Because of that, we sent a representation letter to the prosecution to drop the main charges,” said lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad for the duo.

    “Justice Azman Husin handed down seven years from the date of arrest, i.e. 7 February in 2013.”

    According to the facts of the case, the duo omitted information to the authorities concerning two individuals, Razif Mohd Ariff and Muhammad Razin Sharhan Mustaffa Kamal, despite knowing that they were heading for Syria to commit terrorist acts.

    Yazid was charged for promoting aggression with intent to incite the people of Syria and becoming a member of the ‘Tanzim al-Qaeda Malaysia’ group. Hilmi was charged with abetting him.

  3. DXer said

    Lew spoke to a packed house at the Key West library on Tuesday. He explained that one of the major challenges in a historical novel is to link fiction & history

    “• what is true? … what is fiction?
    • next are some examples of how truth and fiction are blended in my story”

    http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/2015/02/24/lews-talk-at-the-key-west-library-22415/

    With that focus in mind, I’m looking forward to rereading his “Case Closed” today and tomorrow.

    I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what is true even in following news stories.

    For example, this story today seems to suggest that the FBI was behind the investigation (which led to the rearrest) of Yazid Sufaat a couple years ago.

    If that is true, I did not know that.

    https://hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/69537/

    “Mahfuz said there was no need to bring back Sirul to Malaysia, referring to the case of former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat who was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for joining the Al-Qaeda two years ago.”

  4. Chris Sapp said

    The GAO knows far more about the 2001 Anthrax Attacks than it disclosed in its report which it made public last Friday. Some of these facts are as follows:

    1. The United States Department of Justice knew by or before October 3, 2001 the full name and address of the Iranian -trained Muslim who helped Atta and al Shehhi get established in southwest Florida and that FBI Director Mueller had a serious conflict of interest with regard to the terrorism investigation. The Attorney General was also warned of the serious embarrassment likely to be suffered by nine other powerful persons in each of the three branches of the Federal government.

    2. On October 5, 2001, the Department of Justice knew that an anthrax letter had been sent to one of the news media. It should have known later that day or early on October 6 that the southwest Florida Muslim (The Beneficiary) was responsible and had personal contact a couple of years earlier with the major news media in New York City, including ABC, CBS, and NBC.

    3. The Beneficiary has not been arrested even though there is over-whelming evidence of his guilt.

    4. The FBI knowingly squandered one-hundred million dollars on an investigation which it knew to be a sham; it needlessly drove Bruce Ivins to kill himself.

    There are much more evidence and details available to GAO. No further investigation or inquiry of a major or long-lasting duration is needed. There should be an independent, honest, capable and courageous prosecutor appointed to seek charges against the participants in the 2001 anthrax attacks and also against those responsible for this cover-up.

    If the GAO has done its job correctly, it will have advised key members of the U.S. Senate and House of these facts concerning 2001 terrorism in a separate, secret report. It will have advised prompt appointment of the kind of prosecutor just described.

    If such an event fails to materialize in the immediate future, then either GAO has failed Congress (which I doubt) or that Congress has failed this Nation in general and the anthrax victims specifically.

    Chris Sapp

    • DXer said

      Chris, hi! Send some of that Florida sunshine up here, quick!

      The problem, Attorney Sapp, is once again you have made totally unsupported assertions. This blog is all about providing support for factual statements.

      I had initially been optimistic because your business of honey overlaps a common Al Qaeda front business — but then your earlier reference to “The Egyptian” and “The Doctor” or whatever — just makes me think of the elaborate stories that sometimes evidence paranoid schizophrenia.

      So there so far is no corroboration of anything whatsoever — and red flags flying all over the place.

      If it turns out that these people even existed, there is nothing wrong with helping newcomers to an area — we saw someone help the hijackers find a place in Virginia upon an introduction from Anwar Awlaki. They took a trip to Connecticut and even stayed in the same apartment for a few days. He has been interviewed. For you to not to have provided the individual’s name privately so that your claim can be fact-checked is a huge red flag. Many other people have made similarly dramatic assertions but as soon as they provide factual detail, it turns out that the claims turn to nothing.

      Then you refer to a warning given — and yet you provide no evidence whatsoever. I’ve asked you in private email to provide some evidence — any evidence — and you provided nothing. Then you offer evidence that someone else in Florida had contact with a news organization. So freakin’ what? How is that probative evidence?

      You claim there is overwhelming evidence of the Beneficiary’s guilt without offering one shred of evidence.

      If you had done YOUR job correctly as a poster, you would provide factual evidence — and it could have been done privately — or you should sit on your hands. The entire purpose of this blog is to require factual support for claims — not to proliferate unsupported claims.

      GAO has their role — and their competence related to validation and statistical analysis — and as an internet poster you have your role. Provide factual support for your claims. That requires documents — not the proliferation of additional claims, complete with labels for new characters in the story.

      If any of what you said were true — you would have kept contemporaneous emails or documents.

    • DXer said

      This is how a fact-bounded inquiry on these issues proceeds.

      Slain al Qaeda chief tied to 9/11; Key figure in FBI’s once secret probe of Sarasota Saudis
      Filed under 9/11, A1
      http://www.browardbulldog.org/2014/12/slain-al-qaeda-chief-tied-to-911-key-figure-in-fbis-once-secret-probe-of-sarasota-saudis/

      BrowardBulldog.org, working with Irish journalists and authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, first reported in September 2011 that Shukrijumah was among a number of terrorist figures that a law enforcement source has said were identified by the FBI as having visited the Sarasota area home of Abdulazziz al-Hijji and his wife, Anoud, prior to September 11, 2001.

      They included 9/11 hijack pilots Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, who were at the controls of the passenger jets that slammed into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center, and Ziad Jarrrah, who crashed another jetliner into a Pennsylvania field. Also allegedly at the residence was Walid al-Shehri, who flew with Atta and three other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11.

      TIE TO SAUDI ROYAL FAMILY

      The al-Hijjis came under FBI scrutiny after neighbors reported they’d abruptly moved out of their home under suspicious circumstances about two weeks before the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. The owner of the home at 4224 Escondito Circle was Anoud al-Hijji’s father, Esam Ghazzawi, an advisor to a member of the Saudi royal family.

      Relevant documents are uploaded.

      In the formal handwriting examination conducted in the Amerithrax investigation, it was concluded that “Bruce E. Ivins probably did not write the writings appearing on the ‘anthrax’ envelopes and letters.” The Assistant US Attorney did not disclose that fact in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary.
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 13, 2013
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/in-the-formal-handwriting-examination-conducted-in-the-amerithrax-investigation-it-was-concluded-that-bruce-e-ivins-probably-did-not-write-the-writings-appearing-on-the-anthrax-envelopes-and/

      Claims are limited to what documents actually state. With only questions posed where documentary evidence leaves off.

      In Sarasota investigation, who was the person associated with the hijackers’ flight school who was discovered to have re-entered the country after 9/11?
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 21, 2014
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/in-sarasota-investigation-who-was-the-person-associated-with-the-hijackers-flight-school-who-was-discovered-to-have-re-entered-the-country-after-911/

      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 September 26, 2014
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/in-february-2003-the-fbi-announced-that-jafar-the-pilot-aka-adnan-el-shukrijumah-had-entered-the-country-sometime-after-september-1-2001/

    • DXer said

      A further example of an inquiry on the subject that is fact-bound, rather than characterized by totally unsupported assertions.

      Sarasota family had ‘many connections’ to 9/11 terror attacks

      http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130416/ARTICLE/130419732?p=3&tc=pg
      By Michael Pollick
      Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.

      But portions of the FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by BrowardBulldog — a journalism organization led by former Miami Herald reporter Dan Christensen, who has been investigating the attacks — seem to directly contradict those statements.

      “Further investigation of the (name deleted) family revealed many connections between the (name deleted) and individuals associated with the terror attacks on 9/11/2001,” a portion of declassified FBI documents state.

      The agency redacted many of the names in the 31 pages released under exemptions that protect people’s names in law enforcement records. But it is clear who the subjects are because the documents specifically cite the al-Hijjis’ residence, which was 4224 Escondito Circle in Sarasota’s “Estates at Prestancia” development at the time FBI agents were investigating.

      Though the FBI stands by its statements, the documents renew questions — previously raised by former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and others — that the U.S. has not fully disclosed the extent of its knowledge about links between the 9/11 attacks and Saudi officials.

      ***

      Among the more explosive revelations in the BrowardBulldog story is that an unidentified “family member” — purportedly of the al-Hijji family — was a flight student at Venice’s Huffman Aviation, according to the FBI documents marked “secret” but with the word since crossed through.

      Huffman gained notoriety in the wake of 9/11 as the place where suicide hijackers Atta and al-Shehhi learned to fly. Those two men were in the cockpits when jets slammed into the World Trade Center towers.

      ***

      Though the house has since been sold twice, at the time it was owned by Ghazzawi, an importer and exporter whose circles included the Bin Laden Group.

      ***
      Ghazzawi’s influence also extends to his children. His 42-year-old son, Adel, is a board member of the New York-based think tank EastWest Institute, which counts the likes of Michael Chertoff, a director of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and co-author of the Patriot Act, and retired Gen. James L. Jones, a former national security adviser to President Barack Obama, among its members.

      The younger Ghazzawi operates Conektas, a firm in the United Arab Emirates that helps multinational companies establish businesses in the Middle East.

      ***
      Graham — the former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee and chairman of the joint congressional inquiry into U.S. intelligence gathering surrounding the terrorist attacks — said he remains convinced that the federal government at several levels has failed to divulge all it knows about 9/11 and its Saudi connections.

    • DXer said

      And Chris, if any of what you are saying has a basis in reality, why didn’t you submit a FOIA request — if, as it appears, you don’t have any supporting documentary evidence in hand?

      In the case of the lawsuit brought by the Broward Bulldog, now joined by some newspapers, that is what is unfolding.

      “What Secrets Lie Within 27 Boxes of New 9/11 Documents Discovered in Florida?”
      May. 1, 2014
      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/05/01/what-secrets-lie-within-27-boxes-of-new-911-documents-discovered-in-florida/

    • DXer said

      Gerald Posner wrote about Ghazzawi, Saudi princes and more in a book Why America Slept. It seems a book that is important to read or read again for the broader context.

      http://www.amazon.com/Why-America-Slept-Failure-Prevent/dp/B0009309NQ

      Bearing down on evidence relating to Shukrijumah, however, will require poring over thousands of pages of documents, separating the wheat from the chaff.

      We don’t need a special prosecutor. We need to wish this Florida judge and/or clerk well in getting through the material.

      My sense is that Dan Christensen is doing very important work directed at providing relevant contemporary document evidence.

      And the key to truthtelling and revelation lies in the evidence, not in the unsupported statement of the claim.

      FBI publicly releases a few more pages about Sarasota Saudis; 80,000 pages given to judge
      Filed under 9/11, A1 TOP STORY on MAY 9, 2014
      By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers, BrowardBulldog.org

      “The Justice Department late Friday made public four new, heavily censored documents confirming that by 2002 the FBI had found “many connections” between 9/11 terrorist figures and the Florida family of “an allegedly wealthy international businessman” with ties to the Saudi Royal family.

      “On or about 8/27/01 his family fled their house in Sarasota leaving behind valuable items in a manner indicating they left quickly without prior preparation,” says an FBI “case narrative” written on April 16, 2002.

      The name of the international businessman, Esam Ghazzawi, is blanked out in the narrative. Ghazzawi’s name, however, is included on another page – an FBI form that accompanied a letter acquired by FBI agents in Tampa as “evidence” in July 2002. Details about the letter were not released.

      The release of Ghazzawi’s name is the first time the government has confirmed Ghazzawi’s involvement in the FBI investigation that lasted until at least 2004, yet was never disclosed to the 9/11 Commission or congressional investigators.”

      • DXer said

        As I recall, Mr. Posner explained that Zubaydah gave a lot of the information under torture. Then some Saudi “princes” and others started dying after the information was shared with the Saudis. It relates to an alleged deal that Saudi Arabia intelligence had entered to avoid Al Qaeda attacking Saudi Arabia.

    • DXer said

      The Broward Bulldog folks should urge that any exemplar among the 80,000 pages is not exempt under a (b)(6) or national security exemption now that Adnan El-Shukrijumah is dead (and Amerithrax is closed.

      In the formal handwriting examination conducted in the Amerithrax investigation, it was concluded that “Bruce E. Ivins probably did not write the writings appearing on the ‘anthrax’ envelopes and letters.” The Assistant US Attorney did not disclose that fact in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary.

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 13, 2013

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/in-the-formal-handwriting-examination-conducted-in-the-amerithrax-investigation-it-was-concluded-that-bruce-e-ivins-probably-did-not-write-the-writings-appearing-on-the-anthrax-envelopes-and/
      The USG Has Denied FOIA Requests For Atta’s Handwriting Since The Fall 2001 Anthrax Mailings On Grounds It Could Interfere With Enforcement Proceedings

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 1, 2013

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/the-usg-has-denied-foia-requests-for-attas-handwriting-since-the-fall-2001-anthrax-mailings-on-grounds-it-could-interfere-with-enforcement-proceedings/

      Reporters Should Obtain Handwriting Exemplars Of Atta’s Associate El-Shukrijumah, Al Qaeda’s Head of External Operations, Who Promoted His Father’s Language Course

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 15, 2013

  5. DXer said

    Jose Rodriguez disputes claims in Senate’s CIA interrogation report
    Published December 11, 2014
    http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2014/12/11/jose-rodriguez-disputes-claims-in-senate-cia-interrogation-report/

    MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Jose Rodriguez, Jr. is the former director of the national clandestine service of the CIA. He oversaw the CIA’s enhancement interrogation program. Jose, thank you very much for being here tonight, sir. I appreciate it.

    RODRIGUEZ: You know, I want to take you back to May of 2002. We were getting intelligence of an impending second wave of attacks. We didn’t have details as to when, where, how, but we knew it was coming. We knew that Al Qaeda had a biological program, an anthrax program that they wanted to use against us. And the anthrax attacks of a month before had heightened concerns for a biological weapons attack on our country. We knew they were talking to Pakistani scientists about developing a nuclear weapon of some sort. We felt we were in a ticking time bomb and we needed to do something about it.

  6. DXer said

    For their part, the 7 Republicans on the committee filed their dissent to the Senate Torture Report, noting:

    “KSM’s reporting … revealed important information about al-Qai’da’s program to produce anthrax. He apparently calculated incorrectly that we had this information already, given that one of the three — Yazid Sufaat — had been in foreign custody_____________________.

    After being confronted with KSM’s reporting, Yazid eventually admitted his principal role in the anthrax program and provided fragmentary information on [several lines are redacted].”

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