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

* GAO Report Reviewing Amerithrax Investigation Expected Friday, December 19

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 14, 2014

IT WASN'T IVINS !!!

IT WASN’T IVINS !!!

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43 Responses to “* GAO Report Reviewing Amerithrax Investigation Expected Friday, December 19”

  1. DXer said

    Note today’s AP story marrying the GAO report in Amerithrax with another FBI internal report regarding mishandling of evidence

    FBI evidence often mishandled, inquiry finds

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/12/20/fbi-evidence-often-mishandled-inquiry-finds/sFbNY52aldcD9b4rJrtMnI/story.html

  2. DXer said

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/science/inquiry-in-anthrax-mailings-had-gaps-report-says.html

    Inquiry in Anthrax Mailings Had Gaps, Report Says
    By WILLIAM J. BROADDEC. 19, 2014

    Mr. Holt has repeatedly called for a national commission on the anthrax mailings that would serve as a kind of scaled-down version of the panel that studied the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The anthrax letters were sent from a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., which is in his district.

    The deadly wisps of anthrax, coming just after the September attacks, set off new waves of panic. Over the years, a growing number of outside experts have asked whether federal investigators got the right man and whether the F.B.I.’s long inquiry brushed aside important clues.

    To the regret of independent scientists, the report made no mention of an issue beyond genetics: whether the spores displayed signs of advanced manufacturing. They have pointed to distinctive chemicals found in the dried anthrax spores that they say contradict F.B.I. claims that the germs were unsophisticated.

    Evidence of special coatings, they say, suggests that Dr. Ivins had help in obtaining his germ weapons or was innocent.

    Martin E. Hugh-Jones, an authority on anthrax at Louisiana State University, said the report was disappointing.

  3. DXer said

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/us/politics/fbi-evidence-keeping-criticized.html?_r=0

    F.B.I. Evidence Often Mishandled, Inquiry Finds
    By MATT APUZZO and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDTDEC. 19, 2014

    The J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. building in Washington. Auditors have found many problems with how the bureau handles evidence.

    F.B.I. agents in every region of the country have mishandled, mislabeled and lost evidence, according to a highly critical internal investigation that discovered errors with nearly half the pieces of evidence it reviewed.

    The evidence collection and retention system is the backbone of the F.B.I.’s investigative process, and the report said it is beset by problems. It also found that the F.B.I. was storing more weapons, less money and valuables, and two tons more drugs than its records had indicated. …

    problems, including materials that disappeared or were taken from F.B.I. evidence rooms and not returned, are more serious.

    “A majority of the errors identified were due in large part to human error, attributable to a lack of training and program management oversight,” auditors wrote in the report, which was obtained by The New York Times. …

    The investigation found that federal agents had removed 1,600 pieces of evidence from storage and had not returned them for more than four months. One piece of evidence in a drug case has been signed out since 2003. Another piece of evidence has been out since 2006, the report found.

    Because the audit was based on a sample, the actual number of items that have been checked out and not returned is probably much higher. …

    The results also varied by field office. In Newark, Honolulu, Milwaukee, Washington and Richmond, Va., for instance, auditors found problems with the handling of more than 70 percent of firearms in evidence.

  4. DXer said

    FBI’s genetic tests didn’t nail anthrax killer, GAO says
    BY GREG GORDON, MIKE WISER AND STEPHEN ENGELBERG
    McClatchy Washington Bureau, PBS’ “Frontline” and ProPublicaDecember 19, 2014

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/12/19/250715_fbis-genetic-tests-didnt-nail.html?sp=/99/200/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

    Excerpt:

    The long-awaited report from the Government Accountability Office found that the FBI’s exhaustive,
    cutting-edge attempt to trace the killer with matches of genetic mutations of anthrax samples at times lacked precision, consistency and adequate standards.

    “The significance of using such mutations as genetic markers for analyzing evidentiary samples to determine their origins is not clear,” the auditors wrote. “This gap affects both the development of genetic tests targeting such mutations and statistical analyses of the results of their use.”

    The auditors, who warned three years ago that they might be stymied because some information might be deemed classified, didn’t delve into theories that the anthrax contained traces of tin, perhaps reflecting attempts to weaponize it so it would stay airborne longer and harm more people. Rather, they stuck to the narrower issues of examining the bureau’s scientific methods.

    The auditors pointed out that an FBI team recommended in 2007 that the bureau conduct experiments to determine whether the mutations the FBI was seeking to match might not have been unique to Ivins’ flask, known as RMR-1029. However, those tests were never done.

    That omission also drew concern from the National Academy of Sciences panel, which noted that it was possible that four identical “morphs” could have grown in another laboratory in what it termed “parallel evolution.”

    The auditors also focused on contradictory test results from samples collected from a colleague of Ivins’ who’d used anthrax from RMR-1029. That colleague – Henry Heine, though he wasn’t named in the report – submitted one sample that tested positive in all five genetic tests, but a duplicate sample from his vial tested negative for all five markers, the report said.

    The auditors also focused on contradictory test results from samples collected from a colleague of
    Ivins’ who’d used anthrax from RMR-1029. That colleague – Henry Heine, though he wasn’t named in the report –
    submitted one sample that tested positive in all five genetic tests, but a duplicate sample from his vial tested negative
    for all five markers, the report said.
    The report said that Heine, in the presence of an FBI investigator, didn’t follow instructions for collecting one sample as laid out in a grand jury subpoena. The disclosure raises the possibility that inconsistent collection methods undercut the massive testing effort.

    While praising the FBI for turning to four outside laboratories for genetic tests on more than 1,000 anthrax samples it had gathered,
    the report said the bureau’s laboratory had failed to ensure that all the samples were collected in the same fashion, gave “minimal”
    instruction to the outside labs and set insufficient standards for validating the results. It also failed to measure the uncertainty in
    its results, leaving it unclear how much weight they deserve, the report said.

  5. DXer said

    An updated version of the AP article appears in the Frederick News-Post with an accompanying vote.
    “Do you think Bruce Ivins was responsible for the anthrax attacks?”

    http://www.fredericknewspost.com/public/associated_press/report-fbi-s-anthrax-investigation-was-flawed/article_aa8a4bb4-87a8-11e4-bc06-47761e3c6e74.html

    Report: FBI’s anthrax investigation was flawed
    AP – Updated: 2:30 pm, Fri Dec 19, 2014.

    Excerpt:

    “The GAO report was requested by a trio of congressional members led by Rep. Rush Holt, D-New Jersey, whose district includes the Princeton mailbox used in the attacks. Holt, who is retiring at the end of the year, said Congress should demand a comprehensive, independent review of the investigation to ensure that lessons have been learned.

    “The GAO report confirms what I have often said — that the FBI’s definitive conclusions about the accuracy of their scientific findings in the Amerithrax case are not, in fact, definitive,” Holt said in a written statement.

  6. DXer said

    Daubert meets Dilbert.

    • DXer said

      Report: FBI’s Anthrax Investigation Was Flawed
      Dec 19, 2014, 11:33 AM ET
      By DAVID DISHNEAU Associated Press

      The Government Accountability Office says the science the FBI used to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks was flawed.

      The GAO released a report Friday on its findings. The agency didn’t take a position on the FBI’s conclusion that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins acted alone in making and sending the powdered spores that killed five people and sickened 17 others.

      The report adds fuel to the debate among experts, including many of Ivins’ co-workers at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, over whether Ivins could have made and mailed the anthrax-filled envelopes.

      The GAO said the FBI’s research did not provide a full understanding of the methods and conditions that give rise to genetic mutations used to differentiate between samples of anthrax bacteria. The report calls this a “key scientific gap.”

      http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/report-fbis-anthrax-investigation-flawed-27718744

    • DXer said

      The AP report on the GAO report linked below is traveling under two principal headlines:

      Accountability office finds ‘key scientific gap’ in FBI probe of deadly 2001 anthrax …

      or

      Report: FBI’s anthrax investigation was flawed

      Off-topic:

      Update on New York State mute swan – There will have an official release later today to confirm that Avella will reintroduce the bill de novo as a new bill not as an attempt to override the veto. He is co-coordinating with Steven Cymbrowitz’s office. All any swan shooting needs is a good video. (Michigan targets of 2,000 by 2030; why can’t NYS have 2,200 by 2025? Hint: That’s the current population in NY)

      All Amerithrax needs is a big fat juicy confession by Yazid Sufaat on film.

  7. DXer said

    What GAO Found
    After the 2001 Anthrax attacks, the genetic tests that were conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) four contractors were generally scientifically verified and validated, and met the FBI’s criteria. However, GAO found that the FBI lacked a comprehensive approach—or framework—that could have ensured standardization of the testing process. As a result, each of the contractors developed their tests differently, and one contractor did not conduct verification testing, a key step in determining whether a test will meet a user’s requirements, such as for sensitivity or accuracy. Also, GAO found that the contractors did not develop the level of statistical confidence for interpreting the testing results for the validation tests they performed. Responses to future incidents could be improved by using a standardized framework for achieving minimum performance standards during verification and validation, and by incorporating statistical analyses when interpreting validation testing results.
    GAO identified six characteristics of a statistical framework that can be applied for analyzing scientific evidence. When GAO compared the approach the FBI used to this framework, it found that that the FBI’s approach could have been improved in three of six areas. First, the FBI’s research did not provide a full understanding of the methods and conditions that give rise to genetic mutations used to differentiate between samples of B. anthracis. Second, the FBI did not institute rigorous controls over the sampling procedures it used to build the repository of B. anthracis samples. Third, the FBI did not include measures of uncertainty to strengthen the interpretation of the scientific evidence. GAO found that since 2001 the FBI has taken some steps to build formal forensic statistical expertise. The FBI’s approach to future incidents could benefit from including such expertise early in an investigation.
    The lack of an understanding of how bacteria change (mutate) in their natural environment and in a laboratory is a key scientific gap that remains and could affect testing conducted in future incidents. Specifically, the significance of using such mutations as genetic markers for analyzing evidentiary samples to determine their origins is not clear. This gap affects both the development of genetic tests targeting such mutations and statistical analyses of the results of their use on evidentiary samples. The Department of Homeland Security is currently funding some research on genetic changes in bacteria and genome sequencing methods, among others. Such research is a step in the right direction since the FBI is planning to use genome sequencing methods in future investigations. However, because this research may not be complete for several more years, the extent to which it will close this gap is not known.

    • DXer said

      “GAO’s review focused solely on two aspects of the FBI’s scientific evidence: the validation of the genetic tests and the statistical approach for the analyses of the results. GAO did not review and is not taking a position on the conclusions the FBI reached when it closed its investigation in 2010.”

    • DXer said

      Agency Approaches to Validation and Statistical Analyses Could Be Improved

      http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667671.pdf

    • DXer said

      The scope of our work was limited to a review of the scientific methods employed to verify and validate the genetic tests used to screen the FBI’s repository of Ames B. anthracis samples, the procedures used to identify and collect samples of Ames B. anthracis in the creation of the FBI’s repository, and the statistical analyses and interpretation of the results of the genetic tests. Thus, we did not address any other scientific methods or any of the traditional investigative techniques used to support the FBI’s conclusions in this case, and we take no position on the conclusions the FBI reached when it closed its investigation in 2010. (p. 3)

    • DXer said

      Therefore, by not having a comprehensive validation approach, or framework, that sets out consistent steps for achieving minimum performance standards, and includes an assessment and measurement of the uncertainty in the test performance (see table 1 for the phases of a validation framework), the FBI cannot have statistical confidence in its validation test results. Knowledge of uncertainty is essential for subsequent statistical analysis that can provide quantitative measures of confidence in conclusions drawn from tests applied to forensic samples. (p. 16)

    • DXer said

      “The FBI Did Not Fully Ensure the Completeness and Accuracy of the Repository

      We found that the FBI’s effort to create a comprehensive repository containing samples from all known stocks of the Ames strain of B. anthracis was appropriate for assessing the rarity of the genetic markers in the relevant source population. Its adequacy, however, was affected by the incompleteness and inaccuracy in the repository. The NAS report found that the repository was not optimal for a variety of reasons. It stated, for example, that the instructions in the subpoena issued to laboratories for preparing samples were not precise enough to ensure that they would follow a consistent procedure for producing samples that would be most suitable for later comparisons.

      Our analysis of FBI documents shows that FBI searches at three specific laboratories identified hundreds of additional relevant stocks that laboratories did not submit to the repository in response to the subpoena.” (p. 40)

    • DXer said

      “We were unable to determine how two of the three laboratories identified and selected samples from relevant stocks in response to the subpoena, but we found that individuals at one laboratory differed in interpreting the subpoena’s instructions.61 Laboratory officials acknowledged differences in interpreting the instructions on how to identify distinct Ames strains of B. anthracis. Identifying the specific stocks to submit in response to the subpoena at that laboratory was left up to the principal investigator because, at that time, no one else actually working with the stocks would have understood what was in them.
      FBI officials acknowledged that the interpretation of the instructions to determine what strains to submit to the repository varied across laboratories, stating that the subpoena was not as precise as it needed to be. However, they emphasized that every laboratory that submitted samples to the repository was investigated thoroughly and that, when the FBI conducted searches at the three laboratories, those investigations eliminated many laboratories from being suspects. Furthermore, FBI officials told us that the decision to conduct searches at these three laboratories was an investigative decision, not a scientific one.
      The NAS report also raised concerns that the decision to remove samples with inconclusive or variant results contributed to the lack of completeness of the repository data.” (p. 41)

      61We were unable to determine how two laboratories identified and selected samples from relevant stocks because of staff retirements, the attrition of key technical staff, and the absence of inventory records for the period of the investigation.

    • DXer said

      The report stated that a major concern was the restriction of its statistical analyses to the 947 samples that contained no inconclusive or variant results. Notably, the report showed that 4 of the 112 samples that were disregarded for having a single inconclusive or variant result scored positive for the three remaining genetic tests.
      In addition, our analysis of FBI documents shows that FBI searches contributed to inaccuracies in the repository by collecting samples from stocks that had already been submitted to the repository. We identified 14 duplicate samples from a search conducted at one laboratory in April 2004.

      FBI officials stated that they were not concerned about duplicate samples in the repository because duplicate samples may have served other important investigative purposes such as verifying if two samples were related or answering other important questions related to investigative information. They also stated that additional information collected about the samples would allow them to reconcile duplicates. However, our analysis of the FBI repository data indicates that known duplicates were not removed from the repository before the statistical analysis. As a result of these examples of incompleteness and inaccuracies in the repository, a statistically meaningful extrapolation of the statistics and frequencies derived from the repository to the relevant source population was not possible. (p. 42)

    • DXer said

      The Statistical Analyses Did Not Account for the Genetic Markers’ Mode of Inheritance

      “The results from statistical analyses conducted in 2008 did not adequately account for the mode of inheritance of the genetic markers, and they added little probative value to the investigation. Many of the methods used for the 2008 statistical analyses inappropriately relied on the assumption of independence among the repository samples. For example, the NAS report stated that because the repository samples were not independent, the proportion of samples testing positive for all four genetic markers was not a meaningful estimate of the probability of occurrence. The FBI did not use the results of the statistical analyses and did not quantify the confidence it had in, or the probative value of, the repository results in its conclusions included in its final investigative summary. An FBI official stated that the statistical analyses were viewed from an academic standpoint and were not part of the investigation.” (p. 42)

    • DXer said

      The FBI Did Not Include Uncertainty Measures in the Interpretation of Results

      “In its final investigative summary, the FBI concluded that only 8 of more than 1,000 samples tested positive for all four genetic markers, but it did not provide any measure of the confidence it had in this conclusion.
      We found that the genetic tests show variability in the results on samples selected from the same stock. As we previously indicated in our assessment of the validation of the genetic tests, the additional postvalidation tests conducted in 2007 demonstrated variability in the results of the genetic tests when they were applied to samples under conditions intended to mimic their use on repository samples.

      Additionally, the two genetic tests for the D marker did not always give the same result for the same sample. An analysis included in the FBI contractor’s Statistical Analysis Report identified 24 repository samples for which the two genetic tests yielded opposite results from the same sample. The NAS report stated that this lack of agreement between the two genetic tests for the D mutation illustrated the differing sensitivities and specificities of the tests. This lack of agreement was also evident in the eight samples that tested positive for all four genetic markers. As shown in figure 4, our analysis of the repository data demonstrated that one of these eight samples also tested negative using the other genetic test for the D marker.” (p.43)

    • DXer said

      Further, our analysis of duplicate samples in the repository showed differences in the results of genetic tests on samples selected from the same stock. As shown in figure 5, only 3 of the 14 duplicate samples we identified showed the same results across the five genetic tests. For example, FBI repository sample number 049-004 tested positive for all five genetic tests while a duplicate sample selected from the same stock (066-044) tested positive for only four of the five genetic tests. In another example, FBI repository sample number 049-016 tested positive for all five genetic tests while the duplicate sample (047-002) tested negative for all five genetic tests. (p. 44)

    • DXer said

      As noted previously, before its searches, the FBI relied on laboratory officials to identify and select subsamples of distinct Ames strains for submission to the repository. The NAS report stated that the subpoena’s instructions to laboratories for preparing samples were not precise enough to ensure consistent procedures for producing samples that would be most suitable for later comparisons. For example, the subpoena instructed laboratories to select a representative sample from each stock but did not provide guidance on how many cells or colonies to select. Although steps were taken in the genetic tests to standardize the number of cells being tested, the number of initial cells or colonies selected from each stock would have affected the probability of selecting material capable of producing the genetic markers.
      This is particularly important because the mutations chosen as genetic markers were infrequent in the evidentiary material. For example, we interviewed the scientist who submitted the duplicate samples we identified above as having opposite results (all five negative versus all five positive). He told us that, in the presence of an FBI investigator, he had not followed the subpoena instructions when he selected the sample (047-002) that tested negative for all five genetic markers.

      In addition to the selection methods we have discussed in this report, the methods used to prepare and test the repository samples could have introduced uncertainty to the results of the genetic tests. The NAS report stated that replication could have been used in the design of the FBI repository to provide measures of the uncertainty of the genetic tests.62 Although laboratories were required to submit to the repository two samples from each stock, only one of those samples was tested for the genetic signature. Without replication, the FBI was unable to assess uncertainty in the results of the genetic tests in the context of testing actual repository samples.

  8. DXer said

    Now we should first all concentrate in reading today’s GAO report and take advantage of the hard work the staffers have invested. Whatdya think?

    After reading it through, let’s find if and where they addressed some issues that pointed out from the documentary evidence available to the public.

    Who gave Rauf Ahmad the samples taken from his luggage when leaving Les Baillies’ “Dangerous Pathogens 2000″ conference? (I don’t know). FN See news reports of MI5 authorized biography.

    Amerithrax scientist, UK’s Les Baillie, knew Rauf Ahmad was working with virulent anthrax killing mice with 100 injected spores — because the research was presented at the 2000 conference.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/at-the-dangerous-pathogens-2000-conference-dr-zawahiris-infiltrating-scientist-rauf-ahmad-presented-on-the-isolation-of-bacillus-anthracis/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/at-the-porton-down-sponsored-dangerous-pathogens-2000-conference-dr-zawahiris-infiltrating-scientist-rauf-ahmad-in-addition-to-presenting-on-the-isolation-of-bacillus-anthracis-presente/

    Abdur Rauf’s “I have successfully achieved” letter to Ayman al-Zawahiri
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 4, 2009

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/abdur-raufs-i-have-successfully-achieved-letter-to-ayman-al-zawahiri-what-justification-is-there-for-not-removing-the-redactions/

    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

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/gao-on-raufs-quest-for-virulent-anthrax-for-ayman-zawahiri-was-the-second-lab-he-visited-a-bl-3-lab-at-porton-down-was-he-cleared-to-go/

    Senate Torture Report: KSM wrote bin al-Shibh a letter referencing “Jafar the Pilot” and indicating that “Jafar” “ought to prepare himself” to smuggle himself from Mexico ; the letter was seized in September 2002
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 10, 2014

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/senate-torture-report-ksm-wrote-bin-al-shibh-a-letter-referencing-jafar-the-pilot-and-indicating-that-jafar-ought-to-prepare-himself-to-smuggle-himself-from-mexico-the-letter-was-sei/

    DXer says: Adnan El-Shukrijumah is the anthrax mailer … on or about 9/13/2001, he phoned from KSM’s house to tell his mom he was coming to the US
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 6, 2014

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/dxer-adnan-el-shukrijumah-is-the-anthrax-mailer-on-9132001-he-phoned-from-ksms-house-to-tell-his-mom-he-was-coming-to-the-us/

    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/

    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 today’s installment of a continuing series, Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat defends his decision to go to Afghanistan to work on his “anthrax project” for Al Qaeda
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 20, 2012

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/interview-yazid-sufaat-released-in-november-2008-says-he-met-osama/

    Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat discusses Zacarias Moussaoui in this 2011 French language television interview
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 28, 2012

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/al-qaeda-anthrax-lab-tech-yazid-sufaat-discusses-zacarias-moussaoui-in-this-2001-french-language-television-interview/

    Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat discusses Zacarias Moussaoui in this 2011 French language television interview
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 28, 2012

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/al-qaeda-anthrax-lab-tech-yazid-sufaat-discusses-zacarias-moussaoui-in-this-2001-french-language-television-interview/

    Anthrax Lab Director Yazid Sufaat Wrote This Letter Of Introduction For Zacarias Moussaoui, Who Made The Cropduster Inquiries
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 23, 2012

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/anthrax-lab-director-yazid-sufaat-wrote-this-letter-of-introduction-for-zacarias-moussaoui-who-made-the-cropduster-inquiries/

  9. DXer said

    A federal undercover did my graphics. I’m all in favor of an interesting world where comedian Gallagher could be living in your house next week — and you could be discussing the projectile potential of various items in the produce section over dinner.

    Like Gallagher says, we could have a heart attack next week and so we should all try to do some good and make the world a better place while we have a chance.

    But given I know about what was happening in the DOJ’s prosecutor’s office — and in light of my conversations over years with my friend the federal undercover, and with people at the CIA’s CTC and other agencies — I think it is important that the country not underestimate Dr. Ayman Zawahiri.

    I know enough of Dr. Ayman’s childhood friends, medical school classmates, and Afghanistan associates, to know that our country can ill afford to suffer fools gladly — people who are too busy or lazy to connect the dots and too occupied by their own personal agendas.

    In the case of the FBI, they are in CYA mode — not wanting to be blamed for the suicide of the main suspect.

    An Ivins Theory was reasonable — just like a Hatfill Theory was. But people need to dig into the contemporaneous documentary evidence.

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

    Off-topic:

    While reasonable people can disagree on the merits of the mute swan issue in New York, 2/3 vote the legislature can override the New York Governor’s veto of the proposed moratorium on the DEC’s plan to kill all the mute swans in the wild.

    http://www.qchron.com/editions/central/cuomo-vetoes-avella-bill-to-save-the-swans/article_7f261706-8702-11e4-b73f-eb0fce4a2899.html

    Avella’s office said he will reintroduce the bill in the next legislative session.

    State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the upper house and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) in the lower chamber authored a bill that would have put a two-year moratorium on any swan slaughter. It passed overwhelmingly, 59-2 in the Senate and 104-25 in the Assembly.

    But Cuomo reportedly said the measure would “overlap” with the DEC’s new [yet to be unveiled revised] plan — though that could not immediately be confirmed independently — so he vetoed the bill.

    Comment:

    It’s time to bring out the watermelon.

  10. DXer said

    Now that some of you have seen the GAO report subject to embargo, whatdya think?

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

    Off-topic:

    I enjoyed the “Oak Island” show last night again. But I am still advocating my view that the works at Oak Island relate to British engineering expertise and the sacking of Havana in 1762.

    Not one to be able to keep a secret, I lay it out here:

    One thought on “THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND: Did Scotland Push Skeptic Marty Lagina to His Quitting Point?”

    http://tvruckus.com/2014/12/17/the-curse-of-oak-island-did-scotland-push-skeptic-marty-lagina-to-his-quitting-point/#comment-17608

  11. DXer said

    The learned molecular biologist and forensic scientist, Dr. Michael Garvey, PhD (former FBI, former CIA, current head of forensic science for the City of Philadelphia) has explained:

    At 219 he writes:

    “In the Amerithrax investigation, the FBI report discusses OCONUS samples that had inconsistent results for the presence of B. anthracis and possibly even indications of the presence of the Ames strain. However, these results were ultimately discarded by the
    FBI due to the inconsistencies in the various testing results, sampling procedures, and methodology used by the FBI and IC. As this case never reached trial and the details of this intelligence based collection is mostly classified, it cannot be fully addressed.”

    Separately he noted:

    “The reporting suggests that B. anthracis consistent with Ames strain was identified from this location. However, without full disclosure of the scientific data, one cannot ascertain whether these results are reliable. If reliable, did these results indicate the presence of Ames strain in an Al Qaeda lab from a laboratory transfer or is there an isolate of B. anthracis that is located in the undisclosed region of the world that developed similar markers to the Ames strain through parallel evolution. More importantly, these results show the importance of fully understanding the limitations of an assay in order to better explain its results.”

    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

    If the CIA concluded from the molecular evidence that there was Ames at the Afghanistan lab — and the FBI discarded those results — and Ames anthrax genetics expert Les Baillie was working for the FBI on Amerithrax at the NMRC in Maryland (where the FBI repository was kept), wasn’t that a conflict of interest beyond pale?

    Dr. Garvey notes:

    “While the FBI would perform extensive investigations on each consultant in order to verify his/her suitability to assist the investigation and rule them out as a subject of the investigation, this unique aspect of the investigation could be correlated to a forensic examiner, who is suspected of a sexual assault, being consulted on and examining the sexual assault evidence in the same case.” (p. 79)

    Who gave Rauf Ahmad the samples taken from his luggage when leaving Les Baillies’ “Dangerous Pathogens 2000” conference? (I don’t know). FN See news reports of MI5 authorized biography.

    Les knew Rauf Ahmad was working with virulent anthrax killing mice with 100 injected spores — because the research was presented at the 2000 conference.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/at-the-dangerous-pathogens-2000-conference-dr-zawahiris-infiltrating-scientist-rauf-ahmad-presented-on-the-isolation-of-bacillus-anthracis/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/at-the-porton-down-sponsored-dangerous-pathogens-2000-conference-dr-zawahiris-infiltrating-scientist-rauf-ahmad-in-addition-to-presenting-on-the-isolation-of-bacillus-anthracis-presente/

    Relatedly, what was the lab Rauf Ahmad visited in 1999 when he told Dr. Ayman Zawahiri that he had achieved the targets? (I don’t know).

    Abdur Rauf’s “I have successfully achieved” letter to Ayman al-Zawahiri
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 4, 2009
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/abdur-raufs-i-have-successfully-achieved-letter-to-ayman-al-zawahiri-what-justification-is-there-for-not-removing-the-redactions/

    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
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/gao-on-raufs-quest-for-virulent-anthrax-for-ayman-zawahiri-was-the-second-lab-he-visited-a-bl-3-lab-at-porton-down-was-he-cleared-to-go/

    Isn’t it time for Amerithrax consultant Les Baillie to step up and tell us the identity of the second lab that Rauf Ahmad visited in 1999 and who gave him the samples at the Dangerous Pathogens conference in 2000? (Over the years, I’ve written to ask but he hasn’t responded).

    Or if you want to take baby steps, let’s identify who participated in the decision to discard the CIA’s molecular findings about Ames at the lab in Afghanistan.

    Les Baillie has recently addressed these issues in a powerpoint.

    “Misuse of Biology”

    FN//
    MI5 thinks Muslim extremism has been contained
    Published Oct 06, 2009

    http://www.dawn.com/news/819624/mi5-thinks-muslim-extremism-has-been-contained

    “The book says that in 2000, MI5 – without realising 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. American intelligence later revealed that Rauf Ahmad had been in touch with Al Qaeda’s No 2, Ayman al Zawahiri.”

    LA Times. too, reported that the MI5 “found samples and equipment in the luggage of a Pakistani microbiologist, Rauf Ahmad, who had attended a conference on pathogens in Britain.”

    Advance press of new authorized history of MI5 by history professor on 100th anniversary addresses infiltrator Rauf Ahmad gave the first details:

    “Unknown to MI5, Britain had already been targeted by al-Qaeda. It was only after September 11 that officers discovered that a Pakistani microbiologist called Rauf Ahmad, also known as Abdur Rauf, who traveled to a conference in Britain in September 2000 to try and buy pathogens from fellow delegates, was a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda.”

  12. DXer said

    I’m especially interested in what documents it will have prodded the FBI to disclose under FOIA — and whether GAO will release interviews it has conducted, as is within authority under the rules.

    For example, DOJ ( per James Kovakas) didn’t keep its copies of the Hatfill depositions — just selected excerpts. Under DOJ regulations they were required to do so — that constitutes spoliation of documents by Elizabeth Shapiro, who is the top dog on the issue at DOJ (hiding the ball in national security cases). She conducted many of the depositions.

    And turning to USAMRIID, they claim they cannot find any documents relating to 98 vials of Ames originating in Flask 1029 that USAMRIID was required to give to unidentified DARPA contractors.

    USAMRIID provides this response about the lack of documentation associated with the missing 98 vials of Ames anthrax from Flask 1029 under the DARPA-funded JHU-APL project under which USAMRIID was required to provide unidentified contractors virulent Ames anthrax
    Posted on November 20, 2014
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/usamriid-provides-this-response-about-the-lack-of-documentation-associated-with-the-missing-98-vials-of-ames-anthrax-from-flask-1029-under-the-darpa-funded-jhu-apl-project-under-which-usamriid-was/

    But I’m especially interested in the documents related to the fact through Les Baillie, the CIA and FBI knew that Rauf Ahmad had been working with virulent anthrax since 2000. His was presented at the Dangerous Pathogens Conference that Les Baillie organized.

    CIA and FBI Knew Rauf Ahmad harvested “anthrax spore concentrate” for Al Qaeda for experiment on guinea pigs on “7-4-001″ [April 2001] – 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
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/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-rau/

    At the Dangerous Pathogens 2000 Conference, Dr. Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad’s work killing mice with 100 injected anthrax spores was presented on the isolation of Bacillus Anthracis
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2014
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/at-the-dangerous-pathogens-2000-conference-dr-zawahiris-infiltrating-scientist-rauf-ahmad-presented-on-the-isolation-of-bacillus-anthracis/

    • DXer said

      The Chair of the Dangerous Pathogens 2000 conference at which the Al Qaeda scientist’s Rauf Ahmad’s research on killing mice with anthrax was presented, worked at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Center while advising the FBI’s Amerithrax Investigation ; the paper Dr. Baillie presented was co-authored with sequencer of the Ames strain
      Posted on November 16, 2014

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/the-chair-of-the-dangerous-pathogens-2000-conference-at-which-the-al-qaeda-scientists-rauf-ahmads-research-on-killing-mice-with-anthrax-was-presented-worked-at-the-university-of-maryland-biotec/

      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

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/the-uk-lab-that-let-al-qaeda-scientist-rauf-ahmad-leave-with-virulent-anthrax-in-1999-made-a-mistake-to-keep-the-labs-identity-a-secret-prevents-us-from-learning-from-history/

      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

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/prof-les-baillie-presented-on-the-misuse-of-biology-this-month-in-this-slide-presentation-at-the-global-trends-and-implications-for-british-security-conference/

    • DXer said

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

    • DXer said

      It has always amused me that talking heads argued sending poisonous letters was not an Al Qaeda modus operandi when there was an entire chapter instructing on sending poisonous letters in the manual used to train Adnan El-Shukrijumah.

      DXer says: Adnan El-Shukrijumah is the anthrax mailer … on or about 9/13/2001, he phoned from KSM’s house to tell his mom he was coming to the US
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 6, 2014
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/dxer-adnan-el-shukrijumah-is-the-anthrax-mailer-on-9132001-he-phoned-from-ksms-house-to-tell-his-mom-he-was-coming-to-the-us/

      For example, you would think that if folks wanted to know whether El-Shukrijumah would hold the powder within a fold, they might have bothered to read the chapter.

      How long did it take to get to the lab with the bottle of anthrax spore concentrate pictured? A week? A momth?

      Should anyone be surprised if they found it had been removed?

      Evidence suggests al Qaeda pursuit of biological, chemical weapons
      November 14, 2001
      http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/11/14/chemical.bio/index.html

      “Coalition intelligence agencies say they have discovered evidence of transactions involving sophisticated laboratory equipment, along with a new bioterrorism manual distributed to cells of the al Qaeda terrorist network.

      The extent of al Qaeda’s operational knowledge was once contained in the 10-volume Encyclopedia of Afghan Resistance, which has been the template for actual and planned terrorism attacks against a variety of targets worldwide. (View pages from the manuals)

      But now Western intelligence agencies are analyzing a new volume distributed on an unknown number of CD-ROMs. It contains precise, deadly formulas for chemical and biological weapons that can be made from ingredients readily available to the public, CNN has learned.

      In a chapter called Science of Explosives, for example, chemical formulas are followed by step-by-step instructions in the manufacture of deadly biological weapons. Another chapter is called “The Poisonous Letter.”

      ***

      CNN has been told al Qaeda does have new equipment to work with: at least six new laboratories that could be used to make chemical and biological weapons, according to a coalition intelligence agency.

      That agency said that three labs were purchased earlier this year by the Wafa Humanitarian Organization, whose U.S. assets were frozen after the government included it among several groups it identified as supporters of terrorism.

      The laboratory equipment was shipped from the United Arab Emirates to Afghanistan, according to the coalition intelligence agency.

      A second al Qaeda acquisition of sophisticated scientific equipment took place in 1999, according to the same sources. In that transaction, three labs were purchased from the Ukraine and sent to Afghanistan, the sources said.

      “I am quite surprised at the nature and scale and scope of that intensified activity that has gone silently without any efforts from intelligence agencies to stop the information transfer or the acquisition of these type of agents,” said Magnus Ranstorp, director of the world-renowned counterterrorism center located at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews.”

      ________________

      Suspect and A Setback In Al-Qaeda Anthrax Case
      By Joby Warrick
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Tuesday, October 31, 2006
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/30/AR2006103001250.html

      ________________

      Osama Bin Laden, according to other secret U.S.intelligence documents obtained by CNN, ordered his top lieutenants in 1997 to launch a comprehensive effort to obtain chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. U.S. and regional intelligence agencies believe al Qaeda has achieved some of those goals.

      Still other evidence comes from a 1999 boast by a terrorism suspect alleged to be a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a radical group with links to Bin Laden’s al Qaeda network. Jihad was responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

      On April 19, 1999, in a chaotic Egyptian courtroom, Ahmed Salamah Mabrouk spoke before his sentencing hearing to Egyptian reporter Mohammed Salah, considered to be his country’s top al Qaeda expert.

      Through a caged-in section of the courtroom where defendants are kept, Mabrouk — who was charged in a terrorism conspiracy — admitted al Qaeda’s success in obtaining chemical and biological weapons.

      “He told me that Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri have access to chemical and biological weapons,” Salah said.

      _________________

      DXer: The Blind Sheik’s Lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat Announced In 1999 That Ayman Zawahiri Would Use Anthrax Against US Targets To Retaliate For Imprisonment Of Senior EIJ Leaders, Most Notably Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 3, 2013
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/dxer-the-blind-sheiks-lawyer-montasser-al-zayat-announced-in-1999-that-ayman-zawahiri-would-use-anthrax-against-us-targets-to-retaliate-for-imprisonment-of-senior-eij-leaders-most-notably-blind/

      ___________________

    • DXer said

      This picture of the “anthrax spore concentrate” harvested by Al Qaeda anthrax scientist — and Porton Down hobnobber — Rauf Ahmad was taken AFTER the bombing but before the boots on the ground secured it. The head of the lab is available to be interviewed. It was a vaccine lab that had come to be dominated and controlled by the Taliban. The fellow, as I recall, now works for WHO.

      So a starting point for analysis is: what strain was this large bottle of “anthrax spore concentrate”?

      Rauf Ahmad had been working with virulent anthrax killing animals since at least 2000 if not late 1999.

      Al-Qaeda might have stockpiled anthrax spores
      PTI | Dec 10, 2001, 09.41 AM IST

      NEW YORK: American operatives in Afghanistan have collected evidence that al-Qaeda, the terror group headed by Osama Bin Laden, may have stockpiled anthrax spores in Afghanistan. However, intelligence sources said it was not clear if any of the anthrax was ever taken out of the country and they believed that the stockpiles were destroyed in US bombings.

    • DXer said

      Man who waterboarded 9/11 mastermind slams CIA interrogation…
      Fox News‎ – 2 hours ago
      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/17/man-who-waterboarded-11-mastermind-slams-cia-report-on-torture/

      “There was all this anthrax stuff going on, there was credible evidence to suggest that there was another wave of attacks coming and we couldn’t have it happen.”

      ***

      “In my view, the CIA analysts and the CIA targeters are incredible,” he said. “To do this, to besmirch them, I think, is beyond the pale.”

      Comment:

      I don’t see the torture debate as criticism of CIA analysts, as opposed to criticism of decisions by Administration policymakers and the value choice made.

      But let’s take a case in point. Al-Hindi cased NYC and DC targets with El-Shukrijumah.

      The torture report reportedly indicates that authorities first learned of Dhiren Barot from the enhanced interrogation of Moazzam Begg. (I haven’t read it for this point yet). Moazzam Begg denies it.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2871431/Did-torture-stop-UK-terror-attack-Al-Qaeda-terrorist-captured-London-CIA-spies-interrogated-Guantanamo-Bay-detainee.html

      Al-Hindi reportedly stayed in New Jersey with his cousin, Meeta, in 2001. Al-Hindi ostensibly, as I recall, was scheduled to go to school at the Mohawk Valley Community College but never showed up.

      Meeta says that post-911, she learned from her father when he visited from India that the FBI had been asking questions about Al-Hindi. When was the FBI first asking about Al-Hindi? Did the questioning lead to discovery of El-Shukrijumah’s operational role in connection to the casing of targets in DC and NYC in 2001? If so, when?

      Off-topic:

      Today I received in the mail “A correct journal of the landing His Majesty’s forces on the island of Cuba and of the siege and surrender of the Havannah, August 13, 1762. By Patrick Mackellar, chief engineer. But more important would be his diaries from 1761 and early 1762 to see if he has an alibi to build works on Oak Island in advance. I otherwise don’t have a bead on what he was doing in Nova Scota after they were done destroying Louisbourgh in 1760.

    • DXer said

      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/17/convicted-terrorist-known-as-the-20th-hijacker-has-a-stunning-claim-about-the-911-attacks/

      “A man known as the “20th hijacker” who is serving a life sentence for his admitted role in conspiring to murder Americans in the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 has come forward with some shocking new allegations, claiming that a Saudi Arabian royal helped fund the devastating terror events.

      Zacarias Moussaoui, 46, has said, more specifically, that a Saudi prince paid to train him and the 19 hijackers in the time leading up to the attacks.

      ***

      According to his account, Prince Turki Al Faisal AlSaud met with him, provided him with funding and also financially assisted the other 19 Sept. 11 terrorists.”

      On the one hand, Moussaoui has — without a doubt — not established himself a reliable witness in the past.

      On the other hand, the FBI initially said he got his money from Yazid Sufaat but then I believe they retracted that. So I believe the source of funding is not a question that has been authoritatively resolved publicly although I may be wrong. Yazid Sufaat was a highly successful businessman and a friend of Moussaoui. But I’ve never seen documentary or other corroboration that confirms the early suggestion that the funding came from Yazid Sufaat. The emails between Moussaoui and Yazid Sufaat accessed September 18, 2001 might be the best guide.

      Yazid Sufaat knew Moussaoui well. But knowing Moussaoui as well as he did makes me think Yazid Sufaat would know he wasn’t a good investment. Yazid discusses Moussaoui in this interview.

      It certainly adds to the importance that the 28 pages from the “Joint Inquiry” be released.

      On 9/18/2001, the FBI accessed Moussaoui and Yazid Sufaat’s emails.

      Additional sources:

      Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat discusses Zacarias Moussaoui in this 2011 French language television interview
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 28, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/al-qaeda-anthrax-lab-tech-yazid-sufaat-discusses-zacarias-moussaoui-in-this-2001-french-language-television-interview/

      Anthrax Lab Director Yazid Sufaat Wrote This Letter Of Introduction For Zacarias Moussaoui, Who Made The Cropduster Inquiries
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 23, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/anthrax-lab-director-yazid-sufaat-wrote-this-letter-of-introduction-for-zacarias-moussaoui-who-made-the-cropduster-inquiries/

    • DXer said

      Note on the face of the letter signed by Yazid Sufaat he says that the company is paying Moussaoui.

      But I believe the FBI may have found that neither the company nor Sufaat was the actual source of the money. (I’m not sure).

      Offhand I don’t know the best evidence on the point if this letter is not to be credited.

      Let Moussaoui say what he wants to say in a filmed deposition — from his current prison.

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