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

* The CIA’s detection of the Ames strain of b. anthracis in Afghanistan was discarded by the FBI due to different testing results, sampling procedures, and methodology used by the FBI and IC (“Intelligence Community”)

Posted by DXer on April 30, 2015


55 Responses to “* The CIA’s detection of the Ames strain of b. anthracis in Afghanistan was discarded by the FBI due to different testing results, sampling procedures, and methodology used by the FBI and IC (“Intelligence Community”)”

  1. DXer said

    Have you noticed that the FBI never disclosed the strain of anthrax that Yazid Sufaat was using? (Anthrax is mentioned at the end of this October 19, 2019 foreign language news video about Yazid Sufaat’s proposed release.

  2. DXer said

    The former CIA and FBI scientist working on Amerithrax — Michael Garvey — has explained that Ames anthrax was detected in Afghanistan. He made the revelation in a PhD thesis available online.

    This is one of the facts that the DOJ and FBI is hiding.

    Is the CIA going to argue that the fact that Ames was classified needs to be hidden from the public even though its employee already has formally revealed that fact?

    Until the FBI reveals who was responsible for discarding the finding, I am not in a position to show the incredible conflict of interest that (I believe) existed. The issue goes to the very heart of FOIA’s purpose relating to public understanding of the operation of governmental agencies.

    DOJ writes:

    “Defendant notes that the CIA has not filed a declaration in this action asserting Exemption 1 to the classified information withheld by the FBI. On June 14, 2019, FBI RIDS requested that the CIA provide a declaration asserting such withholdings, which Defendant will subsequently file with the Court. See Seidel Decl. ¶ 109.”

    What? DOJ consulted with USAMRIID scientists, and were advised by USAMRIID that NOTHING needed to be classified about the Ames strain being detected in Afghanistan.

    Is the DOJ going to disclose that fact to the United States District Court? (I’m still working my way through the DOJ’s filing).

  3. DXer said

    John Brennan on Pipe Bomb: Donald Trump Incites ‘Anger, If Not Violence’

    While Brennan acknowledge it was unusual for a former intelligence official to speak out on current politics, he said, “I am trying to figure out how to use my voice to object to what he is doing,” Brennan said.

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

    Comment: In terms of using his voice, John Brennan should consider serving as a Vice Presidential nominee. On both sides of the aisle, let’s bring the adults back into the room.

  4. DXer said

    What does a man as experienced and straight-talking as former CIA Director John Brennan say about Amerithrax and the fact that was Ames detected in Afghanistan by BOTH the FBI and CIA?


    Former CIA Director (2013-17). Nonpartisan American who is very concerned about our collective future.

    What if John O. Brennan were on a ticket for 2020? He would bring gravitas to any ticket.

    I don’t know Mr. Brennan’s policy views (beyond the blog posts and media quotes) but imagine a Romney-Brennan ticket as opposed to say a Pence-Haley or a Pence-Pompeo ticket. It seems that the Republicans need to start preparing now to have President Trump choose not to run for reelection. As Ivana, I believe, said. He doesn’t need to run again.

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

    • DXer said

      Director Brennan Speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations

      Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Central Intelligence Agency Director John O. Brennan at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC

      29 June 2016


      Nowhere are the stakes higher for our national security than in the field of biotechnology. Recent advances in genome-editing that offer great potential for breakthroughs in public health are also cause for concern, because the same methods could be used to create genetically-engineered biological warfare agents. And though the overwhelming majority of nation states have tended to be rational enough to refrain from unleashing a menace with such unpredictable consequences, a subnational terrorist entity such as ISIL would have few compunctions in wielding such a weapon.

      The scope of the bio threat—as well as potential measures to mitigate it—were laid out very clearly last October in the bipartisan report of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, chaired by former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Homeland Defense Secretary Tom Ridge. As with the cyber threat, the international community’s response to this issue lags behind the technology driving it. Effectively countering this danger requires the development of national and international strategies, along with a consensus on the laws, standards, and authorities that will be needed.

      And as CIA officers and their Intelligence Community colleagues work hard to protect our country from the darker side of technological change, we are mindful of how even beneficial advances can have destabilizing effects in the long run. Agency all-source analysts, drawing from academic studies and other elements of the ever-expanding pool of global open-source information, seek to offer our national leaders early warning of potential challenges that could arise from the advances we are seeing today across the spectrum of technological endeavors.

      As former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Bob Gates is fond of saying, “When intelligence officers smell flowers, they look around for a coffin.” That remains a pretty good depiction of our intelligence mindset.

  5. DXer said

    Although this thoughtful article deserves a close read, Peter Isackson seems unaware that the FBI and CIA both detected the Ames strain in Afghanistan. That central flawed premise is understandable given the DOJ/FBI’s suppression of information in the case — part of the “fog of war.” (see docs produced at last minute to NAS).

    Britain’s Novichok Chaos Brings Back Memories of Anthrax Attacks

    • By Peter Isackson
    • • April 6, 2018


    Amerithrax Science Update (B3D1, p. 270) States that Missions By FBI Personnel Detected DNA from the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis on both the May 2004 and November 2004 Missions; Samples From The First Mission Were Processed By NBFAC and Samples From the Second Mission Were Processed At Aberdeen Proving Ground
    Posted on November 24, 2012

    In Have We “Met the Enemy”?, Science 3 February 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6068 pp. 540-541, Dr. David Relman, who had been vice-chairman of the NAS Committee, explains:
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 5, 2012

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

  6. DXer said

    The December 16, 2004 AMX Weekly Report explained that Ames strain of anthrax was detected at Afghanistan’s anthrax lab:

    “Analysis of samples collected OCONUS, for the presence of Bacillus anthracis

    An OCONUS mission was conducted by FBI personnel from the WFO, HMRU, and partners from other intelligence agencies in May 2004. Numerous samples were taken from several sites including buildings, wells, and buried latrines. The samples were transported CONUS and were accessioned and processed by the BFAC. Three samples tested positive for the presence of Bacillus anthracis by PCR.

    Further strain typing results from these samples revealed that these samples contain DNA from the Ames strain of Bacillus anthracis, consistent with the evidence.”

    • DXer said

      It turns out that both FBI and CIA testing detected the Ames in Afghanistan. President Trump and Vice President Pence need to understand this in assessing former FBI Director Mueller’s handling of Amerithrax.

      The March 25, 2005 AMX Weekly Science Update explained:

      “Separately obtained samples from the same OCONUS location by another US Government agency were strain-typed at Northern Arizona University. These samples were obtained prior to the May, 2004 sampling mission. These results are consistent with the earlier strain typing results described above.

  7. DXer said

    As we await the production of the outlines from the memo written by lead Amerithrax investigator Lambert to Robert Mueller, I’ll provide the background:

    An AMX Weekly Science Update from 2004 states:

    “An OCONUS mission was conducted by FBI personnel from the WFO, HMRU, and partners from other intelligence agencies. Numerous samples were taken from several sites including buildings, wells, and buried latrine structures. The samples were transported on CONUS and were accessioned by the NBFAC.

    All microbial culture results were completed by the NBFAC on 08/02/04. … Three samples have tested weakly positive using PCR analysis (NBFAC-NMRC). DNA extracts from positive samples were transported to Northern Arizona University for molecular genotyping analysis.

    ___________ traveled to NAU on 9/13/04 to witness final validation of the typing assays. Two of the three samples which tested positive at the NBFAC-NMRC, also tested positive using NAU’s real-time PCR assay for B. anthracis specific alleles.

    The allelic marker targets the plcR gene, which differentiates B. anthracis from the other members of the B. cereus family.

    The protocol has been revised to incorporate more target DNA and will be retested 9/17/04. Additional genetic tests to identify Ames strain specific markers are also scheduled 9/17/04 through 9/21/04.”

  8. DXer said

    R. Scott Decker, whose book will be generally available next Spring, was responsible for discarding CIA’s detection of Ames in Al Qaeda’s labs in Afghanistan. He can explain himself.

  9. DXer said

    3 July 2017
    Ignore Bill Gates: Where bioweapons focus really belongs

    Filippa Lentzos

    Another factor significantly limiting the use of biological weapons is their lack of perceived military utility. In the near-to-medium term, however, advances in science and technology may enable the development of more capable and more accessible biological weapons. These weapons might allow attacks to be targeted more precisely. Attribution would become more difficult. These technical developments—paired with changes in the social context around biological weapons—may lower barriers to the development and use of biological weapons.

    Comment: Felippa, with advances in forensic science, will attribution become MORE difficult or LESS difficult?

  10. DXer said

    3 July 2017
    Ignore Bill Gates: Where bioweapons focus really belongs

    Filippa Lentzos
    At a stretch, terrorists taking advantage of advances in biology might be able to create a viable pathogen. That does not mean they could create a sophisticated biological weapon, and certainly not a weapon that could kill 30 million people. Terrorists in any event tend to be conservative. They use readily available weapons that have a proven track record—not unconventional weapons that are more difficult to develop and deploy. Available evidence shows that few terrorists have ever even contemplated using biological agents, and the extremely small number of bioterrorism incidents in the historical record shows that biological agents are difficult to use as weapons. The skills required to undertake even the most basic of bioterrorism attacks are more demanding than often assumed. These technical barriers are likely to persist in the near- and medium-term future.

    Comment: Now let’s consider Filippa Lentzos commentary in light of the cropduster inquiries and the evidence that Michael Osterholm and the New York Times co-author compiled in their 1999 book about cropdusters. Also, let’s consider about Dr. Garvey’s report that the CIA detected the Ames strain in Afghanistan. Finally, let’s consider whether the powder mailed was “simple” or “sophisticated” — keeping in mind that it cost $6 billion dollars in damage according to widespread estimates.

  11. DXer said

    The FBI was forced to rely on a number of experts in the government and commercial community — and that made it very incumbent on the FBI to vet those asked to aid the investigation. Former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert, March 2017 interview (58.40)

    Tom Ridge, former Homeland Secretary (from ’03-’05), this week said that “al-Qaida did experiments on anthrax in animals” — did AQ use the “Ames strain” like Dr. Garvey reports the CIA detected at the Afghan lab?
    Posted on November 15, 2015

  12. DXer said

    April 25, 2017

    Both labs confirmed that the Porton Down ‘sugar’ strains differed by only two genetic letters from the Ames Ancestor strain—a near identical matching. The researchers speculate that during the intense culturing attempts of the sugar samples in 1997, spores from the Ames Ancestor strain, which were likely to be abundant in the Porton Down military defense laboratory facilities, fell into the culture media and grew.

    Read more at:

    • DXer said

      One oft-quoted, internationally renown expert (MHJ) I consult on these matters remembers “when the Brits gave their paper on this recovery, I think at the Annapolis conference.” [Editor’s note: the Annapolis conference was in 2001 and had been organized by Bruce Ivins.]

      “It was patently nonsense as it took them repeated attempts over a couple of months until the spores suddenly popped into life. Yeah, sure! Typical pattern of lab contamination.” The researchers had mistakenly “thought that they had pulled off a miraculous germination.”

      “They had identified it as “Ames” and this was wrong as whatever the Germans had used in 1917 it would most likely have reflected their African territories not China.”

      “Over the years while assembling our global collection of strains, it was not uncommon to have false cultures from lab cross-contamination. The commonest contaminant was Sterne. … Our agreed lab rule was that no one was ever allowed to culture or handle Sterne in the laboratory.”

    • DXer said

      Dr. Pearce was involved in both the current study of the 1917 anthrax sample and the report from the late 1990s.

      As noted in connection with a recent award,

      “West Hampshire-based Dr Martin Pearce has worked within the MOD for more than twenty years, deploying overseas six times, to both Iraq and Afghanistan. His work has included force protection and biological, chemical and toxin analytical capability.”

      Can Dr. Pearce tell us who hosted infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad at the B-3 lab?

      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

  13. DXer said

    In 2000, the year before the anthrax mailings, Randall Murch, the fellow who headed the Amerithrax investigation (the polygraphs, the anthrax smelling bloodhounds etc) worked for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as head of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office.

    (He worked for DTRA between two stints at the FBI’s Laboratory.

    Stupid question: Did John Ezzell make the dried powder out of Ivins’ Ames strain for this scientist who headed the science investigation for Amerithrax?

    Dartmouth Institute hosts public discussion on threat of bioterrorism July 7

    Posted 06/30/00

    Ken Alibek, Chief Scientist at Hadron Inc. and President of its Advanced Biosystems Inc. subsidiary, will head a panel of visiting experts at Dartmouth College examining the threat of biological terrorism in the United States on Friday July 7. The discussion is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 100 of the Thayer School of Engineering.

    Alibek, author of the new book Biohazard and former Deputy Director of the Soviet Union’s biological warfare program, will open the discussion with an overview titled “Is the American Public Safe From Bio-Terrorism?” His talk will be followed by a discussion with a panel of experts including George Baer, Chairman of Strategy and Planning at the U.S. Naval War College; David Franz, Vice President of the Chemical and Biological Defense Division of the Southern Research Institute; Milton Leitenberg, Senior Fellow, Center for International and Security Studies in the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland; Randall Murch, Director of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Department of Defense; and Raymond Zilinskas, Senior Scientist at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies.

    The public session is part of a three-day conference and workshop sponsored by Dartmouth’s Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS) where experts from around the country will assess the threat posed by bioterrorism. Attendance at the rest of the workshop is by invitation only.

    One of those robots taking over the world — and sending spam — mistakenly asked me to join Dr. Murch on his Linked-In Network yesterday.

    What does David Franz, who headed Southern Research Institute at Frederick, MD, the contractor for Hadron who did the B3 work with the Ames strain, say about his and Alibek’s association with Randy Murch, the fellow who came to head the FBI’s science investigation?

    What does Ken Alibek and Charles Bailey (then the top DTRA biothreat assessment person) — the pair who shared a suite with convicted seditionist, Ali Al-Timimi — say?

    Gotta love those robots.

    I recall Charles Bailey in 2001 saying that he wasn’t going to talk about the detection of silica because he didn’t want to give terrorists any ideas. Oops. Too late.

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

    • DXer said

      Between his last two FBI assignments, he was detailed to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Department of Defense (DoD), where he was the director of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office, where he led advanced studies on complex current and future challenges dealing with weapons of mass destruction. He retired from the FBI in November, 2002 after nearly 23 years of service, and as a member of the Senior Executive Service for the last seven years with that agency.

      From December 2002-December 2004, Dr. Murch was employed as a Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a leading Federally Funded Research and Development Center, where he led and participated in studies for the defense and national security communities. While there, he led the first-ever comprehensive baseline study of microbial forensics for the US national security community.

    • DXer said

      FBI stymied in efforts to solve anthrax case

      By SCOTT SHANE SEPT. 18, 2005

      WASHINGTON — Richard Lambert, the FBI inspector in charge of the investigation of the deadly anthrax letters of 2001, testified under oath for five hours last month about the case.

      But Lambert was not testifying in a criminal trial – he and his team of FBI agents and postal inspectors have not found a suspected culprit. Instead, Lambert and a half-dozen other FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials have been forced to give depositions in a lawsuit filed by Steven Hatfill, the former U.S. Army biodefense expert who was under intense scrutiny for months.


      The letters, the first major bioterrorist attack in the United States, killed five people, sickened 17 others, temporarily crippled mail service and forced the temporary evacuation of U.S. federal buildings including Senate offices and the Supreme Court.

      “They’ve done everything they can possibly think of doing, and they’re just not there yet,” said Randall Murch, a former FBI scientist who pioneered the use of testing to trace the origin of microbes used in crimes. “You have to understand that the pressure is enormous.”

      A former law enforcement official who keeps up with several investigators said, “From the people I’ve talked to, it’s going nowhere.”

      The official, who asked to remain unidentified because of sensitivity over leaks in the case, said some agents still formally assigned to Amerithrax are now mostly working on other cases, because “there’s nothing for them to do.”

    • DXer said

      Science Used In Anthrax Probe Still Uncertai

      August 4, 20084:00 PM ET
      Heard on All Things Considered

      David Kestenbaum

      A source briefed on parts of the investigation says the FBI indicated it had matched the anthrax used in the attacks to anthrax at the Army lab in Maryland.

      But investigators will have to be careful about saying they’ve “proved” it came from there.

      “The word ‘match’ is a very dangerous word to use,” says Randall Murch, a former deputy director of the FBI laboratory.

      Imagine, he says, that the mixture of spores in the attacks is the same as those in a vial at the lab. That’s a “match.” But for that to really mean something, the best you can do is collect as many samples as you can — from labs, from the wild — and show they do not match.

      “That gives you increasing confidence that it came from that laboratory,” Murch says. So you can say, with some degree of certainty … that “this is similar to that.”

      The technique would be far less convincing than human DNA fingerprinting. If DNA is found at a crime scene, chances are only one person on the planet matches it.

      “To my knowledge, bacterial forensics has not been tested in a court of law yet. Not yet,” Murch says. “So it would have been a very interesting case had it gone to trial. Because it would have been the first case that I’m aware of where this would have happened.”

    • DXer said

      After he left the FBI in November 2002, Randall Murch “served as an outside consultant for the anthrax investigation.”

      Who was involved in the decision to discard the CIA’s finding of the Ames strain in Afghanistan?

      Dr. Murch, by email, has refused to address the issue.

    • DXer said

      Was the missing 340 ml. of Ames used to make the dried powder used in the Fall 2001 mailings?

      Was it diverted?

      I don’t know what Senator Leahy meant when he angrily and publicly proclaimed that the case is not closed.

      But I do know that there is no statute of limitations on murder or the accessory crimes.

      Yesterday, my earnest FBI contact, Kris, told me he had been out with the flu.

      People should understand the grave seriousness of the FBI’s withholding of Notebook 4282 — which shows why Ivins was in the lab.

      Failing to produce the notebook constitutes obstruction of justice.

      Randall Murch was with DTRA when the 340 ml. went missing. Does he know what happened to it? (He won’t tell me).

      Did someone make a powder out of the missing 340 ml. of virulent Ames for DARPA or DTRA research?
      Posted on August 22, 2016

      USAMRIID did not produce any irradiation records relating to the August 28, 2000 175 ml Ames shipment and the June 27, 2001 340 ml Ames shipment – and has not produced any records that the Ames was ever shipped back out
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 14, 2015

      I have asked Bruce Ivins’ superior by email today to explain the justification for the missing 340 ml. of virulent b. anthracis Ames shipped from Dugway to USAMRIID on June 27, 2001
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 25, 2015

      Radiation Chief Robert J. Hawley was on vacation the week the 340 ml. shipment of virulent Ames came in from Dugway
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 22, 2015

  14. DXer said

    Russia’s Claims That ‘Terrorist’ Chemical Factory Caused Syria Gas Deaths Rejected

    Posted 5:29 AM, April 5, 2017, by CNN Wire, Updated at 05:30AM, April 5, 2017

    Russian claims that a Syrian airstrike on a “terrorist” ammunition depot caused the deaths of at least 70 people have been rejected, as condemnation mounts over what appears to be a targeted chemical attack. …

    Syria denies the accusations and Russia says it had no warplanes in the vicinity.


    The Russian defense ministry claimed on its Facebook page that a Syrian airstrike hit “workshops, which produced chemical warfare munitions” in the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun.
    It said that “terrorists” had been transporting the chemical munitions from its largest arsenal to Iraq.


    Both sides should permit access and testing to resolve the conflicting claims.

    Now if only the FBI had allowed such transparency in Amerithrax the US would be able to approach issues of WMD-attribution with a better track record.

    The FBI refuses to even allow its claim that Ivins had no reason to be in the lab on those dates to be tested.

    In addition to concealing the detection of Ames in Afghanistan by the CIA, the FBI has knowingly failed to produce the notebook pages with the contemporaneous notes in Ivins’ notebook on the date of mailing and the week prior to the mailing.

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

  15. DXer said

    Congratulations to the journalists, Scott Shane, Eric Lipton and others, who won awards at last night’s event.

    John Kasich tells political reporters at Syracuse event: Don’t stop pursuing the truth

  16. DXer said

    VX Nerve Agent: A Deadly Weapon, Rarely Seen
    By GERRY DOYLEFEB. 24, 2017

    Malaysia Says VX Nerve Agent Used in Murder of North Korea’s Kim Jong Nam
    by Pooi Koon Chong and Anisah Shukry

    “The female suspects were trained to swipe the poison on the victim’s face, and knew the substance was toxic, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said on Wednesday, dismissing reports that they were involved in a television prank. They had practiced at a couple of shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, and were instructed to wash their hands after the attack, he said.”

    Kim Jong-nam: Who in North Korea could organise a VX murder?

    “How do you make VX?
    Very carefully.”

  17. DXer said

    Mike Pompeo is Donald Trump’s pick to head for the CIA. He was listed on the announced committee to investigation intelligence analysis failures. I would recommend to Rep. Pompeo that he interview former CIA scientist Garvey about the FBI’s discarding of the CIA’s finding that Sufaat’s lab had been using the Ames strain of anthrax.

    “The chairmen of the Armed Services and Intelligence committees and the Appropriations Defense subcommittee said the task force would “investigate allegations that senior U.S. Central Command officials manipulated intelligence products” and “examine whether these allegations reflect systemic problems across the intelligence enterprise in CENTCOM or any other pertinent intelligence organizations.”

    The Obama administration has faced questions about whether intelligence was doctored, producing flawed assessments that overstated the progress of the United States and its coalition partners in the fight against Islamic State militants.

    The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating the allegations of intelligence puffery.

    A former Central Command official said more than 50 intelligence analysts had complained that their conclusions were undercut. One or more senior analysts from the command made a written complaint to the Defense Department inspector general in July, prompting an investigation that officials have publicly acknowledged.

    Last month, President Barack Obama said he has repeatedly made clear to intelligence officials that they should never shade their assessments to produce a “feel good story.””

  18. DXer said

    The head of forensics for the Philadelphia police department , who worked on the forensics in Amerithrax while at the CIA, says that Ames was in fact discovered in Afghanistan. He says a continuing lack of transparency prevents the issue from being addressed.

    The lack of transparency is continuing 13 years after Hambali’s capture.

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

    I’ve given Wyndham Hotel (Philadelphia Historic District) 11 more data points from the electronic tracer among my valuables that were stolen but they still have not recovered the items.


    By Lauren Johnston CBS October 9, 2003, 6:14 PM
    Is Al Qaeda Making Anthrax?

    Al Qaeda may be hard at work trying to produce weaponized anthrax and other biological weapons. In an exclusive report, CBS News Correspondent Mark Phillips recounts details U.S. interrogators have extracted from a top al Qaeda operative.

    The new worry comes from the man accused of masterminding last year’s terrorist bombing in Bali that killed more than 200 people and last summer’s Jakarta hotel blast that left another 12 people dead.

    Riduan Isamuddin, better known simply as “Hambali,” has been in the hands of U.S. intelligence agents since his arrest in Thailand last August, and he’s been singing.

    According to interrogation reports seen by CBS News, Hambali was implementing plans to cause far more deaths using biological weapons, most likely Anthrax.

    Hambali, as al Qaeda’s main connection in the Far East, was apparently trying to open an Al Qaeda bio-weapons branch plant.

    According to the interrogation documents, Hambali told his U.S. interrogators he had been “working on an Al Qaeda Anthrax program in Kandahar,” Afghanistan.

    There he worked with a man named Yazid Sufaat, a fellow member of the al Qaeda affiliated terror group Jemaah Islamiyah. Sufaat had received a degree in chemistry and laboratory science from California State University in Sacramento.

    But in October 2001, when things became too hot during the U.S. bombing campaign of Afghanistan, Hambali and Sufaat fled to safety in neighboring Pakistan. There again according to the interrogation reports, the two men discussed “continuing the anthrax program in Indonesia”.

    In fact the men did return to the Far East and Yazid Sufaat was arrested as he tried to enter his native Malaysia.

    • DXer said

      Background on Hambali at Guantanamo:

      Bali bombings terrorist Hambali yet to face trial after years in Guantánamo Bay

      November 28, 2014

    • DXer said

      My mini-IPAD stolen at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District has now been recovered. I could have fingerprints mailed to the head of Philadelphia forensics who reports (from his tenure at the CIA) that the Ames anthrax strain was detected at the Afghanistan Afghan lab . And we could only hope that the FBI would not reject the fingerprints and photo because of a different methodology.

      The mini IPAD was submitted to an ECO-ATM, a reverse vending machine. There is a photo and fingerprint of the perpetrator. (I thought to contact ECO-ATM because a tracking device separate from the mini-PAD tracked the perp to the mall).

      Let’s hope the perp is not represented by the criminal defense attorney who gave the DA gifts.

      FBI questions staffers as Philly DA reports $160K in gifts$160k-in-gifts/1478838/1477270/

      Or maybe ECO-ATM would email a photo of the perp to the hotel. Let’s hope Wyndham isn’t comping police officers free rooms.

      Prince Bandar, known for his generous gifts, is in no way involved.

      Hey Prince Bandar, I haven’t had so much fun since I was given a Sarkis Soghanalian PanAviation watch with a hidden CIA tracking and listening device in it or read your transcript of your conversation with Sarkis at Benihana’s.

  19. DXer said

    What does former CIA Agent and Presidential Candidate Evan McMullin — an expert on Al Qaeda’s operations — think about the FBI’s discarding of the CIA’s detection of Ames anthrax at Yazid Sufaat’s anthrax lab?

    Is this a pivotal issue that could win the election for him depending on what the CIA clears for disclosure relating to the Table of Contents on Richard L. Lambert’s Interim Case Management Summary being vetted for release?

    Both he and Hillary Clinton strike me as qualified for the office whereas Donald Trump’s temperament and manner of conducting himself, in my opinion, would make him a very reckless choice for President. But what Mr. McMullin could use is an issue that would serve as a fulcrum point — that demonstrates the importance of his acumen and experience on the issue of counterterrorism.

    Until that issue manifests itself, he won’t poll 15% needed to get on the televised debate. If he were to get that opportunity, Trump would be exposed for being very uninformed and without the substantive knowledge to hold the office.

    So, please, if you are a Republican or conservative, tell your friends about McMullin and have them read about him so they can decide for themselves. Let our democracy have an informed electorate and a range of candidates worthy of the office.

    Anti-Trump conservative Evan McMullin jumps into race
    By Daniel Strauss
    08/10/16 09:36 PM EDT

    Evan McMullin: Donald Trump’s Comments on Terror Fight Are ‘Silly’
    Aug 9, 2016 8:50 PM EDT

  20. DXer said

    In it declassification review relating to the Table of Contents of the “Interim Management Case Summary”, the FBI may be noodling whether to declassify the detection of Ames in Afghanistan — even though it was already formally disclosed by the relevant government scientist.

  21. DXer said

    ‘Eyewash’: How the CIA deceives its own workforce about operations, Jan. 31. 2016

    “It’s just another form of compartmentation,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official, referring to the restriction of sensitive information to select recipients.


    Federal law makes it a criminal offense when a government employee “conceals, covers up, falsifies or makes a false entry” in an official record. Legal experts said they knew of no special exemption for the CIA, nor any attempt to prosecute agency officials for alleged violations.

    The CIA declined to comment.

    Senate investigators appear to have stumbled into several cases during a five-year probe of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation methods on alleged al-Qaeda operatives.


    It may also have been accessible to officials at other agencies. Officials said they saw no indication that the false claim about the militant’s death had circulated beyond the CIA, but several noted that there appeared to be no foolproof way to prevent eyewash falsehoods from being repeated in analytic reports that in some cases are sent to the Pentagon or White House.

    “Everybody in the CTC has access to operational cables,” said a former U.S. official familiar with the case, referring to the agency’s Counterterrorism Center. “What if somebody does a paper on it? How do you control it?”

    Former CIA officials involved in sending eyewash cables said they had never seen the practice cause serious repercussions, either by confusing agency leaders or leading to false intelligence being disseminated to other branches of government.

    Even so, they acknowledged that the internal mechanisms for managing eyewash cables were largely informal, relying heavily on those involved in sending the cables to be in position to explain the matter to confused colleagues and contain any fallout. Those who send the follow-on cable are supposed to refer to its false counterpart, providing a potential key to future investigators or other outsiders.

  22. DXer said

    Ames – Europe

    PLoS One. 2015 Aug 28;10(8):e0134699. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134699. eCollection 2015.
    Whole Genome-Sequencing and Phylogenetic Analysis of a Historical Collection of Bacillus anthracis Strains from Danish Cattle.
    Derzelle S1, Girault G1, Kokotovic B2, Angen Ø2.
    Author information
    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is known as one of the most genetically monomorphic species. Canonical single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing and whole-genome sequencing were used to investigate the molecular diversity of eleven B. anthracis strains isolated from cattle in Denmark between 1935 and 1988. Danish strains were assigned into five canSNP groups or lineages, i.e. A.Br.001/002 (n = 4), A.Br.Ames (n = 2), A.Br.008/011 (n = 2), A.Br.005/006 (n = 2) and A.Br.Aust94 (n = 1). The match with the A.Br.Ames lineage is of particular interest as the occurrence of such lineage in Europe is demonstrated for the first time, filling an historical gap within the phylogeography of the lineage. Comparative genome analyses of these strains with 41 isolates from other parts of the world revealed that the two Danish A.Br.008/011 strains were related to the heroin-associated strains responsible for outbreaks of injection anthrax in drug users in Europe. Eight novel diagnostic SNPs that specifically discriminate the different sub-groups of Danish strains were identified and developed into PCR-based genotyping assays.
    PMID: 26317972 [PubMed – in process] PMCID: PMC4552859 Free PMC Article

    Ames – China

    PLoS One. 2015 Aug 26;10(8):e0135777. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135777. eCollection 2015.
    Investigation of Anthrax Cases in North-East China, 2010-2014.
    Zhou W1, Sun Y1, Zhu L1, Zhou B1, Liu J1, Ji X1, Wang X2, Wang N2, Gu G3, Feng S1, Qian J1, Guo X1.
    Author information
    We determined the genotypes of seven Bacillus anthracis strains that were recovered from nine anthrax outbreaks in North-East China from 2010 to 2014, and two approved vaccine strains that are currently in use in China. The causes of these cases were partly due to local farmers being unaware of the presence of anthrax, and butchers with open wounds having direct contact with anthrax-contaminated meat products. The genotype of five of the seven recovered strains was A.Br.001/002 sub-lineage, which was concordant with previously published research. The remaining two cases belongs to the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage. Both of these strains displayed an identical SNR pattern, which was the first time that this genotype was identified in North-East China. Strengthening education in remote villages of rural China is an important activity aimed at fostering attempts to prevent and control anthrax. The genotype of the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine No.II was A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 for the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine Non-capsulated. Further studies of their characteristics are clearly warranted.
    PMID: 26308449 [PubMed – in process] PMCID: PMC4550413 Free PMC Article

  23. DXer said

    Tom Ridge, the former Homeland Secretary (from 2003-2005), this week reportedly has said that “al-Qaida did experiments on anthrax on animals.”

    We need a top report to ask Mr. Ridge what strain of anthrax was used. Was it Ames strain such as reportedly detected by the CIA at the Afghanistan laboratory?

    • DXer said

      I heard him to say (and I listened more than once) “al-Qaeda did experiments on anthrax IN animals” — but I may have misheard.

  24. DXer said

    Former FBI Agent’s Connolly’s 10-page brief on appeal was short and sweet.

    Ex-FBI agent appeals murder conviction

    Without my having seen the brief, decision or legal precedent, I see the surface appeal and logic of his argument.

    Unless there is controlling precedent, I wouldn’t underestimate what the reviewing court might do.

    It’s rough going in the FBI when the organization makes you the fall guy.

    The wisest course is never to obstruct justice — never do anything that you wouldn’t want your mother, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA or Secretary of thr Army McHugh (or your secretary) to know.

    Black Mass Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch Crime Drama HD

  25. DXer said

    In a May 2015 article on Bioattribution, Randall Murch, who led the FBI’s Amerithrax scientific evidence in the first months, discussed microbial forensics:

    “Microbial forensics is defined as “the development and application of forensic science and necessary sciences to investigative problems Involving biological threat agents, their by-products (toxins) and associated physical evidence”. In essence, microbial forensics seeks to help answer: “What was the agent used and its source? How was it prepared and disseminated? Where and how did the illicit activity take place? Who was involved?” Microbial forensics leverages a host of other basic and applied sciences that are not common to traditional forensic sciences; e.g. microbiology, microbial ecology, public health epidemiology, microbial genomics and bioinformatics, toxinology, and process engineering. Microbial forensics incorporates the investigative, forensic and legal perspectives and requirements to answer relevant investigative and legal questions. Leaders in microbial forensics are very mindful of these issues and activities to improve forensic science broadly. It requires specialized expertise, training, equipment and instrumentation, and facilities which are more akin to public health and infectious disease laboratories, but also with the capacity to exploit physical evidence for classical purposes that is or could be contaminated with hazardous materials. Since its origins, microbial forensics has evolved considerably based on new science, and the experience garnered from prior events such as the anthrax mailing attacks in the U.S. in 2001 (Breeze et al 2005, Budowle et al 2010, Cliff et al 2012, National Research Council 2014). The best quality of science that meets or exceeds scientific and legal standards or policy expectations is sought (Budowle et al 2008, Murch and Bahr 2010), even with advanced technologies (Budowle et al 2014).”

  26. DXer said

    How a Domino’s pizza crust led police to a suspect in mysterious D.C. slayings

    Tests on the pizza crust were conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to a law enforcement source. (Last month, the District’s own crime lab was ordered to suspend all DNA casework after a national organization that governs DNA laboratories concluded that the new lab’s procedures were “insufficient and inadequate.”)

    The DNA profile from the crust could be matched to convicts or suspects in other crimes from either local, state or federal databases.

    “The reason why this works for law enforcement is that most of these guys are recidivists,” Kobilinsky said. “If they were not in the database, [investigators] wouldn’t be able to identify them.”

    With a potential match in the database, investigators would then need to test an actual DNA sample taken from the suspect — a cheek swab, usually — and compare it to the sample taken from the crime scene. At that point, investigators would be more certain that they were looking for the right person.

    Human error is, of course, possible. But in general, Kobilinsky says, DNA evidence — especially from a high-quality saliva sample that one might get from a bitten pizza crust — is pretty accurate.

    “It’s almost redundant to say that DNA remains the gold standard of forensics,” Kobilinsky said. “And compared to any other type of analysis, DNA is at the highest level. It’s in an exalted status.”

  27. DXer said

    South Asia al-Qaida group video claims responsibility for blogger murders

    “The new video – titled “The Dust Will Never Settle Down: From France to Bangladesh” – links the killings in south Asia to attacks in Europe earlier this year.”

    Bangladesh, which has struggled to contain Islamic extremism in recent years, was shaken earlier this year by the murder of Avijit Roy, an American citizen of local origin and atheist writer, and Washiqur Rahman, 27, died of serious injuries inflicted an assault in Dhaka in March.

    In 2013 Ahmed Rajib Haider, another atheist blogger, was hacked to death outside his home in the Bangladeshi capital.


    In September last year Shakil Auj, a respected scholar of Islamic studies known for his moderate views, was shot dead in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi.

    The video claims “these assassinations are part of a series of operations initiated by the different branches of al-Qaida on the directions of our respected leader Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahiri and it is equally part of our commitment to fulfill the oath of Sheikh Osama [bin Laden].”


    Support for violent extremist organisations such as al-Qaida still remains marginal among the more than half billion Muslims in the region.


    Contrary to the pundits who just associate Al Qaeda with a “big bang,” a key modus operandi of the Vanguards of Conquest was targeted assassination and it was widely known known that Zawahiri was seeking to weaponize anthrax for use against US targets. The Egyptian Islamic Jihad group specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian government officials, including Cabinet ministers. The group had a “hit list” that included tens of Egyptians to be killed by the group, including journalists. In May 1987, a Major General was shot outside his home in Cairo. Several EIJ members and two Islamist Group members were arrested in connection with the attack. In November 1990, six members of EIJ were arrested in connection with the murders of People’s Assembly Speaker and five security men on October 12, 1990. The EIJ’s military wing, the Vanguards of Conquest, launched a violent campaign in March 1992. Of 223 killed in the first year or two, 67 were policemen, 76 were Islamic militants, 36 were civilian Christian Copts, and three were foreign tourists. Prosecutors and policemen would be targeted to avenge torture. By April 1995, 700 had been killed. Al-Jihad has had a role in most foreign terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies over the past 20 years. The group is most well known for its first, the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

    In August 1993, the same year as the bombing of the World Trade Center, al-Jihad attempted to assassinate Egyptian Interior Minister by firing on his motorcade and detonating a homemade bomb. The group also made an attempt that year against Prime Minister with an explosion which occurred about 500 yards from his home as his motorcade passed. A 15-year-old girl standing at a nearby bus stop was killed. EIJ issued a statement claiming the action was to avenge the recent death sentences. In 1992, Islamic Jihad activists murdered an author, Faraj Fodah, who had openly supported Israeli-Egyptian peace. The secular columnist in his last article had suggested that the militants were motivated by sexual frustration more than politics. In March 1994 Egypt’s higher military Court passed death sentences in absentia that included Tharwat Salah Shehata, Yasser al-Sirri, ‘Isam Muhammad ‘Abd-al-Rahman for the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sedki on November 25, 1993. In 1994 al-Jihad militants were linked to two unsuccessful attempts to bomb the Israeli and U.S. embassies in Manila. In June 1995, the Vanguards of Conquest claimed responsibility for a failed assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In November 1995, an EIJ suicide car bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan killed 17 and injured 59. An Egyptian with Canadian citizenship, Ahmad Saeed Kadr (Khadr), was charged in connection with the bombing. Kadr worked as the regional director of Human Concern International, a Canadian relief agency in Peshawar, and was alleged to have moved money through the aid agency from Afghanistan to Pakistan to pay for the operation. In December 1995, the Vanguards of Conquest sent a communiqué warning Pakistan to stop extraditing militants to Egypt, or “it will pay a heavy price.” That month, Egyptian Security forces arrested 56 terrorists after being tipped off by an EIJ informer. The group was accused of planning to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak on 1995 using 550 pounds of explosives to blow up the President’s motorcade.

    In November 1997 after the killing in Luxor, Egypt, of 58 tourists by Al Gamaa Al Islamiyaa, the Vanguards of Conquest warned that orders had “already been given for attacks on Americans and Zionists not only in Egypt but elsewhere.” In February 1998 Al Jihad was one of the founding signatories involved in the creation of the World Islamist Front for the Jihad against Jews and the Crusaders (World Islamist Front). The Front subsequently issued a fatwa calling for the killing of Americans worldwide and the expulsion of Americans from the holy land and Jews from Jerusalem. Egyptian Islamist sources declared that the release of the statement marked Al Zawahiri’s, and Al Jihad’s, return to the field of active terrorist groups.

    In June 1998 Egyptian security authorities arrest seventeen members on charges of forming an Al Jihad cell in east Cairo. Resulting confessions revealed that Al Jihad was planning to assassinate a number of public figures and security officers. That month, Jihad members al-Najjar (head of Al Jihad in Albania), and Majed Mustapha were arrested in Albania, reportedly with the aid of the Central Intelligence Agency, and extradited to Egypt in late June 1998. An August 1998 Statement issued by the Information Office of the Jihad Group in Egypt vowed revenge on the United States for the extradition of three Al Jihad members from Albania to Egypt.

    In September 1998, a number of senior EIJ and IG leaders in London were arrested, including the EIJ cell members who had faxed the claim of responsibility for the embassy bombings. In April 1999, after verdicts in the “Returnees from Albania,” the Vanguards of Conquest and Al Jihad issue separate threats of retaliation. Of the 107 accused, 87 defendants were found guilty, including Canadian Mahmoud Mahjoub. The day of the bombing, shortly after the explosions, EIJ military commander Mabruk called Canadian VOC member Jaballah and told him to call the London cell members and tell them he could be reached at Shehata’s residence. Shehata was Jaballah’s brother-in-law. The London cell members then issued a claim of responsibility for the blasts. That year, the group also planned an unsuccessful attack on the U.S. Embassy in Albania.

    Throughout these years, an estimated 70 Egyptian militants were rendered by the US to Cairo prior to 9/11 and the anthrax mailings. The fact that targeted assassination was the modus operandi of the US-based islamists — and that the motivation was retaliation for the detention of senior leaders and to create leverage aimed at their release — was established by the first of a series of terrorist attacks in the US — the assassination of radical rabbi Meir Kahane by Egyptian Nosair, who had emigrated from Egypt in 1981. In his address book, Nosair had written the names of some Jewish officials, to include two judges who recently had extradited an Arab terrorist. Nosair’s job had been to protect the blind sheikh in the US. He was a friend of Ali Mohammed who stayed with him when he came to New York. The commentators who argued that Al Qaeda just goes for the “big bang” were overlooking the modus operandi of the Vanguards and what was known about Ayman’s biological program through “open source” materials.

    In his March 2007 confession to a military tribunal, KSM admitted to having been involved in a plot to assassinate a number of former American presidents (including Jimmy Carter), Pope John Paul II and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. In December 2007, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. In January 2008, it was revealed that Jabarah, the go-between KSM and Hambali had vowed to avenge the death of a friend by killing FBI agents and prosecutors he knew and apparently intended to use some steak knives he had secreted. To suggest that Zawahiri and his colleagues do not use targeted assassination as their modus operandi — indeed, to not appreciate that it is the EIJ’s key modus operandi — totally misses the mark.

    • DXer said

      Not just assassination was Zawahiri’s modus operandi — deadly letters to symbolic targets were a signature for his group.

      Elton Simpson is in the news today. But there was much to learn from Lance Williams’ piece in the San Francisco Chronicle 14 years ago — it was an eye-opening profile of Khalid Dahab, a Cairo Medical School drop-out who recruited US operatives for Al Qaeda. He was trained by Bin Laden’s head of intelligence, former US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed, to make booby-trapped letters. Ali Mohammed had recruited him while he was student at Cairo Medical in the early 1980s. The article was based on statements made in a Cairo court proceeding.

      Williams reports that Bin Laden personally congratulated Dahab, an Egyptian- born US Citizen, a Silicon Valley car salesman and member of Zawahri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest, for recruiting Islamist Americans into al Qaeda. The account of Dahab’s confession was first published in the October 10, 2001 edition of the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. Dahab said he and Bin Laden’s head of intelligence, former U.S. Army Sgt. Ali Mohamed. Ali Mohamed was also a Silicon Valley resident. Ali Mohamed had traveled to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s to report to bin Laden on the success the two were having in recruiting Americans. Bin Laden told them that recruiting terrorists with American citizenship was a top priority.

      Ali Mohamed has admitted role in planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, killing more than 200 people.

      Williams wrote: “Dahab’s confession supports the view of many terrorism experts that al Qaeda has “sleeper” operatives on station in the United States for future terrorist attacks.” Khaled Duran, an author and terrorism expert who has written about the Silicon Valley cell, said the recruits would be expected to “fade into the woodwork” until the organization needed them, he said. Williams continues: “His story, obtained from accounts of Egyptian court proceedings and interviews with people who knew him, is entwined with that of Mohamed, a former Egyptian military officer and aide to bin Laden who recruited Dahab into al Qaeda, brought him to America and became his handler.”

      Handsome and outgoing, Dahab spoke excellent English. He said he was from a wealthy Alexandria family. His mother was a physician and he was planning a career in medicine.

      “But Dahab told acquaintances he had been radicalized by a tragedy that happened when he was a schoolboy: his father, he claimed, had been among 108 people killed in the 1973 crash of a Cairo-bound Libyan Arab Airlines plane that was shot down by Israeli fighter jets when it strayed over the Sinai Peninsula, which at the time was occupied by Israel. He claimed that his father’s death — and Egypt’s failure to avenge it — had turned him against the Egyptian government and against Israel and the United States, as well. He said he was drawn toward Islamic Jihad, a radical movement that had assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981 in an effort to remake Egypt into a fundamentalist Muslim state.”

      Williams reports that it was while a medical student i in about 1984, according to his confession, that Dahab met Mohamed, who then was an officer in the Egyptian commando forces and a Jihad operative planning to emigrate to the United States. Dahab came to the United States in 1986, obtaining a student visa by saying he wanted to study medicine. He rented an apartment in Santa Clara, where Ali Mohamed now lived with his American wife. He dropped the name Dahab, calling himself Khaled Mohamed or Ali Mohamed, the same name used by the man who had recruited him. “He sometimes claimed, falsely,” Williams explains, “that he had been a physician in Egypt, said people who met him.”

      “In 1992, Dahab married a junior college student from a tiny town in South Dakota whom he met while lawn-bowling in Santa Clara. His third wife converted to Islam. They had four children, and the marriage helped him win citizenship, acquaintances said. The family settled in a duplex near Santa Clara High School. Dahab struggled to support his family, court records show. He worked as a maintenance man at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara, then at National Semiconductor, then as a $30,000-per-year car salesman in San Jose.” In the mid-1990s, despite financial problems, “[h]e was often abroad, traveling extensively in the Middle East, vacationing in Pakistan, telling associates he was starting a chemical business in Egypt.”

      “In 1995, using a fake passport and identity documents, Dahab and Ali Mohammed smuggled Zawahiri into the US from Afghanistan for a covert fund-raising tour. Dahab reports that part of the money financed the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan. Dahab also said that at Mohamed’s direction he had gone to terrorist camps in Afghanistan in 1990 and trained guerrilla fighters to fly hang gliders. He said Islamic Jihad was planning a hand-glider assault to liberate imprisoned Jihad leaders, some of whom had been locked up since the assassination of Sadat.”

      A former friend remembers that Dahab turned up in the parking lot at the Al- Noor Mosque in Santa Clara, driving a station wagon with a hang glider in the back and saying he was bound for Afghanistan. “He said, ‘I am going to take (the aircraft) to Afghanistan and help the mujahedeen — I am going to take it over there and train people to fly it,’ ” the friend said. “People said, ‘Oh, you crazy guy — they thought he was joking.’ ” Jihad later canceled the attack, Dahab said in his confession.”

      Williams continues: “Meanwhile, Dahab said Mohamed gave him military training and taught him how to make letter bombs. Dahab said he had also worked as an al Qaeda communications specialist, aiding terrorists inside Egypt by patching through their calls to other operatives in Afghanistan and the Sudan. This helped the terrorists plan operations while avoiding electronic surveillance by Egyptian security forces who routinely wiretapped calls between Egypt and countries that harbored jihad terrorists.

      Also in the 1990s, Dahab said, he and Mohamed were told to begin recruiting U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern heritage. Dahab said the recruitment project had first been outlined to him by an al Qaeda fighter named Abdel Aziz Moussa al Jamal, who, according to Arabic press accounts, recently surfaced in Islamabad, Pakistan, serving as translator for Taliban envoy Abdul Salam Zaeef. On another visit to Afghanistan, Dahab said, he and Mohamed discussed the project with Zawahiri and bin Laden.” “Dahab told Egyptian authorities he and Mohamed had found 10 recruits, all of them naturalized U.S. citizens who had been born in the Middle East. The account of the confession did not name the recruits or provide other details about them.”

      Williams explains that Dahab was arrested and sent to an Egyptian prison. “By 1998, Dahab was spending more and more time abroad, and he told a family law judge in San Jose that he intended to move his family back to Egypt. In August 1998, while Dahab was in Egypt, al Qaeda mounted suicide attacks on the embassies in East Africa. Within weeks Ali Mohamed was arrested for complicity in the attack. He pled guilty. .

      In October 1998, the Egyptian military moved to crush Islamic Jihad by arresting more than 70 of the organization’s leaders. Dahab decided to flee, and on Oct. 28 booked a flight to the United States. According to Dahab acquaintances, Egyptian security police boarded the plane shortly before takeoff and took him away in handcuffs. Dahab confessed his involvement with al Qaeda and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.”

      Sleepers, the former head of Bin Laden’s intelligence (and a former US Army sergeant) Ali Mohammed testified, “don’t wear the traditional beards and they don’t pray at the mosques.” An Al Qaeda encyclopedia, Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants, advises sleepers to “have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation,” and for men not to wear a beard. The book also instructs sleepers not to denounce unjustice faced by the ummah, and not to use common Islamic expressions such as “peace be on you,” nor to go to Islamic locations, such as mosques.

      Consider the example of another “sleeper” or operative, Tarik Hamdi of Herndon, Virginia. ABC News employed him to help secure an interview with bin Laden in early 1998. ABC News transported Hamdi to Afghanistan, unaware that his real purpose in going there was to carry a replacement battery to bin Laden for the satellite telephone he would later use to order the embassy bombings in East Africa. ABC was also unaware that the CIA had planted a listening device in the phone. The successful CIA operation, however, did not serve to prevent the planning of the embassy operation. Ironically, it facilitated it. If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

      Dina Corsi, more than any one, should take that lesson to heart.

    • DXer said

      As explained by author Peter Lance in Triple Cross, after the 1998 embassy bombings, a ten-member federal team secretly entered the California residence of Ali Mohamed, Zawahiri’s former head of intelligence.’ They copied Mohamed’s hard drives and removed a series of CD-ROM and floppy disks. A memo titled “Cocktail” appeared to be a draft manual on sleeper cell structure.

      The file on cell structure read in part:

      “Every member knows how to do everything.

      Every member has a legal job as a cover (Student, worker, trade).

      Safety is the main concern, so the contingency plan is very important. Before working on the target you have (to) specify a rally point to meet in case of separation for any reason.

      The communications between the different groups are conducted through the dead drop only.

      Each group does not know anything about the other group, even Majmouat (the word means “the collected” or “the collection”). Al-qeyada does not know how many group(s) under its leadership. Only the group know each other because the members of one group only working with each other.”

      Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim took on Ali Mohammed’s role. His alias is easier to remember — Abu Jihad al-Masri. Al Masri means the Egyptian. Also known as Al-Hukaymah, he was the author of the description of the Amerithrax investigation in 2002. Born in 1961, Abu Jihad al-Masri joined the Egyptian Islamic Group in 1979. He was arrested in 1981 after Sadat’s assassination. He once was arrested alongside the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Hukaymah is reportedly connected to the blind sheikh’s successor Taha, the Islamic Group head who was in close touch in 1999 and 2000 with the NY-based US postal employee Sattar, the blind sheik’s “surrogate.”. Al-Hukaymah dedicated the treatise “[t]o the pious and the hidden who are not known when they come and who are not missed when they disappear — To those whom their God will answer when they pray to Him. To all the eyes that are vigilant late at night to bring victory to this religion.”

      The introduction of the 152-page book starts:

      “The Manhattan raid led to a radical change in the perception of American Security. After the northern half of the continent had been isolated from the rest of the world and its threats by two oceans, it now came from inside. The surprise hit the symbols of American power in its economic and security dimensions.”

      Published at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website ( by the one-time EIJ shura member al-Sibai, the section on the anthrax investigation appears to have been written in 2002.

      “The Anthrax Scandal:

      Over many months, there was an excited search for the person responsible for the worst biological terror attack on American soil. Six letters sent by mail to Leahy, Daschle, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, The New York Post and the offices of the National Enquirer in Florida, led to the sickening of 18 people and five deaths. The crime was especially scary because anthrax, which is a complex powder that scatters in the atmosphere, had spilled from the envelopes and spread through parts of the mail system and contaminated a Senate building. One year later, the main post office in Washington had not yet opened.

      The FBI is under great pressure to close this case, and the anthrax criminal is supposed to be alive and free. Two members of the Senate have asked to receive regular reports about this investigation from the FBI, and they have become increasingly impatient.”

      After a lengthy discussion of the focus on Hatfill, the author explains,

      “Until the investigators find material evidence that connects a person to the crime, they are forced to speculate about the motives and methods of the criminal. They are still casting a wide net. Law enforcement sources say they have issued hundreds of subpoenas and they are analyzing thousands of documents in search of new evidence.

      The evidence may be small and unseen – sweat or an odor on an envelope – but that is all that they need in order to attract the dogs.”

      Al-Hukaymah pointed to the Aldrich Ames incident and the FBI’s inability to find the perpetrator of the anthrax mailings as evidence that U.S intelligence can be defeated. Aldrich Ames, head of counterintelligence relating to the Russians, had a different rolex for different days of the week. He drove a new jaguar to work. Aldrich told the CIA that his money came from his wife’s foreign inheritance, and the CIA never required meaningful corroboration. So we should not be that surprised when someone known, to borrow Dr. Alibek’s description to me, as an “Islamic hardliner,” is given access to Center for Biodefense and ATCC facilities, to include a program funded by DARPA’s $13 million during the relevant period. Perhaps the focus should not be on more money for biodefense but on doing a better job at maintaining security. Perhaps focus should be on avoiding proliferation of know-how.

      Al-Hukaymah reportedly was Ayman’s connection to Mamdouh Ismail, an Egyptian defense attorney and a former member of “the Jihad group” who since the 1980’s has represented various Egyptians accused of terrorism offenses in Egypt. Mamdouh Ismail represented al-Nashar, the biochemist who was an expert on polymerization and had a key to the 7/7 bomber’s flat. Ismail was one of several hundred rounded up following the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. He served three years. Ismail was arrested on March 29, 2007. In 1999, Ismail was refused permission to establish an Islamist political party with the help of fellow lawyer attorney al-Zayyat. After the blind sheik said in March 1999 that an attempt through a political party should not be attempted, Al-Zayat and Mamdouh Ismail deferred and Attorney Ismail has publicly objected to a reconciliation between Cairo and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The two had worked with EIJ shura member al-Sibai before he took refuge in the UK. Mamdouh Ismail now is accused of complicity in an “Egyptian project” of al-Qaeda, taking his orders from Ayman al-Zawahiri via al-Qaeda propaganda chief al-Hukaymah and the UK-based EIJ publicist Hani al-Sibai. Both al-Hukaymah and Al-Sibai deny the charge. Al Sibai considers himself historian of the movement and published his diaries in Al Hayat in 2004. He is at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website that published the treatise that included the discussion of Amerithrax.

      Al-Hukaymah was apparently killed at the end of last month in a missile strike in late October 2008. Cairo-based IANA writer Kamal Habib says that the man was a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad that had assassinated Sadat but was part of a second generation, not part of the first generation responsible for the assassination. Abu Jihad al-Masri was said by US authorities to operate in Iran as the head of media and propaganda for al-Qaeda, and “may also be the Chief of External Operations for al Qaeda”. The name Abu Jihad assumed name meaning roughly “father of the holy war.”

      Al-Hukaymah appeared in an August 2006 as-Sahab (al-Qaeda) video to announce the merger of al-Qaeda with part of the Egyptian Islamic Group. Ayman al-Zawahiri introduces him.. The video claims that al-Hukaymah joined al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in 1979 and was arrested in connection with the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Al Sadat in 1981, and subsequently rearrested several times in various countries. Zawahiri claims in that video that Muhammad al-Islambouli (brother of assassin Khalid al-Islambouli) had joined al-Qaeda with al-Hukaymah.

      In addition to the analysis of the American intelligence community, the next month he wrote a short piece entitled Towards A New Strategy in Resisting the Occupier that appeared on a jihadist website. Abu Jihad Al-Masri emphasized the need to consider public opinion in planning operations. He discouraged beheadings or operations that can cause large scale casualties to innocent Muslims.

    • DXer said

      If you want to know how Zawahiri views deceit on such issues as battle plans and spying, read his own words online. Mark A. Gabriel, PhD, once taught at Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote a very lucid book Journey Into The Mind Of An Islamist Terrorist. He discusses a booklet Zawahiri wrote titled COVERT OPERATIONS which is available online in Arabic. Gabriel explains:

      “Ayman al-Zawahiri leads a busy terrorist organization, and he must solve practical problems. For example, he may want some Al-Qaeda members to blend in and live in the United States. If these men wore full beards and went to ultraconservative mosques to pray, they they would arouse suspicion and get put on a watch list. Instead, al-Zawahiri would want these operatives to go undercover and blend into society. However, these devout Muslims will not go undercover unless they believe they have permission to do so from the teachings of Islam. As a result, al-Zawahiri wrote a booklet titled COVERT OPERATIONS, which goes deep into Islamic teaching and history to describe how deceit can be a tool in Muslim life.”

      The entire book by al-Zawahiri is posted in the Arabic language website for al-Tawheed Jihad (The Pulpit of Monotheism and Jihad). Zawahiri concluded that “hiding one’s faith and being secretive was allowed especially in time of fear from prosecution of the infidels.” Indeed, his student group in Cairo in the 1970s was known as the “shaven beards.” The founder of one of the cells merged with Ayman’s to form the Egyptian Islamic Jihad then wrote for Al-Timimi’s charity IANA.

      Al-Zawahiri discussed two specific ways Muhammad used deceit in battle: (1) keeping battle plans secret, and (2) spying. The author writes: “Al-Zawahiri specifically gave radicals permission not to pray in the mosque or attend Friday sermons if it would compromise their position.” He noted that Al-Zawahiri sealed his argument with a very important quote from Ibn Taymiyyah (who was quoted by Al-Timimi upon his his indictment). Ever the practical man, Muhammad approved lying in three circumstances (1) during war, (2) to reconcile between two feuding parties, and (3) to a spouse in order to please her. Many Salafist Jihadis have more than one wife and so lying to your spouse — not telling you have another wife — might come in handy.

    • DXer said

      When dealing with Ayman Zawahiri, it never pays to underestimate the importance to him in the 1990s of the terrorist infrastructure in Brooklyn. The FBI’s analyst Dina Corsi apparently did precisely that in overlooking Adnan El-Shukrijumah’s role in the 911 attacks.

      In the late 1990s, Steve Emerson traced the development of the “Mekhtab Al-Khidemat Al-Mujahideen,” or the “Office of Services of the Mujahideen,” from its formation in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the early 1980’s to the Al Kifah Refugee Centers which spread throughout the United States and internationally. Zawahiri visited Brooklyn’s al Farouk mosque, which was part of Khidmat Services in Peshawar and was used to funnel jihadists and funds to Afghanistan. The blind sheik’s lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, visited in 1990. Islambouli was head of the office in Peshawar. In a 1990 documentary by SBS-TV “Cutting Edge” series entry called “Sword of Islam,” Islambouli said: “Islam grows on the severed limbs and blood of martyrs. Islam will be back, and take over the world.”

      The CIA’s December 4, 1998 PDB to President Clinton explained that Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin, was planning an attack using aircraft and other means on the United States. After Bojinka, which can be thought of as the origin for the 911 planning, Islambouli had been in a cell with KSM in planning the attacks. KSM came to be head of the cell planning to use weaponized anthrax on the United States. Therefore, it is important to understand who Islambouli knew and consider his historical connection to the al-Farook mosque in Brooklyn, New York.

      Now the surest way to know who Islambouli knew would be to go back to the late 1970s leading up to Sadat’s assassination and study membership in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad cells at the universities. But the story also can fruitfully be picked up a decade later in the context of Islambouli’s ongoing connection to al-Farook. The Al-Kifah Refugee Center had found its home in the early 1990s at the Al-Farooq mosque on Atlantic Avenue. Some of the men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing worshipped at the mosque, as did the blind sheik’s bodyguard El-Sayyed Nosair, who killed the radical Israeli Rabbi Meir Kahane.

      The Brooklyn office of Makhtab Khidmat al-Mujahiden was staffed by Egyptian Islamic Jihad operative Khaled Dahab, a used car salesman from Santa Clara. Dahab handled the logistics for terrorists out of his home. He patched through calls for Egyptian Islamic Jihad members and transferred money. Ayman called Dahab periodically — once to price telephone surveillance equipment. Dahab at last report was in jail in Egypt. Dahab had been recruited by Ali Mohammed, the former US Army sergeant who was Bin Laden’s chief of security during the move from Afghanistan to Sudan. Ali Mohammed helped conduct the surveillance leading much later to the embassy bombings. He trained Dahab on how to make letter bombs.

      When Ali Mohammed would visit Brooklyn, he would stay with a fellow Egyptian Nosair, who assassinated Meir Kahane. Nosair had been one of the men practicing with the men at the Calverton shooting range in Long Island under Mohammed’s instruction (along with some of the WTC 1993 bombers).

      In 1992, Mohammed Islambouli, was in regular fax contact from his Peshawar Mujahedeen Office in Peshawar, Pakistan and the Brooklyn Al-Kifah office. One 1992 memo from Islambouli’s Peshawar office read: “The military wing of the Jihad seals its news with success everywhere. However, the matter is the hands of the leadership to form the Islamic government to manage the country.”

      Sheik Abdel-Rahman would lecture regularly at al-Farook. He would visit Islambouli in Pakistan from Brooklyn in 1989 and during the early 1990s. It was not until April 1993, upon a crackdown on the foreign fighters, that Islambouli and Zawahiri had to move their operations into Afghanistan. Islambouli moved a scant 100 miles. Before disappearing into Afghanistan, Islambouli told the press the group would continue its holy war against the Egyptian government. In 1993, after he had to leave Peshawar, Islambouli lived at the Samarkhiel Guest House in Jalabad, a town in eastern Afghanistan three hours by road from the Pakistan border. In April 1993, a fax to Western news media threatened American interests if anything happened to Abdel-Rahman. At the time, Egyptian Islamic Group had about 200 members in Jalabad.

      Even back then, moreover, there was a connection between Brooklyn and the Moro National Liberation Front in the Philippines. For example, a 1992 memo read:

      “We urge you to support them and to support them and to contribute to their developments, programs and projects in order that they may do their part in accomplishing our jihad and mission of raising the World of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the Message of our Prophet Muhammad (saw) to the Highest.” Another memo from the Moro National Liberation Front read: “THIS IS TO CERTIFY that according to the records of this office, that Mr. Abdul Zindani had shown his sincerity, loyalty, and devotion to his work and noble project as Chairman of:


      P.O. Box – 294, Brooklyn NY -11217

      Telephone No. 718-797-9207

      We urge you to help all kinds of support needed to all concern Islamic movements, specially our Muslim Mujahidin around the Globe including those in Bosnia Herzegovinia, Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Kurdisn, Burma, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Lebanon, India, Trinidad, Somalia and Bangsamoro in Southern Philippines.”

      By 1995, Nosair was in prison and a defendant in a trial for sedition along with the Blind Sheik. The father of Adnan El-Shukrijumah (“Jafar the Pilot”) once translated for the Blind Sheik and was a character witness for Clement Rodney Hampton one of the defendants in the 1995 sedition trial. Jafar’s father was Bilal Philip’s mentor. Bilal Philips in turn was Al-Timimi’s mentor (and he continued to be in contact with him). Hampton-El testified that Philips was the head of “Project Bosnia.” He explained that Philips funneled money from Saudi Arabia to pay for noncombatant support services for the mujahideen in Bosnia. Project Bosnia also recruited combatants and men for paramilitary training. Numerous cities would come to have subsidiary Al Kifah offices. Aafia Siddiqui would be associated with the one in Boston, which after WTC 1993 was renamed Care International. The Care head was MIT MSA Imam Suheil Laher. He worked with Aafia in fundraising.

      In 2003, prosecutors alleged in a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court that a Yemeni cleric raised millions, some of it through Al-Farooq mosque, that was then funneled to al-Qaida terrorists. Prosecutors alleged that Sheik Mohammed Al Hasan Al-Moayad used the mosque to raise money for Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network in 1999. He allegedly told an FBI informant that he supplied al-Qaida with more than $20 million, recruits and weapons in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks. The government sought to extradite Al-Moayad and his assistant. The complaint said much of the money came from contributors in the United States, including the Al-Farooq mosque.

      Also indicted that year was Damrah, who had headed al-Farook in the late 1980s. He moved to Cleveland in 1990 where he would become head of the largest mosque in Greater Cleveland. He was indicted in 2003 for failing to disclose, among other things, his association with al-Kifah on a 1993 citizenship application.

      The former President and the former Treasurer of the al-Kifah branch in Boston, Care International, were indicted in May 2005 and charged with lying to authorities investigating the charity’s alleged ties to terrorist organizations. (The organization, now defunct, is not affiliated with the global relief group CARE International.) Muntasser was from Braintree (Boston) and Mubayyid, treasurer until 2003, is from Shrewsbury, about 6 miles from Worcester. Care raised $1.7 million in donations from 1993 to 2001. Care published a pro-jihadist newsletter, al-Hussam, or The Sword. The early April 1993 issue of Al-Hussam was published explaining that it was was the newsletter of Al-Kifah. Care published its first issue of Al-Hussam a couple weeks later, three days after Muntasser signed Care’s Articles of Incorporation. A 1996 newsletter exhorts: “And Time Went By O’ Muslims: Rise!” The group didn’t reveal the funding of mujahidin on its tax forms filed with the government, and did not reveal its links to Al-Kifah. The former President, Muntasser, allegedly failed to tell the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in a 1999 interview about the group’s support for jihad, and did not disclose that on a trip to Pakistan several years earlier, he also traveled to Afghanistan. Care published and distributed an English translation of “Join the Caravan,” a pro-jihad book. Muntasser and Mubayyid were convicted in January 2008, with the judge noting that they were not charged or convicted of a charge relating to terrorism.

      Shortly after 9/11, investigators raided a storage facility and confiscated 18,000 pages of material, 40 videotapes, four computer hard drives, and 100 computer diskettes. When Muntasser applied for permanent U.S. residency in April 1992, he listed the organizations he’d been involved with – groups like the Graduate Student Organization at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, his alma mater, and the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, and “Alkifah Refugee Center, Boston Chapter.” In a superseding indictment filed in March 2007, Al-Monla, president of Care from 1996-98, was similarly accused of lying to federal authorities about the nature of the charity, specifically that it solicited money for jihadists involved in armed conflict overseas. Court records indicate checks deposited into Care International accounts had phrases such as ‘for jihad only’ and ‘Bosnia Jihad fund’ and ‘Chechen Muslim Fighters’ handwritten on the memo lines of donors’ personal checks.” The indictment alleged that the IRS would not have granted nonprofit status had the organization’s true nature been disclosed. The government alleges that Care sent money to several overseas organizations,” such as “Global Relief Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation, Help the Needy and the Holy Land Foundation. Al-Monla was also accused of lying to the FBI about his relationship with Bassam Kanj, a Boston cabdriver who knew fellow Boston cabdrivers and Al Qaeda operatives, al-Marabh and Elzahabi.

      If the federal investigative interest was any indication, it appeared early years that authorities understood that a tree grew in Brooklyn. But then Vincent Lisi took the reins in 2006.

      And Amerithrax botched beyond repair because the CYA instincts of inside-the-beltway government workers kicked in to permanently doom the Amerithrax investigation and cause it to remain unsolved.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ayman Zawahiri always planned on using charities and universities as a cover in developing anthrax as a weapon for use against US targets. FBI analyst Dina Corsi should have known this.

      On August 20, 2001, Saleh Hussayen, who would soon be appointed minister of the Saudi government and put in charge of its two holy mosques, arrived in the United States to meet with some of this country’s most influential fundamentalist Sunni Muslim leaders. He met with officials of the Global Relief Foundation. He also met with IANA representatives in Ann Arbor, Michigan according to court testimony by an FBI agent in the unsuccessful prosecution in Idaho of his nephew Sami Hussayen. IANA promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks. On the night before September 11, Hussayen stayed at a Herndon, Virginia hotel where three of the Saudi hijackers stayed.

      As a Detroit Free Press headline explained in 2004, “Unproven weapons claim led to Islamic charity raid in [mid-December] ‘01.” Global Relief Founder (”GRF”) co-founder Rabih Haddad was associated with Bin Laden’s Makhtab al-Khidamat, which was headed by Mohammed Islambouli in Peshawar.The government froze the assets of the Global Relief Foundation (GRF”) on December 14, 2001, saying it was a financial conduit to terrorists. No warrant had been obtained before the FBI arrived at Global Relief’s headquarters in Bridgeview, Illinois. The search was done pursuant to a provision in FISA that permitted a warrantless search when the Attorney General declares that an emergency situation. The 911’sTerrorist Financing Monograph notes that GRF’s newsletter, “Al-Thilal” (“The Shadow”) openly advocated a militant interpretation of Islam and armed jihad. The 911 Commission reports that the FBI suspected the Executive Director of being affiliated with the blind sheik’s Egyptian Islamic Group. The 911 Commission explains: “In early 2000, Chicago informed Detroit that GRF’s executive director, Chehade, had been calling two Michigan residents. One of these subjects was considered GRF’s spiritual leader and the other, Rabih Haddad, was a major GRF fund-raiser.” Its Chairman, Ann Arbor, Michigan community leader Rabih Haddad was arrested in mid-December 2001 for overstaying his visa. Haddad taught twice a week at an Ann Arbor school and was an assistant to the leader at Ann Arbor’s mosque. He was an imam there. Rabih Haddad was an effective fundraiser for the mosques in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and for the Ann Arbor chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). His students have testified that he stated unequivocally that the attacks on September 11, 2001 were not the acts of true Muslims. Congressman John Conyers, Jr, of Michigan joined several newspapers in suing to force the government to open the hearings. Mr. Conyers argued that Rabih Haddad was being unfairly targeted as a Muslim cleric. After a visit by Congressman Conyers in March 2002, Mr. Haddad was removed from solitary confinement and placed with the general prison population.” Haddad was allowed to make phone calls and for the first time watch television. Mr. Haddad’s lawyer, Ashraf Nubani, of Northern Virginia, said at the time “The government never established, other than smoke screen and innuendo, that he was linked to terrorism.” Attorney Nubani said that his client travelled mostly to Pakistani as part of his relief efforts. Haddad refused to testify before a grand jury unless granted full immunity. As part of DARPA-funded research, Dr. Bruce Ivins of USAMRIID supplied virulent Ames to Ann Arbor researchers whose office by September 2001 was 2 minutes –1 mile — from the mosque where Mr. Haddad was an imam. Although the evidence is “secret” — and Attorney Lambert, the former lead Amerithrax investigator, tells me that nothing will be produced under FOIA — most intelligence is open source.

      The New York Times reported at the time that “Prosecutors said they were keeping some evidence secret to protect terrorism investigations.” It was Haddad’s lawyer who arranged the pro bono representation for the Virginia Paintball defendants, including Al-Timimi. Mohammed Islambouli was head of a cell with KSM planning the attacks on the United States. Mohammed Islambouli led the faction of the Egyptian Islamic Group that joined Al Qaeda. KSM came to spearhead the attack using anthrax on the United States. It was his assistant, al-Hawsawi, who had the anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop. Al-Hawsawi was working with Al-Baluchi to get the 911 hijackers into the country. Al-Baluchi would marry MIT-graduate Aafia Siddiqui. An Assistant United States Attorney asserted in passing in open court, without naming her, that Aafia was willing to participate in an anthrax attack if asked. She had been tasked by “Abu Lubaba” to study germ warfare. Aafia Siddiqui is associated with Ann Arbor addresses near the mosque where her brother and sister-in-law, an MD, lived.

      Global Relief Foundation (“GRF”) and Benevolence International Foundation (”BIF”) attorneys in unison explained that the US had supported Makthab al-Khidamat in Afghanistan in the 1980s and Bosnia in the 1990s. (BIF head Arnaout, a Syrian, was at the meeting at which Al Qaeda was founded.) Investigation of the two charities was well underway prior to 9/11, although plagued by lengthy unnecessary delays emanating from headquarters. The 9/11 Commission Report notes that on April 21, 1999, upon weekly dumpster diving, FBI “agents had recovered from BIF’s trash a newspaper article on bioterrorism, in which someone had highlighted sections relating to the United States’ lack of preparedness for a biological attack.” (Many articles that year quoted famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek who was at George Mason University in Falls Church, Virginia.) As University of Maryland researcher Milton Leitenberg has pointed out, “[u]nfortunately, ten years of widely broadcast public discussion has provided such groups, at least on a general level, with suggestions as to what paths to follow.” The FBI had a better relationship with the CIA in the investigation of BIF than with GRF. The 9/11 Commission noted that “[t]he Chicago agents believed the CIA wanted to shield certain information from the FBI because of fears of revealing sources and methods in any potential criminal litigation in the United States.” Chicago agents benefited from the New York Office files on the two charities but the New York FBI office personnel were overwhelmed and working their own leads. The Illinois-based investigations remained an intelligence gathering exercise with no thought given to a criminal prosecution to disrupt the financing of Al Qaeda until after 9/11. In mid-October 2001, Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones of Louisiana State University told an NPR reporter that an insider could have taken some anthrax from a lab. He didn’t want to be interviewed on tape. ‘If I were to guess,’ he says, ‘it was probably some summer intern talking to a friend in a local bar. The friend said, “Could you get me some?”‘ Hugh-Jones says various protest groups have been scouting for anthrax for years. Respectfully, my friend Hugh-Jones’ view the fact that anthrax was not used again is evidence that Yazid Sufaat was not behind the mailings is uninformed. Yazid Sufaat’s lab was destroyed in early October 2001 ( as early as October 7?) — and then he was captured in December 2001. I hope his counsel lets the affable and murderous Yazid Sufaat testify at his trial that resumes this week.

      In January 2003, the Chairman of Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America, which promoted the views of Bin Laden’s sheiks, was arrested for bouncing a $6,000 check. Dr. Bassem Khafagi operated International Media Group out of his home. Before 911, according to the counsel for Falls Church scientist Ali Al-Timimi, Ann Arbor resident Khafagi was asked about Al-Timimi “purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden — [redacted]” IANA had a spin-off or dba about 1 mile from me in Syracuse, New York that I would pass each day. After the son of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman was captured in mid-February 2003, 100 agents came here to Syracuse and simultaneously interviewed 150 supporters who had given money to the IANA dba or spin-off called “Help The Needy” (HTN). HTN sought donations for the needy in Iraq. The raid was part of OPERATION IMMINENT HORIZON. They moved simultaneously the day and minute they searched Al-Timimi’s townhouse. Khafagi was a good friend of microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi and his personal papers were later found in Al-Timimi’s residence. The implication of what Attorney Lambert, the former lead investigator in Amerithrax, tells me is that none of this will be produced under FOIA absent a Congressional probe.

      In September 2006, federal agents investigating the Muslim charity Life for Relief and Development seized more than $134,000 in cash from the Ann Arbor home of Mujahid Al-Fayadh, a board member and founder of the organization. Dr. Mujahid Al-Fayadh has a Ph. D. in the field of Food Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Al-Fayadh also maintains a B.Sc. and M. Sc. in Dairy and Food Technology. He was the imam and project manager of the Hidaya Muslim Community Association in Ann Arbor. The association operated the Michigan Islamic Academy at Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor where the Global Relief Foundation founder taught twice a week. One mile down the road at Plymouth Park was the company whose researchers Bruce Ivins had supplied Ames strain years ago for DARPA-funded biodefense research. The company was called NanoBio.

      Dr. Tarek Hamouda at NanoBio thanked Louisiana State University researchers for making space available for the research. The LSU had provided four characterized strains while Bruce Ivins had provided virulent Ames. “I decided in 1993 or ‘94 that if there was a terrorist attack using anthrax we had to be able to fingerprint it to tell where it came from, sort of like the casing on a bullet,” Dr. Hugh-Jones said. After the anthrax mailings, “We’ve had subpoenas left, right and center. We were inspected twice by the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hugh-Jones told a reporter. “The FBI is frequently calling in. We’re cooperating closely.” “It very quickly became clear that we have good control over it, and it didn’t come from here,” Martin Hugh-Jones said. “We handle a lot of deadly items very frequently as a matter of routine.”

      The Ann Arbor researchers in December 1999 went to Dugway, a military installation in the remote Utah desert to demonstrate the effectiveness of their biocidal cream on an aerosolized anthrax surrogate. In late August 2001, NanoBio moved in to its new offices from less impressive digs in the basement of a bank.

      Bruce Ivins had supplied its University of Michigan researchers Ames strain a couple years earlier for DARPA-funded biodefense research.

      But the FBI Agent searched for records about that research in February 2005 — which then fueled closer scrutiny of Bruce Ivins. In the end though, the new team of investigators screwed the pooch — and the pooch liked it.

      Amerithrax remains unsolved. We still don’t know who processed and mailed the anthrax in the Fall 2001. We only know that the FBI never proved its “Ivins Theory.”

      You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. And, right now, the FBI’s Dave Hardy — who supervises the FBI’s FOIA operation — remains a big part of the problem.

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

  28. DXer said

    I think Dina Corsi and Vincent Lisi are just two FBI officials who should now encourage the FBI to disclose additional traditional forensic reports — so as to get people on the same page about the Al Qaeda anthrax threat — rather than risk another 9/11 and be blamed for it.

    I have long argued that the “CIA and FBI Dropping the Ball In Anthrax Mailings and 9/11 Involved Same Failure To Track And Intercept Al-Midhar And Nawaf After Meeting At Kuala Lumpur Condo Of Anthrax Lab Tech Sufaat and Anthrax Planner Hambali.”

    NSA ORCON: CIA and FBI Dropping the Ball In Anthrax Mailings and 9/11 Involved Same Failure To Track And Intercept Al-Midhar And Nawaf After Meeting At Kuala Lumpur Condo Of Anthrax Lab Tech Sufaat and Anthrax Planner Hambali
    Posted on January 27, 2012

    But as you know, as a big fan of the FBI. I recognize the difficulties of the many true crime and intelligence mysteries faced. Thus, I have always viewed the Dina Corsi-dropped-the-ball-in-not-revealing-Al-Midhar-and-Nawaf-had-entered-the-US-after-meeting-at-Yazid-Sufaat’s condo — as just an example of 20/20 hindsight, regrettable turf building between agencies etc. The scholarly SPYING BLIND might have addressed some of the bureaucratic tendencies not to share information, I can’t remember.

    But in the small world department, I see that Dina Corsi in her official role of Deputy Assistant Director, Counterintelligence, Intelligence Branch, circulated the email about Kelly’s “ethics opinion” relating to Attorney Lambert, the former lead Amerithrax investigator. (And the merits of that employment litigation are beyond the scope of the blog).

    In checking PACER last night, I came across the email as an exhibit to Attorney Lambert’s Complaint. I didn’t hear from him about it he is very circumspect in addressing things — letting his filings do the talking. (Vincent Lisi who took over the Amerithrax investigation and now leads the Boston Field Office is also on the email being distributed.)

    But you may remember the news report of Richard L. Lambert’s memo about the dangers of compartmentalization to FBI Director Mueller. I think it was in 2004. HIstorically, Lambert (to me) seems the cure to the problem of the compartmentalization that some argue led to this failure in analysis that prevented 9/11 from being avoided.

    The FBI has difficult internal bureaucratic issues to deal with — in a world fraught with controversy and rules (which at the time included “the wall”) and natural personal tendencies and interests. So I think we should try to let them do their job and never forget that hindsight is 20/20. Second-guessing and disagreeing in analysis is inevitable — but should seldom be accompanied by criticism. Robust analysis comes from sharing competing theories. None of us have shown that we could do better — and many of us have shown we could do a lot worse. (For example, I don’t think that the guy who thinks a First Grader wrote the Fall 2001 would ever have made it as an analyst or field agent; similarly, the fellows who think the hijackers did not get on the planes are not going to be applying to Quantico any time soon).

    But I do thnk the FBI is mistaken about Amerithrax. And I think Dina Corsi and Vincent Lisi are two FBI officials who could now encourage the FBI to disclose additional traditional forensic reports — so as to get people on the same page about the Al Qaeda anthrax threat….

    rather than risk another 9/11 and be blamed for it.

    Dr. Ayman Zawahiri is just the sort of murderous guy to take advantage of a second dropped ball. Like Mark Twain said, history may not repeat itself but it often rhymes.

    Background sources:

    Click to access wall.pdf

    The FBI analyst took responsibility for the search within the United States. As the
    information indicated that Mihdhar had last arrived in New York, she began drafting
    what is known as a lead for the FBI’s New York Field Office. A lead relays information
    from one part of the FBI to another and requests that a particular action be taken. Her
    lead was sent on August 28. Because the lead contained information from the NSA
    reports that bore caveats regarding sharing with criminal investigators, the analyst
    included in the lead was not cleared for sharing with agents working on criminal matters.
    She sent the lead to a designated intelligence agent on the relevant squad. The lead
    suggested that the goal of the investigation was to locate Mihdhar, determine his contacts
    and reason for being in the United States, and possibly conduct an interview. 115

    The agent who received the lead forwarded it to his squad supervisor. That same day the
    supervisor forwarded the lead to another designated intelligence agent and requested that
    he open an intelligence case. The supervisor also sent the lead to the case agents
    investigating the Cole attack. One of the Cole case agents read the lead with interest and
    contacted the analyst to obtain more information. The analyst argued) however, that
    because the agent was a designated criminal FBI agent, not an FBI intelligence agent, the
    wall kept him from participating in any search for Mihdhar. In fact, she felt he had to
    destroy his copy of the lead because it contained NSA information from reports that bore
    the sharing caveats. The agent asked the analyst to get an opinion from the FBI’s
    National Security Law Unit (NSLU) on whether he could open a criminal case on
    Mihdhar. 116

    Subsequently, the analyst sent an email to the Cole case agent explaining that according
    to the NSLU, the case could only be opened as an intelligence matter, and that if Mihdhar
    was found, only designated intelligence agents could conduct or even be present at any
    interview. The case agent angrily responded that there seems to be some confusion
    regarding the wall because in his view it only applied to FISA information. The analyst
    replied that she was not making up the rules; she claimed they were in the relevant
    manual and “ordered by the Court and every office in the FBI is required to
    follow-them including FBI NY.” What she did not tell the agent was that she had sought
    and received permission to share the NSA information with criminal agents. Thus, there
    was no reason for her continued insistence that the New York agent could not keep a
    copy of the lead.

    The Agent

    Did the C.I.A. stop an F.B.I. detective from preventing 9/11?


    Wilshire did want to know, however, what the F.B.I. knew. He asked Dina Corsi, another F.B.I. analyst, to show three surveillance photos from the Malaysia meeting to several I-49 agents. The pictures showed Mihdhar and Hazmi and a man who, the C.I.A. believed, resembled Quso, the Cole cameraman. Wilshire told Corsi that one of the men was named Khaled al-Mihdhar, but he did not explain why the pictures had been taken, and he did not mention that Mihdhar had a U.S. visa.

    According to the 9/11 Commission Report, on June 11th a C.I.A. supervisor went with the F.B.I. analyst and Corsi to New York to meet with F.B.I. case agents on the Cole investigation; Soufan, who was still in Yemen, did not attend. The meeting started in mid-morning, with the New York agents briefing the C.I.A. supervisor, Clark Shannon, for three or four hours on the progress of their investigation. Corsi then showed the three Malaysia photographs to her F.B.I. colleagues. They were high-quality surveillance photos. One, shot from a low angle, showed Mihdhar and Hazmi standing beside a tree in Malaysia. Shannon wanted to know if the agents recognized anyone. The I-49 agents asked who was in the pictures, and when and where they had been taken. “Were there any other photographs of this meeting?” one of the F.B.I. agents demanded. Shannon refused to say. Corsi promised that “in the days and weeks to come” she would try to get permission to pass that information along. The meeting became heated. The F.B.I. agents sensed that these photographs pertained directly to crimes they were trying to solve, but they couldn’t elicit any further information from Shannon. Corsi finally dropped the name Khaled al-Mihdhar. Steve Bongardt, Soufan’s top assistant in the Cole investigation, asked Shannon to provide a date of birth or a passport number to go with Mihdhar’s name. A name by itself was not sufficient to prevent his entry into the United States. Bongardt had just returned from Pakistan with a list of thirty names of suspected Al Qaeda associates and their dates of birth, which he had given to the State Department. That was standard procedure—the first thing most investigators would do. But Shannon declined to provide the additional information. Top C.I.A. officials had not authorized him to disclose the vital details of Mihdhar’s U.S. visa, his association with Hazmi, and their affiliation with Khallad and Al Qaeda.

    There was a fourth photograph of the Malaysia meeting that Shannon did not produce. That was a picture of Khallad, the one-legged operative. Thanks to Soufan’s interrogation of Quso, the Cole investigators had an active file on Khallad and were preparing to indict him. Knowledge of that fourth photo would likely have prompted O’Neill to demand that the C.I.A. turn over all information relating to Khallad and his associates. By withholding the picture of Khallad attending the meeting with the future hijackers, the C.I.A. may in effect have allowed the September 11th plot to proceed. That summer, Mihdhar returned to Yemen and then went to Saudi Arabia, where, presumably, he helped the remaining hijackers secure entry into the United States. Two days after the frustrating June 11th meeting, Mihdhar received another American visa from the consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Since the C.I.A. had not given his name to the State Department to post on its watch list, Mihdhar arrived in New York on the Fourth of July.

    The June 11th meeting was the culmination of a strange trend in the U.S. government toward hiding information from the people who most needed it. In this regard, the F.B.I. was as guilty as the C.I.A. A federal law at the time prohibited the sharing of information arising from grand-jury testimony, but the F.B.I. took it as a nearly absolute bar to revealing any investigative evidence and, as a result, repeatedly turned down requests for information from other intelligence agencies. (The Joint Congressional Inquiry on 9/11 claimed that the law “came to be used simply as an excuse for not sharing information.”)

    In 1995, the Justice Department established a policy, known as “the Wall,” which regulated the exchange of foreign intelligence information between agents and criminal investigators. Managers at F.B.I. headquarters misinterpreted the policy, turning it into a straitjacket for their own investigators. Intelligence agents were warned that sharing such information with criminal agents could mean the end of their careers. The Wall, the F.B.I. decided, separated even people who were on the same squad. The F.B.I. also began withholding intelligence from the White House. Every morning on the classified computers of the National Security Council, there were at least a hundred reports, from the C.I.A., the N.S.A., and other intelligence branches, but the F.B.I. never disseminated information.

    The C.I.A. embraced the idea of the Wall with equal vigor. The agency frequently decided not to share intelligence with the F.B.I. on the ground that it would compromise “sensitive sources and methods.” For example, the C.I.A. collected other crucial information about Mihdhar that it did not provide to the F.B.I. Mihdhar, it turned out, was the son-in-law of Ahmed al-Hada, the Al Qaeda loyalist in Yemen whose phone number operated as the network’s switchboard. After arriving in New York on July 4th, Mihdhar flew to San Diego and rented an apartment. From there, he made eight calls to the Hada phone to talk to his wife, who was about to give birth. In the I-49 squad’s office, there was a link chart showing the connections between Hada’s phone and other phones around the world. Had a line been drawn from Hada’s Yemen home to Mihdhar’s San Diego apartment, Al Qaeda’s presence in America would have been glaringly obvious.

    After September 11th, the C.I.A. claimed that it had divulged Mihdhar’s identity to the F.B.I. in a timely manner; indeed, both George Tenet, the agency’s director, and Cofer Black, the head of its counterterrorism division, testified to Congress that this was the case. Later, the 9/11 Commission concluded that the statements of both were false. The C.I.A. was unable to produce evidence proving that the information had been passed to the bureau.

    • DXer said

      In correspondence with me, Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat does not responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. If the FBI thinks he is innocent — then by all means, let’s see the forensic reports supporting Vincent Lisi’s theory that Sufaat is not associated with Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

      For example, was the paper used European? No? Then let’s see the forensic report being withheld.

      Here is one blogger’s parsing of the documentary record regarding Dina Corsi’s unnecessary compartmentalization of information. The object is not to attribute blame that in hindsight seem like a dropped ball to many, but merely encourage the FBI to disclose all the possible forensic information disclosable under FOIPA in Amerithrax.

      In this context, compartmentalization risks undermining sound intelligence analysis.’s-take/

    • DXer said

      Vincent B. Lisi Named Special Agent in Charge of Boston Division

      Washington, D.C. July 24, 2013

      Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Vincent B. Lisi special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division. Mr. Lisi most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

      Mr. Lisi began his career as an FBI special agent in 1989 and reported to the Washington Field Office (WFO), where he investigated violent gang and drug matters. In 2003, he was promoted to the position of supervisory special agent (SSA) in the Office of Congressional Affairs at FBI Headquarters. He returned to WFO in 2006 to oversee and support undercover operations. In September 2006, Mr. Lisi was selected to help lead the Amerithrax investigation of the September and October 2001 anthrax letter attacks. Following the completion of the Amerithrax investigation, Mr. Lisi was assigned as the legal attaché in Sana’a, Yemen, from April 2009 to July 2010.

      Mr. Lisi then returned to WFO as the SSA of an extraterritorial criminal squad. In January 2011, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division, with oversight of all surveillance personnel, undercover operations support, and language services.

      In January 2012, Mr. Lisi was selected as a section chief in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters, and in August of that year, he was promoted to the position of deputy assistant director.

      Prior to his appointment to the FBI, Mr. Lisi worked as a certified public accountant.


      I’m counting on Vincent Lisi to both solve Isabella Gardner art heist (i.e., the location of the paintings) AND his support in reopening Amerithrax.

      I realize that my hopes may be unrealistic.

      But a confession by Yazid Sufaat next week certainly would give everyone reason to pause and rethink. Faced with such possibilities, I would want to have weighed in favoring the fullest possible disclosure possible under FOIPA.


      If you like Scrabble or knows someone who does, WORDBUFF has an amazing product and great free giveaways.

      I’ve paid WORDBUFF (Derek) about zilch over the years and yet have obtained wonderful product teaching me new scrabble words, using beautiful music and pictures. This man gives great value. I expect his daughter to be CEO someday of the hugely successful brand he is building.

  29. DXer said

    Boulder County Public Health to hold anthrax-exposure response exercise
    By John Fryar

    POSTED: 04/30/2015 06:34:52 PM MDT

    On May 21, Boulder County Public Health will practice a preventive-medicine distribution plan that it has prepared in the event of a large-scale exposure to a biological agent like anthrax.


    The county’s public health department and other agencies will test the effectiveness of their “drive-through medication dispensing system” at the Boulder County Fairgrounds ….



    I think a “drive-through medication dispensing system” is the way to go — even if authorities don’t want to accept or encourage that people will be getting into their cars to drive out of the area to stay with relatives.

    (I’ll leave it to the scientists to consider the distribution of anthrax in an aerosol attack by automobile of people leaving the target area.)

    Perhaps there could be stops set up along evacuation routes that spray down vehicles with a decontamination agent.

  30. DXer said

    It seems before Yazid Sufaat trial resumes, the blog should do a graphic on Samar Al-Barq. He was Yazid Sufaat’s assistant, a PhD microbiologist recruited by Dr. Ayman Zawahiri who said “I made the anthrax” — but then within a couple of days recanted and said he had just told the interrogators he said it under coercion. He was released by US interrogators — and then secretly detained by Jordan and now Israel for years. It doesn’t seem that justice is well served by secret detentions. Whose secrets are being kept?

    In the meantime, I will wait for the FBI’s initial response to my FOIA request for the traditional forensic tests that were done which were exculpatory of Dr. Bruce Ivins. The FBI has not produced those materials — thinking perhaps that we would find quarter-century old information about Bruce Ivin’s attraction to young blindfolded co-eds more relevant.

    Lew has also done a huge public service by uploading relevant documents. Week after week — over the course of years — he has uploaded the original documents I obtained so that the public can see for itself the astonishing lack of credible evidence supporting the FBI’s Ivins Theory. My comments below are based largely on those documents. Here are the major points on which the FBI’s assertions fail to prove its case …

    The FBI apparently never tracked down and eliminated as potential suspects all of the persons who had, or may have had, access to the anthrax strains used in the attacks. Finally there is a long overdue graphic done for my candidate for mailing.

    The FBI’s genetic analysis merely narrowed things to several hundred scientists and others who had access. And, any one of them could have given the genetically matching Ames strain to someone else. Security at labs was very lax. Anyone with access to a lab could simply walk out with a pathogen.

    The FBI had estimated up to 377 persons had access which required elimination — and that was just at USAMRIID. US Attorney Taylor nonetheless falsely claimed in August 2008 that only 100 needed to be eliminated. He premised his conclusion on the claim that only those with access at USAMRIID’s Building 1425 had to be eliminated, overlooking the fact that the genetically matching Ames was also stored in Building 1412.

2. There has been broad access to the anthrax strain used in the attacks.

    The GAO’s long-awaited report on the subject was pretty worthless — basically it was Daubert meets Dilbert and addressed what was essentially an irrelevant issue given the FBI’s mischaracterizations about the distribution of the virulent Ames strain.

    The potential access to Ames is not reasonably disputed. For example, a microbiologist connected to the Al Qaeda network, Ali Al-Timimi, shared a suite with two leading DARPA-funded Ames anthrax researchers at George Mason University(DARPA is the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency). One of those researchers, Ken Alibek, was formerly a Soviet physician, microbiologist and biological warfare expert. The other, Charles Bailey, had been the former commander of USAMRIID.

As another example of potential access, a non-US citizen from Sudan and then Egypt for a few days in 1998, worked alongside Bruce Ivins in the B3 with Ames anthrax. He studied at Cairo Medical where Dr. Ayman Zawahiri recruited students to jihad every Friday. Dr. Ayman’s sister Heba taught microbiology at Cairo Medical.

David Relman, the Vice-Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed the science relied upon in Amerithrax, explained in “Science” that Ames anthrax was detected at a lab in Afghanista — as noted about by the former CIA microbiologist Michael P. Garvey. Indeed, Ames was detected in the remains of the hijacker Ahmad Al-Haznawi who came to the US in June 2001. Al-Haznawi had been at Kandahar, where Yazid Sufaat’s anthrax lab was located.

    Whenever there was a positive finding, however, the FBI concluded it was a false positive. The FBI had a different way of doing things than the CIA and other members of the IC, according to Dr. Garvey. Yet, when a genetics test narrowed 700-1000 researchers to 300, the FBI closed the case.

Yazid Sufaat told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that he was not at risk because he and his two assistants had been vaccinated to protect them against their work with virulent anthrax. (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was identified as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” by the 9/11 Commission Report.) One of those assistants was tortured and then kept in secret prisons in Jordan and Israel. He told his CIA interrogators that “I made the anthrax” but then later would recant.

3. Dr. Ivins’ time in his lab is readily explained. That is the next graphic that is needed — once there is a break in the beautiful weather.

    Now there is a graphic celebrating Michael P. Garvey’s observations — and he is a big supporter of law enforcement.

    The main evidence relied upon by the FBI was Dr. Ivins’ work at night and on weekends in late September and early October 2001. The documents eventually produced by USAMRIID under FOIA and published on Lew’s blog, however, show that Dr. Ivins was working on an experiment with 52 rabbits. Checking on animals at night and on weekends was a one person job and would take a couple of hours. That is the amount of time Dr. Ivins spent in the lab. The binding and mandatory protocol required that the principal investigator conduct the observations for the first 7 days after the rabbits were injected in early October 2001. US Attorney Taylor in explaining Ivins’ overtime in Fall 2001 (including November and December) overlooked the 2-person rule first implemented in January 2002 that precluded such overtime. That is why there would have been no continuing late night hours working alone past December 2001. The FBI’s Amerithrax Investigative Summary makes no mention of the rabbits.

    Either it was (a) negligent for the FBI not to know of the experiment or (b) the 52 rabbits were knowingly stuffed down into a hat.

4. handwriting evidence is exculpatory for Ivins

    Other evidence was exculpatory. For example, a handwriting report by the FBI’s handwriting expert – nowhere mentioned in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary – concluded that Dr. Ivins probably did not write the letters.

5. a contaminant found in the attack anthrax was not found in Dr. Ivins lab. In a pending FOIA request, I have requested the documents relating to numerous forensic reports that were exculpatory — to include paper, ink, photocopier toner and much more.

    For example, the genetically distinctive b. subtilis contaminant found in the Brokaw and New York Post anthrax letters was not found in Dr. Ivins’ lab. Similarly, meglumine and diatrizoate were in Flask 1029 but not in the mailed anthrax.

    The FBI acknowledges it did not swab all the other suspect labs for the b. subtilis contaminant.

    The FBI, in the case they initially touted as being established by the scientific evidence, then turned to its stock psychological profile of a lone nut. The FBI’s key witness, however, was Dr. Ivins’ first counselor who has written a 2009 book explaining that when she counseled Dr. Ivins, she was receiving her instructions each night from an alien. She reports that the alien had implanted a microchip in her butt. She thought that murderous astral entities were attached to her clients in her new part-time addictions counseling gig. In her book, she explained that each night she would fly to Afghanistan and Ground Zero. The astral entities would chase her back home, and she would narrowly escape through a vortex of energy that would close up behind her. That counselor annotated the psychiatrists’ notes. Her notes and her annotations were handed to a second counselor in July 2008.

    The second counselor then sought a restraining order that day against Dr. Ivins, alleging he was a murderous sociopath, just as the first counselor controlled by the alien had claimed. This was part of the tragic chain of events that led to Dr. Ivins suicide.

    A long overdue graphic has now been done focusing on Rauf Ahmad, Dr. Ayman’s recruit to infiltrate Western biodefense know-how.

    Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s colleagues explained in 1998 that he intended to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) leaders, including the Blind Sheik Abdel Rahman. Ali Mohammed, the EIJ head of intelligence, had a document on his computer seized by the FBI that outlined principles of cell security that would be followed. Ali Mohammed trained Dahab, a Cairo Medical drop-out, to make deadly letters. Dahab was involved in the founding of the Blind Sheik’s Services Organization in Brooklyn.

Zawahiri recruited Pakistan government scientist Rauf Ahmad to infiltrate Porton Down-sponsored conferences in the UK in 1999 and 2000. In1999, after visiting a first lab that did not have pathogenic strains, Rauf Ahmad arranged to visit a second lab. He ominously began a letter to Dr. Ayman about that visit to the second lab: “I have successfully achieved the targets.”

    The public still does not know the identity of that second lab.

Rauf Ahmad reported to Dr. Ayman that he had made contacts that were helpful in learning processing tricks. The official history of MI5 indicates that Ahmad was intercepted leaving with equipment and strains after the 2000 conference. At the 2000 conference, Rauf Ahmad and his co-authors presented a paper on harvesting anthrax in the wild and killing mice with 100 injected spores. That abstract is online. The FBI and CIA thus had reason to know that Al Qaeda’s anthrax scientist already had been working with virulent anthrax.

    The information on what the Al Qaeda anthrax scientist took with him from the 1999 lab continues to be suppressed.

    So it should be no surprise that the label of “anthrax spore concentrate” harvested in April 2001 appears to be in the handwriting of Rauf Ahmad. CIA Director Tenet reports in his book that Ahmad helped set up Yazid Sufaat’s lab in Kandahar in May 2001. Rauf Ahmad, in occasional correspondence, would not cooperate with me unless I paid him money. The Washington Post correspondent in Pakistan once arranged to conduct an interview but then the Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence backpedaled on its consent.

    And finally there is now a graphic celebrating Yazid Sufaat, my Facebook Friend who simultaneously is as affable as he is murderous. His trial resumes this next week.

    I think it is most likely that Adnan El-Shukrijumah was the mailer of the letters containing anthrax in Fall of 2001, based on the following evidence. And so someone should ask Yazid Sufaat about his pal Adnan.

    A number of the individuals associated with Al Qaeda’s anthrax program were closely associated with Adnan El-Shukrijumah. Adnan El-Shukrijumah was the son of a salaried Saudi missionary who while the family lived in Brooklyn would translate for Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman. Shukrijumah was at a Sarasota, FL home with his accomplice, 911 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta.

    Shukrijumah called his mother on or about September 11, 2001 to tell her he was coming to the United States. He insisted he was coming over her protests that he would be arrested. The FBI reported that El-Shukrijumah, traveling under an alias, entered the United States sometime after September 1, 2001. Shukrijumah was with Atta and the other hijackers at a Sarasota, FL home associated with a close advisor of a key Saudi Arabian prince.

    The FBI did not tell the “Joint Inquiry” about Shukrijumah even though he was known to be an associate of Mohammed Atta. 

Leaked detainee statements from Guantanamo indicate that Shukrijumah lived in safe houses in Karachi from February 2002 to April 2002. Hawsawi was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s assistant and had documents explaining how to turn anthrax into a powder. Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab was equipped with a dryer, centrifuge and the other equipment the FBI deems necessary to make a dried powder out of anthrax.

    Shukrijumah was killed in a raid in Pakistan’s tribal area late last year. The public may learn more about Shukijumah and his association with Mohammed Atta in a litigation under FOIA.

    As to the identity of the processor of the mailed anthrax, Yazid Sufaat, in written correspondence with me, does not deny responsibility for preparing the anthrax used in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

    2001 anthrax attacks … summary of conclusions

    1. The FBI’s suggested solution is not established by the evidence it has presented. 

    2. There is much evidence which strongly suggests an al Qaeda involvement.

    3. Aspects of the scenario presented in Lew Weinstein’s novel CASE CLOSED are all-too-plausible.

    4. And, moving forward, the Al Qaeda anthrax threat remains very real.

  31. DXer said

    DNA testing at DC forensics lab suspended

    Updated: Apr 28, 2015 11:41 AM EDT
    By Paul Wagner, FOX 5 ReporterCONNECT


    All DNA testing at D.C.’s consolidated forensics lab has been suspended after auditors found the staff was “not competent” and the testing not in compliance with FBI standards.

    FOX 5’s Paul Wagner reports D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she’s “troubled” by the reports and has ordered changes to be made.

    The results from two audits, publicly released Monday, paint an unflattering picture of the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences where one report said the staff lacked proper training and management failed to get on top of the problems.

  32. DXer said

    Mike Garvey is tweeting this week about democracy in action, upon meeting some people on the Hill to discuss forensic science.

    Mike Garvey @PPDMikeGarvey · Apr 27
    Final meeting for the day with @SenToomey staff. Democracy in action. #ASCLD/CFSO day on Hill to discuss forensic science.

    Thanks to @RepTomMarino staff for an excellent meeting discussing forensic science issues and legislation. #ASCLD/CFSO.

    Mike Garvey @PPDMikeGarvey · Apr 27
    Visiting Capitol Hill today to advocate for quality forensic sciences as part of #ASCLD/CFSO day on the Hill. @PhillyPolice

    Mike Garvey @PPDMikeGarvey · Jan 15
    Philadelphia Police Office of Forensic Science Produces Impressive DNA Results with M-Vac System via @PRWeb

    Mike Garvey @PPDMikeGarvey · Oct 13
    #Battelle partners with seven leading labs to explore Next-Generation Sequencing in Law Enforcement. @phillypolice — We’re one of them!

    Off-topic Comment:

    I just got back from the Manlius swan pond where I consulted with my two clients about the importance of sound reliance on environmental science in NYS DEC decision-making. Faye is about to drop her eggs and had a big appetite and so spent much of the time ignoring me — with her butt sticking out of the water.

    But the news I was reporting to the lunchtime swan watchers at the pond was that the agenda is not out yet for next week in the NY State legislature.

    I have heard from numerous members of the Assembly, directly or indirectly, that the measure is expected to pass. I expect a vote of about 100 to 25.

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