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

* Yazid Sufaat says that, contrary to some media reports, he was successful in developing anthrax, but prefers other bugs; he views anthrax as good for sabotaging, but not killing

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 30, 2015

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58 Responses to “* Yazid Sufaat says that, contrary to some media reports, he was successful in developing anthrax, but prefers other bugs; he views anthrax as good for sabotaging, but not killing”

  1. DXer said

    Syria chemical ‘attack’: Russia blames rebel weapons
    • 16 minutes ago
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39500319

    Russia says that a chemical attack that killed and injured dozens of civilians in a rebel-held town in northern Syria came from rebel weapons on the ground.

    Its defence ministry acknowledged that Syrian planes had attacked the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

    But it said the aircraft had struck a depot producing mines filled with a poisonous substance, for use in Iraq.

    The US and others said Syrian planes had dropped chemical weapons, which Damascus denied.

    Local journalists say there are no military positions in the town itself, but an array of broadly aligned rebel groups controlling the area surrounding it.

    • DXer said

      Syria chemical weapons attack toll rises to 70 as Russian narrative dismissed
      Weapons expert says Russian claim that airstrike hit ‘terrorist warehouse’ in Idlib province is fanciful

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/04/syria-chemical-attack-idlib-province

      Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Hamish de Bretton Gordon, director of Doctors Under Fire and former commanding officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment, said this claim was “completely untrue”.

      “No I think this [claim] is pretty fanciful, no doubt the Russians trying to protect their allies,” he said. “Axiomatically, if you blow up sarin, you destroy it.”

      ***

      Jerry Smith, the operations chief of the UN-led team that supervised the removal of Syria’s sarin stockpiles following the gas attack on the rebel-held Ghouta area of Damascus four years ago, said: “This absolutely reeks of 2013 all over again.” In that attack, more than 1,300 people were killed. The UN said the perpetrators probably had access to the stockpile of sarin held by the Syrian military at the time, as well as the expertise to use it.

  2. DXer said

    Gas Attack Is Said to Kill Dozens in Syria

    By ANNE BARNARDAPRIL 4, 2017

    “While chlorine attacks have become almost routine in northern Syria, this one was different, medical workers and witnesses said. Chlorine attacks usually kill just a few people, usually those trapped in an enclosed space, and the gas dissipates quickly.

    But this time, people collapsed outdoors, in much larger numbers. And the symptoms were different: they included the tiny, pencil-point pupils of victims that characterize nerve agents and other banned toxins. One doctor posted a video of a patient’s eye showing the pupil reduced to a dot. Several people were sickened simply by coming into contact with the victims after the attack.”

  3. DXer said

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/isis-allegedly-used-chemical-weapons-mosul-battle-injuring-civilians-n729536

    ISIS Allegedly Used Chemical Weapons In Mosul Battle, Injuring Civilians
    NBCNews.com – 19 minutes ago

    ISIS militants used chemical weapons during the battle for the city of Mosul last week, injuring a number of civilians, according to a senior Iraqi security official.

    The official’s assessment comes after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), issued a statement last week saying that their workers had treated patients from Mosul who were suffering from symptoms consistent with exposure to a toxic chemical agent.

    Over a number of days last week, the ICRC said it treated 15 such patients.

    “The first cases who arrived were a mother and her five children, aged from 1 month to 11 years,” Iolanda Jaquemet, an ICRC spokeswoman, told NBC News.

    A mother reacts as her daughter Ranmea is treated for possible exposure to chemical weapons agents in a hospital west of Erbil in Mosul, Iraq, Mar. 4, 2017. Azad Lashkari / Reuters
    “It was certainly [the result of] a toxic chemical agent, because their symptoms were absolutely clear. People had blisters, they vomited. They had irritation in the eyes and coughed,” she added.

    Comment:

    Under their own belief system, the jihadists harming women and children with chemical weapons will lose their souls.

    To the extent they don’t read and understand for themselves, they got some real bum advice.

  4. DXer said

    Kim Jong Un’s half brother was killed by VX nerve agent, Malaysian police say
    Washington Post – ‎1 hour ago‎

    SEOUL – The North Korean leader’s half brother was killed by a nerve agent that can cause death within minutes if absorbed through the skin, Malaysian police said Friday

    VX, one of the fastest-acting chemical warfare agents, is much more toxic than sarin, especially when it enters through the skin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “Symptoms will appear within a few seconds after exposure to the vapor form of VX, and within a few minutes to up to 18 hours after exposure to the liquid form,” the CDC says on its website. “It is possible that any visible VX liquid contact on the skin, unless washed off immediately, would be lethal.”

    Exposure to a large dose of VX can cause convulsions, a loss of consciousness and respiratory failure possibly leading to death, the center says.

    VX is not difficult to produce, said Matthew Meselson, a professor of biochemistry at Harvard University and a board member of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “A good organic chemist could synthesize VX relatively easily,” he said. “You could get the ingredients and make it in a couple of days, and if you make it pure, it’s quite stable.”

    Comment: If this is true, and it is convincingly attributed to North Korea, it seems that Malaysia should cut ties to North Korea.

  5. DXer said

    North Korea leader’s brother killed in chemical attack at Malaysia airport

    http://www.syracuse.com/us-news/index.ssf/2017/02/kim_jong_un_brother_killed.html#incart_river_home
    Posted on February 14, 2017 at 12:44 PM

  6. DXer said

    Accessible Synthetic Biology Raises New Concerns for DIY Biological Warfare

    Written by
    Joseph Neighbor

    August 23, 2016 // 11:31 AM EST

    Written By Joseph Neighbor

    This December, the signatory nations of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) will meet, as they do every five years, to discuss the state of bioweapons globally. In at least one way, the world has radically changed since they last met, in 2011. The discovery of several novel gene-editing techniques, most famous being CRISPR-Cas9, might be the scientific breakthrough of this century. It has unleashed a torrent of studies that aim to cure everything from cancer to world hunger.

    ***

    The U.S. biodefense sector has also been accused of breaching the treaty. The turning point was the 2001 anthrax attacks, in which letters filled with the spore-forming bacteria were mailed to several Senators. Anthrax isn’t new—it has been used as a weapon since WWI—but, coming within weeks of 9/11, the attacks created a panic, and newfound urgency to confront the threat of bioweapons. It led to the creation of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasure Center, a unit within the Department of Homeland Security. NBACC in particular has been accused of crossing the line into offensive research, thus violating the principles of the BWC.

  7. DXer said

    August 19, 2016
    Alleged “Bin Laden of Indonesia” Receives Guantanamo Review Board Hearing

    The government also alleges that in 2003 Hambali facilitated al Qaeda’s financing for the bombing of the Jakarta Marriott Hotel, which killed 12 people and injured 150. It also believes Hambali was involved in planning post-9/11 attacks against U.S. interests and that he provided a microbiologist to al Qaeda to assist it in developing an anthrax program.

    Hambali was captured in 2003 and arrived at Guantanamo Bay in 2005. Despite the serious allegations against him, he has never been charged with a crime. Hambali is featured prominently in the Senate’s torture report, which notes he had been cooperative in response to “standard” interrogation techniques, but when subjected to so-called “enhanced interrogation” methods, Hambali “provided the false information in an attempt to reduce the pressure on himself … and to give an account that was consistent with what [Hambali] assessed the questioners wanted to hear.” The report also states that an interrogator said to Hambali: “We can never let the world know what I have done to you.”

    http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/blog/alleged-bin-laden-indonesia-receives-guantanamo-review-board-hearing

  8. DXer said

    25 July 2016
    Can the bioweapons convention survive Crispr?

    Daniel M. Gerstein
    http://thebulletin.org/can-bioweapons-convention-survive-crispr9679

  9. DXer said

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2016-02-29/isis-chemical-weapons
    Snapshot February 29, 2016 ISISTerrorism & Counterterrorism
    ISIS’ Chemical Weapons

    Where They Came From, How They are Used, and What Will Come Next

    By Arabinda Acharya

    “Evidence found in 2001–02 in al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan confirmed that the organization was interested in acquiring chemical and biological weapons as well as a radiological dispersal device, or “dirty bomb.” A 2003 statement from bin Laden and a fatwa the same year from prominent Saudi cleric Sheik Nasir bin Hamid al-Fahd legitimized the use of CBRN weapons. In a similar vein, al Qaeda spokesperson Sulaiman Abu Ghaith wrote that it is “our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons, so as to afflict them with the fatal maladies that have afflicted the Muslims because of the [Americans’] chemical and biological weapons.”

    In February 2003, the FBI warned that “al Qaeda and affiliated groups continue to enhance their capabilities to conduct effective mass-casualty chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) attacks” and that al Qaeda possesses “at least a crude capability to use” such weapons. As we now know, al Qaeda never did manage to make much use of any weapons of mass destruction, but even in September 2010, Michael Leiter, then director of the National Counterterrorism Center, stated that despite successes in preventing terrorists from developing WMD capability, the threat of such terrorism remains a grave concern, primarily, according to Leiter, because al Qaeda and other groups continue to seek the capabilities.

    Further, a number of al Qaeda affiliates—some of which now adhere to ISIS—did have more luck with CBRN weapons. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, now called al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, successfully developed ricin at underground labs in London. And reports suggest that ISIS, for its part, got hold of its own chemical and biological materials and weapons from stockpiles in Iraq, specifically at the Al Muthanna Chemical Weapons Complex, and in Syria, especially the chemical weapons that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did not or could not destroy. It has also recruited experts from all over the world, including those who worked with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the Islamic University of Mosul in Iraq.

    In all this, there is something of a contradiction between terrorist groups’ risk aversion and their interest in WMD. To be sure, violence and mass casualties are at the heart of terrorist operations, whether the deaths come via guns and improvised explosive devices or WMD. But until ISIS, actual CBRN seemed like a bad—or at least dangerous—bet. In other words, groups might have preferred to threaten to use such weapons and even stockpile them, while relying mostly on conventional tactics.

    However, ISIS’ brand of terrorists could be less risk averse owing to the group’s extreme religiosity. Its claim that the great and final battle between infidels and Muslims will take place in Dabiq, Syria, preceding the Day of Judgment has not only attracted recruits in huge numbers but has stirred in them an apocalyptic fervor. And if ISIS successfully uses the weapons, it could teach other terrorist groups to do the same.

    Cantlie’s hypothetical weapons purchases posed in Dabiq, and the statements and testimonies of intelligence agencies and political leaders, should be examined in this light.

    ENTREPRENEURSHIP

    Arguably, jihadist entrepreneurs are interested in experimenting with virtually anything and everything that could be used against the adversary. But weapons of mass destruction involve a high level of technological and scientific skill, equipment, materials, and organization. Acquiring nuclear weapons is extremely difficult, as is concealing a production facility or even the transportation of an actual weapon. Even though biological, chemical, and even radiological dispersal devices can be produced with relative ease and at a lesser risk of interdiction, there is still some inhibition about using them because of the risk that the attack will spin out of control—affecting not only the enemy but also their own supporters and co-religionists.

    Here, for those worried about ISIS, the case of al Qaeda is instructive. Despite creating a dedicated WMD committee to develop, acquire, and weaponize CBRN materials at its sophisticated training camps in Afghanistan, in particular at Tanarak and Darunta (sarin and hydrogen cyanide, respectively) and Kandahar (anthrax), none of the programs were successful. Al Qaeda’s ambitious project for a nuclear or at least a radiological dispersal device was either a nonstarter or was short-circuited. Similarly, the Jemaah Islamiyah—an al Qaeda–associated group in Southeast Asia that is attempting to establish an Islamic state in the region and is responsible for a number of high-profile attacks, including the 2002 Bali bombings—launched a chemical-biological program, but it was very basic, with materials culled from the Internet. The program was ultimately shuttered.
    The rarity of catastrophic attacks with mass casualties, or even planned attacks, reflects the difficulties in carrying them out successfully. And, to be sure, as RAND’s John Parachini put it, it can be hard to draw lessons about terrorists and CBRN because of the very “few historical cases of terrorist interest in and acquisition of CBRN weapons.” In other words, ISIS may have greater stockpiles of the materials for weapons of mass destruction, and it may have more willingness to risk using them. There is no reason, however, to think that it will have significantly more success in carrying out the attacks.

    Even so, because the consequences of a CBRN attack would be so great, the West should not take ISIS’ forays into the area lightly. The United States and its allies must remain vigilant and try to preempt any attempt by groups such as ISIS or al Qaeda to develop or acquire and use CBRN materials. Ignoring the risk is too dangerous.”

  10. DXer said

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/02/09/bioweapons-case-against-publicist-gets-technical.htm

    Bioweapons Case Against Publicist Gets Technical
    By KATHERINE PROCTOR

    SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The chemical composition of lethal poisons took center stage at an evidentiary hearing Monday in a case against a San Francisco political consultant accused of possessing a weaponized biological toxin.
    Authorities arrested Ryan Kelly Chamberlain in June 2014 after a three-day FBI manhunt prompted by weeks of surveillance after the discovery of records of poisons purchased on the dark Web and shipped to Chamberlain. Chamberlain had worked as a publicist for California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom when Newsom ran for mayor of San Francisco.
    U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria refused in August to dismiss the charges against Chamberlain, although Chamberlain’s attorney Jodi Linker argued that the FBI’s confiscation of vials containing crushed rosary peas is not sufficient evidence that Chamberlain intended to poison anyone.
    Linker argued that the person who sent Chamberlain sent the crushed peas – which can be used to make the highly toxic substance abrin – instead of chemically purified abrin.
    At Monday’s hearing, expert witness Christa Mason took the stand, testifying about the possible degree of abrin concentration in the vials. Mason is a forensic examiner at the FBI’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Sciences Unit.
    During her testimony – mostly founded on highly specialized studies in chemistry and requiring the frequent use of a calculator – Chhabria stopped her frequently for clarifications.
    “From what has been presented so far, I do not yet have any understanding of how it was concluded that the vials contained 2.8 milligrams of abrin, or who drew that conclusion,” Chhabria said.
    Other questions included how many rosary peas would have to be ground in order to yield such a concentration – approximately 3.73, Mason said – and to what degree cancer patients can tolerate the substance.
    Evidentiary hearings are expected to continue throughout the week.

  11. DXer said

    Wednesday, February 3 [2016]: The House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities will hold a hearing titled “Outside Views on Biodefense for the Department of Defense.”

    • DXer said

      Kenneth L. Wainstein
      Partner – Washington
      Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP 700 Sixth Street, N.W.
      Washington, DC 20001

      Kenneth Wainstein is Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group. He focuses his practice on corporate internal investigations and civil and criminal enforcement proceedings. With experience in significant positions in the U.S. government in the areas of criminal enforcement and national security, he brings clients a deep understanding of the substantive and procedural issues involved in white collar defense. …

      In 2008, after 19 years at the Justice Department, Ken was named Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush. In this capacity, he coordinated the nation’s counterterrorism, homeland security, infrastructure protection, and disaster response and recovery efforts. He advised the President, convened and chaired meetings of the Cabinet Officers on the Homeland Security Council, and oversaw the inter-agency coordination process for homeland security and counterterrorism programs.

      Prior to his White House service, Ken was twice nominated and confirmed for leadership positions in the Justice Department. In 2006, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ken as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In that position, Ken established and led the new National Security Division, which consolidated DOJ’s law enforcement and intelligence activities on counterterrorism and counterintelligence matters, and also oversaw the Department’s role in regulatory mechanisms such as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Ken led several national security initiatives, including the launch of the national, inter-agency Export Control Enforcement Initiative targeting illegal exports of sensitive technology and weapons components.

      In 2004, he was appointed, and later confirmed as, the United States Attorney in Washington, DC, where he managed the largest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country and oversaw a number of high-profile white-collar and public corruption cases. Prior to that, Ken served as General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and then as Chief of Staff to Director Robert Mueller. At the FBI, Ken was involved in myriad sensitive national security and criminal enforcement matters, as well as a variety of civil litigation, managerial, and Congressional oversight issues. In 2001, Ken was appointed Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, where he provided oversight and support to the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

      From 1989 to 2001, Ken served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia, where he handled numerous criminal trials and appellate arguments.

      Ken’s work has been recognized with the Edmund J. Randolph Award for Outstanding Service to the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance, and the Lawyer of the Year Award from the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and he was recently named as a top national security lawyer by Washingtonian magazine. Ken has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center since 2009, teaching National Security Investigations and Litigation. He is a Panel Member of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense; a member of the Director’s Advisory Board of the National Counterterrorism Center; a member of the Director’s Advisory Board of the National Counterterrorism Center; a member of the Public Interest Declassification Board; a member of the CIA General Counsel’s External Advisory Board; chairman of the Legal Panel of the National Security Agency Advisory Board; a member of the Webster Commission on the FBI, Counterterrrorism Intelligence, and the Fort Hood Shootings; co-chair of the Committee on National Security Law, Policy & Practice of the District of Columbia Bar Association; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at the George Washington University; and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys. Ken is ranked as a Washington, D.C., Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.

      Ken earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia, with high distinction and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a moot court board member and the Note and Comment Editor of the California Law Review. Following law school, Ken served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

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

    • DXer said

      Gerald W. Parker, Jr., DVM, PhD

      Dr. Gerald W. Parker joined the Texas A&M University in November 2013 as associate vice president for Public Health Preparedness and Response, and principal investigator for the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. Dr. Parker was recently appointed. Interim Director, Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases in AgriLife Research and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine; and he is a guest lecturer in the School of Public Health. Prior to his appointment to Texas A&M University, Dr. Parker served 36 years as a scientist, leader, career officer and senior executive at the federal level in public service for global health and national security.

      As a senior executive, Dr. Parker was the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Chemical and Biological Defense at the Department of Defense from 2010 to 2013, and the principal deputy assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2010. He also served at the Department of Homeland Security from 2004 to 2005. He was a 2009 recipient of the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award, and awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service in 2013.

      Before his selection into the Senior Executive Service, Dr. Parker held a variety of assignments during his 26-year military career in the U.S. Army (1977-2004), including: assistant deputy for m e d i c a l research and development; director for the Medical Chemical and Biological Defense Research Program; deputy director for the Combat Casualty Research Program at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command; and commander and deputy commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. …

  12. DXer said

    Ex-ISA detainee, canteen helper get seven years jail BY KHAIRAH N. – 27 JANUARY 2016
    Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/124257/ex-isa-detainee-canteen-helper-get-seven-years-jail
    http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/124257/ex-isa-detainee-canteen-helper-get-seven-years-jail

    Ex-ISA detainee, canteen helper get seven years jail BY KHAIRAH N. – 27 JANUARY 2016 @ 1:02 PM KUALA LUMPUR:

    Ex-Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat and cafeteria helper Muhammad Hilmi Hasim have been sentenced to seven years’ jail for intentionally omitting information on terrorist activities in 2012

  13. DXer said

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak should be in jail — at the very least, the many additional tens of millions given by Saudi Arabia as a gift should have been returned.

    Malaysia Closes Investigation Into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Funds
    By THOMAS FULLERJAN. 26, 2016
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/27/world/asia/malaysia-najib-razak-saudi-donation-1mdb.html

    How can the justice system in Malaysia expect to be taken seriously? It’s a joke even to the most causal observer (such as myself).

    Is it any wonder that the (same, I believe) Malaysia Attorney General apparently seeks to hide Yazid Sufaat’s role in the Al Qaeda anthrax program? There appears to be rule of law in the country.

  14. DXer said

    I believe Yazid Sufaat’s trial resumed Jan. 20 in Kuala Lumpur. Perhaps there will be a news item today.

    Hopefully, he will embrace solving the world’s problems through nonviolence, peace and advocacy so that he might improve his prospects of being freed.

    I think a book by him about Al Qaeda’s anthrax program would be fascinating. He could then serve as a human rights advocate for prisoners like Al Barq. I am especially interested in his disclosure of the strain he was using.

    Until he takes to heart the immorality of killing innocents, he represents evil — in anyone’s old book.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Kompleks+Mahkamah+Kuala+Lumpur/@3.17695,101.6710999,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x8081b09e113eb82d

  15. DXer said

    An Ethical Code of Conduct for the Non-proliferation of Biological Agents Among Malaysian Businesses
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marina_Abdul_Majid/publication/281344125_An_Ethical_Code_of_Conduct_for_the_Non-proliferation_of_Biological_Agents_Among_Malaysian_Businesses/links/55e2a50408ae2fac471f9879.pdf

    The article states:

    An anthrax germ from an Indonesian supplier of seed stock was acquired by Al-Qaeda in 2001 which was subsequently supplied to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for US$3,685, shipping costs included [17: 2].

    • N. Lathem, “Osama bought a batch for 10g,” The New York Post, New York, para. 7, Oct. 24, 2001 [Online], Available: http://nypost.com/2001/10/24/osama-bought-a-batch-for-10g/ [ Accessed: May 18, 2012]

    Comment: The article has inaptly characterizes the story. The story reported on testimony given in 1999. Thus, the testimony related to acquisition prior to that.

    But I do find this paragraph interesting:

    “In 1998, a few undercover reporters from the United Kingdom’s (UK) Sunday Times Insight team approached Bio Farma, an Indonesian research institute based in Bandung, that offered to sell anthrax, plague, brucella and Escherichia coli (e- coli) even though the undercover reporters indicated they were from a laboratory in Africa [23: 2]. Without double checking to ensure these reporters were not disguised terrorists, the Indonesian research institute was perfectly willing to supply the necessary [23]. This shows that biological agents can be supplied by commercial culture collection businesses besides government-regulated laboratories.”

    citing

    J.Leppard,C.HastiingsandJ.Berry,“Needabiologicalwar?Labssell anthrax germs by mail order,” The London Sunday Times, London, para. 4, Nov. 23, 1998. [Online], Available: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/557698/posts [Accessed: May 2, 2015].

    The article continues:

    “Even in Malaysia’s case, its own citizen, Yazid Sufaat, was once given the task of cultivating anthrax as a biological weapon by al-Qaeda in a laboratory near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2001 [26: 1]. Since Sufaat’s release from imprisonment in 2008, it is not known whether he did try to spread his biological weapons’ knowledge to other radical Islamic terrorists in Malaysia. Sufaat is now under the custody of the Malaysian police once again while his court trial is on- going for promoting terrorism in Syria [27].”

  16. DXer said

    Court orders journalist to testify in terror case
    BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

    Published: 27 November 2015 6:06 PM | Updated: 27 November 2015 7:32 PM

    The Star journalist Tashny Sukumaran today failed in her bid to be exempted from testifying in the case of former Internal Security Act detainee Yazid Sufaat and canteen helper Muhammad Hilmi Hassan for allegedly promoting terrorism acts in Syria.

    A three-man Court of Appeal bench chaired by Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki said national security took precedence over a journalist’s confidentiality code to protect her sources.

    “We dismiss the appeal as we find national security overrules confidentiality,” he said of the unanimous ruling.

    Her lawyer Syahredzan Johan told The Malaysian Insider he was awaiting instruction whether to appeal the case in the Federal Court.

    “Her right to appeal is automatic and she needs not to get leave from the apex court,” he said.

    Should there be no appeal, Tashny will have to continue to give evidence in the trial of the two, who are said to be members of the extremist group Tanzim al-Qaeda.

    Both men are alleged to have recruited members in Malaysian for the organisation.

    The prosecution is using procedures in the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) since the two men are said to a threat to national security and public order.

    The decision is unprecedented as journalists have the privilege of not disclosing the identity of their sources.

    Tashny had taken the stand in the High Court and had answered several questions including to reveal her source of her front-page report.

    She and the daily then made the application to set aside a court subpoena and expunge all evidence.

    Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin in dismissing the application said it was made too late and the name of the source had been revealed.

    Tashny’s lawyers said her evidence could be deleted as she only named the source whom she had spoken for the first time but never met him in person.

    The journalist, who was represented by former Malaysian Bar president Christoher Leong, took the stand saying the evidence had no relevance to the charges faced by the two men.

    Both men, facing charges under the Penal Code, risk a 30-year prison term. – November 27, 2015.

    – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/court-dismisses-journalists-appeal-to-not-testify-in-terror-trial#sthash.Zow9d4ze.dpuf

  17. DXer said

    REBECCA KAPLAN CBS NEWS November 26, 2015, 6:00 AM
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fact-check-did-donald-trump-predict-the-911-attacks/
    Fact check: Did Donald Trump predict the 9/11 attacks?

    In Chapter 1, he wrote, “I really am convinced we’re in danger of the sort of terrorist attacks that will make the bombing of the Trade Center look like kids playing with firecrackers. No sensible analyst rejects this possibility, and plenty of them, like me, are not wondering if but when it will happen.”

    And in Chapter 5, there was this: “In our age of miniaturization, weapons have shrunk–and the threat against us is suddenly very large. When a nuclear device can fit in a suitcase, and a canister of anthrax can devastate New York, Boston, Los Angeles, or any other American city, the equation has changed radically.”

    He also wrote, “Yet it’s time to get down to the hard business of preparing for what I believe is the real possibility that somewhere, sometime, a weapon of mass destruction will be carried into a major American city and detonated.”

    Trump was, in fact, right that there was a terror attack far greater in scale than the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000. The Sept. 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000.

    He was off-base about other aspects, though. Trump predicted the terror plot would be the result of the miniaturization of weapons like nuclear bombs or a canister of anthrax.

    At least group was struggling to use anthrax as a weapon before Trump published his book: Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese religious cult, experimented with anthrax as a biological weapon but ultimately chose sarin gas for their 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway system.

    The Federation of American Scientists wrote, “While cultivating anthrax from naturally occurring sources is relatively simple, producing an effective weaponized form is technically difficult. The anthrax spores must be specially processed to prevent clumping and allow for greater inhalation leading to a fatal infection.”

    He may not have been right about the weapons used in 9/11, but this chapter also had Trump’s assessment of intelligence.

    Trump on intelligence, chapter 5: “The inadequate use of intelligence is pervasive.”

    The record:The 9/11 attacks also didn’t come without warning. As early as December 4, 1998, former President Clinton was warned that bin Laden was preparing to hijack U.S. aircraft, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. But Trump’s assessment that “the inadequate use of intelligence is pervasive” rings the most true given the intelligence failures that occurred prior to the attacks.

    “Information was not shared, sometimes inadvertently or because of legal misunderstandings. Analysis was not pooled. Effective operations were not launched. Often the handoffs of information were lost across the divide separating the foreign and domestic agencies of the government,” the commission’s report said.

  18. DXer said

    So both President Obama and Yazid Sufaat were encouraging young men to go to fight in Syria against the brutality of Assad. But Yazid Sufaat has already spent years in prison. Something seems wacky. Even if he did what the testimony so far establishes he did, it seems the time he has served is adequate. Let him out, if you would, so he could write a book describing the details of Al Qaeda’s anthrax program. If the FBI insists he was not responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, then it seems he has served enough time in jail. Hopefully, upon release, he’ll return to his family and leave preaching to others.

    http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1193240

    Yazid Told Witness To Start A Network In Syria

    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (Bernama) — A witness told the High Court here Tuesday that the former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat had once asked him to start a network in Syria to ease the movement of Malaysians into the country.

    Muhamad Razin Sharhan Mustafa Kamal, 24, who was once detained in Beirut, Lebanon, on suspicion of involvement in Al-Qaeda, said Yazid told him that if he managed to enter Syria, he shouldn’t go quickly into war, but should start a network for fellow Malaysians.

    “Razif Mohd Arif and I had once attended an usrah at Yazid’s house and during breakfast one morning, Razif spoke about our intention to go to Syria.

    “That was when Yazid said that if we managed to get there, we shouldn’t go straight to war, but instead should start a network for fellow Malaysians to go to Syria,” he said in the trial of Yazid, 51, and a cafeteria assistant Muhammad Hilmi Hasim, 35, who were charged with promoting acts of terrorism in Syria.

    Muhamad Razin said his intention of going to Syria was to commit jihad by fighting against the brutality of Bashar Al-Assad’s army and helping the oppressed and innocent people of Syria.

    He said he was more determined to go to Syria after attending five sessions of usrah at Yazid’s house on July 7, 14, 21 and 28, as well as on Aug 4, 2012.

    “The content of Yazid’s talks during the usrah had really motivated me to go and commit jihad in Syria, simply because I don’t want to become a ‘munafik’ (hypocrite). Yazid said among the criteria of a munafik was that he wouldn’t want to go to war and hated those who wanted to do so,” he said.

    When asked by the deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff whether he had undergone a military training before, Muhamad Razin said never, but agreed that his trip to Syria was also to enable him to undergo a military training.

    On his flight to Turkey, the 25th prosecution witness said he and Razif left for Turkey at 12.30 am on Oct 3, 2012 and arrived in Istanbul at 7 am the following day.

    Once arrived, he said Razif contacted a Syrian man known as Abu Hassan who came to see them at a bread shop before taking them to a budget hotel.

    “That night, Abu Hassan came to see us again and talked to us about firearms. He said if we wanted to purchase firearms, he could arrange it and the weapons will be at our disposal in Syria,” said Muhamad Razin who brought cash of RM2,000 to Syria.

    However, he said on Oct 5, 2012, the were detained by the Turkish authority before being ordered to leave the country, after which they headed for Lebanon on Oct 10, 2012.

    He said when in Lebanon, they were detained by the authority and charged in the country’s Military Court with four charges, two of which they were found guilty and sent to jail for four years from Oct 18, 2012.

    Now that he was released, Muhamad Razin said he only remembered three of the charges, namely being a member of terrorist group Jabhah Al-Nusra, attempting to possess an unlicenced firearm, and trying to smuggle firearms.

    Yazid was facing two counts of promoting acts of terrorism in Syria and being a member of Tanzim Al Qaeda Malaysia, while Muhammad Hilmi was charged with abetting him.

    They were alleged to have committed the offence at a house in Taman Bukit Ampang, Lorong Mutiara 2, Lembah Jaya, Ampang near here, between Aug 1, 2012 and Feb 7, 2013.

    The charge under Section 130KA of the Penal Code carries life imprisonment and fine if convicted.

    The trial before Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin continues on Jan 20 next year.

    — BERNAMA

  19. DXer said

    http://www.inlandnewstoday.com/story.php?s=40221

    INLAND EMPIRE – (INT) – A week-long hazardous-material response drill is underway.

    Teams wearing full protective gear in public are participating in activities where mock medications are being dispensed.

    Haz-Mat teams are making simulated responses to multiple locations where anthrax had been reported.

    The drill continues through Friday and includes includes the California Department of Public Health, the California Emergency Services Medical Authority, the Riverside County Department of Public Health, the Riverside County Sheriff and CalFire.
    Story Date: November 16, 2015

  20. DXer said

    Witness tells court Yazid Sufaat member of JI Malaysia
    Wednesday October 7, 2015
    07:45 PM GMT+8

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7

    – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/witness-tells-court-yazid-sufaat-member-of-ji-malaysia#sthash.FR6KR3FK.dpuf

    Today told that former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat is a member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) Malaysia.

    Prof Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, said Yazid’s involvement with the JI group was obtained through testimony of a prisoner and suspected terrorist known as “Hambali”, who is now under arrest in the United States (US).

    Rohan, 54, said Hambali through his evidence in the 9/11 Commission Report, had said that he recruited Yazid to work with Al-Qaeda in South East Asia.

    “The 9/11 report was based on investigations leading to the 9/11 attack. The report clearly mentioned how Hambali recruited Yazid Sufaat to work for Al-Qaeda in South East Asia.

    “I testified before the 9/11 Commission on the structure of Al-Qaeda as some of the 9/11 attackers came to South East Asia, specifically to Malaysia and stayed in an apartment offered by Yazid Sufaat,” he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Nurdeenie Abdul Rashid.

    He was testifying in the trial of Yazid, 51, and cafeteria assistant, Muhammad Hilmi Hashim, 35, who are charged with being involved in activities promoting terrorism.

    Yazid faces two counts of promoting aggression with intent to incite the people of Syria and becoming a member of the ‘Tanzim Al Qaeda Malaysia’ group, while Muhammad Hilmi was charged with abetting him.

    They were charged with committing the offence at DL 11, Taman Bukit Ampang, Lorong Mutiara 2, Lembah Jaya, Ampang, between Aug 1, 2012 and Feb 7, 2013.

    They are facing charges under Section 130KA of the Penal Code (Act 574), which carries a life sentence and liable to be fined, if convicted.

    However, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad who represented the two accused, objected to the questions raised by the prosecution because it was an opinion by the witness.

    Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin said the court took note on the objection.

    Questioned by Nurdeenie on the Al-Qaeda group, Rohan said Al-Qaeda had made the country a centre for organising meetings and planning terrorist attacks.

    “Malaysia Militant Group (KMM) and Jemaah Islamiah (JI) send their members to get training with a group of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    “Individuals who have received training in Afghanistan, will return to his country and launch terrorist attacks,” he said.

    He explained that Al-Qaeda was a political organisation which took out of context selected text in the Quran for its objectives.

    The hearing continues tomorrow. — Bernama

    – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/witness-tells-court-yazid-sufaat-member-of-ji-malaysia#sthash.FR6KR3FK.dpuf

  21. DXer said

    Yazid Sufaat, if you beat this current rap, how about we co-author a book on the Al Qaeda anthrax program? Show Dr. Ayman some props as a diabolical spymaster?

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/bm/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1176919

    Yazid Sufaat Distribute Religious Science One, Says Witness
    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Bernama) – The High Court was told yesterday that former Internal Security Act (ISA), Yazid Sufaat, spread the knowledge to manipulate religion for one of the purposes of jihad and al-Quran in his usrah in his house.

    Officials Islamic Affairs Ministry (KDN) Zamihan Mat Zin Al-Ghari, 39, said he made the analysis of transcripts usrah at home Yazid on 21 July 2012 found it to inculcate usrah Salafi Jihadi ideology and sparked an armed jihad could jeopardize national security.

    “If one is to accept and practice the beliefs and ideologies rated speaker (Yazid), they are able to commit acts of violence that could threaten security and public order.

    “Radical and extremist doctrine they profess is able to tarnish the image of Islam and provoke Islamophobia among non-Muslims and tarnish the country’s image in the eyes of the world when on an expedition in foreign countries such as the Philippines, Chechnya and Afghanistan,” he said when questioned by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Izhar Nadia ,

    21st prosecution witness said at the trial of Yazid, 51, and assistant cafeteria, Hashim Muhammad Hilmi, 35, who allegedly participated in activities promoting terrorism.

    Yazid faces two counts of assault with intent to promote incite the people of Syria and became a member of the Tanzim Al Qaeda Malaysia while Muhammad Hilmi was charged with abetting him.

    They were charged with committing the offense at a house in Taman Bukit Cheras, Lorong Mutiara 2, Lembah Jaya, Ampang here between August 1, 2012 and February 7, 2013, under Section 130KA Penal Code (Act 574) which carries a sentence of life imprisonment and a fine if convicted.

    Yazid and Muhammad Hilmi represented by a lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad.

    Zamihan, who served in the Security and Public Order Ministry of Home Affairs, said the same series usrah, Yazid also manipulate the verses of the Qur’an from Surah Al’An’am paragraph 116 which states the democratic system is corrupt to the people.

    “The speaker uses this sentence declaring the democratic system is corrupt to the people, while in the chapter does not mention about democracy in Malaysia. …

  22. DXer said

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/three-arrested-over/2150384.html

    Three arrested over terror threat alert in Kuala Lumpur
    Three men – an Indonesian, a Malaysian and a Syrian – were arrested following a terror threat alert issued by the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police confirmed they arrested three people on Thursday (Sep 24) for possible terror links after a warning was issued linked to Kuala Lumpur’s popular Jalan Alor food street.

    An Indonesian and a Syrian were among those arrested, along with a local. One of the three arrested made frequent trips to Yemen and entered Malaysia only days ago, police said.

    The arrests came in the wake of terror alerts issued by the US and Australian embassies urging people to avoid Jalan Alor in the Bukit Bintang shopping belt and the immediate surrounding areas.

    Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim said security in Kuala Lumpur is under control and said there was no increased threat level at Jalan Alor or anywhere else in the city.

    They said they view the warnings very seriously and will meet the respective embassies as part of an investigation.

    “We are on top of things. We will never let any attack occur in Malaysia,” he said.

    The US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur had said: “Based on credible threat information regarding a potential terrorist act, the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur advises US citizens to avoid Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Alor (Alor Street) and the immediate surrounding areas, on Thursday, September 24, 2015.”

    • DXer said

      Malaysia Detains Three Amid Terror Alerts
      Arrests follow warning from the U.S. Embassy
      http://www.wsj.com/articles/malaysia-detains-three-amid-terror-alerts-1443188269

      By SARA SCHONHARDT And CELINE FERNANDEZ
      Sept. 25, 2015 9:37 a.m. ET

      KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Counterterrorism police in Malaysia said Friday that three people have been arrested based on information obtained from previously detained suspects.

      The arrests on Thursday follow notices from the U.S. and Australian embassies advising their citizens in the Southeast Asian country to avoid Jalan Alor, a popular food street in Kuala Lumpur, based on what the U.S. message called “credible threat information regarding a potential terrorist act.”

      The three men were aged 30 to 51 years old, according to a statement from Police Deputy Inspector-General Noor Rashid Ibrahim. One of the foreigners had made frequent trips to Yemen and entered Malaysia a few days ago, he said.

      Police didn’t release the names of the suspects and they couldn’t be contacted. Director of Counterterrorism Division Director Ayob Khan said the men are an Indonesian, a Syrian and a Malaysian.

      Police said they were still investigating whether the men were involved in plans to launch attacks in Malaysia.

      The three men were being detained under a security law that allows for detention without charge for no more than 28 days to facilitate investigation. It replaced a controversial Internal Security Act that permitted long-term detention without trial.

      Police in this Muslim-majority country have arrested more than 100 people suspected of links to the Islamic State terror group since last year, including members of the security forces.

      In April, authorities arrested more than two dozen suspects allegedly plotting attacks on government targets, army camps as well as kidnappings of high officials.

      In June, two of the suspects received prison sentences of 18 years and 12 years for planning terrorism activities in Malaysia. Some of the other suspects have been charged but haven’t yet been sentenced.

  23. DXer said

    Note that the irradiated Ames samples seized from Bruce Ivins by FBI in 2007 apparently were not tested as part of DOD review (of USAMRIID, Edgewood and Dugway).

    I believe the irradiated Ames seized from Ivins would have been taken to NMRC where the FBI Amerithrax Repository would have been stored.

    By only testing irradiated samples shipped post-2001, the DOD is avoiding the central flaw of the FBI’s analysis in Amerithrax — which asssumed irradiation was 100% effective. The DOD review has been guided by former FBI honchos Christian Hassell and Vahid Majidi.

    In written correspondence, Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat (now on trial) does not deny responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

    The science didn’t suddenly become uncertain. Ivins himself repeatedly had irradiation problems.

    Contemporary Documentary Sources:

    The irradiated Ames that Bruce Ivins distributed to numerous other researchers was not available for the recent DOD review conducted at USAMRIID because it had been removed from USAMRIID by the FBI in November 2007
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 4, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/the-irradiated-ames-that-bruce-ivins-distributed-to-numerous-other-researchers-was-not-available-for-the-recent-dod-review-conducted-at-usamriid-because-it-had-been-removed-from-usamriid-by-the-fbi/comment-page-1/#comment-40466

    Dugway anthrax – Will it take Congressional subpoena power to fill in the blanks in the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick via FedEx and then was shipped out and some was missing?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 29, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/dugway-anthrax-will-it-take-congressional-subpoena-power-to-fill-in-the-blanks-in-the-email-asking-about-weaponized-anthrax-that-came-to-detrick-and-then-was-shipped-out-and-some-was-missing/comment-page-1/#comment-40469

    Bruce Ivins experienced repeated irradiation failures with virulent Ames anthrax
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 13, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/bruce-ivins-experienced-repeated-irradiation-failures-with-virulent-ames-anthrax/

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

  24. DXer said

    Former ISA Detainee Yazid Held Discussions In His House, Court Heard

    KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 (Bernama) — The High Court here was told that former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat conducted several discussion sessions in the living room of his house with the door locked.

    Inspector Shafez Adil, from the Bukit Aman Special Branch, said he obtained the information from his informer, who attended the discussion on July 21, 2012.

    He said he had instructed the informer to make a recording of the discussions, following which he would transfer it into his computer before storing it in a hard disc.

    “Whenever I met the informer, I will give him an audio recording gadget for him to make recording of the discussion.

    “The informer said it was safe because Yazid did not carry out inspection on those who attended the discussion,” he added.

    http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1164850

    Comment:

    In America, doors of houses are routinely locked. And when people are together inside houses, they regularly converse. Relgious study groups are often held in small groups, to include at homes.

    And the fact that Yazid Sufaat did not frisk people for recording equipment is not evidence of guilt — to the contrary. For example, Al-Timimi made sure that the phone was unplugged. Did Yazid Sufaat?

    And so, absent meaningful evidence of guilt in this testimony to date, perhaps this testimony is simply laying the groundwork for the recorded content of conversations.

    So far, the description is little different than the usual Muslim Brotherhood meeting held in living rooms across the country over time.

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

    • DXer said

      Yazid Sufaat’s daughter tweets from court:

      • Soraya Yazid ‏@sorayaanur 6h6 hours agoKuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

      Instill great fear upon their hearts that will crush them down ya Allah, bcs whatever they are doing now is going against You&your Religion

      • Soraya Yazid ‏@sorayaanur 7h7 hours agoKuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

      I’m at Kompleks Mahkamah Kuala Lumpur (Courts Complex) in Kuala Lumpur, WP Kuala Lumpur w/ @zufararif https://www.swarmapp.com/c/9oyjcyBnesh

      Yazid Sufaat’s wife Chomel or Yazid Sufaat’s defense counsel should ask that Soraya delete the post lest it be misconstrued and interpreted in this context as solicitation of acts of terror.

      The advice should be: books, cats and chocolate, yes. Channeling Aafia, no.

      In the Malaysia courtroom today, the testimony may have related to what Yazid Sufaat was captured on tape saying in the small group meeting.

      Whatever it was that Yazid Sufaat said in November 2012, he had every reason to think that he was being taped.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/al-qaeda-anthrax-lab-tech-says-he-had-been-part-of-malaysian-armed-forces-biological-weapons-program/comment-page-1/#comment-22393

      DXer said
      February 25, 2013 at 6:41 am
      “Hilmi and his mom, however, may need to hope that Hilmi didn’t say the wrong thing into the salt and pepper shaker at the drinks stall — or on occasion at the house with Yazid and Chomel’s religious instructor.”

      If his daughter wants the best for her father, she should let her lawyers make their arguments without prejudicing their efforts.

      The worst I said on tape to a sexy suspected undercover this past week was:

      “We are very protective of Jason, who is a magician, because the FBI suspects him of being involved in a big art heist. Did you see “Now You See Me”?

      My hapless and unsuspecting (and wholly innocent) friend Jason was due to return shortly from a religious meeting. The femme fatale suddenly focused on his imminent return as I snuck out the back door.

  25. DXer said

    Jun 28, 2015
    A lawyer hooked by ‘the perfect murder’
    https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/303332

    New then joined Bon Advocates, where he achieved his happiest moment as a lawyer when clients Yazid Sufaat, Muhammad Hilmi Hasim, and Halimah Hussein, were acquitted at the High Court in 2013 on charges of promoting terrorism in Syria.

    When the judge was reading out his decision, New and two other colleagues were a bit distracted but some words that the judge used had their ears perked.

    “Suddenly the judge said something that was highly unusual. He was like, ‘I agree with the applicants’, and we were like ‘What is going on? I have not heard that word before’,” he said amid bouts of laughter.

    He said the trio quickly realised the significance of what was happening, as High Court judge Kamardin Hashim ruled that the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) could not be used against their clients.

    “The public gallery was dramatic. Seriously it was like Hollywood. […] The prosecution, (if) you look at them, they were baffled. I suppose (losing) doesn’t happen often to them as well.

    “Then you start to hear at the back of the dock, Yazid, Hilmi and Halimah starting to pray. The family members started crying, then finally the judge said “I order them to be discharged and released.’

    “They were celebrating but we (the lawyers) didn’t celebrate. Instead we were “Eh, we won?” he said, laughing at how amused they were by their victory.

    ‘Criminal law is so romantic’

    But while this public litigation victory may be his happiest, New’s passion still lies in the romance of criminal law.

  26. DXer said

    A lawyer hooked by ‘the perfect murder’
    Malaysiakini (subscription)- 6 hours ago

    New then joined Bon Advocates, where he achieved his happiest moment as a lawyer when clients Yazid Sufaat, Muhammad Hilmi Hasim, and …

    MALAYSIANS KINI How to commit the perfect murder was something New Sin Yew learned in his first ever law lecture, and it has had him hooked ever since. To law that is.

    Speaking to Malaysiakini during an interview in April, the 27-year-old lawyer said it all began after he decided not to further his studies as an engineer, after which a family friend, the law dean of Help University, asked him to attend law lectures for two weeks.

    “My first class was criminal law, and I was taught by this senior lawyer Kitson Foong.

    “I still remember the first class; he was teaching how to commit the perfect murder.

    “It was quite interesting and I have been hooked since,” he said.

    Comment:

    I have corresponded with Yazid Sufaat and he does not deny responsibility for the murder of Ottilie Lundgren and others. The Sacramento grad pled the “Fifth Amendment.”

    He is back on trial for terrorism on the same charges, a point curiously overlooked by the article. In fact, one of his clients went on a lam when the charges were rebrought and is at large.

    But the periodical deserves major kudos for its previous reporting and this article can be viewed in that context.

    Good reporting often surprises with its point of view and new perspective on things.

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

  27. DXer said

    H.R.1300 – First Responder Anthrax Preparedness Act
    114th Congress (2015-2016) |
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1300

    Official Title as Introduced:
    To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to make anthrax vaccines and antimicrobials available to emergency response providers, and for other purposes.

  28. DXer said

    The trial is set to continue on June 1, with other witnesses taking the stand ahead of journalist who does not want to testify.

    Fighting to keep sources confidential, Saturday May 23, 2015
    BY QISHIN TARIQ
    http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/05/23/Fighting-to-keep-sources-confidential-Journalist-does-not-want-to-reveal-identity-of-informant-in-te/

  29. DXer said

    Randall Murch, who headed the FBI’s Amerithrax scientific evidence in the first months, has written a May 2015 article on Bioattribution in which he notes:

    “Getting caught and being held accountable, or the credible threat thereof, “raises the bar” for those who engage illicit activities related to biowarfare, bioterrorism or bioproliferation. The greater the belief of and risk to adversaries that they will be identified, apprehended and prosecuted either through legal or policy decisions, the more likely this will be factored in the decisions and choices they make.”

    Indeed, if perpetrators are not caught — if correct bioattribution is not made — you may find them prematurely released and then recruiting terrorists in interviews conducted in the mainstream media.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Murch explains:

      “There is no one program that can provide an impervious biodefense or biosecurity. However, a well-crafted “kit of tools” which effectively enhances anticipation, prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and attribution can provide a defense system which “raises the bar” for adversaries and those who assist them. Investigation and attribution are sometimes forgotten as important tools in the kit. This paper focuses on the latter, specifically investigation toward attribution and argues that substantial expansion of attribution-informing programs would significantly improve biosecurity at a global scale.”

  30. DXer said

    High Court says journalist has to testify in duo’s terrorism trial
    The Star Online-11 hours ago

    … has dismissed an application by The Star journalist S. Tarshini to be released from testifying in the terrorism trial of Yazid Sufaat and Muhammad Hilmi Hasim.

    Justice Mohd Azman Husin agreed with lead Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria that the journalist should have made the application before she revealed the source during her testimony in April last year.

    The judge also ruled that her testimony was relevant to the case and that it should be maintained.

  31. DXer said

    The propaganda wars since 9/11.

    Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the U.S. State Department has made a series of attempts to counter the spread of Islamist militant ideology. At the same time, propaganda efforts by al-Qaeda and its offspring have become increasingly sophisticated. A look at the evolution in messaging from the State Department, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/propaganda/

    Comment:

    Who is winning the propaganda wars insofar as it relates to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    Check out Mike Morell’s new book. There is a long interview on Charlie Rose as general background.

    See also

    Head Of CIA’s Interrogation Program Jose Rodriguez Points To Al Qaeda Anthrax Program and Fall 2001 Mailings In Disputing Senate Torture Report
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 12, 2014

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

  32. DXer said

    Home-grown M’sian terror group ‘aimed to start Islamic state, war’
    Al Qaeda-linked body sought to indoctrinate, send recruits to overseas jihadists for training

    http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/home-grown-msian-terror-group-aimed-start-islamic-state-war

    “The trial was broadcast live on the court website.”

    ***

    “A cell in Ampang, Selangor, was allegedly headed by Yazid’s wife, Chomel Mohamad. Mohd Razif and Muhamad Razin headed two separate cells in Selangor’s Sungai Buloh and Perak’s Trolak. The other cell was headed by another SOSMA detainee, Halimah Hussein, with the fugitive currently in hiding after finding five recruits through Facebook.”

    Comment:

    Chomel Mohamad is not charged with a crime. Will either she or her husband, Yazid Sufaat, testify? Both Sacramento State grads likely would be equally appealing and gracious witnesses.

    • DXer said

      Chomel Mohamad was sitting in the audience — with her daughter — as the testimony was given. That’s got to be awkward.

      Before 911 and the Al Qaeda anthrax program, Yazid Sufaat, according to the UN, allegedly was involved in blowing up churches in December 2000.

      Yazid Sufaat – The Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee
      http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQDi124E.shtml

      United Nations
      … Sufaat was involved in the December 2000 church bombings in Indonesia, …

      I can’t imagine how one thinks they have the moral high road when they target civilians — especially religious institutions. The violent ideology perpetuates itself by socializing children when they are young — before they reach the age of reason.

      But what was Yazid Sufaat’s excuse? It wasn’t until after his return from Sacramento State that his mother-in-law’s influence led to his zealotry.

      Absent expression of remorse and an earnest change of heart — relating to the death of civilians — I don’t see legal issues being resolved in the defendant’s favor. OTOH, with remorse — then the lawyerly defenses possibly could gain traction as happened in an earlier ruling on The Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, (SOSMA Act 2012) .

      Cop denies Yazid’s Sosma charge an afterthought
      May 8, 2015
      By Hafiz Yatim
      http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/297634

      All he needs to do, IMO, is confirm that the anthrax strain he was using was the Ames strain— as indicated by the CIA tests swept under the rug by the FBI. (Or rather, identify the strain he was using and provide some sort of corroboration.) People’s minds might then open to the notion that, above all, he is a truth-teller rather than a sneaky murderous psychopath who has misinterpreted the Quran and hadiths.

    • DXer said

      His daughter tweets her reaction:

      Soraya Yazid retweeted
      Shahida @ShahidaWs · 4h4 hours ago
      – Those who know, don’t speak. Those who speak, don’t know.

      Soraya Yazid @sorayaanur · 9h9 hours ago
      Hearing all these false accusations on my father can be very overwhelming and exasperating

      • DXer said

        “Soraya Yazid retweeted
        Shahida @ShahidaWs · 4h4 hours ago
        – Those who know, don’t speak. Those who speak, don’t know.”

        The ever enigmatic and graceful Soraya Yazid now tweets:

        Soraya Yazid @sorayaanur · 1 hour ago
        but clearly you don’t

    • DXer said

      No al-Qaeda reference in ex-ISA detainee’s religious classes, court told
      Published: 8 May 2015

      – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/no-al-qaeda-reference-in-ex-isa-detainees-religious-classes-court-told#sthash.8iVRv46n.dpuf

      A police officer told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today that there was no mention of the words “Tanzim al-Qaeda Malaysia” in former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat’s religious classes.

      ASP Mohd Raby Abu Bakar, 55, attached to the Counter Terrorism Division (E8) of the Police Special Branch, said he knew about this from the information he received.

      But he said he had never attended the “usrah” sessions held at Yazid’s house in Ampang, Selangor.

      “I cannot attend the ‘usrah’ sessions because the accused knows me (as a police officer),” he said during cross-examination by lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad at the trial of Yazid and cafeteria assistant Muhammad Hilmi Hasim before judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin.

  33. DXer said

    Soraya Yazid @sorayaanur · 9 hours ag
    Court stand down

    Soraya Yazid @sorayaanur · 11h11 hours ago
    There will be a lot of waiting and delays in court, may Lord give my family and I enough strength to endure this yet another tribulation

    In his trial this week, athough it may not seem it, I’m hopelessly biased in favor of Yazid Sufaat. Aside from the fact that he’s very affable — I really like his daughter. Like her parents, she is very romantic.

    The only way I can think of out of the mess is for Yazid Sufaat is to show remorse and come clean about the strain of anthrax he was using and other details of Dr. Ayman’s anthrax program.

    The CIA already found it to be Ames in its lab tests. And Shukrijumah is dead. And so whose secret does he think he is keeping? Who does he think he is protecting? Dr. Ayman? I don’t think Dr. Ayman needs any help.

    Yazid Sufaat has already been filmed discussing the subject at length — so it would be making lemonade out of the lemons.

    Remorse and an expressed and earnest change of heart makes more sympathetic the First Amendment /religious argument — and the argument that there was no evidence of terrorism directed at Malaysia rather than abroad.

    A decision-maker otherwise is going to be inclined against a guy keeping secrets and still trying to get away with something.

    Noted First Amendment scholar Jonathan Turley is making the same argument in a brief as long as 200 pages, to be filed in June 2015.

    Yazid Sufaat’s counsel should get a copy when it is available — for their appeal.

  34. DXer said

    It turns out Yazid Sufaat reportedly used to recruit terrorists through Facebook — including one famously killed in a shoot-out before Yazid Sufaat’s arrest. Who knew? I used to be on Facebook with Yazid and remember his page well. I recall it consisting mainly of quotes from the Quran and/or hadiths. When I started posting highly detailed questions about anthrax, the posts were allowed and his gracious wife Chomel introduced me to his friends. I enjoyed meeting Yazid Sufaat because he was so openly adoring and respectful of his wife. I think that shows a strength of character.

    I privately urged his wife, after he was arrested, that perhaps if he came clean about Al Qaeda’s anthrax program — and disclosed the anthrax strain he was using (whatever it was) — authorities might cut him slack in this pending prosecution. (CIA tests indicated it was the Ames strain).

    Defense lawyers always make a defendant seem so weak — like they are ashamed of what they did.

    Ex-ISA detainee recruited militants for Malaysia’s al-Qaeda through religious classes, court told
    BY IDA LIM

    – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ex-isa-detainee-recruited-militants-for-malaysias-al-qaeda-through-religiou#sthash.G0n2e8HV.dpuf

    Another alleged recruit, Mohd Noor Fikrie Abd Kahar, was sent to Sabah together with former ISA detainee Mohd Nazri Dollah to slip into the southern Philippines, but the former was shot dead by the Philippine police on December 14, 2012, Raby said.

    ***
    Some of the cell members’ names were concealed as they fell under the “protected witnesses” category, Raby said, also testifying that they were selected through Facebook and phone communications that were followed by the usrah sessions where indoctrination took place.

    CIA pushback: Senate Torture Report selectively omits that CIA learned “important information about al-Qa’ida’s anthrax plotting and the role of Yazid Sufaat”
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 11, 2014
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/cia-pushback-senate-torture-report-selectively-omits-that-cia-learned-important-information-about-al-qaidas-anthrax-plotting-and-the-role-of-yazid-sufaat/

    In written correspondence with the Case Closed blog, the Sacramento State graduate and former Malaysian Army Captain Yazid Sufaat has invoked the “Fifth Amendment” and declined to disclose the b. anthracis strain he was using.
    Posted on April 28, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/yazid-sufaat-says-that-contrary-to-some-media-reports-he-was-successful-in-developing-anthrax-but-prefers-other-bugs-he-views-anthrax-as-good-for-sabotaging-but-not-killing/

    Before his recent arrest, Yazid Sufaat declined to tell DXer the strain of the “anthrax spore concentrate”
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 29, 2013
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/before-his-recent-arrest-yazid-sufaat-declined-to-tell-dxer-the-strain-of-the-anthrax-spore-concentrate-harvested-july-4-2001/

  35. DXer said

    12:47PM May 5, 2015
    By Hafiz Yatim
    Secret witnesses to testify in Yazid’s Sosma trial

    Five “secret witnesses” have been scheduled to testify in the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 case against Yazid Sufaat and Muhammad Hilmi Hasim, the prosecution told the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.

    DPP Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria, told the court that these witnesses do not want their names, ages or addresses known to the public.

    https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/297272

  36. DXer said

    Court mulls allowing witnesses to testify anonymously against terrorism suspects
    BY IDA LIM

    – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/court-mulls-allowing-witnesses-to-testify-anonymously-against-terrorism-sus#sthash.KH2UePjp.dpuf

    KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — The High Court here will decide if five prosecution witnesses testifying against two local terrorism suspects can keep their identities secret and provide evidence anonymously.

    Lead prosecutor Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria applied today for the court to determine if a list of five witnesses could fall under the “protected witnesses” category.

    He cited Section 14 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) — the law under which the two suspects Yazid Sufaat and Muhammad Hilmi Hasim are detained under.

    High Court judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin decided today to allow the bid for him to evaluate if the witnesses qualify as protected witnesses.

    “Objections by the defendants’ lawyer is taken into account. But the court allows the deputy public prosecutor’s application,” he said.

    The judge will conduct an inquiry “in camera”, meaning he will meet each of the five witnesses privately within these two days in the absence of the defendants and their lawyers.

    If the prosecution witnesses are allowed to testify as protected witnesses with the two terrorism suspects not allowed to see or hear them, this will be the first time Sosma is used in such a manner since the contentious law was passed in 2012.

    When met later, the defendants’ lead counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad said he will file a formal application to object to the use of protected witnesses, arguing that Sosma does not apply to his clients’ case.

    “Because our position has always been that Sosma does not apply to Yazid Sufaat’s case because the charges and the evidence that we had so far does not disclose any offence which can be considered as a threat to the federation,” he said, arguing that the Federal Constitution’s Article 149 that allows for certain constitutional rights to be disregarded in the making of laws like Sosma does not apply to his clients’ case.

    Critics have claimed that Sosma violates the constitutional rights of those detained under the law.

    Beyond allowing prosecution witnesses to be only visible to the judge and not to be heard by defendants and their lawyers, Section 14 of Sosma also allows the judge to block any questions that may lead to the protected witnesses’ identification – including their name, age, occupation, race and address.

    Former army captain Yazid is accused of knowingly encouraging terrorist acts with the intention to promote an ideological purpose that is intended to threaten the public in Syria, while his cafeteria assistant Muhammad Hilmi was charged with abetting him in doing so.

    They were charged under Section 130G(a) of the Penal Code, which covers the offence of inciting and promoting the commission of a terrorist act and carries a maximum 30-year jail term and fine.

    Yazid and Hilmi were also charged under Section 130KA of the Penal Code with being members of a terrorist group — Tanzim al-Qaeda Malaysia, with those convicted of this offence liable to a maximum life imprisonment and a fine.

    The first offence was allegedly carried out between August 1 and October 20, 2012, while the second offence was allegedly committed between August 1 and February 7, 2013.

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

    • DXer said

      In Sosma detainees’ trial, court to decide if journalist can keep source identity secret
      BY IDA LIM

      – See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-sosma-detainees-trial-court-to-decide-if-journalist-can-keep-source-iden#sthash.qC47fSdw.dpuf

      KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — The High Court here will decide on whether to release a reporter from being legally compelled to testify and provide evidence that may reveal the identity of her anonymous sources in a news report.

      Tarshini Sukumaran, a reporter from local daily The Star, is the sixth prosecution witness in the terrorism trial of two detainees under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) — Yazid Sufaat and Muhammad Hilmi Hasim.

      “The application that we file is to set aside the subpoena on Tarshini and we also apply for any evidence that has been given to be expunged from the court’s records if the court allows,” her lawyer Syahredzan Johan told the court today.

      Speaking to reporters later, Syahredzan said his client’s application that was filed on April 29 is based on two grounds, namely that Tarshini’s evidence is “not relevant” to the case and journalism ethics.

      Syahredzan said Tarshini had quoted anonymous sources in her news report that was cited in the trial.

      “We are saying she as a journalist is protected by the journalism code of ethics not to reveal her source, so to force her to come and give evidence which will definitely or most likely lead to revealing of that evidence is something which the prosecution should not do,” he said.

      Last month, Tarshini told the court she had written a news report in The Star titled “Ex-militant: We send new recruits straight to the frontlines” on October 29, 2012.

      She also previously confirmed conducting a phone interview with former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid after receiving instructions from her editor, but stopped testifying midway under heavy objections from the defendants’ lawyer.

      The hearing for the application before High Court judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin has been fixed for this Thursday morning.

      The objections by the two defendants’ lead counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad is based on the grounds that the prosecution is allegedly attempting to use Tarshini’s evidence to paint his clients in a bad light will also be heard together this Thursday.

      Former army captain Yazid is accused of knowingly encouraging terrorist acts with the intention to promote an ideological purpose that is intended to threaten the public in Syria, while his cafeteria assistant Muhammad Hilmi was charged with abetting him in doing so.

      They were charged under Section 130G(a) of the Penal Code, which covers the offence of inciting and promoting the commission of a terrorist act and carries a maximum 30-year jail term and fine.

      Yazid and Hilmi were also charged under Section 130KA of the Penal Code with being members of a terrorist group — Tanzim al-Qaeda Malaysia, with those convicted of this offence liable to a maximum life imprisonment and a fine.

      The first offence was allegedly carried out between August 1 and October 20, 2012, while the second offence was allegedly committed between August 1 and February 7, 2013.

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

  37. DXer said

    Michael P. Garvey, the former FBI and CIA and forensic scientist, said of the Amerithrax investigation:

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

    Excerpts:

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

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

    Source:

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

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