Archive for July, 2015
* 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
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 26, 2015
* US Army will conduct a formal investigation of the institutions and individuals at DPG, including the chain of command, as well as the actions of DPG that led to the inadvertent widespread shipments of viable anthrax spores.
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 24, 2015
Implementation of the Recommendations in the Comprehensive Review Report: Inadvertent Shipment of Live Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) Spores by Department of Defense
Review Committee Report: Inadvertent Shipment of Live Bacillus anthracis spores by DoD
* CASE CLOSED – Lew’s novel about the anthrax attacks and the failed FBI investigation – has been re-published. In this interview, Lew explains why perhaps his novel is closer to the truth than anything the FBI is asserting.
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 24, 2015
Here is the link to the interview …
purchase CASE CLOSED at amazon … kindle $3.99, paper $14.95
* Notebooks never returned by the FBI to USAMRIID/Ivins sought under FOIA ; Notebooks 3655 and 3945 related to transfer of virulent Ames
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 17, 2015
* The soon-to-be-released DoD report attributes Dugway’s problems with radiation dosing viability testing, and aseptic procedures to “scientific uncertainty” concerning dose levels and time intervals between irradiation and viability testing; Bruce Ivins experienced the same thing at USAMRIID
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 17, 2015
* The Pentagon Anthrax Scandal Is Getting Worse by the Day … * The new edition of CASE CLOSED could not come at a more opportune time.
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 11, 2015
Update 7/28/15 …
Department of Defense said 106 additional labs had been sent the bacteria
They were added on top of the 86 facilities they previously knew about
Investigation now covers seven countries, all 50 states and three territories
Update 7/11/15: 85 labs sent live anthrax … Italy most recently added to list … DOD to release report soon.
DoD Anthrax Update: Live Samples Sent To Mississippi 78 labs have received live anthrax and counting…
http://www.talkradionews.com/pentagon/2015/06/29/dod-anthrax-update-live-samples-sent-to-mississippi.html#.VZGxbuvuj2Q U.S. Defense Department officials said on Wednesday that a total of 51 laboratories in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries have received potentially dangerous samples of anthrax from a U.S. Army lab in Dugway, Utah — dramatically expanding the scope of a scandal that raises serious questions about the Pentagon’s ability to properly oversee its stocks of deadly pathogens. So far, a total of 10 samples tested in the United States have come up positive for live anthrax, a sharp increase from the single case at a Maryland laboratory that was disclosed last week. Pentagon officials have continued to insist that the miscues pose no risk to the general public, but Defense Department officials have had to repeatedly acknowledge that their earlier statements about the extent of the problems have proven false. While the number of potentially affected labs has shot from 12 to 51 over the past day, “we expect this number may rise” as more testing is done, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday. The samples sent to Canada, South Korea, and Australia are also being tested. Domestically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scrambling to test a total of 400 separate “batches” of anthrax at four Defense Department labs, though so far all of the positive samples have come from the one in Dugway, Work said. While all shipments of anthrax from government labs have been halted, no one at Dugway has yet been reprimanded for the shipments — though many there may eventually be disciplined. Investigators have been told to report back to Work by the end of June with their findings, and he said decisions about how to move forward will be made then. Work stressed that at this point in the investigation, “there is absolutely nothing to indicate” that the shipments were an act of terrorism or were done deliberately. That isn’t terribly reassuring, since it would mean that the samples were instead sent out because of simple inattention or incompetence.
“This incident makes a complete hash” of the stringent security protocols put in place since the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 that left five people dead and sickened 17 others, Richard Ebright, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University told Foreign Policy.
It takes an extremely small amount of live anthrax to produce “a limitless quantity of the material,” he added. That, in turn, means “that every institution that received this received live anthrax, and every individual who had access to the material had the ability to remove, transfer, sell, or use the seedstock for biological weapons. This is the real scandal here.”
Work was joined at the briefing by the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, Frank Kendall, and U.S. Navy Cmdr. Franca Jones, who oversees the department’s chemical and biological defense office. None of the officials could identify what exactly went wrong at Dugway in the process of killing the anthrax spores and testing them before shipment, but Jones did note that samples have been heading out of the lab since 2005, which gives a sense of the sheer scope of the task facing the government in tackling the issue of ultimate responsibility, and what protocols need to change. Al Mauroni, director of the U.S. Air Force’s Center for Unconventional Weapons Studies, also believes there was little chance that “Something was going to get loose to the public. The risk to the public is much less than some make it out to be.” But the number of labs that are working with chemical and biological materials has swelled since 2001, with the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services issuing a number of grants to labs for medical-biological countermeasures, he said. Kendall said that government and commercial labs have different safety and security protocols for how they conduct their work, and that the investigation will look at the possibility of bringing them more into line with one another, thus making oversight easier. The Defense Department issued new guidance in 2008 as to how U.S. military labs should handle materials like anthrax and other biological warfare agents, but it is unclear if the workers at Dugway failed to follow these guidelines.
These regulations stem from the aftermath of the 2001 attacks, in which five envelopes containing live anthrax were sent to news outlets and two more to Democratic Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The FBI eventually accused Dr. Bruce Ivins, a former Army researcher who worked with anthrax at Fort Detrick, of sending the envelopes, but he killed himself before he could be formally charged. The new guidance, Mauroni said, was “very stringent.”
The Pentagon Anthrax Scandal Is Getting Worse by the Day • BY PAUL MCLEARY • JUNE 3, 2015 – 5:20 PM https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/03/pentagon-anthrax-scandal-is-getting-worse/
The new edition of CASE CLOSED could not come at a more opportune time.
Just a few days ago, on June 3, 2015, the Pentagon reported that 51 laboratories received shipments of live anthrax, across 17 states (plus D.C.) and three foreign countries over a period of at least ten years. The Defense Department admitted it didn’t know everywhere it had sent the toxic bacteria. This is happening fourteen years AFTER the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed 5 Americans and paralyzed our country. What would you speculate about controls over anthrax BEFORE the attacks? Right, they were virtually non-existent.
Yet the FBI, in the face of no credible evidence of any kind, still insists that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of those attacks. The FBI’s case offers no physical evidence, no witnesses, no scientific evidence, and an impossible time line. Both the NAS and the GAO have conducted independent reviews which concluded the FBI’s claims to scientific evidence are not valid.
So we are left with two questions, both of which have important national security implications. Who really did carry out those attacks in 2001? Why does the FBI stick to its demonstrably false assertion?
The story of CASE CLOSED is told through the activities of a team of DIA investigators who re-trace the steps of the FBI, find many of the same flaws that have been exposed in real life, and then develop a scenario of why the FBI did not solve the case and who was responsible. This latter is of course fictional, but many informed readers, including one highly placed in the US Intelligence Community, have concluded that CASE CLOSED is more plausible than the story the FBI has concocted.
CASE CLOSED is available in paper ($14.95) and ebook ($3.99) at …
… amazon … (http://www.amazon.com/Case-Closed-Lewis-M-Weinstein-ebook/dp/B00YIC331Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433425899&sr=1-2&keywords=weinstein+case+closed&pebp=1433438167533&perid=1M7V72CVS1R475C6A1CY),
… Barnes and Noble … (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/case-closed-lewis-m-weinstein/1016943061?ean=9780692452653),
… Absolutely Amazing Ebooks … (http://www.absolutelyamazingebooks.com/bookpages/caseclosed.html).
* Did North Korea provide Al Qaeda/Moro Front and Dr. Ayman Zawahiri anthrax as claimed in 1999 testimony in Egypt by the shura members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad?
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 4, 2015
On November 20, 2002, DXer published an essay on the website Cryptome that stated: “Bin Laden purchased anthrax a few years ago from a supplier in North Korea.”
Al Qaeda, Anthrax and Ayman
means, opportunities, motive, and modus operandi
“Bin Laden’s group was able to get the anthrax germ from another “factory” in Southeast Asia, which supplied it to the Indonesian-based Islamic Moro Front, a terror group closely associated with bin Laden.
The price for the anthrax spores, al-Najjar said, was $3,685, “plus shipping costs.”
But his argument was lost amidst the claim that it was the Ames strain of anthrax that was used — and that strain originated in a cow in Texas.
Now that we’ve seen that Dugway, for example, mistakenly sent virulent Ames to 78 labs, however, maybe people will take to heart that the fact that it was Ames did not resolve the issue of who sent the Fall 2001 anthrax — and did not exclude Al Qaeda.
One source DXer cited, who had been on the shura council of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura (adivisory council) Al-Najjar, claimed in testimony that the anthrax spores had cost $3,685 “plus shipping costs.”
He also has long relied upon another EIJ shura member, Mabruk, to similar effect. He emphasized the revelations of defense counsel in that trial, Montasser Al-Zayat, that Zawahiri planned to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the imprisonment of the blind sheik.
DXer: The Blind Sheik’s Lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat Announced In 1999 That Ayman Zawahiri Would Use Anthrax Against US Targets To Retaliate For Imprisonment Of Senior EIJ Leaders, Most Notably Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman
Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 3, 2013
Here is an excerpt from DXer’s 2002 essay which contained dozens of hyperlinked sources.
“Means and Opportunity: Al Qaeda’s Biochem Program
Bin Laden purchased anthrax a few years ago from a supplier in North Korea.(6) The Moro Front, an Indonesian radical group associated with Bin Laden, arranged for the purchase, but Bin Laden’s own name was reportedly on the purchase order.(7) Dr. Ayman Zawahiri had a list of 100 US and Israeli targets to use it against.(8) Thus, while the question of the source of the Ames strain used in the Amerithrax mailings is problematic and addressed more fully below, Al Qaeda’s acquisition of anthrax for the purpose of using it as a weapon against the US has been known for a long time. Indeed, Vice President Cheney and his staff knew to take Cipro on 9/11, a full week before the first anthrax letter was mailed.(9)”
“6. Yousef Bodansky, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War On America, at 326.
7. “Osama bought a batch for 10G,” The New York Post, October 24, 2001.
“Bin Laden Bought Anthrax, E-Coli and Salmonella, Aide Tells Court,” The Mirror, October 25, 2001.
Simon Reeve, The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism, at 262 (1999).
8. “Did Bin Laden buy bioterror: trial testimony says he did,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2001.”
Here are excerpts from the newspaper articles he cites discussing the court testimony:
Did bin Laden buy bioterror? / 1999 testimony says he did
Erin McCormick, Lance Williams, Chronicle Staff Writers Published 4:00 am, Sunday, October 21, 2001
Evidence in an Egyptian terrorism trial two years ago included claims that Osama bin Laden already had dangerous biological agents in his arsenal.
Moreover, a ranking terrorist affiliated with bin Laden told a journalist during that trial that the Saudi-born financier of terror and his top aide, Islamic Jihad leader Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, had purchased biological and chemical agents and drawn up a list of 100 U.S. and Israeli targets on which to unleash them.
Testimony in that trial and other court proceedings in the United States have told of bin Laden and his operatives negotiating to buy such deadly materials as anthrax, the Ebola virus and bomb-grade uranium for creating weapons of mass destruction.
Osama bought a batch for 10G
By NILES LATHEM
October 24, 2001 — WASHINGTON – Terror master Osama bin Laden bought samples of anthrax by mail from shady laboratories in Eastern Europe and Asia for as little as $10,000, a former follower has told authorities in Egypt.
The astonishing claim of how easily – and cheaply – the world’s most wanted terrorist was able to acquire anthrax and other deadly germ agents was made in a 143-page confession of former extremist Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar at a recent trial of more than 100 members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
Al-Najjar, serving a life sentence in Egypt, was among several Islamic Jihad operatives arrested in Albania in 1999 and brought home to Egypt to face trial for a series of attempts to destabilize the pro-Western government of President Hosni Mubarak.
According to translated accounts of his testimony obtained by The Post, al-Najjar told authorities there was nothing cloak-and-dagger about bin Laden’s transactions involving deadly biological agents.
“Factories” in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Eastern Europe supplied deadly bacteria, including e-coli and salmonella, by mail without checking the identities of the purchasers as long as bin Laden’s agents paid $7,500 up front, al-Najjar said.
Bin Laden’s group was able to get the anthrax germ from another “factory” in Southeast Asia, which supplied it to the Indonesian-based Islamic Moro Front, a terror group closely associated with bin Laden.
The price for the anthrax spores, al-Najjar said, was $3,685, “plus shipping costs.”
U.S. officials say they don’t yet know whether bin Laden is responsible for the anthrax scare gripping the nation, although President Bush and other senior officials say they are suspicious.
Bin Laden is known to have contacts with Iraqi officials and mafia groups in former Soviet republics – nations that have extensive chemical-and biological-weapons programs and that are known to have experimented with anthrax.
During the 1999 Egyptian trial of 107 suspected terrorists, Mabruk talked to a reporter from the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat about al Qaeda’s “biological and chemical weapons.”
“He said to me that al-Zawahiri and bin Laden (had purchased) the weapons from countries in Eastern Europe,” reporter Mohammed Salah told The Chronicle in a phone interview from Cairo.
Mabruk spoke of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri having a list of 100 targets worldwide, all related to the United States or Israel, Salah reported.
“This was a big scoop in my opinion, but the Americans didn’t read this article,” Salah said. “They come now to try to understand what happened (in court) two years ago.”
During the trial, Egyptian military investigators told the court that defendants had reported the purchase of dangerous biological agents by bin Laden associates, through the mail, for as little as $3,865, “shipping included.”
Egyptian government documents detailing the confessions, described in the Arabic press, said that factories in Eastern Europe offered to sell the viruses that cause Ebola and salmonella poisoning to bin Laden’s associates — without asking what the group planned to do with them.
The accused terrorists also claimed to have made agreements to buy “samples of anthrax” from a factory in Southeast Asia and a culture of the paralyzing botulinum bacteria from a lab in the Czech Republic for $7,500.
* Ken Dillon’s June 19, 2015 FOIA Appeal relating to Amerithrax documents from September-October 2001
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 1, 2015