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

* FBI scientist John Ezzell has explained that dried Ames and Sterne spores went to studies for DARPA at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Labs in Columbia, MD

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 28, 2015

dryanthraxsporessenttoJHUAPLinColumbia

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15 Responses to “* FBI scientist John Ezzell has explained that dried Ames and Sterne spores went to studies for DARPA at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Labs in Columbia, MD”

  1. DXer said

    White House shines high-level spotlight on biodefense

    Filed Under:
    Bioterrorism
    ;
    Biosecurity Issues
    Lisa Schnirring | News Editor | CIDRAP News
    |
    Sep 18, 2018
    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2018/09/white-house-shines-high-level-spotlight-biodefense

    Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said today that he was impressed by the scope of the effort. “It’s the first national strategy that encompasses natural, deliberate, and accidental biological threats, and that addresses threats to humans, animals, and plants.”

    In the past, work in all of the areas covered by the goals was driven by different documents developed years apart in different presidential administrations, he said.

    Another new element is that the national security advisor is the lead for the strategy, and Inglesby said the president’s national security priorities are more likely to get more attention and resources.

    “The fact that it is published along with a Presidential Memorandum adds power to it all, including the direction that budgets will need to respond to this strategy,” he said.

    Another good development is that the plan spells the day-to-day coordination and execution by the HHS secretary, which builds in top-level accountability and clearly assigned responsibility, according to Inglesby.

    “But by same token it will be important and challenging to make sure that the many other agencies of government that need to be involved in preventing and preparing for biological threats stay engaged and bring their full capabilities to bear,” he said. For example, Inglesby notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration are where the main HHS capabilities reside, but other agencies—including the departments of State and Defense, and the intelligence community—also play key roles.

    “It would not be good if other agencies step back from the biodefense mission because they perceive their roles to be diminished,” he said.

    The administration’s new strategy rightly recognizes biotechnology benefits while calling out the need to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity in the life sciences, including a call to promote global oversight of high-consequence research, such as that involving pandemic pathogens, Inglesby said.

    “There is no real global dialogue, let alone oversight in most countries, around this realm of research now—having this set forth in the strategy hopefully will motivate real action internationally,” he said.

    Inglesby said another encouraging element of the plan includes a commitment to working with other countries to strengthen the capacity to fight infectious diseases. “I would have liked to see specific mention to the Global Health Security Agenda by name, but it is very heartening to see the international commitment to capacity building for epidemic response,” he said, noting that the release of a Global Health Security Strategy is expected next month, which might include more details about those activities.

    Other notable and novel elements of the new plan include a stronger emphasis on risk assessment and the priority given to forecasting and modeling, Inglesby said.

    “What is also new is the focus on secondary impacts and major disruptions to society, economy, and democracy itself—focusing on these major issues is important because these are the kinds of risks that can emerge in a severe pandemic,” he noted.

    Inglesby said he’s hopeful that federal officials follow up with more details on how they will implement the new strategy, and he hopes, a planning document spelling it out will follow.

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

  2. DXer said

    https://www.emptywheel.net/tag/drones/?print=print

    July 30, 2018
    10 Years of emptywheel: Jim’s Dimestore

    DETAILS OF SILICON-TIN CHEMISTRY OF ANTHRAX ATTACK SPORES PUBLISHED; WILLMAN TUT-TUTS

    Sandia National Laboratories image of attack spore. In the upper frame, silicon, in green, is found exclusively on the spore coat and not on the exosporium (outer pink border).

    Perhaps my favorite topic over the years has been a technical analysis of the evidence presented by the FBI in its Amerithrax investigation. It is absolutely clear from this analysis of the anthrax attacks of 2001 that the FBI failed to demonstrate how Bruce Ivins could have carried out the attacks on his own. This post goes deep into the technical weeds of how the spores in the attack material were treated so that they would disperse easily and seem to float on air. The bottom line is that high amounts of silicon are found inside these spores. The silicon could not have gotten there naturally, and it took very sophisticated chemistry to get it there and treat it to make sure it stayed. Ivins had neither the expertise nor the equipment to achieve this highly advanced bioweaponization. Earlier work I did in this series showed that Ivins also could not have grown the anthrax used in the attacks. My favorite candidate for where it was produced is an isolated lab built by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency on what is now called the Nevada National Security Site (formerly the Nevada Test Site) that Judy Miller described on September 4, 2001. That article by Miller has always stood out to me as the ultimate limited hangout presented by DoD before the fact, where we see a facility of the perfect size for producing the amount of material used in the anthrax attacks. Those attacks occurred just a short time after the article was published. Miller’s assurance in the article that the site only was used for production of harmless bacteria sharing some characteristics with anthrax just never smelled right to me.

  3. DXer said

    The former Zawahiri associate also worked — in addition to the B3 with Ivins, Fellows and Linscott — at Johns-Hopkins and Dugway.

    Due to the strict compartmentalization, former FBI Agent Scott Decker never saw all — much — of the evidence relating to Amerithrax. Former lead investigator Richard Lambert did though.

    And now in federal district court litigation Ken Dillon seeks the outline of the memo reporting on the investigation to former FBI Director Robert Mueller — to include the full text of the section addressing the FBI’s “Ivins Theory.”

    Has Amerithrax been one big CYA operation by FBI’s Hazmat group from the beginning — given that it was their scientist (JE) who made a dried powder out of the genetically matching Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins? Isn’t Scott Decker still furthering that CYA effort?

    Did Robert Mueller botch Amerithrax? (I don’t know — surely, it was a difficult whodunnit and he did act to minimize the conflict of interest by compartmentalizing the investigation).

    But as Lambert urged to Mueller, compartmentalization was likely going to prevent Scott Decker and his well-meaning colleagues from reaching correct conclusions in Amerithrax.

    Before Mueller is behind the indictment of a member of the President’s son-in-law, shouldn’t the FBI comply with FOIA so we can assess the FBI’s handling of Amerithrax?

    Conflict of interest is being raised in the Russia investigation also.

    If North Korea does have anthrax that it has weaponized, might it be useful to know what strain anthrax it was? Is it the Ames strain?

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

  4. DXer said

    • DXer said

    • DXer said

      The people at USAMRIID’s Special Pathogens group “had to stop working with dried powder aerosolization due to its dual use implications.” Who was the scientist who worked on it alone in Building 1412? (It certainly was not Ivins — he was not in that group. He was in the Bacteriology Division and worked on vaccines.) Who did that scientist working on dried powder aerosolization receive “all direction on this project” from?

      USAMRMC has not produced any documents on the project. Isn’t it about time that USAMRMC did? Or does DOD just view the White House directive just intended as wallpaper.

      The Fall 2001 anthrax mailings involve the biggest incident of all — it involves the murder of five people as the result of the diversion of the US Army Ames strain.

  5. DXer said

    Ret. Brigadier General Walter Busbee might be the best person to interview about decontamination agent testing at JHU-APL in late October 2001.

    In October 2001, the New York Times, interviewed Walter Busbee [JHU-APL], the retired brigadier general who was chief of the Pentagon’s chemical and biological defense program from 1996 to 1998. General Busbee had such foam demonstrated against live agents in 1999. He said he saw the foam tested against live spores.

    Mr. Busbee in October 2001 was with the counterproliferation program at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University which is who Dr. Ezzell was coordinating in making the dried spores out of gamma-irradiated Ames spores.

    An expert in the field, he was hosted by Ira Flatow, on NPR’s Science Friday, where he discussed the detection efforts that were ongoing in Iraq in 2003.

    http://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2001/10/26/US/NATION-CHALLENGED-DECONTAMINATION-FOAM-THAT-KILLS-ANTHRAX-BE-USED-MAILROOMS.HTML

    A NATION CHALLENGED: DECONTAMINATION
    A NATION CHALLENGED: DECONTAMINATION; Foam That Kills Anthrax Is to Be Used in Mailrooms
    By JAMES GLANZ
    Published: October 26, 2001

  6. DXer said

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1210580

    Join Ira Flatow for a discussion on bio-chemical detection.

    Guest:

    Ret. General Walter Busbee
    * Business Executive, Counterproliferation and Homeland Security Program Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins University
    * Chair, Chemical Biological Defense Division National Defense Industrial Association

  7. DXer said

    Under the Agreement between JHU/APL and USAMRIID’s DSD, USAMRIID was to include work with virulent strains, and not just the Ames from Flask 1029 (Dugway Spores) that had been irradiated. 98 vials of Dugway spores are missing — claimed to have been destroyed the previous year.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 27, 2014

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/under-the-agreement-between-jhuapl-and-usamriids-dsd-usamriid-was-to-include-work-with-powderized-virulent-strains-and-not-just-the-ames-from-flask-1029-dugway-spores-that-had-been-irradiated/

    • DXer said

      Bruce Ivins thought it was an “incredible coverup” that he was not allowed to swab the Diagnostic Services Division at the same time he swabbed his lab and offices

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 10, 2012

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/bruce-ivins-thought-it-was-an-incredible-coverup-that-he-was-not-allowed-to-swab-the-diagnostic-services-division-at-the-same-time-he-swabbed-his-lab-and-offices-2/

    • DXer said

      In October 2001, the New York Times, reported that Walter Busbee [JHU-APL], a retired brigadier general who was chief of the Pentagon’s chemical and biological defense program from 1996 to 1998 and who has seen decontamination foam demonstrated.

      He said he saw the foam tested against live spores.

      Mr. Busbee in October 2001 was with the counterproliferation program at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.

      http://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2001/10/26/US/NATION-CHALLENGED-DECONTAMINATION-FOAM-THAT-KILLS-ANTHRAX-BE-USED-MAILROOMS.HTML

      A NATION CHALLENGED: DECONTAMINATION
      A NATION CHALLENGED: DECONTAMINATION; Foam That Kills Anthrax Is to Be Used in Mailrooms
      By JAMES GLANZ
      Published: October 26, 2001

      Cleanup workers are preparing to apply a new type of foam that kills anthrax spores and bacteria to contaminated mailrooms on Capitol Hill, officials said yesterday.

      Surfaces in the mailrooms are to be covered with two to three inches of the foam, which would be vacuumed off like carpet cleaner after an hour or so, said officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and a company that makes the foam.

      It is the first use of the foam outside a laboratory on areas contaminated with a biological weapon.

      The foam — developed over the past several years as part of the nation’s program to defend against biological and chemical attacks — was chosen ”because it’s so effective against bacteria and spores,” Bonnie Piper, a spokeswoman for the agency, said.

      Officials are also considering using the foam in other contaminated buildings like post offices and in the office of Senator Tom Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota, in the Hart Senate Office Building, said Lt. Dan Nichols, a spokesman for the Capitol Police.

      ***

      ”It is not toxic; it is not corrosive,” Dr. Bustard said. ”The ingredients are sort of similar to toothpaste and hair conditioner.”

      Dr. Bustard refused to elaborate on the makeup of the foam.

      But despite those harmless-sounding ingredients, it is highly toxic to biological agents, said Dr. Bruce Gingras, a research microbiologist at the I.I.T. Research Institute, which is affiliated with the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

      In 1999, Dr. Gingras said, he tested the foam against live anthrax spores in a laboratory and found that they were virtually wiped out — their numbers reduced by a factor of 10 million — in an hour.

      ”It was extremely effective,” Dr. Gingras said.

      The foam has other advantages, said Walter Busbee, a retired brigadier general who was chief of the Pentagon’s chemical and biological defense program from 1996 to 1998 and who has seen the foam demonstrated.

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

      • DXer said

        For some background, see T. E. Bearden, CTEC Letter to Maj. General Walter Busbee, Assistant to Secretary of Defense, dated April 2, 1998, Subject: “Saving the Lives of Mass BW Casualties from Terrorist BW Strikes on U.S. Population Centers,” with enclosures.

        See also Germs, at p. 199.

        “One of the senior Pentagon officials overseeing the lab [Bioport], General Walter, sent an e-mail to the collagues urging them to begin considering what they would do if the FDA shut Michigan down.” Germs, p. 199, 371 (quoting email in footnote).

  8. DXer said

    USAMRIID provides this response about the lack of documentation associated with the missing Ames anthrax from Flask 1029 under the DARPA-funded JHU-APL project under which USAMRIID was required to provide unidentified contractors virulent Ames anthrax

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 20, 2014

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/usamriid-provides-this-response-about-the-lack-of-documentation-associated-with-the-missing-98-vials-of-ames-anthrax-from-flask-1029-under-the-darpa-funded-jhu-apl-project-under-which-usamriid-was/

  9. DXer said

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