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

* USAMRIID can find no record that the large quantity of virulent Ames sent from Dugway to USAMRIID Special Pathogens Branch (to the FBI’s scientist at USAMRIID) in August 2000 and June 2001 was ever irradiated.  Was record at least kept where the Ames was sent out?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2015

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19 Responses to “* USAMRIID can find no record that the large quantity of virulent Ames sent from Dugway to USAMRIID Special Pathogens Branch (to the FBI’s scientist at USAMRIID) in August 2000 and June 2001 was ever irradiated.  Was record at least kept where the Ames was sent out?”

  1. DXer said

    The wonderful and efficient USAMRMC FOIA officer produced quite a few Forms 11s.

    An example of what the FBI didn’t tell you: The lab doing its work in Richmond, Virginia was sent virulent Ames on July 25, 2001.

  2. DXer said

    An imminent attack is threatened in Kabul and yet USAMRMC has not yet produced the Form 11s showing where the genetically matching virulent Ames was sent prior to the murder of the 5 people in 2001.

    US military says it mistakenly shipped live anthrax samples
    ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer
    Published: May 28, 2015, 9:05 am
    http://wavy.com/2015/05/28/us-military-says-it-mistakenly-shipped-live-anthrax-samples/

    “A bottle of anthrax spore concentrate sits in a Ministry of Agriculture laboratory in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2001. The laboratory, which was under Taliban control for five years, produced anthrax vaccine for animals. The now defeated Taliban regime has long denied being involved in chemical or biological weapons research, but it seems to have taken an interest in the work being done at the lab, according to scientists there, and it was repeatedly hit by U.S. bombers. (AP Photo/Marco Di Lauro)”

  3. DXer said

    Feds still won’t say which labs received Dugway’s live anthrax shipments
    By Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News

    Published: Monday, Nov. 30 2015

    SALT LAKE CITY — A pair of military watchdog groups are blistering mad over what they say is a lack of accountability regarding the shipment of live anthrax spores from the Dugway Proving Ground to more than 180 labs, asserting that recipients should be identified in the interest of public safety.

    “I think our system is in need of some overhaul,” said Steve Erickson with Citizens Education Project and Downwinders. “We just end up taking the Army’s word for it again and again. It is possible that one of these days we will have something catastrophic happen.”

    Erickson, joined by Downwinders founder Preston J. Truman, have submitted multiple open records requests to determine the identity of the recipient lab in Utah and are planning to make document requests this week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which mounted an investigation into Dugway in early June.

    Comment: Ha! Far more importantly — and far less problematically — the Army won’t say where it shipped the (presumably virulent) Ames anthrax shortly before the 5 people were murdered in Fall 2001.

    The Army’s claim of accountability and transparency has proved to be BS public relations because they did not address the 2000 and 2001 shipments out of USAMRIID of the virulent Ames shipped from Dugway.

  4. DXer said

    DHS’ Bioterror Detection Program Unreliable, GAO Says
    By: Amanda Vicinanzo, Senior Editor

    11/25/2015 ( 9:03pm)

    Although the US has made significant strides towards improving preparedness for a bioterrorist attack, the nation’s biosurveillance capabilities are a far cry from adequate, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found he nation’s billion dollar biosurveillance detection system can’t be counted on to actually work.

    The US began to recognize a bioterrorist attack as a serious and urgent threat just days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 when anonymous letters laced with deadly anthrax spores were sent through the mail, sickening 17 people and killing 5 others. The anthrax attacks awakened the nation to the catastrophic impact of a bioterrorist attack in the US.

    ***

    Furthermore, earlier this year, Homeland Security Today conducted an exclusive interview with Brig. Gen. JB Burton, the commanding general of the United States Army 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Command (CBRNE), in which he stated both ISIS and Al Qaeda’s leaders and their determined affiliates around the world have made it exceedingly clear they seek weapons of mass destruction – especially chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear – to use in attacks on the West – in particular, the United States.

    CBRNE and security experts are all saying the same thing: terrorists are intent on using a biological weapon to attack the United States. The failure of US bio-preparedness efforts like BioWatch is not only wasting taxpayer dollars, it is putting the safety of the American people at risk.

    http://www.hstoday.us/briefings/daily-news-analysis/single-article/dhs-bioterror-detection-program-unreliable-gao-says/6a4a583450cb08e222310d68468a289c.html

    Comment:

    Perhaps not another dime should be spent on US biodefense. … and all laboratories should be closed and scientists let go…. given that USAMRIID kept no record of whether the 340 ml and 175 ml.of virulent Ames was ever irradiated… and still has failed to produce the documents showing where the Ames anthrax (which should be presumed not to have been irradiated absent evidence that it was) was subsequently shipped or how it was used.

    The seed stock of that Ames shipped from Dugway was Ivins’ Flask 1030. The FBI’s scientist at USAMRIID, Dr. Ezzell, was doing authorized DARPA-funded biodetection-related research relating to Ames in a soil matrix (think silica). USAMRIID’s failure to produce the documents where the Ames was shipped or how it was used is unacceptable. A billion dollars of wasted taxpayer dollars later, Congress should say enough is enough until some old business relating to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings is addressed.

    So either USAMRIID / USAMRMC can walk over to the scanner and send the documents on without further delay, or taxpayers should at least be allowed to avoid the indignity of spending more and being treated like fools. The murder of five people using Ames strain that originally came from USAMRIID is still unsolved because some FBI and DOD officials have justified to themselves the continuing CYA motivated game of hide-the-ball. These officials did not have the right to make the calls that they did. They are gambling on credit that they do not have.

    Produce the relevant documents sought under FOIA — both FBI and DOD/USAMRMC — or resign. Or be indicted for obstruction of justice.

    • DXer said

      As we draw closer to the next ISIS or Al Qaeda attack, here is a post-Thanksgiving recap:

      1 My intelligence source says at least two of the Ivins’ notebooks involve key transfers of virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. The Ames transferred was genetically matching to that used in the Fall 2001 anthrax attacks.

      2. An important part of record-keeping is done in the scientist’s lab notebooks.

      3. The FBI took at least two of these notebooks and did not return them to Ivins, despite his requests (and USAMRIID request).

      4. The Army earlier ordered USAMRIID operations shut down for 10 days due to CDC’s concern of inadequate record-keeping relating, for example, to the shipment of virulent Ames anthrax. What’s the status of things? Is a CDC report coming?

      5. US Army General McHugh had said there he will ensure that there is accountability for violations and lapses. Is an Army report on accountability forthcoming?

      6. Someone at FBI is responsible for concealing and withholding evidence of these critically important transfer of the genetically matching Ames that was used to kill 5 people.
      Indeed, the former lead investigator of Amerithrax, Richard L. Lambert, says that the FBI is intentionally concealing exculpatory information and that the case is not “solved.”

      7. Thus the CDC and Army General should take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the FBI stop concealing the evidence relating to transfer of Ames by Bruce Ivins.

      8. Tthe CDC and Army should have ensured that the irradiated Ames seized from Ivins in November 2007 is tested. it was removed from USAMRIID’s premises and thus was not available for testing as part of the DOD review. It should now be tested as part of the CDC review.

      9. Former FBI people — Christian Hassell and Vahid Majidi — led and guided the DOD review. One was head of the FBI Laboratory and the other was its WMD person who guided the closing of Amerithrax upon Bruce Ivins’ suicide.

      10. The Army should turn to the former FBI people, now working for DOD , to ensure accountability that no such record of the genetically matching Ames continues to be concealed from from the public.
      Vahid Majidi has written me that I should submit a FOIA to the FBI if I want documents. Yeah, right.

      11. If the DOD General and Army Secretary do not stop the FBI from concealing the records relating to the transfer of virulent Ames that killed five people, then the CDC and Army General should stop with the PR dog and pony claim that there is transparency and accountability. So far, as to Amerithrax, there has been neither.

      12. If USAMRIID responds that the FBI took the Form 11s, don’t credit the claim. JAG would have ensured copies were made and preserved long before the FBI seized any documents. The same goes for irradiation records that the USAMRMC not to have.

      Background:
      Former FBI director alleges agency concealing evidence in anthrax case Published April 16, 2015
      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/04/16/former-fbi-director-alleges-agency-concealing-evidence-in-anthrax-case/

      Ex FBI director suing agency for intentionally concealing evidence during 2001 anthrax case
      APRIL 17, 2015
      http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/ex-fbi-director-suing-agency-for-intentionally-concealing-evidence-during-2001-anthrax-case/story-fnh81jut-1227308510372

      Ex-Knoxville FBI official: Agency hiding evidence in anthrax case
      The Associated Press,6:51 p.m. EDT April 15, 2015
      http://www.wbir.com/story/news/2015/04/15/ex-knoxville-fbi-official-agency-hiding-evidence-in-anthrax-case/25844275/

  5. DXer said

    Remind me: Was the CDC investigating shipment, inventory and irradiation issues at USAMRIID, Aberdeen and Dugway in September 2015? Is there now going to be a report that we can digest over dinner on Thanksgiving?

    Acting Director of the Food and Drug Administration: Who Is Stephen Ostroff
    AllGov-Nov 21, 2015

    “In 2001, he was one of CDC’s point men on the anthrax outbreak a month after the 9/11 attacks.”

    I am confident Dr. Ostroff will do better on food safety issues than Dr. Crawford did on issues relating to Pepsi being promoted to a captive audience of children in schools.

    http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/acting-director-of-the-food-and-drug-administration-who-is-stephen-ostroff-151121?news=857900

  6. DXer said

    What it’s like at the largest mock bioterrorism drill in California’s history
    http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20151118/what-its-like-at-the-largest-mock-bioterrorism-drill-in-californias-history

    Part of the coordination between counties is to ensure that medication distribution occurs at the same time everywhere, Ohikhuare said.

    That will avoid large scale panic migrations of from one county to another.

    The bacteria that causes anthrax would be one of the biological agents most likely used in a bioterror attack, says the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    A sophisticated field deployed electronic inventory recording system will be tested today. It will record not only how many pills have been dispensed, but who received them, said Glenn C. Demerdieros business systems analyst with the county health department.

    “This is mostly in case a lot (of the antibiotics) is recalled. It would give us a way to notify certain people, Demerdieros said.

    Comment: I tend to avoid issues of policy or politics as beyond the scope of the whodunnit presented. But in the event of a massive anthrax aerosol attack, I question whether an electronic inventory system about who received the antibiotic is the priority. It seems that one priority would be to avoid a crippling traffic jam such as occurred not so long ago in DC due to wintry conditions. I would immediately send my family to stay with other family members out of the area while I stayed home to feed the cats.

    If it takes so long for the US biodefense facility to locate the records showing what it did with the 340 ml. of virulent Ames shipped to the FBI scientist at USAMRIID — enough to make the mailed anthrax — then relying on the government to keep my family alive would not be the first thought that occurred to me.

  7. DXer said

    USAMRIID featured in new National Geographic tv series
    • By Sylvia Carignan scarignan@newspost.com
    • Oct 30, 2015

    http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/arts_and_entertainment/tv/usamriid-featured-in-new-national-geographic-tv-series/article_ac9f723b-091d-5d99-9742-f1e0594e4290.html

    For the TV series, Dye demonstrated the use of a suit that researchers working in the fort’s maximum disease containment facilities, called biosafety level 4, wear.

    The first episode of the series discusses some of the work USAMRIID’s researchers are conducting with vaccines and treatments for Ebola and in preparation for future outbreaks. The episode also features an interview with Dye.

    The National Geographic series, called “Breakthrough,” focuses on innovative research across several fields, including advances in stopping epidemics, enhancing human capabilities, aging and renewable energy.

    The episodes will be narrated by actors including Paul Giamatti, Jason Bateman and Adrien Brody.

    The weekly series premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on the National Geographic Channel. Dye and USAMRIID’s researchers will be featured in the first episode, “Fighting Pandemics.”

  8. DXer said

    It was my protectiveness of Valerie, operating the controls in this video of this Frederick, MD band, that got me involved in Amerithrax in the first place.

    Dr. Ayman: Heba and your mom are ashamed of you. The tears they shed over the years are tears of shame.

  9. DXer said

    ISIS Threatens to Attack Washington, D.C. in New Video
    Updated: Tue, Nov 17 2015, 09:19 AM | Sinclair Broadcast Group, Kaylin E. Searles
    http://www.wchstv.com/news/features/eyewitness-news/stories/ISIS-Threatens-to-Attack-Washington-D-C-in-New-Video-232851.shtml#.Vktj3Ic-CL8

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new video claiming to be from the Islamic State is now threatening a terrorist attack on D.C.

  10. DXer said

    Southern California to conduct bioterrorism drill Monday
    By Jim Steinberg, The Sun
    POSTED: 11/15/15, 5:11 PM PST
    http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20151115/southern-california-to-conduct-bioterrorism-drill-monday

    Eleven Southern California counties and 13 public health agencies will take part in the state’s largest bioterrorism drill starting Monday and continuing through the week, officials say.

    The event, called the Southern California Regional Exercise for Anthrax Disaster Incidents, or SoCal READI, includes members of state and county public health agencies, hospitals, elements of law enforcement, hospitals and many volunteers in a practice response to a simulated large-scale aerosolized anthrax bioterrorism attack, said Susan Fanelli, assistant director of the California Department of Public Health.

    The bacteria that causes anthrax would be one of the biological agents most likely used in a bioterror attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Inhaled anthrax is the most deadly form of the disease, with survival rates of only 10 to 15 percent, increasing to 55 percent with aggressive treatment, the agency’s website says.

    SoCal READI has been in the planning stage for two years and builds on smaller drills conducted across the state in the years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Fanelli said …

    Counties participating include San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. The health departments from the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena are also participating,

    ***

    Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9-11, letters laced with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history, says the FBI’s website.

    The investigation, code-named “Amerithrax,” that followed by the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other agencies, was one of the “largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement,” the FBI website says.

    In 2010, the FBI and its partners announced that U.S. Army Biologist Bruce Ivins acted alone in planning and executing the attacks. Ivins committed suicide before federal officials could file charges, the FBI website says.

  11. DXer said

    New chief of FBI office in Buffalo is well-versed in counterterrorism
    http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/new-chief-of-fbi-office-in-buffalo-is-well-versed-in-counterterrorism-20151116

    On that horrific day in September, the day when America watched in disbelief as the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell, Adam S. Cohen was halfway across the world, already knee-deep in the world of counterterrorism.

    It was still early in his career with the FBI, but Cohen, a Brooklyn native working out of the New York City office, had already gained a reputation for his work on the millennium bomb plot.

    The FBI investigation disrupted a plan to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the millennium and sent ringleader Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian national who trained with Islamic terrorists, to prison.

    When 9/11 hit, Cohen, who recently became special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, was still overseas working the case.

    “I watched the buildings in my own city come down on a TV set at the embassy in Algiers,” he said from his office in downtown Buffalo. “I had no idea if any of my friends or co-workers were killed. It was just horrible.” …

    For Cohen, by then a four-year veteran of counterterrorism duty, it was an ugly reminder of the worldwide threat posed by terrorists and their ability to infiltrate the United States.

    “We had been arresting people and disrupting plots,” Cohen said of the FBI before Sept. 11, 2001, “but nobody could have envisioned something on that scale.”

    A year later, Cohen was promoted to the International Terrorism Operations Section at FBI Headquarters and, for the second time, was honored by the attorney general for his work on a terrorism investigation.

    This time, it was Operation Crevice, a 2004 investigation into al-Qaida cells in Britain and their plans for a series of ammonium nitrate fertilizer explosions. …

    Investigations such as Operation Crevice, Cohen says, are the exception, not the rule, for counterterrorism specialists. Most of the time, they work on confidential investigations that, even when successful, rarely become known.

    After a series of promotions, Cohen took his experience with terrorists and added a powerful new wrinkle – the Internet. The goal was to track how terrorists are using the Web and social media to communicate, plot and carry out their plans.

    ***

    It’s our mission,” he said of the FBI. “It’s the important work we do.”

  12. DXer said

    What the CIA knew before 9/11: New details
    An exclusive look at how the Bush administration ignored warnings, including some that were far more detailed than previously revealed.
    By CHRIS WHIPPLE 11/13/15, 7:29 AM CET
    http://www.politico.eu/article/attacks-will-be-spectacular-cia-war-on-terror-bush-bin-laden/

    “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The CIA’s famous Presidential Daily Brief, presented to George W. Bush on August 6, 2001, has always been Exhibit A in the case that his administration shrugged off warnings of an Al Qaeda attack. But months earlier, starting in the spring of 2001, the CIA repeatedly and urgently began to warn the White House that an attack was coming.

    By May of 2001, says Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, “it was very evident that we were going to be struck, we were gonna be struck hard and lots of Americans were going to die.” “There were real plots being manifested,” Cofer’s former boss, George Tenet, told me in his first interview in eight years.

    ***

    But neither he nor Black has spoken about it publicly until now—or supplied so much detail about how specific and pressing the warnings really were. Over the past eight months, in more than a hundred hours of interviews, I talked with Tenet and the 11 other living former CIA directors for The Spymasters, a documentary set to air this month on Showtime.

    ***

    That morning of July 10, the head of the agency’s Al Qaeda unit, Richard Blee, burst into Black’s office. “And he says, ‘Chief, this is it. Roof’s fallen in,’” recounts Black. “The information that we had compiled was absolutely compelling. It was multiple-sourced. And it was sort of the last straw.” Black and his deputy rushed to the director’s office to brief Tenet. All agreed an urgent meeting at the White House was needed. Tenet picked up the white phone to Bush’s National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. “I said, ‘Condi, I have to come see you,’” Tenet remembers. “It was one of the rare times in my seven years as director where I said, ‘I have to come see you. We’re comin’ right now. We have to get there.’”

    Tenet vividly recalls the White House meeting with Rice and her team. (George W. Bush was on a trip to Boston.) “Rich [Blee] started by saying, ‘There will be significant terrorist attacks against the United States in the coming weeks or months. The attacks will be spectacular. They may be multiple. Al Qaeda’s intention is the destruction of the United States.’” [Condi said:] ‘What do you think we need to do?’ Black responded by slamming his fist on the table, and saying, ‘We need to go on a wartime footing now!’”

    “What happened?” I ask Cofer Black. “Yeah. What did happen?” he replies. “To me it remains incomprehensible still. I mean, how is it that you could warn senior people so many times and nothing actually happened? It’s kind of like The Twilight Zone.” Remarkably, in her memoir, Condi Rice writes of the July 10 warnings: “My recollection of the meeting is not very crisp because we were discussing the threat every day.” Having raised threat levels for U.S. personnel overseas, she adds: “I thought we were doing what needed to be done.” (When I asked whether she had any further response to the comments that Tenet, Black and others made to me, her chief of staff said she stands by the account in her memoir.) Inexplicably, although Tenet brought up this meeting in his closed-door testimony before the 9/11 Commission, it was never mentioned in the committee’s final report.

    And there was one more chilling warning to come. At the end of July, Tenet and his deputies gathered in the director’s conference room at CIA headquarters. “We were just thinking about all of this and trying to figure out how this attack might occur,” he recalls. “And I’ll never forget this until the day I die. Rich Blee looked at everybody and said, ‘They’re coming here.’ And the silence that followed was deafening. You could feel the oxygen come out of the room. ‘They’re coming here.’”

    ^^^

    Tenet, who is perhaps the agency’s most embattled director ever, can barely contain himself when talking about the unheeded warnings he says he gave the White House. Twirling an unlit cigar and fidgeting in his chair at our studio in downtown Washington, D.C., he says with resignation: “I can only tell you what we did and what we said.”

    ***

    “Every day,” says Rodriguez, “the president was asking George Tenet, ‘What is Abu Zubaydah saying about the second wave of attacks and about all these other plots?’ Well, he was not saying anything. We had to do something different.”

    Chris Whipple is executive producer and writer of “The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs,” airing on Showtime November 28. He is writing a book on the White House chiefs of staff.

  13. DXer said

    “Which story do you want us to write? Because we’re writing one of them.”

  14. DXer said

    DXer’s current Amerithrax hypothesis …
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 2, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/dxers-current-amerithrax-hypothesis/

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