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

* Did someone make a powder out of the missing 340 ml. of virulent Ames for DARPA or DTRA research?

Posted by DXer on August 22, 2016


57 Responses to “* Did someone make a powder out of the missing 340 ml. of virulent Ames for DARPA or DTRA research?”

  1. DXer said

    The fictionalized National Geographic tv show has chosen to make up facts about Bruce Ivins. If they were going to make up facts, they should not have used his name. And learn about Flask 1030 — which was in fact the flask with the missing Ames (which was never submitted by the FBI’s scientists).

    The missing anthrax was not from Flask 1029. The anthrax that went missing was made into a powder by FBI scientists for DARPA-funded research.

  2. DXer said

    Colin Powell was right, in my opinion, that Donald Trump was not qualified to be President. Republics should recognize that Trump’s brand is seriously damaged.

  3. DXer said

    US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November — report
    Israeli officials said to have debated threat five months ago, before public was aware of coronavirus, but ‘nothing was done’ by Health Ministry

    16 April 2020

  4. DXer said

    China officials knew of coronavirus in December, ordered cover-up, report says
    By Sara DornFebruary 29, 2020

    Comment: I’m halfway through a 2011 Jack Reacher novel THE AFFAIR which appears to be about an Army cover-up.*

    The reason the public policy underlying FOIA applies with special force to the withheld Amerithrax document pages — IMO — is because many years ago I heard secondhand from a DARPA program manager that authorities even knew the machine that was used to create the powder used in the mailings.

    It was just bar talk but still reason for pause given Zawahiri’s proven success at infiltrating Western biodefense.

    Now I don’t know the solution to Amerithrax and so cannot assess the report. But the source of the Fall 2001 report was as credible and distinguished as they come.

    And so it is time that FOIA be applied to the withheld documents to see if light can be shed on the operations of government.

    The Covid19 outbreak illustrates that the public has a keen interest in having accurate information on such issues. Accuracy is best judged in light of a review of the underlying documentary evidence (that will be referenced in the 16 pages on Bruce Ivins, for example.

    Here is a January 30 interview by Ken Alibek on the failure of the Chinese officials to come clean early on.

    *I have long enjoyed Reacher novels, like Spenser novels that seem similar. But I don’t approve of the violence. You shouldn’t hit people.

  5. DXer said

    The army quietly re-opens its infamous germ warfare lab
    The Fort Detrick laboratory experiments with ebola, plague and other deadly toxins


    DECEMBER 7, 2019 4:29PM (UTC)

    Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist who was suspected but never charged in the anthrax mailings in 2001 that killed five people, worked at the institute. He died in 2008, apparently by suicide. An investigation by ProPublica and other news organizations found problems with the anthrax investigation.

    Other problems identified in the Fort Detrick inspection include not having a complete, accurate inventory of the agents the lab was working with. The inspection report obtained by The Frederick News-Post under a Freedom of Information Act request includes a large section that is redacted.


    In 2009, research was suspended after the discovery that more than 9,200 vials, about one-eighth of its stock, wasn’t listed in the institute’s database.

  6. DXer said

    DARPA Wants Smart Suits to Protect Against Biological Attacks

  7. DXer said

    In Dillon’s filing today, I see his counsel argues:

    “In the Amerithrax report, the Department of Justice announced that “[o]thers with access to RMR-1029 have been ruled out[.]” (Ex. 1 at 33.) Although a university in the southwest was ruled out by the DOJ as the source of the anthrax spores used in the mailings, Mr. Dillon’s analysis of the case suggests that the anthrax spores used in the mailings were stolen from a different university institute in Virginia and mailed by al-Qaeda. As explained below, the public interest in disclosing the names and/or identifying information about third parties decisively outweighs the privacy interests at stake.”

    The key FBI scientist, Jason B, prior to 9/11 worked as the bacteriology collections scientist at ATCC, the depository located at George Mason University. Now he found that although the researchers used Ames, it was not exactly genetically matching. Thus it was excluded.

    The research was done at Southern Research Institute in Frederick, where Ivins’ colleague Pat Fellows came to head the B3.

    The professional world involving bioweapons research was so small that there was bound to be overlaps and conflicts of interest as people moved to the FBI investigation.

    It of course would have been negligent to allow a graduate student to have unfettered access to the ATCC (which shared facilities with GMU) as a whistleblower alleged to me. The PhD/JD was let go within 2 weeks of arriving and complaining about the lack of security. #imaginetheliability

    In 2006, when the new team of FBI investigators took over, they were told to exclude all sources where it was not known that the genetically matching Ames was located.

    It is not surprising that they ended up with Ivins — even though he provably had an alibi for every 7 hour window he wasn’t home asleep with his family.

    Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek told me that he knew his suitemate, Ali Al-Timimi, was a hardliner.

    But neither he nor bioweaponeer Serge Popov knew Al-Timimi to work on biodefense research. Ali was doing cancer research and coordinating the computers.

    Others at GMU with whom I spoke said the same thing. The scientist next door to Al-Timimi wrote her PhD thesis about bioweapons and discussed the weaponization of the mailed anthrax.

    Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek’s company had the biggest DARPA biodefense contract ever. He patented use of silica, along with his colleague, Charles Bailey, who was former acting commander of USAMRIID.

    But, hey. Don’t pay attention to any of this. Semen stained panties were found in Bruce Ivins’ garbage a second time — and then he killed himself after being swabbed for DNA.

    He must have been guilty. Otherwise besides thinking he had no reason to live, he wouldn’t have killed himself.

    How can the FBI investigators write books, win movie deals, and go on to high paying jobs if they drove an innocent man to commit suicide — after the FBI had already pay Steve Hatfill $5.8 million?

  8. DXer said

    Searching for balloons in a social network

    The key to mobilizing large numbers of people is incentives, study finds.

    Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office
    October 28, 2011

    October 22, 2018
    Terrorist Plot Foiled

    Indiana Extremist Sought to Kill in the Name of ISIS

    While the nation mourned the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, an Indiana man who had become radicalized online was inspired by the terror attack to plan more killings in the name of ISIS.

    Nine days after the Pulse massacre—which left 49 people dead and 53 others wounded—31-year-old Marlonn Hicks discussed planning terror attacks with an FBI source he believed was a supporter of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Hicks sent the source two manuals on how to manufacture and use explosives and poisons; he also discussed how to obtain firearms and practice using them.

    “He said he wanted to coordinate violent attacks in different cities,” said an FBI special agent who investigated the case from the Bureau’s Indianapolis Division and is a member of the Indianapolis Joint Terrorism Task Force. “Even after he was arrested, he wanted everyone to know that the attacks would have been carried out in the name of ISIS.

    Hicks, who lived in Crown Point, Indiana, had first shown up on the FBI’s radar in 2015. “He was picked up by FBI entities on social media,” the agent said, “because he was very vocally posting his support for ISIS. He made statements that he wanted to travel to Syria and live there.”

    Agents placed Hicks on round-the-clock surveillance, fearing that he might act. During that time, Hicks was talking to the FBI sources, trying to develop a coordinated attack plan that would create “more of an audience.” He was also motivated to kill in the name of ISIS because the FBI and the U.S. government had thwarted other ISIS supporters from traveling to Syria. He exclaimed in an online post that since the U.S. government had “shut the door” on his ability to travel to Syria and fight with ISIS, “I’m gonna open the door to hell for them.”

  9. DXer said

    Here is a newly uploaded video that features my poem being put on an Erie Canal building. The reference to red balloon and umbrella was a coded reference to the FBI about the DARPA red balloon experiment and the Russian murder of a dissident writer (Markov) using a ricin tipped umbrella.

    It was also painted on the sidewalk where the local FBI agents walk using a paint that can only be seen when wet.

  10. DXer said

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


    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.

  11. DXer said

    Computer Models Reveal Best Way to Kill Deadly Bacteria

    Caitlin Dawson | January 31, 2018
    Bacterial spores use “chemical magic trick” to create protective shell, study finds

    The simulations revealed that depending on water concentration and temperature, the water inside the bacterial cell behaves like either solid, gel or liquid.

    “Our models showed the spores perform a kind of chemical magic trick to intentionally freezes themselves and immobilize the water in their cells,” says Nakano, who also holds an appointment with USC’s Department of Biological Sciences.

    Our models showed the spores perform a kind of chemical magic trick to intentionally freezes themselves and immobilize the water in their cells.Aiichiro Nakano
    “The frozen cells cannot be disturbed by any radiation or chemical process and it also protects the DNA, so the spores can continue to reproduce.”


    The paper, entitled “Gel phase in hydrated calcium dipicolinate,” appeared in Applied Physics Letters. The research was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

  12. DXer said

    Will the FBI ever produce an Ivins or other section from the memo by Richard Lambert to FBI Director Mueller that addresses this?

  13. DXer said

    ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran appeared to criticize colleague Brian Ross on Twitter Saturday night over Ross’ reporting on the 2001 anthrax scare.

    Ross, the network’s chief investigative correspondent, was suspended for four weeks without pay after he incorrectly reported that former national security adviser Michael Flynn would testify that Donald Trump ordered Flynn to contact Russian officials to discuss foreign policy before Trump was elected president last year.

    Back in October 2001, Ross reported that an anthrax-laced letter sent to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s office contained traces of bentonite. Ross went on to report that “as far as is known, only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons.”

    Ari Fleischer, who was White House press secretary at the time, tweeted that he “explicitly told ABC News not to go with the anthrax story because it was wrong. Brian Ross went with it anyway …” Hours later, in response to a Politico story about Ross’ mistake, Fleischer specified that he told Ross the report was wrong “BEFORE he aired his story about Saddam being behind the anthrax attack.”

    I explicitly told ABC News not to go with the anthrax story because it was wrong. Brian Ross went with it anyway – and one week later issued a murky, hard to understand correction.

    — Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 2, 2017

    Moran, who was ABC’s chief White House correspondent at the time, backed Fleischer up with a terse tweet saying, “This is correct.”

    This is correct.

    — Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) December 2, 2017
    In Ross’ initial 2001 report, he said Fleischer “denied that bentonite was found on the letters, but another senior White House official backed off Fleischer’s comments, saying ‘at this point’ there does not appear to be bentonite.”

    In a 2008 interview with TVNewser, Ross said the sources for the initial bentonite report later corrected themselves and he reported their correction several days later.

    “My sources were good,” Ross said at the time. “We just got information that became outdated before they could update.”

    Reps for ABC News did not immediately return phone calls and emails requesting comment.

    Comment: Gary Matsumoto was a producer for ABC News at the time — February 2000 – March 2002 (2 years 2 months). I don’t recall offhand the details of what his sources reported to ABC on bentonite, or who they were. But perhaps some scientists, who otherwise would be excellent sources, initially thought they had detected bentonite. Gary and I never got along — but in a lengthy conversation or two, he always struck me as self-aware and was harder on himself than any one who disagreed with his substantive positions, whether on the anthrax vaccine or the Amerithrax forensics. And Gary certainly writes lucidly, if the first chapter of his book Vaccine A is any indication. I think it may have been either his noteworthy March 2002 article or equally notable news article in Science that had fascinating detail about a Dugway simulant being made at a Wisconsin dairy processor. Moreover, he certainly was dogged and skilled at using FOIA if Bruce Ivins’ upset at him is any indication.

    The experts I relied upon disagreed with Gary’s experts on the sophistication of the anthrax — or, rather, the difficulty in making it. The expert I consulted, who headed the Air Force lab, did controlled experiments (using a fluidized bed dryer) and found that putting silica in the growth medium led to anthrax that looked the same — but that the anthrax was as floatable without the silica. (The expert, JK, said that FBI Amerithrax scientist Jim D pooh-poohed the finding). In other words, I always agreed with Gary and my good friend Stuart J., that the presence of silica or not was a potentially very useful forensic signature, but I think things early on went off track by focusing on a role relating to floatability rather than some other weaponization purpose. (It is totally understandable that the FBI would want to obfuscate the issue and should be understood as authorized under FOIA to do so). Gary’s good friend, the late Stuart J., eventually came around to my line of thinking after I looped him in with the Air Force expert. (Stuart, I think, came to regret an article on the forensics he did in which he argued that the sophistication pointed to Iraq.)

    Even before Glenn Greenwald became a household name in matters relating to Snowden, Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, Binney, etc. he was writing trenchant articles about the issue of bentonite and justifying invasion of Iraq.

    The issue of how anthrax mailings related to justifying invading Iraq is made all the more fascinating given that Ali Al-Timimi’s father was a lawyer at the small Iraq embassy in DC. And Ali’s DARPA-funded suite mates, the ones doing the research with the Ames strain, used silica in the growth medium in a patent invented in spring 2001 — which was not published for quite a while. Alibek, of course, was the famed former Russian bioweaponeer and would amiably explain the deception involved in a bioweapons program.

    Glenn Greenwald outlines the conscious spreading of lies to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and thus add another plank in the pattern of lies which the Bush/Cheney administration used to justify their “war of choice”
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 2, 2009

  14. DXer said

    Were DARPA/DTRA computers ever hacked?

    Kevin D. Mitnick & William L. Simon in “The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders & Deceivers” (2005) explained that a hacker, at the behest of a terrorist “Khalid Ibrahim” broke into DTRA computers. And I mentioned that the serial number for Ken Alibek’s Dell computer was available online. But no hacker would have been needed. The convicted seditionist in the room next door, in the same suite, had a $70,000 job working with the university’s computers, where the DARPA project was located, coordinating research. A GMU whistleblower furthermore has explained that any researcher would have access to the same computers in the lab.

    Everyone has refused to tell me when Southern Research Institute, who did the Ames work for Alibek’s Advanced Biosystems, first acquired virulent Ames. I do have the paperwork, though, for when Ken acquired inactive Ames well before 2001. And we have since learned that often Ames thought to be inactive was in fact not.

    Dr. Bailey told a reporter in 2001 that he wasn’t going to talk about silica because he didn’t want to give terrorists any ideas. But if a future convicted seditionist is sharing his computer system, that makes for a delicate situation.

    • DXer said

      Mr. Mitnick explains:

      “In most businesses, an attacker who can find a way of getting into the work areas of the faciliity can easily find a way of getting into the work areas of the facility can easily find a way to gain access to systems….

      “few workers lock their computers when leaving their work area or use screensaver or start-up passwords.”


      “Knowledgeable employees familiar with the company’s network can easily use their physical access to compromise systems when no one is around….” (The Art of Intrusion, at p. 63)

      Go ahead. Look to see who recommended Ali Al-Timimi for the gig in Ken Alibek’s suite. The same suite included the former acting Commander of USAMRIID, the Ames researcher who had been the leading DTRA biothreat person. They shared a fax machine.

      Also, consider the computer security grad student from the same university who was deported.

      FBI Agent Scott Decker’s analysis, premised on distribution of virulent Ames being all trackable by paperwork, was unsound from the start. Spies are more clever than your usual snatch and run bank robber.

      FWIW, Jason B, another key FBI scientist, had been the lead bacteriology person at the ATCC repository (which shared GMU facilities). So he more than anyone would have, should have, known the vulnerability to intrusion where a jihad supporter had access to GMU’s and Hadron’s computers. According to a whistleblower who contacted me, Ali even had access to the ATCC repository.

      Now it certainly was unsettling to learn that Bruce Ivins handed his assistant Mara a sex toy at a Georgetown sex shop.

      It would be eyebrow raising whether done by colleagues at a biodefense facility or a prosecutor’s office — or at a major network. Even grounds for firing, depending on the circumstances.

      But weren’t there concerns more relevant to the issue of surreptitious access to Ames anthrax and the uses of silica in a growth medium?

      What is going on with Ali’s appeal? He was convicted of sedition in 2005 and setenced to two life terms plus 70 years. The case was remanded because the government reportedly did not disclose some information about their investigation relating to Ali’s fellow Falls Church imam, Anwar Awlaki. (Awlaki, in a writing, urged the use of bioweapons).

      All Ali did, as I recall, was urge some young men to go abroad to defend their religion if they felt so compelled. At most, he urged them to cry like a baby and ask for their mama if stopped and questioned. He has already spent 10 years in jail. Might it be reasonable to now release him so he can address these issues and get on with his scholarly pursuits? He certainly spoke very eloquently after conviction. He is bound to have a thoughtful book in him.

      Who knows. Maybe the FBI will learn that their Ivins Theory was as unconvincing as their Hatfill Theory.

      floor plan of suite at GMU’s Discovery Hall in 2001 with Ali Al-Timimi and leading anthrax scientists
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 7, 2010

  15. DXer said

    With some biological threats mitigated, BARDA shifts focus to combat highly pathogenic viruses, chemical agents

    Monday, March 6, 2017 by Tracy Rozens

    After letters laced with anthrax were sent by mail in 2001, killing five Americans in the worst biological attack in U.S. history, the U.S. government strengthened its national preparedness position against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats….

    “If we can’t create an environment where companies want to continue making these products, they aren’t going to make them,” he added.

  16. DXer said

    USAMRIID silent on science director investigation

    Frederick News Post (subscription)-Aug 22, 2016

    The Army investigation, completed in 2015, found evidence that USAMRIID Science Director Sina Bavari has created an “environment of fear” …

    Those who declined to be named feared Bavari would fire them, damage their reputations as researchers, or both.

    The News-Post published a story about the Army investigation Aug. 13.

    The Army’s investigating officer recommended that Bavari be removed from USAMRIID and reassigned to a job without supervisory duties.

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a Department of Defense agency that is a major USAMRIID funder, also declined to weigh in Monday.

    “DTRA will continue to manage projects and funds in accordance with applicable laws, policies and procedures. DTRA has no comment on personnel matters at other agencies,” spokesman Ron Lovas wrote in an email.

  17. DXer said

    That anthrax plot in the news this past week brought to mind the Green Team’s work in Somalia in 1993. It was led by Atef, the big boss overseeing Al Qaeda’s anthrax program (even over Zawahiri).

    I have no idea what these folks think is gained by blowing things up when instead the Green Team could be blowing up a good idea.

    Our Green Team proposal:

    Al Qaeda’s version of the green team is thus:

    Document #: AFGP-2002-600104
    The Green Team.

    Click to access AFGP-2002-600104-Trans-Meta.pdf

    On Wednesday evening of January 20, 1993 (26th of Rajab, 1413), Brother Abu Hafs
    summoned us to his house in Peshawar after the evening prayer. He told us to cancel all
    of our personal plans, such as marriage, travel, and other things, and to prepare for a
    mission to travel to Kenya and Somalia. …

    The mission was given to me, Sayf al-Islam, to travel with these Brothers because
    Brother Sayf al-Adel was going to stay in Pakistan. A number of orders were given,
    among them:
    1: Keep the group in an isolated house where we can undertake the requested measures
    to prevent unwanted meddling, even from people with good intentions. This is so we
    could shave our beards, buy European-style clothing, and travel a number of times to
    Islamabad to reserve tickets to travel by ourselves.
    2: A quick training session was given by Brother Haydarah al-Argentini on
    Transportation Routine and Travel Procedures, and a second training session on
    Reconnaissance Strategy was given by Brother Abu Walid, in English.
    3: This enabled the individual to perform every travel procedure on his own.


    outlined our three goals for the region:

    1 – Find a location for military operations that would replace Afghanistan
    2 – The location must be near the Arab region
    3 – Attempt to help the brothers in Somalia and Ogaden

  18. DXer said

    Military Labs Are Too Careless With Deadly Diseases: Report
    A government examination acknowledges that the DOD is “risking dangerous lapses in biosafety practices” at its labs across the country.

    The program is going to continue as before, with a new layer of managerial review that will not change matters, and with no accountability,” says Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist and professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University who has been critical of the operations of high-containment labs.

    “The report makes it clear that DOD considers the matter concluded, and any impetus for change is going to have to come from outside DOD,” Ebright says.


    In 2015, a DOD lab triggered a much larger emergency. Workers at the Dugway Proving Ground, an Army facility in Utah, shipped live anthrax to 194 laboratories instead of sending safely inactivated organisms that could not cause infection. The dangerous pathogens arrived in at least one lab in every state and nine facilities in other countries, according to the new DOD assessment.

    Making the mistake more egregious, the anthrax shipments were intended only for testing detection equipment, not for research, and so were sent to labs that would not have been equipped to handle the live organism.


    The DOD report published on April 27 may be the last of several federal agency self-examinations spurred by the mistakes. The 96-page report, written by the DOD inspector general, finds that many DOD labs did not follow existing federal biosecurity regulations.

    Inspectors often were inadequately trained, and inspections happened under a patchwork of guidances and standards, the report found. Inspections were sometimes repeated inappropriately and sometimes missed, and results were largely ignored, with any discovered deficiencies going unremedied.

  19. DXer said

    Ladies and Germs: USAMRIID can produce NO EVIDENCE that the 340 ml.was EVER IRRADIATED!

    The wonderful and ever-efficient USAMRMC FOIA Officer writes today advising:

    “Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE

    From USAMRIID Safety Officer:

    ‘We tried to locate irradiation records but unfortunately were not successful in locating any older than the 2002 timeframe. The FBI during their Amerithrax investigation removed many types of documents and these most likely were included’”.

  20. DXer said

    White House advisers call for greater accountability, safety at biolabs
    Alison Young, USA TODAY7:35 p.m. EDT October 29, 2015

    “The USA TODAY investigation has raised questions about whether lax federal oversight and enforcement played a role in allowing an Army biodefense lab at theDugway Proving Ground in Utah to mistakenly ship live anthrax for more than a decade. Despite CDC inspectors referring Dugway for enforcement action in 2007 for failures to deactivate live anthrax and ignoring tests that showed the kill process wasn’t fully effective, no fines were ever levied and inspectors never discovered the ongoing issue with a different anthrax kill method. The problem was instead identified in May by a Maryland biotech company that tested a sample of the supposedly killed anthrax it had received from Dugway and discovered it could still grow.”

  21. DXer said

    How the US may have inadvertently increased the risk of a biological attack

    • Kevin Loria
    REUTERS/David Moir

    The United States is far more vulnerable to bioterrorism attacks than it should be, according to a major report released October 28. Worse still, some of our own research into bioweapons — along with some serious biosecurity failures — could make us even more vulnerable to an attack using viruses and bacteria to infect large numbers of people.

    As former senator Joseph Lieberman and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, the two co-chairs of thecommittee behind the report,point out in an editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer, “safety and security lapses in our nation’s laboratories involving agents like anthrax” have led to threats and problems in the US.

    They’re mostly referring to incidents where government labs accidentally exposed employees to anthrax and potentially deadly pathogens were uncovered in improperly secured locations. But these aren’t the only internal risks.

    Improperly secured biological agents and the growing number of people able to work with them could pose another deadly threat.

    As the report explains, the US has built up a sort of patchwork defense system where there are various protections in place and research into bioterrorism underway, but there isn’t a coherent organizational structure in order to coordinate or oversee all this.

    As Dr. Leonard Cole, the director of the Terror Medicine and Security Program at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told Tech Insider in a recent interview, the size of the system itself creates entirely new security risks, since so many people now have access to dangerous biological agents and the knowledge of how to use them.

    Research using those agents has proliferated as we scramble to understand how they might be used and how to protect against them — but that also means we’ve increased the risk of those substances ending up in the wrong hands.

    The 2001 anthrax attacks occurred after the dangerous biological agent was stolen from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

    After those attacks, funding for bioterrorism research spiked by $1.5 billion and then in 2004, Congress approved another $5.6 billion bioterror research project.

    “Thousands and thousands of people became familiar with pathogens that they were not familiar with before,” Cole says. “You’ve seen a huge expansion in the number of laboratories who do this work and you now have many more people that could potentially do bad with these organisms, and it only takes one person.”

    That creates the potential for more incidents like those 2001 attacks — or for something worse.

    The new bioterror report recommends ways to try to better organize biodefense efforts around the country, starting with creating a centralized group led by the Vice President, along with other recommendations you can read in the full report.

    But as Cole explained, properly securing that system is essential. The potential unintended consequences of not doing so are grave.

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

  22. DXer said

    David Willman reports that it was Dr. Henchal who was the subject of the Hot News email above. (Mirage Man, p. 225.)

    I had not realized that — though I recall I had gleaned the word “Commander” upon viewing an unredacted copy from afar. That would explain Dr. Henchal’s testiness to me in his emaiil yesterday. (My apologies for being so dense and perhaps one of the last people to know.)

    In some riveting reporting, Mr. WIllman brilliantly describes a July 30, 2005 Ivins letter to his first criminal defense lawyer, Richard Bricken. I will have to check his book for his sourcing. (in a fn. 23 perhaps).

    Note that it is only natural that Ivins’ mind would race — assuming he was innocent — with possible theories on the whodunnit.

    We should not hold against Ivins his multiple alternative, changing theories about possible perpetrator/s and motives.

    My colleagues and I tend to have several theories a day about many whodunnits, to include Amerithrax.

    We’re groupies here of Joe Kenda, Homicide Hunter, on the television show, Investigation Discovery. Each new revealed tidbit suggests a different possibility.

    And due to the withheld and redacted documents in Amerithrax, the revelations have been slow in coming. (We may have stumbled upon the FBI’s reason for wrongfully withholding Notebook 3655).

    Willman writes: “The material that most closely resembled the anthrax used in the letters, Ivins now claimed, was not produced at Dugway; it was ‘material which had been covertly made by Dr. John Ezzell at USAMRIID.”

    As for the even more startling comment that Ivins says John Ezzell made at a Chicago conference, I could credit that John made it — but note that someone would make such a comment only in a tongue-in-cheek, kidding manner. I have a good sense of Dr. Ezzell and have every confidence that he was straightforwardly answering the questions I asked. If I asked the wrong questions, that was my fault. In my defense, I don’t believe the documents about the Aug. 30, 2000 and June 27, 2001 shipments of Ames from Dugway had been produced yet. As I recall, I foolishly allowed Dr. Ezzell to be vague about the quantities of dried powder made or whether there was a source other than or in addition to Flask 1029.

    But when I first called Dr. Ezzell, he said his phone was likely wiretapped by the FBI. He simply has never come across as anything but a straight-shooter in an awkward position.

    (From the point of view of Amerithrax, he had a massive conflict of interest and should not have been collecting samples or discarding Ivins’ sample. But that was a judgment call that the FBI Director made early on, and he’s a smart and experienced prosecutor. I am loath to second-guess the decision without knowing the full facts.)

    • DXer said

    • DXer said

      Citing USA TODAY’s reporting in its recommendation for greater transparency, an attachment to the White House memo notes that “perceived opaqueness” surrounding incidents at labs doing biodefense research has the potential of eroding public confidence.

      Information about select agent research and incidents should “be shared with the public, to the maximum extent possible,” said the October report from the federal Fast Track Action Committee on the Select Agent Regulations, which is incorporated into the White House memo. While information about certain work characterizing biological threats can’t be released fully for security reasons, the committee said: “In most cases, withholding this information has negligible security value, since the research, researchers, institutions, and agents involved with (select agent) research are often published in scientific journals or can readily be inferred from public materials.”

      White House advisers call for greater accountability, safety at biolabs
      Alison Young, USA TODAY

  23. DXer said

    The United States is ‘significantly underprepared’ to deal with biological terrorism
    • Kevin Loria

    Here are a few other reasons they say are causes for concern::

    “Biosecurity problems may have increased the risk of bioterror. The 2001 anthrax attacks occurred after anthrax was illicitly removed from the US Army Medical Research Institute on Infectious Disease.”

    Comment: What a joke. The government spends $6 billion a year on biodefense and (and in the view of some like Dr. Ebright) are merely proliferating the risk. At the same time, the US FBI withholds Notebook 3655 and other key lab notebooks and other information that the former lead Amerithrax investigator Rick Lambert reports is exculpatory of Dr. Bruce Ivins.

    The taxpayers should not let this go on any further — for so long as the Army’s claims of transparency and accountability remain unfulfilled.

    In the biodefense field, the people who have profited the most refuse to provide relevant documents relating to solving the whodunnit: to wit, “anthrax was illicitly removed from the US Army Medical Research Institute on Infectious Disease.”

    Separately, Erik Henchal — now at HHS in charge of vaccines — today asks that I not be ask him about these missing shipments of Dugway Ames. He says he has no official documents and refers me to USAMRIID.

    Anyone not part of the solution is part of the problem.

    Washington Post editorial (10/21/11) calls for independent review of FBI investigation of Dr. Bruce Ivins in 2001 anthrax attacks
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 22, 2011

  24. DXer said

    A Terrorist’s Fragile Footprint
    By Rick Weiss November 29, 2001

    Strange things happened on Oct. 15 when U.S. Army experts gathered around a microscope in a specially sealed room to examine the anthrax spores that had been mailed to Sen. Thomas A. Daschle: The tiny spores, each one less than one-twentieth the diameter of a human hair, kept leaping off the glass microscope slide as though by magic, then wafting away like weightless wisps of cigarette smoke.

    When the scientists tried to weigh the sample, the spores refused to rest on the scale but again became airborne, propelled by imperceptible air movements and tabletop vibrations


    In the four years that the special pathogens sample test lab has existed, “this was the first time we had ever received a real impression that this is something to be very concerned about,” said Col. Erik Henchal, chief of the diagnostics systems division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, which is home to the lab.

    That is where the Army’s premier anthrax expert, John Ezzell, tried in frustration to look at the powder under a microscope. As spores drifted about, Ezzell began to worry — about the level of expertise that had apparently been brought to bear in the powder’s production, and about the number of spores escaping.


    Three or four people will probably be in the BL-3 facility when the Leahy letter is opened, Henchal said. Ezzell will be among them, he predicted, and he will probably not wear a protective suit but simply don a surgical mask because he has been vaccinated against anthrax many times. An FBI forensic expert will also attend, while other agents look on through the few windows.

    • DXer said

      The Biowarriors

      Last Year’s Anthrax Attacks Spurred Record Research Spending on Biodefenses, but Most Solutions Are Still Years Away

      By Rob Terry, Washington Techway Staff Writer

      Col. Erik Henchal regarded the envelope with a scientist’s detachment but a citizen’s dread. He had seen this day coming.


      “We knew pretty quickly we were dealing with an authentic threat,” says Henchal. “This is the day that we had dreaded. We had been talking for a long time that it’s not a question of whether but when.”


      Henchal says he’s seeing “an improving situation every day” – but he also has concerns. Where’s the blockbuster collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry and other strategic partners? Will a record level of research-and-development investment generate unrealistic expectations?


      Henchal, a 22-year Army microbiologist, was named USAMRIID commander in June, and the flood of attention he’s received has had little do with his arrival. His 656-person staff has been the focus of federal investigators who believe the perpetrator of last year’s anthrax mail attacks may have ties to USAMRIID.


      Henchal believes staff morale at USAMRIID is improving, but scars remain. The FBI continues to scrutinize the lab’s security measures and question staffers, Henchal included.

      Henchal also says federal agents continue to give USAMRIID “real votes of confidence” and says they’re moving closer to ruling out any lab personnel as the perpetrator. He’s eager to put the suspicion behind USAMRIID, for its profile to once again be centered on being a leading center of biodefense research.

      “I’d like to think we’re past that and can now get back to business.”

  25. DXer said

    Biological Attacks: Scientists May Have The Answers
    Terror In America
    October 05, 2001|By WILLIAM HATHAWAY; Courant Staff Writer

    Baker at the University of Michigan is also frustrated that his own research has never found an application as a weapon in the fight against bioterrorism. Baker’s lab has received more than $10 million from DARPA to develop an emulsion that is capable of warding off biological agents.

    “We could have this on people in six months — if we had the money,” said Baker, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.

    Baker said other government agencies have shown little interest in NanoProtect, so he helped form the biotechnology company NanoBio Corp. of Ann Arbor to develop it commercially.

    DARPA officials declined, through a spokeswoman, to discuss methods under development to thwart biological weapons. Stephen Morse, a former program manager for the agency who is now director of the center for public healthpreparedness at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said that although funding basic research is DARPA’s chief mission, it does help investigators commercialize their work.

    “We’d like to see all these products commercialize,” Morse said, “but unfortunately it is beyond DARPA’s ability to ensure that.”

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

    • DXer said

      Integrated Chemical and Biological Defense Research, Development and Acquisition Plan

      Page 46-47:

      Surfactant-Based Decontaminating Solution

      Another promising effort under development in the Decontamination Tech Base Program is the Surfactant-Based Decontaminating Solution that combines a microemulsion with an oxidative peracid solution. Formulations combining a microemulsion with the peracid precursor have demonstrated great potential for chemical and biological agent decontamination. Peracids are known to possess high disinfectant activity against endospore forming bacteria, vegetative cells and viruses. Microemulsions afford a means of dissolving the organic chemical agents and inorganic, reactive decontaminating components in one solution, without the need for environmentally unfriendly solvents.
      The peracid precursor offers a unique means of incorporating into the decontamination solution an environmentally friendly, strong oxidizer that is reactive at a mild pH (noncorrosive to materials). The peracid eventually breaks down into a weak acid and water. There are many forms of the peracid precursor, used in the laundry industry, with varying solubility and surface active properties. Although not as far along as Decon Green in its development cycle, initial efficacy results for the Surfactant-Based Decontaminating Solution on chemical and biological agents appear very promising.



      Under the CBNP charter and leveraging the early basic research efforts in peroxy-based decontamination conducted at ECBC in the early to mid 1990’s, the Sandia National Laboratory began development of DF-1 00 in 1997. DF-l 00 is an aqueous foam-based decontamination product that uses hydrogen peroxide as its active component and combines surfactants, carbonates and various foam components to yield a very effective aqueous based decontaminant. The oxidative nature of DF-1 00 yields desirable reaction products and recent testing by DoD at both ECBC and Dugway Proving Grounds indicates that the product is effective for neutralizing both chemical and biological agents and also works on a number of anticipated material surfaces. Although DF-1 00 was developed under the CBNP program for domestic scenarios, it has great potential for use in military decontamination operations. As such, DoD has considered this product for a number of military applications including the Joint Service Family of Decon Systems Program, The Restoration of Operations (RestOps) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) and the Contamination Avoidance for Seaports of Debarkation (CASPOD) ACTD.

      In 2001, SNL completed an upgrade of DF-1 00, called DF-200, that improved the product’s efficacy on chemical and biological agents and addressed some of the concerns raised by DoD in using DF-1 00 in a military scenario.


      Use of DF-100 in Response to the October 2001 Anthrax Incidents

      DF-1 00 was used to help remediate office buildings on both Capitol Hill and in New York City which were contaminated as a result of the anthrax incidents of late 2001. Immediately after the Hart Senate Office building became contaminated, DF-100 (supplied by Envirofoam Technologies, Inc.) was evaluated in government-sponsored tests against live, vaccine-strain anthrax spores at Johns Hopkins Advanced Physics Laboratory. Also included in the tests was bleach (as a control) and the NanoBio, Inc. Nanoemulsion formulation. Since DF-100 outperformed both bleach and the Nanoemulsion formulation in these tests, it was selected to be used to remediate selected areas of the Capitol Hill office buildings. Over the next few weeks, DF-100 successfully remediated a large mailroom facility in the Ford House Office Building, a large mailroom in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and selected hallways, stairways and a freight building in the Hart Senate Office Building. Post-sampling indicated complete kill of anthrax spores and surrogate spores placed for verification purposes. There was minimal collateral damage in the first application (the Ford mailroom) due to overapplication of the foam which was a result of operator inexperience. No collateral damage was noted in the second and third applications (in the Dirksen and Hart Buildings).
      DF-1 00 (supplied by Modec, Inc.) was also used to successfully remediate the ABC News Building and New York Post Building in New York City. In this case, DF-1 00 was applied as a fog using commercial, off-the-shelf cold fogging units. Post-sampling indicated successful kill of the anthrax spores. No negative health effects have been noted in either building.

      In November 2001, the U.S. EPA issued crisis exemption permits to both Envirofoam Technologies, Inc. and Modec, Inc. to allow sales of the DF-1 00 product to military and para- military entities for use in response to terrorist attacks utilizing biological agents. These permits were issued because both Sandia and government-sponsored tests (both in the laboratory and in the field) and actual field data from the anthrax incidents indicated that DF-1 00 would kill anthrax spores. From a regulatory standpoint, the Environmental Protection Agency took this action so that the companies’ products could be used during the anthrax crisis without immediately satisfying the lengthy EPA registration process. On March 28, 2002 the EPA rescinded the crisis exemptions since the immediate need to use the product has passed. Both companies are performing and documenting the tests necessary to obtain permanent EPA registrations as a sporicide.

      The timeliness of this research and development could not be clearer. In the aftermath of the October 2001 anthrax incidents, several facilities required decontamination, a daunting task made easier as a result of this cooperative investment in decontamination research and development.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Baker’s co-principal — the “visiting foreign scientist” from Egypt and Sudan — was provided virulent Ames and Vollum 1B by Ivins in 1998.

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 14, 2014

    • DXer said

      Testing of the decontamination agents was done at IITRI using “B. anthracis AMES-RIID spores.” When were those tests done?

      Click to access Technology-and-Performance-Data-DF200.pdf


      “For more than 40 years, IITRI has provided research and development services to support the U. S. Government’s efforts to defend against the growing threats of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases. IITRI offers a wide range of services to evaluate the immunogenicity, efficacy, potency, and safety of vaccines, antitoxins and therapeutics protecting against agents of biological warfare and bioterrorism.

      Our laboratory and vivarium space includes Biosafety Level 2 and 3 facilities, fully functional with the latest equipment to conduct pathogenic agent studies. We are registered with the CDC and USDA for possession and use of select agents and toxins. In addition, we have the distinction of being one of only two non-government laboratories that operates a Department of the Army approved Biological Surety Program.”

    • DXer said

      Release Date: March 2002

      Click to access 060_NOR%20v1_2002.pdf

      The company Nanobio makes a product called Nanoprotect that consists basically of tiny droplets of oil. These appear able to destroy bacterial spores and virus particles, and even funguses, by purely physical means, allowing the use of non-toxic chemicals for protection and decontamination. Surprisingly, the product does not harm human tissue. News of the company’s product came out shortly before the anthrax attacks in the US and the US military is now the primary customer.

  26. DXer said

    Eric Nadler:
    Thom talks with Eric Nadler of Dead Silence

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

  27. DXer said

    Lost in the discussion in November 2001 of the testing of decontamination agents was the later public acknowledgement by key researchers that sometimes the real thing (i.e., virulent Ames) needed to be used in order to test the effectiveness of a decontamination agent against the real thing.

    The wonderful and ever-efficient USAMRMC FOIA is now processing the documents for the August 30, 2000 shipment of 175 ml. virulent Ames.

    Was the 175 ml. from Dugway made into a powder like the 40 ml. from Ivins Flask was? Was it irradiated? Who used it? For what purpose?

    In his filmed interview at the conference in DC, Dr. Ezzell explains that he withdrew 40 ml. from Flask 1029 and made it into a powder after irradiating it in a slurry before powderizing.

    But what was done with the 175 ml.?

    See, e.g.,
    Dugway used live anthrax in decontamination studies in the late 1990s at the same time it make one-pound quantities of Bacillus subtilis
    Posted on October 19, 2015

    Click to access AnthraxCase04Oct2001-Dec2001.pdf

    COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES The Decontamination of Anthrax and Other Biological Agents
    Thursday, November 8, 2001 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. 2318 Rayburn House Office Building
    Purpose On Thursday, November 8, 2001 the House Committee on Science will hold a hearing to receive testimony regarding the decontamination of anthrax and other biological agents from public facilities. Specifically, this hearing will explore the challenges of decontaminating civilian facilities, the experience gained by the U.S. Army in decontaminating property at Fort Detrick, and the potential of new decontamination technologies and methods.


    A promising new products being developed in this category is that of one company, which has developed tiny metal particles – nanoparticles – that act like a gas, floating on the air and destroying chemical and biological agents on contact. These nanoparticles are currently undergoing testing by the DoD and the Department of Energy.

    Liquids solutions and foams—Rooms and vehicles, and equipment that is not sensitive to chemical reactions can be decontaminated by washing with a liquid solution or foam. These can be applied directly to the contaminated surface and are more controllable than reactive gases. However, they may be impractical for use in an office environment because they can cause damage to paper files and computer systems.

    Several new disinfectants are currently under development in this category, too. A new foaming agent has been developed by Sandia National Laboratory. Another new technology, called a nanoemulsion, has been developed at the University of Michigan with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in DoD.

    As part of the DoD’s response to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1997, the Department initiated a program to test the effectiveness of a number of decontaminants, many of them developed with DoD funding, that could be used in a civilian setting. In these tests, DoD evaluated the effectiveness of a variety of decontaminants in killing bacteria that had been applied to various materials found in an office environment, including acoustic ceiling tiles, carpet, latex painted wallboards, concrete slabs, painted metal, wood paneling and fabric- covered office partitions. The bacteria in the tests are a spore-forming bacteria related to anthrax known as Bacillus globigii.

    So far, a number of promising options for decontamination have been tested. In these tests, the Sandia foam appears to neutralize or kill numerous chemical and biological agents such as soman gas, persistent nerve agent (VX), mustard gas, anthrax spores and viruses, while the nanoemulsion appears to be effective in killing a broad-spectrum of microbes

    • DXer said

      The report from mid-December 2001 about live anthrax used in decontamination studies lacks detail. Where were the studies conducted? Just Dugway?

      One of the Ann Arbor company’s competitor products was made by Sandia. It was tested at Dugway in 1999 and was tested at Johns-Hopkins in late October 2001.

      Here is a 2015 report on the testing that has been done, to include the kill rates of the Sandia decontamination agent using what is described as “B. anthracis AMES-RIID spores.”

      Click to access Technology-and-Performance-Data-DF200.pdf

      “The Sandia -developed technology is effective for both CW and BW warfare agents including in emergency response situations where the actual agent may not be known. It is also effective for many toxic industrial chemical threats. Successful “live-agent” effectiveness tests have been performed by the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC), the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute (IITRI), and the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI). The formulation has also been extensively tested by the DOD in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

      Biological kill tests were conducted at IITRI in Chicago, Illinois. Results of tests utilizing DF-200 against anthrax spores are shown below. Similar results were achieved for Yersinia pestis which are also shown below (minimum contact time tested was 15 minutes).”

      “Sandia also participated in field trials sponsored by SBCCOM at the Dugway Proving Ground to test the effectiveness of the foam for the kill of Bacillus globigii spores ( an anthrax simulant). This testing utilized Sandia’s original decon formulation (DF-100). Phase I testing at Dugway involved the deployment of the DF-100 formulation onto a series of 16 ” x 16 ” test panels consisting of a variety of materials that might be found in a typical office building. Based on the results of the Phase I test, Sandia was invited to participate in Phase II testing. In Phase II, the DF-100 formulation was deployed in an 8’ x 8’ x 8’ room that was constructed with a variety of building materials. The room was contaminated by B. globigii spores by a simulated explosion. DF-100 was deployed as foam through an Intelagard, Inc Macaw backpack foam system and allowed to dry on the surface (approximately 1-2 hours). Sampling was conducted by Dugway personnel approximately 20 hours after deployment of the DF-100 foam . Results from Phase II are shown below. No surviving spores were found on any surface. Equal or better results would be expected with DF-200 since it has increa sed efficacy against biological pathogens as compared to DF-100.”

      The testing using the Ames-RIID spores was done at the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute (IITRI).

  28. DXer said

    I believe the former Zawahiri’s association decontamination agent, after having been tested at Dugway in 1999, was tested at JHU-APL in mid-October 2001. See Forbes article, Nov. 12, 2001, “See This Goop? It Kills Anthrax and the tiny biotech startup that invented it has been thrust into a national crisis that is upending its business.

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

    See This Goop? It Kills Anthrax And the tiny biotech startup that invented it has been thrust into a national crisis that is upending its business.

    By Julie Creswell
    November 12, 2001

    (FORTUNE Magazine) – Inside the plain little container I’m looking at may just be our best stopgap against bioterror. Dr. James Baker, chief scientist at the Ann Arbor, Mich., biotech firm NanoBio, holds up the bottle and twists off the cap. “A little of this rubbed into the hands can protect postal workers from anthrax,” he says, peering at me over his glasses. Oh, sure, I think, that’s great–until it starts eating away their skin, right? Before I can ask about side effects, Baker shoves his finger into the bottle, removing it to show the bio killing agent, which, strangely, looks a lot like sunblock. “Plus, it’s a great moisturizer,” he says, grinning, as he rubs the lotion into his hands.

    Germany’s Bayer, which manufactures the antibiotic Cipro, isn’t the only company swept up in America’s grim scramble to fend off germ attacks. The dawn of international bioterrorism is challenging companies like NanoBio too. Like Bayer, this tiny startup is caught in a dilemma it never foresaw: how to meet the public’s needs without sacrificing its own financial goals. Two months ago, NanoBio was an obscure seven-person company spawned by the University of Michigan, where Baker is director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology. Its research was funded primarily by an $11 million grant from DARPA, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Its offices were in the basement of a bank in downtown Ann Arbor; its employees sat on 12-year-old used furniture. Though NanoBio’s digs were dull, its claim was startling: It had created a nontoxic agent that can destroy most every virus, bacterium, and fungus around, from influenza to E. coli to tough-to-terminate anthrax. (The product can help prevent people from contracting anthrax but can’t cure them after they’ve become infected.) NanoBio’s plan was to license its microbe-zapping formulas to drug and consumer goods companies, making money by collecting royalties on its patents within a couple of years.
    Then bioterror struck. Today, NanoBio is desperately seeking anonymity. It moved to a bland corporate park where its office has no name on the door. It yanked its street address off its Website, whose hit rate jumped from 350 a month to 1,000 a day. And it is struggling to adapt to a biodefense business model that may put the company’s commercial–and financial–aspirations on hold. Among the firm’s worries: that close association with anthrax will cause customers to overlook other potential commercial applications for its products, and that investors won’t want to back a company whose largest customer is Uncle Sam. “We want to be good citizens and do what we can to help in the crisis,” says CEO Ted Annis. “But there is definitely an opportunity cost.”

    What’s in NanoBio’s amazing bio fighting agent, anyway? Just soybean oil floating in water with nontoxic detergents. “It can be rubbed on the skin, eaten, or put into liquids like orange juice,” claims Annis. “I even put it in my hot tub.”

    What makes the stuff potent is how it is made. Think about what happens when you shake up salad dressing. Bubbles of oil are dispersed in the vinegar. Those bubbles contain energy that is stored as surface tension; the energy is released when the droplets coalesce again. NanoBio’s technology–called an anti-microbial nanoemulsion–forms these bubbles at the supertiny nano level. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or about 100,000 times narrower than a human hair. The nanodroplets, stabilized by the detergents they float in, are small enough to literally bombard the lipids, or fats, found in bacteria and viruses, blowing the bugs up. NanoBio’s formula convinces a dormant anthrax spore that surface conditions are ripe for it to germinate into an active anthrax bacterium. As it germinates, the spore forms a lipid layer, which the nanoemulsion promptly assaults. Within a couple of hours, the anthrax is dead.
    The day after the Sept. 11 attacks, CEO Annis called together the NanoBio staff. “Nobody mentioned anthrax specifically at the meeting, but we thought it was likely that the terrorists’ next punch was already planned and that it would be a bio event,” he says. Realizing that the company’s initial product-rollout timetable was about to be put into hyperdrive, Annis began gathering the paperwork needed for fast-track EPA and FDA approvals. And he braced for a barrage of interest from reporters, following a local newspaper story on the company; the media soon dubbed NanoBio’s decontaminant “the salad-oil cure.”
    NanoBio’s product isn’t the only promising anthrax killer. A foam developed by New Mexico’s Sandia National Laboratories supposedly neutralizes pathogens and chemicals; it was recently used to decontaminate some NBC offices. In mid-October, Johns Hopkins University tested bio killing products from both companies, but it hasn’t yet made its findings public. A DARPA spokesperson says other tests on the NanoBio formula have shown “good initial results.”

    Now NanoBio hopes to get $5 million in emergency federal funding to hire more people, do more tests, and start contracting out the manufacture of large quantities of the substance. Annis expects a thumbs-up within days. If NanoBio’s product wins fast-track regulatory approval, it could be available to the military and the public for use on buildings, and perhaps even on the skin, within six months. The company says it would need another $20 million and 24 months to develop preventive nasal sprays.

    All this is a race NanoBio didn’t want to compete in. “Our future isn’t going to be in government applications. A lot of what we’re doing for the government is going to be done at cost,” says Baker. “Our future is going to be with all the commercial customers that we can’t let drop off while we’re dealing with this other stuff.”
    But in the back of NanoBio’s office sit two dozen empty white 55-gallon barrels. A few days before, DARPA had asked Annis and Baker if they could make enough decontaminant to clean several anthrax-tainted offices in the Senate. NanoBio’s small lab mixers will have to run day and night to fill the barrels. “This is not the way we want to do this,” sighs Annis, shaking his head. “This is all a duct-tape solution.”

    • DXer said

      A Johns Hopkins professor spoke on this issue of decontamination in early November 2001 as did Dr. Baker, a co-Principal of the Ann Arbor biotech company NanoBio.


      Dr. GOLDMAN. Thank you very much. We are, I think, all pleased to have the opportunity to testify before you today. You have asked us a number of important questions, and, in my testimony today, which I will summarize in my oral testimony, I will address these questions. And, in addition, I am going to take a moment to share my thoughts about some of the broader science issues that need to be addressed.

      The first question had to do with assuring that decontamination is successful. This is a very important question. The knowledge about decontamination for infectious agents has been developed in numerous areas like drinking water, food safety, medical facilities, and in industrial applications.
      And within the government, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration both have responsibility for regulating disinfectant agents. However, the roles that these agencies play have to do with evaluating and deciding whether to give regulatory approval to products that are brought forward by the private sector for use commercially. And they have very little in the way of proactive research and development efforts in this area. And in places where there isn’t a clear market niche, there is not going to be very much going on in a system like this.

      And I would posit—I think that it is quite provable that there probably wasn’t much of a market prior to this October for disinfectants for mail, for the mail handling system, for offices that receive and handle mail, or for people who are engaged with mail.

      In short, there would have been no real incentive for the private sector to engage in research in this area, and given that there is no research going on within the government, here we are in a situation where nobody has really given this much thought.

      Yet, the need for disinfection is immediate. In thinking about alternatives for disinfection, obviously, there needs to be a fundamental understanding about the nature of the organism, in this instance, that we are trying to kill, which is an anthrax spore. An anthrax spore is very resistant to most forms of disinfection. The reason for that is that they are, in essence, hibernating. They are not growing and metabolizing. And many of the substances, many of the methods that are used to kill organisms, take advantage of metabolic processes, block metabolic processes as a way of killing organisms. And we know that spores can persist for very long periods outdoors. There is no reason to assume that they wouldn’t persist for long periods within buildings, as well.

      I am not going to go through, in my oral testimony, the list of what we know might be used as treatments. There is certainly heat, various forms of radiation, including ionizing radiation and UV radiation, various disinfectants, some of which have been used in the past for anthrax, others of which have been used in other situations and may be applicable to this use.

      None of these have been developed or tested for the current situation, and a number of them have obvious shortcomings for dealing with buildings, complicated HVAC systems in buildings, and the mail.

      So in any crisis, it is important to step back and consider how science can best inform the decision-making process. How should we be assessing the risks and benefits of multiple alternatives in this kind of a situation? And I would say that what we need is what I would call a safety assessment. A safety assessment looks at three important factors—the efficacy of the treatment options, the risks to health and the environment that are side effects from the treatment options, and also the feasibility, in terms of the time, the cost, and the destruction of property that might occur from various treatment options.







      NOVEMBER 8, 2001

      Serial No. 107–39

      Printed for the use of the Committee on Science

      Available via the World Wide Web:


    • DXer said

      According to a 2002 EPA report, there was also testing done at Aberdeen in 2001. When was that testing was done? What pathogens were used? Who supplied them?

  29. DXer said

    Joany Jackman in 2003 explained that she was involved with the testing of biosensors and their component parts against live biological threat agents as part of the DARPA Biosensor Program.

    DARPA Integrated Chemical and Biological Detection System

    Click to access donlon.pdf

    “Since 1997, Dr. Jackman has been an IPA with the Special Pathogens Branch of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. She is involved with the testing of biosensors and their component parts against live biological threat agents as part of the DARPA Biosensor Program.”

    • DXer said

      Determine and Confirm the Field Use Protocol for NANOProtect Non-Toxic Decontaminate for Facilities and Equipment Following Bio Attack
      Period of Performance: 01/01/2005 – 12/31/2005

      Nanobio Corporation
      2311 GREEN RD, STE A
      Ann Arbor, MI 48105
      Principal Investigator
      Tarek Hamouda

      In December 1999 the U.S. Army tested a broad spectrum namoemulsion and nine other bio-decontamination technology at Dugway, Utah, against an Anthrax surrogate, Bacillus globigii.


      Other tests against the vaccine strain of Bacillus anthracis (sterne strain) were conducted by John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and by the US Army Institute of Surgical Research.

      Comment: When were these tests conducted? Where did John Hopkins get its Sterne strain? (Answer: before 9/11). Was Dr. Hamouda’s decontamination agent also tested against Ames? (Prior to 9/11, Ames in its liquid form was a BL-2 pathogen.) In numerous patents, Dr. Hamouda explains that he was supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. He worked alongside Bruce Ivins, Pat Fellows, Mara Linscott in the B3. He also thanked Arthur Friedlander.

      I emailed Dr. Hamouda years ago to ask who we knew in Dr. Ayman recruited to jihad — besides “Tawfik” Hamid (author of INSIDE JIHAD) — but he did not respond.

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

  30. DXer said

    The agreement between DSD-USAMRIID (Ezzell) and JHU-APL — for which Dr. Ezzell made a dried powder — expressly required that the JHU/APL researchers (which included some unidentified subcontractors) be provided with VIRULENT anthrax (“active biological threat agents”).

    • DXer said

    • DXer said

      Note that the Memorandum of Agreement required that USAMRIID provide JHU/APL with active agents that can be safely handled at BL-2.

      Ames in its liquid form was a BL-2 agent prior to 9/11.

      Thus, under this agreement, DSD was obligated to provide JHU-APL. Did it?

      Did Joany Jackman take some virulent Ames in liquid form with her when she moved to JHU-APL?

  31. DXer said

    Is Southern Research Institute the phrase that fits in front of laboratory in regard to the location that aerosol work for DARPA was done? Was it Johns-Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory? Or instead were the special facilities built at USAMRIID. The research involved the FBI’s anthrax expert John Ezzell and his assistant Joany Jackman.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 21, 2011

    Does this interview statement describe the DARPA research with John Hopkins-Applied Physics Lab involving testing mass spectrometer detector for which John Ezzell made a dried powder?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 7, 2010

    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

  32. DXer said

  33. DXer said

    Turn to the records not yet uploaded relating to the earlier shipment of Ames on August 30, 2000. Now compare that with the records relating to Dr. Ezzell’s August 28, 2000 withdrawal from Flask 1029 of 40 ml. virulent Ames from Flask 1029.

    The withdrawal was for the DARPA mass spec project with JHU/APL See FD 302 sub-302, #3605, dated 1/11/2006

  34. DXer said

    FBI Focusing on ‘About Four’ Suspects in 2001 Anthrax Attacks
    By Ian McCaleb, Catherine Herridge Published March 28, 2008

    The FBI has narrowed its focus to “about four” suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Army’s bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned.

    Among the pool of suspects are three scientists — a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist — linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID.

    The FBI has collected writing samples from the three scientists in an effort to match them to the writer of anthrax-laced letters that were mailed to two U.S. senators and at least two news outlets in the fall of 2001, a law enforcement source confirmed.

    A leading theory is that the anthrax was stolen from Fort Detrick and then sealed inside the letters. A law enforcement source said the FBI is essentially engaged in a process of elimination.

    Asked to comment on the likelihood that the anthrax originated at the facility, the expert said:

    “It’s not suprising, except that it would underscore that there was serious security deficiencies that existed at one time at Fort Detrick — the ability of researchers to smuggle out some type of very sophisticated anthrax weapon and in some quantity. And, nevertheless, it was possible.”

    In December 2001, an Army commander tried to dispel the possibility of a connection to Fort Detrick by taking the media on a rare tour of the base. The commander said the Army used only liquid anthrax, not powder, for its experiments.

    “I would say that it does not come from our stocks, because we do not use that dry material,” Maj. Gen. John Parker said. The letters that were mailed to the media and Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy all contained powdered anthrax.

    But in an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues.

    “Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared … to duplicate the letter material,” the e-mail reads. “Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same … his knees got shaky and he sputtered, ‘But I told the General we didn’t make spore powder!'”

    Asked for comment, an Army spokeswoman referred all calls to the FBI.

    Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. …

  35. DXer said

    My daughter won Best in Show (including the Adult category) this year in the New York State poetry contest. Her poem was titled “Interview with a Time Traveler.”

    While she bested me, I still get a kick out of a palindromic poem I wrote on the subject of the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. I found it when I was looking for notes on the some of the words and names that were redacted. (I enlarged it to be about 10 feet big and a friend, “Anonymous” had keen eyesight.)

    A palindrome reads the same forwards and backwards.

    Ed Ode
    (Rats Live On No Evil Star)

    Ma handed Edna ham
    Ma is as selfless as I am

    Kayak salad, Alaska yak.
    Campus Motto: Bottoms up, Mac

    Wow! Sis! Wow!
    Wonton on salad? Alas, no, not now!

    “Desserts, sis?” (Sensuousness is stressed).
    Desserts I desire not, so long no lost one rise distressed.

    “Do nine men interpret?” Nine men, I nod.
    Doc, note I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

    May a moody baby doom a yam?
    Marge let a moody baby doom a telegram.

    Oh who was it I saw, oh who?
    Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo?

    Was it a car or a cat I saw?
    War! I saw ‘Nam — man was I raw.

    We panic in a pew.
    We’ll let Mom tell Lew.

    ‘Tis in a DeSoto sedan I sit.
    To Idi Amin I am an idiot.

    Race fast, safe car.
    Rats live on no evil star.

    Toot! Toot!
    Too hot to hoot.

    Stop, Syrian! I start at rats in airy spots.
    Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots.

    Trap a rat! Stare, piper, at star apart!
    Trade ye no mere moneyed art.

    If I had a hi-fi!? If I had a hi-fi!?
    I, madam, I made radio. So I dared! Am I mad? Am I?

    Ah! A mop, a man, a map: Omaha!
    Was it felt? I had a hit left, I saw.

    Solo gigolos.
    So many dynamos.

    Oh, no! Don Ho.
    Ogre, flog a golfer. Go!

    Ten animals I slam in a net.
    Pets, Ed, I sidestep.

    Nurse, save rare vases, run!
    Now, sir, a war is won.

    Mad? Am I, madam?
    Madam, in Eden, I’m Adam!

    Reviled did I live, said I, as evil did I deliver.
    Revered now I live on. O did I no evil, I wonder ever?

    Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
    Are we not drawn onwards, we few, drawn on to new era?

  36. DXer said

    FoxNews has an unredacted copy of this email. It was flashed and Anonymous and I worked to make out what the blurry image said.

    FOIA: Any luck in locating any outgoing shipping records?

    “A I don’t know. I mean, there would be records — if that occurred, there should be very detailed records that document that, because we don’t ship agents without appropriate documentation.”
    — Former Commander Edward Eitzen

  37. DXer said

    In 2001, there was a conference on bioweapons that was part of a program appropriately called “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike.” It was uploaded to the internet this summer in June.

    The conference was sponsored by B&N. The moderator was ABC News Correspondent Robert Krulwich. Panelists included “Germs” co-authors William Broad, Stephen Engelberg, Judith Miller and Jerome Hauer, former head of the NYC emergency response organization.

    America’s Secret War: Germs & Biological Weapons – Spies, Scientists (2001)

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